Thursday, July 31, 2008

12seconds - What I Saw Today h...

12seconds - What I Saw Today

Orignal From: 12seconds - What I Saw Today h...

Wow, I'm on Kwippy now. :P Tha...

Wow, I'm on Kwippy now. :P Thanks for the invite, alfabettezoupe!

Orignal From: Wow, I'm on Kwippy now. :P Tha...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

@richstyles Do you know if I c...

@richstyles Do you know if I can get that Mixi app onto my iPhone if I'm in the US? Can't find it when I search on my iPhone. :\

Orignal From: @richstyles Do you know if I c...


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?

For what?

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.

...and stuff.

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?


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.


Beats me.

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.

Orignal From: GodSpam

Cheney & Energy Task Force Plotted Iraq pre911

So, as I've said recently, I'm slowly catching up on my podcasts. One podcast I don't like to miss is the audio version of "Bill Moyer's Journal" on PBS (site:…rs/journal podcast (audio):…odcast.xml podcast (video): ). I was listening to the episode from June 27, 2008 when Moyers started talking about the war in Iraq. My gut instinct was to assume he was going to go on about how it was all for the oil and run the typical blood-for-oil argument you hear from so many people. Which is pretty much what he started to do. I immediately thought to myself "Yeah, but Bill, where's your hard evidence?"

That's a question I've asked many times of anti-war folks. Usually I just get the answer "it's obvious!" or "You really think we'd be in Iraq if there wasn't oil there?"

Of course, they're right, but what really connects Cheney to a oil-motivation?

Well, for once, a person quoting the blood-for-oil argument (BOA) actually had some evidence to back it up. The above screencap is part of it. And what's really messed up about this is that the above screencap comes from a press release dated July 17, *2003* (see the original page here:…d-pr.shtml ).

Now, maybe I missed it in the cacophony of crap the Bush Administration was puulling at the time (back in July of '03 we'd only been in Iraq for four months). Regardless, what Judicial Watch found is downright damning.

If you look at the above cap, you'll see that they say: "Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under court order as a result of Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as 2 charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts." The documents, which are dated March 2001, are available on the Internet at:"

Yeah, that's right, *before* 911, Cheney was eyeing maps of oilfields in Iraq. Why would Cheney need to know where oil was in Iraq while planning for America's energy future? Sure, we could give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was just learning as much as he could about "our energy partner in the middle east," or some such crap they might spew to excuse maps being there (and not just say charts of oil output and other less visual aids), but after all that has happened, I can't imagine that he was doing anything but looking at those maps and thinking "yeah, we gotta secure that shit."

Especially considering the growing concern in 2001 that the world's peak oil limit might be approaching. "Peak Oil" is the theory that the Earth will produce more and more oil until it begins to run out--production will peak--then, we, as a planet, will start to run out and prices will climb. That last bit sounds familiar, doesn't it?

I heard about this theory for the first time in 2003, I believe. There was a December 2000 talk given by an oil expert called CJ Campbell, a guy who worked for oil companies, helping them find oil. You'd assume he'd be aware of just how much oil was left on the planet. (You can read a blog post I wrote about it here:…o-run-out/ )

So, there Cheney was, just a few months after Campbell's talk, chatting over energy policy with maps of oil fields in Iraq--before the 911 Attacks, before invading Afghanistan, before invading Iraq.

Am I reading into things? Maybe. But I can't help but wonder why Cheney and friends would withhold these maps from Judicial Watch when they first asked for them in April of 2001. Check out something else from the above screencapped press release: "Judicial Watch has been seeking these documents under FOIA since April 19, 2001. Judicial Watch was forced to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch Inc. v. Department of Energy, et al., Civil Action No. 01-0981) when the government failed to comply with the provisions of the FOIA law. U.S. District Court Judge Paul J. Friedman ordered the government to produce the documents on March 5, 2002."

So, in 2002, a judge ruled that effectively Cheney had violated the law by keeping these documents from JW. I wonder why they would have done that.

Shades of things to come.
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Orignal From: Cheney & Energy Task Force Plotted Iraq pre911

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Stealing America" a New Docu I Helped With


The short version: A documentary I contributed news footage to (a documentary by Oscar nominated documentarian, Dorothy Fadiman) will be screening in movie theaters starting August 1, 2008. It's a movie about election irregularities in all major elections since 2000, but it mostly focuses on the big elections. I feel strongly that this is an important movie and it needs to be seen by as many people as possible. Please check out StealingAmericaTheMovie.Org (here: ) to see if the movie is playing in your area.

If it is, please go see it! Most of the footage from Daily Show, MSNBC and some of the clips from CNN I supplied.

If not, please check back to that site periodically to see when the DVD will be available. Or just watch this space as I'll be sure to make a big deal about it when it does come out on home video. :)

The long version: A couple years back I was contacted by Oscar nominated documentarian, Dorothy Fadiman (…nm0264936/ ), regarding any news footage I may have recorded during the election mess from 2000 and 2004. I believe in documenting big events by recording news coverage, so I happened to have a nice little library from 2004 and a few clips from 2000, which I sent out to her as she needed them over the following years.

Finally, she's finished it up and it will be screening at certain theaters across the country before it is made available on DVD.

Our election system is broken and this film shows you how. Please support this movie. Thanks!!

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Orignal From: "Stealing America" a New Docu I Helped With

Bizarre Health Statistic from NYT Labor Reporter

So, I'm finally getting back to listening to my podcasts after moving to NYC and I'm listening to Democracy Now today when I hear the guy who wrote the book "The Big Squeeze" say something in an interview with Juan Gonzales. Check it out: "And another, you know, health statistic that surprised me when I was researching the book was, United States spends about $6,500 per person for health coverage, which is more than twice what France and Germany spent, about two-and-a-half times what Japan spent, yet, you know, they have universal health coverage." (source:…enhouse_on )

I found this pretty damn surprising. If true, it would mean that, put it simply, the capitalist model (vs. the "socialist" one everyone says is bad) delivers crappier health care for most people and costs more, as well.

Our leaders are *seriously* letting us down, it would seem. (In another way, I mean.)
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Orignal From: Bizarre Health Statistic from NYT Labor Reporter

12seconds - Sonic Screwing Abo...

12seconds - Sonic Screwing About

Orignal From: 12seconds - Sonic Screwing Abo...

Iowans Get Arrested Trying to Arrest Rove

Wow, to think I was going to ask if anyone knew if the mainstream TV media was covering this. I got this from (here:…7842.shtml ) so, color me surprised that CBS, in any incarnation, would cover this story at all (yes, I know it's actually an AP news story, but still).

Of course, the irony after you get past CBS actually covering this kind of story is that the people hoping to citizen's arrest Rove ended up being arrested, themselves, and charged with "trespassing".

And you get a nice side-order of irony when you consider that the citizen's-arresters were all Christian activists--hey cops, what ever happened to forgiving those who trespass against you?

Hey, future citizen's-arresters--wake up! Karl Rove is above the law, just like his pals in the White House! You'd probably cause more headlines if, instead of trying to citizen's arrest Rove, you tossed a pie or something at him. That'd be way funnier anyway.
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Monday, July 28, 2008 Takes on Google, Huh? Takes on Google, Huh?, originally uploaded by thepetecom.

So, they claim to want to take on Google but they can't handle the

traffic Drudge sends them at 9:16 in the morning east coast time??

Wait until the rest of America gets to work--then we'll see some REAL


Also, taking on TheGoog with no mobile version? No desktop suite?

Google is way more than a search engine these days. Seriously taking

them on requires more than just a better search engine, folks.

I mean, what am I supposed to do, check my Gmail then jump over to

Cuil just to search the Web? Add an event to my Gcal and then type on

"" to do a search despite already being at Google?

I don't like hegemony either, but come on, people--how are we to know

even how to pronounce your name? It doesn't look like it rhymes with

"cool"--I bet most folks will guess it's "Kweel" or "koo-ill" or maybe

even "koo-eel."

I'm guessing "" was taken?

Good luck, guys! You're going to need it.

Orignal From: Takes on Google, Huh?

Friday, July 25, 2008

From ThePete.Com: Wexler’s P...

From ThePete.Com: Wexler's Post-Impeachment Hearing Newsletter: Robert Wexler is one of ..

Orignal From: From ThePete.Com: Wexler's P...

Wexler's Post-Impeachment Hearing Newsletter

Robert Wexler is one of the guys in DC that is actually pushing for Bush and Cheney to be impeached. Which is great--in that, it's great when people actually bother to do their job. In this case, it's the job of Congress to oversee the Executive Branch--a job they've been shirking for, oh, about the entire time Bush has been in the White House. So, finally, now that there are about six more months left in Bush's 8-year reign over America (and the world), Wexler and pals are actually doing their job. Today they held hearings and what follows is Wexler's email to me and the other folks on his mailing list, along with a bit of commentary.

Dear Pete,

Today, in the Judiciary Committee, we held a full day of hearings that focused entirely on the crimes of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney,


and featured testimony by Rep. Dennis Kucinich regarding his Articles of Impeachment against President Bush.

...oh--Kucinich--he's the impish guy with the hot wife, right?

This is a great start – but I am far from satisfied.

That makes two of us.

Following statements by Chairman John Conyers and the Ranking Republicans,

A great band name! "John Conyers and the Ranking Republicans!!" I saw them play at the Roxy and they were GREAT. Can't believe they're not acoustic anymore though. :(

I opened with a forceful call for genuine and immediate Impeachment Hearings for President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Well it's usually better to open with a joke. But that's cool--I bet you still got a laugh. ;)

The crimes of this Administration must be revealed and Bush and Cheney must be held accountable.

Ooo, that's a 10-point penalty for double-anding!

Oh wait--maybe he meant to use a "&". I'll let it go, THIS time. o_O

Without Impeachment Hearings, we cannot break through the blatant and unprecedented efforts by President Bush to shut down legitimate oversight by this Congress.

Legitimate? I'll settle for ANY.

As you know, President Bush has inappropriately and repeatedly invoked Executive Privilege to keep Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten, and other White House officials from complying with legal, Congressional Subpoenas.

Not to mention invading a couple countries without provocation in violation of the UN Charter and by default international law--but that Executive Privilege thing is annoying, too.

I believe the only appropriate remedy is to hold Impeachment Hearings.

That I completely agree with. Please, Congressman Wexler, go on.



Donate for WHAT? Huh?

While Inherent Contempt might dislodge some testimony or at least guarantee the appearance of witnesses, the larger concern is the President's outrageous abuse of Executive Privilege.

Well, that and his sanctioned use of torture against terror suspects, but yeah, that Executive Privilege thing is a bitch.

We have been down this road before: in 1973, Articles of Impeachment were introduced against President Nixon after he illegally tried to use Executive Privilege to bury evidence of his wrongdoings.

Which were ultimately ignored when he resigned. The USG could have even brought criminal charges against Nixon, but they didn't so Ford could announce that "Our long national nightmare is over."

Sadly, we didn't have to go back to sleep to experience our current one.

I fully recognize the significance of holding Impeachment Hearings, and I have not come to this position lightly – but when the President of the United States takes actions that amount to high crimes, we are left with no other option than to seek his impeachment and removal from office.

You know, you didn't even have to wait that long--according to the GOA he violated federal covert propaganda law years ago.

Our government was founded upon a delicate balance of powers – whereby one branch carefully checks the other branches to prevent a dangerous consolidation of power.

Yeah, I heard about that--how's that working out, by the way?

President Bush's actions have totally destroyed this careful balance.

Ohhhh. :(

Without these checks and balances, the President could run roughshod over any law and turn us into a nation...
...where wars can be waged based on lies
...and laws can be rewritten without the input of Congress or the American people.

Thank God that hasn't happened to OUR country!

...ohhhhhh! =(

Congress must end this disturbing pattern of behavior, and in these circumstances, the only option left is impeachment.

Indeed! OK, Congressman, you're on a roll! Please keep going!!



What the hell??? Why do you keep throwing donation links at the readers of your newsletter, man??

Since when do you need donations to do your job?? Don't you HAVE a salary?? Don't I already pay it in the form of taxes???


This is not a partisan issue: Congress is a co-equal branch of government with the Executive, and it cannot allow this attack on our powers to go unanswered.

Yeah, that would be like letting the guy behind 911 get away!

...oh wait.

To ignore these actions is tantamount to a willful concession of our rights as legislators.

Not to mention your responsibilitieeeeeeez!


No Democrat, Republican, or Independent should allow Congress' powers to be so undermined.

Yeah! Especially since Congress already let that happen all by themselves!

Nor should Congress allow the calendar to determine whether we should ignore abuses of office.

You mean like it did back in 2000 with determining who "won" the 2000 election?

Maybe not.

No President should be given immunity and free-reign just because there are only a few months left in their term.

Or seventy-two months?

Impeachment Hearings can be held very quickly – in a manner of weeks.


*offer void in the contiguous United States.

Although today we don't have the votes to impeach today –

Oooo, double-use of "today"--that'll cost you points!

...neither did the Judiciary Committee investigating President Nixon until AFTER hearings were held and the truth was revealed. We must put a halt to this historic Administrative power grab.

Not to mention the lies they still tell us about how well things are now going in Iraq.

Congress has not lived up to its promises, and we can no longer credibly claim that impeachment would upset our agenda.

AGENDA?? Who said anything about an agenda?? This is Washington DC! We don't have agendas!!

...we have campaign promises!


j/k ;)

Our agenda has not withstood presidential vetoes or senatorial filibusters. If we do nothing, this session will be remembered for our conceding the rightful and constitutional powers of Congress, and little more.

Uh, what else have you guys done?

Is there anything less than nothing?

I am unbowed in my determination for Impeachment Hearings

Yeah, we'll see how long that lasts.

You going to encourage criminal prosecution after he's out of office?

and I know you feel the same way.

I felt the same way YEARS ago, motherfucker*.

*That one was for George Carlin!

Encourage your friends to stay updated and demonstrate their support by signing up at

Um, NO.

As always, thank you for your kind emails, contributions, and encouragement.

Congressman Robert Wexler



Paid for by "Wexler for Congress"


Orignal From: Wexler's Post-Impeachment Hearing Newsletter

Weird Crowd on Broadway Tonight

Weird Crowd on Broadway Tonight, originally uploaded by thepetecom.

Not sure what this was about, but tonight we saw this around 7:45ish

as we walked to the 1 train stop on 191st street. The smoke was much

thicker just moments before I took this shot and a crowd was still

there when we got back over an hour later.

Orignal From: Weird Crowd on Broadway Tonight

Grand Central Station Entrance

Grand Central Station Entrance, originally uploaded by thepetecom.

Is this not one of the more impressive façades you've ever seen on a

train station?

I've been to New York City a couple dozen times during my life and I

don't think I've ever seen the outside of it before today. Damn impressive.

Too bad no one designs buildings like this anymore.

Orignal From: Grand Central Station Entrance

Grand Central Station Entrance

Is this not one of the more impressive façades you've ever seen on a

train station?

I've been to New York City a couple dozen times during my life and I

don't think I've ever seen the outside of it before. Damn impressive.

Too bad no one designs buildings like this anymore.

Orignal From: Grand Central Station Entrance

Thursday, July 24, 2008

KBR Employee Trolling My Site?

Sorry about the pic above, check out the full size version here:…a8fc_o.png

At the top of my website, ThePete.Com, there is a little thing called "TheBlurb." It's just a little bit of text anyone who visits my site can change, replacing what ever is there with anything they want. Of course, I mention on the "change it" page that "TheBlurb is NOT for having conversations" yet, sometimes even I ignore this rule. Regardless, like anyplace else on the web, it attracts a troll every now and again.

Case in point, the above image. The top part of it reproduces the interchange between myself and the troll and after he clearly didn't take the hint that he had worn out his welcome, I decided to see if I could just ban his IP. It turns out, he's got three different IPs that he's posted from. The surprising thing is that one of them I was able to track to Halliburton subsid, KBR's servers in Houston, TX. The other two IPs are from Amsterdam (the one in Europe) and Los Alamitos (the one in SoCal). And when I say that I was "able to track" the IPs, I mean, I was "able to do a simple IP lookup." Nothing spectacular.

So, is this guy really a KBR employee? Or is there some other explanation?

Either way, dontcha love it when people have nothing better to do than waste your time (and their own) trying to convince you their way is the right way on YOUR website?

Dude, it's my site and you're trying to convince me of something I patently do not believe. Catch a clue, give up the ghost on this one and move the hell on (like I'm trying to do).

Is your life so useless that you must turn to trolling to feel good about yourself?
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There's a Subway That Goes Up Broadway?

Well, the other night there sure was.

I thought about asking for a lift but I couldn't find anywhere to swipe my fare card.
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You See the Strangest Things...

...when you step outside your apartment.

This was literally just outside our apartment, in the lobby of our building. I was tempted to grab it--we could use a bit more cabinet space. :)
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There's something so cool abou...

There's something so cool about posting from the train. ^_^

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Mystery Bug Drawing

This is a "sketch" of a bug that was drifting about my desk today. Never seen anything like it and am now convinced I am a puss since I was unable to kill it. Sadly it has buggered off to its homeworld (I believe it was an alien bug as I was unable to kill it despite it not moving very quickly. Must've had some sort of invisible force field to protect it from my mighty tissue).

If anyone knows what this thing is, please let me know.

In other news, still no rain for us North-Islanders. :(
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Going to Miss the Rain Again

Well, we might get some tonight from that next big storm, but it'll probably just drift south and miss the city like everything else that's been in the area.

The good thing is that it has gotten cooler, but it's still pretty warm in the apartment. So, we could still use the rain.

Now I've got this freaky bug drifting around my desk. This thing is unlike any bug I've seen before. I'll try to get a pic of it. If I don't post again you know the bug turned out to be an alien that got the upper hand on me.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2008



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Monday, July 21, 2008

A Few Things I Didn't Like About "Dark Knight" (SPOILERS)

"You got your classic super hero in my crappy advertising campaign!"

"You got your crappy advertising campaign in my classic super hero!"

"They don't really taste very good together."

"No, they don't."
First off, DK was very entertaining. So please, don't get me wrong. I liked Heath Ledger's interpretation of the Joker quite a bit. Christian Bale is always great as Bruce Wayne and Batman, and frankly, he's perfect casting for both characters. Aaron Eckhart was pretty solid as Harvey Dent and Maggie Gyllenhaal did a good job of taking over for Mrs. Tom Cruise. Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman are always good, so let's just move on.

I won't go into the things that I thought were good because everyone else is talking about those and I generally agree with what others like about the movie.

Here's where this post gets a little spoilerific, so read on with care (it's also REALLY long).

1) What's the plot of DK? Give it to me in one or two sentences. Here's as close as I could come:

Harvey Dent does his best to shut down the mob families that run Gotham City with the help of his Assistant DA, Rachel Dawes, ace police detective Jim Gordon and, the Batman. Oh and the Joker is the monkey wrench.

Sounds like a riveting plot, huh? Cop goes after mobsters who are being messed with by a backstoryless disfigured guy in clown makeup. OH yeah and Batman's in it. Really, Batman is superfluous. You could have stuck John Ashcroft in there instead of Batman and largely you'd be able to get away with it.

2) Joker has no concrete (or even vague) backstory. That was fine in the comic, since eventually they'd have to get to it, but the movie never does and it kind of shows in Ledger's performance. He's good, but feels like he's sprung from Chris Nolan's forehead, as opposed to seeming like something specific made him like he is. I don't need something spelled out--but I need more than the suggestion that he is a force of nature and that's it. He can represent a force of nature, but he still should have a backstory.

3) No sense of passing time. How many days pass during the events of the movie? One? Three? Ten? Can't tell. I don't need an exact number, but a sense that time passes would be nice. Too many films don't bother with this, concentrating instead on the constant flow of action scenes.

4) The constant flow of action scenes. While I've seen movies with more back-to-back action, this movie never lets you rest. There wasn't necessarily action in every scene, but it's not a movie that slows down. Sadly, this doesn't give us time to absorb much and as a result there were huge chunks of this movie where I had no idea what was happening or why. After about 90 minutes (I'm guessing it was that far into it) I started wondering how long this movie would be. I even found myself wishing there was a dance number in it like in "Spider-Man 3" so I'd have a good excuse to walk out early, like I did in "Spider-Man 3." However, there were no dance scenes, but there were plenty of things that happened so quickly that I was left wondering just what was going on.

4a) Case in point: The idiotically contrived ferry scene. Why did city authorities put all these prisoners on a ferry and all these civilians on another ferry at the same time? I missed that whole thing. Is that the only way to get prisoners to and from the prison? Seems absurd to me (but I'll get into this more in a bit).

4b) Case in point #2: The attempt on Dent's life. Why does Bruce Wayne go to the vacant office where the tied-up police officers are just before the attempt on Dent's life is made?

5) Massive, massive plot holes. I understand you want to keep the movie moving, Chris, but you didn't show us a few things we really needed to see.

5a) Batman catches Rachel after she falls off the building (Superman, 1978, much?). She then has a cute line about the fall, but then that's it--the scene ends and the movie goes on with no mention of what happened to the Joker. The reason she fell out of the window in the first place is because Joker shoved her. He's still up at the Wayne Penthouse threatening the lives of Bruce Wayne's partygoers. What happened to those people and how did the Joker get out of there?

5b) They capture Joker after Gordon comes back from faking his own death. Gordon sits down to question Joker for the first time. He explains that both Rachel and Harvey have been kidnapped, now Gordon wants to know where they are. Gee, Chris! Perhaps seeing them get kidnapped MIGHT be a good thing to show in your movie? Especially considering the importance of the kidnapping. This one event leads to serious character changes across a number of characters, yet the catalyst is missing from the screen and is only mentioned in dialogue.

Moving pictures, Chris! This isn't radio!

5b i) Gordon leaves and Batman continues the interrogation by beating up the Joker, who seems to be completely fine after having the shit kicked out of him by Batman. Last time I checked, the Joker doesn't have any super powers and isn't known for his rigorous work outs.

5b ii) So, Batman, the outlaw vigilante is allowed to interrogate suspects in official police interrogation rooms? Aren't there cameras running? Perhaps a person nearby with a clear understanding of the law, that vigilantes are criminals and should be arrested, could, uh, arrest Batman? Yes, arresting Batman would be a stupid plot point. But why not get a little more creative? Have Batman appear in Joker's holding cell without complete police cooperation?? Batman's supposed to have ninja-like training, yet to interrogate a suspect, he gets permission first, using Gordon as his opening act???

5b iii) So, Joker finally caves under Batman's "interrogation" tactics and spills the beans. Ultimately, we discover that he's lied, swapping the two locations, so Batman goes after Dent, instead of Rachel. What I don't get is why Joker told the truth at all and then, why Batman believed him at all. More than just liberals know that torture doesn't work. The Joker is also a criminal mastermind. So, why does Batman think beating "the truth" out of the Joker will work?

Here's a better question, why did Chris Nolan think that this was a good choice for his script?

5c) Joker visits Two-Face in the hospital. After we see Gordon tell Harvey the department nickname for him, Joker shows up and thoroughly explains his own motivation for everything. I hate it when screenwriters don't understand the difference between subtext and text. Subtext is the unspoken motivation under everything a character does. The key to keeping it "sub"text is by never having a character EXPLAIN HIMSELF WITH PERFECT LUCIDITY. NO ONE DOES THIS IN REAL LIFE. It's why we have shrinks. However, the Joker does it with excruciating detail in this scene and again at the end when Batman captures him. This is what we writers call "SPOON-FEEDING". This phrase is chosen on purpose, because who do you normally spoon-feed? CHILDREN. So, when movies spoon-feed you entire swaths of character motivation in dialogue, the film is treating you like a child, assuming you won't understand what the hell they're trying to say with the film or the character.

I understand that Joker was trying to incite Two-Face to continue down the path to evil, but the Harvey from the comic is already schizophrenic, so he's got that covered. How much more interesting would that scene have been if Joker sees that the two have things in common?

5c i) By the way, would it have been too much to ask that we see why Gordon's people called Dent "Two-Face" behind his back? I mean, in the comic, Dent used his political power to cover up the fact that he had bouts with schizophrenia in his past. So, he was wrestling with his darker side long before half of his face was melted off. This movie seems to suggest that a frustrated cop can be driven batshit (!) insane by being disfigured and having his fiancee die. Yes, it's emotionally traumatic to have a fiancee die, but does it normally (or even abnormally) cause people to suddenly suffer from multiple personalities?

5c ii) Two-Face's escape from the hospital. Right after Joker leaves the hospital, he blows it up. Yet, somehow Harvey survives. How?

5d) I've already mentioned the contrived ferry-confrontation sequence. I have no idea how this ended up working since the movie kept jumping from one thing to the next to the next, but what kind of absurd BS is this? So, if the prisoners don't blow up the civilians before the civilians blow up the prisoners, Joker will blow them both up at 12 midnight (I think that was the time). What a chunky-ass moral lesson that is. Could you and your brother make it a bit more convoluted, Chris?

How "ironic" that the biggest, meanest prisoner was the only one to really do the "right" thing (by forcing his decision on the other prisoners), meanwhile the mostly white civilians vote overwhelmingly to blow up the prisoners, yet the one white guy with the balls to say he'd carry through the unjust execution loses his nerve just before the time is up. Later, Batman claims this as proof that Gotham City is "full" of "good" people. Mmmmm, not really, Batsy-Watsy. It just means that randomly people didn't blow each other up--as the movie (I think inadvertently) shows.

6) So, Batman builds a computer that taps into every cell phone in Gotham and uses the speakers and microphones to function as a sort of sonar that allows Batman to see into every space in the city and hear what people are saying. This will aid him in tracking down the Joker. Rightfully, Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) immediately declares that this is too much power for one man to have. Bruce insists that Lucius work the machine for him because he needs to capture Joker before he kills again. Lucius immediately caves with the caveat "OK, but just this once." He adds that he'll quit if the device isn't immediately destroyed after they're done with it. Ahh, so it's OK to violate the Constitution and hundreds of thousands of American's rights "just once" in the interest of catching a bad guy.

Yeah, the Constitution is fine until it gets a little inconvenient (ironically a point the Joker makes in one of his speeches, which is supposed to be counteracted when those people on the ferries don't blow each other up).

6a) Bruce tells Lucius that once the Joker is captured, he should just enter his own name into the massive eavesdropping computer and that will shut it down. In fact, it destroys the machine entirely--which seems very convenient for the plot. Bruce just happened to whip this system together (without Lucius' knowledge) to use only once.

6b) Speaking of this Super Sonar, somehow it gets integrated into his cowl allowing him to "see" the 3-D images the technology creates. Of course, somehow through it all, he's still beating the daylights out of cops--yeah right, I had trouble focusing on those sequences and I was just sitting there--how could he be beating someone up in front of him while looking at a 3-D image of the floor above him?

7) The movie had three climax-sized scenes that contribute to a really bad case of "Multiple Ending Syndrome." This is a syndrome where filmmakers can't decide where to end their movie. Like in "A.I." Stephen Spielberg had his android boy get trapped on the bottom of the ocean, then get discovered by aliens(?) then get a robot creation of his mom, who then dies. In DK, there weren't as many endings, but most of them were huge enough to be climaxes for their own movies.

7a) In any other movie, the badguy blowing up a hospital would be the climax. It's what the whole movie would build up to. In this, it's just one of four huge scenes.

7b) Harvey and Rachel are strapped to big oil drums in two different parts of Gotham and Batman must try to save them both. Big explosions ensue and so does major emotional trauma.

7c) Inexplicably two ferries are loaded with prisoners on one and civilians on the other. Joker threatens to blow them up. The crisis is averted when the people of Gotham ultimately do the right thing (even though the civilians want to blow up the prisoners and only one prisoner chooses for everyone else). Batman isn't even involved in this part of the movie, however, except to stop the Joker from blowing both ferries up at the end.

7d) Meanwhile, the Joker is holding hostages in a building overlooking the ferries. This is the actual climax, where Joker is captured. This is also when he delivers another one of his expository speeches where he explains his subtext to Batman (and us). Here, however, the usually quiet-ish Batman gets chatty, also, explaining how Joker is wrong. The only thing I thought worked here was that Batman didn't kill Joker and Joker's explanation of it. This was something to the effect of: "Your rules stop you from killing me and it's my lack of rules that keeps me from killing you!" This is the only part of either character's speech that should have stayed because everything else was just the filmmakers explaining to us the moral arguments they, themselves were trying to make. This is kind of funny since the whole point of having heroes and villains do all this is so that you don't have to get directly preachy--talk about missing the point!

7e) Yep, one more ending and it could even be considered a climax--this ending has Harvey Dent holding Jim Gordon's family hostage. This was a generally good scene, but I didn't understand why Gordon's son kept being the focal point. This is a comic-geek issue I have, so I won't go into it here. This is also where another stupidly expository speech happens toward the end. Batman repeats an early speech given by Alfred about how Batman "isn't a hero" so he can take the extra slings and arrows the city needs to throw at him while he does his job. Ironically, this is the very definition of a hero.--one who sacrifices for the good of others. So, he IS a hero because he takes the blame for the murders of the police officers Dent kills. Yet, the movie literally says the opposite.

Luckily, the movie ends right after this last bit.

I have only a couple nits to pick with DK:

1) When the Batmobile/Tumbler is destroyed (why did it HAVE to be destroyed??) he escapes the heavily armored vehicle in the Batmobile's "escape pod"--or as they later call it, the Batpod. Yep, he keeps using the thing throughout the rest of the film. I mean, what hero uses an escape pod as a regular vehicle for the rest of the movie??? Hell, the thing doesn't even provide any cover and looks about as stable as a unicycle.

2) Gotham City did not look anything like the Gotham City from "Batman Begins." It looked like a regular old city. Pretty damn boring to look at, if you ask me.

Here are my comic book issues with this movie:

1) In the final climax of the movie, Harvey holds a gun to Gordon's son's head--Batman saves Gordon's son from falling to his death. Gordon's son delivers the "ironic" from-the-mouth-of-babes comment that eventually leads to the mention of the movie's title. The true irony here is that I don't remember Gordon ever having a son in the comic--his daughter, however, eventually becomes Batgirl and then later Oracle (after the Joker shoots her through the spine in a brilliant comic called "The Killing Joke"). So why not focus on the daughter?? I just don't get it.

2) Joker's backstory. Yes, Joker is a force of nature, I get it, but in the comic he was a genuinely tragic character. We feel bad for him after we learn the how and why he became who he is now. I don't really feel anything for the Joker aside from sadness that Heath Ledger is dead.

3) In the comic, Harvey Dent was always Two-Face, but did a good job of keeping his "evil" side hidden from others. His schizophrenic background was completely ignored in the movie. I think it would have helped make Dent a more tragic and interesting character.

4) In the comic (if memory serves), Gotham is established as being on the east coast--New Jersey, I think. South Jersey. Sure, everyone knows Gotham is just a metaphor for New York City, but even accepting that, why did Bruce Wayne's Lamborghini has Illinois plates on it. OK, this makes three nits I've picked with DK.

5) In the classic graphic novel "The Dark Knight Returns" by Frank Miller, Harvey Dent eventually undergoes therapy and surgery to become a decent guy again. However, the mental therapy doesn't take, despite him looking normal. He kidnaps Selina Kyle (Catwoman) who is old and retired now, and when Batman apprehends him, Dent admits that he's still crazy and that the changes are only skin-deep. He asks Batman at one point, something along the lines of: "What do you see when you look at me?? What do you see???"

Batman replies with simply: "A reflection, Harvey."

How brilliant is that? Yet, the idea of Batman being insane (even a little) is ignored entirely in this movie. The irony that Nolan has completely lost is that Batman, Joker and Two-Face are all different sides of the same coin (yes, I know a coin only has two sides, but stay with me)--Harvey is the center point--he represents the balance of justice--he contains both the right and the wrong. Batman is on the right side and the Joker on the wrong. However, none of these guys are "good" in any real sense--but that's what makes them all interesting and tragic characters. This (in my opinion) very basic concept has been lost on Chris Nolan and every other director of Batman movies. I do think the first "Batman the Animated Series" creators understood this. To date, I feel that their interpretation of the Batman universe is the best amalgam of the comics.

If you're like most folks who actually read this whole thing (thank you, by the way) right now you're probably thinking to yourself "Yeah, but none of that stuff bothered me."

Well, that's fine. That doesn't make the film a perfect movie, however. I'm simply presenting what I felt were weaknesses in the film.

For the record, I really liked "Batman Begins" a lot and went into "Dark Knight" wanting to like it, too. But right when we didn't see how Joker escaped from Bruce's penthouse, the film started to lose me. Sure, it was still entertaining, but it really was a mess.

I don't want anyone to enjoy the film less, I just want people to stop praising it as though it is some flawless work of art. I mean, do we need another movie like "Titanic" whose audience was so incredibly wrong about? I don't think so.

Please, I hope everyone can enjoy "Dark Knight". I also hope everyone can see it's flaws.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

TheWife and TheMe Waiting for "Dark Knight"

Awwwwwww(fully dark! No flash on my iPhone--why is that?)
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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Awwwwwww(fully dark! No flash on my iPhone--why is that?)
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Friday, July 18, 2008

From ThePete.Com: A General Ti...

From ThePete.Com: A General Time Horizon???:

Saw this today while on the subway home f..

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

Most Recent Mugshot:

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A General Time Horizon???

Saw this today while on the subway home from a job interview and it just cracked me up.

It's not a "timetable" for withdrawing troops from Iraq, it's "a general time horizon."

As a person who now lives in New York City I feel I should be blunt when I say: Just who the fuck do you government guys think you're kidding??

The *Iraqis* want us out and now it's a general time horizon. Fine, fine.

Can we get one of those BEFORE we invade Iran, please??
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Seeing "Passing Strange"

...before it closes this weekend. :(
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Yay! Just Saw the Daily Show Live!

Watching the show was a blast, I just wish it was a busier news day.
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"Stealing America: Vote By Vot...

"Stealing America: Vote By Vote" a docu I helped with will be playing in theaters!! Go see it if it's screening near you!! (http://ping. ...

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I'm getting pretty annoyed wit...

I'm getting pretty annoyed with all the spam on Twitter. Enough with the "name1234" stuff. It's obvious you're spam, idiots. I block you.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

13 Things I Don't Like About the iPhone

OK, it's been a full two days with the iPhone and, despite my smile in the above pic, I've already got a nice little list of problems I have with it. Here we go:

1) I don't need a web page to reload every time I go back to an already opened web page. I can't easily find a way to STOP this from happening. This kind of thing is *particularly* annoying in the subway because when it realizes there's no connection, it just throws a blank page at you rather than reverting to the last cached page. If you can find an app version of the site (like's Mobile News Network) you can sometimes compensate for this, but you know what? ThePete.Com doesn't have an app version and I doubt it ever will. :\

2) I wish I could turn some of the auto-correction off. It keeps trying to "correct" my spelling of "eee pc" by spelling it "see of" and there's no obvious way to stop it from auto-correcting or to turn it off entirely (or ideally telling it correct only certain things).

3) Despite there being a HUGE amount of really great apps for it, there's still no decent IM client. The AIM app functions, but it doesn't seem to make the iPhone vibrate when you get an IM when AIM is not on screen. My Sidekick 3 would vibrate twice for IMs, once for emails--even if the screen was off and it was in my pocket.

4) So far, I can't get it to vibrate when new email arrives.

5) So far, I can't get it to check mail except when I put mail on screen.

6) You can't get rid of the main stable of apps that come with the iPhone. So, even though I will NEVER check stocks on my iPhone, I am stuck with the app.

7) As I'm typing this, it's plugged into a dock (that I had to buy separately) but it doesn't seem to be charging. The dock is plugged into a powered USB hub which is plugged into my MacBook. iTunes sees the iPhone, yet the battery meter hasn't budge a millimeter in a half-hour. Last night I had the phone plugged into the same place and it charged just fine. Don't know what's up, now.

8) What's with no hard disk mode? I've got 8 gigs of storage space, I'd like to use some of it for my important data (like my manuscripts, personal info, etc). Looks like I have to carry around my custom Sonic Thumb Drive (see:…-usb-stick ) STILL. Weeeeak.

9) No video playlists. At least, I can't find where they are. That means that despite all the really cool stuff I can do on my wide screen iPhone, it's actually easier to watch multiple videos on my 5g iPod. Too bad it's *harder* on the eyes.

10) When I'm out someplace and I need to surf for info on where I'm going I have found that it will try to find an open wifi network first, rather than just jumping on the 3G network (or even the 2G network). Really, this thing should look for the first available connection and then, while it's pulling data for you, it can be looking for another connection in the background. Stopping to ask you which wifi network to piggyback on (isn't that illegal in some states?) is a pain in the ass when all you're looking for is the address of the nearest Starbucks or the zip code you're standing in.

11) Really wish there was a faster way to adjust the screen brightness. As of now, I have to hit Home>Settings>Brightness. Seems like a long way to go for an adjustment you might need to make in a pinch, quickly, without disturbing someone (like a sleeping spouse, perhaps).

12) Like in Apple's Mac OSX, there's a dock on your "home" pages (sort of like a desktop for your iPhone, it's where your apps reside). However, the dock only holds 4 icons. I'd love for the icons to shrink a bit if you decide to add a fifth. Or perhaps the dock could function like the Mac's dock and it could get larger depending on where you're touching (much like the iPhone's on-screen keyboard, actually).

13) Why can't I dump tracks on my iPhone from different computers?? I don't "sync" my iPhone to any one stack of files because I have WAY more media than would fit on my iPhone--what logic would that be to have 8 gigs on your iPhone AND on your computer at the same time? I have my media backed up on external drives and only drag over media that I want to watch over the next few days. I encode video so that two hours roughly works out to a gig, so that's a whopping 8 movies I can fit on my iPhone. Why do I need to "sync" 8 movies??? And why can I only dump media on my iPhone from one machine? Both my 3g and 5g iPods let me dump tracks on from any of my computers.

OK, I think that's it for now. Of course, I still have the standard gripes everyone has about the iPhone:

a) STILL no cut and paste (though I've been blogging from it a bit and this hasn't been a huge issue).

b) Battery life drains quickly if left in 3G mode (left the AIM app up while I napped for two hours today, woke up and found my battery life had gone from something like 60% to 20%).

c) No video recording??? Come on, Apple, by now there should be a way to record video through a line-in port by now.

It looks like the official 3G iPhone dock may not be designed so well--after getting fed up with the aforementioned lack of charging I pushed down on the iPhone while it was still in the dock and suddenly the little battery icon went from almost empty to the lightning bolt that tells me it's charging. Sheesh.

I should admit that I have only read a bit of the online manual for the iPhone so some of my gripes may have been answered in it. However, Apple is known for it's highly simple, highly intuitive products. I think my gripes above are largely common with the average iPhone user. After all, the only smartphone I can compare it to is the Sidekick 3 and we all know the SK3 ain't exactly a smartphone. It's more like a "street smartphone" in that it does more than a regular phone but MUCH less that a Blackberry or iPhone. The point is, I'm astounded by how great the iPhone is. I'm more astounded that I can't do the above things.

It's like Apple is going for bigger, cooler things before it gets the smaller, not-cool things right. Imagine a baby who crawls across the stadium floor to the starting line of a marathon it can run in a few hours.

But again, maybe the manual will have some answers. We'll see, though.

Haha, OK, the iPhone, minutes ago, told me that it was unable to receive phone calls and needed to be repaired (!!). So I shut it down, powered it back up and it flashed a low battery/lightning bolt screen at me. I plugged it directly into my MacBook's USB 2 port and it didn't change. A quick check of the PDF manual (which is MUCH larger than the one that comes with the iPhone) and I discovered that the screen it was showing me was the "needs charge" screen. So I tried swapping out the USB cable and that did the trick. Seems the dock is fine, but the extra USB cable I bought Saturday at the Apple Store is flaky. Lovely.

Thankfully, the iPhone APPEARS to be charging, though when it gets back to full power, I'll be happy.
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Despite Naysayers, Apple Sells LOTS of iPhones

Ironically, I read about this on my iPhone, which I had no real trouble picking up last Friday. Sure, the AT&T store I went to first was sold out before the line of about a hundred even made it in the door, but after making it to the 5th Ave Apple store and standing in line for three hours, I had my iPhone. Another 40 minutes later, my iPhone was activated and I was out of the store.

Sure, it could have been smoother but what do you want? It's the frakkin iPhone! You think there was demand like this for the RAZR?

So, it's now been two full days since I got mine and I must say that it's pretty damn cool. I loathe adding to the hype-machine, but the iPhone really is an amazing little thing. It's not perfect, not by a long shot, but it sure does some kick-ass stuff.

Oh, did I mention that this post was:
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Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm actually digging Twittelat...

I'm actually digging Twittelator for my Twitter client on the iPhone. It seems the same as Twitteriffic just before they started charging.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

American Royalty: Rove Above the Law

I took the above screencap earlier today and was reminded of a post I wrote earlier this evening (here:…-testimony ) about royalism--as in, our American leaders acting like royalty.

Well, here we go again--former Bush-brain Karl Rove has been subpoeanaed (is that a word??) to testify to Congress (in part) about whether he pressured the Justice Department to prosecute a former Alabama governor who just happened to be a Democrat.

How is this royalism? Well, Rove has refused the subpoena, claiming executive privilege.

Clearly, Karly-boy thinks the law doesn't apply to him. usual, for a member of the Bush Administration.
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Didn't They Already Have a Say?

Grabbed this screencap from Google News in the early hours of 7/9 and just had to shake my head.

I mean, REALLY.

A bipartisan panel wants the government to play a bigger role when a president decides to go to war.

Uhhhhh, YEAH.

You know what, Mr. or Mrs. Bipartisan Panel?


They just turned over that role to Bush in the lead-up to the Iraq Attack--or did you guys not study very hard in school?

I mean, any kid who paid attention in history class (or for me, Social Studies class) knows that it's Congress' job to authorize military force. Before we invaded a sovereign member of the UN (Iraq) back in 2003, the US Congress told Bush that he could swing his ability to declare war around like a huge penis in order to scare Saddam into fessing up about his WMD.

Of course, no amount of penis-swinging would get Saddam to admit something that wasn't true, so Bush got to use his war powers. Of course, if Congress hadn't been lied to by the White House, they'd have known Saddam had nothing to declare as we threatened to cross his border.

They trusted the guy in the White House. It's my impression that the Founding Fathers didn't want the guy in the White House to have the power to invade a country--so why did Congress defy that interest of the FF? Especially to a man like Bush who was such a great leader he let 911 happen, invaded a whole country and then couldn't even capture the guy who was behind 911.

This was a guy who didn't even have the decency to make sure he won the 2000 election.

Hey, did you know that when there's a tie in a presidential race the US Constitution states that it's *Congress* that votes on who the president should be?

Yeah, apparently the Supreme Court hadn't heard that either. By I digress!

The USC(ongress) should never have given Bush the ability to shoot his military load into Iraq to begin with, so essentially, since Bush "took office" the Supreme Court, Congress and the White House all let us down. That's all three branches, isn't it?
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Cheney Edited Global Warming Testimony

I grabbed this from Google News just after midnight on 7/9/8. It seems that somebody in the USG admitted that Cheney had edited the testimony a USG health official gave to Congress.

Isn't that nice? A man with no experience or expertise in the field of environment-related health issues told a government expert in said issues what to tell another part of the government about the issue.

Will this absurd royalism ever stop?

I know, I know--it'll stop January 20, 2009.

But to that I say this: I wonder if the Obama Administration (knock on simulated wood grain) would give into the temptation of getting all big-brothery on our asses. If the last guys did it, what's to stop the new guys?

Of course, I still think Hillary will pull it out and win it. :P
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