Without him, they would no longer exist. A couple years ago money was so tight they were actually refusing to pay their writers. It's why a lot of them, like Shamus Young, Extra Credits, and Lisa Folies took off. They've apparently started actually paying again, and some of their former talent has returned, but still.
Well, we are talking about the site that just kept running Bioware fluff pieces, even after soured soured on the company. Then would go into a frothing rage the instant anyone suggested there was some potential bias.
In the case of The Escapist, they're specifically trying to drive people to their subscription service. Saying they'll take away the obtrusive adds if you cough up... I think it's five or ten bucks a month.
The irony is, if they didn't run the obnoxious ads they do, and then try to use that to coerce you into coughing up cash to make it go away, I'd be less inclined to simply noscript the hell out of their site...
Of course I also ended up with ransomware on a laptop, where The Escapist was probably the vector so... ugh.
Anyone else suspect the state Lutz fled to was someplace under the Florida Everglades?
I mean, yes, I'm being a smartass here. But, I'm actually not sure if anyone's seen him in weeks. I would think there'd be an actual criminal investigation if he had actually vanished, but this is popcorn entertainment, for me, so it's almost an honest question.
Maybe I'm showing my age, but "socking" makes me think we're talking about poop socking. From the old MMO days where you didn't dare log off, because that incredibly rare boss you needed for your quest might spawn and get killed, while you were relieving yourself.
In a way, it's fallout from the propaganda machines of WWII. That strand of jingoism didn't go away. The Cold War, and the Bipolar system gave it the tone it's kept. ("We're the good guys, fighting the 'evil empire.'") And, since the fall of the Soviet Union it's survived mostly unabated.
There was some general cynicism towards it, starting in the 70s, with Nixon. After the end of the cold war, there was a sense that the American public was less satisfied with the clear delineation between "us and them", because there was no "them" anymore.
But, then September 11th happened, and... well, just being able to type "September 11th happened" is enough to indicate where, as a culture, we gleefully scampered back to the cold war era mindset, only with a different opponent. And we've been sliding back out of that mindset, into our previous state of cynicism.
That said, the entire do what we say, not what we do, approach to international politics has been ridiculously lucrative. We lost a lot of soft power, when Bush pushed too hard for war, and now with Manning and Snowden, we're losing even more. But, the ability to pretend we were the heroes of the world bought us a lot of influence.
Using your own (political) hypocrisy as soft power in international negotiations. Getting what you want by touting an altruistic ideology you claim to support, but in fact do not, making standing against your position look like trying to work against the common good, even when there are other, legitimate, reasons to say "no".
Unless of course, Steele knew Lutz wouldn't be there, and made himself unavailable as quickly as possible, once he was dismissed. Not really much of a leap. Then lets Hansmeier make up whatever hearsay he wants, about searching for Lutz, because he's not there to be asked to refute it.
Honestly, looking back at intelligence operations in the Cold War, and for that matter, counterintelligence operations? Yeah, some of the dumbest stuff actually worked, the more sophisticated stuff had a nasty habit of fouling up.
Get a housekeeper in the Soviet embassy to throw out classified documents, and fish them out of the trash? Yeah, that worked for years.
Yeah, although it sounds racist, this specific profile does have a few warning signs.
Basically, they're spending a lot of money on international travel, while not having enough to pay the bills...
Thing is, this is getting cross threaded with the whole ideology element. Past experience is, you need one OR the other to turn someone, not both. And, when I say "turn", I really mean a coordinated intelligence agency, not, you know, "terrerusts!"
Of course, the whole thing is made worse by the fact that we know, in this day and age, all bank seizures of property are legal, right guys?