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THE INKSTREME BALLPOINT
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Someone needs to tell @Facebook & @Instagram to just give us the feeds we signed up for. The latest posts. #SIMPLE


Someone needs to tell @Facebook & @Instagram to just give us the feeds we signed up for. The latest posts. #SIMPLE

Posted on June 29, 2016 at 05:07PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BHQL55ZAS_W/

Of course, she just had to beg for money in the process of letting me enter to win #Hamilton tickets. #imwithher?


Of course, she just had to beg for money in the process of letting me enter to win #Hamilton tickets. #imwithher?

Posted on June 29, 2016 at 12:05PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BHPpVO8gKoW/

Had to enter this contest where the prize is seeing #Hamilton with #Hillary. For Hamilton tickets? #imwithher


Had to enter this contest where the prize is seeing #Hamilton with #Hillary. For Hamilton tickets? #imwithher

Posted on June 29, 2016 at 11:57AM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BHPoY64AflU/

Talk about #WayBackWednesday! It was only a year ago but everything seemed so much more sane. Via: @AntonioFrench


Talk about #WayBackWednesday! It was only a year ago but everything seemed so much more sane. Via: @AntonioFrench

Posted on June 29, 2016 at 08:52AM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BHPTQSAgtC5/

Monday, June 27, 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016

this week on #thepete #podcast: #religion and #guns and why we should not have them (oh, you know why!)

This week on #thepetepodcast I talk about my long form blog post about religion and how it's a tool we should not have. Likewise, I've come to believe that guns are also a tool we should not have but the #Republicans like to see #children and #LGBT people die so...

Here is a direct download of the 10 minute mp3 of this week's #thepete #podcast, or you can subscribe to #thepete #podcast! ;) 

Got iTunes? Sure, we're all forced to! Subscribe to #thepete #podcast on iTunes!

Let me know what you think of this podcast! Leave a comment here or on Twitter or where ever you found my podcast. THANKS!

You can always find more episodes of #thepete #podcast at podcast.thepete.com!

Like what I do online? Why not Patreon me and support what I do online? 
Check out patreon.thepete.com and start supporting for as little as $1/month. 
You can also buy me a cup of coffee!  Every little bit of help helps!

Sneak peak of next week's new #ComicStrip on #BallpointAdventures.com! Read the finished #comic Monday @ noon!


Sneak peak of next week's new #ComicStrip on #BallpointAdventures.com! Read the finished #comic Monday @ noon!

Posted on June 25, 2016 at 01:06PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BHFdH-DAgXH/

Friday, June 24, 2016

This week on #BallpointAdventures.com: Barbie is perplexed about people who kill. Well, SOME people...


This week on #BallpointAdventures.com: Barbie is perplexed about people who kill. Well, SOME people...

Posted on June 24, 2016 at 01:40PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BHC8PlAAPG2/

No captain, my Cameron! 1st the #Brexit and not 12 hours later, #CameronQuits! Oh yeah and the GBP is at it's weakest against the USD since like Mary McFly 1st went back in time (1985).


No captain, my Cameron! 1st the #Brexit and not 12 hours later, #CameronQuits! Oh yeah and the GBP is at it's weakest against the USD since like Mary McFly 1st went back in time (1985).

Posted on June 24, 2016 at 08:57AM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BHCb0vTgBcX/

Honestly surprised at the #Brexit news. Wonder how the rest of the EU will do without the UK.


Honestly surprised at the #Brexit news. Wonder how the rest of the EU will do without the UK.

Posted on June 24, 2016 at 12:00AM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BHBeXwDA1TD/

Thursday, June 23, 2016

So, no one is punished for #FreddieGray's #death. Arrested for a switchblade but died w/his spine 80% severed. #wtf


So, no one is punished for #FreddieGray's #death. Arrested for a switchblade but died w/his spine 80% severed. #wtf

Posted on June 23, 2016 at 05:36PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BHAyXzzyriZ/

I'm sure all future victims of #GunViolence will feel better about #Democrats spending 16 WHOLE HOURS in a sit-in to change gun laws. Wow. That's how many hours human lives are worth to Dems. Of course, all they're worth to #Republicans is a few moments of silence. Regardless, these people are all horrible for not doing more.


I'm sure all future victims of #GunViolence will feel better about #Democrats spending 16 WHOLE HOURS in a sit-in to change gun laws. Wow. That's how many hours human lives are worth to Dems. Of course, all they're worth to #Republicans is a few moments of silence. Regardless, these people are all horrible for not doing more.

Posted on June 23, 2016 at 11:07AM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BHAF3AcSrln/

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

thepete's take: Capitalism = Cannibalism

If you look at the word "capitalism" and break it down into its two components you start to see my premise.  The word "capital," in this context, generally refers to things of value that you own.  AKA, assets.  These are things that are generally paid for with money earned by doing work. 

The second part  of the word "capitalism" is the word "ism."  Merriam-Webster.com defines this simply, as a belief, style or attitude referred to by a word that ends in the suffix  -ism."

So, that means the word "capitalism" literally means "belief in assets". 

As a people, we are all capitalists and we all believe that our value lies in our value.

So, when companies hire us, they are hiring us for the financial value we will bring to the company.  Of course, they have to pay us, but the more they pay us, the less value they ultimately get from us.  As such, they generally try to pay us as little as they can.  At one point capitalists stooped so low as to kidnap actual human beings, forcing them to work, often in horrible conditions.  Maybe you've heard of this practice?  It's called "slavery."

For decades now, we've been hearing about "illegal immigrants," who are generally defined by the fact that they have come to America from another country and do not enter legally.  However, what they really are is the cheapest goddamn labor that can be found.  If you're an American citizen, employers generally want to pay you as little as legally possible.  If you're an illegal immigrant, they can pay you less.  This means we should really be referring to them as "slaves with a minimum monthly payment."  Of course, the word "slaves" suggests they have no choice but to stay in their jobs.  In some cases they don't, but in most cases, they can just quit and find something else (not that finding something else is always easy--I'm just simplifying this for the sake of the argument).

Well, some companies actually hire prison labor who work for even less money than immigrant workers.  Yep, prison labor is legal in the USA, believe it or not.  Doesn't that make you proud to be an American knowing that lingerie women buy from Victoria's Secret is sewn by convicted criminals?  And those guys can't just take their pay and move to where ever they want. 

Even if you are a regular old American citizen and are getting paid enough money to survive on, you're still allowing the system to feed off of you.  In order for your employers to make money, by definition, they need to pay you less than you are worth to them so they can make that profit they love so much.  This is that "capitalism" thing.  You are part of their capital.  They are using you to make profit.  Of course, we have this thing in the USA called 'the minimum wage." 

This just won't do for many corporations.  Why else do you think Apple Inc. pays people in China to make your iPhone?  It's because you are too expensive to pay.  Don't let that whole "immigrants do jobs Americans just don't want to" stuff--the reality is, American businesses don't want to pay enough to get Americans to do those jobs.

So they don't.  But unskilled labor won't work for some positions in the US.  So, you get hired anyway.  However, as mentioned earlier, they'll pay you as little as they can get away with.  Not only that, they'll also dump as much work on your desk as they can.  Can you even think of a job you've had that didn't end up being waaay more work than was mentioned in your original job description?

They want to exploit us as much as they can because workers end up being a good chunk of the value of a company.  Of course, it's a big chunk that no one ever talks about because if we did, we'd all realize how powerful we can be.  Why do you think so many big companies hate unions?  It's because strikes are expensive.

There was a time when American workers were paid much closer to what they were worth.  Why has that changed?  Well, employers will tell you that competition has gotten tougher and tighter.  Giant car companies used to give hefty pensions to loyal workers but now they say they can't because competition is too tough.  The reality is that they are trying to make every thin dime that they can.  Why cut their own wages and benefits when they can cut yours?

What it boils down to is priorities.  The cost of doing business used to include paying a decent wage to your employees.  Now it includes paying as little as possible.

And sadly, we have rolled with it for years now--decades even.  We let them eat up our waking hours like the financial cannibals they are.  As the years tick by we spend more time working than we do living.  Hell, we spend more more time with coworkers than we do our own family. 

What the hell is this system of ours?


Capitalism = Cannibalism 

Wait--didn't #Trump brag about using only his own money to run for #POTUS? Now he's taking donations. So much for not being in anyone's back pocket! Also: Who's the bigger tool? The tool who brags about how rich he is or the tool who donates money to him despite knowing the first tool is crazy fricken rich?


Wait--didn't #Trump brag about using only his own money to run for #POTUS? Now he's taking donations. So much for not being in anyone's back pocket! Also: Who's the bigger tool? The tool who brags about how rich he is or the tool who donates money to him despite knowing the first tool is crazy fricken rich?

Posted on June 21, 2016 at 10:52AM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BG66nEGSrn3/

Will #Republicans vote for a guy whose name is #Castro?!? Of course not. Because they're #racist. Rather an insane orange man than a sane brown one.


Will #Republicans vote for a guy whose name is #Castro?!? Of course not. Because they're #racist. Rather an insane orange man than a sane brown one.

Posted on June 21, 2016 at 09:47AM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BG6zLmcSri_/

Monday, June 20, 2016

2 of 4 new gun control bills shot down in the #USSenate. #WhoIsSurprised? Thanks #Democrats and #Republicans for failing halfway. Not too late to succeed halfway tho!


2 of 4 new gun control bills shot down in the #USSenate. #WhoIsSurprised? Thanks #Democrats and #Republicans for failing halfway. Not too late to succeed halfway tho!

Posted on June 20, 2016 at 07:05PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BG5OO9zyrsy/

Friday, June 17, 2016

#FridayFlashBack to a few of those times I dealt with guns in #BallpointAdventures comics

I've drawn BALLPOINT ADVENTURES comics since the 90s. I've talked about guns in a LOT of strips. This post includes just three of those strips. This first one is from way back in 1999, where I call out a man who shot 25 people, 12 of them dying. It wasn't an extremist thing, Mark O. Barton was probably crazy. Though he did reference religion in a letter he wrote before killing 12 people and then himself.
Click here to see the full-size comic strip!

Next up, we have a comic from October 2015, where I can't even remember what shooting I was reacting to.  Regardless, I wanted to reflect the indifference I was getting pretty sick of seeing at the time.  How anyone can say we don't need to do something serious about gun violence, at this point, is beyond me.
Click here to see the full-size comic strip.

And finally, a comic strip from last December, commenting on how regular mass shootings have become.  This joke is almost 100% accurate now.  Come on, America.  Let's do something about this.
Click here for the full-size web comic.

I've drawn a lot more strips about gun violence. I have changed my opinion about gun rights over the years. At some point I'll get more into it both here on thepete.com and in my comics at BallpointAdventures.com. For now, I'll just say that America needs to seriously change how we treat the right to bear arms.  Gun regulations, gun education and our general attitude about guns, are all really quite horrible at this point.  If we, as a people, can't be responsible with our guns, why do we think we have the right to have them?  Listen to more of my thoughts on guns in last weeks episode of #thepete #podcast.  Subscribe via iTunes or subscribe by RSS.

In other news, damn, I've been drawing Billy and Barbie Ballpoint for a long time!!

Like what I draw, write, or say?  Why not help me do it! Patreon me or pick up a copy of INKSTREME BALLPOINT ADVENTURES!  Thanks so much!!


This week on #thepete #podcast: #election #spoilers and #GunControl #depressing week


This week on #thepete #podcast: one I-told-you-so re: the primary results from last week, plus my switcheroo on #GunRights and #GunControl. This #GunViolence needs to #stop.

Here is a direct download of the 10 minute mp3 of this week's #thepete #podcast, or you can subscribe to #thepete #podcast! ;) 

Got iTunes? Sure, we're all forced to! Subscribe to #thepete #podcast on iTunes!

Let me know what you think of this podcast! Leave a comment here or on Twitter or where ever you found my podcast. THANKS!

You can always find more episodes of #thepete #podcast at podcast.thepete.com!

Like what I do online? Why not Patreon me and support what I do? Check out patreon.thepete.comand start helping me out for as little as $1/month. Every little bit helps!

Latest from #BallpoinAdventures.com! #ICYMI I have a comic book you can buy! inkstreme.BallpointAdventures.com! Go get it!


Latest from #BallpoinAdventures.com! #ICYMI I have a comic book you can buy! inkstreme.BallpointAdventures.com! Go get it!
Posted on June 17, 2016 at 01:05PM
View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BGw2pzwSrtu/

Thursday, June 16, 2016

"Well, you're rich and white. I don't see a problem with it." -#MST3K #Mitchell 1993 #Trump @DemocracyNow


"Well, you're rich and white. I don't see a problem with it." -#MST3K #Mitchell 1993 #Trump @DemocracyNow

Posted on June 16, 2016 at 01:22PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BGuT0CIyrjQ/

A little boy was snatched off the beach at a #Disney resort and drowned. "No swimming" signs were posted but not signs saying "THIS IS FLORIDA--WATCH OUT FOR GATORS YOU TOURIST MORONS!" Seriously, people. Florida is gator country. Don't you guys watch Discovery channel?


A little boy was snatched off the beach at a #Disney resort and drowned. "No swimming" signs were posted but not signs saying "THIS IS FLORIDA--WATCH OUT FOR GATORS YOU TOURIST MORONS!" Seriously, people. Florida is gator country. Don't you guys watch Discovery channel?

Posted on June 16, 2016 at 12:09AM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BGs4-BeyrpE/

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Problem with Religion is...

A very very long time ago, one of two things must have happened:

  1. Someone noticed a lack of instinctive organization in society (in other words, people were not working well with each other in order to keep society stable).
  2. Someone wanted to control the general populace.

It's possible both things happened. The point is, there was a need for a system of control that would allow some level of uniformity to how society ran. At some point someone realized that they didn't have to be accurate when the questions of existence and life were asked. That someone would explain that it was God's will. In other words, he could and did lie. How do I know he lied? Because there is zero proof of a supreme being.

None.

Zip.

Zero.

No God. At all.

And that's the problem with religion.

The whole thing describes a system that was made up to control us all. Sometimes it is used for good things, like bringing communities together and providing a support structure for people in need. Other times it's used for bad things, like 9/11 and the Inquisition and possibly even the biggest mass shooting in American history, the Orlando Pulse shooting which happened just the other day.
But let's go back to that first person to lie to that other person who asked "why are we here?" That first person uttered an explanation that was complete fiction. He had to because science probably wasn't even a word yet. He may have thought:

"This person really needs some answers to make him feel better about life--who cares if it's not true? He trusts me and it'll make him feel better!"

Or he may have thought:

"This guy is a fool and I can manipulate him for my own ends with a good enough story about why he exists."

Regardless, the result is the same: humans for millennia have been making choices based on seriously false assumptions. There are people who believe that God will send his only son back to us at some point in an event called the Rapture. These people believe, because they Believe, they will be whisked off to heaven once Jesus returns. As a result, they do not plan to have a full life. In the documentary Waiting for Armageddon, one young woman laments, through tears, that she really wanted to have a family but she knows the Rapture is coming, so…

Then there is Omar Mateen, who, as of this writing, is believed to have been a Muslim, possibly gay, man who was apparently disgusted when two men kissed each other in front of his family. He took that disgust, to a gun shop where he bought some guns and ammo, which he then took to a gay club and murdered almost 50 people. It seems like he did it because he couldn't make the reality he saw there line up with the reality that was explained to him by his faith.

This is the same thing that happens when a Christian "pro-lifer" decides to kill an abortion provider. They think "this isn't right! God says we shouldn't do this! I have to act now and kill this person who is murdering helpless little babies!"

Religion creates a schism that most believers are able to ignore. However, there have been many people throughout the history of human civilization who either could not ignore that schism or chose not to. The Crusades are a good example of this. Christians believed that they should possess what their holy book had told them was holy land. So they marched into the Middle East and tried to conquer the folks that already lived there. Thousands of years earlier the Old Testament told the Jews to do the same, so they marched into the land that would become Israel and claimed it as their own, even though someone already lived there. But it was OK because their god told them "it's cool!"

This same land is in dispute to this day--all because of what some people's religion told them.

Years ago, when the US Congress was trying to decide what to do about Climate Change/Global Warming, one politician spoke up, explaining that God had given the planet to humankind to do with as we pleased. He further described how he was sure God was going to take care of this one for us. All these years later, we all know, CC/GW has gotten noticeably worse, with extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels, melting ice caps, wild fires, and more, all providing visible, measurable feedback from an ever-warming planet.

And yet, so many of us, too many of us, still believe that it's OK to believe in a supreme being and all sorts of other Biblical teachings from thousands of years ago that were, themselves, ripped off from other religious texts that were written even earlier, none of which are based on modern scientific findings.  In other words, they don't describe the reality we actually live in.

From my perspective as an atheist, it's like someone turning to the Holy Teachings of Jedi Master Yoda or recognizing how Superman died for our sins and was later resurrected. Not only are these people fictional, but they are wrong. Sorry, Master Yoda, but there IS "try." In fact, you make a false equivalency--"try" represents an intermediate state, where as "do" or "do not" are definite states. So, not only is there a "do," and a "do not" but there is also a "try." But I'm getting off topic…

The problem with religion is… that it's fictional and likes to pretend it isn't.

Essentially, religion is like those "work from home" scams where you call up and the person on the other end is just trying to get your credit card number from you so he can start charging you excessive amounts for essentially nothing in return.

Sure, you might get a class or two on how to build a website that might make you a couple of bucks, but then, you'll also feel better about life pretending God has a plan for you.

Or, you can accept the reality that there is no God, that you won't get rich off of your blogspot blog and that guy who blew himself up in the Middle East the other day isn't going to get to sleep with 72 virgins in Heaven.   Mainly, this is because there is no heaven.

"There is no god, so let's murder 50 people in a nightclub!" said no one ever.

When you discard the trappings of belief, the world becomes more simple--more straightforward. There is no more pleading with God for winning lottery tickets or an answer to why your child has leukemia. It is simply life in a universe that is actually quite hostile to our existence. Life, therefore, becomes much more precious than it is under the rules of most religions. If you die here, don't worry, there's life after death. Except, there isn't. So shouldn't you cherish what you have and leave behind a world where you will be remembered fondly?

Instead, the names Omar Mateen, Osama bin Laden, Dylann Roof, and many others will be remembered only as killers.

That's the problem with religion, it pretends that there is a reason why, and when that reason doesn't line up with the facts staring back at us, some of us decide that we should rewrite reality on God's behalf and kill a bunch of black people, gay people, Muslim people, Christian people.

The problem with religion is… obvious.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that #DonaldTrump doesn't know the #FlagCode. Read it here: http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagcode.htm


I'm going to go out on a limb and say that #DonaldTrump doesn't know the #FlagCode. Read it here: http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagcode.htm

Posted on June 12, 2016 at 07:43PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BGksLPdSrjE/

Friday, June 10, 2016

#ICYMI, this is the new #ComicStrip on #BallpointAdventures.com this week! #Barbie's figured out #Trump voters!


#ICYMI, this is the new #ComicStrip on #BallpointAdventures.com this week! #Barbie's figured out #Trump voters!

Posted on June 10, 2016 at 12:11PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BGeu52-SrgN/

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The writing on #Tarzan's forehead reads: "Why is Tarzan a white dude? King of the jungle, give me a break!" #Indeed! I'm wondering why we still need to tell the Tarzan story in 2016. It's always been a #racist story, after all. Gotta love subway ad graffiti tho!


The writing on #Tarzan's forehead reads: "Why is Tarzan a white dude? King of the jungle, give me a break!" #Indeed! I'm wondering why we still need to tell the Tarzan story in 2016. It's always been a #racist story, after all. Gotta love subway ad graffiti tho!

Posted on June 09, 2016 at 11:46PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BGdZodGSrgU/

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I wonder if anyone at the @Target corporation has actually read #Batman: #TheKillingJoke. Not sure it's appropriate for sale right next to the #Minions stuff. #JustMy2Yen!


I wonder if anyone at the @Target corporation has actually read #Batman: #TheKillingJoke. Not sure it's appropriate for sale right next to the #Minions stuff. #JustMy2Yen!

Posted on June 08, 2016 at 03:00PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BGZ4oQSyriH/

Hey cool! They actually have the new #Ghostbusters figures at #Target! 6 months ago it was hard to find a Rey figure from #TheForceAwakens. Nice to see toy companies getting it.


Hey cool! They actually have the new #Ghostbusters figures at #Target! 6 months ago it was hard to find a Rey figure from #TheForceAwakens. Nice to see toy companies getting it.

Posted on June 08, 2016 at 02:46PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BGZ3Duxyrto/

Monday, June 6, 2016

Seriously amazing episode today from @DemocracyNow on #MuhammadAli https://traffic.libsyn.com/democracynow/dn2016-0606-1.mp3


Seriously amazing episode today from @DemocracyNow on #MuhammadAli https://traffic.libsyn.com/democracynow/dn2016-0606-1.mp3

Posted on June 06, 2016 at 02:03PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BGUogWMSrvn/

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Here is a sneak peak of next week's #webcomic at #BallpointAdventures.com!! #comicstrips #comics #stickfigures


Here is a sneak peak of next week's #webcomic at #BallpointAdventures.com!! #comicstrips #comics #stickfigures

Posted on June 04, 2016 at 01:03PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BGPYHKfyrrs/

Friday, June 3, 2016

So, #Trump says #HillaryClinton should go to jail for breaking email rules. Someone ask him if he thinks Bush should go to jail for doing much worse.


So, #Trump says #HillaryClinton should go to jail for breaking email rules. Someone ask him if he thinks Bush should go to jail for doing much worse.

Posted on June 03, 2016 at 01:55PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BGM5NgsyrpM/

This week on #BallpointAdventures.com: #BarbieBallpoint is perplexed at #Trump voters.


This week on #BallpointAdventures.com: #BarbieBallpoint is perplexed at #Trump voters.

Posted on June 03, 2016 at 12:35PM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BGMwHGByrvI/

This is why we need a national healthcare system. $150 million on niche #cancer drugs this article from yesterday says. I still want to know how we're supposed to pursue happiness if we're unable to pay for cancer treatments. How is this fair at all?


This is why we need a national healthcare system. $150 million on niche #cancer drugs this article from yesterday says. I still want to know how we're supposed to pursue happiness if we're unable to pay for cancer treatments. How is this fair at all?

Posted on June 03, 2016 at 10:12AM

View the original on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BGMftwjyrij/