Gone Fishin'; WoW 'Toons & Servers


In case anyone wants to find me on WoW, I'll just put this here for reference sake. I'm on two World of Warcraft servers, at the moment. One for horde characters, one Alliance.

My Horde reside on Terenas.
  • Tharthurm - Level 36 Tauren Warrior (Mining, Skinning)
  • Uroga - Level 22 Orc Hunter (Mining, Engineering)
  • Creavishop - Level 20 Undead Warlock (Tailoring, Enchanting)
  • Doongarind - Level 11 Orc Shamen (Herbology,Skinning)
  • Rakudaga - Level 10 Tauren Druid (Herbology, Alchemy)
  • Eugenna - Level 10 Undead Rogue (Skinning, Leatherworking)
  • Kelyndrian - Level 11 Blood Elf Paladin (Mining, Blacksmithing)
  • Tanath - Level 8 Blood Elf Mage (Herbology, Jewelcrafting)
There is a spy on Terenas (created before I realized I couldn't play all the characters I wanted to create on the same server) a Level 18 human Mage, Johanieren (Herbology, Alchemy) I don't play him much.

Alliance toons are on Muraden.
  • Eieloris - Level 40 Night Elf Rogue (Skinning, Leatherworking)
  • Juverna - Level 36 Dwarf Hunter (Mining, Skinning)
  • Tarashal - Level 27 Night Elf Druid (Herbology, Alchemy)
  • Brenelbur - Level 22 Gnome Mage (Tailoring, Enchanting)
  • Garabaldi - Level 22 Gnome Warrior (Mining, Engineering)
  • Rasputing - Level 10 Draenei Paladin (Mining, Blacksmithing)
  • Raslinda - Level 13 Draenei Shamen (Herbology, Skinning, ATM)
  • Keslingra - Level 2 Dwarf Priest (She's my banker, auctioneer, but she's going to do inscription, I think)
Yes, I'm a bit of a freak when it comes to playing a game.

Election Day Coverage; Extended WoW Realm Downtime

this is the most suspenseful thing about today; when will they bring my WoW realm back online? I'm starting to have withdrawal symptoms, as I do every Tuesday morning update.

I get a lot of laundry done on Tuesday mornings. It's also a favorite walking time.

What about the election, I hear you asking? Obama wins. Hope I'm not spoiling things for you.

For the Last Time; Bob Barr for President

Bill Quick over at the Daily Pundit endorsed Bob Barr the other day.
I just dropped my absentee ballot in the mail box. After waffling around, first saying I wouldn’t vote for John McCain, then saying I would, I ended up voting for Bob Barr. Not because I think he has any chance of winning, or even because I think he’d be a great president - although he would certainly be a much better one than either of the two major candidates.
I voted for him because it was the only way I could think of to get my libertarian/conservative preference on the official record, in hopes that the GOP might see what it had thrown away with its nomination of McCain, and its general move away from conservative and libertarian principles.
I guess I ended up being convinced by my own arguments.
read more | digg story
I briefly came up for air from a 7 hour stint on my diversion of choice these days, and decided to visit some of my old haunts (like digg and blogger) for a brief reminder as to why I have need of some diversion. I noticed a shout on digg from Bob Barr to the article above, and while reading through the comments on the site, I ran across one (buried to the level of -9) which offered up the same old "thanks for voting for Obama" argument in response.

Here's a little counter spin for you.

As a Texas resident living in Austin, I am surrounded by Yellow Dogs who voted for Kerry 4 years ago, and are dutifully touting their Obama stickers

[which have mercifully replaced the Kerry stickers. Leave the advertisement for an 'also ran' on your bumper for 4 years; what does that mean? I can't tell the real Democrats from the fake ones?]

trumpeting their intention to vote for the guy with the best teeth and hair (like all Americans do) the man who will be the future president of the United States; as almost anyone who pays attention to politics could have told you the minute that Barak Obama became the clear Democrat favorite (until then, the next President of the US was going to be a woman) because the Republicans never stood a chance this time around; and stand even less of a chance now that the markets have tanked.

But none of this even touches on the fact that Texas will go for McCain. The Republicans could leave the top of the ticket blank and claim that we'd be better off without a President, and Texas would still go to the Republicans, because "nobody is better than anybody the Democrats would nominate".

So, for all you Yellow Dog Democrats out there, wasting your vote for Obama in Texas; I just want to know, why? If you agree with Mr. Better Teeth and Hair then good for you, you did you research and know what you are getting into (you're wrong, but...) But if you are voting for Obama because at least he's not McCain, what planet are you living on?

The ultimate wasted vote is a vote for the lessor of two evils; especially when the majority of the voting population disagrees with you. To use the old adage; if two wolves and a sheep are voting on what's for dinner, and you're the sheep, why are you wasting your time voting? If it's a life or death issue, better to be a well armed sheep when the wolves come knocking looking for dinner.

Politics has become quite blasé for me. I never was much interested in saying "I told you so", and I've found myself repeating that phrase more and more often since 9/11. I got into politics because I wanted to see a positive change in the system; and in 15 years of activity, I've seen things go from bad to worse to imminent destruction. I no longer care about petty little things like who the next President will be. He's going to screw things up at least as much as the last guy did; both candidates are blissfully oblivious to real problems, while attacking each other over meaningless twaddle. Obama chooses a dedicated socialist as his running mate, and McCain nominates a woman who is so backwards in her thinking I shudder to wonder what her presidency will be like after McCain kicks it

[my money is on him not even surviving to be sworn in, myself; in the almost incomprehensible reversal of fortune that would inspire Americans to vote for the ugly puppet]

But in either case; the baggage is so onerous, and the understanding of the real world around us is so absent, that I have no doubt that whichever screwup is elected, he'll make the most mess possible before the downfall of the dollar brings his reign to it's ultimate end.

So, excuse me, but I'm not wasting my time worrying about which lessor evil to vote for. I'm going to go out and pull the lever next to the 'L', again. Bob Barr at least talks about issues, and has the nomination of the only party dedicated to smaller government. The rest of it is just so much noise.

The reorganization of my priority list continues apace. Time to return to my W0W session.



This was my last post as a member of the Libertarian party. I find this odd, looking back. I remember there being a finality in my having to hold my nose and vote for Bob Barr. Hold my nose and vote for the presidential candidate for my party of conscience. I remember thinking "does this make sense? I thought the other guys were evil and we weren't?"

Looking back eight years I wonder how I couldn't see it. The libertarians in Texas and through most of the US are closer to conservatives than they are to liberals. Economics is to blame for this; economics and the influence of the Midwestern work ethic. Not even they can see it from inside. It is only from outside, from the vantage point of more accumulated knowledge on the subject of money and social systems that I can say that the mantra of small government forces them into proximity with conservatives who have adopted the same talking points.

As if government in the US isn't already small.  We just pay too much for it, considering how much it doesn't get done. 

No, the Other Palin for President

On the other hand, I think this video says it all when it comes to Palin and the Presidency.



read more | digg story

Unless it's covered in this video, that is.




read more | digg story

I know it's a parody because the Hillary character is, in fact, funny. Megalomaniacs generally aren't people that I find amusing. On the other hand, I laugh at people who believe the same things Sarah Palin does, pretty much every day. They're always funny. Until people vote for them, that is.

Majority Support Libertarian Inclusion in Debates

Open Debates issued this press release today.

MAJORITY OF VOTERS SUPPORT INCLUSION OF THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE BOB BARR IN DEBATES

For Immediate Release

September 5, 2008

Contact: George Farah

Washington, D.C. – The majority of likely voters support the inclusion of Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr in the 2008 presidential debates.

A Zogby poll has found that 55% of likely voters want to see former Congressman Bob Barr participate in the upcoming presidential debates with Republican nominee John McCain and Democratic nominee Barack Obama. The Zogby also poll found that 45% of likely voters supported the inclusion of independent candidate Ralph Nader in the presidential debates. However, despite support from a majority of likely voters for Bob Barr's inclusion, Barr will be excluded from the presidential debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates, a creation of the Republican and Democratic parties, established candidate selection criteria that ensure that only the major party candidates will be eligible to participate in the debates.

“The Commission on Presidential Debates should serve the interests of the American people, not the interests of the two major parties,” said George Farah, executive director of Open Debates. “The Commission on Presidential Debates should include candidates that a majority of Americans want to see participate in the debates.”

The Commission on Presidential Debates was created by and for the Republican and Democratic Parties. In 1986, the Republican and Democratic National Committees ratified an agreement “to take over the presidential debates” from the League of Women Voters. Fifteen months later, then-Republican Party chair Frank Fahrenkopf and then-Democratic Party chair Paul Kirk incorporated the Commission on Presidential Debates. Fahrenkopf and Kirk still co-chair the Commission on Presidential Debates, and every four years, it excludes candidates that most voters want to see debate.

read more | digg story
I don't think enough can be said about this subject. Pundits talk endlessly, day in and day out, about The Will of the People. Shall we disregard the will of the people on this subject, then?

How can there be informed consent, or free and fair elections, when the true breadth of opinion on politics is excluded from open debate?

Ron Paul Statement to the National Press Club

Ron Paul held a news conference today at the National Press Club. Sixty percent of the American people do not approve of either of the two major party candidates, in part because;
We cannot expect withdrawal of troops from Iraq or the Middle East with either of the two major candidates. Expect continued involvement in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Georgia. Neither hints of a non-interventionist foreign policy. Do not expect to hear the rejection of the policy of supporting the American world empire. There will be no emphasis in protecting privacy and civil liberties and the constant surveillance of the American people. Do not expect any serious attempt to curtail the rapidly expanding national debt. And certainly, there will be no hint of addressing the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationship with big banks and international corporations and the politicians.

read more | digg story
His advice? vote for a "third party" candidate. All of the candidates (except the major ones) agreed to the following four principles as part of being mentioned by name by Ron Paul in his speech;
Foreign Policy: The Iraq War must end as quickly as possible with removal of all our soldiers from the region. We must initiate the return of our soldiers from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East. We must cease the war propaganda, threats of a blockade and plans for attacks on Iran, nor should we re-ignite the cold war with Russia over Georgia. We must be willing to talk to all countries and offer friendship and trade and travel to all who are willing. We must take off the table the threat of a nuclear first strike against all nations.

Privacy: We must protect the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We must repeal or radically change the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the FISA legislation. We must reject the notion and practice of torture, eliminations of habeas corpus, secret tribunals, and secret prisons. We must deny immunity for corporations that spy willingly on the people for the benefit of the government. We must reject the unitary presidency, the illegal use of signing statements and excessive use of executive orders.

The National Debt: We believe that there should be no increase in the national debt. The burden of debt placed on the next generation is unjust and already threatening our economy and the value of our dollar. We must pay our bills as we go along and not unfairly place this burden on a future generation.

The Federal Reserve: We seek a thorough investigation, evaluation and audit of the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationships with the banking, corporate, and other financial institutions. The arbitrary power to create money and credit out of thin air behind closed doors for the benefit of commercial interests must be ended. There should be no taxpayer bailouts of corporations and no corporate subsidies. Corporations should be aggressively prosecuted for their crimes and frauds.
Reads like an essential list of principles to me. Based on this list, even I would vote for Ralph Nader. But I'm still pulling the lever marked "L" and voting for all the Libertarian candidates, just as I have done for the last 16 years.

Here's Ron Paul on the Glenn Beck show discussing the substance of the news conference;



He was also on Wolf Blitzer. You can watch that one on the Campaign for Liberty site, I'm not posting it here. I found Blitzer's wheedling of both Dr. Paul and Ralph Nader (trying to get them to admit they want to ruin the election for Obama) to be so transparent as to be disgusting. May the ghost of Edward R. Murrow haunt you for the remainder of your (limited) days, Mr Blitzer. Yellow journalism doesn't begin to describe your function in life. You are no more, and no less than a common propagandist; and of which you are nothing in comparison to Ol' Joey himself.

It's being reported that C-Span will have the conference available on the website after it airs.

I think it's a good sign that the so called "third parties" have come together to present a united opposition to the sham that is the US election cycle. If only one of them could be elected instead of one of the Mc-bamas.

My money is still on the guy with the better teeth and hair. Not that I think he'll do a good job, I just think Americans are really that shallow when it comes right down to it.



The Raw Story has a video clip from CNN of the News Conference. It is also available as a purchase from C-span, or you can watch it in 9 segments on the Campaign for Liberty Channel on YouTube. Here's the first segment:

Glen Beck, Penn Jillette on Election

I'll avoid going through the blow by blow, and just give you the video.



read more | digg story

I don't watch Glen Beck (his views on American military adventurism scare the hell out of me) but it's interviews like this one that make me wish I did. He at least will interview known libertarians, and even lets them say words like 'anarcho-capitalism' on TV without censoring them.

If you want more Penn, you should check out his Crackle channel.

Bob Barr Currently only Presidential Candidate on Texas Ballot

From Bob Barr's website:

Richard Winger’s Ballot Access News reports that Democrats and Republicans have missed the August 26th deadline to place a presidential candidate on the ballot in Texas. According to the Texas Secretary of State website, Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root are the only candidates for president and vice-president that will appear on the ballot in the Lone Star State.

Winger writes:

Section 192.031 of the Texas election code says that political parties must certify their presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the November ballot no later than 70 days before the general election. It says, “A political party is entitled to have the names of its nominees for president and vice-president placed on the ballot if before 5 p.m. of the 70th day before presidential election day, the party’s state chair signs and delivers to the secretary of state a written certification of the name’s of the party’s nominees for president and vice-president.”
[...]
At 2:30 pm Texas time, August 27, Kim Kizer of the Texas Secretary of State’s elections division says neither major party’s certification has been received in the Elections Division. The Executive Office of the Secretary of State refers all questions back to the Elections Division.

This year, neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party obeyed this law.

In a press release sent from Bob Barr 2008, Russ Verney said, “Unless the state of Texas violates their own election laws, Congressman Barr will be the only presidential candidate on the ballot,” adding that “Texas law makes no exceptions for missing deadlines.”

We’ll be paying attention to this situation.

read more | digg story

The source referenced is Ballot Access News Richard Winger's online resource for all things election. His final paragraph in the post pretty much sums up my opinion on the subject:
In 1988, the Democratic and Republican Parties missed a similar Indiana deadline. Lenora Fulani sued the State Election Board to force the Board to enforce the deadline. The 7th circuit ruled that Fulani did have standing to file such a lawsuit. Fulani v Hogsett, 917 F 2d 1028 (1990). However, the 7th circuit also said that Fulani waited too long to file her lawsuit. The implication is that if she had filed the lawsuit promptly, it would have been successful; or, more likely, the Indiana deadline for the major parties to certify their nominees might have been held unconstitutional. Fulani in 1988 was the only ballot-listed presidential candidate other than the Democratic and Republican nominees. This year, the Texas Libertarian Party and Bob Barr are the only ballot-listed presidential candidates on the Texas ballot, so the Texas Libertarian Party could, if it wished, bring a lawsuit. However, the result of the lawsuit would probably be to get the deadline declared unconstitutional; no court would order that Obama and McCain be kept off the ballot.
In the end, Obama and McCain will appear on the Texas ballot. Laws don't apply to major parties and their candidates. On the other hand, McCain is currently suing to have Barr removed from a ballot in another state. Are we taking bets on the outcome there?

This is simply another lesson on who holds the power in this country. Get ready for the next 4 years.



Additional. The website has already been updated to include the two major party candidates.

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/general/2008gensbs.shtml

And that, after the deadline has passed. I think we need to ask the question, did they get in before the deadline, and the website just wasn't updated; or after it, and the law was violated? Based on Wingers research, it looks like the answer is 'after'.



The latest from BobBarr2008.com:

“The law is clear, and it was clearly not followed,” says Verney. “The Texas Supreme Court was emphatic when it stated that the law ‘does not allow political parties or candidates to ignore statutory deadlines . . .’ Senators Obama and McCain did not file by the deadline; therefore, Texas should abide by the laws it created. No political party or candidate is above the law.”

read more | digg story

You can read campaign filings from Obama and McCain here and a letter from Russ Verney to the Texas Secretary of State here.

FFrF Radio:Guests: Ernie Chambers and Katha Pollitt; Archive: America is not a christian nation, Evolution assaulted

Podcast Link.
August 23, 2008 - Guests: Ernie Chambers and Katha Pollitt
Saddleback abomination. Religious test for office. Homophobia on parade. Supreme misunderstanding.

5:20 Ernie Chambers 2nd appearance; discusses his case against god; omnipotence & omniscience precludes service. the case was brought specifically because courts should be open to any body for any reason (the way the law reads in Nebraska) he goes through a few of the counts against god listed in the lawsuit.

18:40 Catha Pollitt, flocking to faith; Obama's complete betrayal of the constitution, with his announcement to continue the faith based initiative.

She qualifies her bile with her intention to continue her support for Obama. I find this blind subservience to any political faction sad & disgusting.




2007 Archive episode.
August 25, 2007 - America is not a christian nation

Convention blurb

5:15 theocracy alert. Texas pledge modification (how about no pledge? My children do not pledge) David Vidder, latest conservative hypocrite. Bill Moyers' religious judgment error with Martin Marty. God's warriors.

20:30 Ed Buckner has a chapter in Everything You Know About God is Wrong. America is not a christian nation. To some of us, this is not news. Decent interview all the same.




2006 Archive episode.
August 26, 2006 -The Evolving Religious Assault on Evolution: Lawrence Lerner

Neo-Nazis protesting on women's equality day. Only Turkey has a smaller percentage of people who accept the proof of evolution than the US. Evolution left off list of acceptable low income US education grants. Pope sacks astronomer. Coulter smears Darwin (earns label of coultergeist)

Larry Lerner representing the Fordham Foundation and the report he co-wrote www.edexcellence.net on science standards in the classroom. The discussion revolves around the problems of setting and maintaining education standards, and the evolving nature of creationism.

Kristen Lems & Dan Barker sing The Preacher & the Slave

Freethinkers almanac.

There are those who say Dawkins goes too far in his attack on religion. That he fails to understand the true nature of religious mystery; that his criticism relies on a parody of faith that he himself set in place, and that people do not take seriously anymore. those who make that objection tend to belong to the mild kindly end of the religious spectrum. these days we should be in no doubt of what the other end of the spectrum is like and we might remember that no social structure ever gives up power because it wants to. If some parts of the christian church are decent and tolerant today, it is because the crusaders and inquisitors and witch burners have been shamed and stripped of their authority by the great critics of religion, some indeed who belonged to the church itself. But all of whom were accused in their time of going too far. -Philip Pullman

"we don't trust numbers to build up a cause; rather we look at principles, to the truth and the right." -Elizabeth katy Stanton

Travel Pains

Your family went on a holiday, and you are the one whohas all the back pain. That kind of stuff happens to meall the time. Other people can go on a holiday, have fun,come back somewhat tired but okay. But you and mepractically die if we try to even enjoy ourselves one bit. 
Written by a friend with a Chronic Illness
I get stir crazy sitting around the house. I just want to go somewhere and get out. This neurosis of mine drives The Wife nuts in turn, because she's out all day and just wants to relax. She suggested that I go with her to pick the children up from her mother's, a trip of more than eight hours in the car each way, and I balk at the thought of all the pain the car trip will cause.

I don't know what it is that causes my back, hip and leg pain, but it is one of the contributing factors to my disability. I cannot sit in a regular chair for more than an hour without being in pretty intense pain down the back side of my left leg. Sitting in a car for any length of time can cause the pain to expand from the back of the leg to both hip joints and my lower back. Frequently, exiting the vehicle is a rather lengthy process of re-establishing feeling in my legs and relieving the pressure points in my back. Then it is a process of several minutes of determined walking to work out the pains in the hips.

I felt I needed to go with her anyway. The Mother-in-law was watching the kids, and she was going on her Alaska cruise the day after we left her house. It was a rare chance to tell her to have a good time in person, see the kids for the first time in a few weeks and get out of the house.

The first day of driving went pretty good. I drove for about 4 hours, stopping every hour to walk around. After I started hurting so bad I couldn't concentrate on the road properly, I handed the wheel over to Sandra and just tried to cope. When we got to Mom's house, I was so sick from being in pain that I could barely manage a "hi and good luck," ate a little something to buffer the pain medication (even though I wasn't hungry) and fell promptly asleep.

The trip back home the next day was torture. I woke up in pain from the stiff mattress. The car was so painful that I handed over the wheel within the first hour. I basically stood on the floorboard, forcing my lower back into the seat (which seems to shift the pain, making it more manageable) for the entire trip. I've been back for two days, and I'm just now feeling like myself again. I hadn't noticed the tiredness until this trip. I've slept 10+ hours every night since we got back, and I'm still exhausted.

What a vacation.
Do people ever accuse you of 'faking it'? I get that all the time.  
- Question from a fellow sufferer

The Wife used to give me trouble about my allergies because I missed a lot of work. We live in Austin and as the locals will all tell you If you don't have allergies, live here five years and you will. She developed allergies a few years ago and she has apologized for harassing me about missing work for allergic symptoms ever since.

My sibs on the other hand wouldn't be so direct as to tell me to my face that I am faking it, they just don't invite me to do much since I applied for disability. One of my sisters accused The Wife of faking her nightshade allergy a few years ago because we wouldn't go eat where she wanted to eat. We still haven't forgiven her for that.

You can chose your friends, but you only wish you could chose your family.

Whew, long winded. Back to my old self, I see.

I.O.U.S.A. It's the Debt, Stupid!

I haven't seen this film yet...



But nothing in the trailer surprises me. Looking forward to catching I.O.U.S.A. this Thursday. For those of you who might doubt the size of the monetary problem we face, here's a Presidential candidate weighing in on the issue...



I've been worried about this subject since before America: Freedom to Fascism aired; I started buying and selling silver because of it. This is the reason why the War on Terror can't run for a hundred years, no matter what John McCain may say; and it's the reason why none of Obama's societal changes stand a chance of working. The debt is the 900 lb. gorilla in the room. Time to talk about it.

FFrF Radio: Guests: Julia Cicci and Sarah Braasch; Archive: Religion Writer Loses Religion; Philip Paulson

Podcast Link.
August 16, 2008 - Guests: Julia Cicci, ROTC cadet and unbeliever and Sarah Braasch, FFRF legal intern

Theocracy Alert - Priests convicted, testimony of victims. Black collar crimes are listed in every issue of Freethought Today; More proof of Bush's mental illness.

9:20 - Interview - Julia Cicci - Non-religious invocation.

18:30 - Interview - Sarah Braash - Former Jehovah's Witness, talks about how religion terrorizes children.



2007 Archive episode.
August 18, 2007 - Religion Writer Loses Religion

5:30 theocracy alert - Indiana chaplaincy program ended; Christian embassy; Left Behind video game promo in 'care' packages from Operation Startup. Carl rove resignation & proof of George W. Bush's schizophrenia.

28:30 Interview - William Lobdell, He had faith in his job Discusses the website http://www.whydoesgodhateamputees.com and faith healers like Benny Hinn. (Where are the ambulance chasers? Why isn't there a lawsuit for fraud from faith healers?) Trinity broadcasting telling people to charge their contributions even if they can't pay their debts. (apparently god wants you to be a debt slave)

48:15 Freethinkers Almanac



2006 Archive episode.
August 19, 2006 - An Atheist in a Foxhole: Philip Paulson

Philip Paulson, atheist in foxhole, his 17 year fight against the Mount Soledad cross. His case has since been taken up by Steve Trunk. Terminal cancer sufferers should all look to this man as an inspiration. I want to have the energy he has, and I don't have cancer.

Dan Barker performs "None of the Above"

Birthday Musings

I promised my best friend, while we were sitting down for lunch on my recent birthday, that I would flourish some poison penmanship if I didn't at least receive a phone call from my blood relations this year. Mother has at least called in previous years, whether she understood the implications of the call or not.

I even mentioned the subject later, when my fellow former S*T*A*R members surprised me with chocolate cake and other goodies (Mark, keep that elbow immobile. Mr. Humor with the White Elephant gifts...) before the Wife and I headed out for our movie marathon.

The children were upset that they were going to miss my birthday, because grandma (The Wife's Mom) wanted to see them this summer, and the only available week was the week of my birthday. But my brothers and sisters...? Well, they were watching Da Boys in Central Park (with my Mom, as well. At least Mom confessed) and hadn't thought to trouble me with the knowledge that they were all getting together. On my birthday. To watch a concert. In New York City.

...Without me.

Sure. I don't fly these days. I get vertigo and headaches and the list goes on. Plenty of excuses to go around. But not to even tell me...?

What a burn.

But, every time I started to write this post, something important that I was missing kept bothering me; something I was missing, that I didn't show proper appreciation for at the time.

Two groups of friends took time out of their busy days to drop by and drag me out to have fun. The Wife and I had a great time watching films that we had put off seeing all summer. The Children brought me gifts, and the Daughter may never speak to my family again, she's so outraged.

I have friends that care. I know that they care because there isn't much that I can do for them in return for their kindness. They aren't kissing up to me looking for favors. I have a wife that I love and who still loves me after 20 years, and I have children who care more about my status in the family than I do.

What else could you ask for on your 45th Birthday?

(Shut up, Id. Tickets to an LLB concert in Central Park were never offered, were they? And that boxed set of SG1 is being delivered. So pipe down back there.)

What else could you ask for?

Mamma Mia

If you are prepared to watch a Rock Opera, and if you are prepared to listen to Abba music for an hour and 48 minutes, then I highly recommend this film. If either of those two conditions don't apply to you, stay away.

I found this film to be a nice trip down memory lane, reminding me of why I liked Abba all those years ago, and marveling at how the songs were worked into to the theme of the play/movie.

I'm glad that the leadership on the film chose actors that could sing, instead of requiring that they be Pavarotti's that try to act. Yes, there are some rough edges on the soundtrack; but then there are some rough visual edges on the actors as well.

All in all it made for a real feeling film that pulled you into the world it portrays, at the same time bringing back the emotion of being 17 and in love for the first time, again.

Dick; the way the 70's Should be Remembered

Hands down the silliest political satire I've ever sat through. Equally lambasting everyone from Dick Nixon to Woodward & Bernstein, this is the way I want to remember the 70's.


visit videodetective.com for more info

Humor may be in the eye of the viewer, but the only way to explain the panning this film gets is judging it in context with the time it was released. Whitewater and the Clinton impeachment.

In hindsight the film becomes even funnier. At least Tricky Dick understood when he was an embarrassment to the nation, and himself; and didn't keep trying to pretend he wasn't a disgraced President.

If only 'W' had employed teenage dogwalkers. Ah, the times they are a-changing.



Speaking of 'W'...

Caught the trailer for 'W' before watching Pineapple Express on Monday (that film would have been funnier if I had been properly motivated) I can't imagine how this film will fair considering that it's airing even before the subject leaves office; although they aren't advertising an actual air date yet. Looks like it will be funny. Is it supposed to be?

The resurgence of Meetup.com

A few days ago, Bob Barr's election campaign established a goal for their ambitious "60 seconds for Bob" promotional campaign as "Join a Bob Barr Meetup!" In response, I wrote a note to them (which went unanswered, not that I mind) explaining why I won't be attempting to spend that 60 seconds for Bob.

Today, Austin Bookcrossers informs me that they have re-opened their meetup group. In the process of writing a response, I got to wondering "didn't I blog on this issue...?"

I mean, the reason I don't (and won't ever) participate on meetup.com was a long painful decision reached over the course of several months. There's an entire section of the forum archived at meetup.com, to this day, that goes into great detail as to why the membership at meetup.com was going to bail out, and why a great many of us were never going to return.

The local libertarian group has been bugging me to join, virtually since the day I deleted my meetup.com membership and watched the two groups I had organized get flushed down the bit bin, but I never thought to elaborate on why I won't do the meetup thing.

When I first ran across meetup.com, it was related to a political event. If I remember correctly, Howard Dean used it extensively to promote his candidacy in 2003 (in fact, he should have been the Democrat nominee) The Libertarians followed suit, and I consequently joined meetup as part of a promotional effort to get more Libertarians active on the local level.

Or maybe it was a fandom event. Rings on the Range (a local Austin LOTR fan club) was active on Meetup at or about that time. In fact, their meetup page still features a picture of me at one of their meetings (in 2003!) That's what I call an active group.

Whatever it was, I became a member at Meetup.com. After awhile, I conceived of the idea of getting Austinites together again, to watch SF movies and discuss SF we liked. I had started a Yahoo! group for the Star Trek organization that I had been active in years previously, and there wasn't an active SF group anywhere in Austin at the time (these days there is Austin Pan-Geeks. You might want to check them out) so I thought "what the heck, let's see what's on Meetup.com."

There were already 20 or so people signed up as interested in SciFi in Austin when I checked on meetup. No one had stepped up to organize the group. After making sure that there were no financial liabilities (that is the important bit of information) I signed up as organizer, and actively started promoting the group. After discovering my love for Firefly, I volunteered to organize the local Firefly group, hoping to roll interest for that show into a large active group of SF fans in Austin.

That dream ended abruptly when Meetup.com's new management hit upon the idea of charging organizers a monthly fee for their groups. Fan groups run on shoestrings. There is no money available to pay for flashy organizing tools and whizbang graphics. Most of them meet in the back rooms of cheap restaurants for free, because they can't afford to rent a room to meet in.

Consequently the majority of meetup's membership objected to the change in policy. But the management at Meetup was adamant that they were going to start charging. When they did, I left, as I had promised to do. As did more than 3/4's of the membership. What was once a vibrant open community became a virtual ghost town.

...Until the next election rolled around. Elections that are awash with cash to spend on things like organizational tools.

But I'm still not interested, not even if it costs me nothing personally. I like open systems. Systems that invite average people to join and contribute. Meetup is not one of those systems. Consequently, I don't have the time of day for them, much less the inclination to bolster their ranks and justify their decision to charge for services.

McCain and Obama support Real ID

Just one more reason to vote third party.



McCain and Obama voted for Real ID. Neither of them are real Americans.

LLB "Forgiven"

I went out and picked up LLB's "Forgiven" a few days ago. I had to go to Wal-Mart because my brother (I've mentioned him before) clued me in to a surprise on the album. But it's only on the album available at Wal-Mart.

Track 14. Plain as day to me. My brother's voice on a major release album. I've heard him singing before. His band Hazytrane had their own album but you couldn't buy it at Wal-Mart. Don't believe me? Check out this video on Yahoo! Music:



Yeah, that's him singing. Every day I find additional evidence that the universe is indeed weirder than we can imagine. Congratulations, my brother.

The album? It's better than their initial release. I heard the songs on the first album before they were prettied up for the general public (connections have their perks) and I preferred the sound (in fact "Hurt" my favorite of the pre-release songs, has never been released) This album has that same playful edge that you get at a live LLB concert, that was present in the pre-release songs from the first album. Just three guys (and apparently my brother) jamming in a garage somewhere. Pick it up if you get the chance.

Tax Funded Content Providers; Disenfranchising With DRM?

ABC is Australia's Federal Government-funded public broadcaster, and has responsibilities under the ABC Act 1983 to provide services to the Australian people.The new ABC Shop has recently launched, with downloads of TV programs made available -- but only to Windows users willing to install DRM-laden software on their computers.
read more | digg story

Like the BBC, Australia TV broadcasts are publicly funded, so they are essentially keeping access away from people who have already paid for the content. I'd love to see this fought out in court.

GUILTY - A Verdict in the Charlie Lynch Case

Here's a travesty of justice:



Dear Jury Foreman (Forewoman?) It's legal to dispense Marijuana in California, because California says it is. The judges, and the federal prosecutors, are lying to you. How do you find the defendant not guilty? You disregard the instructions from the judge and determine the rightness of the application of the law in this case (as described here) and then you state, The Defendant is Not Guilty.

...it's actually quite easy, but good luck being seated on a jury if you admit to having even heard the acronym FIJA.

Paris Hilton's McCain Counter-Attack Ad

This is the funniest thing I've seen in politics in a long while.


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Has Paris ever done anything funny before?
No, seriously.

The McCain ad she was responding to is here.

Obama and McCain; a Real Horse Race?

We have come to that part of the campaign season again. The part where those responsible for "putting on the show" of American politics, tries to convince you that there is a real question of who will be the next president.
A national Associated TV/Zogby International poll1 finds Republican Sen. John McCain taking a barely distinguishable 42%-41% lead over Democrat Sen. Barack Obama in the race for the U.S. presidency. The difference between the candidates is statistically insignificant, but nonetheless indicates a notable turn-around for McCain.

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Forgive me if I don't just buy into the hype here.

I have a hard time believing polling data that says this is a real horse race. All you have to do is compare the two candidates in the average American fashion (television presence) and it's obvious that Obama is the better candidate. The only way you get to a dead heat is if you compare McCain's total lack of understanding when it comes to the cost of unending war, with Obama's total lack of understanding of economics in general. In other words, the only way there is a real race for the White House is if the American people are paying attention to the issues. A completely unprecedented turn of events.

Americans have never (NEVER) returned the same party to power when an economic downturn occurs on their watch. Never mind that the sitting president has squat to do with the value of a dollar these days, other than his military adventurism; and historically, war has not been something the electorate punishes a president for. Taxes (Read my lips) yes; war, no. Massive home foreclosures, inflation, etc, all point to the election of the opposition to the presidency; making this election virtually unloseable for the Democrats.

At least in the presidential field.

So, why the anomalous polling data? Could be the way the questions are asked. Could be the average American is suspect of a President who appears to be more popular overseas than he is here. But don't pretend that Americans care about issues. That never happens.

If Americans cared about issues, Ron Paul would be the Republican nominee. If Americans cared about issues, Bob Barr would be polling at least on the same level as Obama and McCain. They both talk about issues, and can back up the talk with facts.

No, issues don't drive American politics. Americans care about good hair and teeth, and the right soundbites. Obama has that in spades. I'm sure they'll come around to the right way of looking at things soon enough, and the polls will once again reflect the True Will of The People.

Game Distribution Systems; Steamrolled

Ran across an interesting article today Saving Progress: Impulse Buyer in which the author offers praise for Valve and their Steam game delivery system; and it's ability to effortlessly deliver games to your desktop.

I'll give the author points for identifying the reason that Valve promotes Steam, to the exclusion of all other methods of game installation. But he fails to unambiguously state what that reason is.

Profit Margin.

I'm a capitalist, I have no problem with profit. What I have a problem with is the continuing saga of limiting the usefulness of a product, even crippling same, for the explicit purposes of increasing profit margins; even when these actions limit the value of the product to the customer. DRM can come in many forms, and relying on Valve and Steam to continue to authorize a program's use every time you start it will eventually end in your paying for the same game over and over again as their profit margin demands it.

Make no mistake about it, Steam is DRM. If you do not have an active online presence when installing the game from disc (those of us who continue the arcane practice of actually going to brick and mortar stores for our software) you will not be allowed to install, at all. No where on the packaging for The Orange Box or Half Life is this fact revealed, and good luck returning already opened software for a refund. That doesn't happen, either.

Luckily (or maybe unluckily) we have high speed internet service, and so The Son was able to install his favorite programs and play them ad nauseum. Or he would be able to if Steam didn't present me with a regular series of challenges based on arcane hardware limitations and failed upgrade problems.

After a few months of being Steamrolled, I'm declaring a moritorium on Steam controlled games in this household. I've had enough of re-installing and re-configuring, and then re-re-installing and re-re-configuring Valve games to last me for the rest of my life. The children keep asking me when I'm going to play Half-Life 2 (because, like Doom 3, they watched me play Half Life from the safety of the couch, where the monsters can't get them. They want to continue the entertainment of watching dad scream in terror when the monsters start eating the back of his head) and my answer is a solid "never". Never going to play it, because the frustation of making Steam work with Half-Life and the other Valve programs leaves little room for the entertainment that you are supposed to get from gaming. Never mind that I don't want to get attached to a program that Valve could de-authorise whenever they please, for whatever reason they see fit.

I have a dream. I just want to be able to install a game, and then never have to worry about licensing again. If I were pirating...

[Copying without paying for software. Not really pirating. Pirating involves theft of value by force. Like taking your money and not giving you software that works, for example. Theft of my money is just as much piracy as continued use of a program you have not licensed properly]

...software, it would be that simple. I wouldn't have to answer to the authors of the program when it came to methods of installation, numbers of installs, or online status when installing. That is what these games developers have to compete with when it comes to rolling out new software. The software may or may not work on my system, I may not get the bug patches, but the price (free) is right for that kind of risk. And I won't have to listen to children beg me for the advertised games they don't own, conveniently available through Steam.

No, Valve has found their version of an MMO (and World Of Warcraft, Blizzard's premiere MMO, is experiencing astronomical profits) and they are milking it for all it's worth. I just don't have any need to be treated as a revenue source for game companies that really aren't doing too bad after all.

The interesting part of the article was the information on other game companies intentions to compete with Steam for customers. Well, they might have one sitting right here.
Impulse claims to be much more open, in keeping with Stardock’s continuing policy of being DRM-free and rewarding the legitimate customer. Recent furores over invasive and overly protective piracy prevention tools has divided the industry, with some favoring the maximum effort possible to stop piracy, while the rest advocating a free system which does not punish the consumer. Stardock, being at the forefront of this movement, consistently promise to never restrict their customers in the name of reducing piracy. By distributing their games online via the same methods as those who steal games, Stardock is banking on the loyalty of their customers and the attractiveness of their product to survive. So far, it is working.

read more | digg story
It sounds good. But it only runs in Windows, a platform that I've vowed to abandon, for pretty much the same reasons I don't approve of Steam. Too many hoops to jump through, too many limitations on what I can do, too much money for what I'm actually getting.

How about a cutting edge gaming system that is platform neutral, like Mozilla? No, I'm not happy about the state of gaming these days, and I don't see much hope on the horizon. Still, it's good that there are companies out there that realize treating customers like criminals is not the way to ingender loyalty amongst the endusers. Now lets see if they go the distance.

Cheesus

Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Cheese & Rice"

Attn: Yahoo! This Is True is not Spam

I just added the True A Day widget to the sidebar of the blog. If you like This Is True, and just happen to have a Yahoo address, too bad. Yahoo has blocked This Is True from your mailbox.
Yahoo! extends its idiot streak by blocking some 20,000+ subscribers of one of the oldest, and best run email newsletters on the net. Why? Because instead of hitting the unsubscribe button like any self-respecting web user would do, they hit the 'this is spam' button. This affects publishers and subscribers, so don't think it's not about you.

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Makes me glad I stopped relying on Yahoo webmail years ago. Otherwise I'd have to spend serious quality time agitating them to reverse their judgment.

FFrF Radio: Jon O'Brien & Ryan Valentine; Archive: August Brunsman & Dave Habecker

Podcast Link.
August 2, 2008 - Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics For Choice, Ryan Valentine of the Texas Freedom Network

Jon O'Brien was on in part because of the plight of Webster Cook (on Freethought Radio two weeks ago) and in part a response to William Donahue who has capitalized on events of late, gaining the spotlight by claiming victimhood for Catholics and christians in general. As President of Catholics for Choice, Jon O'Brien has a few pointed comments in response to Donahue's appearances in the media.

Ryan Valentine (calling from Austin!) of the Texas Freedom Network was interviewed concerning the SBOE's ill-advised decision last week to pass guidelines for Bible Courses in Texas (sent this to the governor, myself, with the suggestion that McLeroy should be sacked) litigation has already been filed, so additional state expenditures on this issue are guaranteed.

Texans interested in preserving the separation of church and state in Texas should Take Action at the TFN website.


"It ain't necessarily so.
The things that your liable to read in the bible,
it ain't necessarily so." -
George Gershwin, Porgy & Bess


2007 Archive episode.
August 4, 2007 - Special Guest: August Brunsman, director of the Secular Student Alliance

Theocracy Alert. Newspaper editor with more status than brains is set straight; at least on this program. She remained unapologetic in the face of several letters of protest.



August Brunsman of the Secular Student Alliance was on to discuss the advancing cause of freethought amongst the next generation, and the disturbing amount of money funneled into christian causes like Campus Crusade.

Dan Barker's work on Yip Harburg's Rhymes for the Irreverent. Snippets from this song are frequently used as bumper music in later episodes of the show.

Pagan pulpit wraps up the episode. Tithing supported in the bible? Not the way you might think.


"Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard." -West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette


2006 Archive episode.
August 5, 2006 - Agnostic Recalled from Office over Pledge Issue: Dave Habecker

Theocracy Alert. Reading from the Associated Baptist Press, a speech by Walter Sheridan, calling attention to recent disturbing trends in religion. The continuing saga of the Mt. Solidad Cross.

Dave Habecker was recalled from his trustees position in Estes Park, Colorado, for failing to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance (I'm betting my position on the pledge would send Estes Park into orbit) which does nothing less than establish a religious test for holding office.

Freethinkers Almanac features Rupert Brook and Percy Shelley.

I'm studiously ignoring the plug for Inconvenient Truth at the end of the episode, because it's not convenient to rant about the environment right now. But then, there's always Bullshit! to fall back on, when the previous rants fall short.

Petition Congress: STOP Abusing the Bill of Rights

Here's something I can agree with. Bob Barr is testifying before congress on the Bill of Rights blackout.


Petition to the U.S. House of Representatives

Committee on the Judiciary, Congressman Conyers, Chairman

Whereas, the basis for the laws of this great Republic is the Constitution, adopted September 17th, 1789; and,

Whereas, that Constitution provided for a clear but difficult procedure for amending it; and,

Whereas, the founding fathers saw a need for Amendments to guarantee certain civil rights to citizens including the right to a free press, free religious expression, the right to keep and bear arms, freedom from government seizure of their property, freedom from unlawful detention, the right to a prompt and fair trial by a jury, and protection from unreasonable bail requirements; and,

Whereas, these and other rights were considered important enough to be added as the first 10 Amendments and these have become known as The Bill of Rights; and,

Whereas, The Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791 remain untouched by Amendment for more than two centuries; and,

Whereas, the Executive branch of the Federal Government, through executive orders and other schemes has eroded many of these rights and still greater threats loom; Now therefore the undersigned citizens of the United States petition Congress to rise to its responsibilities and enforce and protect the Bill of Rights through any and all means at its disposal including but not limited to Committee Hearings and legal action through the courts.

read more | digg story
Sign the petition at BobBarr2008.com

The Time for Liberty

"We are not in this race to make a point, but a very important point will be made."



read more | digg story

I'm diggin' it.

FFrF Radio: Mike Christensen; Archive: Emily Lyons & Scopes II: Alvin Harris

Podcast Link.
July 26, 2008 - Mike Christensen, Seattle "Imagine No Religion" Billboard Booster

Gershwin's Summertime introduces the show, followed by a clip from Letting Go of God.

Theocracy Alert. Lieberman courting the religious right, Grassly bounced by them.

Mike Christensen sponsored an "Imagine No Religion" billboard in Seattle. He changed his definition of agnostic, and that's why he's now an atheist. Sounds familiar. It's interesting to hear from a member of a younger generation on a thoughtful subject; like the impact of religion on the world.


“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.” -Steven Weinberg



2007 Archive episode.
July 28, 2007 - Emily Lyons, survivor of religious antiabortion terrorism

Theocracy Alert. CNN YouTube debate snippets and related editorializing. This is how the hosts always get in trouble, and they do it again. One of the question dealt with candidate support for "public" schools, which Annie Laurie lamented were being robbed of funds by "parochial schools" in rigged voucher systems.

I've said this several times before, but it bears repeating. They aren't public schools, they are government or state schools; not much better than prisons in their current form. The alternative to government schools isn't religious schools (as Annie Laurie has implied more than once) it's competition for the best education to be had for the least amount of tax burden. The alternative to a top down Soviet-styled federal education bureaucracy (what we have now, or are moving towards) is a real education marketplace.

Far more important than establishing godless money (the question that followed the school question) is establishing a separation of school and state.

Echoing Steven Marsh's question;



Am I wrong to fear the dogma of the left/socialist as much as I fear the dogma of the right/fascist? Why can't we throw out all the dirty bathwater, and just embrace American liberty? Take all the funds from the overfunded government schools, and force them to compete in an education marketplace, let the best educators win.

While I am concerned (as the hosts are) about the religious test imposed by the public on their candidates; I'm more concerned with the imposition of outdated state structures on today's youth. (more school related rants)

Emily Lyons was injured in a clinic bombing by a Right-to-Lifer (how can one kill and support a "right to life"? It's an unsupportable conflict, and no counter-arguments will be accepted) terrorist, Eric Robert Rudolph. Truthfully, the interview is hard to listen to, for me. I have an almost uncontrollable rage response when it comes to people who are willing to kill for their peaceful religions.

Raging Grannies sing, and then loving messages from christian fans closes out the show.


"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." -Blaise Pascal


2006 Archive episode.
July 26, 2006 - Scopes II: Alvin Harris

Theocracy Alert this week features a listing of theocracies advances, counter pointed with theocracies defeats (they ought to try this more often) The verdict in the Andrea Yeats trial is discussed, along with the impact on someone else who hears voices in his head, George Bush.

Alvin Harris' interview revolved around his representation of FFrF in a case concerning Bryan college and the legacy of the scopes trial (FFrF vs. Rhea County School System) Evangelicals who wish to promote their religion in the government schools should remember the lessons of the founders, and their experience with state mandated religious education. What happens when the government adopts a flavor of christianity that you don't agree with?

Dan Barker performs I Ain't Afraid

Ron Paul on the Fed. Who was the better candidate?

Want to know why you keep loosing money on the stock market?



Did the best man win?



Yeah, I know, I just felt like posting on the subject of Ron Paul.

Suddenly Everyone Agrees With Ron Paul!

So, Joe, what was B5 going to be, originally?

...and the word is finally out.

From TrekBBS and thanks to chrisspringob for condensing the arc. I've read the outline in the Scripts book 15. couldn't afford a copy myself. This is pretty close to what is there.
***This thread includes huge spoilers for the entire 5 year arc of Babylon 5, including the details of JMS's earlier draft of the story, as of the start of production on the series.***


OK, doing this in reverse order: I've already written the rest of this post (so my fingers are getting rather tired), and am now writing this, the lead paragraph. I have in my possession Babylon 5 Script Book #15, but I'm too exhausted to explain what that is for those who don't already know, so read this thread if you want to know:

http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=50006

And here is a shameless plug for all of the B5 script books:

http://www.babylon5scripts.com/

The most talked about feature of Script Book #15 is JMS's 7 page, single spaced synopsis of “the original story arc”, with Sinclair in place during the whole story. It's a bit of a misnomer to call this the “original arc”, as there were in fact earlier iterations of the story, before it got to this point, but this is where things stood in JMS's head at the time Season 1 was going into production (but after “The Gathering” was filmed). He wrote the document as sort of a memo to himself, so he could keep the big picture straight. The arc was written out in much greater detail on over 100 3x5 notecards, and on an encrypted file he had on his computer. But this was his summary.

Somehow or other, I volunteered to write out a detailed synopsis of JMS's 7 page story outline, and post it here for your benefit. That's what this thread is. I haven't quoted any of the outline directly. Just explained it in my own words. AFAIK, my synopsizing of JMS's synopsis is not in violation of his wishes. But if anyone wants to argue for why I should edit / delete this post, I'll hear you out.

A few things about the synopsis:

I do not actually believe that this is what the show would have looked like if O'Hare had stayed on. There are too many divergences from the story we got that have nothing much to do with Sinclair/Sheridan, that I think JMS decided to change certain things around for reasons having nothing to do with the identity of the lead character, and that would have happened just as easily if O'Hare had stayed.

The story is so big, that there's a lot left out here, and I'm sure some of the “missing” story elements were in fact included in JMS's huge pile of index cards. Most of the 7 page synopsis focuses as much on the big picture as it does on the individual characters. The only characters mentioned by name are: Sinclair, Garibaldi, Delenn, Londo, G'Kar, Kosh, and Catherine Sakai. (Notice a trend? Excepting Sakai, all of these are characters who appeared in “The Gathering”, and continued as main characters in the series. It's possible that this was written when JMS knew that the actors who played Takashima, Dr. Kyle, and Lyta were going to be unavailable, and he hadn't yet figured out how the replacement characters would fit into the story.) The characters of Santiago, Clark, and Sinclair/Delenn's son are mentioned, but no names are given for them.

One of the weirdest things is that the series seems to end on a cliffhanger, and the last page and a half of the synopsis details the storyline of a potential spinoff series, Babylon Prime, which resolves most of the major plot threads. The events in the outline seem to be in quasi-chronological order, though it's sometimes hard to tell, as there's a lot of jumping back and forth between the various threads. I've split up my synopsis of JMS's synopsis into four parts: Seasons 1 & 2, Seasons 3 & 4, Season 5, and Babylon Prime.

Here we go:

----------------------------------------------------------
SEASONS 1 & 2

Much of the stuff on the first two seasons matches what we actually saw on screen, including:

-Sinclair trying to figure out the hole in his mind from the Battle of the Line
-The “Babylon Squared” story
-Santiago assassination and Clark taking over
-Delenn undergoing transformation
-The Shadows slowly making their presence felt, and Londo allying with them, and Londo using them to gain influence with the Centauri
-Kosh revealing himself to all when he saves Sinclair's life at the end of Season 2

Main divergences from what we saw on screen:

-Sinclair stays on, and remains commander of the station throughout the series
-Unclear exactly when this is revealed, but the secret behind Sinclair & the Battle of the Line is not that he becomes Valen (Valen is never mentioned in this outline), but that he is the person who has been prophesied to save the Minbari from dying off. In order to fulfill the prophesy, Delenn must transform to become human and mate with Sinclair. Their son will be some kind of chosen one who will save the Minbari race from extinction(???). Some of the Minbari (warrior caste?) interpret prophesy differently, and think that Sinclair will actually lead the Minbari to doom.
-Not 100% certain on this, but it looks like the Centauri conquest of the Narn doesn't happen until early/mid-Season 3. It's also not completely clear whether there is even a Narn/Centauri war as such. The Shadows aid Londo's ascension by secretly staging a number of incidents, but does this involve a full blown Narn/Centauri war that lasts a season? Not clear. Rather, some time by mid-Season 3, the Shadows help the Centauri conquer the Narn homeworld and decapitate their empire, but I'm not sure if that's actually the culmination of a lengthy war.

SEASONS 3 & 4

-The Centauri conquer the Narn Empire with the help of the Shadows.
-After the Narn surrender, G'Kar briefly stays on B5 and tries to rally allies against the Centauri, but it doesn't work. So he returns to the Narn homeworld to join the resistance.
-Catherine Sakai is “mind-raped”, and all memory of her relationship with Sinclair is erased, and this crushes Sinclair. [This seems like some early iteration of the Anna Sheridan / Z'ha'dum story, but there's no explicit indication of how this happens to Sakai, or who's responsible.]
-Sinclair & Delenn become romantically involved, and Delenn is pregnant by the end of Season 4.
-Garibaldi returns to drinking, and resigns as chief of security. During Season 4, he's a mercenary operating out of B5, but there's no mention of the Psi Corps sleeper / William Edgars / Lise Hampton story.
-There is no mention of an overt war between the Shadows & Vorlons. But they are fighting each other by manipulating the younger races. There is no mention of an order vs. chaos ideological conflict between the two. Just that the Vorlons manipulated the younger races throughout history, and the Shadows rebel against that, and try to set themselves up as rulers of the galaxy.

SEASON 5

-The Minbari warrior caste overthrows the Grey Council, and orders the resumption of hostilities with Earth. They also want Sinclair and Delenn dead.
-The Centauri try to move in on B5's sector of space.
-Londo & the Centauri's longtime involvement with the Shadows is publicly revealed.
-The Shadows destroy a huge Vorlon ship (hundreds of miles long) which contains a large segment of their population.
-The series ends with the Minbari attacking B5 and destroying it. Sinclair & Delenn escape with their newborn baby. Everyone in the galaxy is after them for one reason or another....including Earth, which has been given info which makes them believe Sinclair is a traitor.

BABYLON PRIME

-Sinclair, Delenn, and their allies go back in time to steal Babylon 4, pulling it into the future in order to use it as a base to build a new alliance (army of light?). B4 is renamed Babylon Prime. B Prime can move through space like a starship, and they go off on a mission to clear their names and build the alliance to bring peace to the galaxy.
-The time traveling causes Sinclair, Delenn, and their baby to age rapidly. (I'll call the baby David, even though his name is never mentioned here.) David grows all the way to adulthood within a few years.
-Londo is Emperor, but controlled by a Keeper, as in the actual show.
-Londo & the Centauri capture Sinclair & Delenn, and are supposed to turn them over to the Shadows, but Londo rebels against the Keeper & the Shadows “at terrible personal cost” (doesn't say exactly what that cost is).
-David becomes a revered religious symbol.
-Conclusion of the story: B Prime and the Army of Light defeat the Shadows (but there's nothing about the Shadows leaving the galaxy). No mention of what happens to the Vorlons. Earth defeats the Minbari, and Sinclair's name is cleared. Delenn leaves Sinclair, in order to return to the Grey Council. David becomes the leader of a new interstellar alliance. Final scene is Sinclair, retired, alone on an otherwise uninhabited world....fishing.
----------------------------------------------------------


Plot points that are noticeably absent:

There is no mention of an Earth Civil War, or B5 seceding from Earth in Season 3 (though obviously, a lot of that storyline is transplanted into Babylon Prime). While Clark is said to be controlled by the Psi Corps, and Psi Corps is said to be a nefarious group at odds with Sinclair and B5, there's no mention of the Earth Alliance being transformed into some kind of Orwellian police state. There's no mention of the Shadows working with Psi Corps or anyone in EarthGov. There's no mention of any larger teep/normal conflict, beyond Psi Corps just wanting power for itself.

There's no mention of Sinclair going to Z'ha'dum (and in fact, no mention of Z'ha'dum), and dying there. (Though, as I speculated earlier, some of this storyline may have been there as part of the Sakai mindwipe story, but there are no details given.) There's no mention of Lorien or any other First Ones beyond the Shadows and Vorlons. There's no mention of Kosh mentoring Sinclair, or Kosh sacrificing his life. There's no mention of Marcus, or Morden, or Bester, or any other characters who I haven't already mentioned.

Still, just because something wasn't mentioned in this synopsis, doesn't mean it didn't exist in some form in JMS's lengthier treatment of the series that he kept to himself.