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Friday, December 31, 2004

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Let's hope this one is better than the last one...

Monday, December 27, 2004

US OFFICIALS FIX IRAQI ELECTION?

Well, they won't if the new Iraqi government has anything to do with it--assuming they're telling the truth of course. Here's the deal: US officials in Iraq have "quietly" suggested (like we Americans can do anything quietly) that if Sunni turn out was low that more votes should be added to the Sunni candidate's totals to make it more fair to the Sunni minority, or something. Here's the official skinny from an article from Reuters.com:
Iraq's election body rejected a suggestion in Washington it adjust the results of next month's vote to benefit the Sunni minority if low turnout in Sunni areas means Shi'ites win an exaggerated majority in the new assembly.

Speaking of "unacceptable" interference, Electoral Commission spokesman Farid Ayar said: "Who wins, wins. That is the way it is. That is the way it will be in the election."
Now, since they suggested "adjusting" the results of the Iraqi election, would it be that bizarre to think that the same suggestion could have been made regarding US elections?

Read more about it in that Reuters article.

sELECTION FRAUD FUN--BIG TIME!

Wow, lots of news to cover. Lisa is working on a bunch of stuff and I'm lifting a few of her sources as well as bringing in a couple of my own. If, after you read this blog entry, you still have any amount of faith in mainstream American news sources, you should grow the hell up. They're not covering this story and as a result, the very principles America is supposed to be founded on are getting tossed out the window. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

OK, so, back on December 13, 2004, Joseph Cannon posted a blog entry that talked about how:
Libertarian candidate David Cobb says the Triad company has tampered with central tabulating system in Ohio. He says he has an eyewitness whose name cannot now be revealed.
These comments occured during the hearing that Rep Conyers held on December 13. (I have video of this but have been too busy/lame to watch/upload it yet. I will do so, soon.)

More ineresting news is out about how Electors in Massachusetts are calling for an investigation into Election 2004. A post over at VoteFraudInfo.blogspot.com references a report from caef.us (CAEF=Coalition Against Election Fraud) that talks about this. Here's an excerpt:
We believe that as electors we have a unique opportunity and obligation to insure that justice does not again become so delayed as to be denied. We call on the Congress of the United States and most especially our own honorable representatives, the members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to:

1. Act to commit Congress to investigate all voting complaints that might have any validity that they receive.

2. Act to commit Congress to remedy any voting rights violations or electoral fraud verified by its own agents or through the courts.

3. File in Congress and commit their resources to passage of systematic remedies.
There's even more to blog about and I'll be doing my best to do it. I'm still struggling to keep the bills paid, so I can't spend as much time as I'd like covering all of this stuff. So, please, do your own research. You can bet you'll read more about this stuff here, but don't wait for me to find out the truth. Here are some good places to get you started:

OnLisaReinsRadar.com
VoteFraudInfo.blogspot.com
NoStolenDemocracy.typepad.com
MiaMedia.com/votergate/
CannonFire.blogspot.com
FreePress.Org
NewsClipAutopsy.blogspot.com

Man, maybe I'd better do a new election coverage blogroll!

There's also some interesting stuff to read about Triad GSI, the folks that provide most of Ohio with the computers that count the ballots at the following sites:

VotingIndustry.com < --Nothing incriminating here, but they do have link to a nice map of Triad customers in Ohio.
DemocraticUnderground.com
TriadGSI.com <--Their home page. Isn't it interesting how little information they have on there?

OK, back to getting paid work. More from me as soon as I can.

Need an 800 number for Amazon.com? (800) 201-7575

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a thing against Big Business. I don't fault anyone for making money and generally doing a fair business. My problem is in two things: 1) How they deal with customers and 2) How they make their business choices. In terms of the first point, I hate it when companies don't make an effort to make it easier for customers to complain. This is how you take care of your customers--it gives them a voice and a say and lets you make sure that your business isn't pissing people off.

Sure, there are people out there who thrive on complaining--but this is the cost of business. Silencing customers with legitimate complaints because of a handful of whiners isn't fair and will only serve to piss people off. This is why I don't understand why Amazon forces everyone to contact them through email. They have a reputation of being very good to their customers but I wonder how this can be when their 800 number is nowhere to be found on their website. Both myself and Siskita searched for a good portion of an hour on the Amazon.com website to no avail. Then I decided to do a Google search and that did it. Jason Calacanis was kind enough to, in a blog entry from January of 2004, pass on what Kevin Kelly said in his blog about an 800 number for Amazon. This included an 800 number for Amazon. Now, anyone with Google can have that number too and get the personal customer service that each of us deserves.

Hell, it's our money--don't we all want to be treated well by those we give it to?

Remember: (800) 201-7575 is Amazon.com's 800 number!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Over A Year Ago... the LOTR Trilogy!

Wow--way back on December 16, 2003, TheFiancee, my buddy Britt, another buddy Tim Toon and a few other friends of mine sat through all three Lord of the Rings movies in one day. It was AWESOME and very easily the BEST way to watch the trilogy. What was even better is that we got to see them at one of the best theaters in Hollywood--the Cinerama Dome, owned and operated by Arclight Cinemas. They charge a lot for tickets, but it is a great theater and they do have some cool stuff in the lobby. In fact, check out the pics below to see TheFiancee, Britt and I being goofy with an Ork and a Ring Wraith! (Click to make them bigger!)

ThePete & The Ring Wraith 01 ThePete & The Ring Wraith 02

Ring Wraiths hate to have their hooves tickled! Siskita Vs the Ork!

THE AVIATOR (2004)

The Aviator (2-Disc Widescreen Edition)Entertaining? Damn straight! Scorsese is back! (For now.)
Technically any good? While not the perfect biopic, it was very engaging and intriguing. It dealt heavily with how he was (good) but not how he got that way or why (bad). Still, there's PLENTY to enjoy with this movie. Wonderful flying (and crashing) sequences definitely thrilled and surprisingly good acting from Di Caprio--he really carries the film well. Odd casting of Gwen Stefani and Kate Beckinsale (not that they're not both HOT) but almost flawless casting with everyone else, including the brilliant Kate Blanchett as Kate Hepburn.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Very satisfied. After the last few Scorsese films, I was concerned that he had lost his ability to make a film that was interesting to me and boy did he prove that he could. I bet this film will be interesting and entertaining to most people.
Final Rating? GSN

HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS (2004)

House of Flying DaggersEntertaining? Yeah, definitely. Lots of great character stuff and wonderful fight scenes really kept me paying attention.
Technically any good? While I think Zhang Ziyi needs to expand her acting a bit, over all, she and her two main costars were very good. The script was mostly solid and had some nice twists.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? The funny thing was that at the end, I wasn't feeling much about the events. Normally, the story structure would be enough to make me cry my eyes out. For some reason I can't put my finger on, I wasn't crying--or feeling anything but that it was a fun film.
Final Rating? SIYL (See If You Like character-driven kung-fu movies.)

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Holiday Wishes

Hey there folks, in this busy/insane time with all of the mess the world is in right now, I just wanted to pass on this holiday message from mine to yours:

 




Special thanks to Siskita for painting a wonderful wreath and for coming up with the Latin!

Not to take myself too seriously, here's a pic I've been meaning to post for over a year now--just found it someplace on the 'net:

Friday, December 24, 2004

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (2004)

The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition)Entertaining? Not to me, but those who are easily entertained might enjoy it. To me it was an uninteresting, boring movie.
Technically any good? The music was good, but most of the choices the director made were extremely safe and bland. I always imagined the Phantom as a very Batman-esque character (or vice versa) and as Schumacher made seriously bad Batman movies, he's made a seriously bad Phantom of the Opera movie. He seems to think shooting people singing and doing nothing else is fine--DUH, it's a MOVIE. SHOW US STUFF.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Frustrated but not surprised. Schumacher is a truly lousy director who should not be allowed to make mainstream film anymore. His movies are just bland, uninteresting piles of dung that do little to nothing to entertain. PotO was no exception (like Falling Down was--that was the only good Schumacher movie). You may enjoy it, but you probably won't feel anything as you watch.
Final Rating? DNS

Thursday, December 23, 2004

WASHINGTON DEM WINNING IN GOVERNOR'S RACE

Wow, so it turns out that maybe these recounts can change results, after all. According to an article at SeattleTimes.Com, Republican candidate for governor of Washington state, Dino Rossi, is now 10 votes behind Democrat Christine Gregoire and:
...he could drop even more after the state Supreme Court yesterday rejected a Republican attempt to block King County from reconsidering more than 700 ballots that the county said had been mistakenly disqualified.
See what happens when you count all of the votes? Republicans lose.

Well, so far, anyway.

We better keep recounting just to make sure!

Read more about it at the Seattle Times website.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Crazy close to being done with draft 2 of TheKey

Wow, well, anyone who's been coming to ThePete.Com for a while knows that I am a writer. Back in 2002, I started the year with a promise to write at least a page-a-day for the entire year. Well, I did do that and then some. The story got away from me a bit and by this time two Decembers ago, I had written over 2400 pages. By the end of 2002 I had written even more.

I always have trouble talking about this because I'm always concerned people will assume that because I did so much writing that it all sucked. When I do mention it I mostly get people telling me that they are impressed. I always assume the worst, that they are just kissing my ass. However, I have gotten a bunch of people to read the first couple books and have a few good friends who read all 6 books (I can't publish 1 2400 page novel, can I??) as I wrote them, and they all seem to think it's pretty good--not perfect, obviously, but pretty good--especially considering I wrote the whole thing in a single year.

Of course, you try editing 2400 pages in a timely manner :) So far, I've done 4 drafts of Book 1, and two drafts of Books 2-5. I'm days away from finishing the 2nd draft on Book 6. It feels good and weird. What's frustrating is that unless I get a publisher for TheKey, it'll be at least another year before I'm done with the 3rd and 4th drafts of Books 2-6. It could take me even longer--especially since I'm thinking about one more polish on Book 1 before moving on to draft 3 of Book 2.

I am pretty psyched to be so close to the end of the 2nd drafts, though. I'm thrilled, actually--I'm just about to begin editing the BIG climax--where all 6 books come together and a LOT of people die. Well, fictional people, anyway.

OK, enough of me babbling about my cool-ass-novel series.

Anyone know a literary agent or publisher looking for a cash cow? :D

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

RUMSFELD OK'ed "TORTURE TECHNIQUES"

This one comes to us from an article at a website I've never heard of but seems legit enough, BillingsGazette.com--here's an excerpt:
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld authorized harsh interrogation methods on Iraqi prisoners that went "beyond the bounds of standard FBI practice,'' the FBI's top official in Iraq said in a memo released Monday.

The May 22 memo, written more than a month after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal erupted in Iraq, shows the FBI struggling to define which interrogation techniques were permissible and which were abusive.

The two-page e-mail, which was sent to the FBI's top counterterrorism officials, was one of 21 documents released after a federal judge ordered the disclosure in a Freedom of Information lawsuit brought by the ACLU and four other groups.

Other memos detail concerns about what one FBI agent called "torture techniques'' used in Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. Navy base in Cuba where about 550 terror suspects are held.
AH, AMERICA--spreading freedom and democracy!

OH YEAH, and torture and cruelty and generally hypocracy--I always forget those three!!

Ummm, does anyone else need proof that Rumsfeld and pals are simply not interested in the sanctity or even the basic value of human life?

Read more about this at BillingsGazette.com.

AMERICANS WISEN UP, THINK IRAQ A BAD IDEA

Well, better late than never--although it would have been nice if all of those people that "voted" for Bush could have figured out that the Iraq Attack was a bad idea before November 2. Anyway, here's a quick quote from an article from the Reuters website:
- A majority of Americans now say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting, a view that has driven down the ratings of President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Monday.

Fifty-six percent of those questioned, a new high, said that the cost of the war outweighs the benefits and is not worth it. It marked a gain of seven percentage points from a poll conducted in July.
Yes, finally, the American people remember they have a brain and they decide to actually use it!

It's a banner day for proponents of intelligent thought! Congratulations, me! ;)

Read more about this in the article quoted above.

ALEVE NO PAIN AND DON'T CELEBREX LIFE!

Apparently, both the over-the-counter Aleve has been found to up the occurance of "cardiovascular events" (heart attacks and/or strokes) by 50% in a recent study.

Meanwhile, Celebrex has apparently been found to up the same kind of "events" as well.

Are they starting to make drugs that hurt us on purpose now? I mean, what are the odds of two of these things being found out in such a short amount of time??

Nothing like medicine that makes you sick!

Read more about it in an AP story over at Yahoo.

BUSH'S TEXAS CHEATS ON SCHOOL TESTS?

That's just what a Texas newspaper is saying according to an article from The AP and available at Yahoo News. Here's a quick quote:
Dozens of Texas schools appear to have cheated on the state's redesigned academic achievement test, casting doubt on whether the accountability system can reliably measure how schools are performing, a newspaper found.

An analysis uncovered strong evidence of organized, educator-led cheating on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills at schools in Houston and Dallas, along with suspicious scores in hundreds of other schools, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Mind you--this is apparently the very system that inspired Bush's amazingly (un)successful "No Child Left Behind" law.

When the originator of a new and different plan to take care of America's children is caught cheating--it doesn't bode well for anyone, does it? (And on so many different levels, too!)

Of course, what's cheating to a man who invaded a sovereign member of the United Nations in violation of International Law? Hell, to Bush, cheating on tests is nothing!

What a Weekend!!

Wow, well-things were a little hectic yesterday so I'm posting now about the weekend.

I'm pretty much showed-out! Friday night TheFiancee's family (and I mean the WHOLE family--all four parents, a sister and a grandmother!) were in town for her final performance in A Mulholland Christmas Carol. Wrangling families is always fun ;) but luckily I had help in the form of Jen and Britt who had come along with the interest of seeing TheFiancee's last performance. Of course, they didn't know that they were going to help-- :\ Anyway, it all worked out in the end and thanks to the show being so great, everyone had a good time.

The show was great, by the way. Yesterday I caught myself hearing the music in my head several times. The music/lyrics are just that strong. What was extra cool about the show was the fact that everyone was not only so good but that they all seemed to be so into their rolls. Most of them have been performing this show for three years (not in a row--just the holiday seasons in a row). Anyway, so that was very cool.

Then Saturday night we attended the final performance of the show for this season and then checked out the afterparty and this kooky awards show they head on the stage after the show. It was this bizarre/cheesy/funny take on awards shows featuring awards given to people involved in the various shows put on by the Theatre of Note (the troupe that produced Mulholland). The awards were given for kind of absurd but usually very funny things like "Best Performance in a Role Clearly Intended for Someone Else." The awards themselves are funny, too--each looks like a funnel sticking out of an oil can--at least, that's what they looked like to me. I think it was some sort of reference to the fact that the theater they perform all of their shows in used to be a garage.

Anyway, that ceremony was a blast (even though I didn't get half of the jokes) and I got to talk with some very cool people involved in the troupe (troop?). Almost everyone I talked to felt that TheFiancee was really good and should audition for the troupe and I promised to encourage her to do it. Literally, like 6 people involved in the troupe asked me "Is she going to audition? Because we LOVE her!" (Are you paying attention, honey?? ;) )

I was also talking to the drummer who also happens to be a film maker and he told me about their new playwrights program where they'll put on staged readings of plays from new writers. I hate being called a "new writer" but I suppose it's better than being called a "so far financially unsuccessful writer." Anyway, so I might get back to work on a play I started a couple years ago when an acquaintance of mine died. He was only a few years older than me, so it was a weird thing--still weird, too. Just been distracted by too much of life's shit to get back to it. And I've written several other books in the meantime.

OK, enough babbling from me. I've got a couple errands to run and hopefully I'll blog some serious stuff a bit later today. Believe it or not, we're seeing Les Miserables tonight and this is after seeing another show Sunday night (which I won't name because I didn't care for it). By tomorrow I'll have seen more shows in the preceding five days than I have in the preceding five years! Crazy!!

Anyway, later folks!

Monday, December 20, 2004

RUMSFELD FURTHER DISRESPECTS US TROOPS

Man, oh man! How many times does the Bush 43 Admin need to prove they have no regard/respect for human life--Iraqi, American or otherwise? Well, here's another example. It's best explained with a few excerpts from an article from the BBC News website:
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has pledged to personally sign letters of condolence to the families of American soldiers killed in action.

He spoke shortly after his admission that he had used a machine to sign letters to relatives of more than 1,000 troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

...

"While I have not individually signed each one, in the interest of ensuring expeditious contact with grieving family members, I have directed that in the future I sign each letter," Mr Rumsfeld's statement said.

...

Several families of US soldiers killed overseas said that the machine-signed letters reflected a lack of respect for their losses.

"To me it's an insult, not only as someone who lost a loved one but also as someone who served in Iraq," soldier Ivan Medina - whose twin brother Irving was killed in Iraq last summer - told Stars and Stripes.
Hee-hee! The forces of corruption are on the march! WEEEEE!!!

Could this Iraquagmire get any deeper or more messy? I don't think so. Could those who are running it be any less respectful or responsible for the troops and civilians of both countries that are in harms way in Iraq and Afghanistan?

My guess is... YES. :)

Sunday, December 19, 2004

THINGS ARE GETTING WORSE IN IRAQ

Happy Christmas week! I finally had a moment to check out Riverbend's blog this weekend and, as usual, was moved by what I read. Here's an excerpt, first from her Christmas list:
1. 20 liters of gasoline
2. A cylinder of gas for cooking
3. Kerosene for the heaters
4. Those expensive blast-proof windows
5. Landmine detectors
6. Running water
7. Thuraya satellite phones (the mobile phone services are really, really bad of late)
8. Portable diesel generators (for the whole family to enjoy!)
9. Coleman rechargeable flashlight with extra batteries (you can never go wrong with a fancy flashlight)
10. Scented candles (it shows you care- but you're also practical)
That's the state of infrastructure/basics in the suburbs of Baghdad at this point. As for her list, it seems reasonable enough. She doesn't mention whether she's Muslim or Christian in the post, but she does mention that if Santa should choose to favor her household that he should just knock on the door, come in through the chimney and he might come face to face with an AK-47. ;)

Here's an excerpt from her December 12 post:
The situation seems to be deteriorating daily. To brief you on a few things: Electricity is lousy. Many areas are on the damned 2 hours by 4 hours schedule and there are other areas that are completely in the dark- like A'adhamiya. The problem is that we're not getting much generator electricity because fuel has become such a big problem. People have to wait in line overnight now to fill up the car. It's a mystery. It really is. There was never such a gasoline crisis as the one we're facing now. We're an oil country and yet there isn't enough gasoline to go around...

Oh don't get me wrong- the governmental people have gasoline (they have special gas stations where there aren't all these annoying people, rubbing their hands with cold and cursing the Americans to the skies)... The Americans have gasoline. The militias get gasoline. It's the people who don't have it. We can sometimes get black-market gasoline but the liter costs around 1250 Iraqi Dinars which is almost $1- compare this to the old price of around 5 cents.
Yeah, but River, you have to remember that Sadam was a madman and was raping in torturing thousands of people! Isn't the inconvenience of no modern conveniences and the deaths of possibly as many as 100,000 of your fellow Iraqis worth it?

SIGH.

Please, rest of the world that isn't America, rise up and stop us. The Empire needs it's nose tweaked--hard.

PRIMER (2004)

PrimerEntertaining? For about the first half of the film, the cinematography sucked me in but that couldn't save this terrible, terrible film.
Technically any good? Not at ALL. The acting was fine, but the script was a mess--many things were left unshown and major problems were left unsolved. The director should have known better than to shoot that script--ironically, he's the writer, too--which explains why he shot that completely screwed script. This movie makes Time Chasers look like a tight, well executed movie. In fact, compared to this stinker--IT WAS BRILLIANT.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Gypped--absolutely. Luckily, it was only 77 minutes long, so I didn't waste that much of my life. Still, no film should leave you feeling like you wasted your time.
Final Rating? DNS

ALEXANDER (2004)

Entertaining? No--it was a MESS.
Technically any good? No--it was a mess! I was astounded at how Oliver Stone had discarded all of his previous knowledge/experience making some seriously good films to make this piece of garbage. Too many scenes integral to Alexander's life were left out--like the scenes that establish him as a merciful conqueror. Also the battles were confusing.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Gypped. Honestly, you see a biopic to learn about what makes a real historical figure tick. We saw some stuff, but none of it explained much of anything about why he acted the way he did.
Final Rating? DNS

Friday, December 17, 2004

THINK AIDS IS BAD? IT'S PROBABLY WORSE

Hey check it out--no sooner does the UN call AIDS the worst catastrophe in history than South Africa President Thabo Mbeki accuses the US of testing a new AIDS drug on Africans instead of making sure it's safe first.

Here's a quote from an article the Guardian.co.uk website:
Advances in children's survival, health and education are being reversed by a "triple whammy" of Aids, conflict and poverty, according to the UN children's agency, Unicef.

The disease is driving the destruction of basic services for 1bn children and violating their right to grow and develop, said Carol Bellamy, the organisation's executive director.

"We believe Aids is the worst catastrophe ever to hit the world," she told the Guardian. "It is just ripping up systems, be it health or education. Our children's childhood is being robbed from them."
Wow, the Forces of Evil must be happy after hearing that one. Of course, the Forces of Evil don't exist--however, the Forces of Greed and Amoral Avarice (or FGAA) are only cheering because it means they get to make money off of a new AIDS drug they didn't have spend buckets testing before giving it to people--er, I mean, Africans, who are sort of like people, only, uh, blacker.

The following excerpt comes from an article from The AP and Yahoo News and deals with just this kind of bullshit:
President Thabo Mbeki's ruling party published a stinging attack Friday on top U.S. health officials, accusing them of treating Africans like "guinea pigs" and lying to promote a key AIDS drug.

The criticism reinforces fears of doctors and activists that new questions about the testing of nevirapine could halt use of the drug that's credited with protecting thousands of African babies from catching HIV from their mothers.

The article, published in the online journal ANC Today, was responding to Associated Press reports this week that U.S. health officials withheld criticism of a nevirapine study before President Bush launched a 2002 plan to distribute the drug in Africa.

Documents obtained by AP show Dr. Edmund C. Tramont, chief of the National Institutes of Health's AIDS division, rewrote an NIH report to omit negative conclusions about the way a U.S.-funded drug trial was conducted in Uganda, and later ordered the research to continue over the objections of his staff. Tramont's staff worried about record-keeping problems, violations of federal patient safeguards and other issues at the Uganda research site.

"Dr. Tramont was happy that the peoples of Africa should be used as guinea pigs, given a drug he knew very well should not be prescribed," the article said. "In other words, they entered into a conspiracy with a pharmaceutical company to tell lies to promote the sales of nevirapine in Africa, with absolutely no consideration of the health impact of those lies on the lives of millions of Africans."
Mainstream news folks--this story comes from The AP and Lancet, not Art Bell or Rense.

BigBusiness putting cold cash in front of human lives.

Yay.

Read more about the UN's opinion at Guardian.co.uk.

Read more about the conspiracy to throw the health rights of Africans out the window at Yahoo News.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

MK ASANTE & FOCUSED ONLINE GET SOME PLAY

A friend of mine is this guy called MK Asante Jr. He's this poet/filmmaker/publisher guy. He's also a boba drinker like yours truly and we've gotten very chatty in our favorite boba location, Boba Loca in the heart of Westwood, California. The thing is, it's not just Asante and I getting chatty, ProHipHop.com, the Hip Hop Business Blog, was talking about Asante's new digizine the other day. I've blogged about Asante's writing and his Def Poetry Jam Featured Poetry-ness and you can check out his digizine's website here. However, it's always cool seeing your friends get talked about by people you don't even know. If hip-hop is your thing, check out ProHipHop.com's post on the Focused Online digizine.

Oh yeah, and keep your fingers crossed for FO to get a good distribution deal. Maybe then Asante'll be so generous he'll buy a round of Boba for everybody at Boba Loca! :)

What do ya say, Asante? Sound like a good idea? :D

WANT A FREE TERABYTE OF EMAIL STORAGE SPACE?

Yowza--I thought Google was impressive with their GMail service. Well, as you might expect, there are not only copycats, but one service that promises 1 TeraByte of storage space for users email. What's more is that they say that their maximum mail attachment size is 500 mbs! Which is really cool until you think about how most people can't receive attachments that big. Also--imagine how long it would take just to upload a 500mb file from your hard drive to their mail server!!

Regardless, you're probably wondering who is offering this service? Is it Yahoo? MSN? Netscape? NOPE. It's Helacious Riders. They're a motorcycle enthusiast website. Go to their site right now to sign up for your own free TeraByte of email space. I've signed up and am pretty unimpressed, frankly. It's no GMail by a long shot.

The interface is clunky and relies on a frame. There's also no clear link back to the Helacious Riders website once you're checking your mail. What's even stranger is that there are no ads anywhere, whatsoever.

Very odd indeed.

I'm guessing that they think by having a login on the front page of their website will drive traffic--well, I know I won't be heading for their main page every time I want to check my HRiders mail--I'm just going to head to http://mail.hriders.com and before I log in I'm going to click the box next to: "Check here if this is your private computer and you want to use cookies to store your log-in information."

That way I just go back to that URL and log in there--no ads, no articles about Motorcycles or anything. For their own good, I hope the people at Hriders.com change this.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

MYSTERY SPY PROGRAM RAISES CONCERN

Check it out--some Dems in the actually grew a spine and complained about something! Here's an excerpt from an article the The AP brings us via Yahoo News Asia:
Congress' new blueprint for U.S. intelligence spending includes a mysterious and expensive spy program that drew extraordinary criticism from leading Democrats, with one saying the highly classified project is a threat to national security.

In an unusual rebuke, Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the senior Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, complained Wednesday that the spy project was "totally unjustified and very, very wasteful and dangerous to the national security." He called the program "stunningly expensive."

...

Each senator _ and more than two dozen current and former U.S. officials contacted by The Associated Press _ declined to further describe or identify the disputed program, citing its classified nature.
Ah, so they're pissed it's a money-waster but not that it's so secret. Hm... k... well, the AP article goes a little further at least questioning the secrecy:
The rare criticisms of a highly secretive project in such a public forum intrigued outside intelligence experts, who said the program was almost certainly a spy satellite system, perhaps with technology to destroy potential attackers. They cited tantalizing hints in Rockefeller's remarks, such as the program's enormous expense and its alleged danger to national security.

A U.S. panel in 2001 described American defense and spy satellites as frighteningly vulnerable, saying technology to launch attacks in space was widely available internationally. The study, by a commission whose members included Donald H. Rumsfeld prior to his appointment as defense secretary for President Bush, concluded that the United States was "an attractive candidate for a Space Pearl Harbor."

Sending even defensive satellite weapons into orbit could start an arms race in space, warned John Pike, a defense analyst with GlobalSecurity.org, who has studied anti-satellite weapons for more than three decades. Pike said other countries would inevitably demand proof that any weapons were only defensive.

"It would present just absolutely insurmountable verification problems because we are not going to let anybody look at our spy satellites," Pike said. "It is just not going to happen."
YAY! It's a SPACE arms race, kids!! Of course, this is rather annoying as there's this treaty that has prohibitted weapons in space since the 60s.

Here goes another treaty that may get broken assuming the spy program is about satellites.

Read more about the spy bill in that AP article I quoted above over at Yahoo News Asia.

Another great source for learning about the military in space is this page at the Federation of American Scientists website.

BUSH'S PRIZED MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM FAILS TEST

Well, what else is new, right? As I recall, for the better part of a decade military experts have been saying a missile defense shield won't work. I remember back in Clinton's day they did a test but the laser wasn't able to track the target missile thus allowing the target missile to hit its target. That was back in '98 or '99. I remember 60 Minutes reporter Leslie Stahl saying something about how Clinton wouldn't decide on axing the program and that he'd leave it up to the next president to make the final call. Well, of course, it's been King George's pet project and him going forward with it meant the violation of the first of many treaties America had signed with other countries.

Anyway, so just the other day the Pentagon did the first test in two years of this monster failure and predictable enough, it failed again. This time the damn interceptor missile didn't even get off the ground.

$10 billion a year on this program, folks.

Man, after letting 911 happen, not getting fully rid of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the "catastrophic" success in Iraq and now this--can the Pentagon do ANYTHING right?

Can I ask why this thing is even something we need? I mean, is Al Qaeda going to get their hands on an ICBM? Or are we expecting to piss off the Russians?

Check out an article about this very failure from BBC News.

Or check out this great post over at one of my new additions to TheBlogRoll: ArmsControlWonk.com. Here's the title of an essay quoted in the post to whet your appetite:
A REAL BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE, OR
How I’d Spend $8 Billion To Deal With Ballistic Missile Threats, or
You Can’t Fire A Ballistic Missile If A Navy SEAL Is Beating You With Your Own Severed Limbs.


'nuf said!

BUSH WANTS TO SAVE THE US DOLLAR

Ah yes, the economy! It's that thing you're sleeping on, America! It's that thing your precious president (he's not my president!) has peed on while you slept. Sure, the real leader of the free world is Alan Greenspan, but Bush's lower taxes for the rich and hike them for the poor does nothing for the economy. In fact, it stops us poor folks from spending which is what makes the economy go. The economy isn't built entirely on loans given to small and big businesses--it's based on consumerism.

Giving us $300 back in 2001 didn't help worth a damn, obviously. In fact, the dollar has gotten so weak that Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, had to come over, pull Bush aside and say "What the hell's goin' on, man? Your weak-ass dollar is making Europeans buy more American shit and less European shit! You've got to nip that shit in the bud, bro!"

OK, so I'm paraphrasing. The point is, when you're starting to drag other economies down, you're in a seriously bad situation.

So, check it out--AMERICA, the biggest economy in the world is starting to suck the European economy out to sea with some sort of economic under-tow.

The (vaguely) good news is that Greenspan (The Man) is on the job. He's upped interest rates which means people won't be borrowing money as much. Now, at first I thought "Whoa--hang on--if people are borrowing less, it means they're spending less, right? Doesn't that weaken the economy?"

Then I remembered how loans work. For every loan you take out, that money is effectively created from nothing. I can't remember the exact ratio, but when someone deposits a dollar to a bank, that bank can turn around (I think) and loan that dollar out 10 times--effectively creating 9 more dollars from nothingness. Stopping people from borrowing money means that less of this will go on.

Less money being created means less money period. Less money period means that the money is more valuable.

The funny thing is what a Reuters reporter said in this article--pay attention to the last sentence of this excerpt:
President Bush said on Wednesday a renewed drive to cut U.S. budget deficits should help the weak dollar and that Tuesday's Federal Reserve interest-rate hike showed Alan Greenspan's awareness of the greenback's plight.

Bush made the comments after talks with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who came to Washington intent on telling Bush of his worries about the euro currency's export-sapping strength against the dollar.

The dollar's weakness is troubling Europe because the relatively lofty euro drives up the costs of its exports to the United States and makes U.S. goods more attractive there.

It was rare for Bush to speak at length about the dollar and equally unusual for him to cite a Fed action.
Hm, why could that be? OH YEAH, because he's AN IDIOT. He doesn't read the papers and probably doesn't even understand what I just explained above. The same article then quotes King George--I think this is the single most complicated series of three sentences the man has ever uttered, check it out:
"We believe that the markets should make the decision about the relationship between the dollar and the euro," Bush said.

"Therefore, to the extent that the federal government is involved with making the conditions such that a strong dollar will emerge, we'll do everything we can in the upcoming legislative session to send a signal to the markets that we'll deal with our deficits, which hopefully will cause people to want to buy dollars," he added.
Well, nice to see he thinks using capaign rhetoric will still work for him now. I mean--do you want to break down how you're going to do this?

Oh that's right--I forgot for a moment--you're an idiot.

Anyway, you can check out the whole article over at the Reuters website.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

KERRY CAMP GETS INVOLVED WHILE BLACKWELL SHOULDN'T

First off, I'm guessing that it didn't make major news outlets that a Kerry lawyer decided to ask to the 92,000 ballots in Ohio that came up with no clear vote made. This is significant because the Kerry camp is ACTUALLY doing something!! This is rare. Here's a clip from an article from The AP and the MyWay.Com website:
"We're trying to increase the transparency of the election process," said Donald McTigue, the lawyer handling the recount for the Kerry campaign. But he added that several requests - such as using independent experts to check election equipment, "are trying to push the edge of envelope."

Two minor presidential candidates who received 0.30 percent of the votes in last month's election requested and paid for the recount, claiming that the election was full of irregularities that need to be addressed.

President Bush, a Republican, beat the Massachusetts senator by about 119,000 votes in Ohio on Election Day. Ohio's 20 electoral votes, which will be cast on Monday, put Bush over the top in the race.

Kerry's campaign supports the recount, while Bush's campaign has criticized it, but both sides agree it won't change the outcome of the election.
Since it's that simple, obviously there's no problem, is there? Ha! Guess again, OnLisaReinsRadar.com posts a nice little something about Ohio man-in-charge-of-the-elections, Kenneth Blackwell not doing what he promised--mainly interfering in the recount. Lisa posts on her site:
Oopsy. Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell promised America that he would not interfere with a recount. Now his office has instructed employees that Ohio voting records are not considered "public records."


That means that Kenneth Blackwell has been caught in a big fat lie. And I've got the proof (I provide video and a transcript):


Last week, he promised in an interview with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann that he wouldn't do anything to interfere with the recount. He said he would consider it "yet another audit of the voting process."
It just goes to show you that you don't need to be Caucasian to be a suit-wearing white guy.

Lisa's entire post on this at her website.

Read more about actual movement in the Kerry campaign over at My Way News.

SOUTH AMERICAN UNION?

You've heard of the European Union, but did you know that there is a South American one? The following is from a BBC News article:
Representatives from 12 South American countries have signed an agreement to create a political and economic bloc modelled on the European Union.

The new South American Community of Nations was launched at a summit in the Peruvian city of Cuzco.

Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo, said a new country was being born, which would one day have a common currency, parliament and passport.
A new country, huh? Well, this should be interesting for the neo-cons in Washington to try and figure out. Will there soon be the SAU to add to the Axis of Evil? After all, there is plenty of oil in South America. ;)

PROZAC , THE DEPRESSING ANTIDEPRESSANT

This is a real fun one--European drug regulators have taken a good look at information relating to teens and Prozac use to discover that teens on Prozac are more likely to experience suicidal tendancies (I'm not refering to the 80s rock band).

Oh, that's great--get on Prozac and want to kill yourself!

Is that what we call negative reinforcement?

Of course, here's some irony, the UK thinks it's fine for kids to be on Prozac. Here's an excerpt from an article from the BBC News website:
European drug regulators are concerned that Prozac, like its sister antidepressants, is unsafe for children, contrary to UK advice.

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) reviewed all of the available data.

It said there was an increased risk of suicidal behaviour and thoughts with all antidepressants known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).

UK regulators say the benefits of Prozac in under 18s outweigh any risk.

Suicide risk

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency issued this advice last year after its own review.

It said other SSRIs were too risky for children.

This week, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence called on doctors to exercise more caution in prescribing antidepressants.
Remember how 40% of all Americans are on some sort of prescription drug? Well, this is another good reason that should change.

An antidepressant that makes you want to kill yourself... THAT'S HILARIOUS!!

The Biggest Time-Waster EVER

As regular visitors to ThePete.Com know, I am a heteroman. I like women in many shapes and sizes and for me, they don't even have to be fully naked--I know, I'm an exception to most males. Sticking with this line of thinking, I present to you the dumbest thing to come along in a while that is still somehow addictive:



What you do is type in single words that tell her what to do. Type in "beer" and she gets a beer from behind the bar and walks up to the camera (you) and bends over to put it on the table. You can type in "can" and "bottle" if you're not a draft guy.

While nothing with the VB is rated R :( the fun isn't always in getting her to serve you drinks, it's in seeing what else she will do. Here are a few fun commands I tried:

dance
pour
nuts
pillow fight
wet
shirt
fight (hillarious)

Of course, the popularity of this (literal) dumb broad is going through the roof so you might have some trouble, uh, using her. As I type this, I was testing a few commands out only to have the lovely lady lock up on me. Ah, the price of fame.

Anyway, check out below for a HUGE list of commands I stole off of some other site. There are loads of commands that get her to do duplicate things and alas, I don't have time to filter out the dupes--frankly, the guy who's site I got them from should have done it instead of wasting everyone's time.

OH and go here to beat the ads at the above link.

The BEST Star Wars game EVER... maybe...

Now, I'm not a big video game player--of course, the only reason for this is the fact that I have very little time to play video games. I do own a short stack of game consoles and an equally short stack of video games for them my PC and my Mac. I'm one of those guys that finds a video game he likes and that's that. I play the crap out of that one game. That said, I like games I CAN ACTUALLY BEAT. So, I'm a big fan of cheat codes. That said, when a game comes along where I don't need cheat codes in order for you to enjoy it, I pay attention. Mind you, I haven't played this game yet (duh) but I'm pretty psyched to. Check out these great screenshots from the new Star Wars video game coming out in spring from Eidos:





Yep, it's called Lego Star Wars: The Video Game and it allows you to play your favorite scenes from the prequel trilogy (unfortunately) as Lego mini-figures. Here's a clip from a review of this game at GameSpot.com:
Lego Star Wars really has a great look that's consistent with both the Star Wars movies and the Lego milieu. The characters look just like those ubiquitous little Lego people that you've no doubt seen here and there (they're impossible to avoid, since the Lego company has sold around 3 billion of them), with blocky legs and feet and amusingly blank expressions on their faces. All the level backgrounds have a clean, sparsely detailed look to them that's reminiscent of the Lego Star Wars toys that have been released (and in fact, many of the vehicles in the game are taken straight from that line). The real star of the visuals, though, is the animation, which brings the characters to life in a hilarious manner during cutscenes and actual gameplay. The game features no dialogue, so all the communication will take place through the wildly overdone character animation, goofy facial expressions, and so on. It will have plenty of music from the movies, though, not to mention authentic sound work done by the wizards at Skywalker Sound.
While they do admit that it's a light and frothy game aimed at kids, I say SO WHAT?? This reminds me of what games are supposed to be like: FUN.

SUPREME COURT TO HEAR FILE SHARING CASE

Yeesh--well, at least this time it will be final. The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case concerning whether or not filesharing companies Grokster and StreamCast can be held responsible for the illegal files transferred on their networks. This could be the best thing that's happened to the P2P world or it could be the worst. Here's a little something from [http://www.wavy.com/Global/story.asp?S=2676811&nav=23iiU49K|an article] posted at Wavy.com:
The Supreme Court agreed Friday to consider whether two Internet file-sharing services may be held responsible for their customers' online swapping of copyrighted songs and movies.

Justices will review a lower ruling in favor of Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc., which came as a blow to recording companies and movie studios seeking to stop the illegal distribution of their works.

The file-sharing is "inflicting catastrophic, multibillion dollar harm on petitioners that cannot be redressed through lawsuits against the millions of direct infringers using those services," the appeal by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and other entertainment companies says.

Grokster and StreamCast, in their filings, disagree: "Once the software has been downloaded by users, (we) have no involvement in, nor ability to control, what it is used for."


Hey, the excuse worked for IBM and the counting machines they sold to the Nazis. An IBM guy says in the movie [http://thecorporation.tv|The Corporation] (or was it [http://fahrenheit911.com|Fahrenheit 911]?) that they couldn't be held responsible for what their customers did with their machines. IBM still hasn't faced war crimes charges but their have been a few [http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/7417.html|law suits].

ANYway, so BigGovernment is going to decide if BigBusiness can protect this mythical missing money by telling smaller businesses what they can and can't produce.

What's really sad is how obvious it is that both BigBusiness and BigGovernment are so clueless regarding technology and the future.

In the early 1900s, BigGovernment tried to stop Americans from drinking booze. They banned the sale of alcoholic beverages. Did that stop Americans from boozing it up? What about that drug war? have we won/lost that yet? Now it's file sharing. The digital genie is out of the virtual bottle, folks--wake up and smell reality.

I'm not saying filesharing is wrong or right--just that it's here and it's not going anywhere. So, BigBusiness had better start figuring out a way to make money off of it or how to make their product more attractive to consumers.

In my book, you can't blame P2Pers for doing what companies would do. Look at how BigBusiness deals with laws--if they are about to break one, they look at how much a fine for a conviction would be compared to the cost of following the law. Often, they break the law and get fined because breaking the law allows them to make more money in the long run. Sure, companies get fined, but does that stop them from breaking the law again? Of course not.

So why should P2Pers stop?

Odds are most of them won't get caught, so what's their incentive?

You see? So it's useless to bother with the law the same way it's useless for the law to bother with you.

On top of that, you greedy lying bastards, one of your main premises is that P2Pers steal hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue from you guys every year. You say that one guy from someplace on the east coast downloaded something like $3000 of music in a day.

"THAT'S THEFT!" you say, basing that declaration on the idea that he would have had to spend 3 grand to buy all that music otherwise.

Right, who spends $3000 on music ever? Do you really think he was all set to go buy $3000 worth of music from his local music store?

As any reasonable person can see, this myth of "millions of dollars lost to filesharing" is just that--a myth. You're just pissed off because someone stole your business model.

Hell, corporations have been granted the same rights as humans--how about giving humans the same rights as corporations?

By the way, I'm all for people making their money, but I do not believe in the extremes that BigBusiness believes it deserves.

[http://news.com.com/Probing+IBMs+Nazi+connection/2009-1082_3-269157.html|Read more about IBM and the Nazis].

[http://www.wavy.com/Global/story.asp?S=2676811&nav=23iiU49K|Read more about the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the case against Grokster and StreamCast].

Some Cowboy Bebop Fun

One of the best anime shows out there is Cowboy Bebop. It doesn't have a massive, over-arching storyline like so many other anime shows have. It's just a show about bounty hunters in space--but it's so much more than that. If you've seen the show, you know what I mean--if you haven't but enjoy unique anime, you should check it out. Hell, if you like great music, you should check this show out.

Anyway, so I stumbled across the below wallpaper at AnimeWallpapers.de and knew I had to share this wallpaper. Normally, I don't like it when artists use the painting this is originally based on, adding other characters to the painting--but when it's these characters, I'm cool with it. Why? Because if Spike, Faye and Jet were on Earth in the time period the painting depicts, I think the painting would actually be pretty accurate. That said, here it is:

click to make it larger.


Oh yeah, I saw this one for the heteromen and lesbians, too.

KERIK'S REAL REASON FOR DITCHING, NOW RUDY'S FLINCHING

Well, I said in this post that I had a feeling that this nanny stuff was just trumped up to hide something darker in his closet and I was right--however, I have a feeling there's more out there yet to be "discovered" that is worse than even what has come out. Anyway, here's the scoop--according to an article from NYDailyNews.Com, Kerik had two affairs at the same time. Here's a clip:
Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik conducted two extramarital affairs simultaneously, using a secret Battery Park City apartment for the passionate liaisons, the Daily News has learned.

The first relationship, spanning nearly a decade, was with city Correction Officer Jeanette Pinero; the second, and more startling, was with famed publishing titan Judith Regan.

His affair with Regan, the stunningly attractive head of her own book publishing company, lasted for almost a year.
While I'd normally say this is none of anyone's business, if you're making seriously messed up choices based on what your dick wants to do that cause your family to feel anything but secure, I don't want your morals running the Homeland Security Department. If he was married to a woman without kids and she didn't care that he was cheating on her, then I'd care a little less--but two women at the same time in secret? You are a liar and a fool, "Bernie."

Or course, now Rudy's in a bit of a bind. The following clip is from an article at NYTimes.com and illustrates the tensions between Rudy and the White House:
"I feel very bad," Mr. Giuliani said in a telephone interview on Sunday afternoon, adding that he felt somewhat responsible for the nomination of Mr. Kerik, who withdrew his name on Friday because he had failed to pay taxes for a nanny who was in the country illegally.

"Even though there was never a conversation about it, I realize that one of the reasons they did it was because of my confidence in Bernie over the years," he said. "And I feel like maybe I should have involved myself more in it."

Mr. Giuliani added that he did not think the situation would hurt his relationship with President Bush or the White House. "It doesn't and shouldn't affect my feelings toward them, and I don't think it will affect their feelings toward me," he said. "We're friends."

The view at the White House is somewhat different. Although people close to the president say he likes and respects Mr. Giuliani, they say the president has long been leery of him as a man who could not be counted on for the loyalty demanded by Mr. Bush. And while the breakdown of Mr. Kerik's nomination is not lethal to Mr. Giuliani's relationship with the White House, the friends and officials say, it will hardly burnish his credentials with the president.

"It hurts him politically, so therefore by extension it's going to hurt him with the White House," said a Republican close to the administration who has worked for both Mr. Bush and Mr. Giuliani and who asked not to be identified because of the political sensitivity of the situation. "Nobody at the White House is saying to themselves, 'Damn that Rudy Giuliani.' It's more, 'Well, he got his licks.' "

In the interview, Mr. Giuliani indicated that he should have known about Mr. Kerik's legal problems because he had named him police commissioner and then had gone into business with him. The former mayor seemed to suggest as much in a phone call on Saturday morning to Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff.

"I said, 'Well, I wish I had figured it out earlier,' " Mr. Giuliani said. "That's what I was apologizing for, that we hadn't figured this out earlier. And Andy said something like, 'Well, Bernie just focused on it you know, this is a very difficult process.' They were very nice about it."
Uh-huh, well, that's nice--what about how embarrassing it would have been if the double-adultery story had gotten out before he quit?

Sheesh--these damn suit-wearing white men drive me nuts.

Monday, December 13, 2004

TheBlurb is BACK and the new Sidebar is UP

YIPPEEE!!

Ahem, anyway, just wanted to let everyone know that TheBlurb is back and can be updated again. It's been moved to the top of the new sidebar which has been redesigned to be less cluttered-- it's got the same amount of crap in it as before, but it's just more neatly placed, in my opinion, anyway.

Well, I've got plenty to blog on and will do so later today--I'm expecting to be left hanging for work for another day so I should be able to catch up with the stuff I've missed on. I'd blog a lot more if only I could get paid to do it. :)

I know, same old crap from ThePete... life is hard, yadda-yadda. Anyway, more after I catch some anime and get some sleep!

Bai bai!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

In LA? SEE MULHOLLAND CHRISTMAS CAROL!

OK, now listen up true believers, if you live in LA, you've got just two more nights to catch TheFiancee in a GREAT show called Mulholland Christmas Carol. I just saw it for the third time (second time with Sierra in it) and I plan on seeing it at least one more time before it closes THIS Saturday night. In fact, if anyone wants to go Thursday or Friday, let me know and I'll probably be up for going just to see TheFiancee in it one last time.

The show itself is a bizarre mix of parody, satire and tragedy. It's one part A Christmas Carol, one part LA water-rights history and one part crazy show. The music is unbelievably catchy and upon my third viewing of the show, I was already singing along with the lyrics.

The story centers around a man who most Angelenos (Angelinos?) are familiar with--Mulholland. He is the Scrooge character who is stingy with his money every bit as much as he is his water. The story begins shortly before the collapse of the St. Francis dam and follows the old, cratchety, sour Mulholland as he watches his own rise to success, peak and fast descent. The show features Southern Californians with both cockney British and southern accents as well. One of my favorite lines in the show happens early in the show when the Bob Cratchit character asks Mulholland if he could open the Alabama gates to allow the farmers just a bit of water for the crops. When he is told no by Mulholland he responds in a cockney accent:

"But sir! It's Christmas!"

OK, so I like dry humor--there's PLENTY of wacky stuff in the show, too. It's also very clever and very smart combining elements from many different movies and shows.

Based on real events, the musical takes a completely depressing true story and turns it on its ear, commenting along the way on corporate greed, blind passion, corrupt governments and even domestic terrorism. Long before there was Al Qaeda, there were Anarchists!

Anyway, just go see the show--tickets are $15, the music is great, and the actors are AWESOME!! (Not just TheFiancee either--although she probably has the best voice of the cast!) The show is performing three more times, Thursday (12/16), Friday (12/17) and Saturday (12/18), but if you want to see TheFiancee, you've got to see the show on the Thursday (12/16) or Friday (12/17). Call (323) 856-8611 to make reservations. DO IT NOW if you wait, it might be too late!!

Hey, the LA Times liked it!

Here's some wicked cool postcard art to tempt you:

Another Weekend Gone By

Well, here I am heading into another Sunday evening. I still have a buttload of dayjobbing to do and I hope to sneak in a good and meaty blog entry before tomorrow morning. Of course, I still have to edit TheKey Book 6 and watch some anime. TheFiancee and I watched Millennium Actress Friday night, that was a LOT of fun. If you haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out.

I also want to blog on this show that TheFiancee is in for two more performances. It's a great show but her voice does add a nice improvement--but more on that and more later.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

KERIK QUITS ALREADY!

Wow, that didn't take long--Bernard "Baldy B" Kerik, King George's shoo-in for Tom Ridge's old job as Department of Fatherl--I mean--Homeland Security has dropped himself out of the running. Apparently, he's got an illegal immigrant housekeeper/nanny's skeleton in his closet--he didn't kill her-- ;) He may have paid her under the table.

Consider this a little baby-sized nannygate that saved us from a seriously scary guy. In fact, my guess is that there are far more serious skeletons in this guy's closet that were itching to get out so his handlers trumped up this micro-nannygate to get him off the hook. I mean, when I spent all of about an hour researching him for this post, I found out all sorts of creepy crap about the dude (like he may have been a mercenary in the Middle East for a while).

So, now we just need to wait and see who Bush 43 wants to appoint next...

Read more about Bernard "Grandmaster K" Kerik's "pretirement" in an AP article over at My Way News.

Friday, December 10, 2004

FALLUJAH, THE NEW WARSAW GHETTO

So, the battle for Fallujah is over, I guess. The city has been smashed and the insurgents inside have been "taken care of." Now the task apparently becomes letting Fallujah residents back into their city. How do you do this while guaranteeing a free and open society? Apparently, you can't. The following is from a post over at Warblogging.com:
Most residents of Fallujah are currently refugees without homes. Under the plans being drawn up, these refugees would be funnelled into Fallujah through "citizen processing centers". Once at a citizen processing center the Fallujan would have a DNA sample taken and their retina scanned. They would then receive identification badges displaying their home address. Those ID badges will be required. They must be worn and visible at all times.

Inside Fallujah — again, a city the size of Miami — cars will be banned. Buses would be used to transport ID-marked, retina-scanned Fallujan citizens through the city.
Freedom comes to Fallujah? Not really. I suppose freedom takes a back seat to keeping USGIs safe.

Of course, if they weren't in Iraq, they'd be even safer, I'd think.

Apparently, they're also talking about turning every able-bodied Fallujan into a laborer to help with the clean up of the now decimated city. Depending on skills, each person would for pay, help clear up the rubble and begin the rebuilding process.

Is this among the most insulting things we've done over there yet?

We invade their country, destroy their infrastructure, give contracts to American companies to rebuild the infrastructure, when we get shot at and killed by insurgents we destroy a goodly portion of one of their cities and then force them to clean up after our mess? I don't care if they're getting paid--forced labor is wrong labor.

Anyway, check out the rest of the post over at Warblogging.com to read more about it.

TheBlurb is Down

Hey folks, sorry, but TheBlurb is down--some how I managed to delete the blurb-writing file and for some odd reason I don't have it on my hard drive. I do have it at home, which is a place that I am not at currently. :( I'm going to be redesigning the sidebar over the next few days and as I do that, I'll fix TheBlurb. Sorry!!!

I also hope to have a guest blogger add some content soon. More stuff soon! I got a reprise on my deadline so I should have more time to blog, too. I'm still writing about maps, which sounds like fun but gets pretty slow before too long... but hey, it's a job!

More soon!

Damn long ass day!!

Well, it's been a long day. Sorry I haven't had time to post more--I'm kind of on a deadline and need to balance everything carefully with a major emphasis on things that make me money. :) Anyway, I'm going to sit through an episode of Love Hina and then go to sleep until I wake up. I then have to get back to work on the dayjob stuff but will definitely blog more on Friday and more over the weekend. There's just so damn much to do!

Hey, if there's like a patron-type dude out there who wants to pay me to run this site, I'd happily take your money :)

I was just thinking the other day how great this site would be if it were my full time job.

Richard Bransen? The guy who runs Gawker? Ted Turner? Anyone want to sponsor me? Jon Stewart?

I got nothin'...

Thursday, December 9, 2004

RUMSFELD GETS THE RIOT ACT READ TO HIM

Have you heard the one about the war mongering defense secratary who visited a US base in Kuwait?

Turns out, he thought he was delivering a pep talk but seemed to forget soldiers have souls!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oh... you've heard that one?

Let me get more specific then. So, Rummy's visiting a base in Kuwait and clearly thinks that USGIs are brainwashed to think that he is Jesus and his boss, George, is God. In other words, he wasn't expecting any tough questions from our boys and girls in uniform. Well, it turns out he got exactly that. Check out this excerpt from an article from The AP and brought to us by the folks at MyWay.com :
In a rare public airing of grievances, disgruntled soldiers complained to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Wednesday about long deployments and a lack of armored vehicles and other equipment.

"You go to war with the Army you have," Rumsfeld replied, "not the Army you might want or wish to have."

Spc. Thomas Wilson had asked the defense secretary, "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?" Shouts of approval and applause arose from the estimated 2,300 soldiers who had assembled to see Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.

Rumsfeld said the Army was sparing no expense or effort to acquire as many Humvees and other vehicles with extra armor as it can. What is more, he said, armor is not the savior some think it is.

"You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can (still) be blown up," he said.
Rummy should have just said "Look--nobody's going to live forever, kiddo! You just have to buck up and realize that we don't give a shit about you! Mommy and daddy are proud of you! Now go out and die for your country!"

To stand there and to the faces of 2000+ men and women who volunteered to serve and say "hey, no armor is perfect" is identical to saying "we don't care." Why the hell isn't it perfect? Or at least closer to perfect? If a tank can still be blown up, shouldn't that mean that we build a better tank? I mean, for Christ's sake--TheUSGov spends $400 billion a year on defense and we can't keep our men and women safe inside a TANK??

Why the hell even call them "tanks" then??

If Rummy's rudeness wasn't enough, Drudge posted a "flash" (no, not a flash cartoon) about a Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter called Edward Lee Pitts who apparently emailed his entire staff of the paper regarding his own great job in coaching the USGI mentioned above and another one to ask these 'hard' questions of Rummy D. Who does that? I mean, I'm all for tooting one's own horn (can't expect others to do it) but emailing everyone on the staff of your paper to brag? This stinks of disinfo. Disinformation is when a story is planted in TheMedia to counteract the effects of another story. Remember when Fahrenheit 911 came out and came in first in the box office for its opening weekend? Well, the Monday after there was a huge terrorist warning from the DoHS (Department of Homeland Security) that obviously resulted in no terrorist attack. This seems to be sort of like that. There was no chance that there was going to be a terrorist attack days after Michael Moore's movie came out and likewise, this guy didn't coach the two soldiers to read Rummy the riot act. Even if he did--who cares? Both questions were met with cheers from the audience--the audience filled with other USGIs. This shows us that coaching or no, these questions needed to be asked.

Sadly, Rumsfeld's answers remind us how the Bush 43 Admin can be described in a way that they describe "the evil doers"--they have no respect for human life.

I'm Awake...

Well, I woke up around 12:15 or so and was astounded that I was even able to keep my eyes open. I got up and tried to get this old G4 to rip a DVD I burned on my DVR but couldn't do it. I don't know why, but when I install the Quicktime MPEG-2 plug in, I can't find a place to enter the new SN. I'm baffled... Without that plugin, I can't rip jack from DVDs--these are my own, mind you--not store bought ones...

Oh well... got a good blog entry coming up for your in a bit. If anyone knows anything about that QT MPEG-2 plugin for OSX, post a comment--please! I've consulted two of my most experienced Mac friends and both can't remember how to get the plugin to work.

Welp, I'm going to grab some food and then head down to the boba house for a change of scenery. Once down there I'll get to work on those 17 pages on maps I need to write... yay!

It's a living...

Ja, ne!

K, Giving Up for Now

Ugh... it's 6am--I'm not going to finish. I'm still awake, but I'll be screwed if I don't go to bed soon. My sleeping schedule is normally majorly messed up--going to bed later than 6am would put it beyond repair. OH WELL! All this means is that I will need to write 17 pages later today (Thursday) and 16 pages tomorrow. I should be able to do this. I'll still sneak some blog entries in throughout the day. There's too much to blog about :) :\

MAPS!

MAPS!

SING THE PRAISES OF MAPS!

Oyasuminasai!

Er... Ohayougozaimasu!

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Dayjobbing FUN

ACK! It's 3:44am and I'm only a third of the way through my dayjobbing for Wednesday! :-!

Something tells me that I won't be getting to my requisite daily-anime-watching today... CHIKUSHOU!!


Just 9 more pages to write. Can I do it before dawn? I've got a boba coffee in me so I know my energy level won't drop out on me... by time... time is a predator, Captain...

10 imaginary points to the person who can name the lame-ass movie I just referenced in that italicized bit of text above...

CONGRESS PASSES HUGE-ASS INTELLIGENCE BILL

So, this week US Congress approved a bill that morphs the US Intelligence Community around more than a Transformer. I'm going to be digging into this bill in the next few days to find out just how many of our rights have been quietly yanked out from under us--in the meantime, here's a clip from an article from Reuters that points out the things that even Republicans said were wrong with the Intellibill:
"While this bill has many good provisions, what it fails to do is create a leader of the intelligence community who is clearly in charge and as a result is fully accountable," Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, said during the Senate floor debate.
So, who was to blame then? How many people were to blame for the chain of events that went wrong and allowed 911 to happen? If there are simply too many names to list, shouldn't the President (or the guy sitting in his seat ;) ) take responsibility for letting 911 happen and step down? I mean, come on--why four airliners were flying toward their doom, our "president" was bravely sitting in a classroom reading a book with children.

What moron would vote for a guy who was reading to school kids instead of working to protect our country?

Shouldn't the brave warrior that Bush is described as be farsighted and spotting weaknesses in our armor before the horrible event happens? Why has no Republican taken Bush to task for this? If Bush is such a great guy, why hasn't he taken responsibility for this publically? Well, Georgie, it's never too late!

What the hell am I thinking? George W. Bush acting responsibly?

Read the article about the new bill over at Reuters.com.

IRAQ VETS COME HOME TO NO HOME

If this story I blogged about back in November wasn't enough for you, according to an article from UPI.com posted over at the Washington Times website, the Department of Veterans Affairs is overwhelmed with all of the vets coming home with problems. While we don't have an epidemic of New Gulf War Syndrome (yet) our GIs are coming back with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and medical issues all stemming from their time in Iraq. It's so bad that there are ex-GIs showing up at homeless shelters.

That's just wrong.

Our brave men and women shouldn't want for a thing after returning from a war zone (even if it's been declared to no longer be a war zone.) The fact that there is a single person who served for TheUSMil that is on the street is just appalling. TheUSGov should be ashamed of itself.

Go read more about it at the normally conservative Washington Times website.

LAPTOPS FRY 'NADS

Heh, nice headline, huh? According to an article at the Times Online website, it's true--assuming you use your laptop as, well, a laptop. In other words, if you place it on your lap, the heat it gives off can heat up your scrotum and kill all the little spermies inside. All right, not all of them die, but enough die to get scientist-types worried.

Read all about this new study at TimesOnline.co.uk.

I've Hit the Ground Running Today

Man, so, I wake up this morning to two voicemails from Lisa who was calling because she was going to record that Conyers event on C-SPAN only to discover that her cable company switches C-SPAN to HSN in the mornings (COMCAST SUCKS!) and she was hoping I'd be awake at 7am (HA!) to record it for her. Of course, I was not. :( The good news is that I'm DLing it now as we speak with the help of a nice little app called Net Transport for PC. I'll then play it back to my DVR and rip the discs to QT and upload them for you and Lisa's readers to check out on your own. Of course, I'll be lucky to get all this done by tomorrow.

I've also gotten a new assignment for my dayjob. I get to write about maps--which I'm cool with. I don't like maps, but these are historical maps--that I dig, big time. Then I'll start blogging some serious stuff later on today. Sorry to be so slow today. I'm also doing laundry and need to run another errand today. OH damn and I forgot to eat breakfast again!! I hate that!

Right, gotta go... laundry beckons, too... (!!!)

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Ah, Real Life is FUN...

Wow, first paycheck from getting my old dayjob back came today. Of course, I had to splurge a bit--I bought a couple Ghost in the Shell toys, a Love Hina manga (vol. 1) and a new pair of sweats. I almost bought a cool red hooded fleese jacket for $15 but I decided to wait since I had a feeling I'd be buying some stuff from my absolute favorite anime store: PowerAnime.com - you should totally shop there if you like anime. If you're in LA, check out their store in the Westside Pavillion mall in at the intersection of Westwood Blvd and Pico about 15 mins south of UCLA. The next time I go in there I'm going to buy this shirt.

ANYway, so tonight, TheFiancee and I are going to check out that monstrosity ALEXANDER. Wish us luck!

Monday, December 6, 2004

On a lighter note...

Hey, check it out--I remembered that I used to have an account at Blogger.com and WordPress has an import script for that service so I added 155 more posts to the site! Of course, you have to dig in to the archives to find them. Also, the titles evaporated between Blogger.com and WordPress for some reason. Anyway, check out my archives from December 2001 to November 2002 to read the 155 new (old) Blogger posts made by me all those many (2.5) years ago!

Sorry for the massive tone change between this post and last, but I had to do something a little more fun. I hope I didn't give anyone whiplash!

Welp, gotta get back to dayjobbing--yes, I know it's 7:15 at night. I'M LAME!! ;)

LOOK--A DEAD US SOLDIER

I am posting this because 1300 US Soldiers are dead and TheUSGov doesn't want us to see pictures of any of them. They show us the bad people who die, but not the good. Well, here's a pic that will hopefully haunt you as it does me:


This is the reality--in fact, it's just the tip of the iceberg. 1300 American souls have been lost since we began our quest for "the liberation of Iraq." 1300 men, just like the one pictured above.

Thanks to Raed for taking the time to scan and post the above picture. As he says in his original post, it's something you can't really find all over the 'net. I'd like to add that you can't see this kind of picture anywhere.

Raed also posted this pic of wounded US GIs after receiving :



In his blog, Raed has been posting some great info regarding the dead and wounded US soldiers in Iraq. I think he feels the same way I do in that if we see what's happening to US soldiers we'll all be a little less tolerant of this war.

He goes on to rightly describe the extremely high numbers of US soldiers who have been killed or wounded and cites real news sources. For instance, 20,802 troops have been treated at Landstuhl from injuries received in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). His source for this fact? The online version of TheUSMil's very own newspaper, Stars and Stripes. Here is the exact quote from said article:
As of Tuesday, 20,802 troops have been treated at Landstuhl from injuries received in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.


Raed also points us to a couple of articles--one from the LA Times and the other from Editor and Publisher. First, here's a quote from the LA Times article available at StarTribune.com:
CNN, which had been alerted to expect a major news development, reported that the long-awaited offensive to retake the Iraqi city of Fallujah had begun.

In fact, the Fallujah offensive would not kick off for another three weeks. Gilbert's carefully worded announcement was an elaborate psychological operation -- or "psy-op" -- intended to dupe insurgents in Fallujah and allow U.S. commanders to see how guerrillas would react when they believed U.S. troops were entering the city, according to several Pentagon officials.

Officials at the Pentagon and other U.S. national security agencies said the CNN incident was not just an isolated feint -- the type used throughout history by armies to deceive their enemies -- but part of a broad effort under way within the Bush administration to use information to its advantage in the war on terrorism.
In other words, TheUSMil lies to the press on a regular basis.

Is everyone okay with this? I'm not.

More from the same article:
The Pentagon in 2002 was forced to shutter its controversial Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), which was opened shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, following reports that the office intended to plant false news stories in the international media. But officials say that much of OSI's mission -- using information as a tool of war -- has been assumed by other offices throughout the U.S. government.

Although most of the work remains classified, officials say that some of the ongoing efforts include having U.S. military spokesmen play a greater role in psychological operations in Iraq, as well as planting information with sources used by Arabic TV channels such as Al-Jazeera to help influence the depiction of the United States.
More reasons to not trust TheUSGov/Mil.

Meanwhile, the article from Editor and Publisher also talks about how the press has been misled by TheUSMil and refers to the 60 Minutes story blogged on by Lisa at OnLisaReinsRadar.com and myself:
As the toll of Americans killed and wounded in Iraq in November approaches record levels for one month in this war, is the press only telling part of the story?

The Pentagon's latest official count, provided on Wednesday, listed 1,230 American military killed in Iraq and another 9,300 U.S. troops wounded in action. How seriously? More than 5,000 of the wounded were too badly injured to return to duty. More than 850 troops were reported to have been wounded in action in Falluja so far.

But this only scratches the surface of the total toll.

Earlier this week, CBS’s "60 Minutes" revealed that it had received a letter from the Pentagon declaring: "More than 15,000 troops with so-called 'non-battle' injuries and diseases have been evacuated from Iraq."

These include serious injuries that arise from accidents (vehicular and otherwise), trauma, and severe psychiatric problems. The number is in line with estimates offered earlier this year by United Press International, based on arrivals at the main treatment center in Landstuhl, Germany.

Some of these Landstuhl cases are not serious but according to "60 Minutes" only 20 percent of the evacuees return to their units in Iraq.

None of the non-hostile injuries are included in the casualty count, "leaving the true human cost of the war something of a mystery,” "60 Minutes" states.

The total number of casualties is about 25,000, plus the more than 1,200 killed. Since about 300,000 men and women have served in Iraq, it makes for a casualty rate of about 9%.
There are some crazy numbers for you.

This isn't about letting the world tell us what to do.

This isn't about "losing" a war.

This isn't about "bringing freedom to Iraq."

This is about getting out before more people die for the chaos that is Iraq.

(s)ELECTION 2004 IN OHIO & ELSEWHERE--NOT OVER YET

OnLisaReinsRadar.com has a STACK of great posts regarding the (s)Election 2004. First off, she posts and seconds a request from TruthOut.org that everyone contact C-SPAN and their local networks to ask them to cover a hearing in the House that will investigate vote fraud in this year's election. Here's the email I just sent:
Dear C-SPAN,

Democratic Representative John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan, ranking Minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, will hold a hearing on Wednesday 08 December 2004 to investigate allegations of vote fraud and irregularities in Ohio during the 2004 Presidential election. The hearing is slated to begin at 10:00 a.m. EST in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington DC.

I truly hope you televise this event as it will be drawing attention to a very important and yet under-publicized situation in our country today. Thanks for your great work and please keep it up by covering this hearing.

Take care.
Please feel free to copy my email verbatim and send it to them--just remember to sign it ;) Just make sure you contact them--C-SPAN is the best source for raw news. (The ONLY source, really.)

Lisa also has more from MSNBC on the Ohio mess. First, here's an excerpt a post at Lisa's site featuring the transcript of a Countdown broadcast featuring an interview with Kenneth Blackwell who is Ohio's Secretary of State and the co-chair of the Bush's campaign in Ohio (Just like Katherine Harris, remember her?)--in this excerpt Blackwell admits that the Green and Libertarian parties asking for a recount is perfectly legal:
Blackwell: We are, in fact, abiding by the law, which basically says that once there's a certification, you have five days to ask for a recount. I would anticipate that they will ask for a recount, the two minor party candidates, and they will get it. The fact of the matter is that they are entitled to request a recount. We're entitled to give them a recount. Even though the cost to the taxpayers far exceeds the $120,000 dollars that it will cost the two candidates to ask for one to this count. These are two gentlemen that between them got less than..just a tad more than a quarter of one percent of the vote. They know, the courts know, the people know that they have no way of changing the results as it affects them. They have the standing, not Jesse Jackson, and because Senator Kerry has conceded and has not asked for a recount, he has no standing. I would anticipate that the Electoral College will be held on the 13th of December, and our 20 electorate votes will go to the certified winner.
Blackwell was referring to Jesse Jackson whom spoke out in Ohio the day the MSNBC interview took place. Blackwell accused Jackson of "getting in front of a parade that was already marching."

While I agree that Jackson is a publicity hound, in this case, it's for a good cause. What neither Olbermann nor Blackwell mentioned in the interview was that Jackson could have been trying to draw attention to the situation because it is not getting enough press.

Now, on to Olbermann's interview with Jesse Jackson the next day:
Olbermann: There are degrees of what could have caused that and the other irregularities that you refer to. On one end of the spectrum, as Secretary Blackwell put it last night, "It's a free and fair election" without significant problems. In the middle, a lot of human and technical mistakes, but they are mostly errors of omission, not errors of comission. At the other end, would be out and out electoral fraud. Where do you stand on that spectrum? Which one of those things do you think happened?

Jackson: It's interesting that Mr. Blackwell is the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign, yet he is the chief person in charge of the process. Now, it seems to me to be unfair for the man who owns the team to also be the chief umpire at game seven of the world series. That somehow that taints the process.
But this matter has not been approached. This Mr. Blackwell in Ohio. Katherine Harris in Florida -- those who run the process should not in fact be an advocate for one party or the other. Which raises another question: We really do need a constitutionally federally protected right to vote. We should in fact have federal supervision over federal elections. We do not have, although people think we have, the constitutional federally protected right to vote. We deserve to move beyond just states rights on national elections.

Olbermann: Well let me see if I can pin you down now on just that part of the question. Do you think there was fraud in Ohio?

Jackson: Well I think so. But we will only know if there is a thorough investigation. There are some huge number gaps here. Why is it that 28 days after the election it has not yet been certified? That's a long time to wait.
Seems fair enough. What's even more fair is what Jackson said earlier:
Olbermann: Well, I'm interested in your answers to a series of questions on this subject. There had literally been no official response to the possibility of a recount from any major Republican organization until you went to Ohio. And then yesterday there's a press release calling you a professional publicity hound, and Secretary Blackwell on this show calling you a professional provocateur for hire. And you "ran around the block and tried to get in front of a parade that was already on the march." What exactly did you do in Ohio that stirred all this up?

Jackson: Well, this is November the 30th, and the election in Ohio has not been certified yet. Why has it not been certified? We know that even before the election started, Mr. Blackwell sought to nullify 30,000 votes, saying that they were on the wrong weight of paper. We know that last spring, people could vote in the state, a provisional vote, in their county. He changed that process to voting by precinct. In the middle of the..the balloting places changed and, at the time, it led to much confusion. So you have 155,000 provisional ballots that are in confusion. You have 92,000 votes that are yet to be counted. You have an interesting case in Warren, Ohio, (sp?) where they actually used Homeland Security to lock the press out and to lock independent observers out.

Another thing that also I found striking, was that Ellen Connally, an african-american running for Supreme Court in Cayahoga County, where Cleveland is, carried 120,000 more votes than she had down around Hamilton county and Claremont county (sp?) in the other part of Ohio, she had 190,000 more votes than Kerry in 15 counties.

And you had electronic machines where there are questions about their authenticity. We need a thorough, federal investigation, and then, if the information warrants it, we should then have a recount. And those who ran this election should be recused from managing their own investigation.
Like I said--sounds pretty reasonable. I'm no fan of Jackson (he is an adulterer) but what he says is reasonable and important.

Finally, Lisa posts some US election machine fun facts. Here's what she quotes from the Google cache for http://www.retrovsmetro.org/blog/:
Diebold
Diebold ranks third behind ES&S and Sequoia. Diebold manufactures an array of machines including ATM machines, ticket machines, and the like, and notably, only its voting machines fail to provide an auditable paper trail. CEO Wally O'Dell, a Bush Pioneer who has visited Bush at the Crawford Ranch, promised to deliver Ohio for Bush in 2004, and indeed he did. O'Dell sponsored a $600,000 fundraiser in his home for Dick Cheney (and attended by Cheney) in July 2003. Director WR "Tim" Timken is also a Bush Pioneer, and has donated over a million dollars to the Republican party since 1991.

Diebold is arguably the most political of the voting machine companies; its directors and corporate officers are staunch GOP contributors, including Louis Bockius III, Donald Gant and Eric Roorda. Since 2000, the company has donated $170,000 to the Republican National State Elections Committee. All of the $240,000 donated by Diebold's directors and chief officers to political campaigns since 1998 has gone to GOP candidates or the party.

SIAC
Admiral Bill Owens, a top Republican Party donor, military aide to Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary, is a former CEO of SIAC. On the board: Robert Gates, former CIA director, George H.W. Bush's Deputy National Security Advisor and head of the George Bush School of Business. Owens and Gates are now on the Board of VoteHere, another voting machine company with strong ties to the defense industry.

Populex
Populex is responsible for Illinois' e-voting system. Frank Carlucci, former CIA Director, is on its Advisory Board. Carlucci is a business partner of G H W Bush, and head of the Carlyle Group.

Accenture
Spun off from Arthur Anderson in the wake of that nasty Enron scandal, Accenture reportedly has the exclusive government contract to provide electronic voting for the military. Accenture got into the voting biz when it acquired Election.com, a company funded by Saudi money. Accenture's biggest business partner is Halliburton.
Thanks be to Lisa for keeping up with all of this. This is incredibly important and as I said in my email to C-SPAN, it's also incredibly under-reported upon.

Feel free to spread the word!