Sunday, December 20, 2009
Finally, here comes episode 6 of the 666cast. It’s the infamous episode about the Federal Reserve and will hopefully get you thinking about how our money works (or if). The one thing I forgot to mention in the ‘cast was my debunking of the idea that money from the Fed comes from investors. That’s the standard excuse. You invest money in the Fed and then they loan money to banks and the US Treasury. But think about it for a moment—how can the source of all money be somehow supplied with money? Doesn’t it turn into a giant game of mirrors at that point?
You get paid by your employer who took out a loan from the bank to pay you. His bank took out a loan from the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve got money from you, who invest your money in the Fed. You get paid by your employer and…
Does that make any sense at all? I don’t think so. Especially when our economy is so flippin’ huge, there’s no way that would work.
Please subscribe to the feed or download the mp3 directly by clicking the linked text just below the Flash player above.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I’ve got another 666cast on it’s way to you and it will be arriving this Sunday! Yes, it’s the Federal Reserve episode where I spill all my beans on what I know about it. Well, all the good beans. There are some less-interesting beans I held back.
Sorry for the delay! All is explained in the next 666cast!!!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
666cast episode 5 is here! It’s the three articles that DIDN’T change my world! In fact, they reinforced my premise from an earlier episode where I establish that being a leader means you’re corrupt or that you will be corrupt and unable to put your people’s interests first. To top it all off, the three articles I cite in this week’s 666cast are from NYTimes.com! Can you believe it? Here they are now: Leaders Will Delay Agreement on Climate Forest People May Lose Home in Kenyan Plan In House, Many Spoke With One Voice: Lobbyists ENJOY and please feel free to leave any comments/hate-mail/suggestions/etc. To get the mp3 version of the Triple6cast, please subscribe to the feed or click the linked text just under the Flash player above.
666cast episode 5 is here! It’s the three articles that DIDN’T change my world! In fact, they reinforced my premise from an earlier episode where I establish that being a leader means you’re corrupt or that you will be corrupt and unable to put your people’s interests first. To top it all off, the three articles I cite in this week’s 666cast are from NYTimes.com! Can you believe it? Here they are now:
ENJOY and please feel free to leave any comments/hate-mail/suggestions/etc.
To get the mp3 version of the Triple6cast, please subscribe to the feed or click the linked text just under the Flash player above.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
This week’s Podcast from Website666.com is all about technology and how we trust it way too much. From Google, to OLPC, to the Media, to Fort Hood (and how technology screwed up coverage), we need to be careful about trusting tech. Got any thoughts on the ep? Feel free to comment or Tweet at @thepete or @website666. Get the mp3 by subscribing to the feed (or just click on the linked text above).
This week’s Podcast from Website666.com is all about technology and how we trust it way too much. From Google, to OLPC, to the Media, to Fort Hood (and how technology screwed up coverage), we need to be careful about trusting tech.
Got any thoughts on the ep? Feel free to comment or Tweet at @thepete or @website666.
Get the mp3 by subscribing to the feed (or just click on the linked text above).
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Webcast666* episode 3 is here! It’s a week late because I wanted to see if I could find a way to provide better audio quality at the same file size. Thanks to help from @siskita, I think we’re there. Have a listen and let me know what you think. One topic this week and it’s politics! Specifically, how all politicians are corrupt. Yep! Every last one! At least in the US on a federal level. But it’s probably true on all levels since I don’t know a single local politician. Hey, shouldn’t they get to know me since I’m busy with my own life? Their job is to represent me. To get the straight mp3 file for episode 3, please subscribe to the Webcast666 feed. *link to mp3 hosted at archive.org added 20100907. Also: the podcast is now called the 666cast. Just an FYI!
Webcast666* episode 3 is here! It’s a week late because I wanted to see if I could find a way to provide better audio quality at the same file size. Thanks to help from @siskita, I think we’re there. Have a listen and let me know what you think.
One topic this week and it’s politics! Specifically, how all politicians are corrupt. Yep! Every last one! At least in the US on a federal level. But it’s probably true on all levels since I don’t know a single local politician. Hey, shouldn’t they get to know me since I’m busy with my own life? Their job is to represent me.
To get the straight mp3 file for episode 3, please subscribe to the Webcast666 feed.
*link to mp3 hosted at archive.org added 20100907. Also: the podcast is now called the 666cast. Just an FYI!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Webcast666* episode 2 from Website666.com! News, Media, Money, I’m bagging on everything! Listen as I rant about Balloonboy, the media’s crappy coverage of Balloonboy, the integral flaw in the structure of loaning money, war and how we’re still very much waging it, religion and how it functions to control us, and how freedom is pretty much an illusion. Sorry for the sound in this ep—I was a little loud in a couple spots and thewater creates a very strange sound when the audio file got compressed. Apologies for that! I’m also hoping to figure out a way to better encode this and still have the file size be south of 10MB, as most free hosting sites don’t accept files bigger than that. Got an opinion on anything I’m saying? Please leave a comment! You can Tweet @website666 or @thepete. Thanks for listening! *link to mp3 hosted at archive.org added 20100907. Also: the podcast is now called the 666cast. Just an FYI!
Webcast666* episode 2 from Website666.com! News, Media, Money, I’m bagging on everything!
Listen as I rant about Balloonboy, the media’s crappy coverage of Balloonboy, the integral flaw in the structure of loaning money, war and how we’re still very much waging it, religion and how it functions to control us, and how freedom is pretty much an illusion. Sorry for the sound in this ep—I was a little loud in a couple spots and the
water creates a very strange sound when the audio file got compressed. Apologies for that! I’m also hoping to figure out a way to better encode this and still have the file size be south of 10MB, as most free hosting sites don’t accept files bigger than that.
Got an opinion on anything I’m saying? Please leave a comment! You can Tweet @website666 or @thepete. Thanks for listening!
*link to mp3 hosted at archive.org added 20100907. Also: the podcast is now called the 666cast. Just an FYI!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Author Barbara Ehrenreich on “Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America”
In her new book, author Barbara Ehrenreich documents what she says is the destructive power of the positive thinking movement in the United States, from breast cancer to the workplace, to the economy, to politics as a whole. Ehrenreich opens the book by writing about her own experience with breast cancer culture after being diagnosed with the disease in 2000. She says in the prevailing positive thinking culture of America, breast cancer patients are urged to avoid feeling angry and instead find meaning and even uplift in the disease. She writes, “In the most extreme characterization, breast cancer is not a problem at all, not even an annoyance—it is a ‘gift,’ deserving of the most heartfelt gratitude.” [includes rush transcript]
She suggests, among other things, that the “thinking positive” mindset places you on equal footing with whatever you are facing (even if you’re not) and also suggests that it’s all up to you to triumph and if you don’t, it’s your fault you failed and no one else’s.
Forget that cancer is not entirely understood. Forget that fate can throw curve balls at you. Forget that sometimes there are damn good reasons to get angry.
Ehrenreich is right when she suggests that “thinking positive” may not always be enough and sometimes may be the wrong way to go entirely.
It’s just more of the over-individualization of our society. Where an unfair amount of responsibility is placed with the individual rather than taking a critical look at where responsibility may really lie.
For instance, with cancer, I always come back to the idea that it’s absurd that the USG spends over a trillion dollars on keeping us safe from phantom menaces in the desert but a comparable pittance to help find a cure for cancer, which kills hundreds of thousands of people yearly. It’s absurd. But no—it’s your fault you’re dying of cancer, because you didn’t think positive enough.
Hey, so I just added a feed that allows you to download Webcast666 and take it with you. Yes, in episode 1 it’s called “Podcast666” but it turns out people are already using that name, so now I’m calling it Webcast666. I know, clever.
Anyway, you can subscribe using your favorite podcatcher thanks to the brilliant service Twaud.io. I have their feed shunted through feedburner, however, thus allowing me to offer you the easy-to-remember URL:
You can also find the link in the sidebar under the big “rss” link.
So, there ya have it! Hope you enjoy all future episodes of Webcast666!! Thanks for listening!
WHOOPS: Suddenly the feed’s not working. Download the track directly here:
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Episode 1 of Podcast666!* A podcast about challenging the way we live our lives. In this 30 minute recording I explain why I think there’s a need for Podcast666 and what it’s all about—the nutshell: because too many of us are thinking inside the box and suffering because of it. I want to explore challenging ideas—different ideas—that will improve the planet and our lives instead of buying into all the BS and rhetoric. Have a listen and feel free to comment here or Tweet at me (thepete). You can also follow Website666.com on Twitter! http://twitter.com/website666 And if you do, thanks for listening! *link to mp3 hosted at archive.org added 20100907. Also: the podcast is now called the 666cast. Just an FYI!
Episode 1 of Podcast666!* A podcast about challenging the way we live our lives.
In this 30 minute recording I explain why I think there’s a need for Podcast666 and what it’s all about—the nutshell: because too many of us are thinking inside the box and suffering because of it. I want to explore challenging ideas—different ideas—that will improve the planet and our lives instead of buying into all the BS and rhetoric.
Have a listen and feel free to comment here or Tweet at me (thepete). You can also follow Website666.com on Twitter! http://twitter.com/website666
And if you do, thanks for listening!
*link to mp3 hosted at archive.org added 20100907. Also: the podcast is now called the 666cast. Just an FYI!
Friday, October 9, 2009
I recently found this in my inbox, sent to me by a family member whose name I don’t need to mention. It’s a prayer I’m supposed to say and then forward to everyone I know. I thought, “I’ll do better than that and blog about it!” …and add my own commentary.
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.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Back on July 1, 2008, the headline on Drudge reported on Saudi Arabia admitting they would NOT be raising the output of oil to allow humanity to lower the price of gas.*
Yeah, SUV sales in decline, Hummer my sell the brand, Saudi king says “deal with it.”
If you don’t live in a city or town with exemplary mass transit, it’s time to pick up that skateboard because the end is seriously nigh.
I and many others have been watching this situation get worse and worse since 2000. High oil prices, inflation, and now high food prices all tell us it’s only going to get worse because the causes of our problems (Peak Oil/Middle East wars and inflation) aren’t going away and probably never will.
Just an FYI.
Now go run and hide from your responsibility. ;)
You know you wanna…
*this post was edited on 8/13/9 because Drop.io for some odd reason deleted a screencap I was using to head up this story.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I remember when I first learned there was no Santa Claus. My mom was driving me somewhere and I was telling her how some kids in school, that day (I was in the fourth grade), were making fun of me for believing in Santa Claus. They insisted that there was no Santa. I asked my mom point blank: “Is there a Santa Claus?”
She looked over at me for a moment and seemed to see me as an adult for the first time.
“No,” she told me.
My mind raced.
“Well, then there’s no Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy, either, is there?”
She looked like she felt guilty, but my mind was still racing. In the days and weeks that followed, I quietly pondered this discovery—if there was no Santa, or Tooth Fairy, then who else wasn’t real? Then it hit me.
Santa, we were told, would reward us (with presents) if we were good and punish us (with coal) if we were bad.
Now, why does that sound familiar?
God, we are told will reward us (with heaven) if we lead a good life and punish us (with hell) if we lead a bad life.
So, Santa doesn’t exist, but God does, yet both are used to make us behave?
Once you see that dynamic, I don’t know how anyone can still believe in Santa or God. Both are such obvious scams. I’m not saying you’re stupid for believing in God, I just don’t understand how you can’t feel like you’re being lied to in order to keep you in line with society.
And don’t go saying that God is a lie required by society to keep people civil. I’m so tired of the black and white argument. There’s more to life than “on” or “off,” “belief” or “disbelief.”
I consider myself a very moral person, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure there is no God (or god). I don’t need Christian rules to tell me what to do or the threat of Hell or the lack of Heaven to keep me in line.
I’m not a child.
I don’t rape, steal and murder because I don’t think those are nice things to do and I don’t want to be remembered as a bad person when I’m no longer here. My legacy is what makes me behave in a moral fashion. I want people to think I was a good guy when I was alive. We don’t really have immortal souls—not literally. The closest thing we do have is our memory. Sometimes it’s a very tangible, obvious thing, like remembering Bob Hope or George Washington. While other times it’s more abstract—something you learned from your father and have passed on to your son without realizing it. Still, even though your (hypothetical) father is dead, your son remembers him in a way.
You, quite literally, live on through the lives you touch.
Heaven lies in being remembered in a pantheon of great dead people—not in a realm of white clouds, harps, angels, and so on.
Now, I would say “this is just my belief” but it’s not really a “belief” since I’m not referring to anything that doesn’t have proof of existence. My concept of heaven is completely, 100% real and provable.
One of the podcasts I listen to is KCRW’s Minding the Media the weekly short opinion column is delivered by Nick Madigan of the Baltimore Sun who never shies from calling a spade a spade. Which is rare these days. In his latest column he talks about how both insiders in the government and a few mainstream journalists feel like both the government and the media have lost a lot of credibility over the past few years, mainly over the Iraq mess. I tend to agree, but not just about the Iraq mess.
There’s Katrina, too, where state and federal governments failed to do much to save the people in harms way. The media, too, while on-location a lot have dropped the ball on following up on just how poorly state and federal governments are helping Katrina victims get back on their feet (not to mention the victims of past hurricanes in other states). This whole thing brings to mind movies like Mad Max and Road Warrior or any other film that presents a post-apocalyptic reality.
Think about it—we can’t trust our leaders to tell us the truth or even to be there if something bad happens. We can’t trust the media, the watchdogs of our leaders, because they just deliver the press releases our governments give them. What’s left to trust? A great many people in power seem to be doing generally whatever they want with a general disregard for anyone else’s real safety or concerns. The governor of the most financially powerful state in the union referred to a fellow politician as “sick” and to another as a “hack”. These guys don’t even respect each other.
From the latest Minding the Media column I refer to above:
Reporters who cover politicians and corporate executives have to cultivate confidential sources in order to cover their beats properly, but some of those relationships are too clubby, too self-serving and, ultimately, harmful to the notion of a free and open press.
As Tim Rutten wrote in the L.A. Times, the Libby trial’s “unintended seminar in contemporary journalism” shows that Cheney and his staff believe that truth is malleable, and that they knew that some members of the Washington press corps would “cynically accommodate that belief for the sake of their careers.”
“It’s a sick little arrangement,” Rutten said, “in which the parties clearly have one thing in common: a profound indifference to both the common good and to their obligation to act in its service.”
We The People, no longer know what the hell’s really going on and the sad thing is, we’re not even very concerned about that. It’s like the end of all the civilized parts of civilization. Now we’re left only with the appearance of civilization. At least, that’s how I see it.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
OK, so here's what ThePete wrote for YouTube about the latest Jay TheVlog:
The last two weeks of Jay ThePal's clips on 12seconds.tv!! YEAH! Featuring all of his regular segments, What I Wanna Know, Pals of ThePal, and more--but special to this episode is Jay building his own giant poster! COOL! WATCH IT, MAN!!
Wanna take it with you? Download a 78MB mp4 of Jay TheVlog for August 29, 2009 and take it with you! Show your pals!!
OR just watch the YouTube player below, man, YEAH!! (Or do both!!)
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Edition. Why do I think this is the beginning of the end for copyright in the world? Well, honestly, I don't, but effectively, that's what the new RDE will do--whether industry will accept it or not is not up to me.
See, while Sony's new e-reader allows you to do everything the Kindle can do, book-wise anyway (there's no browser), it also allows you to take out library books. That's right. Library books--you "take them out" by downloading them wirelessly to your RDE. They expire after a given time, fulfilling the "returning your library book" part of the traditional equation without you having to do a thing--but right there is the part where copyright breaks down.
Unlike a real book, this is an an e-book--a digital copy of a book--there's no need for you to return it so someone else can check it out. This means that you can just take it out again and again. Effectively, you own the e-book without actually paying for it.
Sure, the library could apply rules that would determine how many times in a row you could check a book out, but since it's digital this is literally a creation of artificial scarcity. Sony's technology has jumped the capitalist shark and can provide unlimited copies of any book in any library that's part of it's network. So, why ever buy books again?
Now, I'm not really saying this is the end of copyright, but I am saying it might as well be. Once libraries start making their multimedia collections available for digital download (which they'll do eventually), that'll pretty much be it.
For me, this is just a replay of every argument against technology since the Church went after Galileo. Eventually science won out because it could prove that the Earth was not the center of the universe. The same loss hit the MPAA when VHS proved to be a technology Hollywood could actually work with.
Now it's just up to the Entertainment Industry to work out a new business model that will allow them to peacefully co-exist with this technology before they are out-evolved by it.
Adapt or die, folks...
Jay ThePal hosts Jay TheCallinShow Ep 2 featuring @MariAdkins, @thesolster, Bet, @Siskita, @KayThePal & a hater, too!
Jay ThePal listens to calls and replies to folks who want to Ask Jay ThePal questions!! In Episode 2, Sol from 12seconds.tv calls in and talks possible endorsement deals. Mari Adkins calls in to share some of the more unusual corners of the Bible with him! Bet wants to know just what Jay remembers from when he was born. Siskita calls and asks Jay ThePal for advice on how to pass the time at a boring dayjob. Kay lets Jay know that she's got a Google Voice number, too! Finally, some hater with too much time on his hands admits his disproval of Jay's sense of humor. Watch and see how Jay responds!! YEAH!! OH yeah and make sure to call (347) 994-YEAH and leave a message for Jay ThePal so YOU TOO can be on Jay TheCallinShow!!
OK, so here is a 47MB mp4 of Jay TheCallinShow Episode 2 for you! Or you can like check out the YouTube player below, man. Yeah.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Dig that crazy redaction! It's like the FOIA request from the ACLU that got this doc released got us
a whole lot of nothing--of course, despite appearances, it gave us enough rope to hang the Bushies
with... if only the Obamites will bother...
After reading today's column from Andrew Sullivan at TheAtlantic.com, I have had my fears reinforced and have come to feel that the United States Government has been and continues to be a sociopathic entity. Sullivan's column is called "The American Way Of Torture" and includes select quotes from the Office of the Inspector General's report on how the CIA systemically tortured terror suspects during the Bush years. There are some disturbing truths that Sullivan's piece forces us to consider:
1) this new OIG report pretty much damns the Bush Administration by proving they not only endorsed torture, but did so in writing.
2) this was definitely torture--what else do you call it when detainees are left in their own excrement?
3) Sullivan makes the point best:
In the past, the US was known for being a country whose soldiers would never mistreat prisoners; now, the US wants the world to know that US custody is something to be dreaded.
This is the same technique used by Grand Moff Tarkin in the original Star Wars movie--his exact line was "Fear will keep the systems in line..."
So yes, all those Daily Show jokes about Cheney were accurate: the United States was run by an evil, cartoonish bad guy.
Now this next part popped into my head thanks to Democracy Now, quoting one leader who spoke about Afghanistan:
The insurgency in Afghanistan didnâ€™t just happen overnight, and we wonâ€™t defeat it overnight. This will not be quick nor easy. But we must never forget, this is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven, from which al-Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting; this is fundamental to the defense of our people.
That's not an old quote from Bush--that's Obama speaking at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Phoenix, Arizona, last week.
So, here comes Obama, explaining that we have no choice but to be in Afghanistan, mimicking the same rhetoric that came from the Bush 43 Admin for so many years. We did it because the Taliban were harboring Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. My question is, how big a threat is Al Qaeda to America? OK, fine, Obama, they're plotting
against us--but how many of us can they really kill?
In 2008 34,017 Americans were killed in car accidents according to the DOT.
In 2005 (the most recent year numbers are available) 159,217 Americans died of lung cancer alone according to the CDC.
In 2007 around 2 million people worldwide were killed by AIDS according to Avert.org.
In 2007 terrorism caused 22,685 deaths worldwide according to the US National Counter Terrorism Center. The number of American civilian deaths by terrorism is almost non-existent since Americans have to leave the country to be killed by a terrorist.
What this all means is that terrorism is a tiny, tiny, tiny threat to the American way of life. Yet, the Bush administration and now the Obama administration thinks it's worth ignoring our morals and our principles to stop the killing of less than 23,000 Earthlings while seven times that number die of lung cancer in America, alone. 53,005 died of colorectal cancer, 27,259 American women died of gynecological cancers, 41,116 American women died of breast cancer--and I could go on.
So, in the end, our government is "protecting" us from nothing. We're spending over a trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan to stop this threat which does not even really exist. My only conclusion is that our government actually enjoys being horrible to people--it's literally sociopathic. Either that, or our government is too addicted to fear, or rock-stupid, to check and compare the statistics, which took me about 30 minutes to do.
With all these people dying of Cancer in the US right now, wouldn't it be nice to have a War on Cancer, instead of a War on Terror?
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The above image was created after entering my name into an online art piece called "Personas." After hitting "return" on my keyboard, a series of interesting things happen. It's hard to really express what happens--nothing mind blowing, but you watch as the above image is created based on data culled from the Internet. The piece was created by Aaron Zinman and the idea is to point out both how capable and how flawed the Internet is in determining who we are as people. Here's what I found on the official project page for Personas:
WHAT IS PERSONAS?
Personas is a component of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit, currently on display at the MIT Museum by the Sociable Media Group from the MIT Media Lab. It uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one's aggregated online identity. In short, Personas shows you how the Internet sees you.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Enter your name, and Personas scours the web for information and attempts to characterize the person - to fit them to a predetermined set of categories that an algorithmic process created from a massive corpus of data. The computational process is visualized with each stage of the analysis, finally resulting in the presentation of a seemingly authoritative personal profile.
In a world where fortunes are sought through data-mining vast information repositories, the computer is our indispensable but far from infallible assistant. Personas demonstrates the computer's uncanny insights and its inadvertent errors, such as the mischaracterizations caused by the inability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name. It is meant for the viewer to reflect on our current and future world, where digital histories are as important if not more important than oral histories, and computational methods of condensing our digital traces are opaque and socially ignorant.
Pretty neat idea considering just how much faith is put in this giant network we call the Web. Seems we humans are still necessary pieces of the information-gathering puzzle. Check it out for yourself and see what you learn about the Internet or about yourself (or folks with your name):
We uploaded it last night to YouTube so here's the description thepete wrote for it:
"Who is Jay ThePal?" is a ten minute documentary using 12-second clips and video from longer-form web content that answers the age-old question: "Who is Jay ThePal?"
The answer? You must watch the documentary for that!!
Don't like watching with the YouTube player, man? Or maybe you just wanna take me with you? No worries, man! Here's totally like a 54MB mp4 version of "Who is Jay ThePal?" hosted by @lisarein of OnLisaReinsRadar.com!! THANKS, LISA!!! YEAH!!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Why does iMovie work this way? Beats me. It's just one of the many annoying things you get to deal with when using software designed by people who only think they are smarter than you. (This was one thing Windows software programmers never seemed to do, believe it or not.)
Incidentally, I use iMovie (for now) because it consumes less resources than Final Cut and has very handy preset titles. However, thanks to the amount of time I've wasted dealing with iMovie's little idiosyncrasies I'm contemplating going back to FCP or perhaps just cutting everything on my netbook's copy of Windows Movie Maker since (surprisingly enough) it seems to have much fewer quirks to deal with. The only drawback is that it's Windows and seems to export only WMV. Blech.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Puts 104 in Custody on Actual Ice, originally uploaded by thepetecom.
Not too much to say that this screencap doesn't already say (source ). Since the creation of the INS, over a hundred people in ICE custody have died--10 of which were only exposed thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request. That's a little bit like the old "you never asked!" joke.
Regardless, people who may not even have been guilty of anything at all died in custody and no one seems all that concerned.
Just thought I'd mention it since illegal immigrants probably don't deserve to die just because they broke an immigration law or two.
Huge Bombing in Baghdad "Raises Questions" about USGIs Leaving Iraq, originally uploaded by thepetecom.
Capped this article just now on my iPhone (source) and it makes me wonder if more violence will be used as an all too convenient excuse to "find" ourselves "forced" to leave troops in Iraq.
Forget that Iraq will have to take over their own country eventually, there are those who will use this bombing and any further violence as an excuse to keep our men and women over there.
In fact, new violence in Iraq is such a convenient excuse that it makes me wonder just who was behind the bombing and whose side they are on.
700,000km Wad of Trash Floating in the Pacific Ocean, originally uploaded by thepetecom.
This shouldn't be too surprising, but the lack of surprise doesn't make up for the lameness of its existence. Yep, it's a giant floating wad of refuse the various Pacific ocean currents have picked up and gathered toward the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The Wikipedia entry for the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" explains that "The patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of suspended plastic and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre."
It goes on: "It has been estimated that 80% of the garbage comes from land-based sources, and 20% from ships at sea. Pollutants range in size from abandoned fishing nets to micro-pellets used in abrasive cleaners. Currents carry debris from the west coast of North America to the gyre in about five years, and debris from the east coast of Asia in a year or less. An international project led by Dr. Hideshige Takada of Tokyo University studying plastic pellets, or nurdles, from beaches around the world may provide further clues about the origins of pelagic plastic, including that of the Pacific garbage patch."
OH and here's what Wikipedia says the wad does to wildlife: "Many of these long-lasting plastics end up in the stomachs of marine birds and animals, including sea turtles, and the Black-footed Albatross. Besides the particles' danger to wildlife, the floating debris can absorb organic pollutants from seawater, including PCBs, DDT, and PAHs. Aside from toxic effects, when ingested, some of these are mistaken by the endocrine system as estradiol, causing hormone disruption in the affected animal. Marine plastics also facilitate the spread of invasive species that attach to floating plastic in one region and drift long distances to colonize other ecosystems."
The Wikipedia article also mentions that the debris field is: "estimated to be twice the size of Texas."
Isn't that great? It's a giant floating garbage pile bigger than the biggest state in the union (assuming two-Texases > Alaska). I'm pretty sure there isn't a person alive who wouldn't find this fact pretty disappointing. Luckily, there are a few people looking into whether or not it can be cleaned up, but the fact that this has happened at all is pretty sad.
Thanks be to @Blogdrop who posted about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch" on his Posterous blog, blogdrop.posterous.com. You should go subscribe to it--it's got a lot of great stuff--art, politics, current events, environmental stuff, too.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Oh the Hypocritical Lies: Death Panels have been around for years..., originally uploaded by thepetecom.
This is what I'm calling the voices against health care reform.
These people are either the biggest idiots or the biggest liars (with Sarah Palin, it's very hard to tell).
So, Palin and others are "scared" there will be these government death panels deciding who lives and who dies based on how sick you are. What a crock. Companies have had this power for years now. Salon.com recently did a piece called "The 'death panels' are already here." The Salon piece mentions the case of Nataline Sarkisyan, who died in 2007 after insurance company Cigna dragged their feet because they decided a liver transplant wouldn't save her life (she later died without the transplant).
Sounds pretty death-panelrific to me, but I remembered a case from further back--after about 30 seconds of Googling I found an excerpt on Michael Moore's YouTube page from his old series The Awful Truth where he explored the case of Christopher Donahue, a man who's insurance company, Humana, was refusing to pay for the pancreas transplant he needed to survive. Michael Moore held a funeral for Donahue outside of Humana's headquarters, which Donahue, himself, attended. Before long, Humana caved and paid for the transplant, but as we saw years later with Nataline Sarkisyan, not all companies are as "generous" as Humana.
So, the next time you hear someone praise the free market for all things, think about this kind of situation.
If we truly believe all humans have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, doesn't the "right to life" mean we have to make sure everyone can get health care? And if companies are going to put their "right" to make as much money above our right to life, doesn't that mean that these corporations are anti-American and, really, anti-human? Pretty bizarre that they're in the "business" of providing health care insurance when they look to ways to avoid doing just that.
So, UNBELIEVABLE, once again, that these idiots or assholes honestly think the government would institute death panels when they've existed for over a decade. That's right--the Michael Moore show, The Awful Truth episode I described above was aired in 1999.
We've had death panels since last century--thanks, Sarah Palin (and others), for finally getting around to noticing just now.