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Saturday, December 31, 2011

My view at 53rd and Broadway (it's packed!)




EDIT: This was supposed to post at 6:00pmish on 12/31/11.

This is how crowded #TimesSquare is for #NYE at 3:17pm. Kinda crazy...

We're close to seeing the ball, but not close enough to ACTUALLY see it :/

Friday, December 30, 2011

#SnagFilms iOS app featuring only documentaries is "Brought to you by #GoldmanSachs". App deleted on principle.


I also wrote a negative review in the App Store. Where you get your money from does matter, doesn't it? (I'm honestly asking.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm all for the cause, but if you want to #OccupyWallStreet you're a bit far north, Mr. Unimaginative Graffiti Person.


Saw this just now on the way down to meet up with TheWife for an evening excursion in midtown. In case you're not familiar with NYC, 190th Street is near the top of Manhattan Island while Wall Street is almost at the bottom of it. Meanwhile, 1st Street is only about a fourth(ish) of the way up. So yeah, the #OWS spray-painter is a bit off.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

ThePete elsewhere on the 'net!


  • thepete.com/press
    Thepete.com/press is the publishing arm of thepete.com. It currently produces books and magazines in multiple formats, including print, digital and web. All currently available book titles from thepete.com/press can be found at . All currently available magazine titles can be found at .



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Democrat Rep moans how a million bucks doesn't go so far these days but fails to offer a trade with me.

20111227-124317.jpg

This is the Absurd Disconnect buying the souvenir mug right here--the above "quote of the day" comes from the NYTimes daily top headlines email. Just so Google can see it, here it is in the text:
QUOTATION OF THE DAY

"To say that I'm enjoying a millionaire's lifestyle - well, I can tell you, I guess a millionaire's income doesn't go very far these days."
ED PASTOR, an Arizona Democrat who is among 250 members of Congress with a net worth of $1 million or more.

What a douchebag. Um, hey man, you want to try trading incomes with me? Because I'll gladly take the tough life you've got going on and then you can see how the other half lives--er--the other 99% lives, I mean.

Ed Pastor is profiled in an NYT article today where his comments clearly show that, Republican or Democrat, money makes you stupid--or at least amoral, or maybe both--I mean, how, in today's economic climate, do you talk about being a millionaire and that a million doesn't go very far these days??? Did Pastor even stop for a split second to consider how that sounds to himself, let alone the rest of us?

The article also reports on how the income gap between our leaders and us is more dramatic than it has ever been. It even goes so far as to refer to Pastor and other millionaires in Congress as "aristocrats." That sure sounds accurate to me. These guys need to wake up and smell the reality that their corporate overlords/golf-buddies are robbing us to pay them. If they can't make a million go very far then maybe they should try giving the money to people who will put it to better use. For instance, shelters, hospitals that can't afford to stay open, schools, charities that provide relief to disaster-stricken areas or ANYONE who isn't a rich, jerk-off, politician.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hey, didn't #Obama say something about NOT using signing statements like this?

Contrary to what some celebrity-types think, I don't think it's a good idea to blindly support a leader just because you voted for him. I mean, what if the guy blatantly goes against what he said he'd do? Like how Obama is issuing these signing statements like the NYTimes reported:


20111224-120503.jpg
Obama says he'll enforce the parts of the new budget bill he thinks don't infringe on his powers as president. This sounds like a case of "new boss, same as the old boss" to me. Especially since Obama said during his campaign that he wouldn't use signing statements to dodge the will of Congress. And it looks like this won't be the only instance of him issuing a signing statement to get around the will of Congress. The screencap below comes from a recent post on talkingpointsmemo.com:


20111224-122103.jpg
So, yeah, Holder says Obama will be signing the already controversial NDAA of 2012 into law but will tack on a signing statement to make it less objectionable to him. So we're basically watching Godzilla and King Ghidora trying to decide who should destroy Tokyo. Not only does the NDAA seem to violate the US Constitution, but Obama tweaking it at his whim is dictatorial regardless of the ends he uses to justify said tweaking. Hell, if Obama and Bush can decide to not follow laws they decide are unjust, then why can't everyone?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Giving My Cat some shots...

Giving My Cat some shots...

Lego Missile Attack + Cat Car Crash!

Lego Missile Attack + Cat Car Crash!

ThePeteToys: Chalky!

My first ever custom toy made way back in 2006:
[simpleviewer gallery_id="2"]
Chalky started out life as an 8-inch KidRobot Munny blank. I used blackboard paint and chalk (big surprise) and he really works as a blackboard! I still want to do a Munny that allows for dry-erase markers to be used on it :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jay TheUnboxer: Mountain Dew Dew Labs Kit!



YEAH! This was awesome, man! I won one of 50 Dew Labs taste testing kits from Mountain Dew, man! I even unboxed it all myself!!  WATCH ME DO IT, MAN!!

Check out what ebooks are on my iThingy (shameless plug alert!)


Yep, it's my book! Go pick up a copy for yourself by hitting up the link above or just head over to http://press.thepete.com where you can get the ebook version for Kindle for just $3 or the paperback version for $13. Do it now and support your favorite "thepete" just in time for the holidays!! Thanks!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why @FedEx pissed me off today (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the @UPS Even More)


Ugh. Can you believe it? I can. It seems like businesses really don't like doing their jobs. Funny, you'd think they'd understand that by properly training their employees and paying them well, the job will get done properly and everyone will be happy. But no, hiring people who understand how to read instructions on doorcode panels (or teaching them how to understand doorcode panel instructions) is too much effort for FedEx. When I called them, they said that another attempt would be made tomorrow before 7pm, despite the fact that it was supposed to be delivered today before 4:30. So, seeing as it was a driver-error and not a me-error or a sender-error, I asked them if they could deliver it by 4:30 tomorrow. They said they'd try. Then I got a call later on from FedEx confirming that what I asked was what they heard >_<

LONG LIVE UPS! I get stuff delivered via UPS and my regular delivery guy is AWESOME. He never has trouble getting in the front door of my building, he remembers my name (not so hard as it's on the label) and always seems friendly. I've never seen the same FedEx guy in a row--it's always someone new and one driver even admonished me for not having the doorcode on the shipping label. Like *I* sent it to myself or something.

I know this is all under the category of #FirstWorldProblems, but for me, it's more about truth-in-advertising. Don't lie to me and say you'll do something and then don't do it. Just tell me you're going to be lame so I don't have my schedule screwed up. It's fine, be as lame as you want--just TELL me. Why bother lying when we know you'll suck anyway, right?

Via: http://buy.louisck.net Louis CK cuts out the middle man and makes a LOT more money distributing his video online


Following in the footsteps of Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails fame), comedian Louis CK distributed his latest comedy special online, bypassing traditional distributors and apparently made a mint. Reuters reported (goo.gl/EaKsy):
C.K. said the $200,000 he has has profited so far is "less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you." But fans would have had to pay about $20 for the video, he estimated, rather than $5.

Also, the D.I.Y. approach allows him to keep the rights to the special, and allows fans more freedom in how they can view it, since the download is not encrypted or regionally restricted.

C.K., the creator and star of the FX show "Louie," says production of the video cost around $170,000, covered largely by the cost of tickets for the two shows he filmed and edited together for the special. Developing his website to sell the special cost about $32,000. Sales of more than 110,000 copies have so far brought in more than $500,000. PayPal charges and other costs left him with "around $200,000 (after taxes $75.58)," he wrote.

To me, this is awesome news. I love it when people are able to get past the traditional gatekeepers of the entertainment industry and sell directly to the consumer. It saves everyone time and effort and usually makes it better for the consumer. I'm not sure of CK was being serious when he said that all he ended up making off of the experiment was $75. $200,000 is an awesome take, though, and I hope he keeps going with it. Imagine if he took his show off of TV and just let people download each ep for a buck.  Or maybe he could just post each ep on YouTube and see how much the ads on their net him.

I'm fascinated by this new direction because it upsets the traditional distribution model for media that has been in place and in power for basically the last century.

My only question is how Louis CK would have done if no one knew who Louis CK was. Like Trent Reznor, capitalizing on his own success thanks to that century-old model allowed him to build an audience, effectively, on someone else's dime. How does someone make $200k without having to go the traditional route, at all? Has anyone even managed to do such a thing yet?

Irresponsible Democrats and Republicans need a bill in order to keep the USG "operating" Past this Weekend


What a state the USA is in. I grabbed this screencap from Google News in the middle of the night last night. When I went back to Google News just now, ten hours(ish) later, the top story was how CNN's iReport was letting USGIs coming back from Iraq tell their stories. Even Google News' algorithm is biased against important news! >_< Anyway, so here's where we are in America today. Partisan bickering means the USG may shut down in three days. I doubt it will, but the fact is, unless they print more money, it appears that they'll be out of it. What the hell are our leaders doing to let America fall into such a state? We spend over a trillion on wars chasing a tiny threat while our country faces bigger threats domestically, from crumbling infrastructure, to health care problems and an economy that is not doing it's job of supporting all (or even most) Americans.

While our leaders are bickering about keeping the government operating, the country it's supposed to protect is falling to pieces. Lovely. You know what? I'd be curious to what difference it would make if they DID shut down on Monday. I wonder if things would really be better or worse.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More Pics from the #NorwegianWood screening at @JapanSociety tonight

Pics from the Q&A after the members-only screening of #NorwegianWood at @JapanSociety 12/14/11Pics from the Q&A after the members-only screening of #NorwegianWood at @JapanSociety 12/14/11Pics from the Q&A after the members-only screening of #NorwegianWood at @JapanSociety 12/14/11Pics from the Q&A after the members-only screening of #NorwegianWood at @JapanSociety 12/14/11Pics from the Q&A after the members-only screening of #NorwegianWood at @JapanSociety 12/14/11On my way home from #NorwegianWood at @JapanSociety and all I can say is: ???! (amazing!)At @JapanSociety about to see a members-only screening of #NorwegianWood. Looking forward to this!


Here are the earlier pics I blogged along with five other pics of the Q&A after the screening. Such an incredibly well made movie!

On my way home from #NorwegianWood at @JapanSociety and all I can say is: ???! (amazing!)


OK, so that's not all I can say :) This is a film about a young man in the late 1960s who is coming of age around other young adults doing the same in a world of serious seriousness. How is the rest of your life changed by a tragedy when you are young? That's roughly the question the film asks.  Whether it answers it fully is up to the viewer, I think.

This movie is amazingly well acted, superbly shot and invisibly directed. If you're a fan of truly subtle acting and enjoy a good tragedy, this movie is for you. Heavy doesn't begin to describe it. Atmospheric is just a suggestion of how this film weighs on you (in a good way).

For some reason, I keep wanting to describe "Norwegian Wood" as "2001: A Space Odyssey" with all the science fiction swapped out for tragic fiction but with all of the profundity intact. It was both perplexing and satisfying while still leaving some things up to the audience to interpret.

Based on the novel by Haruki Murakami, "Norwegian Wood" was written and directed by Tran Anh Hung and stars Kenichi Matsuyama and Rinko Kikuchi with music by Jonny Greenwood. It opens in the US on January 6th, 2012.

At @JapanSociety about to see a members-only screening of #NorwegianWood. Looking forward to this!

I'll post the movie poster after.

I know Amazon wants us to buy their new flaming thing but can't they support iThingies a bit better than this?


I snapped this last night while trying to buy the awesome score for the brilliant UK show "Misfits" last night. Amazon's cloud player will work but the media gallery does what you see below. I can stream mp3s via Safari but playing in the background is super flakey. I wish they would just do an app. In the end I did buy the "Misfits" score but had to use my MacBook Pro to download it. Could have DLed it on my Android phone, of course.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blech... just watched the trailer for the new #GIJoe movie and there's SO much to criticize, but...

...but the thing I thought most worth criticizing is the casting of yet another non-Japanese actor in a role that kinda sorta supposed to be a Japanese character.  To be sure, I am whining here, as the character of the female ninja, Jinx, was not well developed as a character back when I was still reading the GI Joe comic and don't recall her at all in the cartoon (I don't even know if the original Jinx character was Japanese--I just know that ninja, generally are).  So, really, I'm just taking this as a chance to call out Hollywood yet again for its seemingly racist casting of non-Japanese people as Japanese characters.  Here's the comment I left on the article on EW.com that directed me to the trailer:
After cringing and wincing at that trailer I feel like an idiot only mentioning the annoying casting of yet another non-Japanese actor playing a ninja. I know, looking at the trailer that's the least of this film's offenses, but I figure the casting of non-Japanese actors for Japanese roles is always what people miss or ignore. I've got nothing against non-Japanese actors being cast, but when the character is supposed to be Japanese it's just odd that they cast non-Japanese actresses in "Memoirs of a Geisha", a non-Japanese guy as Sulu in the Star Trek redux, another Korean dude as Storm Shadow, and the CLINCHER, casting Tom Cruise in the Last Samurai! Dude doesn't even LOOK Japanese, COME ON, HOLLYWOOD.

But seriously, Keanu Reeves in "47 Ronin" makes me want to vomit in enough stomach acid to dissolve the Hollywood sign.

OK, shutting up now. Sorry to bother you all...

It's true--there is so much wrong with "GI Joe 2" that the casting is the least of my worries as a fan of well-written action movies.  But all of those complaints are going to be what everyone else talks about, so I won't bother except to say: Bruce Willis as the guy who is supposed to be the original "GI Joe"???  What the hell, Hollywood!?!  WtHH!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another photostrip from the other night on the 6 Train to Target

ok, that last pic is a little scary.

I sold an ironic T-shirt from my Zazzle store! Literally! http://thepete.com/a/ironicT

SWEET!

Why don't you go purchase one? I'd really appreciate it because it helps me and lets you have a cool shirt.  Don't like that shirt? Check out my Zazzle store to see what else I've got.

 

Sign of the Times: You'd Never Expect THIS Subway Jumper (don't worry--no life was harmed!)


Saw this on the way home the night of December 6, 2011. Looks like the cold or maybe the down economy got to be too much for this poor bear!

Here are some stills I took:





FYI, the front-facing camera on my Android phone flips the picture for some reason and the stills were taken with the back-facing camera, so they're not only higher quality, but also oriented properly.  Sorry for any confusion.

James of JapanProbe.com blocks me and fails to correct his own post

I usually don't get into cat fights on the Internet, but this time it's about two things I'm passionate for--Japan and the Truth. Here's the deal, JapanProbe.com is an interesting blog that covers Japanese culture, posting on everything from the world's oldest dog dying in Japan to Thai factory workers coming to Japan after floods in Thailand.  So, it's quite a range of topics. The only problems I've ever had with the site was when the head guy over there, called James, dropped any pretense at objectivity and let his critical opinion color his coverage.

For instance, in a post about a video showing Fukushima residents confronting authorities regarding their radiation concerns, James was quick to call the credibility of the video into question, pointing out that (in his opinion) it had been "heavily edited" and subtitled to seem more dramatic, and that a confrontational citizen in the video is holding a bottle of urine that is far too big and contains far more urine than "any single child could plausibly excrete in a single trip to the bathroom."

In a more recent post, this one covering #OccupyTokyo protests, he called said protests held in solidarity with the #OccupyWallStreet protesters, a failure because of the low turnout.  Read my comment on this post being critical of the protest for more info (be sure to read the replies, to my comments, including James' poor defense of my criticisms).

Finally, James posted something about the anti-whaling group Sea Shepard Conservation Society seeing an increase of donations after said group increased their "violent actions against Japanese whaling ships."  In the post, James made no attempt to describe the violent actions or contextualize the situation.  He also made the claim that the head-guy of the anti-whaling group had lied on a New Zealand-based TV program, when he made the claim that donations to tsunami victims were going to help the Japanese whaling industry.  James said: "Television New Zealand’s failure to fact-check is lending credibility to a very ugly falsehood."

I left a comment explaining that I would no longer be reading JapanProbe.com because of James' inability to keep any sense of balance. I'd link to my comment, but James didn't approve it and then banned me from commenting:



One of the points in the comment that I tried to make was that JapanProbe.com isn't a personal blog, or an opinion blog, it's a blog that covers Japan, so, in my mind, it shouldn't paint any of the things it covers in a positive or negative light.  Calling the #OccupyTokyo protests a failure or a success is a bad idea, in my mind.  Likewise, writing a post that is incredibly biased against a video making the rounds seems like James is taking away the reader's option to make up their own mind.  And finally, in the case of the Sea Shepard story, it's one thing to report on the inaccuracy of the Sea Shepard guy's statement, but another to call him a liar.

Regardless, it's obvious that James doesn't agree with my take on his blog, which would be fine, if all he did was reject my comment and ban me.  But that's not where he left it.  He decided to be childish and leave a comment on my blog.  In said comment, he criticized my blog for the same thing I was criticizing his blog for.  The catch is that my blog is a personal blog.  I post my personal thoughts, opinions and experiences here.  There's no doubt that this blog is filled with my opinion.  However, go to JapanProbe.com and it's not clear that it is James' personal/opinion blog at all--not until you read posts of more controversial nature. Then it's obvious how he feels.

Of course, the real kicker here is that the Japanese government has admitted that nearly $30 million of Japan's own tsunami recovery funds are going to help the whaling industry, as Time.com blogged about today:



Here's an cutting from the post:
...the government did not do its beleaguered case any favors when it confirmed last week that $29 million of the national post-tsunami recovery fund had been allotted to the whaling industry, including to provide extra security for the whaling fleet.

Here's what James got right: those post-tsunami recovery funds were allocated by the Japanese government--this is not money donated from abroad.  What James gets wrong is that the difference is almost negligible.  Did the Sea Shepard guy lie?  Yes, in a literal sense, he did.  However, would you be willing to donate money to help disaster survivors if the survivor's own government was spending money on the whaling industry?

I would, but I love Japan but I'd still be pretty pissed about it.  What Japan's government is doing is what America's government is doing--propping up ancient business-models that are failing and, in some cases, are illegal or even immoral. Still, no reason to lie about it, but was it really "a very ugly falsehood" as James opined or was it just a somewhat misleading statement?

Regardless, if James would maintain a less opinionated stance, he'd lose less readers and produce a better blog.  Not to mention spend less time defending his posts in the comments and banning people.

In conclusion, it's my strong feeling that you should probably avoid JapanProbe.com as a source for Japan-related news and entertainment (unless you don't mind good content getting mixed with extremely opinionated stuff that I feel often borders on the inaccurate).  Instead, I follow http://japanlove.tumblr.com on Tumblr and subscribe to the RSS feed at http://www.tofugu.com.  There are a HUGE number of interesting Japanese blogs out there and, so far, I've only found one that really let their blogger's opinions get in the way of good content.

What the heck is this "ANDROID: Have U Won?" notification on my Android phone?


It reads "The Phone Lottery Has Chosen (1) Number (optout at xapush.com)". What the heck is this thing? When you go to that URL it forwards to airpush.com, which is a mobile ads company, apparently.  This is utterly uncool of them to force users to opt out when the only notification we got that we were opting in was via one of those ridiculously long TOSes some apps make you agree to. Man, all this compromising privacy and trading convenience for annoyance we're doing in the world of tech these days is really starting to look like a bad idea. From all the iPhone killswitch, to the CarrierIQ stuff, to this sort of thing, I wonder how much worse it'll get before it gets better.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Our cat, Zaphod, sitting on the couch armrest next to me tonight.

Our cat, Zaphod, sitting on the couch armrest next to me tonight.

On the subway back from Ikea earlier tonight.

On the subway back from Ikea earlier tonight.

I signed up for a free Ikea membership and got textually yelled at by a woman in an ATM


Why is she yelling at me when she's hiding behind that card?

I think she's just jealous that I get to have a free froyo at the Ikea food
standy place.

Of COURSE, Ikea sells THESE!


So, predictable!

Here's a picture of my wife and I in bed together...


...at Ikea. We're getting a new mattress for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Is Rick Perry's "Strong" TV spot in violation of YouTube's Hate Speech Prohibition?



 dawnowar on Tumblr, replied to my postDo you agree with Obama's War on Religion? Rick Perry does so much he invented it. >_
and report it for hate speech against gay people. thats a choice in the dropdown.

Ooo, EXCellent point!  Thanks to the inadvertently brilliant guy on Perry's campaign who is in charge of his YouTube page, the copy from the TV spot is in the caption to the video--so we can easily see the part that could probably be called bigoted:
...there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.

Well, I don't know if I'd call that "hate" speech, so much as I'd call it "dislike" speech.  I mean, it's not like he's saying he hates gays.  He is saying having gays in the military is as bad as prayer not being allowed in school.

Of course, YouTube defines hate speech as:
speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity

Hm, is this TV spot attacking or demeaning gays in the military?  I'm not sure. It certainly does single them out as being as "bad" as no prayer in schools.

Well, here's the link to his video again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PAJNntoRgA

It's up to you: go flag it for hate speech or just dislike it like I did.  Either way, we all need to remember that when you're the President of the United States of America, you're the President of the gays of America, too.

Do you agree with Obama's War on Religion? Rick Perry does so much he invented it.


And look how many dislikes it's got! Go dislike it yourself here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PAJNntoRgA

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Federal Reserve "loans" insane money to the banks, without the USG knowing, economy still screwed

20111203-203638.jpg

The following cutting comes from a recent Bloomberg article (here: http://goo.gl/ngVjc ) reporting on the real amount of money the Federal Reserve "loaned" to banks back when the financial shit first hit the fan (seen in the above screencap from last Thursday's Daily Show which was running footage from CNN):

"The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he “wasn’t aware of the magnitude.” It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year."

What is also disappointing to me is the Daily Show's reference to the Federal Reserve as part of the USG. Effectively, it is not. It is run by a board that is appointed by the POTUS (read more on Wikipedia here: http://goo.gl/DICqs ) and we all know how money-smart recent Oval Office Inhabitants have been (they usually take advice from industry insiders and are never critical of Fed policy or behavior). So if you have an effective idiot deciding who runs an agency of the government, it's a bad idea to act like said agency can actually be controlled by the USG or, even less likely, by We the People.

While the Fed must appear at hearings in front of Congress (Wikipedia: http://goo.gl/fIQhk ), it must only do so twice a year and, as with the POTUS, one must wonder how said Congresspeople would be qualified to oversee such hearings. These are the same group that counted Ted "the Internet is a Series of Tubes" Stevens as a member. And even if there are people in the Senate and the House that do have a clue about money, remember the Fed only has to show up TWICE year. In odd years the Fed Chairman appears before the House and in even years, the Senate.

That really doesn't sound like a lot of control the USG has over the Fed, does it? No wonder they could slip $7,770,000,000,000 by the USG. That's about half the National Debt! What the fuck is wrong with our leaders? When that much money is loaned out, don't think it has no effect on the value of the dollar. I can't imagine that much new money getting paid back, either.

Of course, calling these "loans" at all is a joke since, as the Daily Show reported, the $7 trillion+ was loaned out with an interest rate of 0.01%! (go to the Bloomberg article here: http://goo.gl/ngVjc and find this fact underneath the "Below Market" heading.)

Saying this indicates a serious logical disconnect between what our leaders' priorities are and what they should be is an understatement. But allow me to explain how:

So, to keep these banks afloat, they basically give trillions to banks like it's candy. Meanwhile, how many people die from a lack of adequate health care that they can't get because they can't afford it? Beyond that, how many people died this year of cancer, a disease that saw the USG throw less than $2 billion at it in 2010 (http://goo.gl/eHdOR )? This is a disease that one in three women will get and one in two men will get. I don't know about you, but I'd happily trade huge banks for small ones and not get cancer, but hey, that's not where the USG's priorities are.

AMERICA: Where we save the banks, save the corporations, indefinitely detain suspected terrorists and let the citizens die.

Friday, December 2, 2011

APOLOGIES TO MY TWITTER FOLLOWERS!

I use a plugin that auto-tweets each of my blog posts to Twitter. Stupidly, there's no failsafe that will stop the plugin from auto-tweeting every single post even if I import a few hundred of them in one fell swoop--as I did just minutes ago. >_< That's pretty stupid, huh? Equally stupid is that I forgot entirely about this plugin, so ultimately, I'm the idiot. Sorry for the massive blogspam!

Alas, my Twitter account is locked for tweeting for an hour so I can't apologize or delete anything. Sooooo very sorry. :/

Senate passes bill that removes the most basic human right AND reminds us: only Americans are human.


Capped this last night (source: bit.ly/tRP0Vr):
"The Senate on Thursday passed a giant defense bill that includes a new policy for detaining and trying suspected al Qaeda terrorists"

That was CNN's simple explanation of the bill, but if you continue to read a few paragraphs in you get to see, not only how the US Senate is pissing the US Constitution down their leg, but also how the media is still just repeating what they are told and not actually doing any challenging of our leaders. Hell, they don't even question things in the article where no politician can directly challenge them back--but I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's a cutting from the article that shows us how the US Senate agrees that if you're not American, you're not human:
"This country is special because we have certain values, and due process of law is one of those values," Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-California, argued on the Senate floor.  "I object to holding American citizens without trial. I do not believe that makes us more safe."

Pretty neat, huh? Feinstein, a Democrat, does not object to holding non-Americans without trial despite our founding documents declaring that all humans are created equal. I guess Senator Feinstein believes that if you're not American you're not human. Why else shouldn't all people have the right to be free from unlawful imprisonment?

More from the article:
"You have people on the left who hate saying 'the war on terror,'" responded Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina. "They would never ever use the military and always insist the law enforcement be used because they don't buy into the idea that we're at war. They want to criminalize the war."

HA! The phrase "criminalize the war" is laughingly nonsensical enough but the straw-man argument Graham spins is laughably typical. As though the legal system is somehow inadequate for keeping Americans safe. Apparently, the FBI and the cops and the judicial system sucks so much ass, America would fall apart if it was trusted with going after terrorists. No, WE NEED A WAR!

It's politicians like Feinstein and Graham that totally miss the point of OUR FOUNDING PRINCIPLES and make me want to give up on "America" as a concept. I mean, seriously--what the ability to hold anyone indefinitely does is remove the first human right (essentially) ever established: the right of Habeas Corpus. Going back as far as the 1300s, Habeas Corpus is the right that everyone needs guaranteed because it allows a prisoner to challenge their detention. And EVERYONE needs this right, not just Americans--why? Because of mistakes.

Let's say Diane Feinstein or Lindsey Graham were mistaken for Canadians who inadvertently supported a pro-Palestinian terrorist group. How would they be able to challenge their detention?

Read more about Habeas Corpus on Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_corpus

Read the rest of the CNN article to see how wonderful a job they do of contextualizing this bill in a way that allows you to see how unConstitutional it is: bit.ly/tRP0Vr OH WAIT, they don't do that at all, instead, completely ignoring it's obvious conflicts with our founding documents.

Just a quick reminder: 1 in 2 adult men will get cancer. The craziest, most extreme Al Qaeda guy only wishes he was that effective. How about a War on Cancer, Senators Graham and Feinstein, hmmm? I'm totally down with indefinite detention of cancer tumors, in fact, let's kill them on sight.