Truth, Lies and Video Games

AKA, Why High Damage Does Not Matter in video games.

There are many beliefs that if a Player does not do X damage (or achieve some other result), that Player did not contribute to the team in a game based on team play and values. The following are all the reasons why this belief is bogus from the game MechWarrior Online. Except for the first one, the others are not in a priority order.

  • Math

The big killer, math shows how it is not possible for everyone to deal out the damage number required by some. The important numbers here are:

– Enemy total Center Torso, one of the ways to kill a Mech. With IS XL, you could do Side Torso but you never know exactly who has XL and who has STD all the time, you may figure out some but not all.

– Enemy total Leg, the other way to kill a Mech.

Damage Output of your team’s Mechs also matters but you need to know their loadouts and heat tolerance to know how often they would fire, unless you are on a premade team, this information is unknown so we will not look at it.

Let’s look at a sample team composition from a match I had.

Damage Example

Now we will total up the Center Torso & Leg values (Armor & Internals) of each side assuming full armor in those sections.

My Team

Locust-1E, 32 Center Torso, 48 both Legs

Raven-3L, 60 Center Torso, 96 both Legs

Raven-4X, 56 Center Torso, 96 both Legs

Enforcer-4R, 88 Center Torso, 144 both Legs

Blackjack-1X, 66 Center Torso, 132 both Legs

Shadow Hawk-2D, 96 Center Torso, 156 both Legs

Mad Dog-Prime, 106 Center Torso, 168 both Legs

Hellbringer-B, 110 Center Torso, 180 both Legs

Timber Wolf-C, 120 Center Torso, 192 both Legs

Battlemaster-1S, 150 Center Torso, 216 both Legs

Stalker-3F[C], 152 Center Torso, 216 both Legs

Dire Wolf-A, 158 Center Torso, 252 both Legs

Total, 1194 Center Torso, 1896 both Legs

This is the minimum values need to kill my team assuming full armor in kill areas. Divide that by 12 players gives 99.5 Center Torso, 158 both Legs each player would have to contribute to kill the enemy team efficiently assuming no damage was splashed around on other sections.

Enemy Team

Ember, 54 Center Torso, 96 both Legs

Raven-3L[C], 60 Center Torso, 96 both Legs

Huginn, 58 Center Torso, 96 both Legs

Nova-B, 80 Center Torso, 144 both Legs

Enforcer-5D[R], 82 Center Torso, 144 both Legs

Hunchback-4H, 86 Center Torso, 144 both Legs

Fang, 96 Center Torso, 168 both Legs

Orion-M, 120 Center Torso, 192 both Legs

Timber Wolf-C, 120 Center Torso, 192 both Legs

Stalker-5M, 140 Center Torso, 216 both Legs

Banshee-3M, 146 Center Torso, 240 both Legs

Boar’s Head, 158 Center Torso, 252 both Legs

Total, 1200 Center Torso, 1980 both Legs

This is the minimum values need to kill the enemy team assuming full armor in kill areas. Divide that by 12 players gives 100 Center Torso, 165 both Legs each player would have to contribute to kill the enemy team efficiently assuming no damage was splashed around on other sections.

Compare these minimum values to those being tossed around by some users. 350, 400, 700, etc. per player, values that are 3 times or more the minimum to kill by CT, 2+ times to kill by legging. This inflation may be to accommodate splash damage and skill but honestly, they are still overvalued. If someone does about 100 damage, they still contributed based on minimum values needed to kill by Center Torso, 160 would be for legs though not many go for that route.

Remember, this does not take into account loadouts. There is no data on what the Mechs were carrying but players who know the Mechs can get a rough idea especially if you are on a team where you know your allies and their weapons. You know a Light Mech will not dish out damage the way an Assault can so those average values will usually be adjusted down for a Medium or Light and up for Heavy and Assault Mechs. Some Mechs like Ravens carry TAG or NARC that could have helped a LRM user get damage, even kills. You can also see the Enforcer I used got less than 500 damage, I know people who would say that sucked. That Enforcer used weapons designed to give strong alphas for its weight and I placed them where they needed to be as seen by the 2 kills.

In the match, you can see the Raven-4X, one of the Timber Wolf-Cs and the Ember did below 100 damage. The 4X can be excused due to being a Light, the Ember was probably a Disconnect or AFK so only the Timber Wolf with less than 100 damage can really be faulted for not putting out enough killing damage. Maybe it cannot though, the Timber might have gotten pinned down in a bad spot, that happens as well, I have even had it happen to me. Everyone else gave out enough and more to different degrees of the minimum needed to kill. What is pathetic is using the chosen damage values some players use, they would discredit 18 or more of the 24 players despite what the math clearly shows.

  • Stat Padding

Yes it is real. There are ways to screw around in this game to make you look more important and skilled than you really are.

Damage Stat Padding

One example is Damage Stat Padding, this is usually done by taking certain Mechs & loadouts such as an Enforcer-5D using LBX plus Lasers, this loadout that I have used will do a significant amount of damage and has a better chance of hitting fast Mechs but has a harder time actually killing an enemy. You can also take a loadout and use it in a particular fashion to make it look like you did a lot of battle damage but some does not actually count. One example, I once watched a Spider with 1 Large Laser find a Disconnected Mech, usually people shoot Discons in kill areas but this Spider took his time shooting up arms and other areas. Why? Because his damage score would be higher getting him more rewards and he could claim to have done more battle damage though a portion was against an unmoving enemy with no pilot. Another example, I once drove a Hunchback into an enemy force and weaved among them shooting various targets, usually Assaults. Spreading so much damage around on big Mechs will get high scores and rewards but is not actually killing them, it is only done to spread chaos and disorganize enemy forces. Here is an actual picture of players on an enemy team encouraging other players to Stat Pad for CB typically called Farming though it also will make the Padders look like better players than they are.

Stat Padding

Win/Loss Stat Padding

Another form of stat manipulation, this is done by bringing certain items that increase the chance of victory and using them correctly. Most obvious example, ECM. It does not matter how many counters are made and mentioned, I have actually done this and countered most of the counters showing they are not that relevant. I ran my first ECM Mech, 3 Kit Foxes that all used the same build with ECM on all 3. Just by positioning myself correctly to cover allies, I saw more team victories than when I ran non-ECM Mechs.

Kill Stat Padding

How to get easy kills, look for Discons at start, flank around and eliminate them, instant KDR manipulation. There seems to be plenty still available.

  • Role Warfare

On a team, there are roles (positions) people work in for the benefit of the team. MWO has been planned to have roles though some are unhappy what they picture as those roles has never come about. Thing is, there are roles and they are used, just some do not acknowledge them or know about them. MWO roles would include Tank, Alpha Striker, DPS, Shot Caller, Recon & Hunter. There may be others but these are the standout ones offhand. I have seen them done in game and done them myself. Here is how they work.

Tank – Usually the bigger Mechs on a team such as some Assaults and Heavies though tanking can be done by other Mechs depending on the situation. You basically go out taking some shots on enemies and moving to allow enemies to damage you a lot until you reach a point where you need to pull back. During this, your allies should be coming out to shoot enemies who should not be shooting those allies because they are shooting you.

Alpha Striker – A Mech build made to deliver a large amount of damage by firing all weapons at once. This can cause serious heat issues that force the Alpha Striker to pull back until cooling off for another shot.

DPS – The ability to rapid fire certain weapons on a constant basis, where the Alpha Striker delivers a large amount of damage all at once, the DPSer does it over a period of time. DPSers in MWO suffer from a serious problem that makes them weaker than DPSers in other games.

Shot Caller – Seen on some teams, this is the guy who calls out targets to be focused on by the team for faster killing.

Recon – The pilot who reports on enemy positions and information such as weapon loadouts, also will drop intel gathering devices such as UAVs.

Hunter – Seeks out key targets for elimination or harassment, also good when the enemy force is down to a small number, able to predict where this small number of enemies will go so they do not elude pursuit.

I have done these roles at times as have others, of them only the Alpha Striker and DPSer will really do significant damage regularly. It is possible for the other roles to cause high damage but not as often.

  • One Shots

I have seen a few of these lately. Right at match start, 1-3 fast players get the jump on someone and manage to insta-kill the target resulting in 0 damage for the insta-killed player. Is that the dead player’s fault that he got jumped so fast? Begs the question if game mechanics need be altered to prevent this as it can lead to NPEs (Negative Player Experiences) that can cause people to quit. Gaming is a business and the company plus good community members should not want One-Shotting or other NPEs. I also saw such One-Shotting in the game Transformers Universe when it was in BETA due to several reasons, it got so bad even high ranked respected players complained about certain game elements causing it. The big problem here is that there is a certain small faction of players that like this concept and do not want it removed even if it harms the greater community or even the game itself.

These are just 4 obvious reasons why a person’s worth should never be measured by the damage output in a video game. Too bad some people refuse to accept that and let this obsession colorize their judgment.

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Eric Garner, Staten Island and the Truth

So as I said recently, there has been something I have been working on for months. That may seem too long until you look at how involved it is.

I am sure by now you are familiar with the incident involving Eric Garner and police on Staten Island that happened about a year ago. I am also sure you have followed what people say are connected stories since then. Thing is, all this media coverage is about a borough, Staten Island, that not many know about and has been wrongfully represented in the media. This media misrepresentation has happened to other areas before, you would think such sources would know better. Unfortunately, there are people who try to push agendas that are so wrapped up in their cause, they will knowingly misrepresent things such as area images to promote their cause just or not.

I have lived in Staten Island for about 40 years and I can say a lot about it including a large portion of media representation is highly inaccurate. This includes the story that has been told that we have rampant racism. Yes, there was some racism here back in the 70s and 80s though nowhere as bad as more notorious places around the country. This is 2015 though and there is much less than there was. One of the obvious ways of seeing this is to understand race and geography. There was a story on Inside City Hall, the local channel NY1’s political show, in the past few years regarding changing populations in Staten Island based on census data from 2010. Used to be that almost all the non-white people resided on the North Shore, basically everything above the Staten Island Expressway. There were and still are white residents there but you could count on finding the non-whites there. The South Shore, everything below the Expressway, was pretty much rock solid white. This new data from the 2010 census showed more non-whites had moved into areas of the South Shore plus areas that used to be largely black were now mainly Latino. You can also see this by going around the Island to different neighborhoods. Then look at the crime statistics, you notice that how much and what types of crime did not change much in the different police precincts. This data clearly proves blacks do not cause crime simply by being black yet none of those with black oriented causes ever talk about it. You have to wonder why.

Consider also other problems in Staten Island that include:

– Having the highest tolls in the country. There are 5 ways on and off the Island, 4 bridges (Verrazano-Narrows to Brooklyn, NY; Bayonne to Bayonne, NJ; Goethals to Elizabeth, NJ; Outerbridge to Perth Amboy, NJ) and 1 ferry to Manhattan. The ferry no longer allows cars in order to carry more people usually going to and from work plus some tourists. That leaves 4 bridges to cross, sometimes to see relatives elsewhere, shopping, vacations, etc. Point is these bridges are all tolled to those entering Staten Island but it is free to leave and they all have the highest tolls in the USA. So residents feel like they have to pay to get home often despite any discount plans thought up. A lot of other places, even those with tolled bridges, tunnels and highways, have free options for travel but not people living on an Island surrounded by water on all sides. This gives the Island one of its nicknames, Prison Island, due to residents feeling trapped here and affects their lives in several ways.

– Environmental problems. There are many throughout the Island not known to those outside it. The Bloomfield area where Gulf oil use to be that needs remediation of the land, potential radiation at the area used by the old Manhattan project, radiation discovered in the federal Great Kills Park the government says it is working on but never provides details about what is going on and keeps extending the date of when it will be finished, lands that were supposed to be protected as natural areas being given up for housing, people using natural lands as dumping areas and possibly more. So far the only real items that have been worked on here include the remediation of the Brookfield area for a park and a recent court date set for someone who was caught recently dumping sewage into a natural preserved wetland.

– Housing & population issues. I once blogged about the horrible housing built and still being built on Staten Island. This construction lead to a population boom that has been pretty large, as of the 2010 census the Island had over 450,000 residents, as of this blog that is estimated to be about 475,000. This does not include illegal residents. Back in the 1980s, when I went to high school, the population was roughly 100,000 fewer people than today. You have an increasing population in a limited geographical area surrounded by water on all side trying to keep a rural atmosphere. I am sure if you looked through the history of other such locations such as nearby Manhattan this also happened. The important issue here is that a limited land area can only fit so many people before you are faced with a clear choice. Either change the new housing as was done in Manhattan or impose a population cap. You cannot just keep on packing in more people into the same rural housing in such a limited land area.

– Transportation. When it comes to modes of transportation, more than any other New York City borough, the Island relies on cars. This sounds strange because when people think of NYC they think of our famous subway and rail lines among other things. The Island once had 3 rail lines, North Shore, South Shore and the South Beach extension but two of these (North Shore and South Beach) were abandoned due to bus competition with lower fares. This left one rail line that still exists today. The South Beach line has been built over though there are a few places where you can find remnants of its rail line along with pictures online of how it used to be. The North Shore line, while abandoned, still has a portion of its infrastructure remaining and there has been long studies on how to reactivate it culminating in a plan to bring a express busway that, in the future, can be turned into a light rail line also. This plan though is stuck on paper having been skipped over for Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) funding recently in favor of other NYC areas. So Staten Island is stuck with relying on its city bus service and cars for transport. This is made rougher because of ongoing stories for years of worsening road conditions especially after winter when melting snow and ice takes its toll on infrastructure. Lots of roads wind up with potholes that may not be filled until summer even including major roadways. A number of these major roadways, unlike in other NYC boroughs, are only 2 lanes wide, one lane in each direction. There are few roads with more than 2 lanes.

These are just 4 major issues offhand, we have others. These issues result in a lot of frustration, annoyance and even anger that can be misunderstood by outsiders, they also never get mentioned when Staten Island is portrayed in view of those on the outside looking in.

Next time, I will follow up with some other detailed information about race on the Island that further proves the image shown to be wrong.

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They got the flag wrong

I am sure by now you have heard about the ‘big controversy’ regarding the Confederate flag in South Carolina. Here’s the details left out of all the news coverage.

1 – The flag being discussed is not actually the Confederate flag. Look it up, there were 3 Confederate flags that were actual national flags of the Confederate states. The first had a blue box with a circle of stars, one for each Confederate state, and 3 stripes, 2 red and 1 white. It was a mix of influences from America and Empire of Austria. The second had what is now being discussed but only as a small box in the upper left with the rest white. Third was like the second except the upper left box was bigger and a red stipe horizontal was on the right.

2 – The flag being discussed is a battle flag made during the time of the first Confederate flag that was so similar to the Union flag, Confederate troops (and I will bet Union) got confused and went to enemy forces thinking they were friendlies. This battle flag eliminated that confusion.

3 – The flag being discussed was made popular again in the early 20th century first by soldiers in wars such as WWI and WWII then later in entertainment (music, TV, movies, etc.) as a symbol of pride for those who reside in the southeastern USA region no matter what their color was. It also became a symbol of rebellion regarding issues of that period that had nothing to do with slavery.

Heck, just use a image search engine and look up ‘blacks confederate flag.’ You will find a lot of blacks shown proudly holding the battle flag making you wonder why there is this big issue claiming it has to do with slavery only. Basically all this is is a bunch of people with an agenda riding a wave of populism since the incidents of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and some others that made the news to push an agenda that is out of touch and not really there. It is really annoying especially since the Garner one is in my borough and as a resident of 40 years here, I can say for certain many details of Staten Island got ignored and screwed over by the media. Stuff like this lowers the intelligence of those who follow and agree with what they are seeing not doing any research themselves into details that are left out.

Now it has pervaded not only government talk, it is affecting non-government. I read recently Lynard Skynard said they would stop using this flag in connection with their music until Skynard fans rebelled forcing the band to take back their position. There are stories of how it should be removed from all country music.

More on media twisting regarding the Garner case to come.

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Civilians Who Pretend to Know Everything About the Military

I know, 9 months since last time. I am not a regular blogger only writing when I have something significant to talk about. I have had something but it will take time to do because of how involved it is. Due to some recent events, I have this subject to discuss today that is easier to write on.

I run across this at times, people who discuss the military as if they know everything about it. Problem is, I have been in their shoes and having served, I know there are things the average civilian does not know though they should. You may wonder how this could be true, well here is what I once told someone as proof. If you compare what people knew about the military from, say, World War II and earlier to around the Korean & Vietnam Wars and later, you would see some interesting things especially in media (books, movies, TV, news, etc.) that people have access to for forming opinions about the subject.

Fact #1 – People today know more about what special forces do and little about the average soldier. From WWII and earlier, a good number of stories (books, movies & TV) on military subjects dealt with Average Joe the Soldier and what his life was like, sometimes these experiences became a part of fictional work such as how J. R. R. Tolkien’s WWI experiences were partially portrayed in large scale battles of his Middle Earth books. From the Korean & Vietnam War era and later, not as many are shown unless they fit an agenda, promote propaganda or focus on special forces either government or private, the soldier doesn’t rate much of a mention. Agendas & propaganda come from all sides of the political spectrum usually include anti-war, mental trauma both real and imagined, exposing secrets such as special forces missions and focusing too much on adrenaline action flicks for the ‘cool’ factor. These types of stories are far more detached from reality given that special forces makes up a small percentage of the full military thus inaccurate in portrayal of military matters. This results in society treating average soldiers as if society were to judge every civilian by the standards of wealthy people and celebrities without the crazy shit they do that gets them in the media spotlight. Would the average civilian like to be treated that way? Probably not but they do not seem to mind doing it to soldiers.

Fact #2 – People usually seeing the average soldier in media as, “mentally traumatized,” and/or considered to have PTSD. This typically has to do with views on warfare ignoring that a large number of soldiers have served in peacetime so, while trained for war, never really fought in one, also ignoring that some soldiers during a war actually serve without ever going to the war. Thus there is a large number of soldiers who are not suffering from any form of mental problem.

Fact #3 – Making Fact #1 & #2 worse is media presentation of the subject in books, movies & TV. From WWI and before, you could find stories of what regular soldiers went through in fiction & non-fiction, sometimes these experiences became a part of fictional work such as how J. R. R. Tolkien’s WWI experiences were partially portrayed in large scale battles of his Middle Earth books. From the Korean & Vietnam War era and later, not as many are shown unless they fit an agenda or promote propaganda. Agendas & propaganda come from all sides of the political spectrum usually include anti-war, mental trauma both real and imagined, exposing secrets such as special forces missions and focusing too much on adrenaline action flicks for the ‘cool’ factor. These types of stories are far more detached thus inaccurate in portrayal of military matters.

Fact #4 – Some people like to, “study war.” They study strategies, usually past ones, and over time come to think of themselves as geniuses on every subject relating to the military. This tends to give such students an arrogance plus detachment from the lives of soldiers treating them more as cannon fodder than actual people. When presented with certain military problems that need solving, they just blow these off as they are not the ‘cool’ stuff of war.

Fact #5 – Some people view the military economy as it was back in WWII. They believe there is this massive pile of money that can easily be dipped into and reassigned elsewhere especially if said people are anti-military/war types. This group has ignored years of several nations doing cutbacks on their militaries, partially to appease said people, that have resulted in problems not publicly known and should be. You hear of programs being cut to fund new equipment but soldiers see cuts to maintenance, housing (wait time on getting into military housing keeps increasing), various other things in a soldier’s life that are not known by the civilian public. If there is so much money in a military budget, why does so little of it make it to the government armed services? I have seen one article state the US military budget is less than half what is was back around the time of Vietnam. What is spent sometimes goes to one place when it should go somewhere else.

That should cover all the main points if not everything. Next time on this subject, I will relate some personal stories that clarify some of these items.

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Strange People Who Use Multiple User IDs plus Stalking and Those Who Brag About It

There are some strange people out there who have this belief about using multiple user IDs on various sites. I have seen some in online games, I forget their reason for it but it is just too strange to me that someone would create a whole new account to play the same game they already did. Even worse are the ones who create more than one used ID on a place like a news site and use them all at the same time.

One example website I have found this on is my local news site, I post there sometimes on stories though less so than I used to. There is a person who once posted under the ID Crapgame who later went on to create multiple user IDs, I stopped counting between 15-20, and even at times had full blown conversations with himself. I also once described here another user, Seal444, who spent time holding the site hostage through overzealous deletion of things he did not like with no regard to who he offended even those who once agreed with him on certain subjects. Now it has been revealed that Seal444 has another ID, Sailor666, gee what a surprise. It has been suspected for some time they were the same person based on postings and their shared user ID format, a name supposedly relating to what they did plus a 3 digit number, the first claiming to have been a Navy SEAL, the second just an ordinary sailor. Sadly, their behavior does not fit that of any military servicemen except those in need of professional help.

The revelation was done with proof as I see it in a news story, I will link to it but be warned there have been complaints of this site causing some people problems, so if you feel like trying the proof is in this story here. I will also post a picture below showing the specific part of the comments.

SILive Stalker Threat

The comment outlined in blue is myself, I was dismissing Sailor666/Seal444 specifically referring to something he did once before. Back just before the failed Operation American Spring protest that took place in May 2014, there was a user posting in support of it and Sailor666/Seal444 openly posted he would commit acts of violence against anyone trying to harm ‘his President.’

Sailor666/Seal444’s comments then reflected a piss poor view of his country. First, he was openly posting he had no faith in the Secret Service who everyone knows are the primary protectors of the President. Second, he openly threatened violence against people for holding a protest he disagreed with. I have seen many a protest I do not support but have never threatened violence against people for protesting. Third, he claims he does not like our current Representative in the US House Michael Grimm one reason being his now infamous threat to throw a reporter off a balcony for asking a question, well Sailor666/Seal444’s comment threatening violence against the protestors was very much like Mr. Grimm’s threat despite Sailor666/Seal444 being from the opposing political party and claiming he wanted nothing to do with such behavior. Fourth, for someone who claims he wants a better image of Staten Island, he should be more concerned with the one he presents of himself since by posting, he is one of many representing through his comments.

Now let us look at his response I outlined in red. This is where Sailor666/Seal444 gave himself away as the same user with 2 IDs. Back when I posted about Seal444, I did mention how Seal444 was making public knowledge some ‘factual’ information about me. Well, just like his alternate ID, Sailor666/Seal444 has screwed up again.

1 – He claims I work as a stock person at Macy’s. Well, if you are logged in and view my Facebook profile from the link on the right side here, you could see I have not worked there or in stock since August 2003, over a decade ago.

2 – He claims personal knowledge of me in a manner clearly meant to degrade and lower me. The problems here are A) there are others who live with their older parents due to their needs and conditions, are they lesser people for doing that because surely I could not be the only one; B) the no girlfriend claim is irrelevant and poorly represents Staten Island also especially from someone like Sailor666/Seal444 who claims to be tolerant and favors equal treatment.

3 – He says I question his service in the Navy. Well, of course since I served in the Army and I know attitudes such as his on so many points are not tolerated so either he is like one other Staten Islander I met or he is faking being in the service. I did once meet another Staten Islander in person who said he served in the Navy but left because he hated it, he never clarified under what conditions he left naval service.

Sailor666/Seal444 basically is behaving like a stalker and thinks he is going to shame me by posting such information online failing to realize how much he is screwing himself over rather than myself plus adding to the negative image of Staten Islanders. There are some jerks and other bad types here as well as some good folks, sadly this guy with his multiple IDs is not one of them. Someday when I get to do it right, I will write up blogs about the real Staten Island in all its complexity, it is not the simplified image seen on some TV shows and stories.

So Sailor666/Seal444 joins the ranks of the low class of people representing Staten Island publicly through social media, there is a reason some residents have a sarcastic line about this borough of New York City. “Staten Island, keepin’ it classy,” is the saying, always said about those who poorly represent this borough in any manner as Sailor666/Seal444 have through their behavior. Even more ironic, this is the same user who also posted the following in the exact same story not far below the pictured comments:

I’ve seen plenty of people with Grimm stickers on the back of their cars throwing garbage out their car windows and double parking, running stop signs and other nice acts of disgust and disdain, all republican Grimm voters.

You won’t see a Democrat do any of those vile things, because we’re better people than Republicans, which is why we want you all gone, move down South where the rest like you live, carry your guns in K-mart and hate minorities, we don’t want you here!

Unfortunately for him, Republicans are not the only ones who engage in such activity. It matter not the sticker on the car, the bad behavior he mentions can be found all over with no discrimination between politics, race, religion, sex or other possible means. He has no proof other than his biased opinion when anyone who spends time around here and pays attention knows better than to believe him. Heck, a good chunk of what he posts sounds very much like the white racist Democrats I know lived on this Island back in the 1980s, it is amazing how some of these ‘modern’ Democrats have such blinders on. More on that at a future time.

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I am of no political party and I like it

When I was first able to vote in 1986, I was not that politically motivated and was quite disinterested in how many wanted to sway my beliefs one way or another. So I was not that into politics then thus did not look into it much and when it came time to register to vote, I simply checked off the same party my immediate family was believing I had to register with a party. Despite that, I avoided the subject and voting for a long time because of how annoying I found people who tried to persuade & pressure me into believing in their side of anything. I would listen at times but never went much towards anything since I like to form my own beliefs and was dealing with a bunch of personal issues that took up more of my time. Some people I knew who were more political than me were extremely pushy and I was really put off on how they treated me on various subjects, this is part of what made me delay any political activities.

After several years of avoiding politics to keep myself from being suckered, I found myself in the US Army during the period of January 1995 – 1999 and things I encountered there did not match what I expected, this included how politics was affecting the services and how the reality as seen from a soldier’s viewpoint was much different than that of a civilian. In a future blog I will clarify these things using language civilians understand better, this too will be explained.

During this time is when I quietly began getting involved and started voting. I had been forming opinions and beliefs of my own since when I registered but started voting only when I felt I was ready to do so without the pressures of other people’s beliefs and when I had less personal issues to deal with. Since I left, I slowly got more active in discussions ensuring I was pushed by others as little as possible.

When I got really active in 2010, this was when I took stock of my collected political positions and found I was not a Republican but I also knew I was not a Democrat. There is this notion in the United States you have to be in one of the Big Two parties because of their large influence and voter blocks but legally you are not required to be. I took the time to look into active third parties in my state but found none that I agreed with. I noticed on the voter registration form in New York one of the choices was to check I DO NOT WISH TO ENROLL IN A PARTY in section 13 (currently) along with the choices for the 5 parties with the most influence and a box for Other for the various third parties not mentioned. I was extremely happy to check the box starting with I DO NOT WISH…. since I could not find a third party for me, I seem to be more centrist and there were not many known centrist parties active in the state, the Independent Party is a joke based off how they behave.

So I am now essentially my own party, a party of one with no requirement to be beholden to any party ideology, only my own beliefs that I ensure cannot be imposed upon. Wish I knew all this back when I first started in 1986.

I am not saying people have to do exactly as I did but if you do find yourself in a similar situation, see if you can do the same thus freeing yourself to be you and possibly improve your life.

Until next blog when I have completed one of several I have unfinished.

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Why I believe SFC Bryan Sikes Statement Applies to More than Gwyneth Paltrow

At the end of May, an American Green Beret soldier had something to say regarding a celebrity’s comments on Social Media. Not only do I agree with him, I think it can be expanded to the Internet and Society at large and what happens on/in it.

We have seen it somewhere. People claiming they are in various forms of Military action yet they are not serving in an actual Military at all especially now when tensions run high on many a subject. This seems to be for unknown reasons encouraged by what some call Mainstream Media (TV, movies, news, books, etc.), I am not one to speculate conspiracies so I know not why but is clear that Mainstream usage has had an effect on Civilian Society and I strongly disagree with that. Here are some terms I will not be using anymore and shall replace whenever I see them used whether the original user likes it or not.

Flame/Twitter/etc. Wars – These are not real Wars. No one gets shot or bombed, goes to a hospital, performs ‘tactical and/or strategic maneuvers’ to defeat an enemy or anything else Military related. Some mean posting anywhere may hurt someone’s feelings but that is not the same as a War, it is just an idiot who needs be ignored and/or deleted from your viewing depending on the site it is done on. I will acknowledge there is a connection to this subject and bullying but that deserves its own separate write up sometime.

War of Words – Another version of the above.

Strategy/Strategizing – This is something soldiers do for combat also therefore should not be done by non-soldiers except, in my view, for and games involving Military elements. Corporations describe themselves as doing it along with some people for Social and possibly other encounters. For corporations, I am currently unsure what it should be replaced with, right now I am going with planning, while also done in militaries, is less Military like thus I consider better off. As for individuals, Socializing should always be described as such, less like Military encounters, I would go with more Social terms here such as Dealing With Issues, Handling Problems, things like that.

Hater – I have covered this word before and believe it also falls under this discussion. Hate, for example, is something done by the Modern World’s radical terrorist groups who engage in military behavior. In Social settings, the term is used for people who do not do things that terrorists perform such as attacks with weapons, beheadings, etc. thus it does not apply to someone who writes/says something you do not like and/or agree with. Another reason I dislike the currently common usage of this word and avoid/ignore it when used, a recent example, in the MechWarrior Online community through a Social discussion the term was used by a poster named 1453 R I mentioned here in that very encounter referring to me. Sadly he/she is mistaken since I performed no combat type action as a terrorist would have regarding his/her position so the usage of the term is incorrect and reflects an overblown definition of the Social encounter between us from 1453 R’s point of view.

The (insert whatever here) Army – Unless you are in an actual military, you are NOT in an Army or similar. One example is shown in this article, there is no such thing as a Social Army except in Military games. Another is celebrity armies, one I know of is the KISS Army, they are not a true Military army so are a fan club with an overblown name and I say this even though I have listened to KISS since the days of vinyl records and enjoyed their music. None of these or anything like it is a true army, just an overblown label that contributes to some of the horrible Social issues we face today in civilian life.

Added August 18: The War Against (insert civilian social problem here) – Now I will grant some things that can be added in the parentheses do have actions involving weapons, example being I just heard the term War Against Black Men that involves situations where young blacks are killing other young blacks. However, these problems start from a social problem and should be dealt with by looking at their root cause and dealing with those social problems. They are not caused by governments declaring war on each other thus they should not be described in military terms. Another example is the War on Drugs, while we do hear of drug users being involved in shooting incidents, the root cause is drug use and crimes thus this needs to be addressed through that route instead.

More terms may be added to this list as I come across them.

Point here I believe is very clear, Military terms in Civilian life cause reactions in people that make for bad Social encounters. Many terms used for non-soldiers have a certain word in them noted in capital letters here such as CIVILian, CIVILian Life, CIVILized Society and more. The common term CIVIL in these various words indicate a Social setting that is supposed to be free from things Military related that should include the use of Military terminology.

I even am getting fed up with the lingo used in various media. Example, I do not watch much TV, one of the few shows I watch is Suits. But I have noticed they have these lawyers talk like they are, “Going to war,” and, “Having knife fights.” Look, I know from a piece of advice an ACAP counselor gave me that some different career fields have overlapping skills, soldier and lawyer do have similarities in specific areas. Still, no one seriously ever had their bodies mutilated, developed PTSD or anything like those from going to court. Court cases are not wars of knife fights, they are CIVIL ways of resolving specific matters.

Now I could see where someone else may view what I say as Political Correctness or something like it. Well, it is not, just my own personal view and choice of something I am honestly fed up with given that, in my view, it contributes to a decline overall of non-military society that should not be happening.

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