Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Game Review: Starlight Drifter (PC)

Today I'd like to provide you the fans with a Review of a game you're probably not to see anywhere else, it's a game done by a little known company that puts out surprisingly high quality games, and this new game they've released is of a particularly high quality, that I would like to share it with you via this Review.  It is especially timely given all the negative news in the gaming world lately, this is an extremely positive review of a fun and upbeat game and hopefully it will leave you smiling and feeling that all is right with the world again!  So without further ado, I present to you the Review of Starlight Drifter!

What would you do if you wanted to make a game like Mass Effect, but had a budget of thousands of dollars instead of tens of millions of dollars?  You might make a game very much like Starlight Drifter.  As the name implies, Starlight Drifter is indeed a Fantasy, Space Based game.  It focuses heavily on Story, Choices that Impact that Story, and meaningful Character Interactions with a large and interesting group of Characters.  Speaking of Characters, the Main Character can be Male or Female, and most of the other characters are Female. There's a bit of Character Customization for the Main Character, not a lot, but you can change her hair color, eye color, and clothing, which is definitely nice.  Here is a screenshot of the Female Main Character:

You'll obtain a ship, have the opportunity to upgrade and repair it from time to time, and of course recruit a large number of Crew-members.  In stark contrast to Bioware's upcoming game Anthem that shockingly has no romances at all, you'll find a large number of romance options in Starlight Drifter, and here's an example of one of your potential love interests, the lovely and talented pilot of your ship, Rana:

Unlike Mass Effect, however, there is no actual 'action' in the game, no real-time combat. There's also no voice acting either.  This is, again, a far smaller budget game than the actual Mass Effect.  If you need big budget effects you're likely to be disappointed, but if you need quality story and characters, and you're a fan of high quality, deep and meaningful romances, you're absolutely going to love this game.  I recommend you go to Steam and give this game a try today, I'm confident you'll be glad you did!  If you like, after you've enjoyed the game for a while, feel free to leave a comment down below giving your thoughts on the game as well.  We welcome insights and commentary from our readers here at the Gladiator Blog!

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Shocking news from Bioware's upcoming game Anthem!

As most of you probably know, Bioware is coming out with a new game called 'Anthem'.  If you're like me, you probably wish you knew more about the game, as until very recently there hadn't been much info about the game.  But they've been putting out some new info lately, and one piece of information that I was able to uncover is absolutely shocking.  One thing we know about Bioware games, is that whatever else you like or don't like about them, they strive to be the very best at Romances.  Which is why this news will absolutely blow you away:  There will be NO romances in Anthem.  Now, we know very, very little about the characters in the game anyway, but this is still unbelievable news.  It's not a Bioware game if it doesn't have high quality romances, but in reality, this does appear to be a Bioware game in name only, just from looking at everything I've seen and read about the game.  Where are the interesting characters, where are the fascinating storylines, where is the lore, where is anything other than flying around and shooting at things?

Before I go further, since this news is so shocking I can understand that you the readers would be skeptical of it's validity, I want to not only assure you, sadly, that it is true, but I also want to remind everyone that I am the Video Game Journalist who broke the story that Fallout 76 would have NO human NPCs, you literally will have no-one to talk to in the game other than robots.  That was me, that was shocking news and I broke the story, I broke it right here on this blog as well as in a video that I did for YouTube, and now I'm revealing this information to you as well.  This information came from one of the highest level Bioware folks, it is unquestionably true.  And the meaning is clear.  Basically, if you want to play a game where you fly around and shoot things for little to no reason whatsoever, you may or may not like this game, but if you want quality characters, storylines, romances, etc. you clearly are going to be disappointed in this game.  Honestly, my guess is this is the news that assures that Anthem will indeed be a pretty major failure, I don't think even quality romances would've made it a success, but at least if the characters and romances turned out to be interesting it would've made it a good bit more popular than it is now going to be.  I just don't see a reason to play this game.  There's going to be so many high quality games out there, there's just no reason to buy a Bioware game that has none of the elements that are the very reasons 'why' you buy Bioware games.  Playing a Bioware game without romances is like playing a Fallout game without human NPCs, there's a really basic, and really huge, piece of  what should be in the game, that is simply missing.

So while I'm sorry to have to bring you such terrible news, I'm glad that you could hear it from your friend right here at the Gladiator Blog, where we tell it like it is whether it's good news or bad news.  Rest assured we'll continue covering this, and many other games, right here on the site that is your source for trusted, proven accurate, and high quality Gaming News and Analysis, as well as a myriad of other cool things, right here on the Gladiator Blog!  And hopefully my next news report will be much more positive, trust me I'll be on the lookout for good news to help cheer everyone up :) !

Saturday, June 16, 2018

CyberPunk 2077 Blows Away the Competition, Epic Win at E3 2018!

Without question, the big winner of E3 2018 was CD Project Red's upcoming epic game 'Cyberpunk 2077'.  We got a first look at their trailer early on in the E3 process, and it looked fantastic, with the voiceover narrated by a guy who sounds like Triple H, making it that much cooler.  But then, a few days or so later, they began showing a select group of people a highly classified, and much longer, Demo video.  This video wasn't just much longer, more like 45 minutes to an hour in length instead of a minute and a half or so trailer, but it revealed things that simply couldn't be shown in a trailer.  The response to this much longer, and much more detailed, Demo video, has been overwhelmingly positive.  While your friend and mine, Sir Gladiator, has not yet viewed this Demo (although he is hoping to do so in the not too distant future), so he cannot yet give a first hand account, from what he has heard from others who have viewed it, it is an absolutely mind blowing experience.  And it's really not that hard to imagine why, just by looking at the original trailer that we first saw a week or so ago. 

Before I go into more detail about what we know and why that makes this game so potentially incredible, I'd like to address a topic that a lot of fans have been discussing, and I would be remiss if I didn't address it as it is very important, and particularly important to many fans.  I'm referring, of course, to the 'First Person vs Third Person' debate, and how Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be a First Person Game.  First, just to make things super clear and accurate, there 'will' be some third person in the game, as when you're driving a car you will have the choice of doing so in first or third person view, so the entire game will not be first person if you don't want it to be.  But yes, it is disappointing, in theory, that the game doesn't have a third person option, I'm someone who always uses that option, even if it makes it harder to play the game, such as making it harder to aim and such.  I just prefer playing in third person, that's my thing, and I know it's many of yours as well.  However, there is something important to keep in mind, and that is that this is a highly, highly unique game, and if the Developers of that game feel that it absolutely must be experienced in First Person, then it's worth not just considering, but also noting that there really is no evidence that they're wrong.  We've never played a game like this before, we have no way of knowing that in fact third person would be our preferred way of playing this particular game.  So certainly for now, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, and let them continue to demonstrate why their judgement, which has been proven to be very strong in the past, is correct in this particular case.  To be clear, I would welcome their adding some kind of third person option, and an idea that I had would be to enable third person viewing when paused.  For example, you pause the game, then select the third person option, allowing you to look around the area in third person view, then once you resume the game it goes back to first person mode.  This would allow you to view your character whenever you like, as well as giving you a unique extra view of the various beautiful areas of the game, while still maintaining the full First Person experience within the game play itself.  It's an idea that I am hopeful that the Developers will consider, and add if they are so inclined, as I feel it would be a 360 win.

Now to discuss the many, many amazing aspects of the game, I'd like to start with the graphics.  They aren't simply lifelike and incredible, you can see that for yourself, and it is indeed very self-evident.  One thing I heard is that there are an absolutely massive number of unique looking 'random' city dwellers in the game.  That is, characters that don't give you quests or really interact with you in any way, they're just sort of there to make the city that much more realistic and lively, it's easy to have characters look like each other, but I'm hearing that there is absolutely massive uniqueness with these characters, which is a lot cooler than it might sound when you first hear about it.  Once you think about it, and certainly once you see it, you'll realize that while this might sound like a small thing, it really could make a huge difference, making the game that much more awesome.

One thing you probably already know, certainly it was always reasonable to assume it, and it has now been confirmed, is that you have the ability to fully customize your character, including the ability to play as either gender.  It has been confirmed, you choose whether your want to play as a Male or Female character, and either way your name in the game will be V.  I believe they've stated that you can give your character a unique name in addition to that, but everyone will call you V, much like Piper would call you 'Blue' in Fallout 4, folks would call you 'Hearld' in DA3, 'Shepard' in Mass Effect, etc.  So you will be playing as V, and V is something of a Mercenary.  You will of course have the option of playing as a good or bad character, lots of choices can be made, so many powerful choices that have real meaning and consequences, and as we learned in The Witcher 3, sometimes our choices can not only have huge impact, but that impact can show up not just immediately, but much further down the line than you might expect, which is extremely cool.

Another aspect of the game that has been Declassified, we have it with absolute confirmation that there are Romances in the game.  Without any question, Romances can be some of the coolest aspects of many games.  Certainly the best part of Fallout 4, a game with lots of fun and cool aspects to it, was the romance with Piper, Dragon Age 3 was surely made a lot better with the Sera and Cassandra romances, go all the way back to Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic and what would it have been without the Bastilla romance?  A good game, sure, but not the legendary one that it still is today.  In The Witcher 3, of course, you had the option to romance Triss and/or Yennifer in deep, meaningful romance storylines, as well as have something like a 'one night stand' with various women.  Both types of romances are, it appears, returning in Cyberpunk 2077.

The combat in Cyberpunk 2077 is another aspect of the game that is highly futuristic, and unique.  One aspect, which ties in with your character directly, is the fact that you can augment your character's body itself with certain 'upgrades', technological breakthroughs that enable you to improve your body in certain ways, that allow you to do things that normal humans cannot do at this particular moment in time.  For example, an implant placed into your eye, that allows you to zoom in, like a camera.  Pretty neat, eh?  Of course what futuristic game's combat system could be complete without cool weapons, and we have a wide range of weapons, including a pretty wide range of guns, as well as other up close, melee type weapons.  This of course isn't all that surprising, but it's confirmation is of course yet another very cool addition to the already impressive arsenal of awesomeness.

For a more in-depth description of the Character Creation system, from the gameplay standpoint, another important Declassified aspect of the game is its Stats system.  Your character will have the following stats:  Intelligence, Strength, Constitution, Reflexes, Tech, and something called 'Cool'.  At Character Creation, you will put points into whichever categories you like.  I'm sure we'll learn more about these categories in the days, weeks, and months to come.  Certainly while some of them are standard to RPGs, others, in particular that last one, definitely are a new and really cool addition to the list, and I'm especially interested in hearing more about it and how it works!

There's so much more to discuss, but this has already been a pretty long post, and choc full of details.  So stay tuned for even more Cyberpunk 2077 info, as well as all sorts of cool Gaming info, from your friend and mine, Sir Gladiator, right here on the Gladiator Blog!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Gladiator Reporting on Fallout 76 CONFIRMED, Major Details.

This is breaking news, and I didn't want it to be true, but it is.  Today, after Sir Gladiator first reported on this breaking information, other, more famous gaming reporters took it up also, and eventually it made its way to one of the heads at Bethesda, who live, on camera, admitted that what your friend and mine, Sir Gladiator, first reported was in fact true.  There will be NO human NPCs in Fallout 76.  None.  Let that sink in.  It's hard to wrap your mind around it, but think about it this way.  For all the people saying 'we want a single player mode for Fallout 76', just imagine for a moment that there were no Multiplayer in Fallout 76.  That it was only Single Player.  What would such a game look like?  There are no humans on the map, anywhere.  No teammates.  No allies.  No factions to join.  No quests for them to give you.  No Love Interests.  No Trading.  No Settlers.  No nothing.  There's a big huge map, filled with lots of monsters, presumably there's weapons out there that you use to shoot them with, and that's about it.  Basically, without Multiplayer, there would be no game.  The whole game is Multiplayer, it's joining with other players to fight monsters and other players.  The 'base building' isn't to help defend your settlers, it isn't to support your allies, or your factions, because you don't have any of those things.  Base building, near as I can tell, is simply a way to defend against monsters and other people when they inevitably attack you.  Which no doubt would make for a fairly cool PvP idea in a multiplayer game.  But it has nothing to do with a single player experience.  At all.

So essentially, Fallout 76 is a great big, empty world, filled only with monsters to kill and other players to fight, or ally with.  There are no interesting characters.  There are no cool places to explore filled with interesting people, quests, storylines, etc.  Nothing.  If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, then that's good for you, but if you're looking for anything remotely like a traditional Fallout experience, and I mean anything 'remotely' like a Fallout experience, you're not going to find it in Fallout 76.  It's honestly hard to imagine how anyone could've thought creating a huge, empty world was a good idea for a Fallout game.  I think Bethesda is likely to lose a whole, whole lot of fans over this one, and it's a shame because they had a really great thing going, high quality games, tremendous franchise, just super fun stuff, to make a game like this, so intentionally devoid of fun and coolness, it's going to make a lot of fans angry, and they're going to have to work twice as hard in the future to make things right for them.

On a more positive note, there are some really cool new games being displayed at E3, games I didn't see coming, really cool stuff, and your friend and mine will be reporting on those, so stay tuned for that, as well as more details on Fallout 76 if and when that is warranted as well, I sure hope they deliver some good news that I can bring to you the fans in the near future, along with all the other cool positive news out there that you'll be getting from your friend and mine, as his coverage of E3 2018 continues!

Shocking New Fallout 76 Info on Bethesda Website, This Changes Everything!

As I was reading the Bethesda Website, specifically the Fallout 76 portion of the website, I came across a piece of information that was actually featured fairly prominently, and I'd like to provide an exact quite right here, it's a quote that may seem innocuous at first:  "Bethesda Game Studios, the award-winning creators of Skyrim and Fallout 4, welcome you to Fallout 76, the online prequel where every surviving human is a real person."

That is the exact quote from their website.  Think about what that means though, that doesn't just mean multiplayer, that means that there are NO human NPCs in the game.  Every surviving human is a real person, that means there's no human NPCs to talk to, to get a Quest from, to trade with, etc.  The only humans you'll run across in Fallout 76 are other people, playing the game online.  If that is true, and it's the exact quote from their own website, then this is nothing like any previous Fallout game, there are pretty much no storylines, no interesting characters, it's just you and your Online allies, against other Online players, and random monsters.  I certainly hope that this is some kind of terrible mistake, because if it's true, then this isn't a game that very many people are going to want to play.  For their sake, for our sake, for everyone's sake, I hope this is wrong, but it's on their website as of this writing.  Hopefully someone will ask them about it and get them to clarify whether this is accurate or not, and if they do, and I hear the answer, I'll report on it right here for you the fans.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Massive Fallout 76 News CONFIRMED!

This is it, the moment you've all been waiting for.  The Bethesda Press Conference has happened, and massive amounts of information have been Declassified and made available to the general public!  So now I, your friend and mine, Sir Gladiator, will now share what he has learned with you the fans!  Sit back, get ready, because here...we....go!

First, Fallout 76 is FOUR TIMES the size of Fallout 4!  It takes place in West Virginia, something we pretty much already knew.  They mentioned there being 6 major areas of West Virginia that we'll be travelling to along the course of the Main Quest, a quest which is given to us by our Vault Overseer.  It seems we do begin the game inside of Vault 76, which no doubt will be very cool.  One thing you'll notice from the trailer, is that one of the robots in the vault with us is the same, both in looks and more importantly in voice, as our robot friend at the start of Fallout 4, Codsworth.

To answer the major question that most folks had, a question I wanted an answer to, a question no doubt most, if not all, of you very much wanted to be answered, the question of will the game be Single Player or will it be Online, the answer is...yes.  To both questions, in a way.  It will be Online, but at the same time you can play it entirely Single Player if you so prefer.  They made an important, and interesting, comment that there will not be a huge number of players in your individual world, they said Dozens.  Dozens of other players may be in your particular Fallout 76 world, you'll share the world with them and you can team up with them if you so desire, or you can simply play the game Single Player style like you have every other Fallout game.  Which sounds like a pretty reasonable compromise, they get to add a Multi Player aspect, and players who like that can use it, and have fun with the other folks in their particular world, and those that don't can just play Single Player like always.

There were a lot of new monsters to be seen in the new reveal trailer, never before seen in the Fallout Universe.  They also mentioned that Players will be able to launch Nuclear Missiles, that apparently will be one of the Multi-Player aspects of the game, you get a piece of the launch code, others get a piece of the launch code, and once you've all got enough Launch Code pieces, you together can launch a nuclear missile, which will have actual consequences in the game, one aspect they mentioned is that rare minerals will be available in the newly destroyed area, and new dangers as well.  So that sounds like a new and potentially interesting aspect of the game as well.

Another major development regarding Fallout 76, is that they've announced they're doing a Beta!  You can sign up for the Beta on their website, although at the time of this writing their website seems to be having serious issues, likely from massive numbers of folks trying to log in and sign up for the Beta.

The Release Date for the game was revealed to be November 14th, which is less than half a year away.  No doubt they wanted to give plenty of time for the Beta to give them feedback, and make the game as great, and bug-free, as possible.  Which of course is a 360 win, for both Bethesda and we the Players.

It's also worth noting that Bethesda also gave us some video of an upcoming Elder Scrolls game for Mobile (and PC as well), which will be entirely free.  They also revealed a very short trailer for Elder Scrolls 6, which they said would be coming after another newly revealed game, Starfield, which also had a very short trailer.  No actual release dates for either game, though I think it's a safe bet that neither will debut this year, this year's big Bethesda game clearly is Fallout 76.

Stay Tuned to the Gladiator Blog for more details on Fallout 76, other Bethesda Games, and other games as well such as Cyberpunk 2077, Anthem,  and more, as E3 2018 Continues!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Major Fallout 76 News Coming Soon!

Here at the Gladiator Blog, we're going to be providing you with all the details, and providing them very quickly, once the news is revealed about exactly what kind of game Fallout 76, the newest installation in the epic Fallout series of games, will be.  As you probably know, many people are concerned due to rumors that it may be overly focused on multi-player, as opposed to the traditional Single Player aspects that the game series is known for.  At the time of this writing, there simply isn't enough information to determine whether the game will be primarily Single Player, like every other Fallout game, or whether it will be heavily multi-player, as some are afraid of.  The Gladiator Blog will be providing you with hard facts, information you can trust to be 100% accurate, not speculation.  The details are expected to be revealed some time during the evening of Sunday, June 10th, 2018, in a Press Conference being given by Bethesda, the company who makes the game.  Once the news comes out, we will be providing you the readers an immediate news update, possibly a brief update depending on the exact nature of the information, but either way an immediate update that same evening so you, the readers of the Gladiator Blog, will be among the first people in the world to know the answer, that same night.  After that, we will be providing a very in-depth report on all the details that we are given about Fallout 76, not just the single/multi player nature of the game.  So thank you for reading the Gladiator Blog, and stay tuned in the days to come because we'll be giving you all the details from the Press Conference, and if hard news comes out before then we'll be providing you that news quickly and accurately as well!

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Return of Sir Gladiator!

Thanks to all my friends out there, and let me say that FINALLY, your friend and mine, Sir Gladiator, is BACK, at Blogger!  And do we have a lot to talk about!  Way too much to cover in one post, so look forward to lots of commentary and content from your friend and mine in the days and weeks to come!  As you know, E3 is looming, lots of interesting and exciting news and rumors already going on, it looks like we're going to be hearing some major information about the latest games from CDPR (the folks who make The Witcher series), Bethesda, Bioware and EA, so much excitement!

In the world of sports, the MLB Season is in full swing, we're less than a month from the NBA Draft, the NFL Draft has come and gone and the Panthers look to be stronger than they have been in a pretty long time, a lot of excitement in the world of sports!

In the world of TV, I'd like to encourage everyone who hasn't already done so to check out the hit new show 'Cobra Kai' on YouTube, it's amazingly cool, it's got a lot of the original stars from the original Karate Kid movie (in particular, the main rivals Daniel and Johnny, who are the stars of the show) , and unlike most of the rest of the world of TV, they don't push a far-left agenda, quite the opposite, they make fun of the far-left throughout the entire season!  The show is just fantastic, it's easily the best TV show of 2018, and it's already been renewed for a Second Season!  So go to YouTube, find Cobra Kai, and enjoy the first season of what will be your new favorite show, maybe of all time!

There's so much more to cover, stay tuned to the Gladiator Blog for more exciting news and information from your friend and mine, Sir Gladiator!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Response to the Attacks against Rachel Skarsten

As a long time fan of TV shows, particularly Soap Operas and Wrestling and such shows where it's easy to have 'love 'em or hate 'em' characters, I understand the emotions involved in wanting your favorite characters to have the most TV time, for them to win the Title, or have the successful relationship, etc. I think pretty much all of us share that to some degree or other.  Sadly, some people in the 'Lost Girl' fandom have been, as of late, taking things to unfortunate levels of extremes.

If you're familiar with the TV show Lost Girl, you may know that there's a certain similarity between it and the Soap Opera The Bold and the Beautiful.  Both feature characters involved in a love triangle, that tends to make fans on either side of that triangle go a bit....well, nuts may not be a stretch.  In the case of B&B, it's the Liam character at the center of the triangle, with Steffy and Hope fans on either side, with the Couple names of 'Steam' and 'Lope' for easy reference.  Similarly, in the case of Lost Girl, Bo is the center of a love triangle, with Tamsin and Lauren fans on either side, with the Couple names of Valkubus and Doccubus, the Couple names related to the role each character plays instead of their names themselves (It's a Science Fiction show, and as such Tamsin is a Valkyrie, Bo a Succubus, and Lauren a Doctor) .

The problem arises that for the first two seasons of the Lost Girl show, Bo and Lauren were the clear favorite of the fans, as Tamsin wasn't a part of the show.  Her character was introduced in Season 3, and quickly became a huge fan favorite, and much the way Steffy unexpectedly became more popular than Hope (who, like Lauren, had only token competition for a very long time before Steffy entered the picture), Tamsin unexpectedly became more popular than Lauren.  In each case, the fan-base of the Couple that was once dominant and suddenly found themselves on the less popular side of things, said and did some fairly vicious things out of anger at the fans siding with the new and improved couples.  It wasn't pretty, but it was, to some degree at least, to be expected.  They attacked the newer, more popular couples, to no avail of course, but it's human nature.  

However as of late, certain 'Doccubus' fans haven't simply taken to attacking the new Valkubus couple, nor have they stopped at attacking the new character involved in the Triangle, Tamsin.  They've taken things to a new low, and have been launching vicious, hate-filled attacks against the actress who plays the character, one of the greatest Actresses in the world today, Rachel Skarsten.  I of course won't be repeating any of those attacks here, but suffice to say they go well beyond any sort of human decency.  Of course, just like Jacqueline and Kimberly (Steffy and Hope) are friends in real life, so too are Rachel and Zoie (Tamsin and Lauren), none of these actresses have done anything to encourage bad behavior among their various fan groups.  And Rachel's fans have always behaved the best of the four, by far the fewest negative, and most positive, comments of any of the groups.  But sadly, the Doccubus fans haven't simply been overwhelmingly negative as of late, they've taken things to such an extreme that the head writer of the show took it upon herself to issue a statement calling them out on their bad behavior, making it clear that their attacks were very wrong, and stating that Rachel is, in the words of the head writer herself, "an extraordinary actress/person/woman" , she made it clear that the personal attacks against Rachel were wrong and should stop.

However, sadly, they have not stopped, and so I have chosen to do the only thing anyone who wants to do the right thing could do, and that is to lend my voice to that of the head writer's, and encourage the attacks to stop.  Personal attacks against an actress simply because you don't like the character she plays, or because her character is more popular than another character, is very, very wrong.  We all have our favorites, and that's more than fine, that's as it should be.  And friendly discussions, even friendly disagreements, are all part of the fun of these types of shows.  But what isn't part of the fun of these, or any other shows for that matter, is personal attacks against real people, real people who don't deserve to be attacked for simply being good at what they do, which ultimately is the reason why these attacks were made.  These personal attacks tend to lead, in turn, to personal attacks on the people who made those personal attacks, which leads to personal attacks against the people attacking the people who made the original personal attacks, and so on.  It's a long and nasty road, filled with no fun, just anger, bad feelings, ill will, and that sort of thing, it's all nothing but negative.

What some people lose sight of is the fact that these are, not simply at the end of the day but in fact at the beginning of the day and all day long as well, simply TV shows, they're there for fun.  If you, as a fan, are taking away the fun of others by personally attacking the actresses who play the roles of their favorite characters, then to each and every one of you I say this, 'Shame on you'.  We all want to have fun, and we should all consider the feelings of our fellow fans before we say anything, especially anything negative.  If you aren't capable of considering the feelings of others, then that says something about you as a human being, and not something good.

I hope this terrible behavior by some will ultimately lead to an important lesson learned by all, and that is simply the Golden Rule.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Would you like to read vicious, nasty, hateful things being said about your favorite actor or actress?  Of course not.  So don't behave that way yourself.  And I have a special message for the Valkubus fans out there, and that is please do not sink to the level of others.  Just because some Doccubus fans have gone way WAY out of bounds in their inexcusable comments, that doesn't change the fact that they are still real people with real feelings, and while there's certainly nothing wrong with calling them out on their bad behavior, please try do so in a friendly and civilized way, what we all want is for everyone to be friends, and to be a friend, you have to show yourself to be friendly.  So please be as friendly as possible in response to their bad behavior.  And also extremely importantly, please do not sink to the level of others and launch any kind of personal attacks against their favorite actress, Zoie.  She's not the one responsible for their bad behavior, they are.  It's only human nature to respond to bad behavior with other, in kind bad behavior, but that would be extremely wrong.  Rachel wouldn't want you to attack her friend Zoie, just as Zoie doesn't want her fans attacking her friend Rachel.  Even far more importantly than all that, God wouldn't want you to do that, and certainly no good could possibly come from it.

So thank you for taking the time to read my comments today, I feel they are very important, and while they deal with a timely situation the principles behind the comments are timeless.  Please, let us all be good to one another, the importance of that truly cannot be overstated.      

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cubs continuing to build Dynasty

While at first blush it may seem the Cubs are poised for a poor 2013, particularly since they lost so many talented players at the trade deadline last year, as well as an All Star in the off-season, looking deeper will reveal that they are in fact poised for greatness.  When exactly that greatness comes, that remains to be seen.  It could be this year, it could be next year, who knows?  But there are a lot of signs pointing toward serious improvement, and I would like to mention some of them now.  We all know that they recently signed a pitcher, Edwin Jackson, who has tremendous talent but has never quite lived up to it.  That could be because he keeps getting bounced around from team to team.  That changes now, with the Cubs having given him a long term contract.  He finally has stability, for himself and his family, and can focus on finally being the best pitcher he can be, and that could mean very, very good things indeed for the Cubs.  Even more recently, they signed a man who hit 20 home runs last year for the New York Mets, and they signed him to a 2 year, 5 million dollar contract.  20 home runs for 2.5 million per year?  Yes please! 

But I could go on and on about players they've signed, perhaps what's most important of all is what we saw on MLB TV recently.  The Cubs now have THREE prospects in the Top 50, including one in the top 20!  That's not exactly super-duper awesome, to be sure, but its a LOT better than it used to be, the Cubs used to have one of the worst minor league systems in baseball, and now they have one of the better ones.  They also have the #2 pick in this year's draft, which could help propel them even closer to the coveted #1 spot, currently held by St Louis.  Theo Epstein and his team are really turning this team around, and it's a lot of fun to watch!  Here's hoping 2013 is finally the year the Cubs win that next World Series!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Here at the Gladiator Blog, we (meaning I, your friend and mine, Sir Gladiator) would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!  There is a lot to be thankful for, good health, cheerful (if cold) weather, family, friends, etc.  Of course not everyone has all those things, and sometimes, as we all know, around the Christmas Season some folks suffer from depression, because this is the time when things should be at their best, instead they seem bleak, and it just feels like they're never going to get better.  Believe me, I know how you feel, I think pretty much everybody has experienced a Holiday season of some kind of other like that, but it's important to remember that Christmas isn't about ourselves.  It isn't about what we're going to get, or even what we're going to get for others.  It isn't about singing, it isn't about snow, etc.  It's about Jesus, it's about celebrating His birth, His life, and of course ultimate His death and resurrection.  He died so that we can live.  Before He died, He was born, and that is what we are celebrating at Christmas.  When we make Christmas about us, its easy to feel sad or depressed when things don't go our way.  But its not about us, its about Him, and as long as we keep that in mind, it will be a truly Merry Christmas indeed!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Huge new Dragon Age 3 News!

Thanks to my sources, I can now reveal possible super-secret new details regarding the next game in the Dragon Age series, Dragon Age 3!  Now, I should begin by stating that everything is subject to change, and you never know for sure what's true and what isn't, but this very much appears to be true, so with that in mind, I'm giving you, my loyal readers, information that will most likely make you one of a VERY SELECT FEW who know the first major details of this highly anticipated game!  This is a quote, a description of the basic plot of the upcoming game, based on my sources.

 "A portal between the worlds unleashes hords of demons in the land, civil wars rip apart nations and the corruption is limitless. Someone is behind the shadows, drawing the threads which destroy the world. Time has come for the Inquisition.

Take the Inquisitor's cloak and lead the only force able of bringing light into the darkness. Choose the direct method and gather your armies, send spies into the shadows or engage in a political war, make friends and use your connections indirectly: it is up to you how you lead the inquisition. But you'll have to take lead of it from the beginning. Make your player a rogue, warrior or mage and set up your crew from up to ten (!) complex companions to lead them against those who attack you by systematically spying on, revealing and destroying them."

It appears that you will be, as the 'Inquisitor' have a wide range of choices both in regard to how you play, and who your companions will be.  It really sounds super fun!  Now, again, this is according to my sources, and everything is subject to change even if it all is 100% accurate right now, but I do believe that this is indeed the real deal info, and you are now one of a select few in the world who know it!  So stay tuned to the Gladiator Blog as we continue to bring you breaking, awesome, super duper cool info, on DA3 and so many other topics!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ron Paul the new GOP Front-Runner?

For all the talk of 'Obama vs Romney' its worth noting that Ron Paul is continuing to notch victory after victory at the state level, gaining a ton of delegates in the process.  In Nevada, in Minnesota, in Maine, in Iowa, and many other states, Ron is winning both states and large numbers of delegates.  The Media has declared Romney the winner, but the actual voters, the ones that show up to state conventions and elect delegates, are declaring a different winner.  Its still way too early to know who will emerge victorious, but certainly for now it appears that Ron Paul has a much stronger chance of emerging victorious at the GOP Convention in Tampa later this year than anyone in the Lamestream Media would like you to believe.  Stay tuned!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Cubbies building a Dynasty one trade at a time

As you probably already heard, the Chicago Cubs finally got rid of their loose-cannon pitcher Carlos Zambrano, which of course is a victory in and of itself.  You may have also heard that we got a young, promising starter in his place, one that could be an important part of the Cubs rotation for many years to come.  However Theo and company didn't stop there.  They made another bigtime trade today, this time trading relliever Cashner for power hitting 1st baseman Rizzo of the Padres.  This is a shocking victory for the Cubs, as there had been rumors that they would have to give up Garza to obtain a package including Rizzo.  To only give up a reliever (the Cubs also gave up, and received, one lower level prospect in the deal) for a potential Superstar like Rizzo is nothing short of highway robbery, Theo Epstein and his group are proving themselves to be brilliant trade negotiators.  They managed to trade reliever Marshall for a left handed Starter and two promising minor leaguers (one of whom will likely make the team at the start of this season), and they traded for power hitting third baseman Stewart of Colorado, both trades done last year, before the most recent two awesome trades.  The Cubs are already so much better this year than last, you'd have to consider them one of the early favorites in the NL Central, and there's still well over two months before the season even begins! 

Clearly there is plenty of room for Theo to work out even more trades, involving Garza, Byrd, and of course Soriano, in addition to possibly signing a free agent or two, such as Cespedes.  The future is looking so bright for the Cubbies, that Cubs fans may indeed have to wear shades!

Sadly, as you all probably know, the future is looking less bright for Presidential Candidate Ron Paul.  A surprise third place finish in Iowa, despite being in first or second place in litearlly every poll, was without question disappointing, but he did score an impressive 22 percent of the vote, which is about where he's at right now in New Hampshire.  Rick Santorum, who came up from nowhere at the end to almost score the victory in Iowa, is only at about 10 percent in New Hampshire and doesn't figure to do much better than that by the time the voting takes place four days from now.  It truly is a 2 man race in New Hampshire between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.  The bad news is that Ron is currently down about 20 points, but the good news is that this is New Hampshire, and front runners rarely win, and when they do its usually not by all that much, so there's a good chance that Ron will at least get close by election day, and a victory is, despite how the polls look right now, definitely not out of the question.

Stay tuned to the Gladiator Blog for more news and information from the Presidential race, as well as more information on the Cubbies progress toward a Dynasty!     

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Iowa Poll shows Ron Paul almost in the lead!

The newest poll out of Iowa has some very, VERY good news for Congressman Ron Paul, as well as Constitutional Conservatives throughout America, and the world.  The latest results from the Bloomberg poll of likely Iowa Caucus voters show that Ron Paul has surged into a strong second place with 19 percent of the vote, just a point behind the leader, Herman 'thats what she said' Cain who still leads slightly, with 20 percent.  Romney placed third in the poll with 18 percent, just ahead of Gingrich who had 17 percent.  This is, of course, effectively a four way tie, but the biggest news has to be the huge surge by Congressman Ron Paul.  His message of economic liberty and freedom, a foreign policy that puts America's National Defense ahead of nation building and endless wars, and his overall strong Libertarian, Constitutional Conservatism that is unmatched among the candidates, is clearly starting to reach the masses in a powerful way.

Some months back, Ron Paul had all the momentum in Iowa, he had moved up to about 16 percent in the polling, and was just zooming up.  Then, just before the Iowa Straw Poll that he seemed poised to win, the Rick Perry fans Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck began savaging him on their nationwide radio programs.  This resulted in Ron no longer going up, and in fact he started going down, Rick Perry took his place as the man with all the momentum.  Happily for America, Perry was exposed for the incredibly flawed candidate that he is (albeit a highly entertaining one, particularly for those of us who enjoy watching the debates).  Since then multiple men have enjoyed significant momentum, including Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, but as we've already been seeing, these candidates too have very significant flaws.  Ultimately it is Ron Paul, his principled leadership, his proven record of standing up against big government and globalist nation building and endless wars, that is poised to win in Iowa, win the GOP nomination, and the Presidency in 2012.  When he does that, don't be surprised to see the headline the next day 'Obama finishes a strong second' with no mention of who defeated him.  It would be very consistent with the media coverage that Ron gets.   

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ron Paul gets two new Iowa endorsements ahead of big Debate

Just a day before the big Florida debate, the Ron Paul campaign announced they had received two more endorsements in the first in the nation Caucus state of Iowa.  Both are from Clay County, Kris Thiessen is the Clay County GOP Chairwoman as well as a small business owner (she runs the White Glove janitorial service), and Josh Davenport is the Clay County GOP co-chairman, as well as a former supporter of 2008 Iowa Caucus winner Mike Huckabee.  Thiessen also founded a local Tea Party group.  Both endorsements are obviously quite important, as the Caucuses draw ever nearer, and the debates continue to help shape the field.  Ron Paul has continued to improve his standing in the polls, recently a national poll showed him at 13 percent, and even more recently a New Hampshire poll showed Ron in second place with 14 percent, trailing only Mitt Romney, as Perry has just eight percent support in the Granite State.  No doubt a win in the Florida debate would help him gain even more ground, as he continues to pass the supposed 'front runners' in the polls.  He's already zoomed past Michelle Bachmann nationally, and now he's passed Perry in New Hampshire.  He's been close to passing Romney in Iowa for some time, any day now we could hear that he's done that also.  We're definitely getting closer and closer to 'President Ron Paul'! 

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Ron Paul wins Debate and Gets 2 More NH Endorsements

Last night's Debate on MSNBC was all about Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, if you believe the liberal media.  However, if you watched the debate, or if you take a look at the post-debate poll on MSNBC's website, you'll know the truth was something quite different.  To be sure, there was plenty of Mitt and Rick attacking each other for the Title of 'King of the Fake-Conservatives', but the man who stood head and shoulders above the rest, the man who got 55 percent of the vote, in fact receiving over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND total votes, was Ron Paul!  Of course it isn't a surprise to see Ron winning a post-debate poll, he normally does very well in debates, but I don't recall ever seeing him get anywhere NEAR a hundred thousand votes in a single poll before! 

If anyone were inclined to write off those poll results as a fluke or some such, or discount them in any way, they should probably think again, because fresh off of Ron's dominant debate performance, not one but TWO more State Representatives in the First in the Nation Primary State of New Hampshire, announced their Endorsement of the Texas Congressman!  Clearly this is very strong evidence that indeed Ron did dominate the debate every bit as much as the polling data suggested that he did.  Ron is definitely building an impressive lilst of high profile supporters in the critical states of Iowa and New Hampshire, he's got good, strong TV ads, he's a powerhouse in debates, and he's in a prime position to win once the campaign begins in earnest early next year.  Also, a new AP Poll was just released recently, showing that Ron Paul has the best Favorable-Unfavorable ratio of any of the three major GOP candidates, his numbers are 37/36, compared to Romney's 39/41 and Perry's 33/36.  So let Rick and Mitt battle each other for the Establishment vote all they want, this time its a REAL Conservative who is going to win the GOP Nomination, and the White House. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Huge Fundraising Success for Ron Paul

This weekend, Congressman Ron Paul celebrated his 76th Birthday, and his campaign held another 'Money Bomb' in association with that event.  The results have been phenominal for the campaign, as since the Money Bomb began at midnight on Saturday, the Ron Paul Presidential Campaign has raised over 1.7 Million dollars!  This is the power of the grass-roots, real Americans who support real change.  His campaign has had a number of money bombs this year, but this one has been by far the most successful.  No doubt the fact that his support is stronger than ever could have something to do with that (16 percent in Iowa, 14 percent in New Hampshire, and 14 percent nationally in 2 of the 3 most recent polls).  Despite the fact that the national news media refuses to cover him properly, he doesn't need the lamestream media, because he has the People.  Thanks to the awesome success of this money bomb, he will now be able to do a lot more to bring his message of Peace, Prosperity, and Constitutional Conservatism to the People of Iowa, New Hampshire, and throughout America.  Congratulations to Ron Paul on this major success, and Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ron Paul continues to gain in New Hampshire

Fresh off his victory in last week's debate, followed by his strong second place performance in the Iowa Straw Poll, Congressman Ron Paul's standing in the latest New Hampshrie poll has improved and he is now well into double digits.  Mitt Romney still leads by a healthy margin, at 36 percent, followed by the newest media sensation, Governor Gardasil....I mean Perry (Gardasil is the drug that Perry tried to force teenage girls across Texas to take, a dangerous drug that has killed many who have taken it, and the legislature refused to go along with the Governor, thus saving the lives of many innocent girls that would've been lost to Perry's shilling for Big Pharma) stands at 18 percent, followed by Paul at 14, and Bachmann at 10.  This is the highest I can recall ever seeing Ron in a New Hampshire poll, which is ironic considering you would think that he would be doing much better in a libertarian state like New Hampshire than a state like Iowa, but Ron is at 16 percent in Iowa right now, higher than his new and improved New Hampshire number.  Hopefully as the campaign progresses each number will continue to rise, as they have been doing. 

One important ingredient in Ron's steady rise in the polls has been his fantastic ad campaign, for those of you who have seen the ads you know how incredibly well done they are, very professional and imperssive.  Of course it takes money to keep them on the air, and he just put a new TV ad up this week in Iowa and New Hampshire.  The campaign is having a 'Money Bomb' on Saturday, the 20th of August, which coincides with Ron Paul's Birthday!  This will be a very important day for the campaign, as it will help determine how long Ron will be able to keep his ads on the air, and of course the longer they're up, the stronger his campaign gets.  Ron is in a solid 3rd place in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and in each state he's only a few points back from second place (in fact only six points behind the Leader in Iowa).  A successful Money Bomb on Saturday could very well result in Ron moving into second in New Hampshire, and the lead in Iowa!  Let's all help make it a big success!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Iowa Straw Poll Results Huge Boost for Ron Paul

Yesterday in Ames, Iowa, the GOP candidates had the biggest Straw Poll of the campaign.  Normally in a Straw Poll, not that many people vote, but the Iowa Straw Poll is different.  Very, very different.  It works much more like an actual Primary and less like a Straw Poll.  There are busses, there are major financial investments, it's a tremendous test of a candidate's organization and appeal.  While there were many candidates making a huge push in Iowa, it ultimately came down to two major candidates, Michelle Bachmann, who is actually from Iowa, and Ron Paul.  In the final standings, Michelle Bachmann received 4823 votes, or 29 percent of the total votes cast (there were in fact well over 16 thousand votes cast, the second highest number EVER), slightly ahead of Dr Paul's 4671 votes, or 28 percent.  However it drops WAY off from there, as Tim Pawlenty scored a very disappointing 2293 votes (less than HALF Ron Paul's tally), 14 percent.  Fourth place was Rick Santorum, who got 1657 votes, or 10 percent, followed closely by Pizza Superstar Herman Cain with 1456 votes, 9 percent of the total votes cast.  Sixth was actually a write in campaign by Rick Perry's supporters, Rick got 718 votes, a poor showing to be sure, but less poor than Mitt Romney's 567 votes, which put him in an embarassing 7th place.  Gingrich (385 votes, 2 percent), Huntsman (69 votes, 0.4 percent), and McCotter (35 votes, 0.2 percent) rounded out the top ten. 

At first blush this might seem like a bit of a disappointment for Ron Paul, after all he didn't win, he tried to win, he wanted to win, but he didn't win, Michelle Bachmann did.  However, there are a number of reasons why that first blush isn't at all accurate, that this is in fact not just a win but a HUGE win for Ron Paul, and they are very much worth noting.  First, the simple fact that Michelle Bachmann is FROM Iowa, a fact she uses constantly in her campaign.  She is the 'favorite son' candidate, and anytime a favorite son doesn't win in a landslide, if an opponent just finishes within 10 points or so of them, that's a victory for the runner up.  Take the classic example of Bill Clinton in New Hampshire, in 1992.  He finished with 25 percent, behind 'favorite son' Senator Paul Tsongas of neighboring Massachusetts, who had 33 percent of the vote.  That 8 point loss was seen as a HUGE win for Bill, a 'win' that gave him huge momentum, the nomination, and the White House.  There are of course many other such examples, but the key point is, you don't have to beat a favorite son candidate, they're extremely tough to beat, but if you can simply finish close to them, its very much like a win.

Another reason why this was a huge win for Ron Paul is because in fact, aside from the Favorite Son Bachmann, Ron Paul DID in fact win huge, VERY huge!  Ron Paul defeated EVERY candidate who isn't from Iowa (Bachmann) by a GREATER THAN 2-1 MARGIN.  That's not just a win, that's a MAJOR landslide!  Tim Pawlenty, who practicly moved to Iowa, who spent a huge amount of money on radio and TV ads, he got less than half Ron's votes.  Rick Santorum, who likewise practically became a resident of Iowa in his attempt to do well at Ames, finished greater than 2 1/2 to 1 behind Ron.  Herman Cain, a fun and interesting candidate, the man who once headed up Godfather's Pizza, got less than 1/3 of Ron's votes.  Of course, the so-called 'front runner' candidates, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, got SPANKED, Rick beaten better than 6-1, Romney beaten better than 8-1 by Ron.  Clearly there is indeed a Front-Runner from Texas, but it ain't Perry, it's Congressman Ron Paul!

There is however some bad news to report, and it may actually be the reason why Ron didn't just win first place straight out at the Straw Poll.  It seems that since the debate on Thursday night, the big guns have been turned on Ron.  His comments at the Debate against going to war with Iran have sparked tremendous outcry from certain pro-war talk radio folks, most notably Rush Limbaugh, who basicly called Ron Paul and his supporters crazy.  Its ironic that he would so mean-spiritedly attack the only candidate in the race who wouldn't have put him in jail for his own past drug use.  Dick Morris called Ron a 'flake'.  Also, Glenn Beck has both attacked Ron and actually endorsed Bachmann (he said that as of right now, he would vote for her, of course he can't fully endorse anybody until Sarah Palin announces her intentions).  The long knives are out, and they just might sting a bit, but the good news is they're running scared, they're using up their firepower early, and Ron has got plenty of time to absorb their incoming fire, and come back stronger than ever.  The American People are on the side of Peace and Prosperity, Freedom and following the Constitution.  As such, these vicious attacks are merely one more obstacle to overcome on the road to the nomination, and the White House!

So for all those reasons, and more, Ron Paul is better positioned to become the Republican nominee, and the next President of the United States, than any other candidate in the race.  If you thought he 'couldn't win' before, yesterday proved that couldn't be further from the truth.  He most definitely 'can' win, and there's an excellent chance that he WILL win!  Stay tuned to the Gladiator Blog for continued Campaign 2012 updates, this campaign is really getting good! 

Monday, August 08, 2011

Shocking New Iowa Poll

Less than a week from the hugely important Iowa Straw Poll, comes news from Rasmussen that the race for First Place in Iowa is tighter than expected.  Michelle Bachmann remains in the lead ever so slightly, with 22 percent of the vote, while Mitt Romney is second with 21 percent, but the huge news is the third place result.  Congressman Ron Paul has ZOOMED into not just third, but a very strong third, with 16 percent of the vote, just six points behind the leader!  Governors Rick Perry and Tim Pawlenty round out the double-digit candidates with 12 and 11 respectively, with Gingrich at 5, Cain 4, and Huntsman 2.  For some reason Governor Palin was not mentioned in this poll but Perry was, despite the fact that both 'could' enter the race but neither have so far.  This poll strongly suggests that Ron Paul has not just a chance of winning on Saturday, but in fact a very strong chance.  Another aspect of the poll has even more good news for Congressman Paul, as 28 percent of all Likely Caucus Voters are 'Absolutely Certain' to vote for the candidate they are currently supporting, and among that sizable portion of the Iowa electorate, Ron Paul is actually in FIRST place, with 27 perent of the vote!

This is indeed a good news day for Congressman Ron Paul, this poll shows not only is he gaining strongly in Iowa, his radio and TV ad campaign is paying major dividends, and he is very well positioned to finish in the top two in the Straw Poll, in fact he may have the best chance of any candidate of winning!  Of course between now and the Straw Poll on Saturday, there is the GOP Presidential Debate in Iowa on Thursday, which I believe will be televised on the Fox News Channel, for those who would like to watch it live.  As we all know, Ron tends to do very well in debates, very often winning the post-debate polls by sizable margins.  Any kind of boost in his numbers from this debate could really go a long way toward assuring a Victory in the incredibly important Straw Poll vote Saturday.  Stay tuned to the Gladiator Blog for updates as we get closer to the big Saturday vote in Ames!  

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Debt Deal Winners and Losers

If you're like me, you heard a lot about the 'Debt Ceiling Deal', both before and after it was made.  The Democrats, led by President Obama, wanted over a trillion dollars in tax increases, the Republicans wanted no tax increases and more spending cuts, and there were all sorts of negotiations to determine how it would all go down.  At one point, the President had Boehner agreeing to 800 billion in tax hikes, but his insistence on an extra 400 billion, boosting the total tax tally to 1.2 trillion, cost him the entire agreement, and in the end, there were no tax hikes at all in what ultimately was agreed to. 

However, what many people likely dont realize is, there weren't any actual spending cuts either.  What they're calling spending cuts are actually just them agreeing to raise spending slightly less than they already planned to.  Imagine for a moment you spent 1000 dollars at your favorite restaurant last year, but this year you had some extra bills to pay and you needed to save some money to make sure you had enough money to cover them.  Therefore you decide spend less at your favorite restaurant, you'll only spend.....1800 this year, instead of the 2000 you planned to spend.  Normal folks call that a major spending increase, but in Washington they'd call that a big cut.  Thats what the Washington politicians did with this 'Debt Ceiling Deal', they all agreed to spend WAY more money, and incur WAY more debt, and call it a big spending cut! 

Certainly from a purely political standpoint, the Republicans and the Tea Party were really big winners, because they got their pretend spending cuts without any tax increases, and because it does at least slightly lower what Washington 'would' have spent over the next 10 years.  They totally outnegotiated Obama and the Washington Democrats, and for that they get to claim the big win.  However ultimately this deal gave the President the authority to defecit spend over 2 TRILLION more dollars on top of the trillions he had already defecit-spent, which will of course hurt the economy further.  Folks in Washington always look at things completely backward, they say 'If you cut spending, it'll hurt the economy', when in reality Washington over-spending is hurting the economy, and the more you cut the spending, the better the economy will be.  The less money there is in Washington, and the more money there is in the free market, the more the economy will grow. 

So ultimately from a political standpoint, the GOP won, the Tea Party won, and Obama and the Washington Democrats lost.  But the biggest losers are the American People, who will now have  to suffer from a weaker economy and over 2 trillion dollars in more debt.  There is now serious talk of a possible 'Double Dip' Recession coming, and of course the liberals will once again say that means we need more Washington spending to fix it.  In reality, you can't solve the problem of being drunk by drinking more, and you can't solve the problem of over-spending by spending more.  We need to cut spending and balance to budget, if we do that the economy will no doubt recover in a big way!  Here's hoping that Washington figures that out, and soon.      

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Obama worst Presidential negotiator ever?

It's ironic, that the man who became President because of his incredible speaking ability, who overcame a complete lack of experience or ability by the sheer power of his speeches, is quite possibly the worst negotiator in the history of the Presidency.  There was some evidence this could happen even before he was elected, let's remember back to the Primaries of 2008.  Obama won Iowa, Hillary won New Hampshire, and eventually John Edwards withdrew from the race leaving it just down to the two of them to decide the nominee.  It seemed that if Obama could get that Edwards endorsement, it could put the race away.  A grand meeting was scheduled, at the home of John and Elizabeth Edwards, and Obama made the trip to snag that major endorsement.  Only it didn't happen.  While they wanted to support Obama over Hillary, there was a minor problem in that Elizabeth favored the 'individual mandate' form of socialized medicine, while at the time Obama was campaigning against that idea.  Of course as we all know Obama eventually passed just such a law, but at the time he was adamantly opposed to it, so much so that he actually got into an argument with Elizabeth Edwards over the issue!  His inability to handle that disagreement ultimately cost him the Edwards endorsement, and as we all know the Primary eventually became one of the longest, most dragged out primaries of modern times.  In the end it didn't matter, Obama still won and Edwards ended up being a criminal, so it all worked out for the best for him, but the fact remains that he blew a huge, easy to get endorsement, because of his complete lack of negotiation skills.

Fast forward to these 'Debt Ceiling' negotiations.  John Boehner and the House Republicans pass 'Cut Cap and Balance', a bill that was overwhelmingly popular with roughly 2/3 of Americans supporting it according to the polling.  They had a winning hand, but instead of playing it they chose to enter negotiations with the White House.  In those negotiations, John Boehner agreed to 800 billion dollars in increased taxes, major tax increases in a time of economic distress.  However, for some strange reason Obama wasn't satisfied with that, and suddenly demanded 1.2 Trillion in tax hikes instead!  Demanding an extra 400 billion dollars in tax increases resulted in the seemingly spineless John Boehner suddenly (and temporarily) growing a set, and ending all negotations with the White House, and in the process walking out on the 800 billion dollar tax hike he had already agreed to.  Obama had won, he had obtained the huge tax hike he wanted, he could've made John Boehner look like a tax-and-spend Democrat, he had pretty much everything he wanted, and he somehow found a way to blow it bigtime.  Now all signs point to Boehner and Harry Reid eventually doing a deal involving NO tax increase whatsoever!  An incredible turn of events thanks to an even more incredible blunder, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and when it comes to negotiations that is something Obama has proven to be very good at.  So is it a good thing or a bad thing that our President is so horrible at negotiating?  I suppose it depends on your point of view.  Certainly in this most recent case I'd say its a VERY good thing.  But in any event, he defniitely seems to be the worst negotiator in Presidential history.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Best Storyline In Daytime

If you're like me, you enjoy a good storyline, and in the world of Daytime TV there simply aren't enough of them, it's why so many shows are losing their viewers and getting cancelled.  Of course there are multiple reasons why Soaps are getting cancelled, one of which is the natural migration of viewers from network TV to cable and the internet, but no doubt if more Soaps had awesome storylines like this one, the ratings would be higher.  Sadly, this storyline is on a Soap that recently did get cancelled, but thanks to this storyline, and the subsequent ratings increase that resulted from it, the show has been un-cancelled!  It still won't be on Network TV anymore, but it was bought by a company that wants to continue showing it on the Internet, so they will be breaking all new ground, thanks in large part to this outstanding storyline. 

I don't want to give too much away, but here are some of the basics.  The storyline began in Feburary on the Soap 'All My Children', and slowly built up to the awesomeness that we see today.  It features three main characters, two of which are long-time Superstar characters for the show, and one lesser character.  First, there is the Heroine, Bianca, she's basicly the #1 'good girl' on the show, she can always be counted on to do the good and right thing, but she's always been unlucky in love, and at the beginning of this storyline she's in the process of breaking up with someone.  The second main character in this storyline is JR, he's one of the main villains on the show, he cheated on his wife and she left him, but now he wants her back and he's willing to play the 'good guy' to get her.  She, Marissa, represents the third character in this storyline, JR's ex-wife, who is also the adopted mother of JR's son with her sister (she adopted him when they were married because her sister is currently dead, although at the time of this writing it can be revealed she won't be dead for much longer).  Marissa is wary of JR, but still isn't completely over him.  She's also Bianca's divorce attorney, helping her maintain custody of her two daughters. 

There are older clips that you may very well want to go back and watch, but this clip from the March 22nd episode seems to me to be an excellent starting point for new viewers, I'd like to reccomend you start here.  The helpful individual who posted this clip has well over 50 other clips for this storyline available for your viewing pleasure from that point forward alone, all the way to the most recent action from just days ago, so if you watch all their clips you will be 100% caught up, and you might just want to watch future episodes not just on Youtube, but on ABC as well, the network it airs on (1pm Eastern Monday through Friday)! 

At the moment of this writing the storyline is still ongoing, and the most recent clip is from Friday, July 22nd.  There is plenty of action, drama, love and romance to enjoy in this storyline, which can accurately be described as a Love Triangle, since both Bianca and JR ultimately want the same thing, the heart of the lovely and talented Marissa.  Will Marissa ultimately decide in favor of the Queen of the good girls, or the King of the bad boys?  Check out this clip, and all the other Youtube clips from 'Minxfan', which as a bonus are all of High Quality, and find out!  A big thank you to Minxfan for all their hard work, providing all of us with such High Quality clips and so many of them!  Hours and hours of Soap Opera Drama at its finest, a storyline so exceptional that it may have single handedly saved the entire show!          

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Steroid Outrage

As everyone knows, steroids in professional sports is a common and widespread problem, effecting the integrity of the sports they infest.  It is long past time that more be done to crack down, better and more effective testing, harsher penalties, etc. but I'd like to discuss an aspect of the steroid problem that doesn't get as much attention, and that is arguably bigger than any other single aspect.  I heard recently that in prosecuting Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, the federal government has spent roughly sixty MILLION dollars.  Thats right, sixty million dollars to prosecute a couple of people who most likely did indeed use steroids to improve their baseball performance.  At a time in which our nation is going bankrupt from tremendous amounts of Washington spending, isn't it great to know that we've blown through 60 million dollars to possibly put 2 baseball players in jail for using steroids?  I would answer that in the negative.  For me, that is the single greatest outrage in the entire steroids scandal, that Washington has wasted some 60 million of our dollars on these two prosecutions.  If they are indeed as guilty as they seem, ban them from baseball, kick them out of the hall of fame, levy fines against them, whatever seems most appropriate to the folks in Major League Baseball, but why are Washington politicians wasting our tax dollars on something that is none of their business? 

I'm an International Chess Champion, I don't use steroids and even if I did it wouldn't effect my performance, because Chess is a game of the mind, not the muscles.  But what if it did improve your performance?  Would Congress get involved in chess too?  No doubt it would, if it gave the politicians a chance to get on TV and 'look tough' by going after cheaters.  Cheating is bad, and terrible, and anybody who does it should be punished appropriately, but people cheating in a game is a matter for the folks involved in the game, not Washington.  The politicians love to grandstand for the cameras, and waste our money trying to get themselves votes.  I say let Washington focus on things that they should actually be doing, like keeping us safe from the terrorists, and balancing the federal budget.  Leave steroids scandals to the sports authorities to take care of.  Its their job, not Washington's.   

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sad Day for US Soccer

As you probably already know, the US Women's Soccer Team managed to give away the Championship multiple times in the final game, it was a Phil Hellmuth style performance on a grand scale.  For those who might not know, Phil Hellmuth played extremely well in this year's World Series of Poker, repeatedly dominating tournaments and reaching final tables, and at least twice he had a HUGE chip lead when it was just down to him and one other person, and both times he somehow managed to lose.  Our American team did the same thing, we had a totally dominant position, a goal up with just minutes to go two different times, and each time managed to give it away.  As a fan of the UNC Tarheels, we saw this in the ACC Championship game.  We played Duke, our arch rivals who we had already dominated in two regular season games (although we gave one of those away also after having a big double digit lead at halftime) but in the ACC Championship we simply looked like we didn't belong out there, due entirely to nerves.  This is what our women's team looked like out there each time we took a lead, they started playing so badly it was as if they didn't even belong on a soccer field.  It was clearly nerves, knowing they had almost won the World Championship was simply more than they could take.  The UNC Tarheels were the best team in College Basketball, and it happened to them.  They were men, and it happened to them.  It can happen to anybody, men or women, no matter how good you are, it's just a human thing.  The good news is, if we can keep the team together, it's probably not something that will happen again.  Once you've been on that big stage, tasted the nerves and the bitter fruit of them, you tend to do much better in subsequent opportunities.  Look how horrible Kobe Bryant was in the playoffs in his early days, I still remember that time with the game on the line, he took the last shot at the buzzer, and it was an AIRBALL.  He was the laughing stock of the league, he was never going to be anybody, he couldn't win the big one, etc.  With experience comes the ability to overcome the nerves, and that's what our women are going to show in London next year, when we win that major tournament.

It isn't possible for a great team to play worse than my Tarheels played in last year's ACC Tournament Finals, and it isn't possible for the US Women's team to play worse than they did at the end of regulation, overtime, and in PKs.  My Tarheels recovered strong and almost won the NCAA Tournament, the US Women's Team will recover strong and win in London next year.  We've still got the best goalie on the planet, male or female, and she's already announced she's sticking with the team.  We've got a great striker in Abby Wambach, she may have had her worst tournament ever but she still scored what was almost the game winning goal, once she gets out of this rut of missing the vast majority of her shots for no reason at all she will be an unstoppable force.  Alex Morgan scored what should have been the Championship winning goal in regulation, she was almost the biggest female sports star in American history, and because she's also very attractive she would've also likely been a millionaire several times over from endorsement deals.  She will get another chance to attain that status next year.

This is a bitter, painful loss, but it's one we're going to learn from, we're going to grow from, and we're going to come back stronger than ever.  I would say 'I hope Japan makes the finals again next year' but honestly I don't care, they're so far beneath us that the very idea of looking for 'revenge' is almost absurd.  We owned them, and we would own them again, this time without the late-game choking, that's just a given.  The matchup I'd like to see again is Marta vs Solo, the greatest vs the greatest.  Of course we own Brazil also, but its not about wondering whether we can beat Brazil yet again, its just the idea of seeing those two greats going toe to toe again, that would be a Finals I'd like to see.  But regardless of who we beat along the way, the bottom line is that Championship belongs to us.  All other teams beware, the US Women have something to prove, and next year they're going to prove it, erasing any doubts along the way!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Leader in Iowa

As you may have heard recently, Michelle Bachmann is the new leader in Iowa, having overtaken Mitt Romney, but what you may not have heard are the numbers, that are really quite surprising.  While Michelle does have real momentum, she currently has just 21 percent of the vote, certainly not an overwhelming lead.  The good news truly begins with Mitt Romney's numbers, which are now down to 18 percent.  Not only is he sinking like a stone, but he's close to being passed by Ron Paul, who has zoomed up himself, to 14 percent, scoring a very strong 3rd place, his best showing ever in any Iowa poll.  Sarah Palin, having not even announced a candidacy, is beating everybody else, with 11 percent.  Some other notable names have seemingly had their campaigns fall apart in Iowa, with Herman Cain and Tim Pawlenty each now garnering just 2 percent support, behind even Newt Gingrich's 8 percent and Rick Santorum's 5 percent, and Jon Huntsman's 3 percent, and tied with Rick Perry's 2 percent. 

These numbers are shocking, and are really quite awesome for America when you think about them.  The front-runner stands at just 21 percent, and only 7 points ahead of Ron Paul.  Sarah Palin leads all the other candidates except for Bachmann, Romney, and Paul, without even running a campaign.  If she ran, and she got the Bachmann vote, which one would assume that she would, she would in fact have a very commanding lead.  If she doesn't, then Ron Paul is VERY well positioned to beat Mitt Romney and possibly even win the whole thing!  I was surprised when I read today that Ron Paul wasn't seeking re-election to the House, but having seen these new numbers I now understand why.  He has a far better chance to win the Iowa Caucuses, and the GOP nomination (and thus the Presidency, since the GOP nominee will obviously be a heavy favorite against the failed Presidency of Obama) than most people realize right now.  These numbers are fascinating, we have a new leader in Iowa, Mitt's numbers are tanking, Ron Paul is zooming up, Sarah Palin is still in a strong position, these numbers are great news for Ron, Sarah, and most of all America!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Epic Win for US Soccer

By now you've probably already heard about the incredible victory by the US Womens Soccer Team, tying 2-2 and winning 5-3 on Penalty Kicks.  It was an incredible game for an incredible team, playing not only down a man but down 3 referees, we came back and tied the game in regulation, and Hope Solo won it for us in the Penalty Kick phase by scoring a bigtime save on kick #3 by Brazil.  This was an incredible win, and ironicly, it was BECAUSE of the horrible anti-American refereeing.  Were it not for the referees awarding a red card for no reason, a penalty kick for no reason, then giving Brazil a SECOND penalty kick after Hope stopped the first one, we'd have had a pretty boring 1-0 win. 

Imagine it for a second, USA beat Brazil 1-0, of course we did, our women are good, its the men who suck, naturally the women won.  What's the score in the baseball game?  That would've been the most common reaction by American fans, were it not for the anti-American referees, and of course the Brazil team's incredibly terrible and unsportsmanlike antics as well.  It was because the referees literally gave Brazil that goal to force Overtime, then gave them ANOTHER goal in overtime, by refusing to call them offsides, that set up Abby Wambach for her incredible header at the end of Overtime, a goal that never would've happened if we had won the game 1-0 in regulation.  Then of course Hope Solo making the big save in PKs, and the strikers making all 5 of their PKs, giving us an INCREDIBLY dramatic victory.  And it's all thanks to the America haters!  This is something that is actually pretty common, as a Christian, we know about God's power to take something meant for evil, and turn it into good.  The anti-American refereeing seemed to be intent to cost us the game, and eliminate us from the tournament.  Instead, it served to make the victory about a MILLION times sweeter than it otherwise would have been!  They could hardly have helped us more if they had actually tried to!  Isn't that some REALLY sweet irony? 

So today we celebrate the greatest team in American Soccer history scoring perhaps the greatest win in American soccer history, even though this wasn't the finals, the dramatic and historic nature of the win is still very huge.  It was the greatest goalkeeper on the planet against one of the best strikers, certainly the best striker in womens soccer.  Hope vs Marta.  Today, Hope won, even though Marta scored two impressive goals, neither of which should've counted but still struck very impressively.  Hope came up with big save after big save, and got the final huge save in PKs, she proved once again why she should not only be starting at goalkeeper for the US Womens Team, but the Men's team as well.  After the game, Abby, Hope, and the Coach Pia all were awesome in their interviews, Pia suggesting that God is indeed writing the story of this great American team, and she's enjoying watching it unfold. 

Of course all the fans are enjoying it tremendously also.  Abby was especially effusive in her praise of Solo's incredible saves, and actually said what I've been saying, that Hope is indeed the best goalkeeper on the planet.  Of course our men's team would no doubt benefit from Wambach's abilities as well, her offensive leadership has been key, and while its true that up until that dramatic goal at the end of OT she had previously been the Queen of the Near-Misses in this tournament, having simply an unbelievable number of shots ALMOST go in, but somehow not quite scoring, today she came through when it counted far more than all those other shots put together!  And how fitting is it that Abby bears a striking resemblence (at least she did in her post-game interview on ESPN tonight) to a young, in-her-prime, Martina Navratilova, the greatest female player of all time in her sport of Tennis.

An incredible win for an incredible team, a history making win for a team that will hopefully make a lot more before this tournament is complete!  What a sweet win, an awesome win for America, and truly an Epic Win for US Soccer!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Solution to end the NBA Lockout

I've read a lot of opinions lately on the NBA Lockout.  Whether you're pro-union, pro-owner, or anything else, one thing we can all agree on is we want to see the Lockout come to an end.  I believe that I have a solution that not only will benefit the NBA owners, and players, but most of all the fans across America.  Here is my solution.

The current crop of NBA players are extremely well paid, all sides agree that they should make less as a percentage of overall revenue, and they're only arguing over how much less.  I can't make one side or the other agree to compromise and reach a fair and logical deal, but I can help end this lockout.  Until both sides come to a reasonable agreement (probably at the 50/50 split level) why not give the fans what they want?  REAL Basketball, with players who play because they love the game.  There are currently a group of people who are playing at the Professional level, right here in the USA.  They aren't locked out, they aren't on strike, they aren't greedy so-and-sos, they love the game, they love the fans, and the fans love to watch them play.  I'm of course referring to the players in the WNBA.  Most fans don't know much about the WNBA, it doesn't get the bigtime ESPN and network exposure that the regular NBA gets, and understandably so, since the regular NBA teams are the ones that have been around forever, and they're the ones we all want to see.  However, just because people aren't watching them in great numbers doesn't change the fact that they're great players, and this is the NBA's chance to show them off to a national audience. 

Its no secret that the WNBA has always been a 'work in progress' so to speak, in that so few people watch them, compared to the regular NBA, that they end up losing money for the NBA.  Putting WNBA players on every NBA team during the lockout would go a LONG way toward changing that.  People dont watch them because they either don't know about them, or they feel that the WNBA games aren't played at a high enough level to be entertaining, both those things can be solved simply by putting these women in front of a national audience and letting the fans see the truth for themselves. 

Of course I'm not suggesting that the NBA essentially turn the regular NBA into the WNBA until the lockout is over, that would be insane, and there wouldn't even be enough women from the WNBA to actually fill all 30 teams even if somebody was crazy enough to want to do that.  My suggestion would be to put 3 or 4 WNBA players on each team's 12 man roster, and then fill the rest through an old-fashioned tryouts process.  Open up the tryouts to everybody, most likely it will be college players who get the spots, but who knows?  Let each team just hold open tryouts and sign whoever they like, just the way things used to be done in the good old days, back when people played sports for the love of the game.  Of course the people who get these spots wouldn't 'just' be playing for the love of the game, they would probably all be paid more money than they've ever seen in their lives, even if that were a 'mere' quarter or half a million dollars or so. 

So imagine that each team had 8 or 9 of the top players they could find, along with 3 or 4 WNBA players to provide that veteran NBA Leadership for the team.  It would be a very unique, and highly entertaining system indeed.  Fans would gain a great deal of appreciation for WNBA players, which would help make the WNBA itself much more popular, and thus more profitable, and it would be a great way for other super-talented but perhaps little known players to make an NBA team and show the world their true abilities.  It would be a league filled with 'feel good' stories, whether its WNBA players finally getting the opportunity to shine on the big stage, or other folks who have never played professional ball, and maybe would've never had the chance but for this opportunity, trying out, making the team, and showing that they truly do belong on the Professional level.  Who knows, maybe from this crop of players could come the next MJ, Kobe, or Dirk.

Of course the best part of all this for the NBA itself, as a league, is that they would make far more money next year than they've ever made before.  Sure, attendence would be down, as the bigtime Superstars would still be sitting at home counting their money, or their drugs, or whatever.  But the salaries would be back to real world, sane levels, so that would mean that for those of us who do go to the games, we could get tickets at a greatly discounted price and still get to see a high quality basketball game, while the owners rake in unprecedented profits, because anyone with basic math skills can figure out that if you're paying 1/10th or less what you used to in salaries, you can cut ticket prices in half and still make a FORTUNE.  The owners would win, the players would win (the players who were actually playing that is, not the greedy ones who weren't playing), and most of all the fans would win.  The NBA would be back to the way it should be, where the players earn their spots, and they play for the love of the game.  The fans would get a chance not only to see great players playing high level basketball, they'd get to witness history in the making, women playing in the NBA for the first time ever.  And of course, with all these new and unique details would come one more benefit for the fans, parity.  Just like in the NFL, any team could win in a given year.  How would one team have an inherent advantage?  It wouldn't be about the money, it would be all about choosing the best group of players for your team from the huge number of players who attend the tryouts.

With this backdrop of awesomeness, there would be every incentive for the players to end the lockout, and get back to regular NBA action.  And until they did, we the fans would actually be enjoying a superior product anyway, at much lower prices.  The game of basketball itself would be the biggest winner of all, as whether you're an owner, a player, or a fan, everyone will ultimately win if the NBA acts on this Solution.  I hope to see it happen later this year.              

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

What a great day for America, and Americans all around the world.  The day we celebrate our Independence!  A great day to celebrate the Freedoms that we all share, thanks to the brave men and women of our United States Armed Services.  These heroes have not only brought freedom to America, but to countless nations around the world.  It is a bit ironic that the same Country that claimed its freedom from England would, less than 200 years later, save England from becoming yet another victim to the forces of evil, hitler and company.  So even though England's territories are far less today thanks to our war of Independence, if we hadn't done what we did back then, we couldn't have basicly single handedly saved the world in World War 2.  We've won victory after victory for freedom over the decades and centuries, we are truly the greatest nation on earth, and today is a great day to say thank you to all those who have fought for that freedom.  So to all who serve, and to all who served, the Gladiator Blog, and yours truly SirGladiator, says a big Thank You, and a Happy 4th of July!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Hope Solo Best Goalkeeper Ever

There is a phrase that is becoming common in the sports word, a word that is also an abbreviation, and that word/abbreviation is GOAT.  In the past, calling someone a goat meant they cost their team the game, but now it stands for 'Greatest Of All Time'.  I'm not comfortable using that, especially in this case, but there is no doubt that Hope Solo is indeed the Greatest Goalkeeper of All Time.  Today she scored her eighth, yes thats right her EIGHTH straight shutout!  She broke the all time record of longest game-time without a goal, which was over 700 minutes long, and her streak currently stands at well over 750 minutes.  Incredibly, the person who set the previous record was.....also Hope Solo!  This woman isn't simply the greatest goalkeeper of our generation, she is truly the greatest of all time.  All you have to do is look at her and see that she looks every bit as impressive as she plays.  She's tall, she's fit, she's constantly either smiling and happy or focused and fierce.  She's a winner, she's a Champion, she's someone you'd never want to see on the other side of the ball. 

I'm not familiar with the exact rules of FIFA World Cup Soccer, I don't know if the rules are backward enough to outright ban women from playing on a Country's team.  If they are, we should work as hard as possible to change them, because it would be a shame, and completely insane, to not do everything in our power to have this extraordinary talent on our 2014 World Cup team.  Hope Solo is, appropriate to her name, America's only hope for World Cup success in 2014.  Even with this incredible Champion at goalie, we'd still have a tough task as our defense is one of the worst in the world, and will inevitably put Hope in a very difficult position time and again, but at least we'd actually have a fighting chance, as if Hope Solo can't stop a ball, it truly is unstoppable.  Repeatedly in today's game she was diving for, and getting to, balls that were CLEARLY going to be wide of the goal.  She is so agile she can not only guard the entire area of the goal, but OUTSIDE it as well.  There's simply nobody else who can do what she does, and she's proven that time and again by TWICE setting the all time record for longest time without a goal scored against, a feat that would be truly extraordinary to set ONCE.   

It's time for American Soccer to think outside the box, inside the box.  It's time to put America's best goalkeeper in the box on America's Team, not just America's Womens Team, but the Main team as well.  Although it would be correct to call her the GOAT, I'm going to simply call her the best Goalkeeper ever.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Women in Gaming: Myth vs Reality

I recently read an article, a long article, about Women in Gaming.  It covered all the major areas, from female gamers to female characters in games.  Most of what I read was just more of the usual stuff that you read, we need more female characters that are XYZ, and if only there were more of this or that then more women would play games.  It was pretty much just another case of the writer not seeing the forest for the trees, so common in topics like this one.  One of the major knowledge advantages that Conservatives have always had over liberals, is that we realize that there is a difference between men and women.  While liberals bend over backwards to deny reality, to pretend that men and women are exactly alike, we simply acknowledge and embrace reality.  As such, we realize that most of these comments, so typical in the lamestream media, are just so much hogwash.  The idea that if only female gaming characters dressed a certain way, that would make more women play games, it's so incredibly absurd.  Women like different kinds of games than men, that's just the way it is.  You can dress the female characters in the game up any way you like.  Dress them conservatively, dress them seductively, dress them any way you can think of, and if women don't like the game, they aren't going to play it.

What is the most popular game of all time among women?  The Sims.  It's a fun little game, of course lots of men like it too, but it especially appeals to women.  It allows for superior creativity, it allows for plenty of thinking time, it allows you as much or as little freedom as you want, its heavy on the family-oriented themes, its got a lot to like for anybody, especially for women who especially like such things in a game.  The game doesnt have a 'male lead' or a 'female lead', it has whatever you want it to have.  That's something that naturally appeals to everybody, a fact that shouldn't be lost on people, and yet all too often it clearly is.

Let's look at a type of game enjoyed more by men than women, and that would be your typical Bioware RPG.  I love RPGs, and Bioware tends to make a lot of fun ones.  They've done a lot to attract female gamers, from giving you the option to have a female (or male of course) main character,  to giving you the ability to dress your character up any way you like, to even having the option of having your female main character have one (or more) of your female team-mates as a possible love interest.  These are all things that bring women into the game in droves, Bioware's games tend to have many more female players than the average RPG, but ultimately it is an RPG and for that reason there will always be more male players of any Bioware RPG, because men simply like RPGs more than women. 

One way that Bioware is often criticized, is for their advertising campaigns, which almost always feature the male versions of the main characters, and never the female versions (since you can generally play as either a male or female in a Bioware game, you would naturally assume they would advertise both).  It is stated that this is done because most Bioware players are male, a fact that is of course true.  But their logic is completely backwards.  While yes, advertising the female version of the main character of a given Bioware game would likely lead to more women buying the game, it would also lead more MEN to buy the game also!  It would likely increase the overall number of women playing the game, but probably not the overall percentage of women playing, as what's more pleasant for a man (or woman for that matter) to look at for 40-60 hours, a dude, or an attractive woman?  It's no contest.  So Bioware's 'logic' in only promoting their male main characters is completely backwards, not because they 'should be marketing more to women' but because female leads DO market to men, as well as women.  But they haven't figured that part out yet, once they do they will be a lot more successful than they already are.

So the bottom line for me, is yes we should bring more women into gaming, as many as possible, because gaming is fun, cool, and better with more women :) .  But to do that we need to make more games that women like, and to make the games that they aren't predisposed to like more female-friendly, never by doing something men don't like, instead by doing things that BOTH men and women like.  Men and women like having the ability to create their main character (or characters, in the case of the Sims) from scratch, we like having the ability to dress them up any way we like, we like having attractive female characters as the main Love Interest for our character, and of course we all like defeating the forces of evil, saving the day, and having a happy ending.  Obviously some of those things are liked more by women than men, and some are liked more by men than women, but all of those things are enjoyed by large numbers of both men and women.  Those are the attributes that all games should have, if at all possible.  That is how you bring women, AND men, into gaming in greater numbers.  Give us ALL what we want, don't give us something that just women like, or that just men like.  When you give us what we all want, we all win.