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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In Praise of Our Volunteers

The adventure game (wargame+roleplaying game) industry is a small one, and there isn't the kind of money inside of it that other industries have. The industry consists of creative game designers willing to work 60 hours a week for half the pay they could command outside the game industry, all because they get to BE game designers.

Even at that, the only way the game industry survives is by the hard labor of unpaid volunteers who (for honor, glory, and rarely some free games) provide no end of valuable services to game publishers.

Mike West answers rules questions on FEDERATION COMMANDER. Mike Curtis does the same thing for Federation & Empire, Jonathan Thompson and Jean Sexton for Prime Directive PD20 and PD20M, Gary Plana for GURPS Prime Directive, Richard Sherman for Star Fleet Battle Force, and Mike Filsinger for STAR FLEET BATTLES.

Frank Brooks runs the Play-by-Email system as a volunteer. Paul Franz charges barely enough for the On-Line game system (for SFB and FC) to pay the server costs. Bob Pomroy does made-to-order decals for our Starline miniatures at a cost that barely covers his costs.

Federation & Empire would not exist without Chuck Strong (a real-world colonel from Space Command) in charge of the overall game system. He keeps his staff (Mike Curtis, Ryan Opel, Scott Tenhoff, Thomas Mathews, and Stew Frazier) busy moving projects forward.

Very little would get done on any of our games except for the Playtest Battle Labs run by Scott Moellmer in Colorado and by Mike Curtis and Tony Thomas in Tennessee. And all of the other playtesters are invaluable to us.

We have other staffers who do specific things (and sometimes a wide variety of things) for us including Jean Sexton (Vice President of Proofreading and Product Professionalization); John Berg and Mike Incavo (Galactic Conquest Campaign); Daniel Kast (Klingon Armada); and John Sickels, Matthew Francois, Jonathan Thompson, and Loren Knight (Prime Directive). Some vital part of the product line would grind to a halt without each one of them.

Added to this list are hundreds of others who, during any given month, by Email or BBS or Forum, contribute in some way to the company and its product line. They may report a glitch in an existing product, playtest a product in development, suggest a new product, point out something another company is doing what we may want to take a look at emulating, look up a rules reference for another player, report on somebody who using our property improperly, comment on a posted draft of a new rule, or simply ask a question nobody else ever dared to ask.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Origins Game Fair 2010

Steve Cole reports:

20 June (Sunday) 2010
We finished packing products and had everything ready to load the car.

21 June (Monday) 2010
Origins Prep: We tried to pick up the pre-reserved rental van, but Budget (which reserved and promised a Voyager six months ago and confirmed last Thursday that we would have it) tried to give us a car that was half as big (meaning we cannot use it as the stuff won't fit) and admitted that they had changed brands of car in the spring and so knew they would not be able to honor the contract, but hoped we'd take the smaller vehicle. The conversation did not go well. We tried to find another vehicle to no avail and finally took the worn-out old Voyager (which made six trips to Origins, two to Vegas, and one to Fort Hood) to the shop for a quick service (oil, filters, tire check, fluids, and so forth).

The old van is smaller than the vans we've been renting, but we got everything packed into it and left at 4:30, a half hour later than we wanted but a half hour before the nominal schedule. We had a quiet and pleasant drive to Tulsa, where we spent a comfortable night.

22 June (Tuesday) 2010
We woke up in Tulsa and had the hotel breakfast. We had BBQ for lunch at Sweetwater, and enjoyed the drive. Arriving in Richmond, we decided to head on to Columbus, arriving at the hotel at 11:15pm. We checked in, and I walked across the street to find that Origins registration had closed at 10pm, but nice people who were still there gave me the judge badges and the exhibitor pack. I went back to the hotel and went to bed.

23 June (Wednesday) 2010
We woke up, had breakfast, and checked on parking at the exhibitor dock. They let us right in. Chuck Strong and Mike Curtis had lined up help, and the whole van was unloaded in a few minutes. I did most of the booth set up, then left to meet Jean for lunch, but she didn't want to eat. So I ate a sandwich and took her to the booth. We finished set up at 4pm, just in time for the retailer hours, but none of them showed up. I went to the Singalong at 7pm, where we had fun, ate cake, and passed out the pre-orders.

24 June (Thursday) 2010
The first day of the dealer hall went very well, with about half of the total sales for the whole show. The evening was spent in pleasant conversations with customers and other companies.

25 June (Friday) 2010
The second day of the dealer hall, and a strong sales day. We had the miniatures seminar in the evening.

26 June (Saturday) 2010
The third day of the dealer hall. I ran the F&E seminar from 10pm to midnight. Petrick ran the SFB seminar from 8pm to 10pm.

27 June (Sunday) 2010
The last day of the show. The dealer hall closed at 4, and we were on the road by 5 (thanks to Jean, Dan, and Colleen). Special thanks to Dan for walking Jean to her car. We drove all the way to Saint Claire and spent the night.

28 June (Monday) 2010
We woke up, had breakfast, drove to Sweetwater for BBQ, then proceeded on the long and steady drive home, arriving at the office about 9:15. We unloaded some stuff and I got home at 10pm, watched some TV, and fell asleep.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Return to the Real World

Jean Sexton writes:

Eventually things must come to a close, even the Origins Game Fair. Steve Cole and Steven Petrick made it safely to Amarillo. I, too, am home in "ADB, Inc. East" in North Carolina. I hope that SVC will have a complete wrap-up for us soon.

See you all there next year!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

On Farewells, Breaking down the Booth, and Duct Tape

Jean Sexton reports:

The bittersweet part of the Origins Game Fair is its end. For a few glorious days, we are with friends, laughing and swapping tales of battles past and friendships gained, sharing our love of the games in the Star Fleet Universe. However, this cannot go on indefinitely and today was the day it all drew to a close.

At the SFU Seminar today, awards were distributed for the Federation Commander tournament. (Federation & Empire players did theirs last night; the Star Fleet Battles tournament has not yet concluded.) Shortly thereafter, the Steves arrived at the sales booth as did many of our friends and customers. Farewells were said, and when the time came, the Steves, Colleen and Dan Knipfer, and I packed everything to go back to Amarillo, including seven completely empty boxes with some others holding "stuff" picked up at the convention.

On the way back towards Amarillo, the Steves hit a strong storm. They were driving the old van and it (of course) decided to have broken windshield wipers after raising the Steves' hopes after a few swipes. Luckily, SVC knew exactly where the tool box was and "sorta fixed" the wipers while he stood in ankle-deep water during a driving storm.

When they pulled into a truck stop, they met fellow travelers from Origins. In the truck stop they found duct tape. For now, the wipers are working correctly!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Origins Game Fair, Day Four

Jean Sexton reports:

This next-to-the-last day of Origins is always an interesting one. Tournaments are wrapping up and seminars are held.

The Federationn Commander tournament was won by Patrick Doyle.

The Gold Hat final is between Mike Johnson in an ISC ship and Gregg Diekhaus flying a Lyran ship.

The F&E players are winding up games (or making plans to continue them next year) and their seminar was (as always) fun.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Origins Game Fair, Day Three

Jean Sexton reports:

Fridays are always interesting for ADB, Inc. Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander tournaments are progressing, the sales booth remained busy, and the Federation & Empire people are plotting to win wars and to take over the galaxy.

The Steves and some of our Star Fleet Universe players participated in the TerrorWerks LARP this year. Expect to hear more about this from one (or both) of the Steves when they return to Amarillo.

Collen Knipfer joined Steve Cole and me in the sales booth. We stayed fairly busy and are starting to run out of some things. All of the Supplemental Files are sold out. Some SFB modules are in low supply. As always, it is grand to see friends. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Origins Game Fair, Day Two

Jean Sexton reports:

It has been a busy day for ADB, Inc. at the Origins Game Fair.

Steve Cole helped run the booth and spent time talking to friends of the company, new people, and other retailers. He donated some Klingon minis to the painting section and reports they went fast!

Steven Petrick and his staff of judges ran the tournaments for Federation Commander and Star Fleet Battles. While I was there, it seemed everyone was having a good time, even though they were concentrating quite intensely.

Sales were quite brisk in the booth and I got to talk with a great many people. We have sold out of some things, so I hope that people will come by quickly, especially if they want some of our older products.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On Setting up the Booth, Meeting Retailers, and Celebrating

Jean Sexton reports:

We are on the opening day for the Origins Game Fair and there is always much to do.

Steve Cole and Steven Petrick, with the help of the guys playing F&E got the van unloaded in record time. The Steves did a lot of setting up early. Later, when SVC and I went back in, it took little to get the booth ready.

From 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm retailers got to meet with the manufacturers. Steve Cole had a good meeting with one of the retailers.

At 7, Steve and I headed off to the Singalong. That meeting is one where Steve tells the audience what is going on at ADB, Inc. There are always new products to announce and future plans to be revealed. As has become traditional, birthday presents were exchanged among the Steves and me. This year, the Steves got a birthday cake and it was shared with all.

We look forward to the tournaments heating up and seeing more of our friends throughout the week.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Steve Cole writes:

It's like getting ready for two different trade shows at the same time, one to run a sales booth and the other to run the tournament. (Both have to have a stapler, a pair of scissors, a cash box, and so forth.) There is a Prescribed Load List for both items, and special boxes have been used since 2001 and contain everything needed to run the events. The Booth Box is full of office supplies, sheets, credit card tapes, catalogs, and display materials. The Tournament Box is packed with rulebooks, energy forms, maps, SSDs, and so forth. Over the years, both boxes have expanded to two boxes. The Tournament Box Annex has the FC Ship Cards while the Booth Box annex has the parts bins, giveaway cards, plastic sign holders, and so forth.

We pride ourselves on professional preparation for the Origins Game Fair. Being military types, we have kept and updated each year's "list of things to do" and each year's "after action report" so it's a very organized and even relaxing process, almost like an airplane's pre-flight checklist. We all have a part of the list and we all just look at the list and do our part. Everything is on the list, and every item on the list has a box it goes in. The boxes and other containers are marked either as "booth" or "tournament" or "hotel" or "stay in car" or "singalong". So when we unload the car at the convention center, every box goes where it belongs and contains what it is supposed to contain.

The products for sale are pre-packed with two special boxes marked "this stuff goes on the magazine racks" to make booth setup easy. (All of the other "existing" stuff goes into reserve stock boxes.) Mike packed three mixed cartons of R12 and Federation Commander War & Peace so we can put one carton on the magazine racks, open the second for restock, and have the third in reserve (we'll need it by Saturday). The miniatures are packed in marked boxes such as "this stuff goes on the rack" and "this stuff is held in reserve" and "this is the stuff in bags that won't go on the rack." The new Captain's Log is in its own box, with a carefully calculated inventory of older issues in a second box.

This year, Origins is having a "retailers" time from 4-7 on Wednesday. We have no idea what that's going to amount to. The smart retailers will show up to see the new products and find new and profitable product lines, but we could spend the three hours talking to two retailers or fifty-two. We'll know more later. The Singalong is at 7pm so we're going to have to shuffle dinner shifts. SVC has his notes for the Singalong well started, so he doesn't have to make it up as he goes along.

Monday, June 21, 2010

This Week at ADB, Inc., 13-20 June 2010

Steve Cole reports:

The weather has been hot most of the week, The skies were mostly clear with some rain Thursday evening. The Spam Storm continues to abate, with numbers dropping from 559 on Monday down to 201 on Saturday. Compared to the average of 4000 per day during this spring, we'll take the improvement.

Most of the week focused on finishing Federation Commander: War & Peace and SFB's Module R12. We got the counters on Wednesday and the covers and Ship Cards on Thursday. SPP finished the R12 SSD book on Thursday and it started printing, and we finished and started printing both rulebooks on Friday.

We sent out the Star Fleet Alert for R12 and W&P on Tuesday. We finally got the CL#41 large print edition done on Wednesday, and Leanna got those orders out. Joel got the art done for the boosters (so it can go to press next week), which will also go to wholesalers on 28 June.

Official "final Origins preparations" began on Thursday when Mike set up a table by the front door and piled on it all of the stuff that had been pre-prepped over the last few months. SPP and SVC spent most of Friday and Saturday doing more Origins preparation stuff while Mike, Joel, and Leanna printed and assembled the new products. SVC finished his booth box on Saturday morning, and SPP finished his Saturday night. This was mostly a function of a coin toss, as both took up the entire conference table unloading last year's box, inventorying and updating it, adding what's missing, and repacking it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Stephen V. Cole writes:

Our website is vast and full of fun, useful, and interesting documents, charts, play aids, illustrations, and other things. Most of the best stuff is found at: http://starfleetgames.com/playerresources.shtml which has lists of resources and links to other lists of resources. Take a look down the list and see if there are documents you always wanted and could never find or documents which you never knew you were looking for.

Saturday, June 19, 2010



Playing FEDERATION COMMANDER by Email is an alternative to playing Face-to-Face. While there are a few differences (i.e., your opponent isn't sitting across the table from you), it is the same game.

The basic gist of the FEDERATION COMMANDER Play-by-Email (PBEM) system is that you and your opponent submit your orders for the turn to a moderator via Email. The moderator then processes them, and sends a "Sitrep" (Situation Report) to the players via Email. You receive the results, write up your next set of orders, and then submit your orders once again. The process is repeated until the game is completed. Sounds simple? That's because it IS! It'll take a little getting used to (after all, what doesn't?), but once you've got the hang of it, you'll be lobbing photon torpedoes (or whatever your weapon of choice is) at opponents from all over the world.

Every FEDERATION COMMANDER PBEM game has at least three participants: two or more players and one moderator. The moderator's purpose is to accept orders from the players and carry them out, reporting the results of those orders to all players. While (s)he is not a player, the moderator fulfills a very important role in the game. Good moderators and good players make for a good, enjoyable game of FEDERATION COMMANDER. Moderating a FEDERATION COMMANDER PBEM game is also an excellent way to learn more about the FEDERATION COMMANDER rules.

While there are some disadvantages to PBEM (it does take longer to finish a game), there are advantages as well. You can play against people in other parts of the world (how often do you get to Australia, anyway?), you can play multiple games at once, and you can have large multi-player games (without worrying about running out of chips and soda).

For more information about playing FEDERATION COMMANDER PBEM, please visit the Play-by-Email section of ADB, Inc.'s website at http://www.StarFleetGames.com/pbemgames and we will be happy to help you.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Last Day of Remus

There was a ... starship ... heading to the ground
And our fighters ... were nowhere to be found.
And a man on a base tried to fight one more round,
Sayin' "everybody here gonna die,
Oh Yeah."
Sayin' "everybody here gonna die."

There were some starships ... out in near orbit,
But the warnings they issued they could not transmit,
And from three thousand miles it was sure gonna hit,
And a man kept fighting his war.

Dancing around in the earthquake he said,
"That a man if he's livin' would envy the dead."
And he opened his eyes to the oncoming dread,
And he said, "Now it won't be too long."

There was a ... starship ... heading to the ground
And our fighters ... were nowhere to be found.
And a man on a base tried to fight one more round,
Sayin' "everybody here gonna die,
Oh Yeah."
Sayin' "everybody here gonna die."

The gunboats they gathered from stars all around,
For the last day of Remus they all would be found
And the starship came down with a deafening sound,
And the sirens started to wail.

The reactor blew and the warriors all died,
When somebody screamed that the Praetor had lied.
But the damage was done and the city was fried,
And the planet was lost in the end.

There was a ... starship ... heading to the ground
And our fighters ... were nowhere to be found.
And a man on a base tried to fight one more round,
Sayin' "everybody here gonna die,
Oh Yeah."
Sayin' "everybody here gonna die."

Parody copyright (c) 2010 Stephen V. Cole

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How to Find Opponents

Steve Cole writes:

Many gamers are looking for new opponents. This is nothing new. When I was a teenager, there were maybe four wargamers in Amarillo that I knew, but there must have been more as the one store that carried Avalon Hill games (then the only wargames) would sell one or two now and then that my friends and I knew we didn't buy. Funny, it never once occurred to us to ask the store manager to give our phone numbers to the other guys. When I was in college, SPI (then the second wargame company and rapidly becoming larger and more innovative than Avalon Hill) had an opponent wanted list. I sent in my dollar to get it, and found only one person (of the 20 on the list) who was within 120 miles; the first and last person on the list were each 450 miles away (in opposite directions).

These days, the concept of contacting other gamers has had decades to mature, and works much better, and you have a lot of ways to do it. For best results, do all of them.

You can go to the Commander's Circle and enter your data (as much or as little as you are comfortable with) and perhaps find opponents near you. We are gaining new sign-in's every day, and since it's free you can try it every month or two and find out of somebody near you has signed in.

You can go to the Forum and find the area where local stores and groups post announcements and invitations and let people know you're around. How silly would you feel if you found out that the guy who you've been arguing with on the forum for years actually lives in your town. (That HAS happened.)

Feel free to go to your local store and ask them to let you post a notice looking for opponents. You could also run a demo of FEDERATION COMMANDER (or any of our games) and "grow your own" opponents. If anybody already plays the game you demo, they'll doubtless drop by just to swap phone numbers.

Many towns have community bulletin boards on the local cable company's "home" channel. These are variously free or cost just a couple of dollars. It's hit-and-miss, but you could get lucky. (When I commanded Company C of the 1-39 MPs, I gained a dozen new recruits in a year that came from cable TV.) You could also buy a cheap want ad in the newspaper or the free advertising newspaper (American's Want Ads or whatever yours is called) found in quickie marts.

The quickest result, probably, is Starlist. Go to our Legacy site and look for the button that says Player Resources. Under that menu is a link for Starlist. Enter your data in the form, and you'll get a list of local players back. (This may take a day or two as it is done by hand.) Starlist is the most effective hunt for new players because the database has some five thousand players in it, far more than all of the other sources combined. The only drawback is that Starlist works with full information (name and address) and those who are seriously concerned about identity theft often find this uncomfortable. In all reality, however, Starlist would not give an identity thief any more information than your local phone book would, and if that's enough for those criminals to operate, they would be vastly more likely to use the phone book than to request a copy of Starlist.

The original website has a bulletin board system and the eighth item on the main menu is "seeking opponents". You can post a notice there (and search the previous postings). Again, you can post as much or as little information as you are comfortable with.

Many of those on Starlist and StarFleetGames.com/discus will be players of STAR FLEET BATTLES, but most of those can be convinced to play FEDERATION COMMANDER. Indeed, over half of the names on Starlist are people who quit playing STAR FLEET BATTLES for lack of opponents (or because SFB was too complex for them or their opponents) and most of those are ready recruits for the faster cleaner FEDERATION COMMANDER game system.

With more effort, you can post opponent wanted notices in a whole lot of boardgame sites (see the links list on our site).

If there is a game convention within driving distance, it's worth a trip to see if you might find someone who is also within driving distance. If there is a game club in your home town, or a store with a gaming area, go there and set up the game and wait for somebody to ask what it is. (Even better, take a friend who will play the game with you so you won't be bored.) If there is a star trek club in your home town, show them FEDERATION COMMANDER or Star Fleet Battle Force. There are people who have printed a card with the logo of one of our games and their Email address and left these in the windows of their cards who got Emails from other gamers in their home towns who were seeking opponents.

You can go always go to SFB Online and play FEDERATION COMMANDER on-line with live opponents from around the world for the princely sum of $5 per month. You might even stumble into somebody local.

There are probably more ways than this to find opponents, but unless you live in a cave somewhere, you can almost certainly find a new friend within a short while by trying these methods.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Steve Cole writes:

We try to answer every email on the day we get it, but that isn't always possible.

Some emails require only short answers and, since we already know those answers, these emails are answered "in real time", more or less when they arrive. (Our email system is set to scan the server for new mail every twenty minutes, so your email may reach us from 1-20 minutes after you send it. Of course, we're sometimes out of the office for some reason, so even if we received it, nobody may have read it until hours later.) If it's a really busy day, mail that would normally get a quick answer gets sent to a file for later instead of answered "today". Worse, it may get left in the in box for tomorrow, and may get lost if tomorrow is a bad day.

Some emails require longer answers or require us to look something up. These may get done the same day (if it's not a busy day) or may get sent to one of the folders for longer email answers (marketing on Monday, customer requests on Wednesday, submissions on Thursday, deals on Friday). Submissions may get looked at on the next Thursday, or we might mumble to ourselves: "Oh, a new {story, ship, scenario}. Leave that in the folder until the next time we're looking for one of those."

A lot of simple and easy things go into the "Customer Request Folder" without getting a reply that day which says "We put it in the Customer Request folder" because that just seems silly. We figure that people will get the note that their request was done within a week anyway. Customer requests that are clearly going to take a lot of time and won't get done next week do get a receipt saying that.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Free stuff for FEDERATION COMMANDER players!

Steve Cole writes:

Some people do not realize that you can download what amounts to a free copy of the FEDERATION COMMANDER game (well, enough of the game to play a few battles). Go to www.StarFleetGames.com/fc and you will find a lot of stuff you can download. Some of those downloads include:

o The free First Missions packet (demo version of FEDERATION COMMANDER).

o Turn gauges and firing arcs for the tabletop rules.

o Sample Ship Cards.

o Wallpapers of game covers.

o Frequently asked questions.

o Information for retailers.

o The original theatrical trailer (ok, not that, but it WAS the original flyer handed out at trade shows).

o Notes from the game designer (Steve Cole) on what parts of the older game STAR FLEET BATTLES we decided to include in FEDERATION COMMANDER.

But that's just a start. If you join the Commander's Circle, which is free, you can download the monthly Communique which includes scenarios, tactics, and new ships. You can also access a database of FEDERATION COMMANDER players looking for new opponents (you!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

This Week at ADB, Inc., 6-12 June 2010

Steve Cole reports:

The weather was hot all week, over 80F most days. A few clouds on Wednesday morning gave us a little break. The Spam Storm has relented to some extent, averaging 700 per day instead of the 4,000 per day of this spring.

Being so close to the Origins Game Fair, the workload is intense and a lot of routine daily stuff is getting shoved aside, and a few trouble makers on the BBS and Forum are given short shrift.

I got the FC: War & Peace cards to the printer on Wednesday and the covers for W&P and SFB R12 to press on Thursday. Bruce got the molds for the new ships done by Friday and is spinning them up. The counters shipped on Thursday, so we have all of the parts for many new products for Origins release done except for the rulebooks, which are still being worked on. Steven Petrick has it harder, with more pages to do. By Saturday, Steven Petrick had over 150 of his 162 pages done while Steve Cole had only half of his 24 pages done.

Leanna and Mike have been very busy getting the Captain's Log #41 shipments to the wholesalers and the mail order shipments ready for next week. Joel worked with Steve Cole on the covers and did a bunch of the website updates that CL#41 causes. Joel also got Hailing Frequencies out on Thursday, and Steve Cole got Communique finished on Thursday as well. We did work up and post the starting outline of the fall schedule (Y3 in September, SFMA in October, CL#42 in November). Steve Cole spent hours on Friday sorting through miscut F&E counters to make grab bags, which are always a popular seller at Origins.

We're all hanging in there, trying to keep the routine stuff down to a low roar. As this was prepared on Sunday afternoon, it was 8 days and an hour to departure time, and there was a lot remaining to do, but the organization and procedures developed over the past decade should make it doable.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Steve Cole writes:

A six-episode two-night mini-series event.

EPISODE ONE: Detective Beckett and writer Rick Castle are summoned to the scene of a murder. There, precinct cop Sipowicz explains that the victim has been identified as Dana Walsh, an employee of a government counter-terrorist unit. CSI New York investigates the crime scene, and finds that the bullet came from a pistol issued to a Federal agent, Jack Bauer. Beckett tries to contact him, but gets stonewalled by CTU.

EPISODE TWO: Beckett contacts her old friends, disgraced detectives Mike Logan and Robert Goren, who try to find Bauer (working off the books) but are also blocked by the Feds. They do, however, find out about the murder of Rene Walker, and the unusual trail of dead bodies left behind wherever Jack Bauer goes.

EPISODE THREE: The case leads Beckett and Castle to Los Angeles, where Bauer used to live and work, and is rumored to be now. While there, clues lead them to a crime scene on the docks, where Bauer was reportedly involved in a shootout. LAPD detective John Ford and his sidekick Miles are standing over another dead body. The detectives try to stay on friendly terms (this is an LAPD case but may produce information that solves the New York case) but things get complicated when NCIS detectives show up (the deceased is a Marine officer who had once worked for the counter-terrorist unit) and start arguing with California Bureau of Investigation Agent Lisbon and Consultant Patrick Jane. Patrick Jane and Rick Castle engage in a running battle of wits and unusual observations. Beckett asks Lisbon how long she's been sleeping with Jane. About the only actual information produced is that the Marine was not killed by Jack Bauer's gun, but that shell casings from Jack Bauer's gun (and the Marine's gun) are all over the place.

EPISODE FOUR: The plot thickens when Rick Castle finds a clue which indicates that the Marine office was involved in a smuggling operation based in Miami. It is unclear if the Marine was acting illegally, or was undercover as part of an NCIS sting. Arriving in Miami, Detective Beckett crosses horns with CSI chief Horatio Caine when she asks Callie how long she's been sleeping with Horatio. Because the CSI team has all of the evidence locked up, Rick Castle reaches out to an old friend, Michael Weston, who is able to track down a witness who is hiding out in fear for his life.

EPISODE FIVE: Information from the witness sends Beckett and Castle to Washington DC and a rogue FBI agent who had been investigating the counter-terrorist unit and the links to the Marine smuggling case. The agent is not at home; his body has just been discovered in the storm drain under a Chinese restaurant. The badly decomposed skeleton has been taken to the Jeffersonian where it is being studied by Doctor Temperance Brennan and FBI Agent Seeley Booth. As Beckett argues for access to the evidence (and gets thrown out of the lab when she asks Temperance how long she's been sleeping with Booth), NCIS agents arrive with their own Federal warrant. They agree to conduct a joint investigation, bringing their own expert, Abby Sciuto, into the Jeffersonian, where she and Doctor Hodgins flirt. This flirting annoys the heck out of artist Angela, who sneaks the evidence out the back door to the fuming Detective Beckett.

EPISODE SIX: Beckett returns to New York with Rick Castle and confronts CTU Director Chloe O'Brien, demanding that she turn over Jack Bauer, and accusing her of sleeping with Bauer. Chloe seems to concede, and says she will arrange for Beckett, but not civilian writer Rick Castle, to meet Jack Bauer. Castle throws a fit at being left out, but Beckett agrees, and is taken away in a black helicopter to an Air Force base where Jack Bauer is supposedly being held. But it's not Bauer who is waiting for her there, but President Allison Taylor, who says "Thank you for all of your hard work, but this is now a Federal matter, and I have to ask you to stand down and stay out of it." Beckett is fuming mad. She wants Bauer in her precinct jail, and she wants him bad. She tells Castle that "people in high places" are trying to protect Bauer. While the case is never solved, Castle writes a book (which becomes a movie) in which Detective Nikki Heat brings down the president after sleeping with Jack Bauer.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Stephen V. Cole writes:

Have you ever heard of Cafe Press? Cafe Press is a website where you can open up a free online shop and promote products on your website. Cafe Press creates and sells products with designs provided by various companies. So upon learning about Cafe Press, Leanna set up an account and we have uploaded several designs for T-shirts, coffee mugs, Christmas ornaments, mousepads, etc.

See www.CafePress.com/starfleetuniv for these items. And take a look at our new I-heart-Klingons T-shirt!

If you have any questions or comments or would like to see something on Cafe Press, let me know and I will try to set it up for you! Email me at: Design@starfleetgames.com

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mister Romulan Spy

A long, long time ago... I can still remember
How a battle used to make me smile.
And I wish I had a chance, so I could make those plasmas dance,
And, maybe, be a warrior, for a while.

But Gorn destroyers made me shiver
With every plasma they'd deliver.
Bad news on the border; I couldn't hear the order.
I can't remember if I lied, when I got back to our own side.
Something scared me deep inside, the day my career died.

So bye-bye, Mister Romulan Spy.
Drove your shuttle to the portal, but the fuel tank was dry.
And Great House boys were drinkin' brandy and ale,
Sayin', "This'll be the time that you fail.
This'll be the time that you fail."

Do you know the facts of war, and do you roll in fields of gore,
If the praetor tells you so?
Do you believe in destiny, to force the others to their knees
And can you teach me how to kill real slow?

Well, you know that I just want to serve,
and get the glory I deserve,
I signed my life away, to do exactly what they'd say.

I was a lonely secret foreign spy
with a chance at last to do or die
but I knew I was out of luck
the day the circuits fried.

They started singin', Bye-bye, Mister Romulan Spy.
Drove your shuttle to the portal, but the fuel tank was dry.
And Great House boys were drinkin' brandy and ale,
Sayin', "This'll be the time that you fail.
This'll be the time that you fail."

Now for ten years we've been in a war
And blood flows thick from an open sore
But that's not how it used to be.
When the Admiral spoke to the praetor,
With a plan that won't work any more,
And a wish that came from you and me.

Oh and while the ship was coming down,
The praetor fled his bridge and frowned,
No orders were sent out. The fleet was in a rout!
And while the Emperor gave out the law
The warriors saw the fatal flaw,
And we knew we'd all take a draw
The day that Remus died.

They started singin',
Bye-bye, Mister Romulan Spy.
Drove your shuttle to the portal, But the fuel tank was dry.
And Great House boys were drinkin' brandy and ale,
Sayin', "This'll be the time that you fail.
This'll be the time that you fail."

Oh, and there we were all in one place,
A group of starships lost in space
With no time left to find our way.
It landed hard upon the ground,
One last safe place could not be found,
With the Praetor in his bunker in a cave.

Now the stench of death was sweet perfume
as tribunes played a battle tune
We all got up to fight,
but saw a flash of light!

Cause the gunboats tried to take the sky,
and give a fight to win or die.
Do you recall that we all cried,
The day that Remus died.

They started singin' ... bye-bye, Mister Romulan Spy.
Drove your shuttle to the portal, but the fuel tank was dry.
And Great House boys were drinkin' brandy and ale,
Sayin', "This'll be the time that you fail.
This'll be the time that you fail."

They kept on singin' ... bye-bye, Mister Romulan Spy.
Drove your shuttle to the portal, but the fuel tank was dry.
And Great House boys were drinkin' brandy and ale,
Sayin', "This'll be the time that you fail.
This'll be the time that you fail."

Parody copyright (c) 2010 Stephen V. Cole

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Steve Cole reports:

We have released this month's issue of the Hailing Frequencies newsletter and this month's Communique. The newsletter has the latest information on release schedules and company news, as well as lots of other useful content. It also has links to the new Communique, a free PDF newsletter which is full of good things for Federation Commander players, including new ships, a new scenario, and updated schedules and rules. The newsletter also has links to the most recent Star Fleet Alerts, the press releases that tell your store when to expect new products.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Stephen V. Cole writes:

Many do not know that we have a page where you can download FEDERATION COMMANDER wallpaper.

Klingon Border, Romulan Border, Klingon Attack, and Romulan Attack are currently available in the following sizes : 800x600, 1024x768, and 1280x1024.


If there are any other sizes or any other images that you would like to see turned into wallpaper, please feel free to write me at graphics@StarFleetGames.com and I will get it set up for you.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Steve Cole muses:

Just thinking to himself.

1. I watched the shocking final episode of Grey's Anatomy and all I could think was "Thank God that this cannot happen in Texas." We have enough concealed guns down here that anyone trying this nonsense is going down from multiple gunshot wounds way before the death toll gets this high. Dig into school shootings and you'll see that the high death counts happen only in gun-free zones; in schools with legal weapon permits the shooters go down pretty fast. Case after case proves that. I am also astounded at the shooting accuracy of someone who bought a gun five days ago. He must have spent every minute of those five days practicing, or already been well experienced.

2. I keep getting emails that say "Free Viagra" but I cannot find this nation on any map and cannot find out what foreign invader is occupying it. I guess it's in some remote part of China, or maybe Viagra is another name for Tibet?

3. They canceled Flash Forward but kept V? Really? Something is very wrong here. It is worse than the cheetah going extinct while the Pekingese survives.

4. They canceled Law & Order, and I can see why. The two cops are the least interesting characters and actors of the entire franchise (as is the prosecutor-guy). The cancer story for the police lieutenant is a buzz killer, and while I like the female prosecutor, she's the least interesting female prosecutor in the history of the franchise. Like I said, I can see why they canceled the show. At least they kept SVU.

5. Memo to the producers and writers of Lost: I feel cheated. I feel like you turned six years of maddening frustration into six years of wasted time. I wanted the science and the history. I wanted to know what the heck was going on and how it really worked. I deserved nothing less, and your failure to provide it means I will never watch anything you produce again. If you want to regain my trust and support, do a two-hour special with that Dharma scientist explaining everything. What the island is, how it works, what it does, how the "magic" works and why it works, what is being protected and why, what superpowers the protector has and why, what Ben Linus knew, who built the wheel that moved the island, and the history all the way back to the first humans to land there.

6. Note the hypocrisy and double-standard in the Elena Kagan nomination. Republicans oppose her positions but will vote for her because she's qualified. On the other hand, Democrats blocked conservatives with better qualifications (Bork, Estrada) on purely ideological grounds. Republican integrity amounts to unilateral disarmament.

7. The oil spill is not Obama's fault. It's the fault of BP (with a pretty dismal record of safety violations) and environmental extremists who drove the oil industry to that depth by closing off any areas that were shallower. That, and the environmental extremists at the EPA who could not get around to approving Louisiana's plan to deploy booms to protect the swamps for over two weeks, until it was too late. Obama has shown an incredible lack of leadership, but remember, he's never led or managed anything. He's just a professional agitator. He's pretty good at stirring the pod; not very good at anything actually constructive.

8. Any realistic study of history (and of what's going on in the world right now) shows that the pattern is Muslim attacks on Christians, not the other way around. The crusades were not Christian aggression against Muslims, but a response to Muslim aggression against Christians. Remember that North Africa was Christian from 300 A.D. until the Muslims invaded and forced the locals to convert to Islam at the point of a sword.

9. Note to Hamas: Brilliant work, mission accomplished. You managed to make Israel look bad while they were preventing you from disrupting a legal blockade that stopped weapons, not supplies, from reaching Gaza. (Supplies reach Gaza every day by truck without incident, but those trucks are inspected so no weapons get in. Hamas wants weapons so they can kill Jews.) Anyone who calls for the blockade to be lifted is calling for free importation of weapons by Hamas, one of the world's worst terrorist groups.

10. Some real reality television has arrived for the summer. Ice Road Truckers is great! It's good to see Lisa again; she's the prettiest girl on TV and her little pony (small horse) is so cute! Deadliest Catch is back on, which is sad, since I already know that Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie died in mid-season. I'm excited by Whale Wars (although when they stop the Japanese from whaling and try to stop me from eating cows, we're going to have a problem). The new multi-ship attack is great, but I already know that the speedboat gets cut in half and that somebody ends up in a Japanese prison. I keep wondering why they don't use some techniques. They could broadcast whale warning songs over sonar, or drop bombs in the water to scare the whales away. (It's a pity that they cannot just torpedo the factory ship; I need to send a note to Obama about that.)

Monday, June 07, 2010

This Week at ADB, Inc., 30 May-5 June 2010

Steve Cole reports:

The weather was decent all week, warm and sometimes very hot, no rain.

We finished Captain's Log #41 and started printing it. The new bookbinder (Gibbs II) arrived, and with one glitch we can work around, is hard at work. (We have to push four buttons instead of one because a sensor is wonky.)

We got word from the printer that the die-cut counters will be here in plenty of time for the Origins Game Fair. There was another round of spambot attacks on the BBS. The Spam Storm in the Email box has abated somewhat, with about 300-850 per day, which is better than 4.000. We sent Jean the monthly bucket load of stuff for our page on Facebook.

After finishing CL#41, most of SVC's week went into finishing the Ship Cards for War & Peace, but he also did the back covers for the four boxes of miniatures we are releasing. Steven Petrick has finished all of the SSDs for SFB Module R12 Unusual Ships and is working his way through the ship descriptions. (He could use scenarios if anybody wants to send him one.)

Leanna continues setting up our Apple Store but the process is very tedious and time-consuming and she has many other duties. She is making progress on getting old Captain's Logs reprinted and stuff ready to send to e23.

Mike has been packing orders, assembling restock products, checking in miniatures, and getting ready for the Steves to go to Origins. Joel did some stuff for CL#41 but mostly has been working for Mike in the warehouse. Jean has been proofreading CL#41, FC Ship Cards, and parts of R12.

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Steve Cole writes:

I constantly see things on industry mailing lists and in my Email where people want advice on entering the game business. The best advice I have is my free book which you can find at www.StarFleetGames.com/book as a nice multi-chapter PDF.

In one recent case, an individual wrote to say: "I just lost my job and have decided to be a game designer for a living. I need a stable income of $4,000 a month. How long would it take me to get there? Three months? Six?"

I laughed and cried at the same time. For one thing, I don't make $4,000 a month now and I've been in the industry 28 years. (A few years I have made that much, barely, but not in the current market.) The sad fact is that except for the lucky three or four, game designers won't ever make that much. Worse, you probably cannot make a living as an independent game designer at all, since game publishing companies were (99% of the time) created to publish the owner's games because no other company would publish them.

In another case from some time ago (I'm going to blur some facts here so that nobody can tell who I'm talking about), a young game enthusiast decided to quit his day job and focus his full time efforts on game design and publishing. His wife said that she would allow this only if he "brought home" a paycheck of a defined amount each month. He had some money from an inheritance which was separate property and his wife allowed that he could use this. Well, he went through the nest egg, borrowed money from savings without telling his wife, maxed out the credit card he got for the business, and then got two more cards (those offers in the mail) without telling his wife and maxed them out. All the time (his company lasted 18 months and did a dozen products) he was "bringing home" the required paycheck. His company was making a profit beyond expenses, but not enough to cover the paycheck, but the paycheck continued because (a) his wife insisted and (b) he was sure he would start making more sales any time. One of the credit cards was a $5,000 cash advance spent on advertising (which produced few if any new sales). Every month, he wrote that paycheck but came up short elsewhere. He had established credit with the printers and with the companies that sold him advertising pages so he ended up deeply in debt to the printer and to advertising publishers. Worse, his first product (which sold well enough) ran out of print, but it was going to cost $20K to reprint it and the dwindling rate of sales (nowhere near as good as it had been 18 months earlier) would not support the debt load, but he "had" to reprint it to avoid looking like a company on the way out. Finally, with no more places to borrow money and creditors threatening legal action, he took the case to his wife for a home equity loan. She, of course, had no clue that his company was $40K in debt (for which he was personally liable) or that most of the family savings account was gone. It's a wonder she didn't kill him or leave him, but she did force him out of the game business immediately. He sold out for what he could get and applied that money to the debts. Moral of the story, if you are married, make your wife a part of every business decision and do not keep secrets from her about family money.

In another case (actually, there are four or five of these I have seen, all about the same), an enthusiastic game designer who knew nothing about the industry but was sure his game was the next big thing got a home equity loan, printed thousands of copies of his game, and THEN (and only then) asked other game companies how to contact stores and wholesalers to sell his game. He had no clue what size the market was (few games sell over a couple of thousand copies) or who the wholesalers were or what it would take to get them to buy (some now demand that you pay them $500 for advertising before they will carry your game) or even what the discount structure was (which meant that his cost per game was fairly close to the 40% of the retail price he had printed on the games). Moral of the story, learn as much as you can about the industry before you spend a dime getting into it. GO READ MY BOOK FIRST.

I see lots of gamers who think that running a retail store, and on-line discount store, or a game publishing company involves low work and high reward. It does not. If it did, a lot more people would be in this business.

Saturday, June 05, 2010


Steve Cole reports:

It's been a pretty intense time for the last six weeks and the next two will be worse. The Origins Game Fair is the one thing on the schedule that won't move, so we have to have the products done or else.

The process began with getting the countersheets to MPS, our die cutter, which happened on May 18th. That was crazy, since we had to do the counters for four products (SFB R12, SFB Y3, FC War & Peace, Star Fleet Marines: Assault!). We had to fight like crazy to get the ship lists for Y3 and R12 done, since the ship codes must be on the counters. While the rules for SFM:A have been around for fifteen years, I was still tweeking them as the counters were sealed. War & Peace got crazy because I was coordinating two halves of the sheet (made in two different programs on two different computers by two different people) while the ship list was stabilized only at the last second.

Then we had to get Captain's Log #41 finished, which was a whirlwind of articles that had to be finished, edited, and formatted. Some were too long, some too short. We didn't know the precise mix of pages until the very end, when something turned up a page short and saved us from dropping a page we didn't want to have to drop. The page count cannot be increased because the price is based on it.

Now, Steven Petrick is doing the last parts of R12 (mostly editing stuff done long ago) while I finish up the War & Peace Ship Cards (which have to get to the staff today and be checked so they can go to press tomorrow). The covers for R12 and W&P also have to be finished soon and sent to press on Wednesday. Then, all I have to do is take all of those playtest drafts of W&P rules and all of those playtest reports and turn that into a book. THEN I have to round up the last of what has to be done to get ready for Origins.

Oh, and I forgot that we haven't done the Communique yet, or the press release for R12 and War & Peace.

Friday, June 04, 2010


So it weren't the end - I saw you again ... today
Had to turn my ship away.
You died with your Sun - curses for eve... ryone
with tails - death never fails!
You lying inside asteroids, think you gonna ambush me
You'd have me down down down on my knees.
Wouldn't you, Para-vian?

Back in the time when we were all fight... ing for free
Met up with Skolean and me.
No right no wrong. You fired a torp - a bolt from the warp.
If the quantums don't do the trick,
You better load up something quick,
You gonna shoot it out really thick, aren't you, Para-vian?

"Kill me kill you" the Skolean said
Fly out ... fast to save my head.
You... I think you got the torps too.
All that year and all the next, Ran without looking back,
Made for the Omega rules - silly fools!

Parody copyright (c) 2010 Stephen V. Cole

Thursday, June 03, 2010


Many people do not know that you can play FEDERATION COMMANDER on-line in real time against live opponents.

Eight years ago, www.SFBonline.com was created to provide players of STAR FLEET BATTLES with an on-line gaming experience. It was a smash hit as hundreds of gamers joined the battles. Tournaments and other competitions, plus general opening gaming, have gone on around the clock since then.

This successful operation has now been expanded to include FEDERATION COMMANDER!

Now you can play with real live human (not to mention Klingon, Romulan, Kzinti, Gorn, Tholian, Orion, and other) opponents all over the world in real time 24 hours a day! The computer automates many functions and acts as a friendly assistant for mundane chores.

For the modest subscription fee of less than $6 a month, you have access to all of the ships in the FEDERATION COMMANDER game system as well as new ships still in playtest and development. The Java Runtime system is compatible with Windows and Macintosh systems.

Never worry about a lack of opponents. Never worry about opponents who don't show up for games day because of silly reasons like family reunions or their own weddings. Don't be cut off from your regular gaming group while on vacations or business trips.

Even better, you can join in on-line tournaments and campaigns, and your victories will add up to a higher and higher average score!

The system also allows you to chat with friends, taunt your enemies, and watch other players fight their own savage battles. (Why learn from your own mistakes when you can learn from someone else's?) This "observer" system allows players of either game to learn the ins and outs of the other game before deciding to invest time and money in it.

So come to www.SFBonline.com right away. You can even fly the Federation CA or Klingon D7 as a free trial, or watch any game in play. Legendary SFB aces and new FEDERATION COMMANDER aces strut their stuff in combat arenas all the time, and you can learn from the best.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Ship Checkers and Memories

This is Steven Petrick posting.

One of the problems with doing new things is keeping track of the old things. That extends not just to new ships, but to game background.

One of the new ships appearing in Module R12 is another early Federation carrier. It is the long requested Federation carrier on the destroyer hull. Since game background has pretty much established the production of the venerable "lollipop" (saucer with a single cruiser engine) came to stop early in the General War (due to problems with providing enough of those engines for dreadnoughts and cruisers, including Galactic Survey Cruisers, and replacements for engines dropped or wrecked on the existing ships). This forced the design of the Fed DDV to be an early war one.

Even though it was an early General War design, the people asked to check the SSD immediately began demanding that the design be fitted with late General War improvements (like the shuttle bay being a "tunnel deck", or having a "wide hatch" even though none of the other more modern saucer carriers that existed at the same time, or entered service shortly after this design, had such features).

Another thing that keeps coming up is people who want to convert the Federation into Kzintis with photons, or at least Klingons with photons. That is to say to put the same number of drone racks on Federation ships as are found on equivalent Kzinti (or at least Klingon) ships. Some are so enamored of this that the forget that the only Federation DD hulls that had drone racks were the DDG (which gave up two photons) or DE/DERs. They remember that he Federation "plus refit" added drone racks to every Federation ship, even though their memories are wrong and the DDs and DDLs and SCs did not get drone racks.

There are other problems. Star Fleet Battles has not been stagnant over the years. It has grown constantly and added both new empires, and new history. With the appearance of Module Y1 a technological sequence was added for improvements in transporters and tractor beams over the years. And this is not the same for all empires. Only those in contact with each other advance at the same rate. (It does not matter if the Federation or the Klingons were the first to get range two tractor beams, both were working from the same data and advanced at about the same rate. The Gorns and ISC, however, were isolated from other empires, and advanced at a different rate.) Yet now that this data exists, some are crying out for all SSDs to have even more notes added noting (if the ship has a year in service prior to Y160) that its tractor beams and transporters have range restrictions and what years those are in force.

There comes a point where notes are more harm than good, and I often think we have passed that point.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Steve Cole muses:

Just thinking to himself.

1. For the year and a half that I have had XM radio, I have heard endless commercials for every truck company I have seen on the highway trying to hire experienced drivers and offering no end of cool benefits. There must be a story here about something. Why is there such a shortage of drivers during a time when the economy is awful?

2. Does Dave Ramsey know about the places where you can sell leased cars? He never mentions them when telling people to get out of car leases. It seems that, if such places are legit, it would be a cheaper way out than borrowing more money to meet the cash surrender value. I would never lease a car and was debt free back in the 1980s when Dave went bankrupt, but I'm just curious.

3. Fourteen US soldiers have received the German Iron Cross medal for bravery in Afghanistan. Media sources, who simply don't know what they're talking about, said that the Iron Cross First Class is equal to the US Medal of Honor. It isn't. The Iron Cross First Class is roughly equal to the Silver Star (and the Second Class to the Bronze Star). No Iron Crosses were awarded between 1945 and 2008, but the Germans have been awarding them to troops in Afghanistan. (Ok, technically, it's the "Honor Cross for Bravery" but it looks exactly like an Iron Cross, which the Germans had given out for two centuries until 1945.)

4. I have got to get these medical tests finished and get my new hearing aide. I was listening to the news one morning and heard that "President Obama and President Calderone were seeking nude dancers." I clicked the Tivo back-button and heard "new answers". I think maybe "nude dancers" would cost the taxpayers less money.

5. The Deadliest Warrior episode about SS vs. Viet Cong contained a factual error. The Viet Cong did not win; they were (in fact) defeated and wiped out during the Tet battles. (All fighting after that was against NVA regulars.) The US military was not defeated; but the communists did eventually break the will of the American people to sustain the war. Anyway, the SS won, which is right, since they're professional soldiers while the Viet Cong a part time farmer-guerrillas.

6. It's funny that you hear a lot about Palestinians wanting to go home to where they lived inside Israel before 1948, and wanting to get back the real estate they owned then. What you never hear about are the Jews kicked out of Arab countries in 1948-1950 (who now live in Israel or the West). Nobody says anything about returning their property, which was confiscated by Arab governments. There would not be a conflict in the Middle East if the Arab governments had just given the confiscated Jewish property to the Palestinian refugees and absorbed them into their populations.

7. North Korea has to change. It cannot continue on a road to nuclear-armed starvation. China is determined not to allow Plan A (North Korea collapses and millions of refugees storm the Chinese border looking for food) or Plan B (South Korea takes over). They want Plan C (a new North Korean government, installed by China, that does what China says without making it obvious that China is running NK now). If China just takes over North Korea, the South Koreans will go crazy. So China has to play it cool. They want North Korea to get rid of the nukes (which China fears as much as Japan and South Korea do) and to convert to the Chinese system (free market under rigid control of a power elite). That would feed the people and improve the economy and solve all of the problems.

8. Ok, so Obama's hand-picked national security team of political lackeys has botched the job, and to show that he's now serious about protecting Americans, he fired the only professional in the loop (the national intel director). This was the guy who has repeatedly told Obama that what the Administration was doing to stop terrorists was dangerously naive and reckless. I got it! Next issue?

9. So, just to be sure, we all know that anyone opposed to the Arizona immigration law is not really protected civil rights but is in fact just wanting to allow more illegal aliens into the country for some reason. I got it! Next issue?

10. So, the new finance reform bill creates a fund to pay for bailouts, making sure that Wall Street (which has been totally run by liberal democrats for 70 years) never has to take responsibility for stupid risks. This also allows the government to seize any company any time, but does nothing to regulate Fannie and Freddie. (You remember them? The two government agencies that donated millions to Obama, Chris Dodd, and Barney Frank, and caused the entire financial crisis by inventing "stupid mortgages for people who cannot pay them"?) Got it. I think we're done for today.