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Wednesday, December 31, 2003

HAPPY FRIGGIN' NEW... whatever

I love how everyone thinks that all the evils in the world will go away once the new year comes. Various friends and family alike have all told me how they are so glad 2003 is over. Like some how the forces of badness in everyone's lives use the same calendar that we do. Last time I checked all of the things that are bugging the crap out of me are still going to be there a few hours from now. I'll still have a sink full of dishes to wash, an employer that is unresponsive to my emails, my laptop will still be in the shop and Bush will still be in the White House...

January 1st, 2004... just another day...

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY!


...whatever...

Monday, December 29, 2003

NEW NEW NEW NEW!

Okay, it's a little early for the new 2004 version of TP.C, but I figured, I'm depressed, WHY NOT?

Why am I depressed? Well, my 3-month-old laptop's monitor freaked out and died. Well, it didn't fully die, but it's so flakey, working with it that I don't dare go more than 30 seconds without saving. Yes - it's that kind of screwy situation where some how it's not JUST a hardware issue... and no, this time, it's not a Windows machine - it's a MAC. Well, let me be honest - I love it MOST of the time. Then this thing comes along and it turns out that it's not even a unique problem - it has struck the iBooks of many other people since the white, dual-USB iBooks came along. I'll be doing a blog entry on just my iBook in the coming weeks. Hopefully AFTER I get it back.

So, I'm back on my PC and dealing with no longer being portable... GRR...

Christmas was mostly weak for me, but not in a bad way - in a welcome way. I find as I get older I care less for presents and stuff. What I got, I am very keen on, so don't worry. I was just totally swamped with work and didn't do anything family-wise. I did manage to see RETURN OF THE KING THREE TIMES, which was VERY cool.

PLENTY to report, but more for later...

PITTY ME!!! ;)

Or don't...

Either way, LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THE NEW LAYOUT!!

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Music from Mars

Hey, click the below link to listen to the Blur tune European scientists are listening for from their Mars probe that may or may not have landed on Mars on Christmas Day, 2003...

rtsp://real1.vmg.co.uk/blur/beagle_2.rm

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Monday, December 22, 2003

YOUR OPINION!

Hey, well, I was busy avoiding responsibility earlier today and decided to redo my site... AGAIN... well, this change isn't major, it's just a layout change. The idea behind the layout change was that I wanted to make it faster loading. Also, with the old layout, the page would sometimes load improperly. With this new layout I've come up with it only misloads when you're on a Mac using M$IE. So, who cares about that?

But I care about your opinion, so click here and tell me what you think. The only difference when the new layout goes live (if it goes live) is that instead of one blog entry, there will be the last ten entries, or so. So, check it out and tell me what you think by clicking the "comments?" link at the bottom of the blog entry. So, if it loads faster, let me know - but if you think the layout sucks, let me know, too.

DO IT NOW!!!

THANKS!

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Chad's review of Gothika!

Chad has Pocket Reviewed Gothika which was so bad that it should be out on video any moment now. Ironically, Chad does give it an RTV (Rent The Video).

Check out his Pocket Review right now!

Oh yeah, just saw ROTK again... if you haven't seen the LOTR trilogy, for GOD'S SAKE, RENT THE EXTENDED EDITION DVDs AND GO SEE RETURN OF THE KING!!

KURDS CAPTURED SADDAM 1st

Not that anyone will care about this, but Yahoo News is reporting that the reason Saddam was captured by the USMil had nothing (or little) to do with so called intelligence reports and/or tips that led the USMil to Saddam's "hiding place". Saddam, according to an AFP article at Yahoo News, was being held captive by the Kurdish Patriotic Front after he was betrayed to them by the father of a woman who was raped by Saddam's own son.

The KPF then left him in the hole for USMil forces to find.

Three cheers for the Washing(ton) Machine - in perpetual Spin Cycle...

Read the AFP article at Yahoo News.

UPDATE 12/22/3:
Read a Sydney Morning Herald Article that says Kurdish media reported to a Terhan-based news agency that all the USMil had to do was go to a farm that was identified to them by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.


Friday, December 19, 2003

Flyer in my email...

I got this flyer in my email recently. Sorry, it got a little crumpled in my inbox...

queereyeforsaddam (86k image)

Thursday, December 18, 2003

PATRIOT ACT II PASSED

Yep, you read it right. HR 2417 was signed into law December 13, 2003 by King George, himself. What does HR 2417 do? Well, not as much as the original Patriot Act II could do (luckily, that version never passed), but this version still has some people who can sift through the $3 words concerned for the rights of American citizens.

After reading King George's statement on the White House web site, you have to read it again, just to sift out all the crap. Basically, it boils down to this:

1) Bush can now get as much money as he needs for "intelligence activities" including those relating to terrorist activities with no oversight from the US Senate.

2) Bush can now decide how much he wants to tell Congress regarding any cases being investigated by the USGov. The idea being that he can choose to withold any information that might "impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties."

In other words, if it pisses off the USGov's friends, the American people will never find out about it.

3)This next bit you can probably work out for yourself (bold added):
Section 502 purports to place restrictions on use of the U.S. Armed Forces and other personnel in certain operations. The executive branch shall construe the restrictions -in section 502 as advisory in nature, so that the provisions are consistent with the President's constitutional authority as Commander in Chief, including for the conduct of intelligence operations, and to supervise the unitary executive branch.
So, the restrictions are advisory? How are restrictions ever advisory??

Those are just from George's statement that's on the White House web site. On the Congressional Budget Office's web site, they explain that they can't estimate the total cost of HR 2417.
CBO was unable to obtain the necessary information to estimate the costs for the entire act because certain parts are classified.
The CBO web site also adds:
The provision also would extend the [National Commission for Review of Research and Development Programs of the U.S. Intelligence Community the] authority to accept and spend gifts.
Why would gifts be given to a USGov commission on R&D in the US Intelligence Community? Is this shorthand for kickbacks?

The CBO's page goes on to explain these donations:
Section 504 would establish an advisory panel to review and make recommendations on measurement and signatures intelligence programs. Under this provision, the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency would be allowed to accept contributions to defray the expenses of the advisory panel.
So, in other words, kickbacks.

Finally, the page mentions that there have been three previous versions of HR 2417. Why have none of them made the mainstream news?

But wait, there's more! The Federation of American Scientists' web site has posted comments made against HR 2417 by Congresspeople. Check 'em out:

The Honorable Mark Udall of Colorado said on November 20, 2003, among other things:
Whereas currently banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions are required to provide certain financial data to authorized intelligence agencies and the Treasury Department, this legislation would expand the list of institutions to include car dealers, pawnbrokers, travel agents, casinos, and other businesses.
...Casinos? Travel agencies? What other businesses?

On November 20, 2003, the Honorable Betty McCollum of Minnesota tore HR 2417 a new one:
The Republican Leadership inserted a controversial provision in the FY04 Intelligence Authorization Report that will expand the already far-reaching USA Patriot Act, threatening to further erode our cherished civil liberties. This provision gives the FBI power to demand financial and other records, without a judge's approval, from post offices, real estate agents, car dealers, travel agents, pawnbrokers and many other businesses. This provision was included with little or no public debate, including no consideration by the House Judiciary Committee, which is the committee of jurisdiction. It came as a surprise to most Members of this body.
She also mentions:
It is clear the Republican Leadership and the Administration would rather expand on the USA Patriot Act through deception and secrecy than debate such provisions in an open forum.
The Honorable Ron Paul, also on November 20, 2003, expressed his dislike of HR 2417:
What most concerns me about this conference report, though, is something that should outrage every single American citizen. I am referring to the stealth addition of language drastically expanding FBI powers to secretly and without court order snoop into the business and
financial transactions of American citizens. These expanded internal police powers will enable the FBI to demand transaction records from businesses, including auto dealers, travel agents, pawnbrokers and
more, without the approval or knowledge of a judge or grand jury. This was written into the bill at the 11th hour over the objections of members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would normally have jurisdiction over the FBI. The Judiciary Committee was frozen out of the process. It appears we are witnessing a stealth enactment of the enormously unpopular "Patriot II" legislation that was first leaked several months ago. Perhaps the national outcry when a draft of the Patriot II act was leaked has led its supporters to enact it one piece at a time in secret. Whatever the case, this is outrageous and unacceptable. I urge each of my colleagues to join me in rejecting this bill and its incredibly dangerous expansion of Federal police powers.
He added:
Despite the tens of billions we spend on these myriad intelligence agencies, it is impossible to ignore the failure of our federal intelligence community to detect and prevent the September 11 attacks. Additionally, it is becoming increasingly obvious that our intelligence community failed completely to accurately assess the nature of the Iraqi threat.
He also mentions something that is VERY important to be noted regarding ANY money put toward intelligence activities:
I am also concerned that our scarce resources are again being squandered pursuing a failed drug war in Colombia, as this bill continues to fund our disastrous Colombia policy. Billions of dollars
have been spent in Colombia to fight this drug war, yet more drugs than
ever are being produced abroad and shipped into the United States--
including a bumper crop of opium sent by our new allies in Afghanistan. [...] ...the solution to the drug problem lies not in attacking the producers abroad or in creating a militarized police state to go after the consumers at home, but rather in taking a close look at our seemingly insatiable desire for these substances. Until that issue is addressed we will continue wasting billions of dollars in a losing battle.
Finally on November 20, 2003, the Honorable Dennis Moore from Kansas rises in protest of HR 2417, saying:
This measure expands the definition of "financial institution" to provide enhanced authority for intelligence community collection activities designed to prevent, deter and disrupt terrorism and espionage directed against the United States and to enhance foreign intelligence efforts. Banks, credit unions and other financial institutions currently are required to provide certain
financial data to investigators generally without a court order or grand jury subpoena. The conference agreement expands the list to include car dealers, pawnbrokers, travel agents, casinos and other
businesses.
So, on Bizarro World, and our planet, as well, the phrase "financial institution" refers to things like pawnbrokers and travel agents. Moore also mentions:
The PATRIOT Act earlier had altered the standard for financial records that could be subject to National Security Letters to include the records of someone "sought for" an
investigation, not merely of the "target" of an investigation.
Just in case you didn't know...

If we return to King George's statement at the White House web site as a sort of response to accusations of a "stealth law", old KG explains that the White House discourages "this practice of enacting secret laws" despite the fact that this law was signed into existence on December 13, 2003.

What's so special about December 13, 2003? That was the day Saddam Hussein was arrested.

Sift through the $3 words in King George's statement for yourself at the White House web site.

Check out the Congressional Budget Office's explanation of HR 2417 and sift through a few more $3 words...

Check out the comments of Congresspeople in protest of HR 2417 at the Federation of American Scientists' web site.

Check out a thread at GNN.tv regarding this story.



33k YEAR-OLD ART WORKS FOUND

33koldhorse (6k image)
Image: HILDE JENSEN/UNIVERSITY OF
TUBINGEN
For those archeologists who believe culture didn't just spring into being, some evidence to the contrary has been found. A deep cave in Germany has produced several extremely impressive sculptures of animals and other objects. An article at the Scientific American website reports that reports that the artifacts have been dated to between 30,000 and 33,000 years ago. Just to put that in perspective, that's 28,000 years further beyond the beginning of recorded history. (That unofficially begins around 3200 BC when the Egyptians started keeping track.)

The same article quotes scientists explaining that art of the level found indicates that ancient Europeans took to making impressive works of art quickly. But what they don't talk about is how odd it is to see talent like that suddenly spring into existence. Most archeologists agree that such ability takes years to develop, so logically, it's strange that no lesser quality art would be found in the same area.

At least, that's what usually happens in cases like this. After all, how do you learn to sculpt like a pro when pros won't exist for 30 millennia?

Read more about this story at the Scientific American website.


LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING (2003)

The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition)Entertaining? YES!
Technically any good? YES! Not PERFECT, but does well enough with the important stuff and the FX are *astounding*.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Not to gush, but as the credits rolled, I felt honored to be able to have seen ROTK and the other films in the big screen. My feeling is to only see these films on the big screen. Over all, ROTK is the jewel in the crown of these movies.
Final Rating? GSN

IRAQUAGMIRE: HEAD US WMD INSPECTOR TO QUIT

Yep, following his wildly successful search for Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction in US occupied Iraq, head US Weapons Inspector, David Kay, will be leaving his post in Iraq.

Oh wait... his search for Iraqi WMD wasn't successful...

Maybe that's why he's quiting?

They found nothing. At best, Kay has said, indicators that there was a program in development, but he has not been able to find evidence of a full-on WMD program. This comes months after several high-level US and UK government officials (read: Bush and Blair) made a claim that Hussein could deliver a chemical or biological attack in 45 minutes.

Delivery in 45 minutes or less? Perhaps the American people should demmand their pizza... or at least their money back...

Read coverage of Kay leaving his post at Independent.co.uk.

Read the Voice of America's coverage of Kay's 'possible' exit from his post at their web site.


Wednesday, December 17, 2003

9/11 COMMISSION: 9/11 PREVENTABLE

CBSNews.com is reporting that Thomas Kean, former New Jersey governor and head of the USGov's commission on the 911 attacks has come forward and said that the 911 attacks were preventable. "This was not something that had to happen," he said speaking to CBS news about a report his commission will be soon releasing that will point fingers and name names.

Not bad for two years later, huh?

The USGov managed to get Sadam, too bad he's done nothing directly to us, while the guy responsible for 911 is still out there. Remember Osama?

Read the whole article at CBSNews.com.


Tuesday, December 16, 2003

LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY: 'NUFF SAID!

aragorn01 (77k image)
GOOD.


Just got back from seeing all three in a row.

I can die now...

Well, okay, maybe not die, but I can sure stop watching other movies since nothing can hold a candle to LOTR. At this point, I want to pack up all my Star Wars shit and start buying some swords and chainmail...

CLICK HERE TO READ MY POCKET REVIEW

Saturday, December 13, 2003

So, where were you when Saddam was captured?

saddamcaptured (7k image)
Arrested? I'm here for the Santa Claus auditions!
(HO! HO! HOkay, don't shoot!)


Well, TheFiancee and I were in the car, trapped in a massive rain storm somwhere between our friend Alejandro's house and TheFiancee's sister's house when the local San Francisco radio news announced Saddam's capture.

Where were you? I bet you were asleep! Well, I bet you found out hours later, when you woke up...

Leave me alone, it's 4:50am - I just finished watching the damn press conference! Click the comment link below or talk about this in TheForum!

In NoCal!!

Well, TheFiancee and I are in NoCal for the weekend. The objective is to perform a pre-emptive holiday strike that then allows us to avoid our In-Person-Holiday-Obligations. This way, we get reasonable quality time with each family we visit with as opposed to what normally happens during the holidays. You know, everyone runs around like mad-hatters, trying to get everything JUST right, when it's all quite nearly impossible.

We're having a good time up here, though. Hung with my dad and step-mother last night and with TheFiancee's mom today. Tomorrow (Saturday) will be time spent with TheFiancee's dad's fam. There's a big party featuring a performance by her sister who is a singer and activist and stuff. It should be fun. Then, on Sunday, we're back in LA! WOOHOO!

And that's the excitement on this end.

Please keep good thoughts in your mind for my good friend, Chad, who had a major operation this morning. He should be recouperating by now, but could use whatever help he can get. He's a good guy and a fellow MSTie, so you know he's a cool dude.

Anyway, I gotta crash... been wandering around San Francisco for most of the day! UGH!

PS Post to TheForums!

Saturday, December 6, 2003

FREEDOM TASTES YUMMY!

Freedom tastes YUMMY! Well, mostly... here's a recent picture from the Associated Press for you:

iraqigirl (7k image)
An Iraqi girl covers her face as U.S. army soldiers
search for insurgents in the center of Baghdad,
Saturday, Nov 29 2003. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)


Life without Saddam Hussein is good, but life without the US Occupation will be even better, hopefully...

Until then, keep hiding your eyes, kiddo! Hopefully, you won't get hit by any stray American bullets or bathed in radiation from the depleted uranium used in American ordinance. Hey, maybe Santa will bring you a Play Station for Christmas!

The American Way (tm), it's FANTASTIC!

Friday, December 5, 2003

THE MATRIX MAKES YOU MURDER? NOT EXACTLY...

Well, according to a December 5, 2003 article at the Maryland news web site, SunSpot.net, the scifi blockbuster movie The MAtrix has been used once again as an excuse for murder. This time in the case of John Lee Malvo, one of the accused Washington DC-area snipers. His defense is claiming that he was so obsessed with the film that he used it to justify violence against people. However, the film has been used as a defense in other cases. A couple of times, it was even used successfully.

From the article:
The 1999 film has been used, with some success, in at least three other murder cases in which young defendants attempted to justify their crimes with allusions to the movie's philosophy that the world people live in is only a dream sequence controlled by a computer. Violence is condoned as a way to get out of the fake, oppressive world of The Matrix.


People like Malvo, claim to see fellow humans as illusory, fictional beings that when killed, aren't really killed, since you can't kill a digital simulation. Of course (we hope, anyway), this is not the case, but Malvo and others seem to believe otherwise. That's really the danger of writing a series of movies featuring characters who's only escape into "the real world" is made by death. Sure, it doesn't happen often, but you can't say it's not going to. This isn't to suggest that writers should censor themselves. This is to suggest that a greater attempt should probably be made to write stories that are less likely to make people think that killing and death is a reasonable solution in any situation.

Just a suggestion, of course...

Read the original article at SunSpot.Net


BUSH DOESN'T COME FACE TO FACE WITH FAMILIES US BOMBING DESTROYED

In Bush 43's recent Turkey Day visit to the US troops in Iraq, Bush 43 was within spitting distance of the families he changed forever by ordering the Iraq Attack. According to IraqBodyCount.Net almost 10,000 civilians have been killed since the Iraq Attack began earlier this spring. But when Bush 43 visited the occupied country, he chose to stay safe and protected inside a fortified military base where he visited with US troops, as opposed to visiting with the people whose lives he's changed irrevocably or destroyed entirely thanks to his illegal Iraq Attack.

That's right, Paul Wolfowitz, himself, refered to the Iraq Attack as illegal according to International Law. This is something that everyone knew, well, anyone who has bothered to read the UN Charter. The same charter the USGov helped to write. But, Wolfowitz said something to the effect of, sometimes the right thing is illegal.

Which is a pretty powerful statement. He just gave us all permission to break the laws we think are wrong. So, if we think smoking pot is the right thing to do because of whatever reason, we can do it. If we think downloading music or movies to avoid paying insane prices for it is the right thing to do, we can do it.

Meanwhile, Bush doesn't have to do what is right, which is facing, head-on, the faces of the families who lost family members to the war he began to "protect the world from Saddam Hussein". The same man who has moved aggressively toward all of two countries and was able to hang on to neither of them for any amount of time.

Every day is Turkey Day in Washington DC.

Thursday, December 4, 2003

Okay, this made me laugh...

Color me insensitive, but I thought this was funny:

Ask Adolph


You might also go here for more funny stuff...

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

MORE LOTR ROTK PREMIERE PICS!

MORE PICS:

{{popup 03orlando01.jpg 03orlando01 600x450}}03orlando01 (108k image)


{{popup 01viggo01.jpg 01viggo01 600x450}}01viggo01 (109k image)


I got pretty close to a few of them. Click here to check out the rest of the pics I took! The thumb nails on that page are clickable. Be sure to click on them to see the bigger versions! Feel free to steal them for your own site, but please DON'T steal my bandwidth. I'd appreciate a link back to my site, too. :)

Hope you enjoy them!

Pics from the LOTR ROTK premiere in LA!

This was the scene at around 3pm PST, today as PR crews began decorating the heart of Westwood village for the big premiere.

{{popup lotrrotkprem01.jpg lotrrotkprem01 600x450}}lotrrotkprem01 (109k image)


The area for the fans is thin at this time of day as you can see:
{{popup lotrrotkprem02.jpg lotrrotkprem02 600x450}}lotrrotkprem02 (121k image)


But the fans were gathering on corners opposite the two theaters screening the third installment of the Lord of the Rings series.
{{popup lotrrotkprem03.jpg lotrrotkprem03 600x450}}lotrrotkprem03 (121k image)


Hey, even Gandalf was there. Of course, he was dressed light because of the hot LA winter weather...
{{popup lotrrotkprem04gandalf.jpg lotrrotkprem04gandalf 375x500}}lotrrotkprem04gandalf (98k image)


Possibly more pics to come - depending on how crazy it is. As I sit here at my favorite boba place, the crowd has expanded two-fold. The crowd might get too crazy...

Monday, December 1, 2003

New stuff on the way!

Well, I've got a new Otis and a new Ballpoint strip, but the Otis just needs to get scanned in. I've also just started a new screenplay (because I'm an IDIOT and can't finish other stuff I start, first) and I'm also about to begin editing strips for the first-time-in-print Ballpoint Adventures compilation! I am also in the stupid-slow process of editing a book. The first of many. Oh yeah and I have a job to pay the bills with because none of the other stuff I've mentioned makes me any money whatsoever (yet).

Anyway, so that's what I've been up to. I need to do more work around the site, like do more news blog entries and I still need to add more pics to my new photos section.

And now I must decide, edit the book or work more on the screenplay... decisions, decisions...

LAST SAMURAI (2003)

The Last Samurai (Widescreen Edition)Entertaining? Sure, it's a real crowd pleaser.
Technically any good? No. The movie is patronizing as all get out. We get about two lines of character, two lines of motivation and a universe that was clearly created by someone who doesn't know much about Samurai culture.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Very disappointed, but not surprised. Edward Zwick is a patronizing filmmaker. Calling his stuff "PC" is putting it lightly. Saying this film is drenched with "white guilt" is putting it lightly, too. It's entertaining, but if you actually feel anything, it's because you are being played by the film. It explores nothing and is about as deep as a Japanese tourist brochure written by someone who's never been to Japan.
Final Rating? DNS (But if you do see it, you will be entertained - but it'll only be "oo, look at those fights! Wow, Japan is pretty! Aw, someone died :(" But genuine emotional movement? Nope.)

Friday, November 28, 2003

BUSH DOESN'T COME FACE TO FACE WITH FAMILIES US BOMBING DESTROYED

In Bush 43's recent Turkey Day visit to the US troops in Iraq, Bush 43 was within spitting distance of the families he changed forever by ordering the Iraq Attack. According to IraqBodyCount.Net almost 10,000 civilians have been killed since the Iraq Attack began earlier this spring. But when Bush 43 visited the occupied country, he chose to stay safe and protected inside a fortified military base where he visited with US troops, as opposed to visiting with the people whose lives he's changed irrevocably or destroyed entirely thanks to his illegal Iraq Attack.

That's right, Paul Wolfowitz, himself, refered to the Iraq Attack as illegal according to International Law. This is something that everyone knew, well, anyone who has bothered to read the UN Charter. The same charter the USGov helped to write. But, Wolfowitz said something to the effect of, sometimes the right thing is illegal.

Which is a pretty powerful statement. He just gave us all permission to break the laws we think are wrong. So, if we think smoking pot is the right thing to do because of whatever reason, we can do it. If we think downloading music or movies to avoid paying insane prices for it is the right thing to do, we can do it.

Meanwhile, Bush doesn't have to do what is right, which is facing, head-on, the faces of the families who lost family members to the war he began to "protect the world from Saddam Hussein". The same man who has moved aggressively toward all of two countries and was able to hang on to neither of them for any amount of time.

Every day is Turkey Day in Washington DC.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

COOLER (2003)

The CoolerEntertaining? Yes, definitely.
Technically any good? Yes, definitely.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Good, but like I'd been through the ringer, a bit. But I think that's what I was supposed to feel. See this one, folks - it's a gem in a field of crap. It's got some violence and some serious emotional ups and downs, but it's a damn good movie.
Final Rating? GSN

Sunday, November 23, 2003

For anyone who still thinks we should "get over" Al Gore not being president

I recently came across a posting on a newsgroup and a response to that newsgroup posting that made me livid. The first post was a thick-headed moron who was still referring to people unhappy with the results of the 2000 election as "crybabies". The second was a reply. What follows here are both posts with the names removed, just in case:

On Sat, 22 Nov 2003 00:17:19 -0600, "XXXXX" wrote:

>Will the whining never never never end?
>Al Gore lost, get over it. He lost FAIR AND SQUARE. The ballots were recounted over and over again. And then after the election the newspapers in Florida PAID for another recount. He still lost.
>
>The states set the laws of balloting. Invalid ballots don't count.
>Apparently Democrats have a new thing. If you lose sue. If you don't like the results demand a 're-election' . Something that is not allowed by law.
>
>You want suspecious. You might want to check into voting irregularities in some Democratic controlled states that BARELY went against Bush. But you didn't see an army of lawyers streaming into those states. Because the Republicans HONOR the results of an election.
>
>The Democrats had lawyers already warmed up in the bullpen ready to fly to any state necessary to try to push an election their way.
>
>Why?
>Because they knew it was likely they could lose this one. Because they nominated the wrong guy.
>That is what you have to get over you whining crybabies.

DUDE - since when does the SUPREME COURT get involved in election disputes? According to the US Constitution, it's CONGRESS who settles election disputes.

Saying Gore lost "fair and square" shows us how little you know about the situation. I'm not saying Gore won, but I'm not saying Bush lost, either.

All I'm saying is that there was no PROPER election in the year 2000. The ballots were NOT counted and recounted. They were partially recounted. Recounting could have continued by election officials and not the media if the Supreme Court (appointed by Bush's DAD) had allowed the recount to continue as many Floridians wanted.

Suspicious things:

Katherine Harris certified the votes for the election, claiming she was unbiased and fair. HOW CAN THIS BE? SHE RAN BUSH'S CAMPAIGN IN FLORIDA.

A growing number of companies that produce balloting machines are run by REPUBLICAN PARTY MEMBERS.

Do you know who Greg Palast is? Check out his site at http://www.gregpalast.com and learn about the TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VOTERS WHO HAD THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE REVOKED ILLEGALLY BY THE STATE OF FLORIDA.

Yeah, Gore lost fair and square. Right.

So, your man "won" and where did it get us? TWO wars and an administration who couldn't catch Lee Harvey Oswald if he turned himself in.

THREE THINGS:

SADDAM
BIN LADEN
IRAQI WMD

WHERE ARE THEY, TOUGH GUY?

Oh and FYI: I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a Republican - I'm an Independent.

This was NEVER about partisan crap for me. This was ALWAYS about having a PROPER election AS DEFINED BY LAW, both Federal and State. As far as I can tell, that won't be happening in 2004, either. But don't worry - your guy will win. The Democrats are seeing to that with some seriously crappy candidates...

OK, I'm done...

Friday, November 21, 2003

A Little Nightmare Fodder (or: Michael Jackson's Mug Shot)

jacksonmug (14k image)


There... that oughta keep you awake tonight...

Man, have you ever seen anything so disturbing? Well, aside from another picture of this guy, I mean.

Here's another irony, Wacko-Jacko can be pardoned by this guy:

arnold (41k image)


Anyone need any more evidence that this is Bizarro World?

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

More proof that God doesn't exist...

kamen (9k image)Here's more proof that either God doesn't exist, or at least that he's an A-1 dickhead.

Michael Kamen (pictured) scored over 80 movies and TV shows. They ranged from stuff I just did not like to stuff I completely adored. He composed one of my favorite scores of all time, Die Hard, where he took Beethoven's 9th, mixed it with Jingle Bells, actual jingle bells, a few other Christmas songs and came up with a thrilling action adventure score that stuck in my head for years. Involved heavily in the rock music scene when he started his career, he worked with Pink Floyd (my favorite band) on The Wall and was David Bowie's musical director on his "David Live" tour. He's worked with Clapton, Harrison, Sanborn, Alice in Chains, Metallica and my other favorite band, Queen. He also wrote 10 ballets. He even co-founded (with Richard Dreyfuss) a non profit organization dedicated to giving musical instruments to poor school kids.

In 1997 he was diagnosed with multiple Sclerosis. But that didn't stop him. He just kept working, saying in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, "They talk about (MS patients) being overwhelmed by fatigue, but I think my life is so filled with stimulating things to do that fatigue just doesn't enter the equation."

He died today, November 19, 2003 of an apparent heart attack.

He was 55.

Guess he was creating just too much cool stuff to go on living...

Read more about Kamen's death at Yahoo News UK.

We'll miss you, Michael!

Hell, I was listening to Die Hard on my iPod just last night. It's one of those scores, I just don't like to be without. Clearly, you will live forever through your music. It's a shame and a crime you couldn't live a while longer through your body.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Some changes around here...

Well, I've made some changes around here. I'm tremendously busy these days so, I wanted to combine a few features into this one blog and expand the categories. Everything's going to load faster and be easier for me to maintain. There is no more separate news blog, but there is TheNewsBlog Archive. So, check that out if you missed anything. I will be doing new posts TheNewsBlog, but they'll be right here.

I've been having some trouble with some (?) people who use TheTagBoard lately. These people (or this person) doesn't seem to understand that I put that tag board there for people to have fun with it. Not to be a dick with it. As I mentioned above, I don't have time to do as much as I'd like with this site. When people are dicks on TheForum or on TheTagBoard, it only steals time away from doing more good things with this web site.

So, if stopping me from doing more good things is your objective, then, for now, you've succeeded with your childishness, pretending to be someone else by posting under their name. If you continue to do this, I will ban your IP from this site. If you find another computer to piss on my tag board through, I will have to shut TheTagBoard down completely.

All of this will cause me to use up more of my limited time. Please don't do this to me or this site. I don't know why you think it's funny, or even appropriate. If you think you wouldn't mind it if someone did this to your site, you'd be lying to yourself. My web site is like my home. I like having people over, but if you pee in the corner, you're not coming back.

The One Rule for ThePete.Com is: Don't be a dick.

Please abide by this rule, or your IP will be banned. I don't think it's that hard a rule to live by - especially for just the time you're at my site.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

BEYOND BORDERS (2003)

Beyond Borders (Widescreen Edition)Entertaining? Yes, but depressing...
Technically any good? Honestly, the characters are a little thin, but it tries to cover so much and describe a truly huge problem, you have to give it credit for even bothering.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Like sobbing. And that's just what I did. Very rarely do movies even try to make a statement like the one this movie made. Sure, it's not a perfect film, but it's message is incredibly important. See this movie to find out how the other 95% of planet Earth lives. It's not pretty... but it's something we should all be aware of.
Final Rating? GSN

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

DOZENS OF HOUSE DEMS ON RECORD: RUMMY OUT!

Not that anyone cares what a bunch of Democrats in the USGov think (least of all any Republicans in the USGov), but more than two dozen House of Representative Democrats have gone on the record and sponsored a resolution that urges Bush 43 to kick Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld out of his job. They claim that he has misled the American people in why USGIs were sent over there, didn't plan well for the Iraq Attack and misled the American people as to how easy the entire quest for WMD would be.

Of course, they're up against the Republicans in the House, which will no doubt do their best to squash the resolution. After all, Rummy is part of a Republican administration. Rather than putting the American people's interests first, they put their own party's interests on top of everything. Even the lives of soldiers and innocent civilians.

Although, it is nice to see at least some Democrats actually bothering to do their job. Of course, no quarter should be drawn for the recent absurd voice vote that was held for the $87 billion spending package King George wanted for the wars going on in Afghanistan and Iraq. But that voice vote is an entirely different story...

Read the short Reuters article at Yahoo News.


Monday, November 10, 2003

MATRIX REVOLUTIONS (2003)

The Matrix Revolutions (Widescreen Edition)Entertaining? No, not really...
Technically any good? No. Not even by the easy-to-please standards of the Matrix series...
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Ponderous - an ending that doesn't even vaguely resolve the plot from the last two films... it pretends to, but it really doesn't...
Final Rating? DNS (Unless you REALLY liked the first two...)

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Halloween Pics are up!



OK, well, I'm sorry I haven't gotten these and other pics up sooner, but I've been hyper busy with all sorts of junk. I hope to be adding more pics of other events, soon as well as adding captions to the Halloween '03 pics (and fixing the background image!). Hey - at least they're up!

For the most part, they're pretty straight forward, but explanations might make them funnier. Anyway, click the pic above to check them out or click here!

Hope you enjoy 'em!

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

US GIs GIVEN POOR MEDICAL TREATMENT

In the past year, many people have been accused of failing to support the USMil, simply because they don't support the Iraq Attack. The funny thing is that while these accusations were flying, the USGov was cutting benefits for veterans of previous wars and cutting financial corners on the benefits for veterans of present wars.

Check out this excerpt from an article at DrudgeReport.com but published by UPI:
The National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers' living conditions are so substandard, and the medical care so poor, that many of them believe the Army is trying push them out with reduced benefits for their ailments. One document shown to UPI states that no more doctor appointments are available from Oct. 14 through Nov. 11 -- Veterans Day.

"I have loved the Army. I have served the Army faithfully and I have done everything the Army has asked me to do," said Sgt. 1st Class Willie Buckels, a truck master with the 296th Transportation Company. Buckels served in the Army Reserves for 27 years, including Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first Gulf War. "Now my whole idea about the U.S. Army has changed. I am treated like a third-class citizen."

Since getting back from Iraq in May, Buckels, 52, has been trying to get doctors to find out why he has intense pain in the side of his abdomen since doubling over in pain there.

After waiting since May for a diagnosis, Buckels has accepted 20 percent of his benefits for bad knees and is going home to his family in Mississippi. "They have not found out what my side is doing yet, but they are still trying," Buckels said.

One month after President Bush greeted soldiers at Fort Stewart -- home of the famed Third Infantry Division -- as heroes on their return from Iraq, approximately 600 sick or injured members of the Army Reserves and National Guard are warehoused in rows of spare, steamy and dark cement barracks in a sandy field, waiting for doctors to treat their wounds or illnesses.

The Reserve and National Guard soldiers are on what the Army calls "medical hold," while the Army decides how sick or disabled they are and what benefits -- if any -- they should get as a result.
Isn't that just great? They're going out there in harms way "for our freedom" and this is how they get treated?

It's gotten so bad that part of the recent $87 billion King George asked for has been put aside to help build back up benefits that were cut right around the time the Iraq Attack began. This is the kind of hypocracy that the USGov embraces from day-to-day. It's a war against WMD that do not exist, but what does exist are the bombs and bullets that are killing the guys most anti-war activists want to pull out of harms way. Those that survive the bombs and bullets hitting them are treated like cattle. Attended to, apparently only as an after thought by the people who would see them sacrifice their lives in the name of "freedom".

Good plan, folks...

Read the UPI article at Drudge that covers some of the ill-treatment of present US GIs.

Read a Newsday.com article that talks about the $87 billion spending bill and how it was passed, making sure to include more money to cover GI benefits.


Sunday, October 26, 2003

Smoke gets in your eyes... nose and throat!

If you live in Los Angeles right now, that is. Have you been watching the news? Then you probably have heard about the Southern California wildfires that have burned up 350 homes so far. If you live in LA, you probably can smell the fires in the form of smoke and ash that is clearly smellable in the air. In fact, my eyes are starting to sting as I type this. I think it might be time to head to the beach to take advantage of some wireless Internet and some fresher air.

Check out the pics below to see what things look like as of right now (12:32 PT):

smoke01 (222k image)
Despite the stereotypes, LA's sky is usually a clear blue thing that makes us all glad (or bored) to live here. But look at the houses in the distance. See that haze? Look above the trees near the center of the pic - see that brown/gray haze? That's not there, normally.


Here's a closer shot of the sky and houses up the street:

smoke02 (209k image)
You can see the brown/gray haze that we're seeing more of. Just so you know, the fires are about an hour's drive away. Luckily, the fire doesn't have a driver's license.


Of course - we don't have it half as bad as the folks in San Bernadino. There's a good chunk of flame-resistent city between where I am and San Bernadino, where the fires are. Here are some more dramatic pics to give you an idea of what people over there are facing, complements of MyWay.Com and the AP:

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That's a guy in Moorpark watering down a neighbor's roof as the fire licks his neighborhood. 10/26/03


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Another resident of Moorpark, CA waters down her yard as the flames approach. 10/26/03


And here's the pic that headlined DrudgeReport.Com as I typed up this blog entry:
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Well, we don't get snow, tornadoes or hurricanes, but we do get wildfires and the odd earthquake...

Keep your fingers crossed for us, folks!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Back in LACA!

Well, we spent 8 hours in the car yesterday (with me behind the wheel) to get us from Cedar City, Utah, to LA, California. We would have gotten back to Westwood earlier, but we got back into LA just in time for rush-hour traffic.

Of course, now the fun part for TheFiancee begins! She gets to unpack all of her stuff. And meanwhile, I get to catch up on the work I didn't do while I was in Utah. Yaaay!

Ugh...

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Almost done in Utah...

Well, the final performance of Little Shop went pretty well - everyone did a great last show and got a huge standing "O". So, that's pretty cool. That was last night. After, TheFiancee and I hung out with some of the cast and crew and then made our way to her apartment to crash early, since the original plan was to get up around 7am (!!) to meet up with her folks (who had come in to see the final show) for a bit of breakkie. But I had a truly rotten night of sleep, tossed and turned, despite the fact that I was very tired.

Woke up this morning at 6:50am and told TheFiancee I just wasn't going to make it to breakfast at all and she left and then went directly to what they call in the business "strike". That's where they tear all the sets down. I crashed and didn't wake up until she came back around 12:30pm for lunch! Then, she took me to this terrible wings place called "Wingers" - really bad wings there - don't try them. Then I just went home and fell back asleep!

I have no idea what my problem was. I woke up again around 3, I think, and messed around on the computer. Finally got the urge to be productive, so I'm doing this blog entry. I would spend some more time on the site, but I have to clean the kitchen and sweep the porch. Since we're packing up and leaving tomorrow, the place has to be spotless. Yippeeeeee...

Anyway, more when we're back in LACA. Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2003

BACK in Utah...

Greetings from 6000 feet above sea-level! I'm back in Utah, seeing TheFiancee's last performance in Little Shop of Horrors here at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and then I'm helping her clean and pack up her apartment here and I'm bringing her home!!

YIPPEEE!

Of course, the minute I set foot off the tiny plane I flew in on, I knew I was back in Utah. My eyes dried up instantly as did my nostrils (sp?). I'm sucking down water left and right and I can't wait to get in the car and drive home... That's how I KNOW I'm in Utah... it is a beautiful place, but I'm just a sea-level kind of guy, I guess. I like moisture in my air.

I'm kooky that way.

Anyway, I did bring PLENTY of work to do, so it's not like this is a nice vacation or anything. I've got a decent sized copy writing gig to do and my film to edit, so really, I'll be quite busy. I do hope to sneak in an update or two on TheNewsBlog. Got PLENTY to write about there, but I'm too tired to bother with it now...

Damn, thin-ass atmosphere up here has got me feeling vaguely tipsy all the time... or maybe that's just TheFiancee...

(Awwwwwww!)

Vomit.

Anyway, hope everyone is having a good weekend. Check out the forum and POST!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Wanna convert your videos to 3D?

This is just because I'm a nerdy guy at heart and wanted to share this with anyone curious if this can be done.

So, I go to a movie at the big 3-D film fest that was held at the Egyptian last month and it was awesome. But after seeing Gog in 3-D, I get curious, I wondered if there is an app or filter that will convert regular video clips into Anaglyph (red & blue) 3-D...

Well, weeks later, I'm taking a few days off from paid work and I do a web search. Lo and behold it exists. So, here are a few key phrases to make the search easier for other geeks. like me:

Convert video clips to 3D Anaglyph

make your own 3D movies

red and blue movies on your PC

3D video on your PC

Okay, hopefully that will do it. And here's a link to the site that offers the app that converts regular 2D video to 3D Anaglyph:

http://www3.zero.ad.jp/esuto/stvmkr/indexe.htm


So, follow that link to DL software that will (with a little tweaking on your end) allow you to convert 2D videos into 3D Anaglyph FUN!!

Saturday, October 11, 2003

KILL BILL Vol. 1 (2003)

Kill Bill, Volume 1Entertaining? Not really. But if you're a Tarantino fan, you'll probably love it.
Technically any good? Don't get me started... Read my bigger review...
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Frustrated. Just why do so many people think this guy is brilliant?
Final Rating? DNS (Unless you're a Tarantino fan, in which case, see it. You'll pee your pants with glee over it, I'm sure...)

PRAISE BE UNTO THE DIGITAL GODS!

They have blessed me and I am able to now say that TheForum@ThePete.Com WORKS!

Well, mostly...

There are still some odd little buggy-wugs, but as long as nobody tries anything fancy, I think it'll be okay. But I could use all the help I can get in breaking the thing - I'd rather have it mess up now than in a few weeks or months when it's got a stack of posts on it....

So, PLEASE, go give it a whirl! You'll have to register, but you know me, I'm not going to sell your email or spam you or anything...

Anyway, back to WORK!

Needing money sucks!

Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Once again, THIS is Bizarro World!

Well, Arnold won and by such a landslide, I think it proves my little theory that the people of California wanted some real friggin' choices during the last governor's race in the state. I mean, come on, of COURSE we voted for Gray Davis! He was up against a business man under investigation for fraud!

Hm, evil I know, or evil I don't know?

The point is, we had no real choice in the last election. The recall had very little to do with "circumventing democracy" because "democracy" had already been circumvented by the players involved using Microsoft-esque tacticts to give us only crappy choices. And you know the game of politics is SO much fun when the players phone it in... like Davis and Simon did back in '02.

But in reference to the title of this blog entry, I do believe this is true. After all, to more than half of the people who voted, Arnold seemed like the right guy to go with. That's a chief characteristic of Bizarro World. Things that make no sense abstractly, make perfect sense inside your head.

We are in so much trouble...

thebizarro (78k image)

PRESIDENT ARNOLD?

This is Bizarro World, it could happen. And it will happen if Republican Senator from Utah Orrin Hatch has his way. See, since July, Hatch has been shoving through the Senate a resolution that would allow any naturalized citizen who has lived in the US for twenty years to run for president. Currently, the US Constitution says that if you were not born in the US, you cannot run for the highest office in the US. According to an article at the Utne Reader web site, Arnold has been living in the US since 1968.

And just in case you're thinking that resolution could never pass with the 3/4 majority it needs, take a look at some of the other things that the USGov has said "OK!" to in the past couple years:

1) Forgoing a proper election that allows Congress to determine the winner of a disputed election (as the Constitution requires), the USGov allowed the Supreme Court, where just five people are required to determine the outcome of any case, to name the next President of the United States. (And relax, this isn't about who won or lost, it's how the game was played!)

2) The Patriot Act, which most Democrat law makers claim they didn't even have time to read before they voted "YES" on it.

3) The Iraq Attack, called by some Operation Iraqi Freedom, this sequel to the 1991 Box Office success, Desert Storm, essentially featured a bunch of no-name generals waging war against a sovereign member of the United Nations that had not attacked any US interests, leveled any threats, and was technically protected by the United Nations Charter. This action put the USGov in violation of International Law and alienated most of the rest of the planet.

Kind of makes a President with a foreign accent sound like no big deal, huh?

... be afraid... be very afraid!

Read the short article at the Utne Reader about the resolution that Orrin Hatch is trying to get passed in Washington.


Tuesday, October 7, 2003

GOOD GOD, IF YOU LIVE IN CA DON'T VOTE FOR ARNOLD!

READ THE HEADLINE OF THIS BLOG ENTRY AGAIN AND AGAIN!!!

DON'T
VOTE
ARNOLD!


I don't mind the world knowing exactly what I will do today:

YES on the RECALL
Bustamante for Governor!


I would have voted for Arianna Huffington because she's pretty much outside the system, but she dropped out. (The bitch!!) So, it's Bustamante to the rescue (hopefully). See, my whole problem was that Davis was a fool to take advice on the California energy "crisis" from two guys who were in the back pocket of the guys effectively causing this "crisis". It's been proven in a court of law that the private energy providers of California lied to Davis and the people of California, claiming that there was a power shortage, when there wasn't. During said "crisis", Davis turned to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for advice. He took that advice and did business with those liars. (What does that say about "W" and Cheney?) Davis was a fool - a blind man with sunglasses on at night walking through a blizzard would have seen that Bush/Cheney would spout nothing pro-big-energy-company advice. Davis needs to be fired and his Lt. Governor should take over.

I think this is a reasonable thing. If a public servant who was elected to office screws up, shouldn't there be a way to punish him without having to wait to vote him out? I'd like a job where I could screw up and not have to pay for it for two years. In Davis' case, the Republicans paid him back for doing business with the California Energy Liars by providing him with lousy competition for the Governor's mansion. So, essentially, we had no choice but to vote him back into office.

THAT wasn't democracy, that was another case of monopoly. Like Microsoft having no real competition.

Anyway, the only thing that has backfired here, IMHO, is Arnold running. While I admire his quick apologies, I don't trust him because he's a Republican. Also, he's apparently been a part of some shady dealings with fellow Republican and recall funder, Daryl Issa. I've got an article floating around my hard drive that details how Arnold joined up with Issa to help discredit Davis. Not a difficult task, but it apparently breaks a law... I'll post more on this in TheNewsBlog in the next few days.

And in case you don't know me and think I'm just some lame liberal/democrat - SORRY, HANS, WRONG GUESS! I'm an independent - tried and true. I don't believe that our founding fathers wanted the US to have a party system and clearly it's a thoroughly screwed up system. Like I said, I wanted to vote Arianna, but noooo, she had to listen to the polls! Well, of COURSE she won't get enough votes, NOW!!

OK, enough out of me, I'm going to go vote now...

Oh yeah - one last thing:

VOTE NO ON 54!


Prop 54 outlaws the asking of race questions on questionaires and forms used by the state. This would effectively abolish affirmative action. It's pretty obviously a racist prop put forward by white guys in suits... NEVER TRUST THOSE GUYS!!

OK, I'm outta here! (Finally!)

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Saturday, October 4, 2003

TAMALA 2010 (2002)

Entertaining? Holy crap, was it ever! This anime will baffle and entertain you! In that order!
Technically any good? Well, this is definitely an experimental animated movie - it's truly crazy, so it doesn't have to work like a traditional movie. However, I think it does satisfy for the most part.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Fired up - it was such a bizarre film to watch - it's not really anime, but it is Japanese, but it's just not like anything... it's just weird... but in a really great way...
Final Rating? SIYL (It's very trippy and doesn't make a whole lot of traditional sense - but SEE IT! It's great.)

Thursday, October 2, 2003

Ever want to just do nothing?

I've been working my ass off for the past week - non-stop work for other people since early last week. No real breaks, no real fun. I guess I did have some fun over the weekend, but it was only a few hours Friday night. But right now, as much as I'd like to do some serious work in updates to the site and other stuff (like WRITING and EDITING), I'm just not in the mood to do anything but sit and do nothing.

Which is really sad, since my clean laundry has been sitting in my laundry baskets for almost a week, desperately needing to be folded... oh well!

UPDATE: All right, well, I got restless so I added a new woman to TheBeauty and a new Ballpoint Adventures strip. I'd do a new Otis, but my old 98 laptop is screwed right now which means, no scanner since Canon didn't bother to write XP drivers for their cheapy scanners. THANKS, CANON, YOU BASTARDS!

Did I mention I'm a little cranky? :)

UPDATE #2:

GOT THE SCANNER WORKING! YESSS!!!

{{popup myscannerworks.jpg myscannerworks 612x835}}myscannerworks (35k image)
(click to enlarge me)


No, really... it's working!! HONEST!

Monday, September 29, 2003

THE ONLY REAL HATE CRIME

When a parent kills an offspring because he or she not approving of the lifestyle their child has chosen to live. In Britain these murders are called "Honour Killings" and there is nothing honorable about them. The following is from an article at Independent.co.uk:
When Abdalla Yones learnt that his 16-year-old child, Heshu, had begun seeing a Christian teenager he stabbed her 11 times. After breaking down the door of the bathroom where she had barricaded herself in, he slit her throat leaving her to bleed to death.
This guy then begs the judge for the death penalty. What a total coward.

He's got the gall to kill his daughter and then beg for the easy way out? Go straight to heaven so he can tell Allah that he murdered his daughter because she wasn't living a life respectful to Allah's ways. Luckily, he was sentenced to life in prison, so he'll have to live with what he did for the rest of his life. A punshment, with any luck, far worse than death.

When a man hates another man and kills him because of that hate, usually in terms of race or sexuality, it's called a hate crime. Hate criminals usually get stiffer penalties. But shouldn't dispassionate killings get harsher penalties than hate crimes? So, someone who has opinions and acts on them by killing another person is more deserving of harsh punishment compared to someone who kills without regard? But when a parent kills an offspring, the parent is killing out of his or her on disappointment in themselves in failing to bring up their child in a way they, themselves, approve of. Essentially, the parent is taking out their frustrations on their child and to do it the way Yones did it is just twisted.

But all parents need to think about this - sure, it's an insanely extreme situation, but this really did happen. How far are you willing to take your dissatisfaction with your child's choices in life? It's a free country, but it should be a free world. Once they're old enough to make up their minds, love them because they're your kids, don't hate them because they have a mind of their own. It sounds like a simple lesson. But, you try teaching it to Abdalla Yones.

Read the rest of this soul-crushing article about the murder of this young girl and other such "Honour Killings" at Independent.co.uk.


Friday, September 26, 2003

Now THIS is a playing card I can get behind!

bush43card (23k image)


This is a card a French company has included in it's "Most Dangerous American Officials" deck of playing cards. In English, the card reads: "Owned a baseball team and an oil company with Salem bin Laden (brother of Osama). Designated president of the USA by friend of his father's in the Supreme Court before it could be determined that he had lost the election."

That's a rough transaltion that I pieced together from Babelfish at Alta Vista.

At least the French still understand the concept of freedom of speech... and right and wrong and International Law and... well, you get the point... ;) Then again, Osama bin Laden himself is included in the deck, seeing as he was once funded by the CIA and said to have trained at the School of the Americas, this isn't completely absurd. Why, here are the bin Laden and Rumsfeld cards now!

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Believe me, I'm not anti-American - I'm just anti-this-administration. Not to the detriment of my Country, but to the betterment of it. The USMil is now responsible for nearly three times the number of civilian deaths in Iraq as bin Laden himself was responsible for on 911. (This does not include the number of US soldiers killed, either.) If those damn Iraqi resistance fighters would just give in to freedom, I'm SURE the killing would stop! Of course, if The USGov would just stop forcing it's will on Iraq, that might stop the killing, too... just a suggestion!

Thursday, September 25, 2003

MPAA *TRIES* TO LEARN FROM RIAA'S MISTAKES

"Tries" is the operative word, here. According to a September 25, 2003 New York Times article, the MPAA has begun a national anti-pirating propaganda campaign as one of the ways the Motion Picture Association of America is attempting to curb the steadily growing number of feature-film downloaders. Also included are security guards in movie theaters equipped with night-vision goggles, electronic watermarks on movie prints and DVD screeners and they are even considering whether to continue putting screeners on DVD. But it's the anti-pirating propaganda campaign that shows the MPAA's true lack of understanding. In fact, based on this campaign, it's quite obvious that the MPAA is just as clueless as their musical counterparts.

Here's the deal with the anti-pirating propaganda campaign, they are releasing public service announcements in movie theaters featuring "every day joe" types who work in the industry telling the viewer that pirating hurts them. But really, it doesn't. Almost every aspect of Hollywood is unionized. Everyone works for a set amount of pay. They can negotiate more, but they are guaranteed a minimum by belonging to their unions. So, how does bootlegging put them in the poorhouse? Answer: It doesn't. It takes money off the top of the profits - the profits really only the studios and distributors ever see anyway. So, essentially, the MPAA is lying in these PSAs.

Of course, the best part is the slogan for this propaganda campaign: "Movies. They're worth it."

Ironic, since mostly, they're not.

As this article is being written, the top five movies in the box office are movies that are heavy on the action, but aren't terribly good movies. Underworld, this past weekend's top grossing movie is perhaps the dumbest vampire movie to cross the screens since Love At First Bite. Second Hand Lions is a sweet, sappy, but utterly predictable piece of family-fare that is better waited for on home video than seen in theaters for the insane price of $10 a ticket. The Fighting Temptations has been reviewed as something akin to a 90 minute music video. Once Upon A Time In Mexico is a sequel to the enjoyable but dumb actioner Desperado, and finally Cold Creek Manor was reviewed by Leonard Maltin as being a thriller without a crucial ingredient: thrills.

So, like the Recording Industry, who is upset when we don't buy crappy music on overpriced CDs, the Motion Picture Industry just doesn't get that their movies SUCK and that bootleggers are protesting the suckiness in the only way they can, by bootlegging. Here's the solution to both the MPAA and the RIAA's problems:

MAKE A BETTER PRODUCT AND DON'T CHARGE SO MUCH, YOU LAZY, GREEDY BASTARDS!

We just need our entertainment to allow us to escape from our bloody boring lives. We shouldn't have to mortgage the house to see Gigli 2: Electric Bugaloo.

There's a lot more to the story, so, read that New York Times article covering the MPAA's attempts to stop movie pirating.


Wednesday, September 24, 2003

The last of our mice are gone... RIP GOJI!

goji stone


Last night, while I was at work, little Gojira passed away. He was the toughest of all of the mice we got two years ago. He hung in there while the others died. But last night he joined his brothers.

Bye, Goji! If there's a God, I hope he keeps your cage cleaner than I did! Take care, buddy! We'll miss you! (Oh, and sorry for the fuzzy pic - you always moved too fast for me to catch you on camera!)

Monday, September 22, 2003

CRAZY fun weekend, although I coulda used more oxygen

Well, Saturday was great, but Sunday was a little slow. We went to Wal-Mart, which was one of the whopping 4 things to do in Cedar City (the other three are see a show at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, drink and have sex) and while it was impressive, it was also a bit of a let-down. It was HUGE - it had a COMPLETE supermarket, with pharmacy PLUS a regular Wal-Mart. You would think the shopping potential would be MASSIVE. But, all I ended up walking out with was a couple of jars of vitamins that I got for much cheaper than I would have paid in LA. Sad, really. There is no Toys R Us in Cedar City, Utah, so I figured the toy selection at Wal-Mart would be astounding - but it wasn't. It was a joke.

So, after the disappointment at Wal-Mart, we just headed back to TheFiancee's place and watched some TV, took a nap and then went for a hike at this park not far from her apartment. It was beautiful - there was a creek there and we some some gorgeous mountains. Then on Monday, we went to the Cedar Breaks National Park - it was amazing. We were 10,530 feet above sea level. There was so little oxygen in the air after walking about ten feet up an incline of about 45 degrees, we were out of breath. The view, however, was spectacular. Yes, we took plenty of pictures, I hope to sort them this week... famous last words!

The bad things about the weekend: 1st, it had to end. Being away from TheFiancee for another month sucks the Bonobo's Banana, IF you know what I mean... 2nd, our hotel was pretty lousy, too. The bed was uncomfortable and the pillows were too small. Our second night there, the management turned on the heat in our room and I couldn't figure out how to turn it all the way off. It was so hot and dry I had trouble sleeping. I got a better night's sleep on TheFiancee's couch my last night there. The 3rd thing that sucked about the weekend was that since Cedar City is 6000 feet above sea level, there's not a whole lot of oxygen there. Now, I know, living in LA, I don't get a lot of oxygen in my air in the first place, but the amount in the air in Cedar City was just enough to have me perpetually feel vaguely weird about everything. It all seemed just a hair surreal.

The 4th thing that was bad was the complete LACK of humidity in the same nearly oxygen-free air, there. This resulted in, as TheFiancee so eloquently put it: crusty bloody boogers. Which, coincidentally is the name of my new band, playing this Friday at the Whisky, in Hollywood. (Not really.) I think that's pretty much every sucky thing that happened, which really, all-in-all, wasn't that big of a deal. I mean, sure, I knew I had to leave to come back to LA, but the other stuff was nothing and we both had such a great time that it completely out-weighed the bad stuff.

Still, I coulda used some more oxygen...

Sunday, September 21, 2003

SATURDAY: BUSY DAY IN CEDAR CITY

Wow, yesterday was nuts! (OK, how many blogs have started with that statement, I wonder?) We got up, grabbed a quick, short breakie and headed off to TheFiancee's show, Little Shop of Horrors. It was great - everyone did a wonderful job, the sets were very impressive and I was surprised at how many mormons in the audience laughed at the very dark jokes in the show. After that, we went and saw Underworld, which was sadly a disappointment. (Check out my Pocket Review.) After that we saw The Importance of Being Earnest which was a total riot - it was very funny and again, the performances were very good. You'd never think you could laugh that hard at pompous British shenanegans.

Finally we went to the cast party after and hung out. I met some cool people and had Mexican food. A good time was had by all, but boy, were we bushed!! We crashed and slept VERY in.

Today the plan was to go to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, but we decided that the hotel would cost too much so, we're hitting the only other local attraction in Cedar City, aside from the Utah Shakespeare Festival which is WAL-MART!!! After breakie at Denny's, of course. After Wal-Mart, we'll probably go hiking and come back to TheFiancee's place and watch some videos.

All in all, I'm enjoying being with Sierra again (I missed her so much!) but, I can definitely say Utah is not my kind of state. Not much going on and it's just too damn dry here. Might as well call this place Crusty-Booger-City! Sheesh!


Later folks! Back in LA on Monday!

Saturday, September 20, 2003

UNDERWORLD (2003)

Underworld (Widescreen Special Edition)Entertaining? Sure, but only on the surface.
Technically any good? The effects were mostly good, the acting was mostly fine (the guy who played Kraven should have his SAG card revoked) but the script and story were completely muddled and at times unfollowable.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Weakly satisified, but only because of the action scenes. The idea of vampires and werewolves with guns makes no sense, anyway - we humans kill with guns all the time, therefore, what's so interesting about vampires and werewolves with guns?
Final Rating? SAM (Fun, but only for watching the action scenes.)

Friday, September 19, 2003

GREETINGS FROM UTAH!

Welp, I'm here in Utah, visiting TheFiancee! And guess what... there's nothing here, really. I mean, Cedar City is a tiny little place that has very little going on. It's got a lot of "small town" character and charm, but there's not a whole lot to do here. Still, I've only been here a few hours and I've already felt myself falling into a more polite, cordial ThePete. It's a strange transformation.

The really tough thing, being the decade-long Angelino that I am, is dealing with the whiteness of it all. Don't get me wrong, everyone is really nice and polite here, but they're just all white. I'm from LA, where even on the shuttle to the airport today we had four different races represented. If aliens had come down to Earth and whisked us away, we'd have done a pretty good job of representing the Earth.

It's also very short here - not the people, the buildings. There are very few things in Cedar City taller than three stories and most of those are mountains, buttes, mesas or other rock formations. It is very beautiful, that's for sure. I'm sure I'll be taking more pics that will take me months to post to this web site.

Anyway, not much else to report. Still tonight we're going to a premiere party where I'll no doubt be used by TheFiancee as her trophy-husband. Ah well! ;)

Oh yeah and check out the web cam for pics of our living room. Watch to see if the cats are caught on cam! Around midnight PST is their witching hour - Ecks and Zaphod (the two b&w cats) do their spaz attacks and James (the tabby) just looks on in bewilderment of the young whippersnappers.

Anyway, more blog entries as my weekend progresses, hopefully!

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

SO, WHY DID WE ATTACK IRAQ, AGAIN???

In a September 17, 2003 Associated Press article at the Washington Post web site, George W. Bush is quoted as saying that there is no evidence to suggest that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the 911 attacks.

This despite the insane number of times that the Bush 43 Administration has insisted that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had ties with Al Qaeda, the group said to be behind the 911 attacks. So, here's a question for you, the average person reading this:

If you say Person A killed Person B and Person C hung around Person A a lot and may have helped him get a gun, isn't that like saying Person C helped Person A kill Person B?

This is what the Bush 43 Admin has done. Drawn a concept in the minds of Americans of guilt-by-association between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein to make it more palatable to those American that the USMil has invaded a sovereign country in violation of the UN Charter and International Law. And it's worked, hasn't it?

In a recent Washington Post poll, 70% felt Saddam Hussein had a roll in the 911 attacks. This despite the fact that most of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, an American ally and the few that weren't from Saudi Arabia, weren't from Iraq, either.

Let's review here:

1)Bush 43 Admin says Hussein has connections to Al Qaeda
2)Bush 43 Admin says that Hussein has WMD and he might give them to terrorists who could use them against the US.
3)In other words, we'd better kill Hussein before another 911 happens.

This is a quote from that Associated Press article given by Condoleezza Rice when asked if she was surprised that two-thirds of America believes that Hussein was behind 911:
"We have never claimed that Saddam Hussein had either direction or control of 9-11."
HEAVENS!! HOW COULD ANYONE GET THAT IDEA!?!?

Back on September 6, 2003, the Washington Post published the results of that poll in an article that contained the following:
Deborah Tannen, a Georgetown University professor of linguistics who has studied Bush's rhetoric, said it is impossible to know but "plausible" that Bush's words furthered such public impressions. "Clearly, he's using language to imply a connection between Saddam Hussein and September 11th," she said.

"There is a specific manipulation of language here to imply a connection." Bush, she said, seems to imply that in Iraq "we have gone to war with the terrorists who attacked us."

Tannen said even a gentle implication would be enough to reinforce Americans' feelings about Hussein. "If we like the conclusion, we're much less critical of the logic," she said.
'nuff said.

Well, almost. Let's just add two more points to the above list:

4)On the assumptions made in points 1, 2 & 3, Americans tend not to mind so much that USUK forces in Iraq have killed roughly 7000 Iraqi civilians, more than twice the number of people kill on 911.
5)Not only have no WMD been found, but there doesn't appear to be a clear connection between Hussein and Al Qaeda, either. In fact, in another Associated Press article from September 17, 2003, former Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix is quoted saying that he feels that Hussein destroyed all of his WMD in the early 90s, but essentially kept up appearances in an attempt to deter any threats.

Read the Washington Post article on the September 5, 2003 poll stating that 70% of Americans believe Hussein was behind 911.

Read the September 17, 2003 article covering Bush 43's admission that there is no evidence that Hussein was behind 911.

Read the AP article that contains Blix's comments at LasVegasSun.Com.


Monday, September 15, 2003

DRUDGE SEZ: MANILA PAPER SEZ: PLOT TO KILL BUSH UNCOVERED *UPDATED*

Well, that's what they're saying over at The Drudge Report. There's a little blurb that says:
PAPER: Bush assassination plot in Philippines; President set for October 18 visit...
There's a link behind the headline, but the page won't load in any browser. The link is to an article at the Manila Times web site, but whether you try to load the actual article or the site itself, nothing comes up.

Now, the really funny thing here is that there is no coverage of this story anywhere else, right now (3:45pm PST 9/15/3) and you'd think SOMEone would have seen the headline at Drudge and read the article and covered that at least the article existed in the first place. However, that's not happening. Google News, a site that takes headlines automatically from various sources, has nothing on this story. CNN.com currently has California Recall coverage as their main story, followed by stories of hurricane Isabel, Johnny Cash's funeral, a couple of murders and Ben and J-Lo's possible split.

But nothing about officials in the Philippines uncovering a plot to kill the do in the White House!

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE????

The Washington Post's web site is equally bare. (Although they don't seem to realize the importance of the Ben Affleck/J-Lo story!!)

Even if the article at the Manila Times web site is a fake or just wrong, shouldn't there be a story on that?

Hell, it was government officials in the Philippines who first discovered a plot to crash a plane into a skyscraper. When they tried to contact their counterparts in the USGov, they were shrugged off and ignored.

Let's hope SOMEONE'S learning from history... and let's hope it's not just me!

Try to pull up the Manila Times article yourself.

Try pulling up the Manila Times web site's main page.

UPDATED: Finally got through to the Manila Times web site! Still no sign of coverage on any of the mainstream news sites... now at 11:52pm PST... go figure!


Sunday, September 14, 2003

SITE UPDATES, FINALLY!

Check it out - a brand new site over at TheSciFi.Com - yes, I finally got off my ass and pulled together a nice and simple design using a couple of blog scripts and a tag board. Stop by and let me know what you think! There's no content there yet, but hopefully I'll have stuff added in the next week or so. If you have anything scifi-ish you want to contribute, HOLLER!! I need all the help I can get! Oh and there's also TheSciFiBoard that you can post to, as well.

Visit TheSciFi.Com!

Meanwhile, I've (FINALLY!) updated Otis and Ballpoint on the main page. And fully changed over TheNewsBlog to the new format. Also, I've updated TheBeauty and moved TheBeauty Archives to make them easier to find on the site. Oh and there's a new video of the moment and I added a new audio of the moment last week. Check them out, too!

Believe it or not, I accomplished all of the above in the past 24 hours - I think I got about 5 hours of sleep and I'm only slightly tired. Go fig! In the preceding four weeks, I've been flying back east for my brother's wedding, trying to deal with TheFiancee being out of town for two months but most of all, working at my new job, which is what was preventing me from updating the site more often. But hey, copy writing pays pretty well, so I'm happy to do it. Money is good!

Well, really "money" is not "good" or "bad" but relies on humans to endow it with power and a positive or negative connotation. To be honest, when I have some money I think it's good. But when I have too much or too little of it, I tend to think it's pretty evil stuff... but I digress...

CHECK OUT THE SITE!!

More new stuff when I can catch a sec!

PS Oh yeah and be sure to check out my blog post from 9/13 if you missed it - it's pretty cool!

Lataz!

PPS Check out my goofy cam pic of me in my sexy 3-D glasses! I'm looking SUHWEEEET!

Friday, September 12, 2003

MILLENNIUM ACTRESS (2001)

Millennium ActressEntertaining? This anime is VERY entertaining - but it's NOT an action movie and it's for anyone who enjoys a good story. (Anime is Japanese Animation.)
Technically any good? Very much so. Good story, reasonably well developed characters and really nice animation helps tell a wonderful story about an actress who has lived through it all. The film marches through Japanese cinema and art history creating a truly fun movie in the process.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Good, really good. This is just a good movie.
Final Rating? GSN (If you can find it - it's only playing in ONE theater in LA!!)

Can you raed tihs?

I got this from my buddy Alejandro:

Acocdrnig to an elgnsih unviesitry sutdy the oredr of letetrs in a wrod dosen't mttaer, the olny thnig thta's iopmrantt is that the frsit and lsat ltteer of eevry word is in the crcreot ptoision. The rset can be jmbueld and one is stlil able to raed the txet wiohtut dclftfuiiy.

If you can read the text above, your brain is demonstrating the remarkable human ability to force patterns on even jumbled messes.


Us humans, we're kooky!

John Ritter, Rest In Peace

 

 

johnritter (20k image)

I spent most of my childhood
laughing my ass off at you.

You're gone way too early...

 

Thursday, September 11, 2003

MISSING 727 SPOTTED? MAYBE...

According to information provided by Joseph Padilla, SR, the Boeing 727 that went missing from an airstrip in Angola on May 25, 2003 may be sitting in a hangar in Beirut, Lebanon, right now. The source of this information is the brother of an engineer/pilot who, before it's disappearance, was hired to travel to Angola and refit the 10+ year-old aircraft with extra fuel tanks so it could be used as a tanker, or as some believe, a flying bomb. For those of you not following along, there have been quite a few rumors floating around about this plane. Here's another to add to the list.

Padilla says that he was contacted by a pilot who had spoken with an aircraft mechanic in North Dakota, who said he saw the missing 727 in a hangar in Beirut and had overheard people apparently involved with, or standing around the 727 speak of a plan to fly the plane to Israel to bomb an unamed location there.

Now, this sounds like a classic "my friend, who knows this guy, heard that..." kind of story, but in today's climate, it's obvious SOMEone need to follow this stuff up. To back this story up, Padilla draws attention to an article at AlBawaba.com, a Middle East news web site, that quotes Israel's top general as saying that Al Qaeda has been trying to recruit Saudi pilots for 911-style suicide missions against Israel.

Now, regardless of which side you're on in the whole Israelestine/Palestisrael argument, lives lost is never a good thing. We can and should all agree on that. So, if you know someone in the USGov or any other government which has the power to look in on this, please speak to them! Forward this article to them and follow up on this.

Lives could be at stake.

Read the AlBawaba.com article regarding the top Israeli general's claims that Al Qaeda plans to perform 911-esque attacks against Israel.

Read previous NewsBlog coverage of this story.


Wednesday, September 10, 2003

BATTLE OF SHAKER HEIGHTS (2003)

The Battle of Shaker HeightsEntertaining? Not all that much.
Technically any good? Not really. We're supposed to care about this kid because he's so precocious, but he's not - he's just sort of weaselly and lame. None of the characters were interesting enough to care about and the plot is barely there. You'd think with cameras rolling on the set, thanks to this movie being made through Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's Project Greenlight, that someone would have noticed the lack of an actual plot. Oh, well...
B>How did I feel as the credits rolled? Annoyed. They make a whole 90 minute movie and basically, it's just a boring remake of The Graduate. Project Greenlight? Where's a traffic cop when you need one?
Final Rating? DNS (Bland, boring and uninteresting.)

CABIN FEVER (2002)

Cabin Fever - Special EditionEntertaining? Yeah, like a good, bad splatter film from the late 80's.
Technically any good? Nudity, confusion about why it's all happening and the Jar-Jar Binksian character dies a horrible death. In other words, YES. Not great, but it certainly acomplishes what it set out to do.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Entertained. If only all bad movies out of Hollywood were this good. That's not to say this is a good movie, but it is fun.
Final Rating? SAM (Only if you're dying for some good splatter fun. RTV, otherwise.)

Saturday, September 6, 2003

FREDDY VS. JASON (2003)

Freddy vs. Jason (New Line Platinum Series)Entertaining? Hell, yeah - more than most movies these days!
Technically any good? Messy and contrived plot, but the scenes were nicely constructed so you do feel tension and excitement. Nice to see nudity in a splatter film again, but there's never enough of it compared to the good ol' days.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Fine, glad my favorite psycho killer represented us Jersey guys well... you know Camp Crystal Lake is in New Jersey, right? ;)
Final Rating? SAM (Not as clever as the last Jason movie, but still fun.)