TheKey Chronicle

$6 back issues!

Ballpoint Adventures mega-T
THE INKSTREME BALLPOINT
ADVENTURES

Saturday, September 30, 2006

JACK CAFFERTY KICKS BUSH'S ASS (aka Does His Job)

Wow--I don't know how I managed to miss this clip. Guess I need to hang at YouTube.Com more often. Anyway, here's a clip of CNN's Jack Cafferty from August pointing out that Bush has broken several laws--don't worry he gets more specific than that. Check out the clip below:

REAL TACHIKOMA from Ghost in the Shell SAC

One of my passions is the anime franchise created by Shirow Masamune called Ghost in the Shell. It was originally a comic, back in the 1980s and later became a feature film in the 1990s. In the early 21st Century, Production I.G began production of a TV series that was one-part prequel to the movie and one-part adaption of the original comic. This series was called Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and managed to explore concepts that the movie and manga (Japanese comic) only touched upon. Concepts like consciousness, the human soul, machine souls, god, sentience, collective consciousness, to name just a few.

You can hopefully see why I adore GITS. One of the cooler characters on the SAC TV series is the Tachikoma. Well, there are several of them, but they are really just a single entity--or are they? On the surface, they look like giant, robot spiders crossed with tanks (see above). That blue thing on the back is where the pilot goes, but they don't need a pilot to function. They have a basic artificial intelligence that allows them to function on their own and even adapt to their environment. At the end of every mission, they sync up with each other like PDAs and share experiences. This is supposed to allow them to learn at the same pace, adapting in the exact same way--but they don't. They become individual and begin to think for themselves.

Now, I know what you're thinking--they do NOT become evil and try to take over mankind. The way their cousins in the original GITS manga explain it, why would they want to "take over mankind"?? Humans already wait on them hand-and-foot--giving them tune ups, oil-changes and so on whenever they need them.

Good point, huh? And that really speaks to the nature of these sentient tanks. They are innocent and childlike--on the show they're even voiced by squeeky-voiced women.

They're so cool that a real-live robot builder has built a real (but non-sentient) robot Tachikoma (pictured above). To see these robots in action, check out the vids below:









The "real" Tachikoma was created in conjunction with the new GITS SAC movie that premiered on a Japanese satellite channel earlier this month called (deep breath!) Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society.

Now, if only they'd sell them!!

Check out the 'bot's official site here: http://www.robo-garage.com/robo/tatikoma.html

Or, if you don't know Japanese, check out [http://robotgossip.blogspot.com/2006/08/killer-spider-tank-tachikoma.html|this August 22, 2006 post] at RobotGossip.BlogSpot.Com.

SENATE LEGISLATES AGAINST SIN--I MEAN--GAMBLING

One of the things that really gets to me is when politicians think/act like they are parents to the rest of us. I remember during the California govenor recall Bill Clinton called my voicemail and left a message telling me how recalling a governor was like recalling my parents. Needless to say, I voted for the recall (but I voted for the Lt. Governor to take over, not Arnold).

So, you can imagine how annoyed I'd be when I read that the Senate snuck a provision banning Internet gambling into a bill designed to strengthen port security. First off, why is gambling still largely illegal? Apparently the American government feels that the American public is weak willed and unable to make decisions for themselves.

Can you say no to gambling? I can. I spent a weekend in Las Vegas once and didn't gamble a dime. TheWife was with me and she gambled away $0.50 of her hard-earned money. What did we do there? We visited the Coca-Cola Museum, did the Star Trek Experience and, uh, spent a lot of time in our hotel room...

AAAANYway, the point is, legislating away our ability to choose the "moral" path doesn't serve our moral character. If you'll "get in trouble" if you do something "bad" then you won't do it--not because it's "bad" but because it's against the law. So much for our free will, right?

Beyond that, why does Bill Frist care so much about keeping us away from the sin of gambling when he's happy to torture terror suspects?

I'm thinking that the United States Government is the last group of people I want deciding my morals.

Read more about this in [http://reuters.myway.com/article/20060930/2006-09-30T003934Z_01_N29416194_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-SECURITY-CONGRESS-DC.html|a September 29, 2006 article] from Reuters.Com available at MyWay.Com.

Oh yeah and don't get me started on how lame sneaking unrelated provisions into bills like the one on strengthening port security. I mean, in a fairly blatant sense, Bill Frist (the main guy behind the provision) is exploiting 911 for his own agenda. Nice, huh?

Friday, September 29, 2006

HOPE YOU DON'T HAVE ANY FRIENDS WHO ARE IMMIGRANTS!

Hell, with 12 million illegals in America I'm sure we all know SOMEone who is from another country....

So, today, the Senate passed a law that will make it legal for the USG to indefinitely detain any non-American-born person without having them give them their right of habeas corpus, which is their right to challenge the evidence against them.

Habeas corpus is Latin for "bring the body," and I assume the "body" is the body of evidence against you. In short, HC promises the right to contest your imprisonment. It's what keeps a president from being a king--you know, the right to challenge him in a court of law.

This is important, in case, you know, the authorities make a mistake.

Of course, that never happens with the Bush admin, does it?

So, if you have any friends who are immigrants, I'd strongly suggest you strongly suggest to them that they keep their mouths shut about the Bush admin and for God's sake, don't donate to any Muslim groups or, hell, even TALK to a Muslim because that could get them detained forever.

I'm not making this up. It's for real. Do the research yourself.

Our only hope is that the Supreme Court will strike down the law as unConstitutional. Too bad for us most of the SCotUS was appointed by Bush or Reagan.

USMil to Add Long Range Stun Gun and Flying Disk Drone to Arsenal

Two fun bits about hi-tech weapons today. First up, we have a new type of flying drone. Back on September 6, 2006, Engadget.Com [http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/06/lethal-frisbee-uav-to-hunt-down-evildoers/|blogged] on a Frisbee-shaped drone that would launch from a sort-of-skeet-launcher (as in skeet shooting) that would then be able to:
locate fortified foes and, to "provide precision fires to neutralize these hostiles."


Hm, that sounds like a big disk--or would it be a suicide Frisbee?

A day earlier, Engadget.Com [http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/05/long-range-stun-guns-en-route/|blogged] on another new military weapon coming down the pike--the long-range stun gun. Unlike current stun guns that require you to touch your victim attacker, this new pistol will fire a small dart up to 450 feet. That dart will carry a 40,000 volt charge that will remove any human from their feet. The good news is that these weapons are not fatal.

Too bad USGIs can't use these in battle.

BUSH MAKES US LESS SAFE SEZ REPORT

You've probably heard this already thanks to the media actually bothering to do their job. However, a new intel report that was leaked to the press has found that terrorism is markedly worse on planet Earth than it was before the US invaded Iraq.

I know, big surprise, but at least this info comes from the USG, so we know that they know it, too (in other words, they're not complete idiots). The thing is, Bush disagrees, like global warming or the status of the war in Iraq, Bush likes to differ with the facts. Like Stephen Colbert, Bush doesn't like facts. Here's a fun little clipping from [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/09/26/national/w100322D32.DTL&type=politics|a September 26, 2006 editorial] at SFGate.Com:
President Bush on Tuesday said it is naive and a mistake to think that the war with Iraq has worsened terrorism, as a key portion of a national intelligence assessment by his own administration suggests. He said he was declassifying part of the report.

"Some people have guessed what's in the report and concluded that going into Iraq was a mistake. I strongly disagree," Bush said.


So, [http://thepete.com/matt-lauer-does-job-bushs-feet-somewhat-close-to-fire/|when someone tells Bush he's doing something that is illegal, he disagrees]. Now, we see that when someone tells him the facts, he disagrees with that, too.

HOW CAN YOU DISAGREE WITH FACTS?

When are our leaders in Washington going to punish this guy for disagreeing with facts?

Sure, the intel report has "interpreted" facts to come to conclusions. But when it's your own people doing the interpretation, doesn't that make you look like an idiot for not trusting the interpretations of your own people? Why'd you hire them if you're just going to disagree with them?

Like DDT, cigarettes, and global warming before it, certain white men in suits are trying to tell us that something that is obviously bad for us, isn't as bad as we think. This, despite the extreme obviousness of the facts involved.

Oh and FYI, the number of American dead in Iraq is now higher than the number of people who died in NYC on 911.

The sad thing is, voting Democrat in November will be like rewarding the negligent. The Dems let this atrocity happen, with barely a peep. They are just as complicit in this mess as the Republicans who disagreed with their king but said nothing.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

DON'T BELIEVE THE REPUBLICAN HYPE--CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL

Back on September 6, 2006, DemocracyNow.Org [http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/09/06/1359223|reported] on a new study that concluded that the rapid rise in greenhouse gases is something completely new to the last 800,000 years.

Flashforward to [http://edition.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/09/25/warming.earth.reut/index.html|a Spetember 25, 2006 article] at edition.CNN.com that reports:
Earth may be close to the warmest it has been in the last million years, especially in the part of the Pacific Ocean where potentially violent El Nino weather patterns are born, climate scientists reported on Monday.


Jump back a few days to [http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060920/sc_afp/climatewarmingarctic_060920111816|a September 20, 2006 article] from www.AFP.com available at News.Yahoo.Com that reported:
European scientists voiced shock as they showed pictures which showed Arctic ice cover had disappeared so much last month that a ship could sail unhindered from Europe's most northerly outpost to the North Pole itself.


Isn't that crazy? And idiots like Senator Jim Inhofe think climate change isn't real.

When you can sail from Europe to the North Pole, THE EARTH IS HEATING UP YOU MORON!

LAST KING OF SCOTLAND (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? There really wasn't a single frame of this film that I didn't find entertaining. GO SEE THIS FILM!


Technically any good? Wow--brilliant across the board. There was a bit of "Hollywood Convenience" in the film in that some plot points were a little too neatly tied up, but that was the biggest flaw of the movie. The acting from everyone was very good and the script was very solid. The editing and music were both spot on and the direction, well, let's just say I wasn't aware of the direction. Which means it was great. The best direction is invisible. Great work from the cinematographer, too. Very nicely shot.


How did it leave me feeling? DEPRESSED AS HELL! But I am a wiser person for seeing it. It comes at a time when it's very important for us to have a good understanding of what our leaders are doing in our name. This is not to say the film is preachy in the least. It isn't. It's terrifying and the events depicted are largely true. If you're a mature adult interested in a smart, powerful, moving film I suggest you see The Last King of Scotland.


Final Rating? GSN - Go See Now (Just be careful--it's very disturbing, depressing and at times graphic--but see it anyway!)

CNN.com GIVES YOU THE BEST NEWS (or NOT)

Check out this screengrab from CNN.com's main page last month:
[http://thepete.com/uploads/cnn_absurd_stories.jpg|]

Check out the stories that make their "top stories" list.

All I can say is THANK GOD, I KNOW THAT PARIS HILTON IS GOING CELIBATE.

I'm not saying all the top stories should be about death, destruction and oil prices, but I'm sure there is some health news or even entertainment news that is more important than fucking Paris Hilton. Oh, I guess that's a bad choice of words. :)

Come on, American Mainstream Media--get off your lazy asses and do some work. America isn't a complete police state yet!! (It's not too late to do some good!)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Anti-Bush Playlist is the #2 in the Top Ten at Dabble.Com!

Hey, check it out! My Anti-Bush playlist is in the top ten at Dabble.Com!

http://dabble.com/node/546599

Possible Alzheimer's and Cancer Cures All but Ignored by The Media

This is kinda crazy. So, first up, we've got this story on a possible cure for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here's a clip from [http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=52417|a September 25, 2006 article] at MedicalNewsToday.Com:
An enzyme found naturally in the brain snips apart the protein that forms the sludge called amyloid plaque that is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD), researchers have found. They said their findings in mice suggest that the protein, called Cathepsin B (CatB), is a key part of a protective mechanism that may fail in some forms of AD. Also, they said their findings suggest that drugs to enhance CatB activity could break down amyloid deposits, counteracting one of the central pathologies of AD.


In other words, scientists have discovered that this stuff that exists in your body anyway (CatB) can get rid of this gray sludge that they assume causes AD. It's not a definite cure, but considering how many people are touched by the disease, I think this should be much bigger news than it is. Hell, who hasn't had a grandparent get this thing? I, myself, have had two grandparents succum to it.

Another thing I've lost a grandparent to is cancer. Wouldn't you know it? The media is all but ignoring a possible new cure for that, too. See, most people don't understand what cancer even is. For years, I thought cancer was some outside thing that entered the body. It turns out, cancer is your body. See, normally, your cells grow to a certain point, get old, stop functioning and then are destroyed by the cells' natural functions. Sometimes, the natural functions don't, well, function and the cell continues to grow and grow. When cells lose their ability to die, these cells are called cancerous. Now, here's where the breakthrough comes in.

Check out this clip from [http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=00050D07-6D22-14EF-AD2283414B7F0000|an August 28, 2006 article] at SciAm.Com:
Suicide is the regular mode of cell death. When cells reach the end of their useful life, internal mechanisms kick in and the cell automatically perishes, a process known as apoptosis. But in cancer cells this mechanism has often been genetically disabled or otherwise broken, allowing tumors to proliferate. Now researchers have found a way to reactivate programmed cell death and thereby treat cancer.


That makes sense, doesn't it?

What doesn't make sense is why this isn't all over the news.

Lung cancer, alone, killed just short of 150,000 Americans in 2002. That's roughly 50 times the number of people around the world killed by terrorists in the same year.

Yet, which is the bigger threat and which is the bigger news story?

Here's a great page for American cancer stats: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/statistics/

PAKISTAN THREATENED BY USG POST-911?

So, the guy who led a military coup to take over control of Pakistan, a US ally in tWAT, has now said that the Bush Admin threatened to bomb Pakistan into the Stone Age if they didn't helpt he US with the War Against Terror.

Well, at least we see some evidence of how Bush is a "uniter" and not a "divider," as he promoted himself back in the 2000 election, right?

"Listen, Pakky, do what I say or you'll be living like cavemen."

If it's true, I wish Pakistan's leader had called Bush's bluff. I doubt that Bush would have done it and if he had, then we'd probably have gotten rid of Bush by now.

Anyway, here are some specifics, first, from [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-2369505,00.html|a September 22, 2006 article] at http://TimesOnline.co.uk :
PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, the President of Pakistan, claimed last night that the Bush Administration threatened to bomb his country “into the Stone Age” if it did not co-operate with the US after 9/11, sharply increasing tensions between the US and one of its closest allies in the war on terrorism.

The President, who will meet Mr Bush in the White House today, said the threat was made by Richard Armitage, then the Deputy Secretary of State, in the days after the terror attacks, and was issued to the Pakistani intelligence director.


Later that same day, in [http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/09/22/bush.musharraf/|another article], this time from CNN.com, Bush claimed to be unaware of the threat:
President Bush on Friday said he was "taken aback" by a report that a U.S. official threatened the United States would attack Pakistan if it did not help immediately after 9/11.

Bush made the remarks at a White House news conference with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, thanking the U.S. ally for his role in the war on terror.

The Pakistan president has told CBS News that -- immediately following the September 11, 2001, attacks -- the Bush administration threatened to bomb his country "back to the Stone Age" if Pakistan did not help in the U.S. war on terrorism.

Bush said he first heard of the alleged threat "in the newspaper today."

...

"I was taken aback by the harshness of the words," he said.

"All I can tell you is that shortly after 9/11, Secretary [of State] Colin Powell came in and said President Musharraf understands the stakes, and he wants to join and help root out an enemy that has come and killed 3,000 of our citizens."


Cowboy politics in action! WAAHOOO!!

Of course, Armitage said he wasn't authorized to make a threat. Big surprise there--this is the same guy who "accidentally" leaked an undercover CIA spy's name to Bob Novak.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

US SENATE ABOUT TO MAKE INDEFINITE DETENTION LEGAL

From [http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/09/26/1415250|the September 26, 2006 headlines] at DemocracyNow.Org:
The Bush administration has slipped in a major change to the Senate bill on interrogations that would allow U.S. citizens to be detained as enemy combatants. Initially the bill defined an enemy combatant as anyone who engaged in hostilities against the United States or its allies but the definition has been expanded to include anyone who has materially supported hostilities against the United States or its allies.


In the headlines September 6, 2006 DN! included this story:
Prosecutors Seek 30-Year Jail Sentence For Lynne Stewart
Here in this country, federal prosecutors have asked a New York judge to sentence attorney Lynne Stewart to 30 years in prison. Stewart was convicted 18 months ago of providing material support to terrorists by releasing a statement by her client, Sheik Ahmed Abdel-Rahman. She is scheduled to be sentenced next month...


See how easy it is to materially support hostilities against the US? Just pass a note from a suspected terrorist to his friend and BOOM, you could get thrown in jail for, possibly, as much as 30 years.

Deal with any Muslims? Are you SURE they're not friendly with terrorists? Better stay away from them, then. Wouldn't want to end up in jail for the rest of your life!

ISN'T BIG BROTHER GREAT?

What the HELL'S going on here?

$100 LAPTOP NEWS!!

There it is! You may recall the [http://thepete.com/tag/%24100+laptop|$100 laptop project] that I've blogged about before. The plan, by Nicholas Negroponte is to manufacture small laptops, as cheaply as possible and sell them to governments of third world countries for $100 (or so) a pop. Those governments will then distribute them to children who will use the laptops to learn. Pretty cool, huh?

What's even better is that the machines are completely open source--they run on Linux and are completely corporate-string-free. They even have a new name: the CM1--the Children's Machine. Although the machines are also known as the SB1. I'm not sure what the different names are about, actually...

They also consume a very small amount of energy and can be powered, get this, by a pull string. Again, pretty cool, huh?

The real good news for those of us who love the cool gadgets is that this adorable little machine (see above) WILL be available to us in the US via eBay (so much for the corporate-string-free part). It'll price in at $450 for us, but we'll be able to write off the extra $350 as a donation on our taxes because the extra scratch will be used to help countries who can't afford to buy these things for all of the kids in their country.

Isn't that just the coolest thing? YOU get a cool, little, low-power-consumption laptop AND you help kids in developing countries!! HOW AWESOME IS THAT???

Read more about it in [http://www.engadget.com/2006/08/24/olpc-gets-a-name-the-cm1-or-childrens-machine/|this August 24, 2006 post] at Engadget.Com, [http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/20/negroponte-announces-olpc-for-ebay-shows-off-pull-string/|this September 20, 2006 post] at Engadget.Com or by checking out the official wiki for the project at http://wiki.laptop.org.

SENATOR JIM INHOFE BELIEVES GLOBAL WARMING NOT A THREAT

So, I came across two interesting Global-Warming news items today. First, there's [http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_4387552|a September 24, 2006 piece] at DenverPost.Com about how there are still folks out there who don't believe GW is a threat. Here's a clip from the article:
The words "global warming" provoke a sharp retort from Colorado State University meteorology professor emeritus William Gray: "It's a big scam."
There's much more to the article, but I just thought that Gray's comment of GW being a scam was funny since, usually, someone benefits from a scam. I'm not sure I see who benefits from this Global Warming Scam, beyond "big environmentalists." Well, them and the rest of humanity.

Then, there's [http://epw.senate.gov/speechitem.cfm?party=rep&id=263759|the September 25, 2006 speech] that DrudgeReport.Com linked to given on the Senate floor by Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe. Here's a clip from the speech that criticizes the "alarmist" media that reports on GW as a threat:
From the late 1920’s until the 1960’s they warned of global warming. From the 1950’s until the 1970’s they warned us again of a coming ice age. This makes modern global warming the fourth estate’s fourth attempt to promote opposing climate change fears during the last 100 years. Recently, advocates of alarmism have grown increasingly desperate to try to convince the public that global warming is the greatest moral issue of our generation. Just last week, the vice president of London’s Royal Society sent a chilling letter to the media encouraging them to stifle the voices of scientists skeptical of climate alarmism.


So, the media is alarmist--WOW--I NEVER NOTICED THAT! Come on--for a Republican senator to be whining about the alarmist media is like biting the hand that keeps you in office! Fear sells, Senator--your party's war on terror is proof of that. That's what I find so amusing--you accuse the media of fear mongering about Global Warming while your party fear mongers about a measly 50,000 Al Qaeda terrorists threatening the US. There are 300 million Americans. Nearly 40,000 of us die in car accidents every year.

Global Warming, on the other hand, has the potential to change our way of life forever and even if it doesn't, adapting our lifestyles to help reverse the effects of GW will only help us create a more healthy, less-dependent-on-foreign-oil world.

Who benefits from ignoring GW? The big oil companies. I couldn't find anything that connected Inhofe to big oil, but he is a Republican and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Inhofe|his Wikipedia entry] does describe him as a frighteningly Christian conservative.

How so? The usual:

Thinks the Bible should be used as a guide for how the US supports Israel.

He was outraged by the outrage people had toward the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

He is strongly against a woman's right to choose.

He is against gay rights, famously saying that his family never had a single gay or divorce in it, ever.

He compared the EPA to the Nazis and called the Red Cross a bleeding heart.

I think this guy and [http://thepete.com/tag/Ted+Stevens|Ted Stevens] should be roommates!

The really frustrating thing is that this guy is making a big deal about all this "GLOBAL WARMING IS A SCAM" stuff while more immediate issues are being ignored (like the continued mass deaths in Iraq and the forgotten FEMA victims). If Inhofe was really doing his job, he would be concerned with the lies and deceit coming from his own party and his own partisan games.

Electronic Ballot Boxes are Bad

I've lost track of how many times I've blogged on black box voting. I've explained in clear and obvious terms that ANY kind of electronic machine can be easily rigged to make it look like you voted for one candidate when it actually records a vote for another. I'm guessing that not a lot of politicians have read my posts since so many states around the US are still using this technology to cast doubt on their election results protect their democracy.

Enter even more evidence that electronic voting machines in general, and Diebold brand voting machines specifically, are not secure in the least. Check out this clip from [http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/18/open-your-diebold-accuvote-ts-with-a-minibar-key/|a September 18, 2006 post] at Engadget.Com that talks about the latest exploit one can utilize in hacking Diebold machines, this time discovered by those braniacs at Princeton :
... after giving a presentation to some computer science colleagues last week, Prof. Ed Felten was approached by Chris Tengi, a member of the department's technical staff, who pointed out that the key that opens the AccuVote-TS voting machine is very similar to a key that he has at home. Tengi's key opened the voting machine, and upon further investigation, the Princeton posse discovered that both keys are actually a common office furniture type used for hotel minibars, electronic equipment and jukeboxes. Furthermore, said keys can easily be bought on eBay or from various online retailers.


This isn't the first flaw the Princeton folks worked out. Check out the below video:



[http://video.lisarein.com/thepete/stuff/Politricks/DieboldAccuVoteTSSec.mp4|I've also got a 14GB mp4 you can DL.]

Regardless, the main thing you need to realize about this is that here is another example of our leaders letting us down. With all the stuff they've screwed up, how can we trust them when they say they're going to deliver a secure election and accurate results? Please contact your local politicians and let them know that you want elections with NON-electronic machines counting your vote. Hell--the absolute safest way to do elections is with paper ballots and humans counting them.


This isn't about being partisan, Democrat or Republican--this is about knowing that the right guy is in the White House.

How poorly will history look back on us when they see what a mess Bush made of things--especially when you note the contravercies that erupted in 2000 and 2004?

Shouldn't we ALL want to know for sure who should be in the Oval Office?

How can you be against having the most secure elections possible?

Monday, September 25, 2006

THE 5 MINUTE SHOW EPISODE 35!

Now, I know I had said this episode was going to feature more behind-the-scenes footage from my appearance on the Hucklebug podcast, but I got a very strange voicemail the day this episode was shot. I was got a very strange package delivered to my door. I can't be more specific than that--you'll just have to watch the episode and find out more.

Please don't hesitate--watch now and arm yourself with knowledge against this new threat to American salads...



It's a disturbing 22.3MB mp4 that you will find truly disturbing...

Matt Lauer Does Job--Bush's Feet Somewhat Close to Fire

Wow, I wish I wasn't so impressed with the Today Show's Matt Lauer pressing Bush on the issue of "staying within the law" on things like torture, Gitmo and secret prisons. Bush is clearly not used to the media failing to bow down before him and shows his obvious discomfort in the below video. SWEET!

Check it out:


Bush_Lauer_Today.mp4 (8.9MB)


Hopefully, the media will continue to do their job. Since Bush is this easily riled, perhaps he'll crack on live TV and snap some reporter's neck.

OK, so I'm not really wishing that some poor reporter get his/her neck snapped on live TV. I wouldn't mind if Bush were to lose it on live TV, though. Seems that I've lost it enough times while watching Bush do things...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

ThePete is a PRO at Flickr! Oh, I Signed Up With Netflix, Too

So, I've been a busy guy over the past... well, lifetime, but I wanted to mention a couple of things I've done over the past couple of days. First off, I signed up with Netflix. You can check out my queue by going to PocketReviews.Net and scrolling down the sidebar, past the Amazon ads (feel free to buy anything you see) and "TheRecent Posts at ThePete.Com". Right now I've got [http://pocketreviews.net/godzilla-final-wars-2004/|Godzilla: Final Wars] and you'll have to check out my Queue to see what I'll be getting in the mail next. I'll be trying to keep it varied but moving. So, expect to see a lot of different movies being reviewed on PocketReviews.Net.

In the meantime, I've got pro at Flickr.Com!! Check out [http://www.flickr.com/photos/thepete/|my Flickr site] where I have more than 400 pictures uploaded. Most recently I posted a handful of pics I snapped on my minicam. Here are a couple now:

Little Girlequins at a future Limited Too store

A pigeon at one of my bus stops.

1st Anniversary 2006! (08/08)  Joshua Tree 1st Anniversary 2006! (08/08)  Joshua Tree

1st Anniversary 2006! (08/08)  Joshua Tree

Those last few were taken on a trip TheWife and I took out to Joshua Tree for our first anniversary back in early August. Yes, we enjoy the Joshua Tree. :) (What do you want? It's cheap and easy!!)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

USMIL SECURITY SO TIGHT TEENS BREACH BASE BORDERS

Yeah, in this "Post-911" world of terror alerts and killer spinach, the US military has demonstrated how seriously it's taking threats facing America--by allowing teenagers in a stolen car to make it onto an insanely important air force base. Here's a clip from [http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CENTCOM_SECURITY_BREACH|a September 21, 2006 article] at AP.org:
Security was tightened Thursday at MacDill Air Force Base, home of key command centers in the U.S. war on terrorism, after two teens in a stolen car drove through a security checkpoint and were later arrested.

An investigation was under way into how the teens got past the checkpoint, which was manned Wednesday by armed guards with the authority to use deadly force, Air Force spokesman Lt. Larry van der Oord said.
"They're military personnel, security forces airmen. They're trained, they carry weapons at the gate and they do have that authority (to shoot), but it's a judgment call and every situation is different," van der Oord said.


Yeah, sure--every situation is different. What if they actually had been terrorists?

Of course, they weren't, but it's proof that if anyone really wants to hurt us--no matter how hard we try to secure ourselves against attacks--those "evil doers" will be able to do evil unto us.

This is why I choose to just not worry about it. I put my faith in statistics that tell me I'm waaaay more likely to get killed on my way to work than in a terrorist explosion.

So just relax and know that your military isn't prepared and neither should you be. :D

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Labor Day 2006 Pics From Joshua Tree, California!

FINALLY!! Pics from our overnight trip to Joshua Tree--HUZZAH!

The below are just a sampling. Click any of them to check out the rest of my pics!

Pics Coming Back From Joshua Tree 2006 Sept.
OK, these first few pics were taken as I waited for my bus to come the Saturday before we left for JT.
Pics Coming Back From Joshua Tree 2006 Sept. Pics Coming Back From Joshua Tree 2006 Sept. Pics Coming Back From Joshua Tree 2006 Sept. Pics Coming Back From Joshua Tree 2006 Sept. Pics Coming Back From Joshua Tree 2006 Sept. Pics Coming Back From Joshua Tree 2006 Sept. Pics Coming Back From Joshua Tree 2006 Sept. Pics Coming Back From Joshua Tree 2006 Sept. Pics Coming Back From Joshua Tree 2006 Sept. Pics Coming Back From Joshua Tree 2006 Sept. Pics Coming Back From Joshua Tree 2006 Sept. Pics Coming Back From Joshua Tree 2006 Sept.

The last couple pics obviously were snapped at The World's Largest Dinosaurs "attraction" which you can find on the 10 (interstate highway 10, for anyone outside of SoCal). They're two giant man-made dinos with a museum in one and a gift shop in the other. In an ironic twist the attraction is run by creationists. Seriously, they have little flyers you can take with you from the gift shop that advertize the theory that dinosaurs lived side-by-side with man because the earth is only 7000 years old (I think--I'm an Atheist, so don't expect precision facts on Christianity from me). Don't believe me? Check out WorldsBiggestDinosaurs.Com and see for yourself...

For the record, I have nothing against people believing whatever they want (just so long as they don't use those beliefs to abridge rights or cause pain)--I just don't understand why people would want to believe certain things.

Habeas Corpus Endangered--What Stops a President from Being a King?

Dictionary.Com defines Habeas Corpus as "a writ requiring a person to
be brought before a judge or court, esp. for investigation of a
restraint of the person's liberty, used as a protection against
illegal imprisonment." However, in a nutshell, it's a basic law that
stops a leader, even a president, from snagging you off the street and
imprisoning you for as long as he/she likes. It's one of the main
foundations of the United States. It's the main reason we have an
elected president (in theory) instead of a king.

The bad news is that according to an article at Accuracy.Org (found
here: http://www.accuracy.org/newsrelease.php?articleId=1354), HC is
hanging in the balance thanks to a new anti-torture law that's on its
way to being passed. Here's a clip:
While the
Warner-Graham-McCain bill has gotten substantial attention with
regards to its Geneva conventions provisions, the Center for
Constitutional Rights has criticized both the bill and the
administration's proposal as gutting habeas corpus.

....

President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, {Michael} Ratner
said today: "The Warner-Graham-McCain bill denies habeas corpus to all
aliens held outside the United States and currently in U.S. custody.
And 'outside' includes Guantanamo.

"However in the case of those who have been found to be unlawful enemy
combatants by Combatant Status Review Tribunal (combatant status
review panels used at Guantanamo) it gives a meaningless court of
appeals 'review' -- a review that examines whether or not the U.S.
complied with its own procedures -- but not ... a real court hearing
with factual development as habeas corpus requires.

"For those aliens detained outside the U.S. that have not had CSRT
hearings -- the high majority -- in facilities like Bagram in
Afghanistan, the Warner bill simply abolished habeas or any other
court review.

"The consequences are breathtaking. The U.S. can pick up any alien,
even a legal permanent resident in the U.S., and take them to an
off-shore prison and hold them forever without any kind of court
hearing.

"While all the attention on this legislation has focused on Geneva
conventions and military commissions, the Warner alternative, like the
administration bill, authorizes lifelong detention without habeas or
any genuine review whatsoever."


Isn't that nice?

Of course, we know that the Bush Admin has created the term "Enemy
Combatant" in order to create a loophole in the Geneva Conventions.
See, there's no definition of an enemy combatant so they can define
one any way they want and, worse, treat them any way they want.
(Enemy soldiers must be treated a certain way and so should enemy
civilians, but if they're armed but don't wear a uniform, what does
that make them? Enemy Combatants!) Of course, treating ECs any way
you want is still illegal assuming you consider the Declaration of
Independence as a legal document. It does state that ALL men are
created equal--NOT just American men.

Ah well. That's what's fun about dictators--they can do what ever
they want and can call it legal--just like Bush and Co. say that
they're not torturing people when they torture them.

I believe Orwell called that Doublespeak.

Lou Dobbs: Voting by Machine=bad, ThePete: No Kidding

Yeah, so how many times have I said, right on this website, how bad
electronic voting machines are? ANY type of computerized or
electronic gadget (even optical scanners for paper ballots) can be
hacked to miscount votes. There is NO exception to this. As a
result, any election held with the use of electronic or computerized
ballot machines (of ANY kind from ANY vendor) can be called into
question with the slightest of thought. Anyone who knows anything
about electronics knows this and has known this for years.

However, now CNN talking head Lou Dobbs is saying publically what so
many of us have been saying for years: Electronic voting machines are
bad.

M'kaaay.

Thanks, Lou. Maybe the powers that be will listen to you.

Feel free to check out his column at CNN.com by going here:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/09/19/Dobbs.Sept20/index.html?section=cnn_topstories

As you read that column just be sure to understand that Lou's pretty
late to the party.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

LEGO STAR WARS II (2006 NDS)

[asin: B000FDKZR0]
Positive Experience/Entertaining? Yeah, but not as clever or fun as the GBA version of the first Lego Star Wars. PLEASE NOTE: This review is for the Nintendo DS version only.


Technically any good? Game play is very similar to the PS2 version of both LSW games, which is good. However, the sheer number of massive bugs in this game is uncountable. I'm not referring to sections I just can't get past--I'm referring to parts of the game where the walls and floor disappear. Sometimes your character disappears. Other times, you can't finish levels because your force powers don't work, even though you're standing by a glowing object.


How did it leave me feeling? Frustrated!! I can't finish the game because it's so damn buggy! I loved the GBA and PS2 versions of the first Lego Star Wars and can't understand how Lucasarts let this one make it to stores. Seriously--it's terrible.


Final Rating? ALP - Avoid Like the Plague--seriously don't waste your money. Amaze Entertainment and Traveller's Tales (the developers of the game) should be ashamed.

Don't worry--I'm also giving the PS2 version a try and so far, it's much better.

THE 5 MINUTE SHOW EPISODE 34!

YAAAAY!! It's a brand new episode of THE 5 MINUTE SHOW!! In this episode, watch exclusive behind the scenes footage shot during my "appearance" on the HuckleBug audio podcast!! It features stuff you won't actually see (hear) on the actual HuckleBug! SWEET!!

The HuckleBug podcast, by the way, is a great hour-long podcast put together by a couple of friends of mine, Bet and Stennie. Watch this week's episode of t5MS and then head over to HuckleBug.BlogSpot.Com and check out their show. (The show with me guesting probably won't be on their site before Thursday September 21, 2006, so keep that in mind.) It was a total blast being on their show, so check out this week's episode of t5MS and see what I mean!



This week's ep is just 12.5 MB!! Pretty sweet, eh?

MORE 911 LIES, THIS TIME ABOUT NYC AIR QUALITY

So, two huge-ass buildings fall to the ground making a big old mess. Huge clouds of smoke (made up of pulverized bits of building and people) enshroud the south-end of Manhattan. The cloud clears before too long, but what do you think the odds are that some of those little bits of pulverized building and people were still in the air once that cloud cleared?

Of course, the EPA at the time did "tests" and the head of the EPA comes out and says the air is fine for all of the people working through the bigger bits of the building that weren't pulverized.

Thing is, she was lying.

It doesn't take tests to assume that when two buildings with asbestos in them fall to the ground that asbestos is going to be floating in the air for a while.

Anyone with a brain can work that out.

Too bad most rescue workers were too busy trusting their leaders.

And now thousands of relief and rescue workers are suffering from respiratory problems.

Now, according to [http://www.occupationalhazards.com/articles/15633|a September 14, 2006 article] at OccupationalHazards.Com, three congressmen from New York are calling for an investigation into whether or not Christine Todd Whitman deserves to face criminal charges.

I love that since she's told one of the smaller lies since 911.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Others Remember the American Way While We Forget

So, Mexico has a very bumpy election and the "losers" protest by
hijacking an entire city. In Budapest, the PM is caught lying to the
people and riots erupt after protesters demand said PM's resignation.

Here in America both of those things happen and we're too obese and
distracted to do much more than notice.

GOD BLESS AME--wait... what was I saying?

Ah well, can't be bothered...

BLACK DAHLIA (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Not entirely. There were bits of it that were strong, but most of the movie ends up being on the boring/predictable side.


Technically any good? Well, DePalma (the director) is known for ripping off Hitchcock. Alas, he doesn't bother this time. There are very few surprises and the things that were probably meant to be surprises come together with immense contrivance--as in, they were absurdly unbelievable. The acting was OK, though the only really good actor in the film, Scarlett Johansson was not where she should have been. I believed everyone, but I also believed everyone was really bored (and boring). The cinematography was surprisingly inconsistent. Shots were well composed, but then some shots were out of critical focus, or oddly lit.


How did it leave me feeling? Bleh. Not too bad, but like I said, not entertained, either. This isn't a horrible film, but I can't think of any good reason to recommend seeing it.


Final Rating? DNS - Do Not See

KISSINGER CALLS FOR NWO--er--UNITING WITH EU

Former SoS (and war criminal) Henry Kissinger is now saying that the US needs to unite with the European Union against a nuclear-weaponized-middle-east.

Right, so Iran is like ten years away from nuke weapons and Israel, India and Pakistan (all our allies) have nukes already. So, why do we need to unite with the EU, again, Hank?

What puzzles me more is how anyone can decipher this dude's comments. Check out what he said according to [http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060913/ts_alt_afp/usattackseurope|a September 13, 2006 article] from www.AFP.com available at News.Yahoo.Com:
"A common Atlantic policy backed by moderate Arab states must become a top priority, no matter how pessimistic previous experience with such projects leaves one,"


So, there, he's saying "We've got to unite with the EU and any Arab states who don't want to kill us. We must do this no matter how much we expect this to fail."

Right, so that whole NATO thing went badly?? We've got Israel backing us, although one could argue they're hardly "moderate."

All right, next creepy quote from Kissinger:
"The debate sparked by the Iraq war over American rashness vs. European escapism is dwarfed by what the world now faces."


Oh, really?

So, what he's saying is: "It doesn't matter how wrong the US was to invade Iraq or how wrong Europe was to try to pussy-out. All that matters is this new threat."

Next:
"Both sides of the Atlantic should put their best minds together on how to deal with the common danger of a wider war merging into a war of civilizations against the background of a nuclear-armed Middle East."


WHOAA!!

Now he's talking about a second batch of crusades, here. The Europeans and the Americans unite to face down a middle eastern (read: Muslim) nuclear threat, despite the fact that there are only allies of ours in the middle east who have nukes.

But wait--it gets better! Check out one last quote from Hank (and it's a doozy!):
"We now know that we face the imperative of building a new world order or potential global catastrophe. It cannot be done alone by either side of the Atlantic. Is that realization sufficient to regenerate a common purpose?"


HE SAID IT!! HE SAID IT!!

NEW WORLD ORDER!!!

It's the conspiracy theorists wet dream when a major mover/shaker-type-dude says the notorious phrase "NEW WORLD ORDER".

Mind you, it doesn't make me too excited. I just hope that means I can start using the phrase while referring to the handful of powerful white men who want to run the entire world their way.

This reminds me of that time George HW Bush used the phrase in a speech back on September 11, 2993 (I think). I was surprised then, too...

From www.AFP.com and News.Yahoo.Com:

Kissinger warns of possible "war of civilizations"

Wed Sep 13, 11:54 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger warned that Europe and the United States must unite to head off a "war of civilizations" arising from a nuclear-armed Middle East.

In an opinion column in the Washington Post, the renowned foreign policy expert said the potential for a "global catastrophe" dwarfed lingering transatlantic mistrust left over from the
Iraq war.

"A common Atlantic policy backed by moderate Arab states must become a top priority, no matter how pessimistic previous experience with such projects leaves one," Kissinger wrote.

"The debate sparked by the Iraq war over American rashness vs. European escapism is dwarfed by what the world now faces.

"Both sides of the Atlantic should put their best minds together on how to deal with the common danger of a wider war merging into a war of civilizations against the background of a nuclear-armed Middle East."

Kissinger wrote that the big threat lay in the erosion of nation states and the emergence of transnational groups.
Iran was at the centre of the challenge, he said, with its support for Hezbollah, radical Shiite groups in Iraq and its nuclear program.

Washington must accept that many European nations were more optimistic about talks designed to convince Iran to halt uranium enrichment -- a process Tehran denies is aimed at making weapons, he wrote.

But in return, he said, Europe should accept the process must include a "bottom line" beyond which diplomatic flexibility must not go and a time limit to ensure talks did not become a shield for "developing new assaults."

In the article, Kissinger, national security adviser for former president
Richard Nixon, and secretary of state for Nixon and his successor Gerald Ford, warned the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah was still dangerous, after its month-long conflict with
Israel.

"Hezbollah's next move is likely to be an attempt to dominate the Beirut government by intimidation and, using the prestige gained in the war, manipulating democratic procedures," he said.

He concluded by noting that observers wondered whether, after the Cold War, trans-Atlantic ties could survive the loss of a common enemy.

"We now know that we face the imperative of building a new world order or potential global catastrophe. It cannot be done alone by either side of the Atlantic. Is that realization sufficient to regenerate a common purpose?"

Saturday, September 16, 2006

NON-FOX NEWS REPORTER KIDNAPPED AND RELEASED

National Geographic journalist Paul Salopek spent 34 days in a Sudanese prison after he was arrested on August 6, 2006. The thing is, I don't remember hearing/reading about this poor guy in the news. When those two guys from Fox News got gnabbed by the Palestinians the news media wouldn't let us forget it. Dude from National Geographic gets snagged and nobody cares.

Gotta love us humans... inconsistent as always...

Read more about Salopek in [http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/09/060910-salopek.html|a September 10, 2006 article] at, where else, but NationalGeographic.Com.

[ThePhlog] 9/16/2006 03:08:01 PM

this is an audio post - click to play


--
Posted by ThePete to ThePhlog at 9/16/2006 03:08:01 PM

Check out the 3D Film Fest I mention in this post in ThePhlog by going to http://3dfilmfest.com!

Friday, September 15, 2006

SPINACH KILLS! POPEYE WANTED FOR QUESTIONING!

Yes, it's true--Homeland Security issued a statement earlier today.
While they are not directly accusing Popeye of working with Al Qaeda,
they do want to bring him in for questioning.

/sarcasm

So, CNN.Com reports that 94 people in 20 states (not even all 50) have
become sick (just sick, not dead, yet). So we're now running from
vegetables.

America, land of the not so free and the definitely not brave.

OMG! That leafy green thing's going to attack!! KILL IT!!!

REPUBLICANS GROW SPINES??

Well, either the Republicans have suddenly grown spines or they're honestly scared that they'll lose in November because they're really starting to speak out against their leader, King George. [http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060914/D8K4UC7O1.html|a September 14, 2006 article] from AP.org and MyWay.Com reports:
A rebellious Senate committee defied President Bush on Thursday and approved terror-detainee legislation he has vowed to block, deepening Republican conflict over terrorism and national security in the middle of the election season.

Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia, normally a Bush supporter, pushed the measure through his Armed Services Committee by a 15-9 vote, with Warner and three other GOP lawmakers joining Democrats. The vote set the stage for a showdown on the Senate floor as early as next week.

In an embarrassment to the White House, Colin Powell - Bush's first secretary of state - announced his opposition to his old boss' plan, saying it would hurt the country. Powell's successor, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, jumped to the president's defense in a letter of her own.

All this played out after Bush started his day by journeying to the Capitol to try nailing down support for his own version of the legislation - and by issuing a threat to the maverick Republicans.

"I will resist any bill that does not enable this program to go forward with legal clarity," Bush said at the White House.


HA!

LEGAL CLARITY! Since when does Bush care about that? Since day one of his "presidency" he's shown that he could not have cared less for laws, period. He didn't even think it was important for all of the American people to know for sure that he was the properly elected president of the United States.

Him using a phrase like that smacks of typical Orwellian doublespeak.

Of course, no Republican will truly impress me until he or she starts using the "i" word.

IMPEACH HIM ALREADY!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

SECTARIAN VIOLENCE--But Is It Really??

So, we've been hearing it for MONTHS now. Iraq is descending into civil war. The idea is that the two major sects of Islam are turning against one another. We have been told that there has been centuries of resentment between the Shia and the Sunni and that it's now bubbling over in the form of Iraqi-On-Iraqi violence.

The thing is, I've heard interviews with regular folks in Iraq and they say that Sunni and Shia have always gotten along for the most part. Sure, they've had their disagreements and continue to, but for them to be fighting seems (no pun intended) overkill. I've heard interviews with Shias who were married to Sunnis as well as other people who actually say there is no sectarian violence--now, a few Sunni/Shia marriages don't mean that all of them get along, but going from a few "intersectual relationships" to sectarian civil war is quite a leap.

And why now? Why would they choose a time when Americans happen to be occupying the crap out of their country? I suppose they're taking advantage of the instability so that one side or the other has a better chance of ending up on top once the dust from the occupation clears.

Still, it seems odd, to me, that this is all happening now. I could be wrong, but I'm almost thinking that there is no sectarian violence and that it's actually insurgents who are killing Iraqis who are working with the occupation. Like any Iraqi who decides to become a cop or a soldier. I mean, when we hear about people being killed over there, we never really hear the reasoning. Like, who the victims were. I just heard on ABC's World News podcast from last night that those 60+ people who were found tortured and dead yesterday were killed in sectarian violence. My question is, how could they tell? Were they all wearing their team T-shirts?

So, I'm thinking that it's another case of the media taking the USGov's lead a bit too easily (again) and simply assuming it's sectarian because they have been told that. Of course the host of ABC's World News, Charlie Gibson, doesn't bother to use the phrase "authorities say that" in front of the phrase "60+ bodies have been found, victims of sectarian violence."

I mean, hell, the bodies showed signs of torture--that sounds more like the handiwork of the US, not of sectarianists.

And if there is a civil war brewing, who are they? Who is the head of either side? It's not that Al Sadr guy--he's playing along with the new Iraqi Gov, I thought.

See how it doesn't add up?

Maybe I just need to do more research. I wish I didn't have a dayjob and then I'd have time for more research... ah well. Back to data-entering!

Weeeeee!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

CASINO ROYALE (2006)

This pre-emptive review is based on the second trailer released for this film.

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Ah, like most action movie trailers, this one does psyched enough to want to see the movie. I've found the last couple of Bond films to be a bit forgetable, despite my fondness for Brosnan as Bond. However, I think Daniel Craig is brilliant casting and the trailer just reinforces that sentiment.


Technically any good? I'm concerned that the film will fall into a lot cliches--the trailer is littered with fairly unimaginative stunts and action sequences with just enough interesting morsels to make me think the rest of the film could be as interesting as those morsels. The acting looks spot-on across the board and the premise sounds in line with a classic Bond storyline. One of the stunts featured in the trailer really turned me off, though. Watch it for yourself and see if you can


How did it leave me feeling? As I mentioned earlier PSYCHED to see it. I'm hoping this "Bond reborn" will be a good thing. I still wish they'd just make all Bond movies period pieces and set them in the time period they were original written for--the early 1960s in the heyday of the Cold War. Still, this one could be good.


Final Rating? SIYL - I'm not confident enough to recommend it as a GSN film ("Go See Now"), so I'll say See If You Like this kind of film. I think it'll probably entertain us just fine. However, will it break new ground? We'll have to wait for November 17, 2006 to see for sure.

See the trailer for yourself [http://movies.aol.com/casino-royale-james-bond/exclusive-video-features|here].

65+ Dead In Iraq Today Alone

Yeah, we're really turning a corner in Iraq, all right! I'm sitting here in my cube at my temp gig and I'm listening to the podcast from DemocracyNow.Org. Just in the first few minutes Amy Goodman has reported on how Iraqi police found over 65 dead bodies in and around Baghdad today. Most, according to Goodman's report showed signs of gunshots and torture. Weeeee!

She went on to add that CNN has reported that US commanders in the region are secretly admitting that triple the current troop levels are needed on the ground in Iraq right now.

OH YEAH, and apparently the Taleban are so strong at this point, some in the Afghanistan region feel that the Taleban are bigger threats to regional peace than Al Qaeda. WHOOPS!

Ah, well, Bush meant well, so we should forgive him for messing up every single thing he's tried to do.

Hope you're having a lovely day!

Hope you're not in Iraq or Afghanistan!

BUSH HAS A HARD TIME CONNECTING IRAQ TO TERROR, TOO!

I'd like to thank [http://www.robthomasmusic.com/|Rob Thomas] for calling attention to a comment Bush made to Katie Couric during the interview with him that she ran on her innaugural flight on the CBS Evening News. Thomas was on [http://www.hbo.com/billmaher/episode/|Real Time with Bill Maher] last Friday and he pointed out the below quote (emphasis added by me):
Well, I mean that a defeat in Iraq will embolden the enemy and will provide the enemy – more opportunity to train, plan, to attack us. That's what I mean. There – it's – you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.


Oh, cool! So, it's not just us--Bush has trouble doing it, too! I feel so much better now!

Gotta love a media that doesn't pounce on a statement like that. Makes you wonder why they're getting paid.

Check out the entire transcript of the interview [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/09/06/five_years/main1979933.shtml|here] and the section that contains the above quote [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/09/06/five_years/main1980074.shtml|here].

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

ThePeteCast Episode 1 for week ending 9/9/6!

Ever find yourself wishing you had a bit more time in your day to swing by ThePete.Com? I thought so. :)

Well, here comes ThePeteCast which is basically an audio version of ThePete.Com. Check out the first, very barebones episode below. Topics covered include everything posted here at ThePete.Com between September 3 and 9, 2006.

Now you can have ThePete.Com goodness where ever you go with your mp3 player--SWEET!

http://www.archive.org/download/ThePeteCastEp0120060903-09/ThePeteCastep01.mp3

Subscribe to this and future episodes of ThePeteCast by pasting this URL into your podcatcher:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/thepetecast

Make sure to let me know what you think!! I CARE DAMMIT!!

BLACK DAHLIA (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Well, I am familiar with the director's previous work, so I know not to let a slick looking trailer convince me Brian DePalma's latest film will definitely be good. It looks like an interesting story, based on the true story of a brutal murder, but DePalma is to movies what tabloids are to newspapers. His films are often entertaining, but very sensationalized.


Technically any good? As trailers go, it really kept my attention, though I'm tired of all the fast cuts and gimmicky transitions. The movie looks like it could be good. However, I don't care for Josh Hartnett--he never seems all that alive to me. Not at all dynamic. I'll see this movie, but only because of the story.


How did it leave me feeling? Enthused to see the film. I hope it's good DePalma from his earlier days. If you are interested in some Hitchcockian thrills, check out Sisters and/or Body Double.


Final Rating? SIYL - This movie covers a very gruesome murder. I seriously doubt it'll be everyone's cup of tea. However, if you can get past the disturbing subject matter and a bit of gore, I bet you'll enjoy this movie.

The Black Dahlia opens here in the US on September 15, 2006. You can check the trailer out for yourself [http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/theblackdahlia/hd/|here].

Come See TheWife SING! (She's DAMN good!)

Live in Los Angeles? Want a night out with good food and great music?

Then go see DeMars & Rein at Sterlings Upstairs, above Vitello's in the Valley! The "Rein" in "DeMars and Rein" is TheWife and boy can she sing! (It's pronounced "rine", BTW.) The "DeMars" is her good friend and pianist, Matt DeMars. Together they make one helluva cabaret act, so if you've got $50 to spare and an empty stomach, go spend an hour this Friday or Saturday night at 8pm (seating begins at 7pm) SUPPORTING MY WIFE, DAMMIT!

No pressure or anything.

Just remember, this is live entertainment in a nice restaurant, so you're getting your money's worth!

Oh yeah, here's the official advert:

Click for more info on DeMars & Rein!


BE THERE!

Monday, September 11, 2006

ONE LAST 911 THING

Hey, so I was juuuust about to go to bed about 45 minutes ago when I made the 'mistake' of checking out DrudgeReport.Com. There, a most amazing video was linked to. It's this incredible footage from (I believe) the north of the WTC on 911 starting shortly after the first plane struck. It's not particularly gruesome or anything, but the footage is spectacular and it's not footage we've seen on the news 8000 times over--at least, I haven't.

Check it out below if you've got the time and don't mind reliving the event ONE MORE TIME... (I won't blame you if you don't want to watch it.)



Here's a link to the video's page on Revver.Com:

http://www.revver.com/view.php?id=59686

UPDATED 7:18am 9/12: Sorry--upon further brain usage, the footage is clearly taken more from the south.

HOLLYWOODLAND (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Definitely. I enjoyed it, though it did meander quite a bit.


Technically any good? There were pieces of the film I really loved. However, I think most people who see this film will find it slow. I found it slow, but interesting. I did have a problem with Affleck's make-up as his character ages--that is to say, his character didn't really age that much while in the real world, he aged quite a lot. I also found the locations (1950's LA) to look a bit too much like they'd look today and not enough like they'd look in the 1950s. Still, there was nothing technical, in the acting, script or direction that I had a problem with. Yes, I felt that Ben Affleck was really good as George Reeves. It was actually very solid casting for him.


How did it leave me feeling? Entertained and thoughtful. I actually think the filmmakers were trying to make a larger statement about truths that fall between the cracks of every day life. In that sense, it was a very good film.


Final Rating? SIYL - No explosions in this one, folks, but still a good film.

Happy 911-Day

Come on, let's be honest! In another thirty years, 911-day will be a holiday and we'll get the Monday before 911 off and we'll spend that day at the barbecue, cookin' up some brats!!

The actual dead will be long forgotten.

The fact that 5 years after 911 the guy the USG says was behind the attacks still isn't in custody will be forgotten, too.

The fact that nearly as many Americans have died in Iraq as died on 911 is something most of us will never know (source).

In thirty years we'll have forgotten all about how a handful of men took our freedoms away and blamed extremist muslims to get away with it.

In three decades, America will have moved on and will have an impossible time remembering what it was like before George W. Bush introduced us all to pre-emptive war.

Ah, what the hell? Break out the brats now, dammit! It's not like any of us really care about human lives.

Happy 911-Day!

Friday, September 8, 2006

ISRAELIS KNOW THEY LOST

So, [http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-08-14-voa40.cfm|Bush and Olmert think Israel won the recent war] that Israel waged against Lebanon who had "attacked" Israel in the form of kidnapping two Israeli soldiers (the Hezbo rockets came later). That's funny because [http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/08/25/olmert.reut/index.html|an August 25, 2006 article] CNN.com cites a poll taken of Israeli citizens that found sixty-three percent of them think their prime minister, Olmert, should resign over his handling of the Israelebanon crisis.

Seems like a reasonably powerful country ganging up on a democracy with such crappy weapons technology that they can't even fire guided missiles at Israel, isn't so popular among the "threatened" people of Israel.

Of course that shit ROCKS over here in the US of A!

We LOVE being the Goliath and knocking the piss out of an Iraqi David.

NOW if we could get sixty-three percent of Israelis to disapprove of that whole "Palestinian Occupation" thing, we'll be in business!

Thursday, September 7, 2006

KING GEORGE SAYS SECRET PRISONS CLOSED... YEAH, RIGHT

I think, at this point, we can pretty much safely assume that everything Bush says is a lie. At the very least, we know everything he says is wrong.

The latest is that all of the sudden, these secret prisons that the CIA was running are suddenly real--he'd never confirmed what we've known for years because somehow the "evildoers" knowing that he admitted secret prisons were real would some how help said "evildoers."

Yeah, it makes that much sense.

And it's all shit, you know. Bush is now saying those secret prisons are now closed.

Thing is, if they're secret, how do we know they're closed?

Other thing is, Bush was lying about them all this time, why do we assume he is not lying about them now?

My God, are the Republicans that spineless and the Democrats that entrenched in their corrupt ways that neither can see their way to impeaching the lying bastard?

Republicans=spineless
Democrats=corrupt

Damn, I think I have that switched.

Like it matters...

All I have to say to the Bush lovers, or even the vaguely Bush likers is this:

Clinton lied under oath about oral sex and got impeached by the House.

Bush has continuously lied for years and is getting away with it.

It's only fair and it has nothing to do with partisanship--this time.

Man, I'm just tired of the lies. Republicans saying the war is going well or that they're all about "accountability" makes me seriously nauseous.

I'm tired of listening to reporters (even good reporters) not asking the (obvious but) tough questions. I'm tired of reporters failing to challenge this whole imaginary war on terror.

I heard a story the other day about a study done that said Al Qaeda now has 50,000 people in it. That's up 30,000 from before the Iraq Attack. Even the new and improved Al Qaeda is TINY compared to the Soviet Army during its heyday.

SO WHY THE FUCK ARE WE ALL SO SCARED OF AL QAEDA???

WHY IS AMERICA FULL OF PUSSIES??

I know the answer. It's because the majority of us are too lazy and greedy to actually risk anything by standing up to this fascism.

Just think how much medical care $400 billion could have paid for. How many hungry Americans could that money have fed? How many diseases could that money have cured? If we let Al Qaeda run wild, how many people would they kill? Another 3000? One million? How many lives could a cure for cancer save? Way more than one million.

Too bad no one ever bothers to think.

We might actually get some of our real problems solved.

/rant

SCIENCE OF SLEEP (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? From the same director as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (which I didn't care for), this film looks like it captures the same kind of magic and fun that Eternal had, so I'm looking forward to this film.


Technically any good? Acting-wise, it looks well done. The trailer shows off some good actors but how they are directed I couldn't tell. FX-wise, the movie looks incredible. A mix between stop-motion and CG with incredible sets and costumes for the dream sequences. While it's not my cup of tea subject-matter-wise, I do hope I can get myself to the theater to see this film--it looks like something you shouldn't miss on the big screen.


How did it leave me feeling? Fascinated and somewhat interested in seeing the movie. Again, not my cup of tea, but it looks like a lot of thought-provoking fun.


Final Rating? RTV - just being honest. If there's nothing else out that I want to see on the big screen, I'll probably check this movie out, but, I know myself. Odds are, this kind of movie will fall behind the Babels and The Last King of Scotlands.

THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP opens September 22, 2006, is directed by Michel Gondry and stars Gael García Bernal. You can check the trailer out [http://www.apple.com/trailers/warner_independent_pictures/thescienceofsleep/hd/|here].

THE BAD KIND OF URANIUM FOUND IN IRAN

I'm sure most right-wingers who visit ThePete.Com think I'm some hippie-leftie-pinko-commie-type. I hate Bush, I'm against the Iraq Attack and I think women should have the right to choose what they do with their bodies (although I think certain types of abortions are taking a human life). All of those things add up to gay guy, I guess.

Of course, the reason I bring this up is to point out how balanced I really am. As the title of this post suggests, they found uranium in Iran. "They" is the International Atomic Energy Agency and they, according to [http://upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060901-070212-4100r|a September 1, 2006 article] at www.UPI.com:
The International Atomic Energy Agency told the U.N. Security Council its inspectors have found new traces of enriched uranium in Iran.


Now, this is not the low level kind of uranium used in an energy production-type situation--this is higher level stuff that the article suggests is used in nuke weapons. Here's a bit more from the article:
The country has insisted that its nuclear program is aimed only at producing energy, a task that would use uranium enriched at much lower levels than that found by the IAEA inspectors.


So, they don't say it's for WMD, but that's clearly, and understandably, a concern. What I want to know is why hasn't this story been all over Fox News? This UPI article was posted a week ago and--hell, this could be considered a smoking gun for the Bush Admin.

Why isn't this news?

I don't get it...

So, don't any of you conservative-types say that I'm some leftie-loser when I blog about evidence that would help Bush and Company along on their warpath to attack Iran.

I'm interested in truth and the truth I want to know is why isn't this a bigger story??

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

LAST KING OF SCOTLAND (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Wow, does this movie look good. I always get so excited when I see a trailer for a movie that deals with politics, culture AND historical events!! It's a smart movie-goer's paradise film!!


Technically any good? Based on the life of Idi Amin's personal physician, it follows the doctor's introduction to Amin and his eventual genocidal acts in Uganda. The film is shot in digital (I think) so it looks very grainy and "real". Like a documentary film. Now it co-stars Gillian Anderson (Scully from The X-Files) and she's really good. I am mad for the acting skillz of Forest Whitaker who I believe is incredible in just about everything I've ever seen him in--he plays Amin. SWEET.


How did it leave me feeling? Giddy like a schoolboy. I can't wait another 24 days to see this film!! SMART MOVIES! WAHOO!!!

THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND opens on September 27, 2006 and you can check out the trailer for yourself [http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox_searchlight/thelastkingofscotland/hd/|here].

NUREMBERG PROSECUTOR: BUSH SHOULD FACE WAR CRIMES CHARGES

Check it out--a guy who helped convict a whole stack of Nazis post-WWII says George W. Bush should be tried for war crimes. His name is Benjamin Ferencz and he's putting Bush right next to Saddam. Here's a quote from [http://us.oneworld.net/article/view/138319/1/|an August 25, 2006 article] at Us.OneWorld.Net:
"Nuremberg declared that aggressive war is the supreme international crime," the 87-year-old Ferencz told OneWorld from his home in New York. He said the United Nations charter, which was written after the carnage of World War II, contains a provision that no nation can use armed force without the permission of the UN Security Council.


Of course, [http://thepete.com/uns-annan-iraq-attack-illegal/|I've blogged on this before] and even did [http://thepete.com/the-5-minute-show-episode-11/|an episode of the 5 Minute Show] about the invasion of Iraq being illegal according to international law. Still, it's nice to hear experts agree with me. :D

Hey, I just realized something. This is another [http://thepete.com/PROOF-OF-ARBUSTO-FAMILY-NAZI-CONNECTION-no-really|connection the Bushes have to Nazis!] Cool! (Well, not really "cool," but, you know what I mean.)

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

5 Years On, Check Out Bin Laden's Wanted Poster

As September 11, 2006 approaches I thought it would be nice to have a look at the FBI's wanted poster of the man the United States Government says killed 3000 people five years ago this month.

Now, this is pretty funny--a minor criticism to be sure, but it seems odd that this thing wouldn't be updated more than once since 911. What's even more funny is that this thing doesn't even mention anything about being wanted for anything he may have done on September 11, 2001. Perhaps the USG doesn't have enough evidence to arrest him?

Anyway, have a gander at this screengrab I snagged on September 3, 2006:



You can check out ObL's wanted page at FBI.gov by going here:

http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten/fugitives/laden.htm

Or download a PDF of the wanted poster from [http://www.fbi.gov/filelink.html?file=/wanted/topten/fugitives/laden.pdf|the FBI website] or from [http://thepete.com/uploads/oblfbiwanted.pdf|right here at TP.C].

So busy invading other countries that they forgot to update ObL's wanted page!

TERRORISM PROSECUTIONS A JOKE

Apparently, based on the amount of terrorists being convicted, we're back to pre-911 levels. The world is normal again. Of course, don't let Bush, Cheney and Rummy here this, but [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/03/AR2006090300768.html|a September 4, 2006 article] at WashingtonPost.Com is reporting that not much is geting done in the "taking terrorists off the streets" front--but don't assume I'm telling the truth, check out this clip from the above-linked article:
Justice Department prosecutions of international terrorism cases, which surged in volume after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, have nearly returned to the levels seen prior to the hijackings, according to an independent analysis of government data released yesterday.

The study of data by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), an affiliate of Syracuse University in New York, also showed that as many as nine out of 10 terrorism investigations do not result in prosecutions, that most charges are not related to terrorism and that only about a third of those prosecuted end up in prison.


In short, ninety percent of the people the USG thinks are terrorists aren't according to the justice system, here, in the United States.

More evidence that terrorism is NOT a threat to us in the least.

Thank you, and good day...

Monday, September 4, 2006

STEVEN IRWIN R.I.P.

Well, I always thought Irwin was a bit of a freak, but you have to admire a man who loves his work as much as he did. Sure, he was reckless letting his kid get close to that croc while feeding the croc, but everyone does stupid crap in their life if they really live. And Irwin really did live and he died doing what he loved.

Rest In Peace...

Read more about Irwin's death in [http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/steve-irwin-killed-by-stingray/2006/09/04/1157222051512.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1|a September 4, 2006 article] from http://SMH.Com.au (the website for the Sydney Morning Herald) or this [http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20355112-601,00.html|September 5, 2006 article] at http://TheAustralian.News.Com.au.

LOLITA (1962)

[asin: B00005ATQH]
Positive Experience/Entertaining? Are you kidding? It's KUBRICK! Of COURSE it was entertaining!


Technically any good? As with Dr. Strangelove, this is one of those rare films I have seen many times but still never get bored of it. Nor can I find much (if anything) I'd have done differently. Acting is spot-on and Shelley Winters is remarkably good at making us feel bad for her while simultaneously hating her. And of course, any heterosexual male who doesn't want to have sex with Sue Lyon isn't being honest with himself.


How did it leave me feeling? Depressed, but very entertained, as usual. This film is a great mirror to just about any time period where humans are involved because it's all about men being weasels and being moral and "proper" until it comes to their own behavior. If you like laughing at what's wrong with our society, this is a movie for you.


Final Rating? SIYL - See If You Like--this is not a movie for the faint of heart. While not as sexually graphic as the remake (directed poorly by Adrian Lynne) it's still got some pretty heavy and morally questionable material. It's a dark comedy for thinking adults.

BIG BROTHER IN BRITAIN: HE KNOWS YOUR TRASH!

OK, this may not be the great smoking gun that proves Big Brother is now watching us, but you have to admit, it's pretty strange that Brittons would find RFID tags in their garbage cans. Check out this clip from [http://www.engadget.com/2006/08/28/rfid-bugs-found-in-the-bottom-of-british-wheelie-bins/|an August 28, 2006 post] at Engadget.com:
Apparently without the citizenry's knowledge, two German companies, including Sulo and Deister Electronic, are mostly responsible for installing these bugs in cities north of London. For shame, sirs, for shame! The Daily Mail reports that the little buggers (which we assume use RFID) transmit info to the central company database on how full the bins are each time they're lifted by a garbage truck.


This function I can COMPLETELY understand because knowing how heavy the trash cans are can help SO MUCH.

Of course, what I'd like to know is HOW that intel info can help garbage collection companies. Also, doesn't the cost of the chips outweigh the benefits?

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Another BIG AL QAEDA ARREST in Iraq (OH and the Taleban are Kicking Our Ass)

So, according to [http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/09/03/iraq.main/index.html|this September 3, 2006 article] at CNN.com:
Al Qaeda's number two operative in Iraq, Hamed Juma Faris al-Suaidi, has been arrested,


Does this mean all the killing in Iraq will stop?

Nope.

Does this mean we've found Iraqi WMD?

HELL, nope.

Does this mean there's some story that makes Bush look like an idiot out there that this AQ arrest story will distract us from?

[http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/03/world/asia/03cnd-afghan.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin|YUP].

Turns out those Muslim extremists, known as the Taleban, over in Afghanistan that Bush said were vanquished are still putting up quite a fight.

Fancy that...

CHOICEPOINT MESSING AROUND IN KATRINA

Hey, so, you may remember that whole thing back in 2000--the presidential election--you know, when Florida was for Gore before it was for Bush? Yeah, that thing. Well, in the months and years after 2000, journalist Greg Palast went digging and discovered a data gathering and mining corporation called Choicepoint had been hired by the state of Florida to purge the state's vote rolls of felons. The thing is, they did a shit job of it and threw out, according to Palast, 93,000 voters, most of them black.

Does this make the news in the US? No--they call Palast a conspiracy theorist. However, he does get his books published and, oh yeah, the BBC hires him to report for them. In the US, you can only here and see him on leftie-libbie news like Democracy Now. Regardless, Choicepoint remained in the background, a company who's name most Americans still don't know.

Flashforward a few years and [http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/12/146201&mode=thread&tid=25|Palast finds] that Choicepoint was involved in gathering up a goodly chunk of information on Mexico's voters--which is all of them since it's against the law to not vote in Mexico. It's also illegal for anyone outside the Mexican government to possess Mexican voter information records. The theory is that they gave the info to Calderon and Fox, both friends of Bush (they're both in the same party, too).

Combine that with the fact that Choicepoint was fined $15 million by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) for literally handing over information on 163,000 Americans to con-artists who simply pretended to be clients of theirs. (Source: [http://www.wired.com/news/politics/privacy/0,71622-0.html?tw=wn_index_2|this August 21, 2006 article] at Wired.com.)

How ironic, then, that Choicepoint, according to [http://choicepoint.com/choicepoint/news.nsf/1e81a178107b63b18525687f005493a7/11b953a16cd22e04852570880051f717?OpenDocument|a September 13, 2005 press release] at [http://choicepoint.com/|their website], is handling fraud prevention to make sure that people claiming to be Katrina victims are Katrina victims.

And we all know that there hasn't been ANY Katrina-related fraud since Choicepoint hit the scene in September of 2005... oh wait... [http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=5360030&nav=2CSf|there] [http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060903/NEWS/609030370/1001/news|have] [http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,,-6043808,00.html|been] [http://www.katc.com/Global/story.asp?S=5328515|a few] cases. :)

Let's hope Choicepoint is going to help with the 2006 and 2008 elections--I'm just SURE every thing will go really well if they do!!

Oooo, perhaps they'll help in the War Against Terror, too!


>shudder<

Friday, September 1, 2006

BABEL (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? It looks great. Like a Syriana.


Technically any good? The movie follows three stories in three different parts of the world and the title suggests that the stories parallel, in some way, the story of the tower of Babel. That's where mankind was one giant civilization that got punished by God for thinking they could reach heaven without God's help, via this tower, so he smashed the tower and split everyone up to different corners of the world and made it so they couldn't understand each other. The trailer makes the film look tightly edited, well acted and very intense.


How did it leave me feeling? Excited to see it. I love smart movies that deal with culture and politics in a realistic manner. Hopefully, people won't be too scared of that subject matter and will actually see the film.


Final Rating? SOON - See On Opening Night

BABEL Opens in limited release in the US on October 27, 2006 and you check out the trailer for yourself [http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount_vantage/babel/|here].