Thursday, July 31, 2008
Most of these guys are getting pretty in-depth, but they're still not quite getting to the meat of what I think we really need to know.
We've all heard about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac getting bailed out by the USG (followed by two more banks in California) but no one is pointing out some very interesting details.
So, it's all because of the sub-prime mortgage scandal, right?
Banks went hog-wild handing out loans/cash to people who couldn't pay them back.
Think about that for a moment.
Cash was handed to people with bad credit or no credit, without a job, or without obvious means to pay the cash back with interest.
Several things bother me about this equation:
1) Who was dumb enough to let banks regulate themselves? This can't be "a few bad apples" if trillions of USD are at risk.
2) Why is the news not talking about WHY these people are not suitable to loan money to in the first place? What did these people do wrong? Shouldn't we be working to solve the problems of these people having bad credit or crappy paying jobs?
3) Where the hell did the banks get all this mad money to give to people? Seriously--from investors? TRILLIONS of dollars ALL from investors who were too stupid to research where their money would go?
Think about this now:
a) You get a job. You receive your first paycheck of (a purely hypothetical) $100.
b) You go to the bank and deposit it.
c) The bank then loans your $100 to Person B so they can start a business.
d) Person B hires Person C, who then gets his first paycheck of $100. He deposits it in the bank.
e)The bank then loans out $100 to Person D who is starting a business.
Do you see the problem here? The money just goes in circles and each time it makes the cycle we pretend the $100 is a brand new $100. So, just in the five steps above, a mythical $200 is created from nothing and inserted into the economy.
Your original $100 is still there, in the bank, but really, it isn't. It's been loaned out. Sure, if you withdraw it, you can get it back, but it's really not yours, it's someone else's money that hasn't been loaned out yet. If that other person comes looking to withdraw their $100, that's when you have some problems.
We saw these problems recently in California and what most of the press I've seen hasn't reported is that we saw all of this happen before in the UK when, last December, there was a run on Northern Rock, the UK's fifth biggest bank. It had succumbed to its own sub-prime mortgage choices and its customers panicked.
This is a screencap of a Telegraph article dated December 23, 2007, essentially predicting tough times ahead (click to enlarge). So, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard could see the future--why didn't someone do something to help us avoid it?
But why were the banks so eager to give money to people who couldn't pay it back? Why were they so blind to the problems that would obviously be caused by the practice?
The answer is profits--they wanted them. As much as possible. In the case of sub-primes, the interest rates were hiked so that the banks could make more money in the short term, while betting that in the long term, the borrowers would be able to pay the money back.
What if they couldn't?
The good answer is that the bankers had a plan. The plan was to sell the debts to other people as investment opportunities.
"See Person F? He owes us $100. He bought a house and he's paying twenty-percent interest on the loan each year. You pay me $110 now and all of his interest payments are yours."
I'm simplifying, of course, but the basic plan was just like that. Investors pay bankers and the bankers make that money plus any payments they've already gotten from the borrower. Meanwhile, the risk is now transfered to investors and away from the bankers. Good plan, huh? Of course it was--and it worked--for a while. Ultimately, however, it led to disaster.
But let's jump back to my little 5-step model.
When you got paid that first $100, that money was worth $100. Then, two steps later, with two new sets of $100 injected into the economy, the supply of dollars is now larger, in theory. Under the law of supply and demand, more supply equals lower price. So, the same $100 you still have in the bank is worth less than it was when you were paid it because the other two sets of $100es now exist, as well.
This is what I'm wrestling with.
All of these $100es need to be paid back to the bank with interest, right? Even that first $100 you got from your boss he got as a loan the bank gave him (or perhaps it was from "profits" he got from selling products and services--that money, in turn coming from customers who got loans or payments from bosses, etc, etc).
So, here's where I am right now:
1) How does the interest ever get paid back?
2) Where do profits come from?
3) With every loan that is given in the real world, it seems like every dollar should drop in value.
Think about how much it would have cost to buy a house in the 1930s. According to the dollar amount, alone, it would have been insanely cheaper than it is today. Yet, aside from technological and safety advances, a house is largely built the same way now, in 2008 as it was in 1938.
This difference is explained away by the term "inflation" and "inflation" describes exactly this process--Webster's defines the word this way: " a continuing rise in the general price level usually attributed to an increase in the volume of money and credit relative to available goods and services." (source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inflation )
Yet, inflation never goes down. If you think it does, I'm afraid you're mistaken--it's the rate of inflation that can go down.
Essentially, the way our banking system is designed, the dollar will go down in value forever, endlessly. There may be brief rises in comparison to other currencies, but as far as I can tell, the dollar is doomed to drop--forever.
So, here we are in August of 2008, and just in the past few weeks we've seen five of the biggest banks in the US get bailed-out by the USG. Just two days ago, King George "quietly" signed a mortgage bill that would help the little people (the borrowers) keep their homes (source: http://is.gd/1biO ). According to the above-linked article: "The measure includes $300 billion in new loan authority for the government to back cheaper mortgages for troubled homeowners; $3.9 billion for communities to fix up foreclosed properties causing blight in neighborhoods; and $15 billion in tax cuts, including an expanded low-income housing tax credit and a credit of up to $7,500, to be repaid, for some first-time home buyers."
The article also states that George was originally going to veto the thing.
Yep, it's just that bad. Even the Decider has to change his mind.
The thing is, by saving banks that screwed the pooch and handing cash to homeowners who are short on it, are any problems really being solved here?
If my basic understanding about how banking works is accurate, aren't these just Band-Aids on a dying man?
Isn't our basic system just a bad idea from the beginning?
Think about it--where does profit come from?
It MUST come from one of two places:
1) Somewhere else--your pocket or someone else's.
2) It is created from nothing--and when this happens, the value of all other money goes down.
So, in the end, just what the fuck is going on here?
Now, I know that there are all sorts of excuses out there to wish away what I'm talking about. There are quite literally money magicians who talk about stocks, bonds, treasury bills, investments, futures, and about a thousand other obscure-sounding concepts. We've got foreign investors who spend their own mystery money to buy our money. We've got entire nations "loaning" our economy money.
And I've tried to get my brain around a good number of these ideas and I'm afraid I just couldn't see how any of them would change the complete and utter fallibility of my little 5-Step model, above.
Whether it's countries loaning countries money or people loaning it to people, the structure is still propping up the same, horribly flawed system--at least, to my eyes.
My ears, on the other hand, are open if anyone can explain this to me in a way that makes sense.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Hey, I'm an Atheist, after all. What am I going to do, happily swallow it when Christians shove their faith down my throat? They can dish it, but can they take it? We'll see:
You never know when God is going to bless you!!
Well, unless he's rude, I'd hope he'd do it after I sneeze.
Good things happen when you least expect them !!!
And sometimes when you totally expect them, too! Like the birth of babies, the end of the Bush Administration (January 20, 2009!! WAHOO!), or, like, when you actually plan to do something good! You know you can take actual control of your life and plan to do good things every day of your life. Pretty cool, huh?
Dear Lord, I thank You for this day,
Yeah, because, like what ELSE were you going to do? Like you've got other universes to mess with?
(You're not cheating on us, are you?)
I thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning
Oh, DEFINITELY, God! I mean, you not inexplicably making me blind and deaf while I slept? That was SO COOL OF YOU TO NOT DO!!
And thanks for not robbing me of my other senses, too. I dig those a lot, as well.
I'm blessed because You are a forgiving God and an understanding God.
And only occasionally give cancer to family members when I masturbate. I really appreciate the reminder that masturbation is wrong. (Sorry about causing your cancer, grandpa! Well, you're dead, what do you care now?)
You have done so much for me and You keep on blessing me.
Actually, you've missed quite a few sneezes over the years. Plus I had another family member get cancer last year and I'd cut waaay back on my masturbation. Not fair.
Forgive me this day for everything I have done, said or thought that was not pleasing to you.
Yes, if I upset you in anyway, please don't make me blind and/or deaf while I sleep or give me or my family members cancer, or orchestrate any traffic accidents I may witness today so that they will somehow wrap themselves around me. I REALLY appreciate you keeping me out of traffic accidents. (Of course, my own actions might have something to do with that, what with me not owning a car and taking the subway everywhere and looking both ways before crossing the street.)
I ask now for Your forgiveness.
Uhhh, I do?
I don't remember committing any sins lately.
Well, I did masturbate this morning. :)
Please keep me safe from all danger and harm.
And late-night bouts of blind-and-deafness.
Help me to start this Day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude.
Actually, I'm down with that. Though, I'm more thankful that the universe functions the (quite random) way it does. You know, that way that randomly allowed us to exist at all, instead of being space dust. That's pretty cool.
Of course, it could all end in an instant when an asteroid slams into us. But that's part of the bizarre universe we live in--er--I mean--the Magic of the Lord.
Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind so that I can hear from You.
Uhhh, God hasn't spoken to me since I was 12 when he told me "I don't exist!"
All right, to be honest, I told him that he didn't exist because it would be stupid and impractical if he did. I remember the day clearly. I was in Sunday school and the teacher told me that God was all around us. I thought that was ridiculous and raised my hand. She called on me and I pointed to the middle of the table I was sitting at. "So, God is right there?"
"Yes," was her response.
"Why?" was mine. I went on: "That's stupid. Why would he be in the middle of this table?"
Since then, I've had momentary lapses of my lack of faith, but in the end, logic, facts and evidence always win out. When I see something that makes me honestly believe there's a God of any kind, I'll let ya know. But I digress...
Please broaden my mind that I can accept all things.
Wait--all things?? Like slavery and war and crime and bigotry and other really bad things? I'm going to go on faith ;) that these are not the things that the prayer is referring to.
That said, this I'm all for, but I think that only I can do this for myself. How is some deity (even if he does exist) going to help me accept gays and blacks and gun control and other things the Christian church stereotypically hates? I think it makes more sense for me to simply examine where these types of hate and fear come from and decide for myself if such causes merit such hate and fear.
Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over.
Like God? :P
Yeah, because complaining about government response to natural disasters is just STUPID (yet, clearly, we citizens have no control over what our government does, sadly).
And give the best response when I'm pushed beyond my limits.
Again, isn't this entirely up to the individual? The individual has everything it needs to triumph--even according to Christian cliche's like "God doesn't put anything more on your shoulders than they can bear."
So, what do we need God's help for if he doesn't stick us with anything we can't deal with?
I know that when I can't pray, You listen to my heart.
Wow, and I thought Big Brother was bad!
Continue to use me to do Your will.
WAIT! So, masturbation is part of God's Plan after all?? AWESOME!!
Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others Keep me strong that I may help the weak...
Yeah, because like, once again, I can't do that on my own? Why do I need to ask permission to be a good person? Why can't I just decide to do it on my own? You know, take responsibility for my own actions?
Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others.
Actually, I'd like to rephrase this:
Please stop giving my family members cancer. You won't give me cancer because I eat really well, don't smoke and general keep myself in good health. But please, lay off my family. You've been shitty enough to them. I mean, you know, if you exist. (And BTW, my family are Believers in You.)
I pray for those that are lost and can't find their way.
Actually, I pray that those that are lost find a GPS. My new iPhone has GPS and I never get lost anymore, it's AWESOME.
I pray for those that are misjudged and misunderstood.
Meh, it happens to all of us at some point. It's a flaw in that whole "spoken language" thing. If You would just give us Mental Telepathy, God, we'd probably achieve world peace in like 5 minutes. But you know, I guess, us misjudging and misunderstanding each other is much more fun for you to watch--or something.
Say, why the hell did you create us, anyway? Is this just some sick fun you're having? Watching the middle class dwindle, home owners get foreclosed, Palestinians get occupied, Israelis get blown up in pizza parlors, African kids get soldierized, polar bears get extinct, women get raped, people dying of cancer and bombs and bullets, it all must be pretty damned entertaining to you to let it go on for so long.
I pray for those who don't know You intimately.
Eewww!! I don't want to know God THAT way!! That's gross!! Besides, I'm married! What would my wife think??
I pray for those that don't believe.
Why? What's wrong with us? Why do we need Your Help, God?
But I thank you that I believe that God changes people and God changes things.
So, wait--I'm supposed to thank God that I believe he does things?
That makes no sense.
Like, I'm supposed to thank the lawn mower for my belief that it will cut the grass.
I pray for all my sisters and brothers.
Man, how big a family am I supposed to have?
Isn't there enough pressure on the world's resources already?
I pray for each and every family member in their households.
...I pray that they will win the lottery and remember me. :D
I pray for peace, love, and joy in their homes.
But screw those Iraqis. Saddam was insane. We HAD to invade!!
I pray that they are out of debt and all their needs are met.
Because debt is a work of Satan.
Actually, that part probably is true. ;)
Though I think it's HILARIOUS that the word "debt" sneaks into a prayer to God.
I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than God.
If that's true, why do we have to believe in Him? If a planet full of nonbelievers is a smaller problem than God, why does it matter if we believe or not?
Really, Christians, you seriously need to stop presenting arguments that have more holes in them than Bush's reasoning for invading Iraq.
Every battle is in Your hands for You to fight.
Whew! Here I thought I would have to take personal responsibility for something! I sure am glad I can just say God lost the fight, not me!! :D
I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees it.
"...the hearts of every eye"?? What the hell does this mean?
"I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees it"???
God, please grant your believers a better grasp of their own language. Far be it from me to cast the first stone (I am a grammar sinner, as well) but writing like this just makes Your People look like they don't care enough to proofread.
If you prayed this prayer, change the number in the subject box before forwarding the message so people can See how many people have done so.
...because God loves it when you brag about how much work you do for Him. o_O
God Bless You!!!!!
WOW--how did you know I just sneezed?
MAYBE THERE IS A GOD!! O_O
Just repeat this phrase and see how God moves!!
God, I love you and I need you.
Come into my heart, please.
Uhhhh, I don't see any movement at all.
I think your prayer might be broken.
Is it still under warranty? Can you take it back to Best Believer and have the God Squad repair it?
I mean, I can do that with any of the things I use to learn and grow and be a better person. If my computer craps out on me I take it back to the store and they fix it.
Science is neat that way.
If you go back to your priest or minister and complain that God didn't move, you'll just be told that he did, you just have to look for his movement.
Imagine getting that reply from the guy at the Geek Squad at Best Buy.
"Actually, sir, your laptop does work."
"No, it doesn't. The screen won't come on."
"That doesn't work. You just have to look more closely."
I'd take my laptop to another store, just like I took my soul away from the Church and into my own, rational hands.
I like to take responsibility for myself and my actions. I don't choose to absolve myself of all guilt and responsibility when things don't go my way or when I screw up. Yes, it's probably harder for me that way, but, you know, at least I'm not lying to myself.
God will bless you.
YeeeeNo, he won't.
Know that you are already blessed by the person who sent this to you.
So, regular people can bless? So, the next time I hear someone sneeze, I can say something like: "Steve bless you" or "Sally bless you"?
Wait--this last part of the prayer sounds like the writer is congratulating themselves.
"Be glad in knowing that someone was so cool as to send you this prayer. Aren't they awesome?"
OK, kids. Here's what seems to really be going on.
There's a lot of shit in the universe we just don't get.
Scary, fucked up, wrong-ass shit.
You could die while you're reading this.
POP could go a blood vessel in your brain and POOF you don't make it back from your lunch break.
It's scary to contemplate this, I understand.
Believing in an entity that controls all of this is a massive security blanket. By believing you can appeal to a power greater than your own, for beneavolance and good fortune, you have hope where you might not, otherwise.
Likewise, belonging to a church allows you to experience that Cheerio Effect. You know how the last few Cheerios in the bowl seem to always cling together? That's what churches and other religions are for. You feel lonely and scared to be in the big bowl of milk by yourself, so, you cling to others of your own kind and everything's cool.
Of course, ultimately, the Spoon of Death (SoD) will come for each and every remaining Cheerio.
Pray to God All You Want and you won't live forever (nor will you get into heaven because there isn't one).
However, put your trust in science, facts, and learning, and you just might find a cure for everything that kills us.
While George W. Bush has been busy fighting the forces of Evil in the middle east, he could have been spending that trillion dollars on finding a cure for cancer or AIDS.
But no, Bush wages his "crusade" against "evil doers" and believes God has put himself in the White House (actually, it was the Supreme Court).
Meanwhile, you are trusting that God will sort it out.
Got any family members or friends who are dying of a disease, virus or from injuries? Yeah, that's God's fault, isn't it? He could save them, couldn't he? Remember, no problem is bigger than God, so he's choosing to let that family member or friend die.
He works in mysterious ways.
Or, it could be that the universe just isn't fair sometimes.
Which is easier to accept?
That God is a prick? Or that sometimes, life just sucks?
I'll take the latter. The former would breed confusion and hatred.
You can keep believing prayer works. I'll keep believing that if we can just stop bombing other countries we might be able to solve some serious problems facing America and humanity at large.
That's a question I've asked many times of anti-war folks. Usually I just get the answer "it's obvious!" or "You really think we'd be in Iraq if there wasn't oil there?"
Of course, they're right, but what really connects Cheney to a oil-motivation?
Well, for once, a person quoting the blood-for-oil argument (BOA) actually had some evidence to back it up. The above screencap is part of it. And what's really messed up about this is that the above screencap comes from a press release dated July 17, *2003* (see the original page here: http://www.judicialwatch.org/…d-pr.shtml ).
Now, maybe I missed it in the cacophony of crap the Bush Administration was puulling at the time (back in July of '03 we'd only been in Iraq for four months). Regardless, what Judicial Watch found is downright damning.
If you look at the above cap, you'll see that they say: "Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under court order as a result of Judicial Watchâ€™s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as 2 charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and â€œForeign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.â€ The documents, which are dated March 2001, are available on the Internet at: www.JudicialWatch.org."
Yeah, that's right, *before* 911, Cheney was eyeing maps of oilfields in Iraq. Why would Cheney need to know where oil was in Iraq while planning for America's energy future? Sure, we could give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was just learning as much as he could about "our energy partner in the middle east," or some such crap they might spew to excuse maps being there (and not just say charts of oil output and other less visual aids), but after all that has happened, I can't imagine that he was doing anything but looking at those maps and thinking "yeah, we gotta secure that shit."
Especially considering the growing concern in 2001 that the world's peak oil limit might be approaching. "Peak Oil" is the theory that the Earth will produce more and more oil until it begins to run out--production will peak--then, we, as a planet, will start to run out and prices will climb. That last bit sounds familiar, doesn't it?
I heard about this theory for the first time in 2003, I believe. There was a December 2000 talk given by an oil expert called CJ Campbell, a guy who worked for oil companies, helping them find oil. You'd assume he'd be aware of just how much oil was left on the planet. (You can read a blog post I wrote about it here: http://thepete.com/…o-run-out/ )
So, there Cheney was, just a few months after Campbell's talk, chatting over energy policy with maps of oil fields in Iraq--before the 911 Attacks, before invading Afghanistan, before invading Iraq.
Am I reading into things? Maybe. But I can't help but wonder why Cheney and friends would withhold these maps from Judicial Watch when they first asked for them in April of 2001. Check out something else from the above screencapped press release: "Judicial Watch has been seeking these documents under FOIA since April 19, 2001. Judicial Watch was forced to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch Inc. v. Department of Energy, et al., Civil Action No. 01-0981) when the government failed to comply with the provisions of the FOIA law. U.S. District Court Judge Paul J. Friedman ordered the government to produce the documents on March 5, 2002."
So, in 2002, a judge ruled that effectively Cheney had violated the law by keeping these documents from JW. I wonder why they would have done that.
Shades of things to come.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
http://stealingamericathemovie.org/ ) to see if the movie is playing in your area.
If it is, please go see it! Most of the footage from Daily Show, MSNBC and some of the clips from CNN I supplied.
If not, please check back to that site periodically to see when the DVD will be available. Or just watch this space as I'll be sure to make a big deal about it when it does come out on home video. :)
The long version: A couple years back I was contacted by Oscar nominated documentarian, Dorothy Fadiman (http://www.imdb.com/…nm0264936/ ), regarding any news footage I may have recorded during the election mess from 2000 and 2004. I believe in documenting big events by recording news coverage, so I happened to have a nice little library from 2004 and a few clips from 2000, which I sent out to her as she needed them over the following years.
Finally, she's finished it up and it will be screening at certain theaters across the country before it is made available on DVD.
Our election system is broken and this film shows you how. Please support this movie. Thanks!!
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterz. Replies.
I found this pretty damn surprising. If true, it would mean that, put it simply, the capitalist model (vs. the "socialist" one everyone says is bad) delivers crappier health care for most people and costs more, as well.
Our leaders are *seriously* letting us down, it would seem. (In another way, I mean.)
Of course, the irony after you get past CBS actually covering this kind of story is that the people hoping to citizen's arrest Rove ended up being arrested, themselves, and charged with "trespassing".
And you get a nice side-order of irony when you consider that the citizen's-arresters were all Christian activists--hey cops, what ever happened to forgiving those who trespass against you?
Hey, future citizen's-arresters--wake up! Karl Rove is above the law, just like his pals in the White House! You'd probably cause more headlines if, instead of trying to citizen's arrest Rove, you tossed a pie or something at him. That'd be way funnier anyway.
Monday, July 28, 2008
So, they claim to want to take on Google but they can't handle the
traffic Drudge sends them at 9:16 in the morning east coast time??
Wait until the rest of America gets to work--then we'll see some REAL
Also, taking on TheGoog with no mobile version? No desktop suite?
Google is way more than a search engine these days. Seriously taking
them on requires more than just a better search engine, folks.
I mean, what am I supposed to do, check my Gmail then jump over to
Cuil just to search the Web? Add an event to my Gcal and then type on
"Cuil.com" to do a search despite already being at Google?
I don't like hegemony either, but come on, people--how are we to know
even how to pronounce your name? It doesn't look like it rhymes with
"cool"--I bet most folks will guess it's "Kweel" or "koo-ill" or maybe
I'm guessing "kewl.com" was taken?
Good luck, guys! You're going to need it.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Today, in the Judiciary Committee, we held a full day of hearings that focused entirely on the crimes of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney,
and featured testimony by Rep. Dennis Kucinich regarding his Articles of Impeachment against President Bush.
...oh--Kucinich--he's the impish guy with the hot wife, right?
This is a great start â€“ but I am far from satisfied.
That makes two of us.
Following statements by Chairman John Conyers and the Ranking Republicans,
A great band name! "John Conyers and the Ranking Republicans!!" I saw them play at the Roxy and they were GREAT. Can't believe they're not acoustic anymore though. :(
I opened with a forceful call for genuine and immediate Impeachment Hearings for President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
Well it's usually better to open with a joke. But that's cool--I bet you still got a laugh. ;)
The crimes of this Administration must be revealed and Bush and Cheney must be held accountable.
Ooo, that's a 10-point penalty for double-anding!
Oh wait--maybe he meant to use a "&". I'll let it go, THIS time. o_O
Without Impeachment Hearings, we cannot break through the blatant and unprecedented efforts by President Bush to shut down legitimate oversight by this Congress.
Legitimate? I'll settle for ANY.
As you know, President Bush has inappropriately and repeatedly invoked Executive Privilege to keep Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten, and other White House officials from complying with legal, Congressional Subpoenas.
Not to mention invading a couple countries without provocation in violation of the UN Charter and by default international law--but that Executive Privilege thing is annoying, too.
I believe the only appropriate remedy is to hold Impeachment Hearings.
That I completely agree with. Please, Congressman Wexler, go on.
Donate for WHAT? Huh?
While Inherent Contempt might dislodge some testimony or at least guarantee the appearance of witnesses, the larger concern is the President's outrageous abuse of Executive Privilege.
Well, that and his sanctioned use of torture against terror suspects, but yeah, that Executive Privilege thing is a bitch.
We have been down this road before: in 1973, Articles of Impeachment were introduced against President Nixon after he illegally tried to use Executive Privilege to bury evidence of his wrongdoings.
Which were ultimately ignored when he resigned. The USG could have even brought criminal charges against Nixon, but they didn't so Ford could announce that "Our long national nightmare is over."
Sadly, we didn't have to go back to sleep to experience our current one.
I fully recognize the significance of holding Impeachment Hearings, and I have not come to this position lightly â€“ but when the President of the United States takes actions that amount to high crimes, we are left with no other option than to seek his impeachment and removal from office.
You know, you didn't even have to wait that long--according to the GOA he violated federal covert propaganda law years ago.
Our government was founded upon a delicate balance of powers â€“ whereby one branch carefully checks the other branches to prevent a dangerous consolidation of power.
Yeah, I heard about that--how's that working out, by the way?
President Bush's actions have totally destroyed this careful balance.
Without these checks and balances, the President could run roughshod over any law and turn us into a nation...
...where wars can be waged based on lies
...and laws can be rewritten without the input of Congress or the American people.
Thank God that hasn't happened to OUR country!
Congress must end this disturbing pattern of behavior, and in these circumstances, the only option left is impeachment.
Indeed! OK, Congressman, you're on a roll! Please keep going!!
What the hell??? Why do you keep throwing donation links at the readers of your newsletter, man??
Since when do you need donations to do your job?? Don't you HAVE a salary?? Don't I already pay it in the form of taxes???
This is not a partisan issue: Congress is a co-equal branch of government with the Executive, and it cannot allow this attack on our powers to go unanswered.
Yeah, that would be like letting the guy behind 911 get away!
To ignore these actions is tantamount to a willful concession of our rights as legislators.
Not to mention your responsibilitieeeeeeez!
No Democrat, Republican, or Independent should allow Congress' powers to be so undermined.
Yeah! Especially since Congress already let that happen all by themselves!
Nor should Congress allow the calendar to determine whether we should ignore abuses of office.
You mean like it did back in 2000 with determining who "won" the 2000 election?
No President should be given immunity and free-reign just because there are only a few months left in their term.
Or seventy-two months?
Impeachment Hearings can be held very quickly â€“ in a manner of weeks.
IF YOUR IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS AREN'T COMPLETE IN UNDER THIRTY DAYS THEY ARE FREE!*
*offer void in the contiguous United States.
Although today we don't have the votes to impeach today â€“
Oooo, double-use of "today"--that'll cost you points!
...neither did the Judiciary Committee investigating President Nixon until AFTER hearings were held and the truth was revealed. We must put a halt to this historic Administrative power grab.
Not to mention the lies they still tell us about how well things are now going in Iraq.
Congress has not lived up to its promises, and we can no longer credibly claim that impeachment would upset our agenda.
AGENDA?? Who said anything about an agenda?? This is Washington DC! We don't have agendas!!
...we have campaign promises!
Our agenda has not withstood presidential vetoes or senatorial filibusters. If we do nothing, this session will be remembered for our conceding the rightful and constitutional powers of Congress, and little more.
Uh, what else have you guys done?
Is there anything less than nothing?
I am unbowed in my determination for Impeachment Hearings
Yeah, we'll see how long that lasts.
You going to encourage criminal prosecution after he's out of office?
and I know you feel the same way.
I felt the same way YEARS ago, motherfucker*.
*That one was for George Carlin!
Encourage your friends to stay updated and demonstrate their support by signing up at www.wexlerwantshearings.com.
As always, thank you for your kind emails, contributions, and encouragement.
Congressman Robert Wexler
Paid for by "Wexler for Congress"
DAMN YOU, WEXLERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Not sure what this was about, but tonight we saw this around 7:45ish
as we walked to the 1 train stop on 191st street. The smoke was much
thicker just moments before I took this shot and a crowd was still
there when we got back over an hour later.
Is this not one of the more impressive faÃ§ades you've ever seen on a
I've been to New York City a couple dozen times during my life and I
don't think I've ever seen the outside of it before today. Damn impressive.
Too bad no one designs buildings like this anymore.
At the top of my website, ThePete.Com, there is a little thing called "TheBlurb." It's just a little bit of text anyone who visits my site can change, replacing what ever is there with anything they want. Of course, I mention on the "change it" page that "TheBlurb is NOT for having conversations" yet, sometimes even I ignore this rule. Regardless, like anyplace else on the web, it attracts a troll every now and again.
Case in point, the above image. The top part of it reproduces the interchange between myself and the troll and after he clearly didn't take the hint that he had worn out his welcome, I decided to see if I could just ban his IP. It turns out, he's got three different IPs that he's posted from. The surprising thing is that one of them I was able to track to Halliburton subsid, KBR's servers in Houston, TX. The other two IPs are from Amsterdam (the one in Europe) and Los Alamitos (the one in SoCal). And when I say that I was "able to track" the IPs, I mean, I was "able to do a simple IP lookup." Nothing spectacular.
So, is this guy really a KBR employee? Or is there some other explanation?
Either way, dontcha love it when people have nothing better to do than waste your time (and their own) trying to convince you their way is the right way on YOUR website?
Dude, it's my site and you're trying to convince me of something I patently do not believe. Catch a clue, give up the ghost on this one and move the hell on (like I'm trying to do).
Is your life so useless that you must turn to trolling to feel good about yourself?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
If anyone knows what this thing is, please let me know.
In other news, still no rain for us North-Islanders. :(
The good thing is that it has gotten cooler, but it's still pretty warm in the apartment. So, we could still use the rain.
Now I've got this freaky bug drifting around my desk. This thing is unlike any bug I've seen before. I'll try to get a pic of it. If I don't post again you know the bug turned out to be an alien that got the upper hand on me.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Like that ever happens! :P
Of course, the other issue is how the WP app works with the iPhone itself. Just in the process of writing the above I've learned the following:
1) The WP app needs a landscape mode badly. Typing with one hand gets really tedious really quickly and, sadly, my thumbs are too big to work together (accurately) in portrait mode.
2) The iPhone's incessant need to correct what it determines to be spelling errors makes blogging with HTML an annoying process. I tried to add emphasis tags and it kept replacing them with the word "email". Sure, I can tap the insanely tiny "x" when the "correct" word pops up but I'd rather not have to do that EVERY time.
Of course, if there was a way to turn OFF the auto-correct feature you can bet I'd do that over expecting the WP guys to come up with a solution.
3) No tactile keys makes typing really hard, even with "click" sounds on. I find that I type MUCH slower on my iPhone than I did on my Sidekick 3's pfysical qwerty. Also, having to go to different keyboards for certain (very) common keys is a serious drag.
4) No caps lock. No web-rant is complete without a sentence or two typed in all caps. How else are people to know that I'm yelling at them?
5) If you're like me, you make mistakes. Like, just a moment ago, I was proof reading this post, realized I needed to add something to part of a sentence to better make a point but ended up adding it to the wrong part of the sentence. I then had to backspace out the entire addition and retype it again elsewhere thanks to NO DAMN CUT AND PASTE. (That last bit was really annoying to type without a caps lock, BTW.)
So, while it's obvious blogging on your WP blog is possible through their official app (I'm doing it right now), I don't think it is very easy or fun currently. Much of that is Apple's fault not the WP guys, but I think the WP guys could do a few things to make WP-blogging more fun and easier to do.
Good first try, though, and with the WP guys you know there will definitely be updates. Hell, they probably put one out while I was typing this. :P
Monday, July 21, 2008
"You got your classic super hero in my crappy advertising campaign!"
"You got your crappy advertising campaign in my classic super hero!"
"They don't really taste very good together."
"No, they don't."
I won't go into the things that I thought were good because everyone else is talking about those and I generally agree with what others like about the movie.
Here's where this post gets a little spoilerific, so read on with care (it's also REALLY long).
1) What's the plot of DK? Give it to me in one or two sentences. Here's as close as I could come:
Harvey Dent does his best to shut down the mob families that run Gotham City with the help of his Assistant DA, Rachel Dawes, ace police detective Jim Gordon and, the Batman. Oh and the Joker is the monkey wrench.
Sounds like a riveting plot, huh? Cop goes after mobsters who are being messed with by a backstoryless disfigured guy in clown makeup. OH yeah and Batman's in it. Really, Batman is superfluous. You could have stuck John Ashcroft in there instead of Batman and largely you'd be able to get away with it.
2) Joker has no concrete (or even vague) backstory. That was fine in the comic, since eventually they'd have to get to it, but the movie never does and it kind of shows in Ledger's performance. He's good, but feels like he's sprung from Chris Nolan's forehead, as opposed to seeming like something specific made him like he is. I don't need something spelled out--but I need more than the suggestion that he is a force of nature and that's it. He can represent a force of nature, but he still should have a backstory.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
It's not a "timetable" for withdrawing troops from Iraq, it's "a general time horizon."
As a person who now lives in New York City I feel I should be blunt when I say: Just who the fuck do you government guys think you're kidding??
The *Iraqis* want us out and now it's a general time horizon. Fine, fine.
Can we get one of those BEFORE we invade Iran, please??