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Thursday, August 31, 2006

DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)

[asin: B0002XNSY0]
Positive Experience/Entertaining? It's KUBRICK, OF COURSE it was entertaining!!


Technically any good? I've seen this film close to a dozen times and I have never found anything to stick out as something I would have done differently. I think there's one scene where I didn't get a real sense of where Sterling Hayden was in relation to attacking soldiers. This film is about as perfect as they come folks and if you like to laugh at the absurdity of war and the military this is the movie for you.


How did it leave me feeling? More jarred than usual. This was the first time I'd seen this movie since the US invaded Iraq in 2003. I found this movie disturbingly topical. The thing is, instead of Sterling Hayden being a colonel in charge of a base in the movie, in the real world he's in the White House... shudder...


Final Rating? GSN - Go See (or Rent) Now!! This movie will entertain you--I GUARANTEE IT!! Click the poster image above to buy the double DVD set from Amazon!

THE 5 MINUTE SHOW EPISODE 33!

Hey, sorry this is so late. This is the August 21 episode and it's late for a reason--all of us on the show have been busy! However, that's what this episode is all about--us being busy! Watch and find out what we've been up to and see why this episode is so late. ENJOY!



This week's ep is only 16.4 MB!! Go fig...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

RUMSFELD: TERRORISTS ARE FASCISTS

Wow, I've got to thank Rummy for clearing up this confusion. In a recent addressy-type thing, Rumsfeld explained that we're facing a new type of fascism. Here are some clips from [http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=139806|an August 29, 2006 article] at TurkishPress.Com that reports on what the USSoD said:
SALT LAKE CITY - The United States is fighting "a new type of facism," US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told a veterans' group here Tuesday.

"We face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising of a new type of fascism," he said.

"And that is important in this 'long war' where any kind of moral and intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can weaken the ability of free societies to persevere," he said, taking aim at detractors of the US "war on terror".


Do you believe that??

First, he describes a "new type of fascism" where, I'm guessing, a few thousand extremists with little-to-no budget (compared to ours) some how force their will upon the rest of the world.

Hm... sounds like someone we already know--only those guys have the biggest budget on planet Earth.

That's what strikes me as so funny--Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney and the others keep going on and on about this threat--now they're using the word "fascism" as if it hasn't already been defined as something that really only [http://www.webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?sourceid=Mozilla-search&va=fascism|a country's government can practice]. Terrorist organizations cannot practice fascism because they simply don't have the means.

But Rummy sez this is a "new type of fascism." Right, uh-huh...

Second, he warns us that "any kind of moral and intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can weaken the ability of free societies to persevere."

YA GOT THAT RIGHT, FUCK FACE.

What is morally and intellectually right is that we DON'T dress prisoners up in women's underwear, attach electrodes to their genitals or find them dead in their cells. What's morally and intellectually right is to avoid BLATANT, BIG BROTHERY, DOUBLESPEAK that obviously endorses a practice while simultaneously inferring disapproval of a practice.

That's like when Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld and friends say that we are not torturing people when we have and probable still are.

That's like when Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld and friends assure us that the Geneva Conventions are being adhered to even when they are being completely ignored.

They think they can get around accusations of lying by simply letting other countries handle the torturing while they watch, or that the Geneva Conventions only refer to enemy military (men in uniform who are part of a hierarchy) and civilians and NOT to so-called "enemy combatants."

Did the phrase "enemy combatants" even exist before 911?

These people running our country are blathering on about how we are all facing a grave threat--[http://www.newshounds.us/2006/08/24/republican_guest_suggests_implementing_universal_service_to_put_us_on_a_war_footing.php|one former USSoD has even suggested] that the USG implement a "universal service" system that forces all American citizens to help in the War Against Terror. Here's exactly what former US Sec. of Defense under Bill Clinton, William Cohen, said during a recent appearance on Fox & Friends:
"I'm not sure there'll be a draft. I think there should be a commitment to universal service. I think that only a few people are really committed to this war against terrorism and called. I think the American people have to be - understand - that we're all in this together. We ought to have a real call to national service to commit ourselves to some form of public service ...."


So, now, Rummy's telling us about this "new type of fascism." That's funny, because there's an old type of fascism that is sweeping America and he's one of the people holding the broom. That broom will sweep away all of our rights and replace them with duties to God and country! And under no circumstances are we to question either!

Rumsfeld warned us that "any kind of moral and intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong" is dangerous and can weaken us--but who defines who and what are right and wrong in America?

Is it the individual, the community or the government?

Seems like Rumsfeld wants it to be the Bush Administration.

Another thing that Rumsfeld makes clear in that quote:

Don't think for yourself--just trust us.

Yeah, because trusting you guys has worked out really well, so far.

ROADHOUSE (1989)

[asin: B000FI8MPW]
Positive Experience/Entertaining? Uhhhh, SURE! There was actual nudity in this movie! Can you believe it? To be honest, I'm not sure why this movie has any kind of cult following at all. It's cheesie and very 80s, but it sorta meanders.


Technically any good? Well, you don't look to movies like this for good acting. However, there were one or two things Swayze did, acting-wise, that I thought were actually kind of cool. The script does meander and you're never quite sure where the climax is going to show up until it does.


How did it leave me feeling? Generally happy--I was very happy to see the nudity of both genders in the film. Sexuality is something today's filmmakers are just too scared to show us for some reason. Killing left and right is fine, but naked boobies and man-asses are just too contravercial for even adults to see... I mean, I guess...


Final Rating? OAAF - On At A Friend's--believe me, like Snakes on a Plane this is the kind of movie you want to see with rowdy, very vocal friends.

On a side note, TheWife and I watched this with Michael Nelson's commentary which you can download from Rifftrax.com for just $1.99!! It's like Mystery Science Theater 3000 without the 'bots and the host segments. Check it out!!

Israel's Invasion of Lebanon an Environmental Crime, Too.

So, Israel invades Lebanon because Lebanon nabbed a couple of Israeli soldiers in the hopes of a prisoner swap. Think the worst of it is 1000 Lebanese dead and 100 Israeli dead? Nope. The worst of it is one-half those dead people and one-half the worst environmental disaster the area has ever seen.

Yup, in an Israeli attack on a power station, an oil pipeline was ruptured spewing 10-15 thousand tons of heavy oil into the Mediterranean Sea. I've been to the Mediterranean--I've seen it up close and personal. It's gorgeous. Or at least, it was.

Now check out this screengrab I snagged from [http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0828-01.htm|an August 28, 2006 article] found originally at SFGate.com but now available at CommonDreams.Org:



That caption came with the original pic on CommonDreams.Org.

Now, I haven't had the time to check out the mainstream news, so I've no idea if they're covering this story but if I were a betting man, I'd wager that they haven't bothered to spend a minute on this story.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

ILLUSIONIST (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Definitely! It's rare to see a movie this smart and entertaining without it coming across a bit on the preachy side.


Technically any good? I had a few issues with how they established Eisenheim as a magician (whether he was really magic or really an illusionist) and I felt that there was a general aloofness to the direction, but generally speaking I enjoyed this movie. The acting was solid, but I just didn't feel for the characters at all. I don't blame the actors for this since I felt it was more that the film just didn't show us what we needed to see to feel something for the characters. That said, I give the film points for taking us to a place and time we're not familiar with and showing us things that are very interesting.


How did it leave me feeling? Entertained, but not thrilled. If I hadn't spent $25.50 on 2 tickets I might have enjoyed the film more, but I don't think the price had anything to do with my technical issues regarding the film.

Oh and Paul Giamatti was astounding as always. I had no flashbacks to Lady in the Water or Paycheck or even any of Giamatti's good films. ;)


Final Rating? RTV - Rent the Video--it's good, but not worth a $10 ticket, in my humble opinion.

Monday, August 28, 2006

WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR? (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Definitely a positive experience because I learned a few things. Alas, it was far from a perfect documentary.


Technically any good? Informative, but a bit slow. I think 20-30 minutes could have been cut and the film wouldn't have made much less of its point. As it is, there are a few good places to get up to go to the bathroom, unfortunately. The film does manage to be very enlightening and does point out some very important things about electric cars and the people who would see them erased from existence.


How did it leave me feeling? Definitely better informed and definitely that there was a concerted effort by various parties to shoot down the very concept of the electric car. One thing the movie didn't mention as a suspect in the murder of the electric car was the [wiki: petrodollar]. If you don't know what that is, look it up!


Final Rating? GSN - Go See Now--even though it's a bit slow and too long, it's one of the most important documentaries and we should all be aware of how various forces are manipulating what is available to us.

FED HEAD TALKS GLOBALISM, BUT WHAT'S THAT?

I'm a busy guy--as I'm sure we all are these days. Multi-tasking is the way of things for most of us. As a result, we don't have time to take the time to learn about the eco-political movements that control the world we live in. [wiki: Globalism] is a movement that, in my mind, is what is making the world go right now. In [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/26/business/worldbusiness/26fed.html?ref=business|an August 26, 2006 article], NYTimes.com reports that the guy who runs the Federal Reserve, Ben S. Bernanke, gave a little talk about how Globalism is taking hold much faster than it has in decades and even centuries past.

That's right, Globalism has been around for centuries--even millennia. However, it hasn't always been called that. The basic gist of Globalism is this:

One Giant Free Market.

It's sort of the ultimate capitalist model. You take your ideas from one part of the planet, your raw materials from another, you manufacture in another part and output your product to yet another part. The money, also comes from another part of the Earth. These various parts are largely determined on the basis of cost. Who ever can provide for the cheapest gets the gig.

The problem is, that with so much expansion, many people in many industries will get lost in the shuffle. For instance, when all the factory jobs went over seas, millions lost their jobs in America. So, as the economies of the world slowly bleed together there will be things some areas will do cheaper than others. Think of it like one corporation merging with another. There are going to be redundant workers that get let go. The thing is with Globalism is that these aren't just a few workers, but entire chunks of a given economy.

Rich, white men in power seem to take the angle that Globalism is good--in order to make and omlette you need to break some eggs, right?

But what if I don't want to eat an omlette?

What if I don't want to eat eggs at all because the guy who sells eggs is a prick?

What if I just want to eat a hamburger or something else?

Sorry, you don't have a voice in this. The power to control Globalism rests, these days, in the hands of three international bodies that have no allegiences to particular countries. They are:

1) The World Bank

2) The International Monetary Fund

3) The World Trade Organization

The reason these guys are more powerful than any country's government is so simple. It's because they do deals with countries in exchange for help. A country like the US benefits from dealing with them because they will secure billions of dollars in investment from 3rd world countries. 3rd world countries "benefit" because they get huge loans from the IMF to help build infrastructure.

Examples:

Bolivia needed it's economy bailed out. It was going bankrupt and the IMF said "No worries, here's the deal! You privatize all of your resources, let foreign corporations come in and manage them and we'll bail your economy out."

So, that's what happened. Foreign companies came in and managed everything--including the water. They lobbied the local government to change the laws that made it illegal to gather rain water. This way, the new company managing the water resources could be assured a future.

This is just one example. Essentially, Globalism extorts countries into playing the game. Think of the triad mentioned above as parents who loan their kids money but with strings attached.

Basically, this isn't a very free system. Sure, there's PR BS from Globalists that will tell you otherwise. But when you have no choice but to participate, I fail to see where the freedom is.

Man, I could go on about this for a while. But I've don't have the time. :)

If you do, have a look around. It'll only take a few minutes to get at least a bit more information than I have presented here.

It's only the planet you live on and it's only the life you are being forced to lead--even if you want to lead this life--it's not like you have much choice.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dutch Terror Plane Ride Turns Terrific!

Haha, I love that play on words...

I was just listenning to the CNN Radio podcast from this morning and
they talked about how the Northwest plane in Europe was escorted to
the ground by fighter aircraft because some people saw some Middle
Easterners passing a cell phone around turned out to be....

DRUMROLL....


NOTHING.

They weren't terrorists and were, in fact, just passing around a cell
phone for their own non-terror-related reasons.

FANCY THAT, YOU BUNCH OF PARANOID FREAKS...

You know MOST Middle Easterners aren't terrorists at all...

....most aren't even mean...

JOHN DEAN ON DEMOCRACY NOW

[asin: 0670037745]
You say authoritarianism, you say facism.

Let's call the whole thing off... I wish...

You may recall [http://thepete.com/conservative-tells-the-truth/|my post from August 1, 2006] featuring a clip of Watergate figure John Dean on the Daily Show. He was on to talk about his new book Conservatives Without a Conscience. In his book he delves into the idea that fascism could happen in the United States. He apparently provides a goodly stack of evidence that strongly suggests that a Nazi-like fascism could, in fact, happen in the US.


Now, back on August 15, 2006, Dean was on Democracy Now also, to plug his new book, but he was able to go into a bit more detail with DN! host Amy Goodman.

Check out the clip:



One thing that Dean said in this interview puzzled me. He said "Are we on the road to fascism? No. The problem is, we are very close to that."

I'm not sure I see the difference. Am I just losing my mind or are more and more conservatives saying things like "The sky isn't blue, it's a color somewhere in between green and indigo."

Of course, the real thing to be concerned with here is how Dean has uncovered scientific evidence that we have fascists running things in the United States Government. In the clip above he explains that with the Bush Administration we have "an imperial presidency on steroids."

He goes on to explain how the White House is unchecked by Congress.

Huh... neat.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

BUSH NOT A COMPLETE MORON AFTER ALL

So, I'm glancing at the headlines today and I spot a headline at Bloomberg.com. It read:

[http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a4.Paky6Hjss&refer=us|Bush Says Gulf Coast Still Needs Help After Katrina]

You know, I take it all back. Bush ISN'T a moron after all. I was such a fool! Clearly, our [http://thepete.com/bush-scared-by-cloud/|fearless leader] has eyes and can use them. He took one look at the area of Louisianna ravaged by Katrina a year ago and made the supremely insightfull observation that Katrina victims still need help.

WOW!

Which hour (of the four) of Spike Lee's new docu did it take to persuade Bush to say such a thing, do you think? Or might he have actually GONE to New Orleans to witness the devastation his own incompetence wrought?

Kudos to the folks at Bloomberg for thinking this is news, too. Come on, folks, surely the JonBenet Ramsey case hasn't gotten old (again) already!

Man, I'm just DRIPPING with sarcasm tonight!

BUSH IS DEFINITELY MISSING THE OBVIOUS

The following is a headline from [http://edition.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/08/21/bush/index.html|an August 21, 2006 article] at Edition.CNN.Com (the international version of CNN.com):

Bush: Leaving Iraq now would be a 'disaster'

Hey, Bush... WHAT DO YOU THINK WE HAVE OVER THERE RIGHT NOW???


How Bush looks at anti-war-types.
Could it be much worse to stop meddling in Iraqi affairs and just let the Iraqi people sort things out for themselves?

I doubt it.

Let's take a closer look at some of the things that CNN article quotes Bush as saying:
"If we ever give up the desire to help people who want to live in a free society, we will have lost our soul as a nation," Bush said.


Hoe-lee-kee-ryste, you've got to be KIDDING ME!!

So, now we went into Iraq out of the KINDESS OF OUR OWN HEARTS???

He's basically admitting that Saddam was never a threat and that he never had WMD.

/facepalm...

Bush also spoke of domestic spying:
"Those who heralded the decision not to give law enforcement the tools necessary to protect the American people just simply don't see the world the way we do," Bush said.


Yeah, that's right, Bush--WE SEE THE WORLD IN COLOR.

You see the world as though it were shot with high-contrast film--just the solid blacks and the solid whites. For or against, good or evil, us or them, as opposed to the much more varied world we actually live in. Anyone with a brain can see how dangerous a black-and-white viewpoint is when you're a world leader.

People might not want to trust you with nukes.

"They see maybe these kind of isolated incidents. These aren't isolated incidents; they're tied together. There is a global war going on," he said.


Isn't it neat how he sees what he wants to see and not what's really there?

Why does ANY AMERICAN still trust this idiot? He tells us Saddam is a threat and that he's got WMD. We invade, he's got no WMD, therefore he was never a threat to anyone and guess what: SADDAM TOLD US SO BEFORE WE INVADED!

So, now Bush is saying that we're in a global war.

Suuuure we are, Bush. SURE...

Just shut up and keep killing people, George.

"These are challenging times and they're difficult times. And they're straining the psyche of our country."


Well, you've got a point there, but if you stopped meddling in other countries' business terrorists would no longer have a reason to hate us. That might relax the psyche of our country.

Do you even know what "psyche" means?

Here's a bit from the article:
But defeat in Iraq is unacceptable, Bush said, because of the physical and psychological boosts it would give to terrorists.


It's funny, but the article makes it sound like America hasn't already met defeat in Iraq. Do we have what we want 3.5 years on?

Nope.

Two words:

De Feet!

Another quote from Bush:
"A failed Iraq in the heart of the Middle East will provide safe haven for terrorists and extremists."


OH YEAH, because Iraq was WAY worse before, what with no Al Qeada living there and it being a generally peaceful place with only the odd rape and torture every so often, as opposed to the daily dismemberments when roadside or car bombs explode (not to mention the white phospherous and the clusterbombs the US uses on "insurgents").

"In this case, it would give the terrorists and extremists an additional tool besides safe haven, and that is revenues from oil sales," the president said.


!!!

So, now AQ will begin selling oil? What are they now? Girl Scouts? Couldn't we just stop buying our oil from Iraq if Iraq started funnelling money to AQ or other terrorists in Iraq?

Oh, right, sorry--I can't believe I suggested we stop buying oil from someone (ANYone)...

I could go on with more quotes from that article but I won't.

It's obvious enough that the man in the White House is batshit crazy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

THE WORLD THREATENED BY WEATHER, WATER, NOT TERROR

Everyone is going on and on about how terrorists "threaten" us. This is just absurd. Anyone who says terror is a real threat to us has the mind of a child.

Yes, it would be bad if they attacked again.

Yes, it would be bad if they got a nuke...

But what's worse is that our world is changing around us and it's moving to change us or even kill us.

Yes, I mean our world our ACTUAL WORLD. See, whether or not you believe in Global Warming is irrelevent. Mother Nature doesn't care if you are Democrat or Republican or Christian or Muslim. Mother Nature just does what she's going to do. And if you want to see that her actions are connected to the excess amount of greenhouse gasses in the air, great! If not, doesn't matter. The world is changing regardless.

My proof? Well, check out a clip from [http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0817-06.htm|an August 17, 2006 article] from www.AFP.org available over at CommonDreams.Org:
The first mass exodus of people fleeing the disastrous effects of climate change is not happening in low-lying Pacific islands but in the world's richest country, a US study said.

"The first massive movement of climate refugees has been that of people away from the Gulf Coast of the United States," said the Earth Policy Institute, which has warned for years that climate change demands action now.


Katrina pretty much proved what scientists had basically been predicting for years. Climate Change is happening and the weather has been the first indicator of it. The Gulf Coast got pounded last year and as a result a whole mess of people moved away. How many storms did we have in 2005? Too many, clearly. The USG handled them all quite poorly, to boot.

[asin: B00092ZSYM]
The next evidence I'd like to cite in my thesis that the world is moving against us is the concern for drinking water. There was a TV miniseries that aired in Canada a couple years ago called [http://imdb.com/title/tt0410055/|H20]. It was a brilliant 2-part miniseries that asked the question "What if America realized it was running out of water and Canada anticipated their interest in Candian H2O?"

This miniseries was made back in 2004 but it was based on real concerns that America's aquifers (the giant underground resevoirs we get our drinking water from) are slowly running low. The thing is, they really are. The bigger thing is, drinking water is running low around the world. This isn't just a third-world issue, mismanagement of water resources seems to be a problem around the globe.

Check out this clip from [http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0816-04.htm|an August 16, 2006 article] from Reuters.com available over at CommonDreams.Org:
A third of the world is facing water shortages because of poor management of water resources and soaring water usage, driven mainly by agriculture, the International Water Management Institute said on Wednesday.

Water scarcity around the world was increasing faster than expected, with agriculture accounting for 80 percent of global water consumption, the world authority on fresh water management told a development conference in Canberra.

Globally, water usage had increased by six times in the past 100 years and would double again by 2050, driven mainly by irrigation and demands by agriculture, said Frank Rijsberman, the institute's director-general.

Billions of people in Asia and Africa already faced water shortages because of poor water management, he said.


I also found [http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/P102152.asp|an article] from MoneyCentral.MSN.com that talks about investing in companies that will do well during the coming global water shortage. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4796909.stm|An August 16, 2006 article] from http://News.BBC.co.uk reports:
Rich countries face increasing water shortages, a report by conservation organisation WWF warns.

A combination of climate change and poor resource management is leading to water shortages in even the most developed countries, it says.

It urges water conservation on a global scale and asks rich states to set an example by repairing ageing water infrastructure and tackling pollution.


Good luck--the royalty that is America is a little busy being distracted by flies in the ointment. We'd rather deal with things that will probably never effect most of the Earth instead of dealing with things that have the potential to kill a whole mess of us--even in rich countries.

There's plenty to read about regarding water shortages around the world. You just have to dig for it. No one is really talking about the water issue and the climate issues facing our well-being are being discussed, but not seriously. We Americans still seem to think the War Against Terror and Iraq are more important.

Monday, August 21, 2006

MORE THAN HALF ARRESTED IN UK AIRLINE TERROR PLOT NOT CHARGED

Hey, check it out--according to an
August 21, 2006 article
at CNN.com 11 of the 22 (I thought it was 24)
arrested in connection with a plan to blow up passenger liners over
the Atlantic have been charged.

And, actually, it was 24 people who were originally arrested, but 2
have been released already. The remaining 11 that have not been
charged are still in custody, because the UK isn't like the US. I
believe in the US it's 2 days you can be held without charge (though
in terror cases that is ignored, obviously). The article doesn't
bother to mention how long UK authorities have to charge the remaining
11 or how soon the remaining 11 will be released, if at all.

So, we now see that the Brits got it at least more than half-wrong
with 13 of 24 arrested not being charged. Will we learn more about
the 11 who were charged and will we discover that they are idiots just
like those guys in Florida and Canada?

You can bet on it.

SNAKES ON A PLANE (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? OH MAN, this was the most fun I've had in a movie theater in AGES. It's a terrible movie, but was so much fun that I couldn't help but be entertained. Of course, the rowdy and very vocal crowd definitely made this movie enjoyable.


Technically any good? Wow, the script was predictable. I think there was one honest surprise in the film and it's so memorable that I can't recall it. Sam Jackson is awesome as always, but acting-wise, he's the only remarkable person in the movie. The actor playing the lead witness character was about as bad as bad gets. The FX were strong, but it was fairly easy to pick out the fakes on a plane over the actual snakes.


How did it leave me feeling? The film itself didn't leave me entertained. It's thorough badness and the movie theater audience's thorough embracing of it's badness was what left me completely (and thoroughly) entertained. What ever you do don't see this movie alone. Go with the rowdiest people you know or rent it but invite all of your friends over and make sure they're ready to slam this movie because it is not good. But sometimes not good can be a whole lot of fun.


Final Rating? SIYL (See If You Like this kind of movie--rated R, a bit of nudity and a LOT of people dying on camera--more people dying than I've seen in a while.)

BUSH LIES/SPEAKS FALSELY/WHATEVER

I meant to blog on this last week, but I wanted to make sure I had a video clip to back this up. Check out what Bush said regarding the Israelebanon ceasefire:
"[http://video.lisarein.com/thepete/stuff/Cine_Del_Arbusto/dn20060815bush_hezbo_comment.mp4|Hezbollah attacked Israel, Hezbollah started the crisis and Hezbollah suffered a defeat in this crisis]," said President Bush.


That was a quote from [http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-08-14-voa40.cfm|an August 14, 2006 article] at VOANews.com and is accurate--click on the quote above to check out a video clip from Democracy Now to see that's exactly what Bush said. Now, I added the bold there for a reason. Back on July 22, [http://thepete.com/israel-invades-lebanon-but-why/|I blogged on the whole Israelebanon thing]. I quoted from [http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/07/22/mideast/index.html|a July 22, 2006 article] at NYTimes.Com (that's the New York Times website, mind you) that explained the conflict began when Hezbo kidnapped two Israeli soldiers.

Here's the exact quote again:
Hezbollah guerrillas fired barrages of more than 100 rockets from southern Lebanon into Israel on Saturday, continuing the conflict that began with militants capturing two Israeli soldiers.


This is the same explanation I've been hearing/reading since the conflict began. Yet, Bush seems to think that kidnapping two Israeli soldiers equates to "an attack."

He is deliberately lying to make us think Hezbo did something much worse than they really did.

When are we going to stop this? When are the Democrats going to grow spines and start going after the Republican/Neo-Con liars?

Just curious...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Israel Apologists, Please Step Up

Yep, big surprise, Israel violated the cease fire this weekend by raiding a Hezbo base. Here's a clip from [http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/8/19/worldupdates/2006-08-19T193822Z_01_NOOTR_RTRJONC_0_-264175-1&sec=Worldupdates|an August 19, 2006 article] from Reuters.Com available at http://TheStar.Com.my that supplies the deets:
Helicopter-borne Israeli commandos raided a Hizbollah bastion on Saturday in what Lebanon called a "naked violation" of the U.N.-backed truce that halted Israel's 34-day war with the Shi'ite Muslim group.

Israel said the operation in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley aimed to disrupt weapons supplies to Hizbollah from Syria and Iran. Both countries deny arming the group.

Lebanese security sources said three Hizbollah guerrillas were killed in a dawn firefight with the Israeli commandos. The Israeli army said it had suffered one dead and two wounded.


Huzah! Hezbollah gets more sympathy from people around the world because Israel couldn't keep it's pants zipped and it's wick dry!

You know, if I had balls as big as Israel's I'd have trouble keeping my pants zipped, too.

Showing a great deal of maturity (well, more than Israel, anyway), Lebanon is responding with hulluva restraint. According to [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5268418.stm|an August 20, 2006 article] at http://News.BBC.co.uk :
Lebanon's defence minister says anyone firing rockets at Israel from the south will be considered a traitor and be firmly dealt with by the army.

Elias Murr's remarks are being seen as a warning to militias, but he also expressed confidence Hezbollah was committed to the UN-brokered truce.


This warning to Hezbo came after the LebGov warned Israel and the UN that any more of this shit from Israel and no Lebanese troops would be showing up at the southern border--in other words, pull any more shit, and the cease-fire is off, bitches!

Why so many swear words in this post? Well, I heard Bush swear, so, I figure if he does it...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Web Surf Anonymously...

Just as a public service, I thought I'd point out one way to avoid being tracked on the 'net. See, every time you connect your computer to the 'net, it is assigned an IP address. Like your street address, it allows people to find you easily. That's the problem. The thing with a real street address, you can go into a red light district and go to strip clubs or hang out with drug dealers and no one can trace you back to your home. Not so, with the web. Every web site you visit can (and most do) take note of your IP address. Even I do this at my site. Don't worry, I promise to never do anything with that info and usually delete my server logs (logs of IP addresses) every couple of months.

So, how do you get around this? By using a proxy server. This is a server someplace out there on the 'net that has a different IP address from yours and actually masks yours from any place you might visit. Think of it as an envelope you keep your driver's license in. There's an address on the outside of the envelope, but it hides your the street address on your driver's license from anyone else.

Where can you find a proxy server? Well, there's a new website for a proxy service called relakks.com that I found via [http://www.engadget.com/2006/08/15/pirate-party-lights-up-relakks-first-commercial-darknet/|a post at Engadget.com]. They charge 5 euros a month (about 6 or 7 US dollars after you pay your bank the international transaction fee) and they promise to keep all of your surfing anonymous.

So if you're growing as paranoid as I am, you might want to think about using Relakks. I'm not using them because I hardly surf anywhere these days. One word of warning, their service is being overwhelmed with new customers as I type this so your connection through them might be slow. Give them time to expand and hopefully they'll be back up to speed soon.

These days I can't help but wonder how much the USGov is following us around the 'net. First financial tracking, then phone tracking, it's obvious what's next.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Got Our Mother-Fuckin' SNAKES ON A PLANE Tickets!



WAHOOOO!!

FEDERAL JUDGE SAYS NSA PROGRAM ILLEGAL BUSH DISAGREES

A federal judge ordered the Bush administration on Thursday to halt the National Security Agency's program of domestic eavesdropping, saying it violated the U.S. Constitution.


That was from [http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0817-09.htm|an August 17, 2006 article] from Reuters.Com available over at CommonDreams.Org. It's amazing, to me, that the USG and Bush and his cronies, needed a federal judge to tell them wire tapping without a warrant violated the US Constitution. It's equally amazing what Bush and Co. said in response to the ruling.

First, they said they'd appeal, but then, they said they felt it was helpful to the War Against Terror and that it was legal. Check out what one of the many Bush Admin mouthpieces said, as reported by [http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/08/17/domesticspying.lawsuit/index.html|an August 17, 2006 article] at CNN.com:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the Bush Administration disagrees with the ruling and has appealed.

"We also believe very strongly that the program is lawful," he said in Washington, adding that the program is "reviewed periodically" by lawyers to determine its effectiveness and ensure lawfulness.


NEWSFLASH, BRAINIAC! WHEN A JUDGE FINDS SOMETHING ILLEGAL--IT'S ILLEGAL!!

You can appeal, but when a judge tells you that something you've done is illegal, shouldn't you just apologize and stop?

Of course, if the next judge up the line, which I believe would actually be the judges of the SCOTUS, upholds the federal judge's ruling, you know what that will mean:

IMPEACHMENT TIME!!!

Well, I guy's gotta have hopes that the law will be enforced EVENTUALLY.

Of course, what if there's something to all those theories floating around about these big pro-Bush news events popping up right when Bush needs them to? Keith Olbermann did [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30ligvuLKCs&eurl=|a great piece on this] on MSNBC (thanks be to TheMorgan for IMing me the link!). For instance, Bush's popularity is in the basement thanks to Iraq and most recently thanks US support of Israel's invasion of Lebanon, then there's a STACK of arrests in the UK that completely distracts us from the carnage in Lebanon. Then, when the federal judge rulles against him on the NSA program, we suddenly get this story about the JonBenet Ramsey murderer being caught ([http://9news.com/acm_news.aspx?OSGNAME=KUSA&IKOBJECTID=1cff0632-0abe-421a-00bc-e38b5a0628d7&TEMPLATEID=0c76dce6-ac1f-02d8-0047-c589c01ca7bf|There's already a report that the suspected murderer could be lying about killing JonBenet Ramsey]).

It makes you wonder just what distraction from Bush bad news will come up next? And how bad will these distractions get? Terror news isn't working, so we get a break ten years on in the JonBenet Ramsey story. What happens when that distraction wears off? Another terrorist arrest? Or something worse?

Seriously--check out that Olbermann story--in fact, here it is now:

Thursday, August 17, 2006

DICK MOUNTJOY FOR SENATE...you're kidding, right?

So, TheMorgan IMs me a link to a pro-Bush article at conservative news site NewsMax.com the other day and I spot this ad for a Republican running against California senator Diane Feinstein this fall in the 2006 election. The thing is, his name... check out the grab of the ad:



Yep--you read it right. The dude's name reads like a poorly translated Japanese sex manual.

Does this guy really think the largely-liberal state of California will elect a guy with a name like that? Hell, we're so stupid in this state, I imagine most of us (who bother to vote) will be too busy snickering at the dude's name to actually be able to color in the proper circle in the scantron-like ballot.

I know it's childish to even mention it, but REALLY:

DICK MOUNTJOY???

Monday, August 14, 2006

The 5 Minute Show Episode 32!

In this week's episode of The 5 Minute Show Gary finally gets his remote segment that ThePete promised him all the way back in the beheading episode. The results? Well, you better just watch and see for yourself--but it ain't pretty!

Luckily, it is funny, so check it out!



Strangely, iSquint spat out a huge, 30MB mp4 and I have no idea why. It is a minute longer than usual, but that can't up the file size by 10MBs... sheesh...

UNLAWFUL SEARCHES NOW LAWFUL!

THANKS, SCOTUS!

So much for freedom.

According to [http://reuters.myway.com/article/20060811/2006-08-11T203422Z_01_N11455727_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-SECURITY-NEWYORK-DC.html|an August 11, 2006 article] from Reuters.com available at MyWay.Com, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCotUS) has decided that it's perfectly cool for cops to perform random searches of bags on subways and, one assumes, anywhere else a cop feels like randomly searching you.

So much for innocence until guilt is proven.

Man, isn't anyone with any power to do something about this paying attention?

Are we just a country of lemmings?

From Reuters.Com and MyWay.Com:

Court rules NY police can search bags at subways

Aug 11, 4:34 PM (ET)

By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Random bag searches by New York police at subway stations are constitutional and an effective means of combating terrorism, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.

"In light of the thwarted plots to bomb New York City's subway system, its continued desirability as a target, and the recent bombings of transportation systems in Madrid, Moscow, and London, the risk to public safety is substantial and real," the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals said in its ruling.

The court disagreed with the New York Civil Liberties Union, which last year sued the city claiming that the random bag searches police have conducted since July 2005 bombings on the London underground rail system were unconstitutional and would not deter an attack on America's largest subway system.

The NYCLU had argued the searches were ineffective as police had too few checkpoints and invaded privacy rights. But the court said the testimony of three counterterrorism experts showed the value of the searches.

"The expert testimony established that terrorists seek predictable and vulnerable targets, and the program generates uncertainty that frustrates that goal, which in turn, deters and attack," the court said.

Among the experts who testified were Richard Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism chief, who said he believed most U.S. transit systems were "under protected."

The judges noted the importance of the experts' belief that the unpredictability of the searches "deters both a single-bomb attack and an attack consisting of multiple, synchronized bombings, such as those in London and Madrid."

While the court agreed the searches compromised riders' privacy, "the kind of search at issue here minimally intrudes upon that interest" because the random searches were limited to bags that could contain explosives and last only seconds.

The judges noted that New York's subway system had been a "prime target" in the past, including a 1997 plot to bomb Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue subway station and 2004 plot to bomb the Herald Square subway station in Manhattan.

"Because this program authorizes police searches of all subway riders without any suspicion of wrongdoing, we continue to believe it raises fundamental constitutional questions," said New York Civil Liberties Union lawyer Chris Dunn.

New York City's law department noted the court's decision followed Thursday's news of a terrorist plot in Britain to detonate bombs on passenger planes traveling to the United States.

"The program -- whose constitutionality two federal courts have now recognized -- enhances the safety of millions of New York City subway riders," said Kate O'Brien Ahlers, spokeswoman for the city law department.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

MEN ARRESTED FOR BUYING TOO MANY CELL PHONES

WRONG THINKING IS PUNISHABLE!

Man, doesn't anyone want to wait until someone commits a crime before they call the cops?

In two different instances, middle eastern men were arrested in Michigan and West Virginia for get this: possession of too many cell phones. It's true, in an example that will make the heads of anti-racial-profiling-activists spin like tops, a total of five men have been arrest over the past few days for buying or having in their possession a suspiciously large number of cell phones.

In [http://www.wboy.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=12983|an August 10, 2006 article] at WBOY.com, it is reported that:
Last week, the Grafton police pulled over 24-year-old Hashem Sayed for a routine traffic stop. But what they found in his car was far from routine. Patrolman Daniel Laymon recalls the scene, "There were multiple cell phones, roughly 150 to 200 cell phones from multiple retailers," he said.

Buying that many pre-paid phones is not a crime, but the police say it is unusual.

Less than a week later, the authorities in Marietta, Ohio, arrested 20-year-old Osma Sabhi Abulhassan and 20-year-old Ali Houssaiky. Washington County Sheriffs deputies seized several pre-paid cell phones and thousands of dollars in cash. Because of the incidents, Grafton police believe the events are connected.

"The department feels that there are a lot of similar circumstances and there are a lot of similarities between the activity there and the activity experienced here," said Patrolman Laymon.

The activity seems to be more than just a coincidence. All three men are from Dearborn, Michigan and all three gave similar reasons for buying the phones. Sayed said he was buying them to ship to California to sell for a profit. But Washington County's sheriff says that may not be the whole truth. "They are digital for detonating car bombs and they have a particular digital frequency and that's what they're using them for," said Sheriff Larry Mincks.


Wow, isn't it easy to catch badguys when you decide that they are breaking the law even when they are not? So, cell phones are ONLY for detonating car bombs?? That is their only function? What if I were to say that the function of dumb-ass white cracker-cops was to pull reasons to arrest people out of their dumb-asses? Would such a statement be accurate? Or unfair?

But wait! There's more! In [http://www.wnem.com/Global/story.asp?S=5269589|an August 11, 2006 article] from WNEM.com, it's reported that:
Around 1:00am August 11th the three men purchased cell phones from the Wal-Mart store on M-81 near the corner of M-24 in Caro. Wal-Mart places a limit on the number of cell phones that can be purchased at once, that number is three. The three men allegedly bought 80 by purchasing them three at time so that an alert wouldn't be triggered by the cash register. They also paid cash.

An alert clerk grew suspicious and called Tuscola County central dispatch. The Caro Police Department sent a unit and stopped the rented van on M-81 just east of Caro. The suspects were headed towards Bad Axe on M-81 where there is another Super Wal-Mart.

The three men are described as being of Palestinian descent but live in Texas. Police say the three, ages 19, 22, and 23 appear to be naturalized citizens.


So, American citizens buying up a stack of cell phones. THIS ISN'T A CRIME, YET, FOLKS!!

Look, I'm not saying they're not planning something bad. But there's a little thing called due cause. And being dark-skinned and having 1000 cell phones in your car does NOT MAKE YOU A TERRORIST!

These guys could be hackers or gadget-fiends like me. Hell, if I had the money, I'd buy ten or twenty of those single-use CVS cameras, install USB ports in them and do all sorts of crazy-ass experiments with them. Like dropping them off of cliffs, or duct taping them to walls and coming back days later.

There are lots of things you could do with the guts of a thousand cell phones and none of them are making bombs. I'm not saying you couldn't make bombs with them, but I can also make a bomb out of Mentos and diet soda.

This is what a police state looks like.

No, it doesn't effect you because you aren't middle eastern--so who cares?

No, it doesn't effect you because, odds are, those guys probably were up to "no good".

No, it doesn't effect you because what freak has a hobby that requires him to mess with hundreds of cell phones? That's a STUPID hobby.

Yeah.

As for the explanation the men actually gave? They "claim" to have bought the cell phones with the intent of turning around and selling them for a profit.

OH MY GOD! THEY'RE CAPITALISTS!! ARREST THEM! PUT 'EM IN JAIL AND THROW AWAY THE KEY!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

HOLY SHIT, TERRORISTS ALMOST KILLED YOU!

Or not.

Come on, folks--this is out of control. All day at work today, I was checking the headlines at CNN.com and News.Google.Com and they were all so insanely sensationalistic and intensely fear-mongering.

Don't get me wrong, it's great that these guys didn't get away with whatever they were planning on doing (IF they were really planning on anything), but come on, people--just because we weren't killed doesn't mean other people aren't being killed right now in our name or thanks to our (in)actions. For instance, Israel is still killing mass amounts of Lebanese civilians and, yes, Hezbo is still killing Israelis, too. But that was barely covered in the news today.

The media is so busy freaking us all out, in the interest of selling papers and commercial time, they forget that their job is to report actual events (I know, big surprise).

Now, the last time some huge terror bust happened it was about a day before the truth came out that the people arrested had no real chance of pulling off what authorities were claiming they were going to pull off.

Those freaks in Florida weren't even Muslims and it took the FBI informant to prompt them before they admitted they wanted to go after the Sears Tower in Chicago.

Those Canadian terrorists? Yeah, they planned to kidnap and behead the Canadian PM. Oh yeah, I'm sure that was going to happen real easy. Major politicians get kidnapped and beheaded in the west ALL THE TIME.

So, what is there to know about these guys in Britain? Well, I haven't had five seconds to look into it because I've got this stupid dayjob. I wish I had the budget to keep myself fed, apartmented and a bit more while blogging about all this stuff. There's so much to cover here and it's absurd how so much fear-mongering and spin is being put on this.

As if these arrests change the fact that Israel has violated international law by invading Lebanon. It also doesn't change the fact that the US armed Israel and stopping these guys doesn't change the fact that there's a REASON there are so many terrorists out there who hate us.

WE'RE DICKS.

We support Israel's right to defend herself, but not Lebanon's.

We believe in the sanctity of life, yet we send our own soldiers over to Iraq to kill and be killed because Saddam was (not at all) a threat to us (or anyone else).

My dad said something very profound to me a few weeks ago. He said that if anyone hated us enough that person would try hard enough and find a way to kill us no matter how much security we have.

So, now they're not allowing beverages on to planes. According to [http://www.engadget.com/2006/08/10/terrorist-plot-results-in-air-ban-of-gadgets/|a post] today on Engadget.com, they've also, banned most gadgets--including laptops, ipods, cameras and even cellphones.

Thank God those terrorists aren't taking away our freedoms!!

Too bad we're readily handing them over to our government like a scene out of 1984...

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

The 5 Minute Show Episode 31!

This week on The 5 Minute Show, we jump on the already very crowded bandwagon and present to you our own demonstration of what happens when you mix Mentos and Diet Soda! We also decided to trust Gary TheIntern with his own segment so you just know everything didn't go as planned. Just be sure to stick around for the end of the credits or you'll miss the special suprise ending!

Be sure and let us know what you think!



This episode is a 17MB mp4 and runs a little long coming in at 5m43s. You know how that Gary is!

Monday, August 7, 2006

Ever Hear of the Genocide in the Congo?

So, I'm at work, today, listenning to my podcasts and Democracy Now reports on the attempt by the Congo to become a Democracy. Of course, DN coudn't do that without mentioning the genocide there. However, if you're like me, you are probably like "WHAT genocide in the Congo??"

Apparently, thanks to having an bundance of resources (uranium, diamonds and more), the Congo has been over-run by literal corporate armies that have enslaved and oppressed the peopl of the Cono for years. This has caused massive turmoil in the region and has made a real democracy in the region impossible. Some believe the country's current attempts at forming a democracy will not succeed because there is just too much money in oppression.

Gotta love that unchecked capitalism!

Sunday, August 6, 2006

TheUsCast Episode 4!

Hey! We're on a roll this week--A SUSHI ROLL! HAHA!!

See, our pal Jen joined TheUsCast this week as we ate dinner at a really cool sushi place here in LA called Sushi Zo. They're kind of the sushi equivalent to the Soup Nazi, but they don't kick you out if you don't follow their rules. They don't slaughter Jews, either, so that's nice.

Anyway, so JOIN US for this week's TheUsCast--it's episode #4!! WAHOO!!


powered by ODEO

Trouble with da flash? [http://media.odeo.com/files/9/9/7/687997.mp3|Grab da mp3 direct] from the fine folks at Odeo.Com.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

So Much To Blog About, So Little Time

Well, Saturday is supposed to be my drawing/publishing day, but I decided days ago to spend the day working on video projects. Alas, just yesterday I had to decide to spend the day running errands that I haven't been able to run during the week thanks to not having my own transportation.

Yep, the scooter is dead again. Sadly, the brackets that hold the muffler onto the frame have broken off and they needed to charge me another $200+ to reattach/replace them ON TOP of the cost of the broken muffler, which was going to come in at around $200. Match that up with the $300 I spent last month to take care of the clutch and you've got roughly the value of the bike. So, I rode it home today from the shop letting most of the American south west hear me do it as my bike sounds like a total badass HOG right now.

Alas, it's just a Honda Elite 80. :)

So, now I'm looking for a new bike. Preferably a bigger Elite (is there an Elite 250?) or even a sport bike/cafe racer that has a bit more power than even a 250cc Elite would have. I don't have to go on the highway or anything, I just think keeping up with 45mph traffic would be a nice thing to be able to do. I'll be eyeing CraigsList.org while I save up the scratch for a new two-wheeled vehicle. Anyone have any advice on bikes?

Then, there's grocery shopping, anime shopping (gotta swing by Power Anime!) and then there's taking in my iPod. Yep, last week I took my bike in, this weekend it's my iPod. It had been acting a little wonky since my PowerBook crashed in the middle of transferring a song to it and despite restoring the factory default software, it's still been behaving erratically (sp?). Then, yesterday, I look at it and it's just cycling through a hard reset process over and over.

So, I hit the center button, then menu and then hold them both down to do a manual hard reset. Nothing changes. The screen blanks for a bit longer than usual and the resumes the reset cycle. So, I just pulled it out of the dock and waited for the battery to die. :(

I have a feeling the HD is dead. Luckily, it's been less than a year since I bought it, so hopefully, I'll be able to walk in with this one and walk out with a new one...

HA!

Wishful thinking, I know, especially after my iBook fun two years back with it dying three times in one year and Apple saying they'd need to fix it every time and only offered to replace it once it had gotten lost in shipping. Then I demanded a refund which I got and then bought a PowerBook which had just dropped in price. :) Still, that process took the better part of a year to play out. Let's hope my iPod experience is a little faster...

Oh yeah and tomorrow we're supposed to shoot the latest episode of The 5 Minute Show, so I don't know when I'll have time to blog. Sheesh--it's going to be tight. Welp, I should run. Gotta get a bite to eat, then we get to flea bomb the place! Did I forget to mention that somehow we got fleas in a month back? We bombed the place two weekends ago and now we're making sure they're all dead by bombing again today. WAHOO!!

Later!

Friday, August 4, 2006

TED STEVENS ON NET NEUTRALITY (Video!)

K, so I'm sure we all remember Ted Stevens' comments from a couple of weeks back about how the Internet isn't a truck, it's a series of tubes. In fact, I blogged on it well after it was breaking news. So, why am I bothering now? Because I like to remind us just how fucked we are, having [http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0101032.html|the guy 3rd in line to be president] not have a clue how the Internet works. After all, it's only the single most useful tool in all of human history (after the wheel, I suppose). I suppose it makes sense that a completely useless tool wouldn't have what it takes to understand it.

Anyway, here are some clips for you! First up, there's a clip from The Daily Show featuring Jon Stewart skewering Stevens on the explanations of the Internet Stevens gave recently while talking about bills on Net Neutrality. Check out the clip from The Daily Show:



But after watching that clip, I thought...hm... those clips sounded pretty out of context. So, I went looking for a video of Stevens' complete comments on the Internet and Net Neutrality. I found [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5682372236203209658&q=ted+stevens|the below video] over on Video.Google.Com which you can check out in the flash player below or by hitting [http://video.lisarein.com/thepete/stuff/Politricks/Ted_Stevens_on_Net_Neutrality_clip.mp4|this link for the mp4], directly. Now Stevens' comments are almost 11 minutes long, so if you don't want to sit through that much of him, just check [http://video.lisarein.com/thepete/stuff/Politricks/Ted_Stevens_on_Net_Neutrality_clip.mp3|out the last 2 minutes of his comments in mp3 format] to see how much more sense he makes with the context intact.



I was, of course, kidding, when I seemed to suggest that he made more sense in context--he, in fact, sounds more insane when you listen to all of his comments. Remember folks, this is the man 3rd in line for the White House.

Ballpoint Adventures for August 4, 2006

Ballpoint

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Ballpoint Adventures for August 3, 2006

Ballpoint

THE USG LIES AGAIN! Won't We Ever Learn?

Wow, this one even kinda surprised me!

The same newspaper that burried stories on how Iraq probably didn't have WMD before the Iraq Attack is now reporting in [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/30/world/middleeast/30reconstruct.html?ei=5065&en=d3a3895d0d6aaf78&ex=1154836800&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print|a July 29, 2006 article] at NYTimes.Com that:
The State Department agency in charge of $1.4 billion in reconstruction money in Iraq used an accounting shell game to hide ballooning cost overruns on its projects there and knowingly withheld information on schedule delays from Congress, a federal audit released late Friday has found.

The agency hid construction overruns by listing them as overhead or administrative costs, according to the audit, written by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent office that reports to Congress and the Pentagon.


Zowie, put this one in the impeachment files. Lies, lies and more lies. I thought Republicans were supposed to be good Christians? First, they didn't need a full recount of Florida back in 2000 (we still don't know officially if Bush won), then they said they had no idea terrorists could use planes like missiles (even though the Pentagon and NORAD now claim they were doing a drill on 9/11/1 for just such an attack), then they said Iraq had WMD and was a threat to us (yep, "wrong" then, too). Somewhere in there they said that Medicare bill would cost something like $300 million but it actually cost something like $150 million more and they knew it all along!

So, I bring up my old question. Are the Republicans in office idiots or did they let all this happen on purpose?

I'll also add this new question: Are all Christians idiots or liars? Or should you Christians start to do something about these fools in office?

Either way, I'm really missing the days where the biggest threat to America was Bill Clinton lying about oral sex.

Too bad people are dying every day so that Bush can stay in office.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Test Post From My DS!

Well, this is an interesting experiment--I'm blogging from my handheld Nintendo DS. I dropped $50 and imported it from Japan through Play-Asia.com and while it isn't as graceful to use as a browser on a full pc, it is still pretty easy to use. I think an extra stylus might help with the typing.

The only real problem I've run into so far is the load time of images. That seems to be the main drawback. Even after the browser says the page is fully loaded the images still have yet to appear fully.

Still, for checking news, email, and random info like movie times or driving directions this seems pretty great. More on this soon...

FOUNTAIN (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Damn--the trailer was as intriguing as any movie should be. While [http://imdb.com/title/tt0414993/board/nest/49538015|one poster] on IMDB.Com suggested it could be the next Matrix, my instinct is to compare the trailer to the trailer for Dark City. I had no idea what to think about Dark City after that beyond: "I WANNA SEE IT!" That's what I got from this trailer.


Technically any good? Now, I've never seen the director's last film, Requiem for a Dream (except for some supremely disturbing bits) but I have seen Pi. Between the two films, I'd say Fountain has the potential to get bogged down with too much style and not enough substance. I saw enough of RfaD to know I wouldn't like the rest of it, but Pi was brilliant.


How did it leave me feeling? Very excited with the hope that this movie could be truly incredible. My cynical side is still screaming at me for being so positive about this film that seems so ambitious it could fail quite easily, but hey, I want it to be good. Don't worry, if it isn't, I'll be sure to let you know.


Final Rating? SIYL - See If You Like trippy tales that span three time periods and don't mind things not making sense in the end.

This movie opens wide in the USA on November 22, 2006 but if you're in Austin, TX, you can catch it at Fantastic Fest on September, 28.

Ballpoint Adventures for August 2, 2006

Ballpoint

USG MAKES SURE NO TORTURERS CAN'T GET AWAY WITH IT

Lessee, first up, we have [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/27/AR2006072701908_pf.html|a July 28, 2006 article] from WashingtonPost.Com that reports:
An obscure law approved by a Republican-controlled Congress a decade ago has made the Bush administration nervous that officials and troops involved in handling detainee matters might be accused of committing war crimes, and prosecuted at some point in U.S. courts.


But don't worry:
Senior officials have responded by drafting legislation that would grant U.S. personnel involved in the terrorism fight new protections against prosecution for past violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996. That law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war and threatens the death penalty if U.S.-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment.


Isn't that nice? So, they're changing the law to make what they did un-illegal!

DAMN, THOSE REPUBLICANS ARE SMART!

Too bad a UN human rights body has already issued a report nailing the USG to the wall for it's behavior. Check out a clip from [http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7004365082|a July 28, 2006 article] at AllHeadlineNews.Com that reports:
A UN human rights body on Friday called on the U.S. to close any "secret detention" facilities it was operating. In a 12-page report, the Committee said that the secret jails authorized by the U.S. were against the international law and that the International Committee of the Red Cross must be given access to prisoners held in the war on terrorism.

The report published Friday condemned the Bush administration for human right abuses saying that the United States appeared to have been detaining people "secretly and in secret places for months and years".

"The state party should immediately abolish all secret detention," it said.

The report also called on the U.S. stop transferring prisoners to countries where there is a risk they will be tortured and "acknowledge the applicability'' of international law for individuals.


Those damn hippies at the UN! Don't worry, though, the article goes on:
In response to the report, the U.S. State Department said that it was "disappointed'' with the findings of the report and the committee "loses perspective and credibility'' by spending more time criticizing the U.S. than "countries with no civil and political rights'' such as North Korea.


WHEW! That was close! The fact that those countries don't stand for the same principles we do shouldn't make a difference, either, since ... DAMN that Ann Coulter has nice legs!

In the end, the USG makes the illegal legal again (not bringing up how the immoral is still immoral) and then tells critics while pointing to NoKo and China, "I know I am but what are they?"

Damn, Republicans can't even follow laws they, themselves passed! Nor can they accept a little constructive criticism from the UN. It's like they just don't want to get along with the rest of the world--or don't care to.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

BUT WHY DO YOU SLAM REPORTERS, ROVE?

I grabbed the below image from [http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/07/29/rove.journalists.ap/index.html|a July 29, 2006 article] at CNN.Com. Doesn't anyone see a flaw in Rove's reasoning?



This is just Rove saying "I know you are but what am I?"

The answer to that childish question is, of course, "the same thing."

So, Rove slams reporters by saying they're trying to distract from reporters' own failings.

Couldn't the exact same thing be said about Rove?

Go after reporters to distract from your own failings.

This is perfectly consistent with an argument the US State Department has used in defense of a UN human rights report that slams the US for torture and other internationally illegal activities.

"Why not go after countries that REALLY suck instead of us?" asks the USG.

It seems that once again the Bushites are using WMD to throw us off their very impeachable scent. WMD, standing for Weapons of Mass Distraction...

Ballpoint Adventures for August 1, 2006

Ballpoint

CONSERVATIVE TELLS THE TRUTH!!

Well, I don't think he's a politician, so, don't get too excited about him telling the truth.

Anyway...

My interest isn't in liberalism or conservatism. My interest is in Truthism. I loves me some truth, no matter how depressing that truth is. So, you can imagine how frustrated I am when I watch the news these days. Well, I was checking out The Daily Show from July 11, 2006 and as a guest was John Dean--yes, that John Dean, the Watergate figure. He's a conservative (the good kind) and he has written a book that calls a spade, a spade. That book is called Conservatives Without Conscience and, in a nutshell, it goes into how good people can do bad things, like invade countries that are no threat to us, torture people and so on.

In the interview he gave to Jon Stewart he spoke about how authoritarianism is beginning to take hold here in the US. He also spoke of studies that were done just after WWII on whether or not the kind of mass mind control that made the citizens of Germany and Italy follow the leaders of those countries to the darkside could be used against Americans. He says the studies found that such manipulation could happen here and even goes on to say that he believes America is a proto-fascist state.

"We're not there yet," he says.

Check out the clip below to see the whole interview.