Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Here's a serious ironyfail. The above-capped article comes from the NYT earlier this month (here: www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/us/politics/high-gas-prices-gi... ) and with a title like "Rising Gas Prices Give G.O.P. Issue to Attack Obama" how could I resist blogging about it? I mean, really, Republicans? Gas prices are too high for you? Perhaps you should just STFU and support alternative energy? But I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's a cutting from the above article and refers to a "closed-door" meeting held by GOPers:
"“This debate is a debate we want to have,” Mr. Boehner told his conference on Wednesday, according to a Republican aide who was present. “It was reported this week that we’ll soon see $4-a-gallon gas prices. Maybe higher. Certainly, this summer will see the highest gas prices in years. Your constituents saw those reports, and they’ll be talking about it.”"
Oh really, John? You want to have this debate? Well, not with me, buddy. Because the basic laws of supply and demand tell us that if you want to lower price you either raise supply or reduce demand. The latter could have been done DECADES ago if only Republicans hadn't been such douchebags when it comes to protecting their pals in the oil biz. But hang on, there's more--here's another cutting from the article:
"“They want higher energy prices. They want to push their radical agenda on the public,” Rick Santorum said at a campaign event last week, accusing Democrats of pushing alternatives to oil. “We need a president who is on the side of affordable energy.”
Newt Gingrich wrote on Twitter on Friday that “gasoline prices are unacceptable. We can do better!” He urged his supporters to sign a petition on his Web site calling for a return to $2.50-a-gallon gas. “Drill here. Drill now. Pay less,” the petition says.
And talking points from the Republican National Committee that go out to conservative commentators every Friday often include rising gas prices among the “Top Line Messaging” for the week. A recent “Pundit Prep” document cited the national debt, unemployment and the price of gas as the three best ways to define the “Obama economy.”"
Gosh, it is a shame car-drivers are forced to pay these high prices for gasoline! Too bad there aren't other ways to fuel your car, like some sort of, oh I don't know, ALTERNATIVE kind of ENERGY that could be used.
I'm so SICK of looking at politicians shrug their way through explaining why things are so messed up, as though they could never have seen these problems coming or done anything at all to avoid them. Whether it was 911, the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war or the economy, NO ONE apologizes for any of it and everyone claims they couldn't have seen it coming, despite anyone with eyes, basic math skills and a history book could have predicted all of it.
The fact of the matter is that our leaders in Washington, Democrat and Republican alike, are fucking ROCK STUPID and choose to follow their lust for cash and power around rather than their morals or feelings of responsibility for their fellow American citizen.
Seriously, Republicans, do you realize how unbelievably MORONIC you look complaining about high gas prices??? When Clinton was in office, gas wasn't much more expensive than $1/gal. 911, two Republican wars in the Middle East and a decade+ of inflation and YES, YOU'RE GOING TO SEE HIGHER GAS PRICES, YOU UTTER DOUCHES!
We seriously need to instate a Hypocrisy Police in the US. This shit is getting too crazy for words.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
February 28, 2012 at 08:12PM
from: @ daviddarts's original tweet.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Latest Lego acquisitions--these are from a quick trip to the Lego store at Rockefeller Center last night
Latest Lego acquisitions--these are from a quick trip to the Lego store at Rockefeller Center, a photo by thepetecom on Flickr.
I wanted the alien and the genie, but coulda passed on the leprechaun. Ah well. At least he came with a pot of Lego gold! ;)
Back on the 17th I found the above-capped op-ed at NYTimes.com (original here: www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/opinion/blow-santorum-exalts-i... ). The piece talks about Santorum's "increasingly unhinged" public comments. This is an understatement to a guy like me. I feel like my right to free thought hinges on my respect for the right of others to free thought. In other words, if I start saying things like "you're belief in a god is ridiculous" I open myself up to people saying things to me like "your lack of belief in a god is ridiculous." So, I try to hold my tongue.
Of course, religious folks fall just short of telling me my lack of faith is ridiculous, as it is, and based on the way Santorum talks, it seems like a lot of folks with similar beliefs would like to shape government based on these beliefs. (And they worry about Islam?) Here's a cutting from the above op-ed:
Also last week, he suggested that liberals and the president were leading religious people into oppression and even beheadings. I kid you not. Santorum said: “They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is the French Revolution. What’s left is a government that gives you rights. What’s left are no unalienable rights. What’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. What’s left in France became the guillotine."
Then, just today I saw Santorum quoted as saying (source: www.cbsnews.com/8301-505267_162-57385629/romney-santorum-... ): "To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up."
Santorum was bagging on a speech JFK used to explain that he wasn't going to force his religious views on America. Instead of, as another CBSNews.com article points out (source: www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57385430-503544/santorum-... ):
Santorum said Kennedy "was trying to tell people of faith that you will do what the government says, we are going to impose our values on you."
So, Santorum says JFK and the USG shouldn't force their religious views on We The People. Fine, but how can he turn around and wear his religion on his sleeve, thus suggesting he'll impose his religous values on us?
Of COURSE people of faith have should have a role in the public square, but their faith itself? Yeah, bad idea. We need facts to take center stage, not belief in a magical being protecting us from pollution, rising sea levels and a dramatically changing climate (not to mention AIDS, cancer and terrorist bombings). And that's what scares me. Maybe it's just the media making America seem more prone to Believery than we really are, but it really seems like we've become the subject of an episode of "The Twilight Zone" where people trust a malfunctioning computer in a cave instead of trusting facts and common sense to protect themselves from danger and stagnation. Only, in this case, the computer is Christianity.
That's the real danger of believing in God and trusting men in robes (or white collars) to provide all of your guidelines for living your life--you forget to think for yourself. Regardless of whether there is or isn't a God, we all know humans get things wrong all the time. So how can you blindly assume that your pastor or priest, rabbi or imam, hasn't misunderstood the will of the being that created the entire freakin' universe?
Let's be honest--the universe is a vast and amazing place. The idea that any human can even come close to understanding what God wants indicates an amazing amount of ego and hubris. In the end, you really MUST make your own judgment and NOT trust only religion and religious people, because what if they're wrong? Either way, you'll have only yourself to blame for your decision, so why not take responsibility for yourself?
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Ballpoint Adventures for February 22, 2012: WARNING: MORE SWEARING FROM BILLY FOR ANTI-ENVIRONMENT TYPES
So, according to the above-capped article from Philly.com (source: articles.philly.com/2012-02-16/news/31067580_1_president-... ), Obama's got this idea that he can give tax incentives to American businesses to stop them from hiring cheaper labor in other countries. This, on the surface makes sense, but don't we need MORE tax dollars? Aren't American corporations that pay little or no taxes harming the American economy by keeping funds from the USG?
I remember a time, not long ago, when anyone who was critical at all of America, for any reason, would be called anti-American. Speak out against wars in other countries and you were anti-American. Say something about how torture was bad and some Republican douchebag would label you anti-American. But corporations, which are now legally people, not only dodge taxes, but they also hire foreigners instead of Americans and no Republicans (or anyone else) says anything. Really, anti-American is exactly what these corporations are. By hiring foreign workers in foreign countries, not only do Americans not get paid what they are worth, the American economy, itself, loses money since the foreign worker isn't going to be spending that money in the US.
Not paying taxes, hiring American, and sending American money to other economies--how much more anti-American can a corporate person get? As American citizens we should be slamming (and boycotting, if possible) companies that use foreign labor. Our politicians should be vocally slamming these corporations, too. After all, by not slamming them, our politicians are contributing to the loss of American jobs and American money and both harm the American economy.
Of course, the ultimate smart bomb would be to ban outsourcing completely. But we'll never see that happen because that would harm American businesses and we would never want to put the American people above American businesses would we?
Yes, it's true, We The People have become second class citizens behind corporations. At least we still have our freedom of speech--why not use it to slam these anti-American corporations? If they're people they must be able to feel guilt, right?
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I drew a Ballpoint Adventures comic early last week about this (here: thepete.com/2012/02/13/ballpoint-adventures-for-february-... ), but I thought it was worth mentioning again. Seems that in order to get all of King's speeches and notes digitized and available online, the King Center accepted funds and help from JPMorgan Chase, a giant megabank--one of the most powerful in the world. Does anyone really think Dr. King would be OK with this considering one of his final speeches speaks of the gross inequality in the America Dr. King last lived in? Here's a quote from a speech King gave in 1967 (source: www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/628.html ):
...And one day we must ask the question, Why are there forty million poor people in America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I'm simply saying that more and more, we've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society...
Yeah, I'm sure megabanks that targeted black families for subprime loans that helped ruin the economy would be the perfect place to find support for getting Dr. King's stuff online!
I think not. I also think that the people who run the King Center should have asked for grass-roots help rather than big-money help. It's important that Dr. King's work be preserved for history, but at the expense of his principles? Come on. I think there would have been plenty of volunteers across the Internet who would have been happy to work for free in exchange for a chance to help this great cause.
Instead, a bank did it. And now that bank is bragging about it and bragging about how they believe in Dr. King's message while simultaneously attempting to foreclose on a civil rights activist's house (source: articles.businessinsider.com/2012-02-07/wall_street/31032... ). Luckily, they changed their mind after 80,000 people signed a petition (source: thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/02/14/425255/helen-bailey-... ). But they wouldn't have changed their mind without a bunch of people doing something about it.
And the hypocrisy continues...
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Ballpoint Adventures for February 20, 2012: how can you tell when a theology is phony? Billy knows...
This is the fourth in a series of drawings depicting the characters from America's favorite comic strip AFTER the fall of human civilization. Each character grows up a bit and does what they have to do to survive. I've got a story brewing behind these drawings and I'm thinking I may do a comic strip series.
Not much more to explain about this one, really. Though I did manga her up a bit since I'm rubbish at drawing real humans. Plus I love those anime-style eyes. I think I'm getting better at them. The semi-realistic mouth needs work and I'm not nearly confident enough to try drawing realistic teeth. But the year is young!
NYTimes Allows Corrupt Opinion to Obliterate Facts in the SOPA/PIPA debate (and how Capitalism is like Wellfare)
The screencap in this post is of an opinion piece from earlier this month on NYTimes.com (here: www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/opinion/what-wikipedia-wont-te... ) and provides another wonderful example of what's wrong with Capitalism. One of the things Capitalism is supposed to do is inspire innovation. But really what it does is encourage complacency. Rich folks whine about how welfare supposedly encourages poor people to be lazy, but what do you call the mainstream media's attitude toward the Internet? Rather than come up with new ways to make money from content or new ways to make content worth paying for, they whine and moan about how they need to be protected against "theft".
So here comes the NYT, with (I assume) the interest in presenting "both sides" of the IP protection argument. Of course, in the capped op-ed there is only the opinion of the paid industry rep, Cary H. Sherman. Sherman is an idiot who penned the piece in the hopes (?) of swaying people to come over to big business's side of the copyright protection argument. He spins tales of how protecting intellectual property protects Americans from fake goods, fraud, theft and the loss of American ingenuity and jobs. Yeah, right. What it really does is continue to allow old media to sit on their asses and not worry about innovation.
When then Internet showed up and started stealing TV-users, did the hardware side of the TV industry sit on their asses and whine? Nope--they got digital TVs and HD out the door and into the mainstream. OK, well, they did whine a little, in the form of lobbying the USG to force us all to switch to digital TVs, but at least that was in the name of innovation. What Old Media does is blatantly against innovation. What else do you call laws meant to block websites?
Ironically, I was with Sherman at the headline "What Wikipedia Won't Tell You" but his arguments were based on utter fiction. Here's the comment I posted on the NYT website:
You know, Cary, you're right when you say we were misled by companies like Google and Wikipedia, but that's where your "rightness" ends. Since when is it censorship when the courts have determined a site is doing something illegal? When it's legal to censor, that's when. When a pawn shop is shut down completely for selling stolen goods, that is censorship because surely some of what the pawn shop is selling is certainly not stolen. You say that the news orgs that supported PIPA/SOPA didn't do so on the air because they draw a line between "news" and "editorial"? Seriously? You are now blatantly lying to us. Fox News, CNN and MSNBC all broadcast their opinions daily and we all know it. They kept quiet because they didn't want to become a target of Internet outcry.
No, the real shame of it is that we were misled but not the way you mention and you could have made your point and made it well, without doing the very thing you accuse Wikipedia & Google of. The reality is that SOPA/PIPA hadn't passed a single house of Congress, so they were no threat, some sites did resort to absurd claims to worry users (sorry, Tumblr, "SAVE THE INTERNET" is not how you put it) and even if these bills were passed it would be impossible to block every site that violated them. Only big sites would get in trouble, costing them lots of users & lots of money. This is where their concern really was: money. Why else would they ignore the NDAA, a law that legalizes indefinite detention? SryOutOfSpace"
Yeah, NYT only allows 1500 characters in comments. So mean! :) But joking aside, you can see how this guy is full of shit and how him being paid by the industry seems to make it ok for him to sit back and whine, rather than come up with ways to make the same old crap his industry is selling be more worth paying for by consumers. Him getting paid by the industry also seems to make it ok to lie to us about what's really going on.
So, THANKS, NYT for letting this industry shill's voice reach more people (you know, no one is forcing you to post the entertainment industry's opinions). And THANKS Capitalism for being such a "great" economic system! I'm "glad" rich folks like Rick Santorum and others think it should be viewed as more important than the environment, human life and even reality, itself.
Hey, I just said "good" things about Capitalism just like Sherman said "good" things about SOPA/PIPA, where's my check?
Monday, February 20, 2012
Ballpoint Adventures for January 23, 2006: Barbie is super scared of something that will never kill her!!
I spotted the above-capped article a couple weeks ago (here: online.barrons.com/article/SB5000142405274870383750457719... ) and found it incredibly depressing. It talks about how the prostate cancer market is set to expand by eight times (!) between now and 2020 and encourages investments in new treatments for prostate cancer. First, this a depressing reminder of how the only time cancer gets mainstream news coverage is when it's an investment opportunity. Second, this is proof that the free market doesn't work as a support system for humanity. The medical industry should be finding a way to cure cancer, not allowing it to exist so more money can be made--and that's literally what this article does by leaving out any mention of the fight against prostate cancer and treating this as simply an investment opportunity.
When did we forget that Capitalism (along with the economy, itself) is a tool to make our lives easier? The original idea is that Capitalism is a system to make the transfer of goods and services more orderly and even more fair. Now, most of us treat Capitalism like a living thing with a right to exist--not only do most of us never consider alternatives to it, we don't even question it's legitimacy. I remember after People Magazine included advertisements in their 911 commemorative issue, published in September of 2001, I posted criticisms online which were met with others defending People Magazine by saying, among other things,: "They've got to make a living!"
As though exploiting the horrors of that day (not weeks old yet!) was 100% acceptable. My answer then was that, no, they didn't have to make a living that way. Years earlier I remember hearing a news report announcing "Good news for Phillip Morris investors!"
Yes, that's right, people have gotten rich off of investments made in addicting people to cigarettes. Once again, I ask: what is wrong with our priorities?
This is the third in a series of drawings featuring what America's favorite comic strip characters would be like after the fall of human civilization. Thank goodness for fair use, right? :P
Sunday, February 19, 2012
This is the first (or second, really) in a series of drawings featuring what America's favorite comic strip characters would be like after the fall of human civilization. Thank goodness for fair use, right? :P
Restoring from a Time Machine backup. Soooo bored. Can't OSX let me surf while I wait?, a photo by thepetecom on Flickr.
...or at least remind me how smart I am for buying a Mac?
High School Girl Makes Massive Cancer Tech Breakthrough while Media Focuses on Santorum (literally and figuratively)
I spotted this story on Engadget back in December (original here: www.engadget.com/2011/12/08/high-school-senior-kills-canc... ) but have intentionally been sitting on it to see if the mainstream news would run with the story or just continue covering the same old Santorum (I'm not just referring to the Republican). Typically, this amazing breakthrough ("the Swiss Army Knife" of cancer treatments) has not become a major story in the news. Cancer kills more people in the US than terrorism kills around the world. I lost a college friend and a grand father to it, I know three people fighting it now, the current statistics say that one-in-three adults in the western world will get cancer. Yet the USG spends hundreds of billions (even trillions) of dollars fighting terrorism while cancer gets infinitely less and the press does nothing but exploit this focus on war and ignores the more realistic threats to American life (along with it's hopefully treatments). Why are America's priorities so screwed up?
Friday, February 17, 2012
After visiting both the Butterfly Sanctuary and the "Beyond Planet Earth" exhibit at AMNH last night I was itching to draw something that flies, so I did.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
I was trying to mimic a Japanese-style anime robot and I think I did okay before I got to the lower torso and lower arms. From there on down, I feel like it was a big meh-ffort. :) :/ But the head and bust I'm really pretty happy with.
At first I thought this came out really crappy, hence the caption I wrote. However, after some comments from my wife and some time intensely staring back at this anime girl, I am kind of digging it. I need to be a little less rash when I judge myself, I think.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Ballpoint Adventures for January 20, 2006: Smart Water isn't helping Americans see through the lies!
Last day to get thepete.mag in print for $3.50! http://mag.thepete.com/latest go now and I will thank you! :)
Last day to get thepete.mag in print for $3.50! http://mag.thepete.com/latest go now and I will thank you! :), a photo by thepetecom on Flickr.
The ebook version of thepete.mag is only a buck! That link once again: mag.thepete.com/latest thanks! (See? There, I thanked you!)
Monday, February 13, 2012
Feeling a little preachy today, I am. :)
See a progress shot of this illustration.
Don't know where this came from. Seriously. Just drew this space whale based on a toy on my desk and this whole idea came out.
See how this drawing looked before it was done!
This is based on a series I created when I was in high school about races of sentient spaceships at war with each other. Sound like a good idea to you?
See what this illustration looked like on the way to being illustrated.
Check out how supportive the banking giant JPMorgan Chase is of King's cause: http://www.jpmorganchase.com/Corportate-Responsibility/mlk-event.htm
And yes, another fricken space setting. I = dumb. At least this one isn't a setup for a whole new story. The final version of this illustration will go up later tonight, along with the finals of the previous progress shots I just posted, too. Make sure to stop by and check 'em out!
Here's another one set in space! Arg! No wonder I'm shooting progress shots so much--it takes so long to draw, my mind wanders and I have the opportunity to think "why not take a progress shot?" Otherwise, I'd just get the damn illustration done. :)
For some reason I've been drawn to space as a setting lately. Don't know why since it's a huge amount of work!!
"Chibi" means "small" in Japanese and is used to describe a style of drawing short, particularly squat looking characters. Here's my somewhat successful attempt. This was inspired by another video from Mark Crilley on YouTube.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
I love my bag of astronauts! For this drawing, I pulled one out of the bag with a flag and put it on my desk in front of my iPod Nano. Ironic, since, they share the same country of origin. Funny how the American flag the astronaut holds is all torn up (it does have 13 stripes, however--I counted!).
For this drawing I tried to take what I had learned and apply it to my own style. Came out kinda cool, I think.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
So, this is my take on the big-eyed anime girl, but sticking to my own drawing style. Amusing, but not anywhere near as adorable as an anime girl.
Once I was done with my last "big-eyed anime girl" I turned the page and tried to remember everything from the YouTube video (see yesterday's DED to know what I'm talking about).
Friday, February 10, 2012
Arg. I screwed this drawing up in so many ways, I can't even--OK, just four ways, but still, I'm annoyed with it. Luckily, I'm slightly happy with how it came out and will try again, at some point, to do this idea again. Next time, I'll get his pants, his sword, his sword-sheath, the flag shape and the characters on the flag right. Crap that's five things. >_<
Another screencap from the CNN app on my iThingy--soooo much wrong with this video thumbnail. #RickSantorum is a #douche.
Another screencap from the CNN app on my iThingy--soooo much wrong with this video thumbnail. #RickSantorum is a #douche., a photo by thepetecom on Flickr.
Follow the arrows to see what I thought was so wrong...
I drew this in pencil based on a "how to" video I found on YouTube (see the image for the URL of the original video). I'm a huge fan of anime and the guy who did the video is particularly good, so this may not be the last time I look to Mark Crilley for inspiration.
CNN iThingy app alert reports on religious hypocrisy (inadvertently), a photo by thepetecom on Flickr.
Nothing says "religious freedom" like forcing your beliefs on others.
Keep getting this stupid error message while trying to use PhotoSync with Box.net :( Why'd I pay for this app?
Keep getting this stupid error message while trying to use PhotoSync with Box.net :( Why'd I pay for this app?, a photo by thepetecom on Flickr.
Not sure what the deal is, but I'm getting annoyed that I actually paid for the PhotoSynce app :/
Finally posting this--it was my first attempt at drawing Jay ThePal. My second attempt came out way better. This was all from memory while I glanced at Jay a few times to see how I was doing.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
This is action hero 2-D Ken: The Flat-Packable Man! He's the first entirely flat action hero who can save the day AND be neatly stored in your trunk.
Joking aside, I felt the influence of late 60s/early 70s Japanese action heroes on this one (Google "MIghty Jack" for a good example). I'm thinking he'd be a fun character somewhere in the ThePeteMan universe.