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Thursday, September 30, 2004

WHY ISN'T THE MEDIA COVERING THIS?

I suppose that since the debates are here it's ADD time for the media. Which is funny since the "What was Bush doing during Vietnam" story made the rounds back in 2000 only to return in 2004. Then Rathergate and now nothing. The only reason I mention it is because of this story from the AP and 9news.com. Here's the headline and an excerpt:

Bush document from 1974 perplexes Denver, White House officials

DENVER (AP) - Air Force Reserve officials here, as well as staffers at the White House, were struggling to explain the sudden appearance of a 1974 document in which George W. Bush submitted his resignation from the Reserve, saying he had "inadequate time" to fulfill his duty obligations.

The White House found the document yesterday and contacted the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, where Bush was serving at the time he wrote the letter.

So, what's up, media? I used Matt Drudge's little "hot tip" web form on his main page to send him a link to the above referred story, yet even he hasn't posted to it.

What's the significance to this story? Well, it shows what an elitist brat Bush 43 thought he was. I mean, what moron thinks you can just write a letter of resignation to the government and get out of the rest of your National Guard time??? This is especially bizarre during a time in America's history where people desperately wanted to get out of the military but obviously couldn't.

So, what's the deal Media? If you're so liberal, why don't you dig into this story and make a big deal out of it like you did Dan Rather making a mistake?

FEINSTEIN PROPOGATES ALLAWI PUPPET RUMOR

According to an AFP article over at Yahoo News, California Senator Dianne Feinstein complained to King George about how Iraqi Puppet--I mean, Prime Minister lyad Allawi's recent speech to Congress was in fact co-written by the Bush 43 Admin. This may well be possible, but she provided no proof. The article refers to it as a rumor and I would certainly characterize it as scuttlebutt. What's wrong with believing scuttlebutt? For most people in Washington, the scuttlebutt was that Saddam had WMD.

So just because the scuttlebutt says something you agree with you should remember a saying from the 1980s... Don't believe the hype.

Sure, it probably is true, since everything else connected to the Bush 43 Admin is scripted, but unless you have proof, make sure you are clear that you have no proof. Don't fall into the W-trap.



From the AFP and Yahoo News:

Lawmaker expresses "dismay" that White House allegedly wrote Allawi speech

Thu Sep 30, 3:36 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - In a letter to the White House, a leading US Senate Democrat expressed "profound dismay" that the White House allegedly wrote a large portion of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's speech to Congress last week.

"I want to express my profound dismay about reports that officials from your administration and your reelection campaign were 'heavily involved' in writing parts of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's speech," California Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote in a letter to President George W. Bush.

"You may be surprised by this, Mr. President, but I viewed Prime Minister Allawis speech as an independent view on conditions in Iraq," she wrote.

"His speech gave me hope that reconstruction efforts were proceeding in most of the country and that elections could be held on schedule."

"To learn that this was not an independent view, but one that was massaged by your campaign operatives, jaundices the speech and reduces the credibility of his remarks," Feinstein wrote.

Her letter was a response to an article appearing in Thursday's Washington Post, which also alleged that Allawi was coached by US officials -- including Dan Senor, former spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq-- in perfecting his delivery of the speech delivered before a joint session of Congress one week ago.

Copyright � 2004 Agence France Presse

TRUTH OR BULLSHIT, HOW WILL YOU VOTE?

Sorry to be so crass, but that's what's up. I watched the debate. Kerry kept blandly repeating the facts, while Bush dynamically repeated his rhetoric. Basically what I got from this was that while Kerry isn't Mr. Dynamic, he is Mr. Accurate. Bush said nothing new, just repeating his view of Iraq through those Rove Colored Glasses. Granted, Kerry could have been more specific about his plans, but he clearly had the facts at his command.

ENJOY THE SPIN WE'LL SEE IN THE NEWS!! YAAAAY! HURRAY FOR AMERICA!! ;)

1st DEBATE TONIGHT AT 6pm PST!!

Don't call or IM me tonight between 6pm and 7:30pm PST!!! I'm going to be watching the spectacle that is the modern "debate." I'll try to quip to a transcript and post it later. Yipeee!! Modern politics is FUN--oh yeah and this debate is a great chance to watch grown act like children and embarass us al!! YAAAAAY!!

Thanks to the questions not being given to the candidates in advance, tonight will be a really good opportunity to watch Bush flub up supremely. :)

I CAN'T be the only one who is excited about that!

Just make sure to watch C-SPAN and not any "real" news broadcasts. They're all going to spin it one way or the other. C-SPAN is the safest bet if you're interested in making up your own mind, minus the spin "real" news coverage puts on events like this.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

REBELS IN AFRICA DON'T WANT POWER

Hey, check it out--there's a revolution in Nigeria, but the rebels don't want power. They're following Hugo Chavez's line in Venezuela and want all citizens of Nigeria to share in the oil wealth of their country. Seems fair enough to me. But of course, the oil companies that do most of the work getting the oil are not so keen on it. Of course, greed breeds greed, so sharing is something the rich just can't do. Of course, with Peak Oil coming up, if you're going to make a grab for oil-wealth rights, now's the time to do it. Hell, it'd be an appropriate grab, in my book, even without Peak Oil looming because, according to a BBC News article, the country produces the 7th largest supply of oil in the world and yet just short of two-thirds of their population lives in poverty.

Something's wrong with that math.

Anyway, it seems like a settlement may be in the works between Dokubo Asari, the rebel leader and Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo. So, while that's good, I'm not sure exactly what that really means.

See if you can make heads or tails out of this situation by reading a BBC News article on this temporary truce over at the BBC News website.

WAR WITH NOKO?

Here's a blurb from an AP article posted over at Yahoo News:
Warning that the danger of war on the Korean peninsula "is snowballing," Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon provided details Monday of the nuclear deterrent that he said North Korea has developed for self-defense.

He told the U.N. General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting that Pyongyang had "no other option but to possess a nuclear deterrent" because of U.S. policies that he claimed were designed to "eliminate" North Korea and make it "a target of preemptive nuclear strikes."

"Our deterrent is, in all its intents and purposes, the self-defensive means to cope with the ever increasing U.S. nuclear threats and further, prevent a nuclear war in northeast Asia," he told a news conference after his speech.
Or just make a nuclear war in northeast Asia worse.

Just something to think about!

Actually, one of the theories I'm working on is how throughout history, wars seem to be a distraction from something else. Like Afghanistan really had zip to do with the Taliban--well, directly, anyway. The real reasons were about business and neo-con agenda. The Taliban turned down a Unocal oil pipeline deal and the Neo-Cons have been saying since the early 90s that they want to expand USMil presence in Asia. They got their wish, that's for sure.

The point is, Kim Jun Il has been in charge of NoKo for a while now. Why is he flaring now? Why can his people use US actions as an excuse to bolster his own argument for becoming a nukepower? Why is the USGov giving them an excuse for a nuke build-up? Remember, Pearl Harbor wasn't really surprise attack--the US had attacked Japan's oil-supply chain. That'd piss anyone off, even in today's world.

So, what is NoKo, Iraq and Afghanistan covering for?

I'll have more on this theory, I hope...

ALAN KEYES: WHAT A MESS

This up-and-coming Dem in Illinois, called Obama, was running unopposed in the Illinois senate race. He gives a speech at the DNCon and next thing you know, Alan Keyes moves from Maryland to Illinois to run against Obama in the un-taken Republican slot. This is all you really to know for the rest of this story. Here we go:

1) In 2000, when Hillary Clinton moved from DC to NYC in hopes of running and winning a vacant senate seat, Keyes said the following: "...I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn't imitate it." (source)

2) During the RNCon, Keyes gave an interview to the satellite-radio-based, gay-themed radio show OutQ where he described all gay people as "selfish hedonists." When asked if that meant that the lesbian daughter of Dick Cheney was a "selfish hedonist" too, he said: "Of course she is." (source)

3) In late September 2004, the blogosphere broke the story that Keyes, himself, has a lesbian daughter. (source) (source) (source) (source) (source) (source)

4) The day after giving that interview to OutQ, reporters asked Keyes what he would do if he had a lesbian daughter and he replied that he would pray to God to help her "deal with that sin."

I guess there's going to be a lot of praying going on in the Keyes household!

I should add that normally, I wouldn't give a crap about whether someone's daughter was gay or not. The thing is, her dad is going around spouting hatred and intolerance toward people like her, yet she is campaigning for him. She's campaigning for a person who thinks she is a "selfish hedonist." Seems like a conflict of interests to me. Kind of like me helping my parents to become lawmakers so they can outlaw action figures or Godzilla.

And yes, I do value my right to own toys on the same level as my right to choose whether or not my significant other has a penis.

Of course, the point of this entry, over all is, Alan Keyes: What a Mess.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004)

Shaun of the DeadEntertaining? YESSS!!! I laughed my ass off but still the film made me care legitimately about the characters.
Technically any good? Man, this is one of the most well made movies to come out this year. Good writing, good acting, good direction, good everything. It's got some nice subtle homages to classic zombie flicks but manages to take the genre in a direction it hasn't gone in yet.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Immensely satisfied. I literally have nothing critical to say about this film. While I would have liked to see more gore, frankly, I didn't really care while watching it. Honestly, I believe that there are just three zombie films no self-respecting film collector should be with out. Night of the Living Dead, Dead/Alive, and Shaun of the Dead.
Final Rating? SIYL (Hey, it's a zombie flick. They're aren't for everyone.)

DAILY SHOW VIEWERS AMONG THE BEST INFORMED

Wow, well, this is something I suspected for quite some time. However, I'm not the only person to think that the Daily Show is, in fact, the most important TV show on the air today, blogger-extraordinaire/my future sister-in-law, Lisa Rein posts good quality quicktime video clips from the Daily Show all of the time. Personally, I find I can't stomach "regular" news, but Jon Stewart and his writers have the ability to present the news in a smart, skeptical way that favors no one side of the issue more than the other. Remember, you can't simply judge balance on how many times they say something nice about the Republicans compared to the number of nice things he said about the Democrats. Are they "liberals?" Probably. But they bag on Kerry as much as they can. I feel that they'd bag on him more, but there's not that much to bag on. Bush, on the other hand, well, I won't go there. ;)

Anyway, the popular concept of just who watches the Daily Show is that they are all just college-age kids who are generally, to put it bluntly, young and stupid. Apparently, Bill O'Reilly said as much on his show when Stewart was on it. Two blurbs in IMDB's Movie & TV news page report that O'Reilly is O'wrong:
Determined not to be caught up in a spin zone created by Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, Comedy Central on Monday refuted O'Reilly's assertion that the audience for the network's The Daily Show was composed of "stoned slackers." The channel extracted data from Nielsen Media Research to indicate that Daily Show host Jon Stewart's viewers are more likely to have completed college than O'Reilly's.

What's more obnoxious, but not surprising, is that, according to the IMDB article, O'Reilly explained to Jon Stewart when Stewart was on his show that:
"You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary, but it's true. You've got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night and they can vote."

WHAT a dickweed!!

But wait! There's more! More from IMDB, that is:
In a poll conducted between July 15 and Sept. 19, nearly 20,000 young adults were asked six questions about the presidential candidates' stands on various issues. Those who watched no late-night comedy shows answered 2.62 questions correctly. David Letterman's viewers answered 2.91; Jay Leno,'s 2.95; and Jon Stewart's (The Daily Show) 3.59. The results for Stewart appeared particularly striking to the pollsters, who noted that his viewers "have higher campaign knowledge than national news viewers and newspaper readers."

Ahhh, it's nice to be vindicated... Well, to a certain degree, anyway. I don't get all of my news from the Daily Show and neither should anyone else. However, I, quite religiously, spend 30 minutes, four times a week, watching Jon Stewart tell me what's really going on in the world. Hell, his show is pretty much the only reason I have cable.

DON'T WORRY C-SPAN! I STILL LOVE YOU, TOO!! :D

Get an email from ThePete.Com? Impossible.

SPAM SUCKS. Actually, the meat bi-product is kind of tasty, to be perfectly honest, but the digital kind of spam SUCKS. I've had so much trouble, I'll no longer be using any address from thepete.com for email. My domain has been spammed, spoofed and spoiled every way imaginable. It's been used to send ads and even viruses (viri?). So, that's it. If you get an email from anyone at thepete.com, it's a scam. Don't trust it. If you're trying to reach me, you'll just have to use this form to do it. Thanks and sorry for any unscrupulous bastards who are using my domain for their spam in your inbox. Feel free to vent at TheForum about ANY kind of spam.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Thanks for the $1!!

I'm sending out special thanks to John K for a $1 donation!! Thanks so much for the support!! He's also the first one to do it, so even SPECIALER thanks are required! :laugh:

Anyone else want to follow suit? ;)

FLORIDA 2000 SEQUEL

For those of you concerned that Florida hasn't cleaned up its election act since 2000, YOUR RIGHT! Well, according former president Jimmy Carter, anyway. Here's a quote from an article over at the BBC News website:
Voting arrangements in Florida do not meet "basic international requirements" and could undermine the US election, former US President Jimmy Carter says.

He said a repeat of the irregularities of the much-disputed 2000 election - which gave President George W Bush the narrowest of wins - "seems likely".

Mr Carter, a veteran observer of polls worldwide, also accused Florida's top election official of "bias".
Isn't that great? This on top of the electronic ballot boxes being used in some states bodes incredibly well for the Bush campaign, but incredibly bad for anyone interested in seeing a fair election--which should be BOTH Kerry and Bush supporters.

NEWSWEEK: USMil SYRIA/IRAN ATTACKS?

Check it out, NEWSWEEK is reporting in an article in their October 4, 2004 issue that the DoD is very busy with plans to possibly invade Syria and/or Iran. Here's what Newsweek is saying:
Deep in the Pentagon, admirals and generals are updating plans for possible U.S. military action in Syria and Iran. The Defense Department unit responsible for military planning for the two troublesome countries is "busier than ever," an administration official says. Some Bush advisers characterize the work as merely an effort to revise routine plans the Pentagon maintains for all contingencies in light of the Iraq war. More skittish bureaucrats say the updates are accompanied by a revived campaign by administration conservatives and neocons for more hard-line U.S. policies toward the countries. (Syria is regarded as a major route for jihadis entering Iraq, and Iran appears to be actively pursuing nuclear weapons.) Even hard-liners acknowledge that given the U.S. military commitment in Iraq, a U.S. attack on either country would be an unlikely last resort; covert action of some kind is the favored route for Washington hard-liners who want regime change in Damascus and Tehran.
Sure, it would be a last resort thanks to not enough soldiers in the USMil, but that can be remedied.

Weird Night at the Boba House

Last night, I'm sitting at the boba house I always frequent, working on my novel. I'm very close to being done and had my manuscript spread out on either side of my laptop on the table and even took up space on a nearby stool with some of it. My screen had no browser up, but I was chatting with my friend Becky on AIM about a couple of paragraphs I was having trouble with. My iPod was blasting and I was very intent on working. At some point, this random guy wanders up and interrupts my music and my work, asking me if I could look something up for him on the Internet. I've never seen this man in my life and he thinks he can ask me to drop what I'm doing and look up something for him?

Uh, no.

"I'm sorry, I'm kind of in the middle of a lot of work right now," I tell him.

"Oh, really? I'm sorry. Never mind," He says, wandering off.

Oh really?

Here's a lesson to anyone out there: If a person is staring at a computer screen and has his/her headphones on, DON'T DISTURB THEM. The headphones are probably there to help block out the outside world. RESPECT THE EARBUDS!!

Of course, he then goes and bugs another guy with a computer.

About an hour later, I'm done with the major edits and talking with two acquaintances of mine who occasionally hang out at the same boba house as me. This little woman wanders up to me and asks if she can just take a moment to check her email on my computer. She tells me how she's on a business trip and had left her laptop at home and how she stopped by the Internet cafe around the corner, but it was closed despite the fact that it was supposed to be open until 1am. What place is open until 1am on a Sunday night?? (Aside from my boba house, that is!)

I politely tell her that I can't let her (or anyone) use my computer, but that there are computers at the back of the Ralph's supermarket that are rentable, but warn her that I'm not sure if they're rentable this late. She asks for directions on how to get to Ralph's and she leaves.

It just seems odd to me that people would feel comfortable asking for such things. I guess the first guy's request wouldn't have bugged me so much if it wasn't completely obvious that I was busy as hell. I guess he was just that certain that whatever he needed to look up was more important than whatever I was working on. To me, that seems rude.

Equally rude, to me, is when people ask to use your $1000+ computer. I don't worry about viruses (viri?), but I don't know who the hell this woman is. She could spaz and start pounding on my keys or something--seriously--how do I know she's not messed up in the head? I'm a trusting guy, but not with things I know I can't replace should bad things happen to them.

I guess what I'm getting at is what's up with people who just walk up to other people and impose on them? A life does not end because someone can't look up who starred in The Jazz Singer. Countries aren't overthrown because some woman on a business trip can't check her email. (Although that would make an interesting story, now that I think about it.)

The point is, relax people. It's just life. It will go on.

If what you are trying to do with my computer is so important, perhaps you should do what you can to make sure you have yours when you need it. Self-reliance is a good thing, in my opinion.

Then again, they asked, I refused and went on with my life, too. Guess I shouldn't complain too much.

Still, RESPECT THE EARBUDS!! :rolleyes:

PAYPAL!! ARG!

So, I'm trying to add a Paypal donate button to my site and when I do, I think, all is well. I don't bother testing the button, because, like, they've worked in the past when I've had them, so what could go wrong this time? Just in case, I try it and guess what? Paypal keeps adding a $5 shipping charge to the donation. What the hell's up with that? So, I email them to complain. All they do is reply with excerpts from their "how to" manual. Uh... don't you think I would have checked that? As it happens, I didn't, but their site is very intuitive and I can do everything I need to do, except this. The ultimate catch is that the excerpt from their manual really doesn't tell me jack. In fact, it's completely useless. It tells me how to enter the appropriate shipping costs for given dollar-value ranges. The catch is, this is a donation. The system should know better than to force a shipping cost on a donation. So, I redid the shipping costs to charges, zeroing them out. Now, click below and see if it works.

Please comment if you click on it and it tries to charge you for shipping. Thanks!

(You don't actually have to donate anything if you don't want to, just click the button to see if it lists a $5 shipping charge.)

Sunday, September 26, 2004

USGov SPY DEPT. SPIES ON US

Wow--check out what a recent AP article over at SFGate.com says about the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency:
The agency is not interested in information on U.S. citizens, stresses Americas office director Bert Beaulieu. "We couldn't care less about individuals and people and companies," he said.

But that's not good enough for secrecy expert Steven Aftergood, who oversees a project on government secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists. "What it all boils down to is 'Trust us. Our intentions are good,"' he said.

I'm not sure what the big deal is, here. I mean, this is the exact same excuse we get from everyone else in the USGov, why should we not blindly trust these guys, too?

But seriously, this is a big problem--we citizens seem to think we can just trust everyone in government when, quite clearly, we can't. John Kerry voted to give his eventual competitor the power to go to war at his own whim. His excuse is that he wanted Bush to be able to threaten war thus, scaring Saddam into giving up his WMD. Well, Kerry was wrong, just like Bush and Co. They all had the facts wrong. Yet, we go on trusting them to not screw up anything else. This refers to both the Republicrats and the Democrans. If the last four years should teach us anything, it's that the US government can absolutely NOT be trusted.

1) In 2000, the Supreme Court was allowed to determine the outcome of a presidential election, despite the fact that the Constitution says that only Congress should handle election disputes.

2) On 911, the USGov let three planes crash into buildings.

3) In March of 2003, the USGov let George W. Bush violate the UN Charter, thus breaking both international law and domestic law, making America a criminal in the eyes of history (not to mention much of the world).

4) In March of 2003, the Bush 43 Admin led the US to war based on intelligence that was faulty as hell.

5) Bush 43 still pretends that Afghanistan is a success. He must be incapable of doing a Google News search to discover just how screwed up it still is over there. Taliban "vanquished?" Think again.

Do I need to go on? You know I could.

Read more about the NGA at SFGate.com.

UK CUSTOMER SERVICE TELLS TRUTH

Apparently someone was able to hack into (or change from the inside) UK cable company NTL's outgoing customer service voicemail message. The new message, according to a Reuters article posted over at Netscape.com, was:
"You are through to NTL customer services. We don't give a (expletive) about you. We are never here. We just (expletive) you about, basically, and we are not going to handle any of your complaints. Just (expletive) off and leave us alone."

While I have no experience with this particular company (I do live in Los Angeles), I do have plenty of experience with crappy customer service in the US. Companies do not give a crap about the customer who have trouble with their products or services. The only time my cable company was cool was soon after minidish service became available in my neighborhood. Suddenly, they began offering free instalation, extra boxes, free cables and they even ocassionally check signal quality. Of course, if you call to have them stop by, they still give you a window of six hours for when they'll show up. :plain:

So, it is nice to see that at least customer service voicemail message told the truth, even if only for a short time, even if it was against their will. :satisfied:

Read more about it on Netscape's news site.

Friday, September 24, 2004

10,000 SLAVES IN AMERICA TODAY

According to an AP article over at SacBee.Com, at any given time, there are roughly 10,000 people in the US who are forced to work or face physical violence or other threats to their health. The article quotes a report called "Hidden Slaves: Forced Labor in the United States" which was released by UC Berkeley's Human Rights Center and a DC non-profit called, creatively enough, Free the Slaves.

Anyway, here's a nice little clip from the article:
Researchers found that almost half of forced laborers work in prostitution or the sex industry, close to one-third are domestic workers, and one in 10 works in agriculture. And while examples of forced labor have been found in at least 90 cities in the United States, most are concentrated in states with large immigrant populations like California, Florida, New York and Texas.
Here's more:
Researchers found that victims of forced labor come from at least 38 countries, but most are from China, Mexico and Vietnam. Some are born in the United States.

The report urged increased public awareness about human trafficking, increasing monitoring of workers in sectors where forced labor is prevalent, and ensuring that victims have adequate social services when they escape.

Ah, welcome to America--land of the (mostly) free and the brave (and cowardly).

Next time you think you've got it rough? Think about those 10,000 people. here

Natalie Portman in QUITE a Role!!

Natalie Portman, one of the finest young actors in Hollywood today has finally taken a role that will please hetero-men and lesbians around the world. In the new movie CLOSER, that opens in the not-to-distance future of December 12, 2004, Natalie Portman plays a... well, she plays a...

Well, you'd better just have a look for yourself. Hetero-women and gay men probably won't care about this so y'all should just scroll on by or something. :)

nataliecloser01 (24k image)


nataliecloser02 (19k image)


:blush:

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Ah... White Billionaires, the Only Kind!






billionaires (30k image)
Yay! The top six richest men are all white!


And people say we still live in a racist society!! Why, there's proof right there in that pic-- oh...

MORE ON RATHER OUSTER





ratherouster (18k image)


Not to sound like a broken record, but why weren't there emails sent to the White House to demand Bush's ouster when he made that little mistake regarding documents....

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW (2004)

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Widescreen Special Collector's Edition)Entertaining? Yeah, if you like eye-candy.
Technically any good? The f/x while faded, and lacking any detail that would make them look like they actually exist, were imaginative and neat. This is definitely a neat movie to look at. However, the acting, casting, dialogue, and story were all weak. The film, to me, seemed like just a series of weak plot points held together with kite-string, all of which are used as an excuse for visuals that seem impressive until you think about how often you've seen them in other places. Seriously. I saw things taken from movies, movie serials, comic books, novels, and TV shows--which would all be fine if the story had been interesting. There's even a cameo by Laurence Olivier, although not only did I not recognize him, when told where his cameo was, I didn't see the significance of his digital image being used. (I won't even go into how the hero is flacid, uninteresting and does nothing memorable for the ENTIRE FILM.)
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Predictably disappointed. A film that looks this good in trailers never follows through with a good movie. It's a shame, clearly, the filmmaker is visually capable of telling a good story, too bad all of the stuff that matters is missing. This guy should stick to FX and leave the filmMAKING to professionals.
Final Rating? SAM (ONLY if you can get in free and ONLY see it for the visuals.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION

So, we see how the US has a huge effect on the world every single day. USMil troops are in a bunch of countries around the world. They aren't in countries they should be in (coughSUDANcough) and American aid goes into the pockets of many a 3rd world government. Decisions made by the guy in the Oval Office effect countries the US has no direct involvement in. What this amounts to is taxation without representation--one of the prominant reasons given by history teachers for the American Revolution.

What's even worse is that the world hates Bush 43. Don't believe me? Check this excerpt from a 9/20/4 CNN article out:
Over the summer, University of Maryland researchers asked citizens of 35 countries how they would vote between Bush and Kerry. The result? 30 of the 35 voted for Kerry.

Kerry won all but one European country polled.

A Bush campaign official once said Kerry "looks French." Apparently, the French were impressed. They gave Kerry a 59-point lead. Only 5 percent of the French voted for Bush.

What about the Bush administration's closest ally, Britain? Not even close. The British favored Kerry by over 30 points.

The exception was Poland, which Bush carried by a narrow margin.

How about America's neighbors? Canadians went for Kerry by 45 points. Mexicans by 20.

In Asia, Kerry carried China, Japan and Indonesia. Only the Philippines, a former American colony fighting its own Muslim insurrection, went for Bush. In India and Thailand, the race was close. Swing countries?
So, there ya have it.

Too bad the world isn't a representative democracy.

Also, too bad that the US can't stop pissing people off... or maybe it's just Bush.

RATHER SHOULD RESIGN??

James P. Pinkerton, columnist for New York Newsday, said in a column from September 21, 2004 the following:
By any fair reckoning, Rather should resign. As a big shot at CBS News-in addition to being anchorman-in-chief, he has been the managing editor of the CBS Evening News since March 1981-he deserves to be held to the same standard as Howell Raines, the executive editor of The New York Times, who was forced to resign last year in the wake of a news-fabrication scandal.

What I say is, how about holding BUSH to the same standard.

Hey, Rather was duped by evidence he thought was real.

That is a familiar excuse, isn't it?

The only difference is, when Bush was duped by his evidence, thousands of people died.

If Rather should resign after 21 years for making this one mistake, surely you can agree that Bush should resign after just four years for making this monumental mistake.

Read the rest of Pinkerton's column. Sure, it's a good column. Sadly, it still distracts from the real point that Bush bailed on the last of his National Guard duty. That's the real tragedy of this whole mess. It has nothing to do with the core of the story, that Bush went AWOL. This should be viewed by any American as an unPatriotic and unAmerican thing to do. It's one thing to dodge the draft, but to bail even on your Nation Guard duty? What a bastard.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Jedi Night in Westwood

Back, before I got into all this current events crap, I was a geeky fanboy. (Some would suggest I still am one, well, ok, I am, but I'm a well-read fanboy now!) Anyway, so TheFiancee and I head out to the local 24 hour supermarket to pick up some random items only to see a massive, massive line leading past the supermarket door to the front door of the Best Buy right next door to the supermarket. It turns out that on September 21st, not only is the Star Wars Special Special Edition (don't ask) being released, but also the Star Wars Battlegrounds game and the new soundtrack to the Star Wars trilogy. The funny thing was that the line was still shorter than the line for Kevin Smith at his new comic shop that opened up in Westwood earlier this month. But I digress...

Now, no longer being the die hard Star Wars fanboy I once was (I blame YOU, GEORGE LUCAS!!), I had no idea any of this was going on. Still, I enjoy line culture, so TheFiancee and I decided to hang out with the Stormtroopers a bit and chat with a guy who built his own full-size, remote controlled R2-D2. Check out the pic below for a picture of Michael Senna and his very own R2-D2.

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Click the picture to head over to my MoBlog where I have posted 29 pics I took of the various storm troopers, Boba Fetts, rebel troopers, and the odd Vader or Jedi. If you're in any of the pictures and want a bigger version, I've got 'em.

UPDATE 20070325: TextAmerica, where I had previously posted the above pix was acting wonky, so now the pics are available on Flickr.Com You can still click the picture above to check out the entire photoset. :)

GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE (2004)

Ghost in the Shell 2 - InnocenceEntertaining? Definitely, but confusing, mind bending and a few other things, too.
Technically any good? The story in this one is much tighter. You don't have to watch this film over and over in order to get what's going on. However, while you can watch it once and understand the story, I know for me, it'll take a few more viewings to pick up the subtle stuff. I think it was 3 or 4 viewings of the first GITS before I could decide that I really liked it. GITS 2 doesn't seem to be as subtle and those great, long pauses from the first GITS aren't in abundance in this one. Which is a shame, I liked those because they created Motoko's loneliness well. Batou's loneliness is less evident, especially since he has a dog. On the other hand, my brain was so twisted in this that at one point I wasn't sure if I had imagined an entire sequence or not.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Satisfied, but I'm a sucker for cyber-punk. It's my favorite kind of everything. Books, comics, anime and movies--if it's techy and brainy, I'm all over it. If you don't like to think while watching movies, don't bother with this one.
Final Rating? GSN (It's got some visuals that are absolutely STUNNING on the big screen, so even if you don't like to think, there is plenty to look at while your brain is shut off.)

AN IRAQI SEES FAHRENHEIT 911

Check out this blog entry to read about what an Iraqi woman was doing on 9/11/2004. Seriously, it's a great blog entry--much like most of her entries, but this one was particularly well written. I also think that she is able to draw Americans and Iraqis together a little bit with her entry. She makes it a little easier for us Americans to understand what every day Iraqis go through, well, every day. Please, check it out.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

LA TIMES: ANTI-CBS BLOGGER A GOP LAWYER

All right, I know I said I wouldn't write anything else about those damn Arbusto Vietnam-era National Guard records, but what I'm going to write about does add a new wrinkle to things. Of course, in the end, Bush still bailed on his National Guard duty and what I'm about to write will neither change that nor will it make Bush supporters care that he was AWOL. OK, you may remember this story about how the documents Dan Rather cited on a 60 Minutes II report were probably faked. I still believe that they probably were, however, it's important to note one of the main bloggers who broke the story within hours of the 60 Minutes II broadcast that they were faked.

This guy who calls himself Buckhead, according to the LA Times, is actually a lawyer for the GOP.

Now, this doesn't mean the CBS documents are not fakes. What this does mean is that the whole thing was probably a scam. The docs were faked and handed to Rather with a false backstory that he ran with. Then, a Republican plant in the "blogosphere" waits a few hours and then points out that they are faked. Where's my evidence that this whole thing is a scam?

Check this out: There's a great documentary called "Horns and Halos." It's about the author of the George W. Bush bio Fortunate Son, JH Hatfield. You may or may not recall that Fortunate Son had a stunning disclosure in it, that "W" had been arrested for cocaine possession back in the early 70s. Hatfield says in the book that Bush's dad made the charges go away. Who was the source for Hatfield's story? At first, he wouldn't say. He was trying to be a journalist and not reveal his source. Of course, that pissed a lot of people off and as a result, Hatfield's past was looked into to see if he was likely to have made the story up. As it turns out, Hatfield was an ex-con who had been thrown in jail for conspiracy to murder. Whoops. Immediately the press writes this guy off and his publisher even pulls the book from the shelves.

Enter Soft Skull Press, a tiny publisher started up by activist/bad boy Sander Hicks. Hicks believed in the book and decided to take it on. Sadly, controversy dogged them. Everyone had written off Hatfield as being not reliable. This put a lot of emotional pressure on Hatfield who, according to this documentary, was just trying to get his life and career on track. The release was a bomb, but Hicks felt that another one would be doable if Hatfield would give up his source for the cocaine story. Reluctantly, Hatfield agreed to do it. They held a press conference and hardly anyone came.

Before I tell you who Hatfield's source was, I should tell you that it made no difference to the press. No one covered the story and the release didn't do well. You can still buy a copy of it all over the place, but Hatfield felt his reputation was ruined. Leaving behind a wife and young daughter, Hatfield killed himself.

Who was his source? It was Karl Rove.

Here's how it breaks down:

Step 1fake cocain arrest story plantedfake National Guard records planted
Step 2Hatfield called out as an ex-con, thus removing any effect the disappearing cocain bust would have had on "W"documents being called out by an present GOPer conveniently just hours after broadcast, not only undoing any effect said records would have on "W" but also smearing Rather's name (hopefully Dan won't kill himself, though his ratings have already sank)


This has Karl Rove's Jabba-the-Hut-esque stench all over it.

Meanwhile, people are applauding the blogosphere's ability to force a news story to grow larger. Buckhead, himself, (aka Harry W. MacDougald) said, before his real name became public that it's not him, it's the blogosphere who was able to do the good work. Even Asian-American author/blogger and conservative apologist Michelle Malkin praised the blogosphere along with Buckhead and another blogger in particular for breaking this story. Of course, it's been a few hours since the LA Times story broke, but has she and her beloved "pyjama brigade" posted on it? Well, I just checked Blogdex.com and didn't see any stories on it. (Malkin is the one who went on Hard Ball with Chris Matthews and was shocked when he ambushed her--she wrote in her blog how upset she was that Matthews hadn't even read her book. I wonder why she hadn't bothered watching his show.)

Of course, both Harry W. "Buckhead" MacDougald and the GOP have denied that either had any connection to each other. Well, the LA Times says otherwise. This is from an article by LA Times reporter Peter Wallsten that was posted at Post-Gazette.com:
MacDougald is a lawyer in the Atlanta office of the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice and is affiliated with two prominent conservative legal groups, the Federalist Society and the Southeastern Legal Foundation, where he serves on the legal advisory board.

Founded in 1976, the Southeastern Legal Foundation has fought affirmative action and domestic-partner benefits for government employees, and successfully challenged a Clinton-administration plan to use proportional sampling, rather than a hard count, to estimate population in the 2000 Census.

MacDougald helped draft the foundation's petition in 1998 that led to the five-year suspension of Clinton's Arkansas law license for giving misleading testimony in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case.

And he assisted in the group's legal challenge to the campaign finance law sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis. The challenge, ultimately presented to the U.S. Supreme Court, was funded largely by the Southeastern Legal Foundation in conjunction with Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the law's chief critic, and handled by former Clinton investigator Kenneth W. Starr.
He's not just a Republican voter, he's heavily involved in Republican interests, as you can see.

Sure, this doesn't stop the Ratherdocs from being faked, but it does show that we all need to be careful who we listen to. We also need to make sure that as Bloggers we do our own research. If you read something that reinforces your pre-existing beliefs, check it out--don't just trust them to be telling you the truth.

We all benefit when we each do our research. :rolleyes:

Read that article quoted above in whole at the Post-Gazette.com site.

The Next President of the United States!








presidentbenaffleck (18k image)
Let me guess, he's wondering if anyone can smell what he just cut.

REPUBLICANS GROW SPINES

FINALLY, Republicans in the USGov had decided to move beyond partisan politics and put the interests of the American people by speaking at least SOME of the truth. What follows is from a September 19, 2004 Reuters article:
Republicans Criticize Bush 'Mistakes' on Iraq
Sun Sep 19, 2004 01:12 PM ET
Leading members of President Bush's Republican Party on Sunday criticized mistakes and "incompetence" in his Iraq policy and called for an urgent ground offensive to retake insurgent sanctuaries.

In appearances on news talk shows, Republican senators also urged Bush to be more open with the American public after the disclosure of a classified CIA report that gave a gloomy outlook for Iraq and raised the possibility of civil war.

"The fact is, we're in deep trouble in Iraq ... and I think we're going to have to look at some recalibration of policy," Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"We made serious mistakes," said Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who has campaigned at Bush's side this year after patching up a bitter rivalry.

What a bunch of pussies. Come on, just one of my cats have more testicles than these Republicans in Washington, and my cats are all fixed! Call Bush what he is--a neo-con bastard who puts his business interests in front of his moral interests. Why is the USMil in Iraq? We all know what isn't there and we all know how little of a threat Saddam was. Many of us knew this BEFORE the Iraq Attack. Why do so many people insist on keeping their heads in the sand? Sure, there these few Republicans who are giving a tiny, eanie-weanie, constipated, mini-crap, but compared to the collossal screw ups Bush has committed, what they are pointing out is quite minor.

Read the Reuters article to decide for yourself.

So, I'm at the Boba House the Other Night...

So, I'm at the boba house that I always hang out at the other night and I see these religious guys come in. Now, I'm a self-professed Atheist because I believe nothing and I mean exactly that. I hope there's a heaven and that bad people don't get to go there and I also hope that we all have souls and don't just think we have souls. That said, I'm not willing to believe anything. I'll entertain anything, but make a life-choice based around it? Uh-uh.

However, I do enjoy learning about people's belief systems. I find listening to people talking about their faiths to be facinating. So, these religious guys, I've seen them around previous nights and had always found myself trying to overhear what they were saying. I had mischevious thoughts of jumping into their little discussions about God and Jesus and so on and slamming them hard into the ground. I don't actually want to do this because I wouldn't want that done to me. (Luckily, we Atheists are generally untouchable :) ) So, the other night, I start talking to one of them that I had spoken with previously. This guy was nice and really just wanted to talk to me about my Mac, which was fine. However, that night his friends followed him and I made the unknowing mistake of telling the lead Christian guy how much his passion impressed me. I then admitted how I had been tempted to jump in on their debates.

"Oh no, they're not debates, it's a Bible study group," the lead guy says to me.

"Could have fooled me," I said smiling.

"Sometimes we get a little heated, but really we're just a study group," one of the other guys tells me.

"You're always welcome to join in. We always want everyone to feel welcome," the lead one says to me. I told them that generally I don't practice any religion but that I was on a journey (of sorts) to learn about all the religions out there. Which is true. I add that I'm not interested in picking one. The lead guy then sits down at my table and begins telling me about his brand of Christianity. This would be fine, except that he tells me how his brand is going to change my life. I tell him that I'm a pretty tough nut to crack.

"God will get you, you know," he says, "it may take some time, but he will get you. You know how I know? I know because you have a good heart."

Uh-huh.

I mean, I'm flattered that he thinks I have a good heart, but what does that have to do with God?

"See, it's not me that changes you. What does a farmer do?"

I love questions like that one because, in theory, you can get away with saying absolutely anything that a farmer does and there's no way to come across like a dickweed. I suppose you could say that a farmer has a daughter who then has sex with men who's cars break down up on the Interstate, but I wasn't going to go that far. So, I went for the obvious answer knowing that he probably didn't want it. "Uh... he grows things?"

"What else?" How did I know that "growing things" was the wrong answer? Just lucky, I guess.

"Uh, he plants the seed?"

"Yes! That's what I do. But you have to do the growing, you see that? You change you. God doesn't want you unless you want Him."

Okaaay... right about now I'm starting to wonder when he's going to start telling me about the things he believes.

He then grabs his dog-eared, heavily-highlighted and notated Bible and begins reading me random bits out of it. I think one was "God gives men their desires."

Now, that doesn't mean that you get what you desire from God, but that you get your urge for what you desire from God. This is funny to me because, if that's true, it means God gave me the desire to want a world where God is not worshipped.

The lead guy went on and as he spoke I experienced two things. First was the feeling that he had no interest in teaching me about his beliefs but only stuffing pro-his-brand-of-propaganda down my throat. The second thing I experienced was a feeling that his Christian buddies were what David Koresh's followers were to David Koresh--in over their head. I shouldn't say that, actually. Only one "follower" seemed a little too into the lead guy. He eyed the lead guy as though he were da man! That kind of hero-worship irks me something fierce. No human should be that reveared. But this dude was hanging on the lead guy's every word and nodding in agreement from time-to-time, too.

Since the lead guy wasn't being forthcoming in the way I wanted him to be, I decided to ask him a question. "So, where did you learn all of this from? Did you go to school or something? Have a mentor, maybe?"

"No, it's just me, the Book and God. I've tried a lot of religions out. Believe it or not, I was Muslim for a while. Then I tried some other denominations of Christianity but they didn't work for me."

"What was wrong with the others?" I asked.

"They were hypocritical. They contradict themselves."

"Don't a lot of religions do that?"

"Yes, they do, but those get into doctrine as opposed to faith."

"So, doctrine is dangerous?"

"Yes."

Based on his passionate arguments during the debates--er, discussions I've witnessed that he treats his brand of Christianity in a failry doctrine-esque fashion. Especially when he's got at least one "follower" hanging on his every word. That follower admitted to me, as did the lead guy, that he had come from a rough background. Drugs, womanizing, but that, thanks to the lead guy's teachings, all of that was behind him.

"Same here. I used to be with the women and the drinking," the lead guy tells me.

"Your life will change for the better when you bring God into it," the "follower" tells me. He goes on: "I had a lot of trouble in my life, but then I saw that there were two ways to live my life. One way leads down, into bad things. The other way is the path to God."

"I guess I see more of the gray choices in life," I explain.

"Not me, I see only the black and white."

So, in other words what they were telling me was:

"It's my way or the highway."

Or:

"You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists."

Ah, I love religious fundamentalism.

Although, that's not what they'd call it.

Then again, no one is more convinced of their sanity than the insane.

I'm not saying religious people are insane, but those who see only good and evil, only black and white, only right and wrong are being snookered something fierce. The world is a somewhat complicated place. I believe in general concepts of good and evil, but nothing specific. Even Hitler was good with kids and loved animals. Those are about his only good points, but still, he had them. Putting it in Christian terms, even Satan was an angel at one point. Oh, and by the way, hell does exist. It's been proven according to the lead guy. He says scientists dug a very deep hole, dropped a microphone down into it and were able to pick up screams and cries. (I think I read that article at the Pravda website :crazy: )

The point is I believe that everyone has the potential to be redeemed. You know, to "change their wicked ways." According to these guys' arguments, people are either black or white. They're either on their way to heaven or to hell.

I guess that means I'm on my way to hell until I accept God/Jesus into my life, which I will never do. Not the way they want me to, anyway. I'm happy to entertain the idea that the universe was created by someone. It just seems patently absurd to think that a guy who created the entire VAST universe would give two craps about us. We're on a tiny ball in a tiny corner of the universe, a literal stellar needle in the cosmic haystack. We had to come from someplace, but the Judeo-Christian-Muslim God? I don't think so.

That was my other point of annoyance with the lead guy. He kept telling me stuff about God as though I believed "He" exists but offered no connection between God and the real world. He did talk about how God deals in the spiritual realm and that because of that, science can't explain Him.

It's always so easy to write things off as "magic."

"We can't tell you how it works, it's spiritual, it's magic, you know."

Uh, no, I don't know and neither do you. You believe. I don't and trying to convince me that I should believe isn't going to work. Promising me heaven or whatever won't work either since I don't believe heaven exists. Show me a book of matches from heaven, or a letterhead and I'll consider it, but simply telling me all of these great things God does is not going to win me over. (What am I? A Bush voter??) In fact, telling me how and why I should become Christian will never work. I resist advertisements all day long, trying to jam some other product I don't want down my throat won't work especially if it's religion. I became an Atheist when I was about 13 years-old, by the way.

That brings me to the last thing that bugs me about these guys and their leader, in particular. I was very clear about what I wanted. I wanted to listen to them talk about their beliefs. However, if their beliefs are just propaganda loops, I'm not interested. I don't want to be Christian, I just want to learn about it. :doze:

Stop wasting your breath on me. My soul is going absolutely nowhere after I die and I'm okay with that.

Thank you and good night.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

TETSUWAN ATOM (ASTROBOY) Ep 2: ROBOT BALL (review)

Series Title: TETSUWAN ATOM (ASTROBOY)
Episode 2: ROBOT BALL
Premise: A scientist in the future succeeds in creating a robot boy that is the first robot that thinks like a real child.

tetswanatom02 (58k image)Wow, I really can't say enough about this show. When I was a little kid I remember watching shows that tried to teach children how they should behave. These shows, like SHAZAM and ELECTRA-WOMAN were fun, but really totally stupid. I watch them now and enjoy them for the crap and cheese that they were. However, the Testuwan Atom/Astroboy remake series is like night and day compared to those old shows from my youth. This second episode of the remake series truly captures a nearly perfect balance between story, imagination, fun, and morals.

In "Robot Ball," Atom learns about rules. He learns about them through being exposed to kids "his own age" that he can identify with. They play a game that they watch on TV called Robot Ball. It's like a cross between basketball, American football and inline skating. It looks like a damn fun game to me. Anyway, Atom uses his ability to fly during the game. He's told by the other kids that he can't do that because it's cheating. Now, the way I'm explaining it, it sounds typically patronizing, but it isn't because Atom is learning these lessons from other kids.

However, the episode isn't just Atom playing ball with some new friends. During the game, a robot dog shows up and steals their ball. Atom, realizing that he's got powers the other kids don't have, goes after the ball. One kid manages to follow them both as the dog leads them all the way to the Robot Ball stadium where the championship is being played by robots specifically designed to play the game. Inside, the lead kid points out his favorite player and explains how he always plays fair. Suddenly, that very same robot goes haywire and begins cheating by smashing apart the other players. The crowd is stunned as are Atom and his new friend. Then, all of the doors to the stadium slam shut. Over the loud speaker an ultimatum is made by a strange large-nosed man in the shadows. He demands that Atom play against the bezerk robot in a game of robot ball. If he doesn't, the berzerk robot will begin killing people in the stands.

I could go on, but then you'd have no reason to watch the episode. :)

Suffice it to say that I really wish I had a show like this to grow up on. As an adult, I felt like it wasn't patronizing me the way the old episodes of SHAZAM did when I was a kid.

REPUBLICAN PARTY TREATS WVA REPUBLICANS LIKE CHILDREN

In a recent campaign mailing sent to West Virginian Republican voters, the Republican National Committee claims that if Kerry wins in November, Bibles will be banned and men will marry men. What children the Republican party must think you Republicans are. They think you guys don't follow the news. They think you are all, stupid, ignorant, gullible children who don't see the real world. Liberals don't take away choices, by definition, they create them. You'd have to be a first class idiot to think that Democrats or liberals would ban the Bible. Aren't there plenty of Christian Democrats? You think they've been faking it their whole lives?

Of course, not.

As for men marrying men, well, the way the campaign mailing put it, they make it sound like the Dems will put something in the water to make men gay and want to marry men. Or that straight men will be forced to marry men. They even use a little cartoon to sell their point.

How stupid to they think West Virginian Republicans are? How stupid does the Republican National Committee think ANY of you Republicans are? The way they keep going on, we all have to assume that they think you guys are fools. More than 1000 US GIs are dead and for what? To stop the killing of innocent Iraqi civilians by Saddam. Well, any educated American knows that conservative numbers suggest that over 10,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed in strikes, battles, raids and other combat-related events. Sure, Saddam is out of power, but you've got some seriously questionable morals to think that 11,000 American and Iraqi lives (and counting) are worth losing to get one man out of power. Sure, you've got to break a few eggs to make an omelette, but how many eggs are we going to have to break?

Sure, a few eggs is the way it goes, but over 11,000?? That's not an omelette, that's a mess.

Remember back in early 2003 when Bush and everyone else said the Iraqi's would greet us with flowers and smiles?

That happened what, once? For one day?

It's not happenning any more. Bush has changed his story on Iraq at least a half-dozen times and thinks he can get away with it because he thinks Republicans and most Americans are gullible fools.

1) Revenge for 911

2) Nukes

3) Chemical/Biological weapons

4) WMD Programs

5) Interest in WMD programs

6) Iraqi freedom

How stupid are you?

How many excuses are you going to take before you decide who to vote for?

Sure, Kerry's not perfect, either. Kerry hasn't had a chance to screw up the country yet--oh wait, he's served 18 years in the Senate. He hasn't caused too much of a mess, has he?

Bush on the other hand, can't seem to hold on to one reason for going to war.

Are you dumb enough to vote for a guy who can't seem to keep it together for something as important as going to war?

Read more about the Republican mailing in an AP article posted over at Yahoo News.

Friday, September 17, 2004

US: IRAQ ATTACK PERFECTLY LEGAL

Big surprise, the Bush 43 Admin is playing the Big Brother card and doublespeaking by explaining that the Iraq Attack wasn't illegal because of UN resolution 1440 which promised serious consequences if Saddam didn't give up his WMD. There is a catche with this defense. The UN Security Council must still vote to specifically use military force. I know this because before the Iraq Attack there was a load of coverage in the news about how the Bush 43 Admin was (essentially) trying to bribe countries who were on the Security Council to get them to support invasion. When it turned out that not enough countries were going to vote for military force, the Bush 43 Admin decided that they wouldn't bother to call for a vote in the UN at all. Better to go in on your own then ask for permission only to be told no.

If you're a cop and you're told not to enforce a law you don't get to go off and enforce it anyway. If you know your boss is going to tell you not to enforce it, but you do anyway, that's the same as being a vigilante. It's not morally right or legal to take the law into your own hands in most cases. ESPECIALLY WHEN THE WORLD TELLS YOU TO NOT DO IT.

This is also true if you make a big mess of things.

You get the point, though, that the Iraq Attack was illegal, regardless of what Bush and Co. tell us. Check out the headlines below for more quality coverage:

US says Iraq invasion was legal
The US has rejected the United Nations secretary-general's claim that the US-led invasion of Iraq was illegal.


US disputes Annan's view on invasion
Chicago Tribune (subscription), IL - 12 hours ago
NEW YORK -- The US on Thursday challenged UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's statement that last year's invasion of Iraq was an illegal act. ...


US advises Annan to keep silent
Daily Times, Pakistan - 49 minutes ago
UNITED NATIONS: The United States on Thursday said UN Secretary General Kofi Annan should have kept silent after he re-ignited the angry debate over Iraq by ...


Check out the latest on this story at Google News.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

UN's ANNAN: IRAQ ATTACK ILLEGAL

I can't believe I haven't written about my feelings about the International-legality of the Iraq Attack before now. Over a year ago on my defunct "The 5 Minute Show" I did a whole episode (all 5 minutes!) about how in attacking Iraq, the US broke the UN Charter, which the US helped write. The Iraq Attack also broke Constitutional law, since the US Constitution says that any treaty or agreement the US signs becomes a domestic law, as well. So, not only is George W. Bush an international criminal by definition, he's also a domestic criminal, too.

To be clear, this is not my opinion. International Law and the Constitution are very clear on this. What follows is taken directly from the UN website. It is Chapter 1, Article 2 of the UN Charter and I've bolded (sp??) the important bits:
Article 2
The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.

1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.

2. All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.

3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

5. All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.

6. The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.

7. Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.


1) Since Iraq, even under the rule of Saddam Husein was a sovereign member of the UN, his sovereignty being violated by another member of the UN constitutes a violation of this part of the UN Charter.

3) This is a good one. Basically, by using military force to "settle" a dispute, Bush broke this part of the UN Charter as well.

4) This is the big one and it's clearly been broken by Bush.

George W. Bush is a criminal, by definition.

Finally, someone "important" has grown enough of a spine to state this publically, on the record.

The following excerpt comes from a BBC News article--you can bet you won't be hearing about this in American news:
When pressed on whether he viewed the invasion of Iraq as illegal, [Annan] said: "Yes, if you wish. I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter from our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal."
Annan is still a raging puss for not standing up to the US and saying something more like "J'ACCUSE!"

I mean, sure, we're the US, but what is the political career of one man? Does Annan really want future historians to look back and scratch their heads wondering whether he was a good guy or not? I wouldn't. That's why I'm such a loudmouth with my opinions.

Of course, as I said, this isn't my opinion, it's a fact.

George W. Bush is a criminal.

Thank you and good night.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

GARDEN STATE (2004)

Garden StateEntertaining? Definitely. This movie has more heart than almost all the movies I've seen this year.
Technically any good? Zach Braff, the writer, director and star, has, in my opinion, the potential to be a brilliant filmmaker. In this film we get to see some really great stuff. It's still a little rough around the edges, but the abilities he shows off in this film prove that he's a better filmmaker than most in Hollywood today.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Mostly satisfied. As good as this movie is, it's got a predictable ending and has bits of predictability dotting the film throughout. This doesn't make the movie crap--not by a long shot. However, it is a shame that the ending was as neat as it was. The film, in general, is such a great (mildly) absurdist/slice-of-life film that the nice, neat, (nearly) after-school-special-ending seems out of place. Still, it's simply a good film.
Final Rating? SIYL (See If You Like because it's not a film for people who demand explosions, violence and killing from their movies. It is a great film for those who like great acting, great character and interesting story in their movies.)

Monday, September 13, 2004

RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE (2004)

Resident Evil - Apocalypse (Special Edition)Entertaining? Yeah, more than the first one.
Technically any good? This is a big dumb action movie. So, it's a crowd pleaser. I also happened to enjoy it because of three things. 1) It didn't break any rules it set up. It created a world and kept that world consistent. 2) I liked the treatment of the Umbrella Coporation as being this morally corupt business that is willing to sacrfice anything for more money. (Very realistic!) 3) Two very strong women are the leads. I feel like they snuck this in, since it was just Milla as the ass-kicker in the first one. Now they've got two hotties with guns.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Satisfied. For a big dumb action movie, this was pretty smart. (It's still big and dumb, mind you.) I'm interested to see if they do a sequel to this one. It didn't have enough gore in it, but after the first one conditioned me, I was ready for a lack of it.
Final Rating? SAM (See A Matinee--especially if you live in a city like LA where tickets are $10.50!!)

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)

Night of the Living Dead (Millennium Edition)Entertaining? Yes, definitely. Cheesy in spots, tense in others. It's easy to see why this film created the genre of the modern zombie movie.
Technically any good? Yes and no. It's dated and hokey in some places, but exceptionally cool and deep in others. I always find myself making fun of the first half and being enthralled by the second half.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Definitely satisfied. The film makes some subtle but powerful statements on human "civilization." Watch how quickly humans stop caring about things like proper burials and the rights of fellow humans to, well, live. It's a good movie, in my humble opinion.
Final Rating? SIYL (This film isn't terribly gory, but does deal with material some might find offensive.)

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Ahhhh, it's finally cooled down a bit!

Yep, it's true--LA has dropped a few degrees. This is great because TheApartment is an oven after about 3pm and stays hot well into the night. Last night we went to the movies at 12:20am just because it was too hot at home to even sleep. We went roller blading today which was fun and when we got home, things were actually fairly comfortable. So tonight, we'll be getting back to the anime--yes!!

In the meantime, I hope you didn't miss this. Apparently some party-pooper named Schwarzenegger outlawed necrophilia in the state of California.

{{popup arnoldpoints.jpg arnoldpoints 410x297}}Killjoy!

Oh and check out the new zombie-related Pocket Reviews!

UPDATE 2:03am: It's hot as hell now. How did this happen? I spoke too soon. The jinx gods are evil bastards!!

Thursday, September 9, 2004

A Real Life Bat-Protest-Signal!






Bad ass!!


From the above linked article at GNN.tv:
Then, Union Square started beeping with a symphony of cell phone text message alerts. It was like the activist version of that scene in the awful Tom Clancy movie "The Sum of All Fears" when the mobile phones of all of the CIA and White House honchos start ringing during a presidential dinner party. "From comms-dispatch," read the message. "Reports of police using orange mesh fencing to surround protesters at Herald Square. Riot cops moving in. Cameras, medics and legal observers needed."

Too bad T-Mobile screwed their subscribers by shutting down text message service for a time during the convention. Talk about a reason to get your money back!

"Uh, yeah, Mr. or Mrs. T-Mobile Operator? Yeah, because of you guys, I got arrested and spent 40 hours in an unhealthy detention center where I was forced to survive on stale bologna sandwiches and filth."

CHOICEPOINT CHOOSES YOUR DNA

This is from an article by Greg Palast posted over at GNN.tv:
Don't Look at the Flash

To say that ChoicePoint is in the "data" business is utterly to miss their market concept: These guys are in the Fear Industry. Secret danger lurks everywhere. Al Qaeda's just the tip of the iceberg. What about the pizza delivery boy? ChoicePoint hunted through a sampling of them and announced that 25 percent had only recently come out of prison. "What pizza do you like?" asks CEO Smith. "At what price? Are you willing to take the risk?..."

War fever opened up a whole new market for the Fear Industry.

And now Mr. Smith wants your blood. ChoicePoint is the biggest supplier of DNA to the FBI's "CODIS" system. And, one company insider whispered to me, "Derek [Smith] told me that it is his hope to build a database of DNA samples from every person in the United States."

For now, Smith keeps this scheme under wraps, fearing "resistance" from the public. Instead, Smith pushes "ChoicePoint Cares" - taking DNA samples to hunt for those missing kids on milk cartons. It's for, "the mothers of this country who are wrestling with threats" - you know, the pizza guy from Al Queda, the cult kidnappers. In other words, ChoicePoint's real product, like our President's, is panic.

Now, is Greg Palast just part of the liberal media? Or is he just doing his job?

YOU MAKE THE CALL!

THE POT CALLS THE KETTLE

Well, with all of the mud slinging going on, I'm actually somewhat surprised at just which side levelled this accussation on the other, I mean, really? A politician would be slimy?

Here's the Reuters headline I'm referring to:

W.House Accuses Kerry, Surrogates of Guard Attacks


Well, DUH. I mean, jeez, talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Come on Rove, you can do better than that you friggin' puss.

What a little rat that guy is. He was the literal wormy guy in school and was always picked on because he was a nerd with huge glasses. He's still getting back at those people who made fun of him when he was a kid. What a loser.

I kid Karl Rove, but I love him. :laugh:

WHAT THE HELL ARE COUPONS???

So, I see a financial headline from Reuters that says Fed adds permanent reserves by buying coupons. I decide I should read the article because I don't know what the hell they mean by "coupons." Obviously, they don't mean the kind of coupons I use to get my ground chuck for cheaper. So what do they mean by the word "coupons?" I don't know. I read the article and got nothing from it.

Here it is:
NEW YORK, Sept 9 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve said on Thursday it was adding permanent reserves to the banking system by buying coupons.

The Fed said it was buying coupons maturing Aug. 15, 2007 to Dec. 15, 2008 for delivery on Friday.

The Fed excluded all callables, all Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) and the 2-3/4 percent coupon maturing Aug. 15, 2007.

Earlier, the Fed added temporary reserves to the system through overnight system repurchase agreements and 14-day system repurchase agreements.

The fed funds rate last traded at 1.50 percent, the Fed's current target for the rate.

See? Nothing. No explanation, just an assumption that you actually know what the article is talking about.

Thanks, press! A simple definition is all I need.

Let the shrowd of mystery over the FR$ continue to obscure just how the hell it works!! YEAH!

BUSH VIETNAM RECORD DISTRACTED FROM

Ok, this is the LAST time I'm going to write anything about this damn Vietnam thing. After the press just started getting on Bush's case about his holey military record during Vietnam, it turns out that a document that kind of incriminated Bush more may have been forged. In fact, almost definitely was forged. According to an article over at CNSNews.com, typography experts had trouble with a few different aspects of the documents as posted at CBSNews.com. Here's an excerpt:
But the use of the superscript "th" in one document - "111th F.I.S" - gave each expert pause. They said that is an automatic feature found in current versions of Microsoft Word, and it's not something that was even possible more than 30 years ago.

"That would not be possible on a typewriter or even a word processor at that time," said John Collins, vice president and chief technology officer at Bitstream Inc., the parent of MyFonts.com.

So, the documents are definitely fake in my book. My one question is, if you were going to fake documents, why make them so tame? They shrink the time Bush was unaccounted for to 6 months. Why not say something like "Caught Lt. Bush slaughtering small children out behind the base."

Okay, that might be a bit extreme, but still, make it a little more juicy.

Read more about this story in articles at CNSNews.com, WeeklyStandard.com and in an AP article at Yahoo News.

Check out the original CBSNews.com article where you can download the documents in question yourself.

What I Read Today...

Just picked up a compilation of Frank Miller's THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN from the new Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, here in Westwood. Everyone said it wasn't that great.

I beg to differ.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

GRAHAM BURNS POLITICAL BRIDGES IN BOOK

I really wish these guys would stop making huge announcements in conjunction with books being released. Everyone just labels anything you say as a lie in the interest of selling books. Even if you're reputation is spotless, you'll get branded as a liar and an opportunist for saying something like "George W. Bush covered up the Saudi government's support of two 911 terrorists."

That's just what soon-to-be former-Senator Bob Graham has said in his new book "Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia and the Failure of America's War on Terror."

I just wonder what the truth is these days. It totally doesn't surprise me that Bush would have covered Saudi support up. I mean, the man practically is Saudi, himself, his family is so tight with them. I think concerns that the American public is losing faith in the American political system is only part of the problem. The rest of the problem is a complete lack of faith in society, in general. Who do we believe when everyone accuses of everyone else of lying?

Read more about Graham and his claims over at Salon.com.

REPUBLICAN VOTES DON'T COUNT IN W.VA.

Who'd have thought that this could happen to the Republicans! The following is an excerpt from an AP article posted at the Charleston Daily Mail website:
If President Bush wins West Virginia, one of the state's five Republican electors says he might not cast his Electoral College vote for Bush to protest the president's economic and foreign policies.

"I think President Bush needs to get the message from people across this country, including Republicans, that his strategy in national security and his economic policies need revisited,'' South Charleston Mayor Richie Robb said Wednesday.

So, there ya go.

Wow, this guy seems like the only fully honest Republican out there. Check out what else he says:
"I see an erosion of the middle class in this country and a disparity in income levels I think is unhealthy for this country and its future. I see it right here in South Charleston. Just this year alone we will see the disappearance in excess of 1,000 top-paying jobs.''

Both Dow Chemical and Mayflower Vehicle Systems have announced layoffs at their South Charleston operations.

The mayor said he also is angry about television ads by Swift Boat Veterans For Truth attacking Kerry's war record.

Robb, who won a Bronze Star in the Vietnam War, said veterans attacking someone's record "when their candidate dodged Vietnam, to me that type of conduct is going over the line.'' Bush served in the Texas Air National Guard during the war.

But before you start thinking he's an inverted Zel Miller who is just going to play partisan for Dems, think again. If he decides to not give his vote to Bush, he says he'll likely withhold it and vote for no one.

Now, that's what I call a patriotic American. Wouldn't it be great if we all didn't vote? What would happen if no one voted? Would Bush get another term by default? Or would we get to start over with all new candidates? That would be cool.

Too bad there's no way SOMEone wouldn't ruin it all by voting and therefore electing someone. With our luck, that idiot would vote for Nader.

Actually, what am I thinking? The electoral college would simply vote for which ever side they felt like voting for. That's what this case in West Virginia is really all about. Our votes mean nothing since the electoral college does the official voting. Three of us could come out to vote and the elector would vote the way two of those three people voted. If you're a Republican in West Virginia, I'd start writing a letter to this guy demanding he promise to vote in the direction the popular vote in W.Va goes in. Of course, the real solution would be to ditch the electoral college all together.

I know, I know, now I'm asking too much. :)

Read more about the West Virginia elector at DailyMail.com.

UK REPORT SEES IRAQ CIVIL WAR

Wow, according to an article over at WorldTribune.com, a report from the London-based Royal Institute of International Affairs has predicted than once USUK military forces pull out of Iraq, Iraq will fall into massive civil unrest. This is from the article:
Iraq's failure to quell the Shi'ite and Sunni insurgencies will lead to a civil war with Iran's and Turkey's potential involvement, a London institute projected.

A new report said the failure by the interim government in Iraq to impose order in the country could lead to a civil war. The report by the London-based Royal Institute of International Affairs said such a war would be likely if the United States withdraws its military from Iraq.

On Tuesday, the U.S. military reported 100 Iraqi casualties in fierce fighting with Sunni insurgents in Faluja. At the same time, the military said 34 people were killed in a battle with the Iranian-backed Mahdi Army in Baghdad, Middle East Newsline reported. The military has sustained more than a dozen casualties in both engagements, and senior U.S. officials acknowledged that Iraqi cities could remain in insurgency hands until Iraq's military and security forces were capable of retaking them. "Even if U.S. forces try to hold out and prop up the central authority, it may still lose control," the report by the institute said.


Read the World Tribune article for yourself.

Check out the website of the Royal Institute of International Affairs and download their report in PDF format.

PRESS FINALLY NAILS BUSH 43 FOR VIETNAM

Finally, the press is doing it's job regarding George W. Bush's time during the Vietnam era. While Bush was hounding Kerry for lying about heroics, he was a sitting duck for anyone in the media who had any sort of spine and was willing to point out how he still has failed to produce evidence of his whereabouts during a 7-month period in 1972. Here is a sampling of the headlines popping up around the 'net that are going after Bush on his time during Vietnam:

Lawsuit Uncovers New Bush Guard Records
The Pentagon and Bush's campaign have claimed for months that all records detailing his fighter pilot career have been made public, but defense officials said they found two dozen new records detailing his training and flight logs after The Associated Press filed a lawsuit and submitted new requests under the public records law.

Bush faces pressure over drugs and draft
After weeks in which John Kerry's military record has been picked to pieces, President George Bush now faces a double blast of scrutiny over his own past, raising new questions over his avoidance of the Vietnam draft and his alleged use of drugs.

Bush fell short on duty at Guard
In February, when the White House made public hundreds of pages of President Bush's military records, White House officials repeatedly insisted that the records prove that Bush fulfilled his military commitment in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

But Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation, a Globe reexamination of the records shows: Twice during his Guard service -- first when he joined in May 1968, and again before he transferred out of his unit in mid-1973 to attend Harvard Business School -- Bush signed documents pledging to meet training commitments or face a punitive call-up to active duty.

He didn't meet the commitments, or face the punishment, the records show. The 1973 document has been overlooked in news media accounts. The 1968 document has received scant notice.

Kerry Links Iraq War, U.S. Economic Woes
"We know that John Kerry was in Vietnam," said Democratic Party chief Terry McAuliffe in a conference call with reporters. "My question, Mr. President, is where were you, Sir?"

Texan Rues Getting Bush Into Guard
Former Texas House Speaker and Lt. Governor Ben Barnes tells Correspondent Dan Rather that he regrets what he calls the "life or death" decision he made to help President Bush get into the Texas Air National Guard.

Check out this Google News search for more coverage.

The real question is, will any of this stick to him. It's a fact that his records show that he never finished his commitment to the National Guard but will hardline conservatives, veterans and Christians view this as a bad thing, as they should? Something tells me that they'll just write this off as "left wing" propaganda because they won't want to face the possibility that they, themselves, were wrong to place their loyalty with this man.

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

BUSH IS ON CRACK

This is a definite "WTF" moment from the guy in the White House. What follows is from a Reuters article posted at CommonDreams.org:
At a rally of cheering supporters in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Bush made his usual pitch for limiting "frivolous lawsuits" that he said drive up the cost of health care and run doctors out of business.

But then he added, "We've got an issue in America. Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country."
Uh, okay, George, it's really time for you to recuse yourself from politics. Not only are you a liar and responsible for the deaths of 1000 American GIs, but you have officially left planet Earth. Are you off your meds? It sure looks that way to me.

Of course, all of you conservatives/righties/Republicans/Bushites/metaphorically blind people are going to vote for this psycho anyway.

Read the rest of the Reuters article over at CommonDreams.Org.