Video Games as a Parent

Got Splatoon 2 on Friday and it’s a really fun game with one huge problem: No split screen. Only one player per console. I didn’t even think to check for that before purchasing since it’s a multiplier-focused game on a multiplayer-focused system. It seemed obvious it would have it; I mean, doesn’t everyone have a fond memory of playing Goldeneye on the N64 in four-player split screen. And Minecraft for the Switch has four-player split screen. But no dice on Splatoon 2. I was really looking forward to getting to do some squad-based shooter combat with my kids, but to do that, I’d have to buy a whole other Switch and a second copy of the game.

My video game needs have changed a bit. Usually, I only cared for playing single player, but now the point of games for the Switch is to play them with the kids (and not have them constantly fight over whose turn it is). Yes, the first game I got was Zelda which was solely single player, but I only played it when the kids were watching (which they were very insistent on). And since that game defied normal video game conventions so much, Buttercup had a number of ideas that worked that I never would have come up with. For instance, in one area there was a switch that needed to be weighted down (very common to Zelda games) and a barrel across the room that you had to ride moving platform to get to. Having played video games for decades, I knew the puzzle was get the barrel and bring it to the switch. But Buttercup suggested we just take some of the many many items we collected in the overworld and drop some on the switch to weight it down. I knew that wouldn’t work because that would ruin the whole point of the puzzle, but I tried it to shut her up. And it worked. Breath of the Wild was very much a game where they set a bunch of rules of physics and let you come up with solutions that the programmers didn’t even think of, and stuck in my old ways I never fully embraced that.

Anyway, now I’m just rambling on — which I can do since it’s my blog and I like talking about video games — but the point was I’m very disappointed in the lack of split screen on Splatoon 2. My dream is to do an online squad with my kids, taking out all our foes together, but that dream has been denied. Still, it’s really sweet to at least watch my 6yo daughter pwn people online.

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Stop Trying to Prove Trump Is Awful

Hey, want to hear the 7,543rd instance of Trump saying something in the past that directly contradicts what he’s saying now? If you’re on the fence about Trump, I’m sure this will finally convince you about him.

The media and the opposition are still trying to gather further evidence that Trump is awful, like there are people out there who aren’t settled on that issue. The late night comedians are still trying to mock Trump even though he’s already this glorious spectacle of which they have nothing to add. So basically, no one has learned anything.

The focus is on how awful Trump is, but the issue — and the reason he was elected — is how awful everyone else is. The other politicians. The media. They think it goes without saying they’re much smarter and better than Trump, when they are regarded by much of the population as worse than him. And that they’re still refusing to face that.

Trump is this obvious clown, but Barack Obama was an idiotic, incompetent clown too and they won’t admit it. All of Congress is full of useless, terrible people, but the Dems new slogan is reportedly “A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages.” How many idiots are left who believe anyone in D.C. can deliver any of those things?

But it’s still the current message from the “opposition” that if you don’t like Trump, go back to the usual incompetent idiots that will continue to screw things up as they always have while the media tells you that you’re the dumb ones. On our current course, Trump will go into 2020 with a 20% approval rating and easily win reelection. And I’m sure the usual suspects will be baffled.

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Sarah K’s Birthday!

BirthdayCakeIt’s Sarah K’s birthday. It seems like she just had one like a year ago. Women.

Anyway, let’s all wish Happy birthday to SarahK, the Official IMAO T-Shirt Babe and mother of the Next Generation.

So, you’re celebrating July 19th, right? I have been celebrating the day for years, as should you.

But, here’s the question: What would be the perfect gift for Frank J. to present to SarahK today?

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Is It Evil to Oppose Capitalism?

Everyone had fun with crazy grandpa Bernie Sanders in 2016, but it’s a little scary how many people seem to take the guy who owns 3 houses ranting against capitalism seriously. More people are overtly talking about how great socialism is, when I assumed that was a debate long ago settled, like that slavery is bad. I have no idea what these people think socialism is — they seem to think it’s some sort of magic word that causes everyone to get everything they want. And I have no idea what they imagine capitalism to be. They keep saying it “hurts the poor” and I’m like, “What? You must be thinking of your face.”

When I hear capitalism, I think of the stats at places like where you see this massive increase over the last century in the living standards of the world’s poorest. In wealth, nutrition, life expectancy, it’s been an insane boon. It’s not even remotely debatable; capitalism has been orders and orders of magnitude better at helping people. Debating capitalism against other systems is like debating what’s a better weapon, a gun or different varieties of sticks. So when people say they want to crush capitalism, I take that as they want massive amounts of poor people to starve to death if it means rich people will be a little less rich.

Socialism somehow gets labeled “progressive” despite being a really old, really really failed system of misery and oppression. We have a system that both massively helps people while also respecting people, i.e., giving them freedom to make their own choices. It’s not just dumb to oppose it, it’s wrong. Being a socialist is as cute as those alt-right people playing nazi — who were also socialists. Because in the end, socialism is about controlling people, and what horrible person doesn’t love that?

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Promoted Comment: If Liberals Treated Cancer Like Illegal Immigrants

[High Praise! to Oppo]

Dr. Liberal sez:
“Cancer cells aren’t invaders, they’re just undocumented host cells celebrating their own unique DNA. No cell is ‘malignant’! Don’t think of them as taking resources from healthy cells, they’re just doing the metastacizing healthy cells won’t. Celebrate the chance-to-die-versity! #BlackLungsMatter (Please stop with the “All Cells Matter” mindset.)”

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A Timeline of IMAO’s 15 Years

Can you believe it? It was fifteen years ago this week that the blog Harvey & Friends (also known as IMAO) was started. I thought it would be neat to look at a timeline of all the important events in IMAO history.


2002 – Noticing a dearth of political opinions online, Frank J. started a blog on blogspot and named it IMAO for reasons long forgotten. Frank J. soon posted the treatise “Nuke the Moon” which many say led directly to the Iraq war, causing him to be considered a war criminal in many circles.

2003 – Frank J. wins the Pulitzer for his expose on blogger Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, explaining why local dogs had gone missing.

2004 – IMAO jumps the shark with its coverage of the 2004 race of W versus some random New England elitist everyone has already forgotten. Frank J. held a t-shirt babe contest in a surprisingly effective ploy to get a date.

2005 – Frank J. gets married and immediately stops being funny. He tried to compensate by turning IMAO into a group blog, though it’s really just Frank J. posting under a bunch of really fake sounding names like “spacemonkey” or “Harvey.”

2006 to 2015 – It gets to be kind of a blur at this point. I remember something about Fred Thompson. Ask Harvey.

2016 – Donald Trump seizes the Republican nomination and renders political satire redundant.

2017 – This post.

Well, that’s it. Quite a history. And who knows what will happen in the next fifteen years? Probably the complete collapse of this country and the outlawing of free speech — but they’ll forget to outlaw blogs since that was like this fad from years ago that everyone had forgotten about. Then IMAO will be leading the resistance — as long as there is still some money to be made from GoogleAds.

Thanks for fifteen years, everybody!

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Favorite Posts/Moments Open Thread

I’d love if you’d post some of your favorite posts or moments from IMAO from the last 15 years in the comments. I’d put up some of my own, but I’m afraid it would be like the Simpsons where every one would be from the first few seasons.

Anyway, what do you fondly remember about IMAO? I did love doing the podcasts with SarahK, Harvey, Spacemonkey, and Lair, but man were they a lot of work.

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15 Years of Blogging Supremacy

Hey, it’s me, Frank J., the guy who sometimes blogs here. Anyway, it was fifteen years ago today I started the blog IMAO. Since then, this blog has led to me becoming a columnist, becoming a published author, and becoming a script writer. And this blog has also led to me getting married (12 years now). And it was all thanks to you, my readers and those who have supported me.

So, yeah, I know I don’t blog as much as I used to with all the other stuff going on (I don’t have much time to write right now as I’m on a fishing trip with the kids), but I will keep this blog going forever if I can. Well, maybe Harvey will, with Basil doing tech support. But I will be around waiting for that one fabled day where I will have more time to blog. Maybe on the 30th anniversary, though it’s possible by then I’ll have handed the blog over to my daughter Buttercup. She’s very opinionated and very certain she’s right about everything.

Anyway, I feel very blessed. Thank you so much for your support. And I’ll try to be funny again one of these days, I swear — though I think it’s now been thirteen years since that last happened.

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Eat a weenie

Didja see where Joey Chestnut won another Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest yesterday?

He does that a lot.

I won a hot dog eating contest at the Georgia National Fair in Perry some years back. But, since a ten-year-old came in second, I asked them to give him the prize. The knowledge that I was champion weenie eater kinda lost its charm in short order. And, a kid was happy with his prize, so it worked out.

Anyway, Joey Chestnut ended up eating 72 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes. That’s a new record. So, congratulations, I guess.

What about you, though? Do you have any contests that you’re proud of? Or ashamed of? Share, won’t you?

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Independence Day (2017)

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  • He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  • He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  • He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  • He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  • He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
  • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  • He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    • For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    • For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    • For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    • For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  • He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  • He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  • He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

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Trump Gave Me Freedom

One of the great things about Trump is he’s fully free from my last vestiges of partisanship. That was already fading going into the presidential primary as I no longer had the energy to root for any of the candidates as none of them seemed like they’d get us away from the same old, some old — well, except one who seemed like he learned about conservatism from watching Stephen Colbert. And when the election ended up being Trump versus Hillary, that was it. I was done.

And it’s been nice. Like at the election, I was all prepared for a Hillary win. And when Trump won instead, I was like, “Well, that’s interesting,” but no big change for me. And now when everyone is saying bad things about the president, I’m just like, “Yep, he’s pretty awful.” but also when people are like, “He’s going to destroy the country! We must stop him!” I’m like, “Meh.” I’m free. I don’t need to care either way.

And when someone says, “Republicans are bad!” I just nod and say, “Yep. They’re pretty useless.” But if someone says to me, “But Democrats are good,” I body slam him. So I’m almost free. When someone tries to prop up some mediocrity as something we should be happy about — like some people were recently trying to rally behind Kamala Harris like she wasn’t horrible — that still activates me. If you want to get excited about a politician and think he or she is good, you will have to get through me.

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Saturday Night Open Thread

I hope your week has been a good one.

Heck, I hope it was great.

Unforgettable, even.

[The YouTube]

It’s time for you to deliver some classic lines. Or some lame-ass lines. Jokes. Fun stuff. Stupid stuff. Whatever. Because it’s Saturday Night Open Thread.

Who wants to start?

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The Vulgar Argument for Freedom

I don’t often make the pragmatic argument for freedom as I find it a little vulgar. You just shouldn’t point guns at each other and tell each other what to do because it’s wrong — the utility of being nice to each other shouldn’t have to be factored in. But there also such huge benefits to freedom that it just seems absurd we have to keep making these arguments.

Freedom, essentially, is attempt to see each person to their best potential. With freedom, every person gets to apply their knowledge and their motivations to decision making. This is often the knowledge of millions versus the knowledge of one — a politician or a bureaucrat who just isn’t anywhere near as motivated to see improvements in the lives of each person as they are themselves. So it’s orders of magnitude more knowledge being applied by extremely motivated people (because everyone is motivated about themselves and their family and friends) versus extremely limited knowledge and motivation.

And when you get to free markets, the advantage of it over systems that constrain liberty get absurd. Again, seeing how we’re a world growing in population and yet the number of undernourished people keeps dropping, it’s almost evil we have to make arguments for a system that’s helped so many, but here is why it works. Everyone focuses on the dollars as an end, but they are a means. They are information. Each time a dollar does something, that’s — I want to say a “bit of information” but it carries way more info in it than a 1 or a 0. And the free market is this feedback loop of people constantly reacting to all these trillions of pieces of information. And everyone has power in this, because those dollars are precious — especially when you have less of them. So it means a lot when they move. And you make a lot more money selling mass market to poor people than just to rich people (look how much money Walmart deals with) so it’s a system where people are much more motivated to serve the poor (again, just by reacting the information of dollar exchange) than other systems, such as voting which attempts to take information from a large amount of people (though I should note a vote means much less to people than a dollar and they think nothing of throwing it away) and then does very little with that information, usually just making a binary choice. But in a free market, the information leads to so many things like where people apply labor or where they put their billions of brains towards innovating, and that’s why it leads to everything becoming cheaper and better… unless someone steps in and smashes that information with interference.

That brings us to a system like socialism — and I’m not sure kids these days even know what it is beyond thinking it’s some magic word that causes everyone to get everything they want for free — where what you’re doing is sacrificing all those trillions of pieces of information in your decision making for an illusion of control. You’ve short circuited where those dollars would naturally go and all the information that carries and are trying to make extremely complex decisions while only looking at a tiny sliver of information. It’s saying, “I’m going to figure out how to feed, clothe, and get health care for everyone. First step, I’m going to gouge out my eyes and pierce my eardrums.”

But I understand why people don’t like freedom and free markets. They’re scary. They make no guarantees of anything. Governments make guarantees. Guarantees they can’t keep, but people want some large entity saying it will provide for them, even when it keeps failing to do so. That’s why we seem to be on the path to single-payer in health care. We don’t want to use the system that makes everything cheaper and better by utilizing all the possible information because it seems so wrong when people’s lives are at stake. People could die because greed will keep them from health care — in the same way people could starve all over the world because greed could keep them from food. But it never works out that way in a free market because you only make money by selling things — and making it cheaper so you can sell to more people — not by denying things from people. But we want the guarantee, and thus we’ll get a system where we don’t use all those trillions of pieces of information to figure out where to put resources. And people will die from that decision — people who could have been saved in the better system or through innovations that will take much longer now. But we’ll pat ourselves on the back for caring about the poor while it happens, and I guess that’s what’s important.

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Harvey’s Vacation

You may have noticed that while Harvey is posting some stuff, he’s also not posting as much stuff. And others, including your humble host, have written some stuff at the times you’d normally expect to see Harvey’s stuff.

Why is that, you ask.

No really. Go ahead and ask. I’ll wait.

Well, since you asked, it turns out Harvey loaded up the station wagon and has gone on vacation. I’m not sure where all he’s going, but I expect it to be on par with National Lampoon’s Vacation. Not the movie. The original story that appeared in National Lampoon back in 1979.

He is trying to stop by some places that have The WiFi so he can post stuff and check his email. But, he’s trying to focus on having fun, too.

I hear he’s stopping by the Ripley Museum. That ought to be fun.

I suppose he’ll see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine.

And, if he can put enough gas in the Country Squire, maybe he’ll head to Scottsboro, Alabama and pick up some stuff from the Unclaimed Baggage store.

Where else should he go? What vacation suggestions do you have for Harvey?

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You Want People to Die!

Since Harvey is gone for a bit, I guess I should blog.

But I don’t want to!

Anyway, this is pretty great, so watch it.

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