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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Federal Reserve Waits for No Government

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So, remember how there was all that funny hubbub regarding the US Congress trying to spend all this time working on a bailout bill for Wall Street? Remember how Bush, this morning, gave another bit of speechification (here: http://is.gd/3lH2 ) on how we really, really, really need to pass a bill to help Wall Street? Perhaps you remember that other time he talked about the economy where he said that if we didn't do something the entire economy was in danger?

As Jon Stewart might say:

Funny story!

Turns out the Federal Reserve decided to go on and bail out Wall Street all on it's own!

Yesterday, the Fed took it upon itself to borrow more money from other central banks around the world. Europe, the UK and Japan all took part in the fun, allowing the Fed to inject $630 billion into our economy, via loans to banks.

Now, the above screencap comes from Bloomberg.com (here: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news ) but neither CNN.com nor Money.CNN.com had any headlines about this. I did a quick search through Google News and it looks like the hardcore money sites are covering this, but I didn't see any of the mainstream news sites with headlines about it.

So, this means, once again, America doesn't know what the heck is going on with it's own money.

Not only that, but the Bloomberg article I cite above doesn't mention a damn thing about how $630 billion will impact inflation.

In fact, I haven't stumbled across anything mainstream newsish that even talks about inflation in the context of today's economy or the bailout or now, the Fed's bailout.

So, what the heck happens now?

Damned if I know.

Can't imagine why the tax-payers need to pay for anything now. But watch the media ignore the Fed deal and the Congress push through a bill just the same.
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ThePete's 12 Second Japanese Lesson #8 See ya!


ThePete's 12 Second Japanese Lesson #8 See ya! on 12seconds.tv


This lesson's hiragana is:

じゃね (the "や" or "ya" is small so you mush it in with the ”じ” or "ji".)

And the romaji is:

Ja ne

This is almost the least formal, basic way to say good-bye to someone. You could drop the "ne" to make it even more basic.

I've heard a LOT of different ways to say "see ya!" so don't be surprised if you don't hear Japanese people say this when they walk away from you. But this is a good safe thing to say to them when they do.

Remember, unless you're leaving town for good, you *don't* want to say "sayonara"! It's "Ja!" or "Ja ne!" Perhaps I'll go over a few other ways to say "see ya" in future lessons. Check out Lesson 7 for more on "sayonara" here: http://is.gd/3lLB

To learn more Japanese online, I recommend checking out Alex Brooke's LearnJapanesePod.com (also visit his site AlexBrooke.com to check out what else he's up to). You might also check out JapanesePod101.com or pick up the book Japanese from Zero: Volume 1 if you want to learn offline.

Did I get something wrong? Tell me! I've got a LOT to learn still, so please help me and others by commenting. ありがとうございます! (arigatou gozaimasu - thank you very much!)

Rules and the Unreasonable Man

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Yesterday, I blogged about why I'm against the bailout. In that post, I said, in part:

Regardless, we, as a country, survived the Great Depression and I’m sure America will survive this, whether we have the bailout or not.

So, why does it matter? It matters because the bailout lets people get away with breaking the rules. Hell, the bailout itself is breaking the rules of the free market.

I’m no free-marketeer, but the way I look at it, if you’re going to bother to make rules, you should bother to follow them. If you don’t want to bother to follow them, then change them and follow the new ones.

Breaking your own rules just makes you look unprofessional.


I also promised to go into more about rules today. So, I'd like to add that not only does breaking your own rules make you look unprofessional, it makes your rules look like they shouldn't be followed.

Now, if you're talking about basic things on a basic level, that's one thing. Sure, if you decide that Tuesdays are days you treat yourself to frozen yogurt and then go for some FroYo on Wednesday instead, it doesn't matter so much. But when these rules are on a larger scale and when those rules govern how you and/or others behave every day, then it's a little more important to stick with those rules.

I know, I know, it sounds stupid and obvious, but major rules get broken all the time these days.

Let's look at some quick examples. Back in 2000, the entire planet was impacted when a rule was broken by the United States government. It was the 12th amendment which states, in part, that once the vote totals arrive in the Senate and the president of the Senate views the results:

...the person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.


You know what that means, right? It means that if the winner of the presidential election isn't clear, if there's no obvious majority, it falls to the House of Representatives to vote for the next president. If you'll recall, back in 2000 that's not what happened. The Supreme Court decided there wasn't enough time for a proper recount to be finished. So, rather than follow the rules they decided to allow Bush to be declared the winner. According to Wikipedia post on Bush V. Gore, Bush's lead in Florida was by just .5%. Sound close enough to a tie to me.

Yet, the Supreme Court didn't refer the case to the House. They let the decision be known and that was that. The media didn't seem to care and neither did the people. No one mentioned the 12th amendment (that I heard, anyway) and George W. Bush became our de facto president.

We all know how well that worked out.

Would 911 happened under Gore? Would Al have invaded Iraq (illegally) and Afghanistan (where we failed to get bin Laden)? Would our economy be in tatters right now if Gore were in Casablanca (the White House)?

I don't know. The point is, because we didn't follow the rules, we will never know if Bush was even the right guy to be in the Oval Office.

A more recent example would be the invasion of Iraq. The US signed the UN Charter back in 1945 (I think it was) and we also helped write it. In Article 2 of the UNC (which I quote in full here: http://thepete.com/uns-annan-iraq-attack-illegal ) it effectively states that we can't invade another country without permission of the UN. Yet, we did invade two other countries.

Don't like the UN? Fine. We should leave the UN then. Breaking the rules makes us look disrespectful and untrustworthy to our allies and enemies around the world. Would you do a deal with someone you knew doesn't follow his own rules?

Hell, Bush doesn't even follow the laws he, himself, signs into existence. He uses these things called "signing statements" which often explain that he has the right to not follow the law if he chooses. He's done this to hundreds and hundreds of laws.. So, if he's got to write himself out of every law he signs, how can we trust him? Why bother with the laws at all? Why not just declare yourself king and be done with it?

Now we come to the economy.

The USG wants to bailout Wall Street.

A lot of people scream "SOCIALISM" because socialism is a economic system that advocates government or communal ownership of basic infrastructures, like banking, say. Ironically, people who scream "socialism" are both right and wrong about the accusation. They are right because, from the people's point of view, tax-payer money is being used to prop-up a failing system. "Social" benefits are being given to massive banks so they can keep loaning money to businesses and individuals.

So, here we go again--which are we? Capitalist or socialist?

Regardless of your opinion, we should decide one, the other, or come up with a third.

Saying we're all one "ism" while practicing the elements of another makes us look like we're liars.

For example, who would trust a person who says he's a Democrat but votes Republican?

So what's the solution?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Access Government on Your iPhone for a Price

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Before I get into this, I just want to say that I believe in the general concept of making money. I also think charging for an app that you've put real effort into is fine. However, The Unnofficial Apple Weblog just posted today (here: http://www.tuaw.com/…r-pocket/1 ) about an app that seems so cool and so lame at the same time.

First off, let me tell you about the app. It's called "Congress+" and it basically rocks. It allows you to find out who your representatives in DC are and gives you their contact info. According to the description, it even looks like you can call or email your reps right from the app. That's a nice touch.

What's not a nice touch is that the developer is charging ten bucks for the app.

Most apps are cheaper than that--even really good, useful apps are cheaper than that. Then, the fact that this app allows you to partake in the democratic process more easily bugs me, too. Not that I think people should have to work to take part, but because it should not cost anything to interact easily with your elected representatives in Washington.

I know what some of you are thinking: "But, ThePete, the developer obviously put a lot of effort into the app--why shouldn't he be justly compensated for his work?"

Well, he should be justly compensated for his work, but not at the people's expense.

Taking part in democracy should be free no matter what.

If I were him, I'd have gone to the department of the government that is in charge of the information website for the USG. I'd have asked them if they'd be interested in hiring me to write an app like this. If they said no, I'd hound them for a bit. If they still turned me down, I'd go ahead and do the app on my own.

However, I'd consider it a service to my country and charge a dollar. At that price, I wouldn't look greedy and everyone would be like "yeah, cool--I'll take it!"

Instead, the developer is charging more than most developers do and seems to be taking advantage of our current economic situation to make even more money. Luckily the developer did respond to other folks criticizing the price in the comments of the TUAW.com post. In a comment outlining how this app is better than a website that would give you the same info, he includes the following line in a comment he left on the TUAW post before I left mine:

"...won't allow you to email key staffers directly. Often they are more accessible than the standard webform and are tracking what constituents think -- like on this $700B bailout."

To me, bringing in the bailout is pretty skeezy stuff.

I exaggerated what he's doing there in my own comment to the post in order to make a point:

"Hm, seems to me, the developer is using the current situation with our economy to help sell his app--better to charge less in light of the economy and seem a bit less greedy. It's like he's saying:

"Ooo, WHAT a mess in Washington!! You should contact your representatives in Washington and let your voice be heard! I've got *just* the app for you! $10 please!"

Of course, he could say:

"In light of the current economic crisis, we'll be giving away our app for free so everyone can have easy access to their representatives in Washington. Once the bailout bill is passed or is down for the count, we'll go back to the regular price."

That would make the developer look like a prince and inspire a lot of positive reviews to help sell future copies of the app.

Just my 2 yen..."

Yes, I was a bit harsh, but I'm making a point here. As Americans we should be making it easier for each other to get information. Not making money off of exploiting people's interest in finding an easier way to take part in the process.

When Marc, the second commenter, to the post pointed out that iPhone users could just bookmark http://votesmart.org/ the developer responded with an irksome list of reasons paying $10 for his iPhone app was better than just using one's iPhone to pull up VoteSmart.org. Here's the developer's list with my commentary:



Marc, you could bookmark that site but it

(1) doesn't give you access when you don't have an Internet connection


So, that's like never, right? Maybe us subway riders would find ourselves without the ability to reach info about our representatives from time to time. But I think I can handle waiting until Columbus Circle to grab some Pinkberry and look up Hillary Clinton's phone number.

(2) doesn't have correct and updated information all the time (Joe Lieberman's Chief of Staff recently resigned, many candidates are just plain wrong)


There's always the USG's own websites for such info. It may be a bit more work, but $10-worth? Meh...

(3) doesn't give you iPhone Google map links to the office locations


Which is great because I'm not capable of remembering the addresses and entering them myself.

(4) won't allow you to email key staffers directly. Often they are more accessible than the standard webform and are tracking what constituents think -- like on this $700B bailout.


Once again, it's not that hard to remember information in the old biodrive mounted in your skull. Of course, if Steve Jobs had many gigs in his own biodrive he'd have Apple implement fricken cut and paste in the damn iPhone, already.

(5) we are launching a $1.99 version that will not provide updates for folks who do not want to spend $10.


Ah, so poor folks get inaccurate info. That's definitely inline with democracy! Did I say democracy? I meant corporatism.

FYI, the paper version is $17.95 and you only get it for one year (now). We give it to you for $9.99 through 2010.


Ah, so you point out the government sucks but that you suck less? Good advertising ploy. Let me guess, you're a Republican, aren't you?

(6) looks like blech on an iPhone.


Hm, this looks OK to me:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io


Sure, any site that doesn't have a mobile version is going to be a little annoying to deal with, but hey, get a computer, right?

The funny thing about VoteSmart.org is that, if you look in the center toward the bottom of that screencap, you can see that they've announced their API. An API allows developers to access the service provided on a website via other websites or other applications. So, odds are, there just might be some competition to the Congress+ app for iPhone soon.

You might want to save your $10 just in case something else comes along that's a bit cheaper. Since the responsibility to research will be on VoteSmart.org's plate, all developers will have to do is work on writing the app. That means they'll be able to charge a heckuva lot less.
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IM Conversation = Sign of the (Economic) Times

Earlier this evening a buddy of mine started an IM conversation with me. Here's approximately how it began:

Him: Shit.
Him: You there?
Me: Yeah, man, what's up?
Him: My bank got taken over.
Me: HA-HA!
Me: Mine, too.
Him: lol
Me: Which one?
Him: Wachovia. You?
Me:WaMu
Him: ahhh, sucks.
Me: S'ok, I'm broke.
Him: me too. lol
Me: haha


I guess this is where the meek inherit the Earth?

Sign of the (economic) times...

ThePete's 12 Second Japanese Lesson #7 Good-Bye


ThePete's 12 Second Japanese Lesson #7 Good-Bye on 12seconds.tv

Here is "good-bye" in hiragana:

さよなら

In romaji:

sayonara (sah-yo-nah-rah)

All the "a" sounds in Japanese are long "a" sounds like in the word "alternative"--NOT like in the word "Albert".

"R" sounds sound almost like "d" sounds in Japanese (but not quite!).

PLEASE NOTE: While Pimsleur's Japanese lessons on CD tell us that "sayonara" is the standard way to say good-bye to people in Japanese, THIS IS NOT CORRECT.

According to what I've been told by an actual Japanese person, you only say "sayonara" when you are saying good-bye forever.

When you're just saying good-bye at the end of the day or when you're done meeting with someone for coffee, you want to say something like "see ya later". No, I'm not going to tell you how to do that now. I'll cover how to do this in the next 12 Second Japanese lesson!

Ja, ne!

D'oh!

To learn more Japanese online, I recommend checking out Alex Brooke's LearnJapanesePod.com (also visit his site AlexBrooke.com to check out what else he's up to). You might also check out JapanesePod101.com or pick up the book Japanese from Zero: Volume 1 if you want to learn offline.

Did I get something wrong? Tell me! I've got a LOT to learn still, so please help me and others by commenting. Thanks!

Why I'm Against the Bailout

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Last week, my mom sent me an email that started with the sentence: "Would we be better or worse off if there was no bailout of these banks?"

I was going to just answer her question right there, but then I realized my answer would make for a great blog post. So, here you go, Mom! Sorry it took so long, but I got a little distracted with the news lately. :)

By the screencap above, you might think we'd be better off if the bailout went through. The Dow dropped more than 500 points by closing today in reaction to the bailout bill not passing the House.

If the bailout did go through, we'd see banking begin to return to normal--loans could be given again, loads of people would still have jobs, and both the USG and Wall Street would save tremendous face (after all, it was the two bodies in concert who is responsible for this mess).

Of course, those are just the good things that would happen. There would be bad things, too, that our leaders aren't really going into.

Most importantly, in my mind, if the government really decides to spend $700 billion (about the price we've paid in Iraq so far), the negative impact could be pretty far reaching--especially on one part of our economy that no one likes to *really* talk about.

We have a problem in our culture--no one really likes to talk about the "i" word.

No, not impeachment.

Well, they don't like to talk about that either, but Americans seem even more loathe to use the other "i" word, inflation.

I'm kind of a broken record when it comes to inflation. I explained my view of it in a recent blog post here: http://thepete.com/…ed-economy

Suffice it to say, when $700 billion gets injected into our economy, it will be a lot of new money floating around. When you increase the supply of money, the existing money drops in value (as dictated by the law of "Supply and Demand"). When the bailout goes through, it'll send the dollar's value plummeting.

That's what can really make for a weak economy, BTW. A weak dollar.

So, in the end, sure, a bailout is going to keep our lives more or less like they are now. We'll be able to borrow again and bankers will keep their jobs and life will be grand until the real meaning of "trickle-down economics" is learned--when the lost-value of the dollar trickles down from the rich (who will use the new money first) to the poor (who will only see the benefits of that new money once the value of their own money drops--it's a little abstract, my apologies).

Another thing any bailout will fail to do is guarantee this won't happen again. We are all familiar with the Great Depression and the stock market crash that preceded it. Was there a bailout then? I don't know.

Regardless, we, as a country, survived the Great Depression and I'm sure America will survive this, whether we have the bailout or not.

So, why does it matter? It matters because the bailout lets people get away with breaking the rules. Hell, the bailout itself is breaking the rules of the free market.

I'm no free-marketeer, but the way I look at it, if you're going to bother to make rules, you should bother to follow them. If you don't want to bother to follow them, then change them and follow the new ones.

Breaking your own rules just makes you look unprofessional.

I'll post more about rule breaking tomorrow...

...assuming I don't get distracted by the news again. :\

Tomorrow's post on the rules will also involve socialism vs. capitalism, conservatives vs. liberals, and probably even McCain vs. Obama, if I can get really creative.

So:

Bailout = good in the short term (status quo, status quoed)

Bailout = bad in the long term (inflates inflation, weakens our overall economy and our individual power to buy stuff, doesn't prevent another economic explosion, also lets bad guys get away with it)

Well, Mom? I hope that answers your question.

Either way, we're in for a world of hurt. Luckily, most of us are broke, so we won't feel it as much as the rich folks panicking right now (though we may have trouble buying things that are about to get more expensive).

For all the folks on Utterli who got notified about this post, I hope you don't mind! I hardly ever notify everyone I've friended about posts, so hopefully you'll forgive me if you're not interested in this post.

Also, I'd love to hear what anyone reading this thinks. I really want to learn more about our money and how it works. I'm really nervous that it's really as simple and truly as messed up as it looks.
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@93octane I was kind of a beli...

@93octane I was kind of a believer before I started watching "King Corn." I'm already aware of the absurd # of items w/HFCS in them.

@SisterSafetyPin DemocracyNow....

@SisterSafetyPin DemocracyNow.org is the home to one of the best places for news IMO. Hippy-liberal lean, but more in depth than anyone else

On the advice of Kestracherr a...

On the advice of Kestracherr at Kwippy.com I checked out "King Corn" last night. Great docu on how corn harms ourselves & our economy.

@Jazzybam Awesome--thanks, man...

@Jazzybam Awesome--thanks, man! I just might do that. :)

@alfabettezoupe Personally, I ...

@alfabettezoupe Personally, I don't like a culture of debt. My opinion is more nuanced but, can't avoid glibness in a Twitter post. Sorry :(

@alfabettezoupe I hear you & a...

@alfabettezoupe I hear you & agree, but if the system is broken, I think we need to fix it, not prop it up until it breaks again.

@RickCaffeinated Haha, you cou...

@RickCaffeinated Haha, you could be onto something! Though I bet there will be some serious ripples us normal folks will deal with.

@Herbwoman Wall Street has lim...

@Herbwoman Wall Street has limits? They don't seem to be aware of any. Though, I'm with you on not panicking. http://is.gd/3i0y

@Jazzybam That is a great pic,...

@Jazzybam That is a great pic, man--it's like you're plotting to go down to the pub and beat the crap out of those Manchester blokes. :D

@SisterSafetyPin Do you watch/...

@SisterSafetyPin Do you watch/listen to/read DemocracyNow.org at all? They had a whole chunk of their show this morning on FDR. Good stuff!

@alfabettezoupe Haha, good poi...

@alfabettezoupe Haha, good point. Though, I think us all being screwed has long been a given with a national debt of approx $10 trillion. :\

@stevegm Ahhh, I see--that's a...

@stevegm Ahhh, I see--that's a good point. Another example of how they aren't able to follow their own rules. Thanks for the info.

@93octane thanks for the add b...

@93octane thanks for the add back! Was enjoying your discussion with @lesliecarbone --appreciate aspects of both your arguments. :)

@transitenator I don't like go...

@transitenator I don't like government that is all sound and fury but signifies nothing. You're in Austria, right? You guys are on the euro?

@transitenator Ah, I see--that...

@transitenator Ah, I see--that's good. I like it when government has a purpose and performs it.

Kucinich Reminds Us of Our Debt-Based Economy

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I'm no economist but I do find physics interesting. Laws of physics are immutable, generally speaking. One of those laws is that neither energy nor matter can be destroyed or created--just transferred.

A truly stable economy should work the same way, in my estimation. The economic law of "supply and demand" is pretty similar to that physical law I mentioned above, when you think about it.

The economic law of "supply and demand" says that prices are determined based on those to things, supply and demand. High supply means low prices (to make sure you sell as many as you can) and low supply means high prices (to make sure you make as much money as you can). Demand works similarly but is inverted, with high demand making prices high and low demand making them low. In short, if you create more supply, the price goes down.

When it comes to money, the physical laws should apply here, too. After all, paper money used to represent gold. When new deposits of gold were found, the value of all gold would drop. However, back in 1913, the Federal Reserve Act was passed and our current system of banking was created. Any kind of precious metals were cast aside and money stopped being based on the value of gold and started being based on the "good credit of the United States of America."

In other words, the US dollar came to represent the productivity of the American economy.

Now, you can't just create money any more than you can just create matter or energy. The latter can't be done because the universe won't let us. However, because the concepts of money and economy are entirely man-made, the universe has no such regulations over our monetary system.

As a result, new money can be, and often is, injected into our economy. This money is either effectively created from nothing (lended/borrowed) or is literally newly created money (when banks or the USG borrow from the Fed). Either way, the result is inflation and, finally, a weak dollar.

And when the US dollar starts getting compared to the Canadian dollar (as it has been for about a year now), you know things are bad.

This morning on Democracy Now, Dennis Kucinich reminded us that our entire financial system is based on debt. The below is an excerpt that comes from a transcript (here: http://www.democracynow.org/…s_congress ) of an interview Dem Representative Dennis Kucinich gave to Amy Goodman this morning:

AMY GOODMAN: The issue of corporate compensation? According to the Institute for Policy Studies, chief executives of large US companies made an average of $10.5 million last year, 344 times the pay of the average worker.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, this is really a fundamental issue in our society. Again, it’s all about how the wealth accelerates to the top and how work is not respected or rewarded for its own intrinsic value. We’ve really moved, you know. We’ve made a transition in our economy from industrial capitalism to finance capitalism. And with this debt-based economy that we have, where we keep—this public and private debt keeps exploding, as it has under—as it did under Alan Greenspan, quadrupling in a period of twenty years, we see ourselves in a position where the debt just keeps building and building and building, and we’re calling that economic progress. It is not.

We need to challenge again the underlying assumptions about a debt-based economy, about whether or not we should revisit the 1913 Federal Reserve Act, which has an unfortunately privatized monetary system and created a system which includes banks having the ability to create money almost out of thin air with a fractional reserve. We have to look at the implications of that, maybe put the Federal Reserve under the Treasury and have the Treasury really be responsive to the interests of the American people and keeping the economy going.


Yep, the Federal Reserve is a private entity. We don't vote for anyone who runs it, though we do vote for the guy who appoints the guy who runs it (aka, the president appoints the Fed Chairman). But considering how much control the Fed has over our lives and our money, it seems like we should have a bit more control over them. I really wish Kucinich had a real chance of ever winning the White House. I think it's his honesty that prohibits this.

Wow, just read that the bill didn't pass in the House. Kucinich got his way and Wall Street is totally panicking. Looks like that chant I heard down on Wall Street last Thursday was right: "You break it! You bought it!"

Dig that CRAZY irony!!
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterlireply-count Replies.

@fredericguarino I believe C-S...

@fredericguarino I believe C-SPAN.org streams. You won't be overtly told what to think while watching, but hey, it's still streaming news :)

But, @petersantilli , we're ba...

But, @petersantilli , we're babies! We don't want to have to live with the consequences of breaking the rules we helped make! WAAAA! Bottle?

I am reminded of 2 chants I he...

I am reminded of 2 chants I heard down on Wall Street last Thursday: "You break it! You bought it!" and "You fucked it up, now suck it up!"

@stevegm why is opening more c...

@stevegm why is opening more credit so important? There's a lot of talk re: not lending=bad. I feel that too much lending=bad.

Also puzzled by some folks' re...

Also puzzled by some folks' reasons for being against bailout. Guess I should just be happy so many are against it at all.

I'd also like to know why no o...

I'd also like to know why no one ever talks about how inflation will be impacted by a bailout. More $$ in system=less value to all $$ right?

Why do we bother with rules at...

Why do we bother with rules at all if we just go against them when things go poorly?

Lovely waking up to all this b...

Lovely waking up to all this bailout crap. Been reading opinions for an hour and can't understand why some are for it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ironic: While watching "Coloss...

Ironic: While watching "Colossus: The Forbin Project" on my iPhone, my MacBook crashed. Hm... jealous, much?

@transitenator So, you're sayi...

@transitenator So, you're saying I can't move there in case the bailout goes through and drops the value of my money through the floor? :(

thepete.com: How Our Leaders S...

thepete.com: How Our Leaders SPLIT Us Apart:

There’s a new documentary that’s o.. http://is.gd/3fPT

@thePuck Thanks, man! Yeah, p...

@thePuck Thanks, man! Yeah, pretty cool :) Part of history now! Well, my bad grammar is :(

How Our Leaders SPLIT Us Apart

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There's a new documentary that's out on DVD now called "SPLIT: A DIVIDED AMERICA". It talks about the insane (and imagined) divide in American politics. It also does a great job of showing just how and, more specifically, why the country seems to be divided up into red and blue states.

You can read my pocket review of the docu here: http://thepete.com/…erica-2008

As good a job as "SPLIT" does, the games politicians play go even further than just dividing up the country into two colors based on along political lines.

Take the current economic situation and the debate last week. John McCain wants a bailout and Barack Obama wants a bailout with different terms.

But surely there are more than just two options, right?

The Congress says there are only two options, too. A bailout the Republicans like and a bailout the Democrats like.

The only other option that I've seen presented came from George W. Bush when he delivered that speech last week suggesting that the world would end if we don't bail Wall Street out. Well, he said banks wouldn't be able to loan, which is like saying the world will end to these guys.

But surely, that's not the only conclusion that can be reached, right?

Yet, that's all we hear about.

In the war against terror, we get the "you're either with us or you're against us."

Actually, in the Russian/Georgian conflict, we only get to consider one option--that Russia was wrong to invade Georgia and that's it. But we do have two different ways to deal with Russia and both respect Georgia as a good guy in this (despite the fact that Georgia going for regime change in S. Ossetia started the mess).

The next time you sit down to watch the news or even read the news online, see how many times you can spot the binary arguments. You're either for or against something. There is either the conservative solution or the liberal one.

It's kind of absurd that so many things in life are boiled down to two choices, two sides, two arguments.

Once you start to notice all of the binary arguments put forth out there, you then start to consider what we might be talking about if everything wasn't black or white, on or off, red or blue.

Who knows? We might actually be solving the real problems facing us!

You can learn more about SPLIT at http://splitdoc.com/
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterlireply-count Replies.

thepete.com: C-SPAN Links to M...

thepete.com: C-SPAN Links to My Debate Review–YAY!:

C-SPAN’s at it again with their w.. http://is.gd/3fJJ

C-SPAN Links to My Debate Review--YAY!

utterli-image
C-SPAN's at it again with their wacky archive of political coverage and has linked my little debate round-up. Check it out here: http://debatehub.c-span.org/…he-debate/

Of course, after reading their excerpt of my post I realized a bad grammar choice I made (can you see it in the screencap? I CAN! Geh...) and had to go back to the original post to fix it. It always pays to proofread thoroughly, BEFORE C-SPAN.org links to you!

Aaaanyway, so the debate was from a participatory standpoint. C-SPAN the network threw me for a loop, though, by putting the debate on C-SPAN2. They even had a countdown to the debate on C-SPAN1. We watched it count down and then vanish and we're still seeing the House floor and I'm like... wha? Turns out, I had the closed captioning on so I wouldn't have to hear the politicians if I didn't want to--the captions were blocking the graphic that read: "Presidential Debate on C-SPAN2"

Whoops.

Still, though--why put something as important as the debate on C-SPAN2??? I mean, C-SPAN2 is for stupid crap like BookTV. Stupid books! What did they ever do for us??

Check out more fun debate-related coverage at C-SPAN's debate hub:

http://debatehub.c-span.org/
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Thanks be to @CSPAN for once a...

Thanks be to @CSPAN for once again linking to my blog! (http://ping.fm/eN5Qj)

Anybody using Chi.mp? Seems t...

Anybody using Chi.mp? Seems to have trouble updating for me... : No invites yet, either... http://thepete.mp

Watching an old MST3K episode ...

Watching an old MST3K episode just now when Joel started singing "never gonna give you up..." Damn--retroactively rickrolled!! HODGSOOOOOON!

thepete.com: 2008 Prez Debate ...

thepete.com: 2008 Prez Debate Number 1 of 3 Review: Well, there’s not a whole lot to sa.. http://is.gd/3fcm

2008 Prez Debate Number 1 of 3 Review

Well, there's not a whole lot to say about Friday's big debate. I've been watching these things since I was a kid and they're more often about propagandizing than any truly substantive political debating. I mean, the whole idea that anyone could "win" in a presidential debate in a literal sense is kind of crazy.

Besides, everyone knows that, for most people, the person you like tends to do better in your own mind. For me it was a little different since the guy I'm for? I'm not that for him.

In fact, I'm pretty much basing my vote on race alone--since I don't like either candidate, I'm voting Obama just because he's not a white guy. As a result, I feel like I was able to listen to what both candidates said and then interpret from there.

With that in mind, I don't think either did more than remind us what we like or dislike about them. McCain stayed on message, like a pit bull, sometimes offering up something vaguely useful to us, but most of the time he just sounded like a pissy old man.

Obama reminded us how graceful he can be under fire, but because he only got in a couple of subtle zingers, I feel like all he had going for him was the ability to stand there and look like he wasn't losing. He sounded just like he always does--but didn't bring anything new to the table--er--the podium.

In the end, I suppose I can agree that Obama probably did better than McCain if only because he didn't do anything to make me dislike him more.

Well, there was his talk of the bailout being necessary--which, it seems, every politician in America agrees with despite many of those politicians being free-marketeers. Seems hypocritical to me--let's give the market free-reign until it's going to collapse in on itself--now we'll give it all sorts of money! Yay!

So the fact that neither candidate spoke of alternatives to a bailout makes me think the game is rigged. Perhaps that is the biggest thing we should take away from this first debate: the fact that McCain and Obama actually do seem to represent the same general interests.

It's almost like they're not giving us a choice! ;)

If you're curious how factually accurate the candidates were, check out FactCheck.org's report on the first debate here: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/factchecking_debate_no_1.html

It makes for some interesting reading. :)

Missed the debate? C-SPAN will still let you watch it right here at ThePete.Com!

@cherishhellfire looking forwa...

@cherishhellfire looking forward to my cookie! :) Is it a bacon cookie?

@transitenator Wow. So Austria...

@transitenator Wow. So Austrian candidates are all more financially "left" than in the US? So, what is Austria's immigration policy, anyway?

Mistake! Just watched Palin/Fe...

Mistake! Just watched Palin/Fey sketch from last night & *now* I'm watching the Couric interview w/Palin. Rewards come *after* hard thing!

thepete.com: Congress Set to B...

thepete.com: Congress Set to Bailout Wall Street:

Not sure what to say here. Granted, the f.. http://is.gd/3eEf

Congress Set to Bailout Wall Street

utterli-image
Not sure what to say here. Granted, the full $700 billion won't get injected into our economy all at once. It'll be $250 billion right away and the rest will come later should Bush (or who ever is in the White House) feel it is needed.

What is with Congress giving so much power to the guy in the Oval Office?

Regardless, even an influx of $250 billion will have a big negative effect on the value of the US dollar. Watch it drop even more as foreign investors in the USD take their profits and run to euros.
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Catching up on last week's Dai...

Catching up on last week's Daily Shows and Colbert Reports. The Emmys didn't make them soft. Good stuff!

Lipstick on a McCain

utterli-image
So, during the first presidential debate, Baby_Obama (here: http://twitter.com/baby_obama ) posted a great pic of McCain looking at his old pen. TheWife (here: http://twitter.com/siskita ) decided some Photoshopping was in order. The above is the best of the four she did. :)

My wife! I think I'll keep her! ^_^

Check out her others:

http://twitpic.com/de0v
http://twitpic.com/de0x
http://twitpic.com/de5z
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterlireply-count Replies.

"Sometimes no hand is a cool h...

"Sometimes no hand is a cool hand..."

@GuzenMediaJapan Sweet post, m...

@GuzenMediaJapan Sweet post, man--thanks! FactCheck.org on the 1st presidential debate http://is.gd/3cGs (OK, all! Going to bed now. NITE!)

@vimoh I disagree--perhaps you...

@vimoh I disagree--perhaps you'd like to stop by my blog and discuss it? :P (I'm going to stop messing with you now! I'm so sorry!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

@vimoh Of course, I felt that ...

@vimoh Of course, I felt that no one one. So there.

@knatchwa You did miss the par...

@knatchwa You did miss the part where McCain declares he has an old pen. That was pretty sweet. (please infer sarcasm here)

@vimoh BBC says McCain won? I ...

@vimoh BBC says McCain won? I just read that CNN sez Obama won http://tinyurl.com/4bnfvl This is why I get annoyed with post-debate coverage

@kevinthompson sucks man--I ha...

@kevinthompson sucks man--I hate when that happens, too. All we can do is がんばて (I think that's right). Good luck, man!

Well Muxtape is effectively go...

Well Muxtape is effectively gone but I do have mixes: http://ping.fm/Pxw13 & http://ping.fm/EZ6BD

Muxtape will be back, but it w...

Muxtape will be back, but it won't be the same Muxtape. : (http://muxtape.com/)

thepete.com: Lipstick on a McC...

thepete.com: Lipstick on a McCain: So, during the first presidential debate tonight, Baby_Oba.. http://is.gd/3cxl

12seconds - Play All Seems to ...

12seconds - Play All Seems to Be Broken (and my wife seems to be annoying) http://12seconds.tv/channel/ThePete/31140

12seconds - My Veridct on 2008...

12seconds - My Veridct on 2008 Prez Debate #1 (of 3) http://12seconds.tv/channel/ThePete/31139

@CasieStone Yeah, what the hel...

@CasieStone Yeah, what the hell's up w/C-SPAN?? I had my DVR chugging away on CSPAN1 then my wife points to the graphic on screen re: CSPAN2

@CheezItz :) thanks for the fo...

@CheezItz :) thanks for the follow, btw! Great minds enjoy the Daily Show, right? :)

http://twitpic.com/de2p - McCa...

http://twitpic.com/de2p - McCain's lipstick, compliments of @siskita

@alysonenglish Well good--I'm ...

@alysonenglish Well good--I'm glad the night wasn't ruined for us. :) If we should only be so lucky next time. Enjoyed your tweets, btw! ^_^

@SisterSafetyPin Haha, I don't...

@SisterSafetyPin Haha, I don't doubt it! Damn their infernal Republican logic! Sometimes it actually *does* make sense! Arg!!

#debate08 NOT watching @Leslie...

#debate08 NOT watching @Leslieann44 on C-SPAN2. Where are ya??

@CheezItz I've made the same m...

@CheezItz I've made the same mistake, man. I don't think anyone would blame you for hoping there was a Daily Show tonight...

#debate08 @siskita brings up a...

#debate08 @siskita brings up a good point--where is Palin tonight? Biden is apparently on TV...

@CheezItz Is there a Daily Sho...

@CheezItz Is there a Daily Show tonight?

@alysonenglish I didn't get hi...

@alysonenglish I didn't get hit by any Republibots this time. I think I wasn't obnoxious enough. I'll try harder next time. :)

#debate08 OK, muting C-SPAN2 s...

#debate08 OK, muting C-SPAN2 since they insist on showing spin doctors speaking. Just cut to callers or @Leslieann44

#debate08 It was a total draw....

#debate08 It was a total draw. I felt no more or less supportive of either of them after all of that.

#debate08 Oh, man--why is C-SP...

#debate08 Oh, man--why is C-SPAN2 covering the spin room crap--this is exactly what I HATE about mainstream news.

#debate08 Wow, I don't think e...

#debate08 Wow, I don't think either of them made any headway. I think the definite loser is Jim Lehrer though. Sheesh. Too polite!

@alysonenglish Yeah, McCain is...

@alysonenglish Yeah, McCain isn't doing much to prove he is connected to reality at all...

#debate08 HAHA!! McCain is tal...

#debate08 HAHA!! McCain is talking about stubborn clingy-ness to a bad idea??? WHAT A HYPOCRITE!! Iraq-much??? "Stay the course" much??

#debate08 Obama: China owns a ...

#debate08 Obama: China owns a trillion of our debt. That leaves nearly $9 more trillion. Who owns that? Seriously, I don't know.

#debate08 BHO, we can't invest...

#debate08 BHO, we can't invest in science or education because we have to drop $700 billion on a Wall Street bailout, remember?

@MichaelBayer Yeah, when the t...

@MichaelBayer Yeah, when the two candidate degrade the debate to bickering, we do all lose. :(

#debate08 Here comes Reagan ag...

#debate08 Here comes Reagan again--SDI had something to do with ending the Cold War? USSR running out of money ended the Cold War. Wake up!!

#debate08 I could have sworn t...

#debate08 I could have sworn that McCain voted against the most recent torture ban.

#debate08 And more domestic sp...

#debate08 And more domestic spying, right McCain? More letting telecoms off for helping you spy? Ugh, now Obama is playing the fear card.

#debate08 Wait--so McCain coul...

#debate08 Wait--so McCain couldn't push the 911 investigation to go through w/o 911-families' help? So much for the maverick.

#debate08 Oooo, a 911 question...

#debate08 Oooo, a 911 question! Cool! Give McCain a chance to play the fear-monger card!!

#debate08 McCain's skidding of...

#debate08 McCain's skidding off the runway and hasn't noticed. Jim was just saying he was out of time.

#debate08 But Georgia DID show...

#debate08 But Georgia DID show aggression to instigate Russian reaction. McCain mentioned none of this and it sounds like Obama isn't either

#debate08 WOW--McCain and Obam...

#debate08 WOW--McCain and Obama both mentioned petrodollars!! How many of us have ever heard of petrodollars??

#debate08 Wow, McCain is givin...

#debate08 Wow, McCain is giving Obama a nice education. Thanks, John!

#debate08 Wait, Russia's rich ...

#debate08 Wait, Russia's rich on petrodollars? You mean the kind of US dollar you have to buy first in order to by oil?? http://is.gd/3cfu

#debate08 McCain doesn't under...

#debate08 McCain doesn't understand that Russia was reacting to Georgia's attack on S. Ossetia. Whoops.

#debate08 @SLSmith Both of McC...

#debate08 @SLSmith Both of McCain's eyes are dark--it's what happens when you sell your soul to George W. Bush--I mean--the devil. :P

#debate08 Just chill, Barack, ...

#debate08 Just chill, Barack, McCain's digging himself a hole all by himself.

#debate08 REAGAN?? Wow, peopl...

#debate08 REAGAN?? Wow, people really don't remember how bad a president Reagan was. Iran/Contra? HELLOOOO!

#debate08 Yes, it's dangerous ...

#debate08 Yes, it's dangerous to talk.

#debate08 THANK YOU, BARACK! A...

#debate08 THANK YOU, BARACK! Ahmadinejad is NOT the most powerful man in Iran!! No one EVER talks about that.

#debate08 Look at that grin on...

#debate08 Look at that grin on McCain's mug--he loves it when he has enemies...

#debate08 Obama, we're NOT inv...

#debate08 Obama, we're NOT invading Iran!! We can't AFFORD to invade Iran, nuclear or no.

#debate08 @thomasjkeeley I don...

#debate08 @thomasjkeeley I don't think it's Kosher ;)

#debate08 Sanctions on Iran = ...

#debate08 Sanctions on Iran = good, but Sanctions on Iraq = bad? Hrm...

#debate08 I've heard that less...

#debate08 I've heard that less than 20% of the insurgency is supported by Iran. Enough with Iran making it harder for Iraq. WE started it.

#debate08 I challenge ANYONE t...

#debate08 I challenge ANYONE to count how many times McCain blinks in a minute. CAN'T BE DONE.

#debate08 Yeah, let's support ...

#debate08 Yeah, let's support the troops by keeping them in Iraq for longer? And sending more over? Whaaaa?

#debate08 GOD BLESS UHMERIKA! ...

#debate08 GOD BLESS UHMERIKA! People who buy the sentimental shmaltz argument need to wake up and realize the reality of Iraq.

#debate08 "Bomb bomb bomb, bom...

#debate08 "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" -John McCain in a light moment in April, 2007 http://is.gd/2FOK

#debate08 Actually, I think we...

#debate08 Actually, I think we should bring bin Laden to trial. We're supposed to be civilized, right? No revenge for me, thanks.

#debate08 Afhgani warlords hav...

#debate08 Afhgani warlords have intermarried with both Al Qaeda and Taliiiban? Wow, better kill 'em all then? What are you saying, McCain??

#debate08 Afghan freedom fight...

#debate08 Afghan freedom fighters? You mean the future Al Qaeda? So, weren't you for them before you were against them? :P

#debate08 Nah, screw a gradual...

#debate08 Nah, screw a gradual pull-out. We got in irresponsibly, let's get out irresponsibly. We'll just blame the Bush Administration.

@Herbwoman haha, agreed, but t...

@Herbwoman haha, agreed, but that would take too long. Iraq = no timetable, Democracy = timetable. Remember 2000 election? :(

#debate08 "Mom, would you make...

#debate08 "Mom, would you make him shut up so I can talk??"

@thomasjkeeley Different Orgy,...

@thomasjkeeley Different Orgy, but good point, nonetheless! :)

#debate08 Wow, John McCain is ...

#debate08 Wow, John McCain is balls-free. Very little eye contact w/Obama when Obama's slamming him. Shame. Makes him look spine-free, too.

#debate08 McCain, don't point ...

#debate08 McCain, don't point out that Obama wasn't for the surge--YOU were for the war! How'd that work out???

#debate08 Hey, Barack, don't f...

#debate08 Hey, Barack, don't forget all the Iraqis who have died over there. It *was* their country, ya know...

@cmiper Then Jim Lehrer is the...

@cmiper Then Jim Lehrer is the worst moderator ever. He's only just gotten around to the topic a few minutes ago.

#debate08 No, McCain, when we ...

#debate08 No, McCain, when we went into Iraq like TEN people celebrated!! Most of us were upset and concerned! Stop the lyin'!

#debate08 Sorry, McCain, you l...

#debate08 Sorry, McCain, you lose 100 points for double use of your Miss Congeniality joke.

#debate08 Also, why can't fami...

#debate08 Also, why can't families make their own medical choices should health care be in the hands of government? Is he afraid of big bro?

#debate08 We only owe China $5...

#debate08 We only owe China $500 billion? That's it? Seriously?

#debate08 Health care can't be...

#debate08 Health care can't be handed over to the federal government but Wall Street can be? McCaaaaaain!!

#debate08 NUCLEAR HE SAID NUC...

#debate08 NUCLEAR HE SAID NUCLEAR! I thought Republicans pronounced it "nucular" Forget it, I'm voting for McCain after all!

#debate08 Wow, a spending free...

#debate08 Wow, a spending freeze on everything but the thing we spend the most on! Weee!! Keep the wars going!! Make all the money!

#debate08 Google for Governmen...

#debate08 Google for Government? Does Google know about this? Also: does the CIA budget show up there? :D

@cmiper This debate had a topi...

@cmiper This debate had a topic? I had no idea! Seriously. No idea. Then again, I thought the debate would be on C-SPAN1 and not C-SPAN2 :(

#debate08 Why does JSM oppose ...

#debate08 Why does JSM oppose ethanol subsidies? I thought ethanol was good if used in moderation (like High Fructose Corn Syrup).

#debate08 We need a new grid? ...

#debate08 We need a new grid? Broadband to rural areas? What and let them into our club?? No way!!

#debate08 John's a maverick, J...

#debate08 John's a maverick, Jim! Just keep providing him with the rules so he can buck 'em!

LiveBlogging the First Debate

Wanna follow my quips as I fire 'em? Stop by:

http://twitter.com/thepete

Or just reload to see the latest in my lifestream (in the sidebar).

Thanks!

John McCain videos himself kil...

John McCain videos himself killing puppies. It's true, I've seen it on YouTube. (Come on McCainbots! I can take you losers!)

Just coming up on 7pm Eastern....

Just coming up on 7pm Eastern. That leaves two hours to go! Please unfollow me if you think my indy quips against both candies will annoy.

@alysonenglish Oh, that sucks-...

@alysonenglish Oh, that sucks--never thought about the haters. I'd like to remove myself from that, too--I got haters during RNC w/o it.

Totally forgot to post about t...

Totally forgot to post about this the other night, but I actually met a McCain voter here in the city. He seemed like such a reasonable guy

@vimoh Well, *someone* isn't w...

@vimoh Well, *someone* isn't watching the debates tonight! Which vampire movie are you watching again? :)

Which reminds me, anyone who d...

Which reminds me, anyone who doesn't want to follow me following the debate, by all means unfollow me now. I don't want to annoy you.

@ericleach 9pm is when the fun...

@ericleach 9pm is when the fun begins.

So, are we still using hashtag...

So, are we still using hashtags for tonight's debate fun or not? I'll take all the Tweelestate I can get.

Most Recent Mugshot: http://ti...

Most Recent Mugshot: http://tinyurl.com/49l64t

Just watching C-SPAN muted and...

Just watching C-SPAN muted and this flake from Arizona is talking. No seriously, his name is Jeff Flake and he's a Republican (go figure).

RePinging @thePuck "McCain Win...

RePinging @thePuck "McCain Wins Debate" according to ad, even though it hasn't happened yet. Again, poor form. http://ping.fm/hMRDR

@splitdocDOTcom I recognize th...

@splitdocDOTcom I recognize that there's a lot about J-culture I don't like, but I'm fascinated with it anyway. わかりません!

thepete.com: Wall Street Prote...

thepete.com: Wall Street Protestors Footage Part 1: This is a 14 minute video made up of the .. http://is.gd/3b1z

@splitdocDOTcom Haha, 280 or l...

@splitdocDOTcom Haha, 280 or less? Easy: I don't know why I want to live in Tokyo. Always been fascinated with the culture/language/media.

Hands up, who thinks McCain ju...

Hands up, who thinks McCain just spoke his own political eulogy by agreeing to be at the debate after saying he wouldn't?

For some reason today, wheneve...

For some reason today, whenever I think about McCain the lyrics to Tool's "Eulogy" pop into my head: "He had a lot of nothing to say..."

Wall Street Protestors Footage Part 1

This is a 14 minute video made up of the most interesting stuff I streamed from my iPhone yesterday (20080925) at the big Wall Street Bailout protest. Remember, it came from my iPhone, so it kind looks like crap. Watch for a poorly shot moment (still learning how best to use the iPhone as a camcorder) where I met Arun Gupta, the man who wrote what Amy Goodman of Democracy Now called "the email that was heard 'round the world." Apparently the protest sprung up with no organizing group--everyone who read Arun's email just said "we'll be there on Thursday!" and so Arun was there, too. I'm guessing his email was just that moving. He seemed like a real cool guy, too. Other highlights: The crazy guillotine man, the best profane protest chant evar, scooter cops, and MORE.

@siskita just asked what we sh...

@siskita just asked what we should eat for dinner tonight--what food goes with political lies and pandering? My answer: WAFFLES.

Fair warning for my followers:...

Fair warning for my followers: if you don't like a LOT of political Tweets you may want to unfollow me until after tonight...Or after Nov 4.

OK, so the debate is on for to...

OK, so the debate is on for tonight. I'll be quipping away on at http://ping.fm/npqQM while watching C-SPAN. Why not join in the fun?

McCain caved and will do the d...

McCain caved and will do the debate. Way to stick to your guns, loser! A little pressure and you bow to popular opinion. America 2nd! :P

Thursday, September 25, 2008

OK, brain feeling soft after l...

OK, brain feeling soft after long day. Going to sleep now. Much blogging on the day of Fri. おやすみなさい。(Good night) しまた!

@splitdocDOTcom Your best frie...

@splitdocDOTcom Your best friend lives in Tokyo? Jealous! I have an acquaintance who lives in the suburbs of Tokyo. I want to live in Tokyo.

@richpav Only? I "only" have ...

@richpav Only? I "only" have 255 followers. Then again, I'm not running for president. Good point!

@gabey8 Pandora is GREAT & I r...

@gabey8 Pandora is GREAT & I really like using it with favtape. But I'm still experimenting with favtape. Hope you & your knee are good!

My FavTape based on my last Pa...

My FavTape based on my last Pandora faved songs. (http://ping.fm/EZ6BD)

@splitdocDOTcom What I got fro...

@splitdocDOTcom What I got from SPLIT was that it's about "divide & conquer". This seems to be what everyone is doing with economy, too.

@splitdocDOTcom It is a bit mu...

@splitdocDOTcom It is a bit much, isn't it? Apologies for not posting more about your docu, but it seems what you discuss in it is in play.

Repowncing @thepuck : #suspens...

Repowncing @thepuck : #suspension of campaign was apparently a publicity stunt. Poor form. http://ping.fm/ossAf

@quantumparticle It'll be here...

@quantumparticle It'll be here 1st: http://revver.com/u/thepete/ but Friday I'll cross post it to my blog. Then I have better video to cut.

@quantumparticle I cut togethe...

@quantumparticle I cut together a hilite reel from just the stuff I shot on my iPhone. Uploading to Revver, but won't be approved til morn.

@knatchwa JP Morgan was one of...

@knatchwa JP Morgan was one of the grand-daddies of our financial system (and our current mess)--odds are, he took over a LOT of banks.

So, Muxtape.com is gone for go...

So, Muxtape.com is gone for good, it seems. Geh... even the little things suck.

@knatchwa WaMu hasn't actually...

@knatchwa WaMu hasn't actually closed--according to the press release I saw, they'll still function as usual. Plus, I'm broke, so whatever!

@knatchwa JPMorgan was/is a pe...

@knatchwa JPMorgan was/is a person and a bank, but the bank has had its name changed a bunch of times.

Trying out chi.mp but for the ...

Trying out chi.mp but for the life of me I can't remember what it is. Simultaneously editing today's protest footage & listening to BSG OST.

Just took my 120th mugshot! ht...

Just took my 120th mugshot! http://www.dailymugshot.com/main/show/421

@quantumparticle I'll try to g...

@quantumparticle I'll try to get something cut before I crash tonight but the raw footage (if you want to look) is at http://qik.com/thepete

@quantumparticle Ah, no worrie...

@quantumparticle Ah, no worries, I'm "lucky" I'm dayjobless currently. Moving toward making blogging a full-time gig, actually. :)

thepete.com: Back from Wall St...

thepete.com: Back from Wall Street…: Just got back from Wall Street and boy am I tired. I sho.. http://is.gd/39a2

Back from Wall Street...

Just got back from Wall Street and boy am I tired. I shot way too much footage and don't feel like editing it tonight. Too hungry. Need to figure out some way to get paid for this stuff so I can feed myself before I do it! :)

Check out all the raw footage I shot here:

http://qik.com/thepete

Wanna edit out all the boring bits for me? GO FOR IT!! Just tell me where you posted it so I can grab a copy :)

Favorite chant at the Wall Str...

Favorite chant at the Wall Street protest today: "You fucked up, suck it up!" :P A nation of whiners indeed.

I've worked out my mutant abil...

I've worked out my mutant ability: I can go all day on just a cup of coffee & a glass of orange juice. Of course, I'm about to fall over.

@SLSmith aw thanks! Sorry I co...

@SLSmith aw thanks! Sorry I couldn't check my Twitter replies while I was shooting. Damn iPhone doesn't multitask!

Protest/march dissolved once w...

Protest/march dissolved once we reached the water. Heading home now. Taking the 1 train from bottom of island to the top. Might be a while!

Down by old WTC globe sculptur...

Down by old WTC globe sculpture. Done streaming, iPhone low on battery. Big surprise. Saving juice for now. Will try to keep microblogging

[qik] - ThePeteTV Livestream h...

[qik] - ThePeteTV Livestream
http://qik.com/video/337747

[qik] - ThePeteTV Livestream h...

[qik] - ThePeteTV Livestream
http://qik.com/video/337707

The crowd is definitely gettin...

The crowd is definitely getting bigger--I overheard someone giving directions here on her cell.

[qik] - ThePeteTV Livestream h...

[qik] - ThePeteTV Livestream
http://qik.com/video/337707

12seconds - Mobile/E-Mail Post...

12seconds - Mobile/E-Mail Post http://12seconds.tv/channel/ThePete/30488

There's not a whole lot to see...

There's not a whole lot to see down here beyond the growing crowd--but if you're in the area stop by and add to the crowd--even if for a bit

[qik] - ThePeteTV Livestream h...

[qik] - ThePeteTV Livestream
http://qik.com/video/337689

Enjoyed the protesters last ch...

Enjoyed the protesters last chant "you fucked it up now you suck it up!"

Wall Street scene is pretty aw...

Wall Street scene is pretty awesome--not too big yet. Shook the hand of the dude who inspired this protest--very cool. :)

[qik] - ThePeteTV Livestream h...

[qik] - ThePeteTV Livestream
http://qik.com/video/337610

[qik] - ThePeteTV Livestream h...

[qik] - ThePeteTV Livestream
http://qik.com/video/337597

I'm down at Wall Street. Check...

I'm down at Wall Street. Check out http://qik.com/thepete for live streaming footage!

http://qik.com/video/337513

http://qik.com/video/337513

thepete.com: Heading Down to W...

thepete.com: Heading Down to Wall Street to Cover Protests: Heading Down to Wall Street to Co.. http://is.gd/38oP

Heading Down to Wall Street to Cover Protests

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thepete.com: The 5 Minute Show...

thepete.com: The 5 Minute Show Episode 25: ThePete KIDNAPPED!: Wow–this was a crazy epi.. http://is.gd/38ju

OK, going to head down to Wall...

OK, going to head down to Wall Street to cover the protest--anyone wanna Paypal me $5 so I can get a Subway sandwich? Me=poor indy blogger.

The 5 Minute Show Episode 25: ThePete KIDNAPPED!

Wow--this was a crazy episode--I got kidnapped!! Luckily, the kidnapper shot video of me in captivity so we're using that for the show this week. Don't worry, I'm OK now, but WHEW! Scary stuff!! (Not really.)

TheVent for 20080925 (Bush, Economy, Stuff)

Just me venting about Bush and the economy for five minutes. Watch if ya feel like it (and please comment/reply if you feel like it, too).

{seesmic_video:{"url_thumbnail":{"value":"http://t.seesmic.com/thumbnail/EiNYusjLUW_th1.jpg"}"title":{"value":"TheVent for 20080925 "}"videoUri":{"value":"http://www.seesmic.com/video/YjkxTkcqsZ"}}}

SHANE (1953)


Watch now on Amazon!
Positive Experience/Entertaining? Definitely! I can see why this is one of the classic westerns.


Technically any good? Structurally, this movie relies on a lot of classic western cliches. However, since this movie was made in 1953 I think it just might have created some of them. The acting is solid, though I was shocked to learn that the kid won an Oscar for his performance (which I feel he didn't deserve). I also feel that directors should hire actors who can do accents accurately. Sadly, two actors' accents were so bad they knocked me clean out of the film. The script was good, the direction solid and the music was fun. I was particularly impressed with a music-free fight scene though I was disappointed with the use of music during the build to the climax.


How did it leave me feeling? Entertained, for sure. I'm not a big western guy so it's not surprising the movie didn't blow me away. However, it has some really nice moral messages in there and while I give them credit for trying to make the bad guy sympathetic, I don't think they tried hard enough. I wouldn't mind seeing these themes explored again in another movie with both the Shane character and the Ryker character portrayed as good men. That said, the movie is solid and is quite deep for the time period it comes from.


Final Rating? SIYL - See If You Like (3 stars) - If you're into westerns you'll likely dig this (if you haven't already seen it). Perfectly reasonable movie for anyone who enjoys movies from the early 1950s.

ONE LAST NOTE: DO NOT watch the trailer for this movie! It's riddled with spoilers. Seriously. Don't watch it!

Check out the trailer for this...

Check out the trailer for this docu retweeted & crosposted from @bbittner "Heavy Metal in Baghdad" http://ping.fm/PJBee

thepete.com: Opera in Times Sq...

thepete.com: Opera in Times Square!: Three nights ago I was on my way to see my wife sing at .. http://is.gd/37WL

Opera in Times Square!

Three nights ago I was on my way to see my wife sing at the Algonquin Salon. On my way I happened to pass through Times Square to see, well, what's in this video--how surreal! Live opera being performed up the street at Lincoln Center, piped down to giant screens in front of a huge array of seats. Anyone could come in and sit down and watch three acts, each from a different show, all performed by opera-great Renee Flemming. I'm not a fan of opera, but I thought of my mom that night--she loves opera. This footage is for you, Mom! (Sorry it's so crappy... blame the iPhone!)

OK, Daniel Ellsberg, I think y...

OK, Daniel Ellsberg, I think you're an American hero for the Pentagon Papers, but enough with the emails asking me to support Robert Wexler.

Best Star Wars action figure e...

Best Star Wars action figure ever: Owen Lars & Aunt Beru (charred) (http://ping.fm/BtKOM)

Gooood mo--meh... morning.

Gooood mo--meh... morning.

ThePete.Com: George W. Bush So...

ThePete.Com: George W. Bush Solves Economic Crisis by Snapping Fingers! (http://ping.fm/4AZvC)

George W. Bush Solves Economic Crisis by Snapping Fingers!

utterli-image
This is a totally useless observation, but I noticed
tonight while looking at the pic of Bush delivering
his historic "we're screwed" speech to
the nation a little black spot under his jaw. Can
you see it? WTH is that?
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterli.
 reply-count Replies.
Ugh, so here is a fun one--George W. Bush trying to convince us all that he's right about something else that has gone to shit under his watch.

Seriously, everything this man touches turns to fine smelling feces. I challenge anyone to name something he's gotten right. I mean, do we really need me to go through this transcript to know that Bush will distort the facts, deceive us and dodge responsibility? Well, I'm a glutton for punishment (it comes from watching every episode of MST3K several times over), so here we go!

The below transcript of Bush's historic "We're Screwed" speech comes from JPGardners' Donkelphant.com and remember, Bush's comments will be in italics while mine will be factually accurate and not in italics.

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening.


Oh, Al Gore was there? :P (Get it? It says "THE PRESIDENT". YES I'm still bitter god damn it!!)

This is an extraordinary period for America’s economy.


THIS GUY IS SHARP, BOY! What's next? An observation that touching open flames cause pain??

Over the past few weeks, many Americans have felt anxiety about their finances and their future.


"Few weeks"?!?!?!

Try "few years" idiot. I've been blogging about the value of the dollar dropping for three years, possibly more.

It's really hard not to use the word "retard" in connection with this fool, but I don't want to insult anyone who is actually mentally handicapped.

I understand their worry and their frustration.


Ah, so you're not frustrated? Why should you be? You're wearing a beautiful new golden suit spun with gold so fine that you can't see it, you tremendous feeb.

Sorry, I know it's not mature to call people names, but this fucker won't go away! He's committed crimes, failed to protect Americans from terrorists and killer storms, bungled two wars almost simultaneously and now he's managed to oversee one of the biggest economic failures America has seen since the Great Depression.

Ah, good stuff! o_O

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Working on my commentary for B...

Working on my commentary for Bush's speech--this is some serious Orwellian shit, right here. Winston Smith, this means you (us).

thepete.com: George W. Bush’...

thepete.com: George W. Bush’s Off Switch?:

This is a totally useless observation, but I not.. http://is.gd/36aT

Damn--not sure what I did but ...

Damn--not sure what I did but I screwed up my left hand again--iPhone injury times 5 or so. Hurts to press too hard. Luckily can still type.

Sheesh--Bush couldn't give his...

Sheesh--Bush couldn't give his speech on the economy LAST night when I was HOME. How did I miss that he was going to talk about it?

http://piurl.com/XCd : at a ba...

http://piurl.com/XCd : at a bar actually be social (cringe)

http://qik.com/video/334030

http://qik.com/video/334030

http://twitpic.com/d0gk - http...

http://twitpic.com/d0gk - http://piurl.com/XBg at my free event finally! (and sitting on gravel--geh...)

12seconds - Outside the UN Bui...

12seconds - Outside the UN Building http://12seconds.tv/channel/ThePete/30138

http://qik.com/video/333874

http://qik.com/video/333874

http://qik.com/video/333856

http://qik.com/video/333856

12seconds - New York City: Cit...

12seconds - New York City: City of Free Events http://12seconds.tv/channel/ThePete/30122

12seconds - Not Enough Time!! ...

12seconds - Not Enough Time!! http://12seconds.tv/channel/ThePete/30114

ThePete's 12 Second Japanese Lesson #6 Good Night


ThePete's 12 Second Japanese Lesson #6 Good Night on 12seconds.tv

ThePete's 12sJL#6 teaches the word for "good night". Here it is in hiragana:

おやすみなさい

oo ya su mi na sa i (oh-ya-su-mi-na-sa-ee)

Sometimes this word sounds more like "ohyashiminasai" when I hear it, but the literal spelling is as I have it above.

To learn more Japanese online, I recommend checking out Alex Brooke's LearnJapanesePod.com (also visit his site AlexBrooke.com to check out what else he's up to). You might also check out JapanesePod101.com or pick up the book Japanese from Zero: Volume 1 if you want to learn offline.

Did I get something wrong? Tell me! I've got a LOT to learn still, so please help me and others by commenting. Thanks!

thepete.com: McCain Campaign R...

thepete.com: McCain Campaign Reads My Blog, Changes Tactics*:

*I have no proof of this, of .. http://is.gd/356K

12seconds - ThePete's 12 Secon...

12seconds - ThePete's 12 Second Japanese Lesson #6 Good Night http://12seconds.tv/channel/ThePete/30106

McCain Campaign Reads My Blog, Changes Tactics*

utterli-image
*I have no proof of this, of course! BUT...I did make fun of Obama recently for staying on the campaign trail rather than heading back to Washington to help sort this money mess out. You can check out my Obama commentary (Obamentary?) here: http://thepete.com/…ng-fingers

Now, when I first heard about McCain wanting to reschedule the debates so he could go work on the economy earlier today, my gut reaction was: "No way, John--it's a little late to be doing your homework this close to the final exam."

But really, both he and Obama are senators, and as I said in that Obamentary blog post, they should be doing their job in Washington. I suppose they could Skype it in and then just Twitter their votes (assuming McCain knows what Twitter even is), but it's probably best if they be there in person.

Personally, I think it's absurd to bail these lying cheats out of their (and our) financial dilemma, but obviously, they'll cave and give Bush his bottle (aka Wall Street their $700 billion).

That said, I'm glad the word is that the debate is still on for Friday. With just 41 days left (!!) until the election, we need to get those debates going as soon as possible so we'll have time to mentally digest everything that we see in them. Financial crisis or no, We The People have to prepare to make a decision in November that will impact the world for at least four years.

Debates may be robotic propaganda delivery systems, but that doesn't mean we can't learn about the candidates in the process--just like Palin had a chance to let us get to know her at the RNC (but blew it), all of the candidates can really show us what they think are their most important qualities in the debates.

Of course, they can also screw up... please Joe, stay on the meds!! ;)
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterlireply-count Replies.

12seconds - ThePete's 12 Secon...

12seconds - ThePete's 12 Second Japanese Lesson #6 Good Night http://12seconds.tv/channel/ThePete/30103

thepete.com: McDonald’s Hamb...

thepete.com: McDonald’s Hamburger Made from Highlander Meat:

One of the burgers in this pho.. http://is.gd/34VP

McDonald's Hamburger Made from Highlander Meat

utterli-image
One of the burgers in this photo is 12 years old and the other was made this year. Both are from McDonald's.

I'm not going to tell you which.

This picture comes to us from a post (here: http://bestwellnessconsultant.com/…earth.aspx ) at BestWellnessConsultant.com written by Karen Hanrahan. She notes that this is her favorite prop to use when she teaches her workshop on healthy foods for kids. She also says:

People always ask me - what did you do to preserve it ?

Nothing - it preserved itself.

Ladies, Gentleman, and children alike - this is a chemical food. There is absolutely no nutrition here.

Not one ounce of food value. Or at least value for why we are eating in the first place.


Later she adds:

McDonalds fills an empty space in your belly. It does nothing to nourish the cell, it is not a nutritious food.


Kinda makes ya hungry for Subway, huh?
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterlireply-count Replies.

Thanks @cmiper for the great 1...

Thanks @cmiper for the great 1996 McDonalds Hamburger link! (http://ping.fm/A0lYx)

Another reason I don't do fast...

Another reason I don't do fast food: 1996 McDonalds Hamburger (today) (http://ping.fm/A0lYx)

thepete.com: Palin Goes Back i...

thepete.com: Palin Goes Back in Time to Erase Mistakes:

Nice to see the press is using unfl.. http://is.gd/34KM

Palin Goes Back in Time to Erase Mistakes

utterli-image
Nice to see the press is using unflattering photos of both party's candidates. Sheesh, doesn't Palin look like a lady terminator in this shot?

CNN.com is reporting on how the terminatrix has gone back in time to make something she did back in Alaska irrelevent. At least, that's what she'd like us to believe. See she may have fired someone unlawfully and now, rather than answer any more questions about it, she's now just clamming up about it, as though only the good things in her past matter.

Just more typical cherry-picking from typical politicians.
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterlireply-count Replies.

@cmiper Oh, n/m I'm just IMing...

@cmiper Oh, n/m I'm just IMing you about it. :) David Blane... geh, no thanks...

@cmiper What's in Central Park...

@cmiper What's in Central Park today? I can't even find out if that Iranian guy is still in town. And I heard Palin's here, too.

Just in case you missed it: Pa...

Just in case you missed it: Palin Had Direct Role In Charging Rape Victims For Exams (http://ping.fm/nkRIX)

Amid mess w/banks, loans &...

Amid mess w/banks, loans & our economy, Amazon.com just sent me an email offering "No Payments No Interest for 12 Months" ...

thepete.com: Barbara Boxer: Ma...

thepete.com: Barbara Boxer: Making Breaking Up Easy to Do: I’ve only been living in New.. http://is.gd/34jp

Barbara Boxer: Making Breaking Up Easy to Do

I've only been living in New York City for about five months now (though it feels like five minutes) and in that time I've never gotten around to removing my email address from the list of one of my old senators, Barbara Boxer.

Boxer, a Democrat, was a woman I was proud to vote for. She was smart, outspoken and didn't seem like a Republican hardly at all (unlike her fellow California Democrat senator, Diane Feinstein who counts Condy "White" Rice as a pal). Of course, I mean this praise in the past tense. Not just because I am no longer a constituent of hers, but because, since that prideful voting moment, I've discovered she's a fricken moron.

It probably was that time she emailed everyone on her mailing list to brag that she was very serious about fighting spyware. A few months later she truly wowed me when she actually did her job by telling us how she was concerned about wildfires. Goshes, I was so glad to get those emails from her!

Sadly, depressingly, that sarcasm would have been completely unmerited if she had just followed through with her attitude that impeachment of Bush should be back on the table. She let us and America down when miraculously, her interest in impeachment evaporated.

Then, last night, while basking in the afterglow of the classic western, Shane, watched on DVD compliments of Netflix, I checked my email to find another dumb-ass email from Barbara Boxer!!

And to show off my independent stripes, I'm going to take it apart for you! Screw the Dems! They've let the Republicans get away with all of this stuff.

As always, my comments are NOT in italics.

Enjoy (I know I will):

Dear Friend:


Ooo, it's like she knows I'm going to dump her. :(

Traffic and air quality are issues that impact all Californians.


Except those of us without cars. I haven't owned an automobile since 2003. Traffic impacts my bus driver. Air quality, you're right about, though. Please, go on:

We all hope to quickly and safely travel to work or school and then home to our families. We also all depend on clean air that is too often degraded by cars, trucks and trains.


And the factories and the power plants.

OH and the refineries! Can't forget the oil!

Funny, we refine oil to make gas then burn the gas in cars and that pollutes the air! NEAT!

Sorry, old friend, what were you saying?

As the Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works,


"I've been doing a shitty job! In fact, I'm writing to tell you how sorry I am for that cancerous growth that's clinging to the inside of your lungs."

one of my most important priorities for the coming year is to authorize a new federal highway, transit and highway safety bill.


Uhhhmmm... was there something wrong with the old one?

Why'd you wait until now to get around to doing a new one then? You're talking about California--the car capital of the world.

Was the old one just stanky? Skunky, maybe? Check the drink-by date, maybe you can get another year or two out of it!

The aim of the bill is to improve surface transportation nationwide, which can help improve our air quality as well.


HAHA!!

...sorry...

So, smooth roads will help the environment?

hmmmm....

hm...

hm.

Do you think we're morons? Smooth roads = better air??

Lady, killing every cow in America would do more to help the air quality AND it would help us eat better, thus improving our health, too.

Tell me you've got more--emissions cuts, new regulations on factories and refineries, SOMETHING to make me change my mind...

My committee has begun the process to write the next bill. I am writing to you both to offer some information about the process and to ask for your thoughts about the focus and priorities of the bill.


Oh, I've got some thoughts!

Like why the fuck are you emailing us about stupid shit like this when you should be asking us what we think about the $700 billion you idiots in Congress are about to give to Wall Street.

Or how about why you are letting Bush, Cheney and pals get away with all of the things they've done in office (illegally invading a sovereign member of the UN, spying on American citizens, torturing suspects, withholding habeus corpus rights from suspects, OH YEAH and bailing out their Wall Street pals when they go for the greed)?

You really disgust me, lady. To think I had hoped you'd run for president.

Why do you even bother with these stupid emails?

Do you think they fool us? Do you think we're rock-stupid enough to not be concerned about real issues?

SIGH... if ONLY you really gave a crap and cared what I and other constituents thought.

Recently, I held briefings in California to hear from transportation officials in California about their priorities.


Let me guess. Their concerns were: getting raises? Keeping their jobs, perhaps? :)

With the following links, you can watch video of the two briefings in Sacramento and Los Angeles and read the testimony of the witnesses:

Field Briefing in Los Angeles
Field Briefing in Sacramento


Ooo, do I dare?

Hell no. I like watching C-SPAN, but even I can't sit through "witnesses" testifying to how sucky roads are in California. My eyes hurt just thinking about it.

I also want to hear from you.


Yyyy-no you don't.

You haven't listened to what the blue state of California has really wanted for years.

I want to know your priorities for the next federal transportation bill.


"But screw you if you think I care whether you approve of my job or the job any of us are doing in Washington. The truth? We can't wait to sign that bill to give Wall Street $700 billion!! We are WET with anticipation!!"

I hope you will use the instructions at the bottom of this page to send me your thoughts about what the transportation priorities for the nation should be for the coming years.


Actually, I see high gas prices and low US dollar value. As a country, we'll likely be traveling a LOT less. In short? Don't worry about the roads. Most Americans won't be able to afford to use them. You probably don't even need to worry about this new bill at all.

In fact, you know what? Why don't you just go home? Go back to Sacramento, or where ever the hell you came from and just don't worry about Congress any more. It's cool--you guys can all go home. All you senators and representatives in the House--it's cool. Just leave work and don't come back.

I mean, it's not like you guys are doing anything, so why bother coming into work?

What can be done to best reduce congestion?


No, really, it's cool, Barb. Just head on home.

Do you want more public transit?


Oh, look, Barb. Let's not make this awkward. I mean, I'm flattered and all and I think what we had was special, but really. This whole "Congress serving the people" thing--it's just not... it's just not working out.

What should be done to more quickly move freight across the nation?


Oh, you poor girl! You're just not getting it, are you? There's just no easy way to tell an entire branch of government that it's over.

While these are not easy questions, I would like to hear from you.


You know what, Barb?

SIGH.

It's not you, it's me--it's all of America. We really just don't think we deserve your type of leadership. Really, it's all our fault.

Maybe, in a few years, we can talk about giving it another try, but...

By considering the thoughts of Californians, I think we can craft a better bill for the nation.


You can just keep my stuff. My freedoms always looked better on you, anyway. Seriously.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator


Aw, thanks, kiddo. I know you're trying to be sincere, but I'm afraid it's just not enough. And I hate to dump you, and the rest of Congress, like this, you know, in a blog.

Heh...

:\

But it just really is time.

I'm sorry, Barb.

So long Congress.

...

...

...

SIGH...

Guys, look, I know this is weird, but really--JUST GO HOME.

NO, I don't want to give it "one more week!"

NO, I don't care if none of you are wearing panties!

Now come on!! Don't make this embarrassing for all of America!

Oh, God...

...it's like they just don't get it.

It's like they think they're making laws that count!

It's so sad!

Don't they remember trying to pass a second law banning torture that even McCain (of all people!) voted against it?

Don't they realize that George Bush will just issue a signing statement when he signs whatever bill into law, thus making it irrelevant?

Oh, man... I just can't look at them anymore...

Actually woke to my alarms thi...

Actually woke to my alarms this morning! Triumph of the will! Err, not the Nazi movie.

@petersantilli Palin was in NY...

@petersantilli Palin was in NYC? How did I not hear about this? I could have stopped by her hotel room and said hi for ya! :D

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Damn--I need to buy some Nyqui...

Damn--I need to buy some Nyquil so I can drug myself to sleep when I am wide awake at 3:40am. OK, time to TRY to go to sleep... :

@GuzenMediaJapan Ohhh, moralis...

@GuzenMediaJapan Ohhh, moralism means your a judgmental jerkweed. Yeah, I can see that. More with Palin, but McCain does it, too.

@richpav Biden scares me. I re...

@richpav Biden scares me. I remember in '88 when he got drummed out of the presidential race for plagiarizing. How will he screw up next?

@GuzenMediaJapan McCain's &quo...

@GuzenMediaJapan McCain's "boiling moralism" makes him wrong for Prez, according to Will? Doesn't moralism mean he's got morals?

OK, how do I get Twitter to sh...

OK, how do I get Twitter to show more of my "following" icons in the sidebar?