Sunday, August 10, 2008

McCain is from the Future

Just because Obama is more popular than McCain doesn't mean that he'll get more votes and therefore become the president.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Comic-con 2008

My first comic-con was incredible. I will gladly put up with gas prices, parking, lines, curious odors, and massive crowds to be part of geek Mecca any given day. As the pictures will attest, toys were my crack cocaine and the Mighty Muggs were my premium Venezuelan smuggled import. Optimus Prime, Cobra Commander, you will be mine. And thanks to V for being my Sancho Panza!

Who's in for next year?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Take a Sad Song... (Part 1)

I heard a heavy thud coming from my parents' bedroom. I ran towards the room and before I had the chance to see what had made the noise, I heard it again. It was the sickliest, most gruesome, most horrifying sound I've ever heard in my life: the sound of a human body as its weight collapses on itself. This was the sound of my mom having a stroke.

She was keeled over the bathroom with streams of saliva dripping from her groggy, expressionless face. I had thought she was drowsy from medicine since she had been sick a few days before. I joked around with her, attempting to elicit a response. Nothing. My dad came home right then and the look he gave instantly triggered one solitary thought in my mind that would become all too familiar. Fuck.

I called for an ambulance and ran for the door as I heard the sirens approaching my front door. Fuck.

I watched as the paramedics precariously carried her down the stairs and loaded her into the back. Fuck.

I called my sister, telling her "Something is wrong with Mom." I gave my dad directions to where the ambulance was headed. I rode in the front with the driver, looking back as the paramedic was helping my mom with her breathing and starkly noticing the blank look on the driver's face. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

My brain started screaming and as adrenaline and reality started kicking in, I noticed it was lightly raining.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Go Speed Racer, Go!

Egads, I have a new favorite movie and it's the Wachowski brothers' rendition of Speed Racer. The movie is such an amazing piece of work. How good is it? Speed's characteristic gasps of astonishment can be heard throughout and the movie still rocks.

The colors are blaring and vivid. The directing of conversations and announcers is perfect and innovative. The fight scenes add a nice anime touch and the car fight scenes are ludicrous and downright kickass. The casting is perfect and even Spritle and Chim Chim add to the movie. My only complaint is that Rain just needs to stop going "whoo!" in every scene he's in.

It's a live action cartoon; it's supposed to be ridiculous.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jon Stewart interviews Douglas Feith

Jon Stewart is my hero. This is his uncut interview with Doug Feith, undersecretary for the Department of Defense, who wrote a book detailing the government's reasons and justifiability to go into Iraq. The main theme brought up by Jon Stewart is that we were misled through a media and PR campaign without providing the public with internal doubts.

One of the best points brought up was this video of Dick Cheney in an interview from 1994 stating how Iraq would be a quagmire if the US were to invade, giving substantial amounts of detail regarding the power vacuum that would inevitably happen.

The current administration's argument that history will judge Bush in a more fairer light is absolute bullshit meant to dissuade people from actually getting pissed off now. Well, the people who bother considering what this war is costing us in terms of money, international influence, and military strength. And I think that's what this administration has done better than any other presidency: to take advantage of American purposeful apathy.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Unhealthy obsessions

Here's the first post in an ongoing series that deals with my unhealthy obsessions with mother-effing rad consumer products, design, and whatever else I feel like drooling over (ladies).

-The newest line of Dyson vacuums featuring the ball. Since I already have one, super-cute girl at work suggested that I buy multiple Dysons, like how Jay Leno has cars. I am tempted; super-cute girl indeed.
-Holy crap, a Nerf gatling gun. I wish I had this as a kid. I would have gotten all the ladies. And then I would've shot at them with 100 consecutive Nerf darts.
-The 50-story World Trade Center in Bahrain. The three propellers between the buildings generate 10-15% of the power to run the building. The future is now, people.
-The 101-story Shanghai World Financial Center, scheduled to be completed this month. As a big fan of gay beers, this ode to bottle-openers and architectural aficionados everywhere has me smiling.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

OMG, I have to be right on the internet.

Peace in Japan and Germany came along with support from allies. Taxes were raised and the public at large was asked to sacrifice during wartime in order to fund those victories. There were clear goals that needed to be achieved and enemies with borders who needed to be defeated. Most importantly, people from all walks of life knew what needed to be done to achieve victory.

With everything that has happened so far, especially with who we have in charge, there's no way you could argue that victory in Iraq will be as clear cut as it was in Japan and Germany. What exactly is victory for you? Who and where exactly is the enemy? How can you generate public support for this war considering its fabricated origins that the people in charge have still not admitted? When will there be enough security in order for diplomats to do the real job of healing a divided country? How will we pay for this war without driving up inflation and/or borrowing from China?

Before the war began, conservatives believed that WMDs were a threat to the free world, ignored the UN Weapon Inspectors, and invaded anyway. When top ranking generals predicted that we needed a massive force to handle the aftermath, conservatives brushed them off. When WMDs were never found, conservatives said that the war was justified in order to overthrow the evil dictator Saddam and give Iraqis freedom. When Saddam was overthrown, conservatives wanted to hand over military responsibility to the Iraqis. Instead, we're sending more troops into Iraq because somehow, soldiers with guns alone are supposed to solve a diplomatic divide. And all this time, how many times have conservatives been right or even fessed up to being wrong?

Conservatives have argued that the cost of losing in Iraq will lead to more 9/11's and that is why we need to stay. I'd ask for some evidence, but I don't exactly trust the filter it's coming from. We need to stay, when Osama bin Laden and the Taliban cited American intervention in the Middle East as the primary reasons for the 9/11 attacks in the first place. And now they're rallying around McCain because somehow, he has the "credibility" and "experience" to magically fix everything with the wave of his victory wand. Somehow, we have to defend the honor of America for the sake of saving face at the cost of American lives, influence, and power.

In conclusion, conservatives in charge and those who support them are taking a piss on America and convincing everyone it’s raining.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Stuff White People Like

I've finally figured this website out. I don't care what race this author is, but, man, you're a genius.

Ok, read closely now: All these generalizations about white people are exactly what white people have been doing with minorities over the past hundred years in order to "understand" these foreigners better. More so, when a white person tries to generalize these ideas in public, they're thrown to the sharks. In private, these generalizations still happen and white people take it as the truth because they don't have any other valid source of evidence. Thus is born the stereotype.

The funniest part of this blog though, is the replies, especially from indignant white people who disagree so strongly. Do these generalizations apply to absolutely all white people? Of course not. Do they apply to some? White people have said so themselves.

But do other white people still comment to complain about how inaccurate each and every one of these posts are? Hell yes they do because although stereotypes undeniably have their truth, you can't apply them to individuals without pissing people off.

So here's some of your own medicine, white people: calm down, it's just a joke. I get it, you're not some monolithic group with a single mentality that can be privy to stereotypes and generalizations, whether they be good or bad. At least you're not stuck with buck teeth and a small penis.

The next post should be that white people love political correctness. Oh, and welcome to our world.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

"Contracting business in Iraq is very lucrative"

While I haven't been working, I've been watching a consortium of Iraq War documentaries in an effort to be a proper citizen and weave past the pundits, the talking heads, the dumbass slogans and bumper stickers and the politics surrounding what I believe to be the most significant event this country is currently facing. So enough with the blathering and lets get this war justified (or not). doing a bag of laundry, running orientations at beachside 5-star hotels

Next up is Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers, released in 2006 with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Right off the bat we get a price tag on engineering, construction, police training, reconstruction, troop support, private security, etc. paid to private contractors. The rest of the movie goes on to tell us how we're getting screwed.

A substantial amount of interrogators at Abu Ghraib were private contractors. What that boils down to is that the more information these private contractors can get out of a detainee, the more they would stand to gain. They're a business after all. On top of that, these contractors work under minimal supervision and without legal allegiance or accountability. Hmm. What does that spell? Torture.

Next up are the private security guards. Now when a US soldier hurts or kills an Iraqi and it becomes known, he/she goes through the court martial process. For Iraq, this puts a message out there that these crimes will be punished. When a contractor hurts or kills an Iraqi and it becomes known, he/she will be sent home (probably without dinner) and can wait a week or two before being hired by a different contractor. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

The people who run these contractor companies are senior military officers and capital hill staffers with connections needed to generate business contracts that range between a few million dollars to a few billion dollars. Some of these contracts dealing with logistics, repair, etc. take away jobs belonging to actual military personnel who work at a fraction of the cost.

Halliburton/KBR are the worst of the offenders, given either no-bid contracts or faced with no competition at all. One such contract gave Halliburton the responsibility of providing clean water to soldiers; in the end, the water was contaminated and soldiers were exposed to serious health risks. 63/67 facilities were shit.

A good chunk of these contracts are cost-plus contracts. Cost-plus is a type of contract where contractors will get a percentage of the money they spend on providing services. So the more money they can bill, the more they stand to make. That's why we have items that include $45 for a 6-pack of Coke packaged within the region and $100 for with full service, a fleet of Ford SUVs or pickups, H2s, or Cadillac Escalades complete with chrome rims and leather interior for staff that never leave the premises, wrong equipment which they burn in fire pits and claim it as a loss, running empty trucks on convoy at great risk to the drivers. Pentagon audits estimate that the total costs hovers around $1.4 billion and Halliburton's stock has quadrupled since the war began.

And that's the movie.

A few other articles I've run across just today deal with Cheney's stock in Halliburton and the government buying defective military helmets from a company fined for producing defective military helmets.

And just today, on top of it all, Bush has said that the war is actually helping the economy and definitely not a cause of a recession.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

"Like a dream"

While I haven't been working, I've been watching a consortium of Iraq War documentaries in an effort to be a proper citizen and weave past the pundits, the talking heads, the dumbass slogans and bumper stickers and the politics surrounding what I believe to be the most significant event this country is currently facing. So enough with the blathering and lets get this war justified (or not).

First up is "The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair" released in 2006 with an 86% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes.

Yunis Abbas, an English speaking Iraqi journalist, recounts his experience being captured and imprisoned for plotting to kill Tony Blair. As a former and tortured captive of Saddam Hussein, he wasn't exactly a fan of the previous regime. His problem in this move though, is that he laughed when he was first told why he was captured. But why did he laugh? Because it was ridiculous.

Yunis spent most of his time at Camp Ganci, a mid/low level security area in Abu Ghraib that contained 4000 detainees classified as having no intelligence value. Also known for unsanitary living conditions, overcrowding, spoiled food, and inadequate access to health care. But the good news is that they weren't dying. Like many others sharing his campsite, Yunis and his brothers were taken from his home in the middle of the night. "Wrong place at the wrong time" type deal, where an Iraqi male should never be home, like ever. Especially at night.

During his stay, Yunis served as a translator to help preserve peace in the camps. He ended up helping the soldiers who made a conscious effort to help the prisoners. One of the soldiers found it weird that despite Yunis being charged with attempting to kill one of the world's predominant leaders, he wasn't grouped with the same people who actually plotted to kill the guy.

In the end, after a series of riots, attacks from the outside, Yunis and his brothers are released nine months later. The camp commander releasing him says "We don't know why you were here. There was a mistake. Sorry". Camp Ganci was closed sometime later and prisoners were moved to another site known as "Redemption." Huh, how about that.

Here's another take on the issue of false imprisonment, albeit the location in reference is different:

I sincerely hope that Yunis and other prisoners like him are more forgiving than I know myself to be. If an occupying force were to come into my/my family/my friend's house in the middle of the night, imprison me/my family/my friends on charges we would never get the chance to argue against, spit in our faces, torture our bodies, destroy our spirits, and insult our religion, I sure as hell know where I would stand when it comes to that whole "with us or against us" downstream flow of arrogant bullshit.

Pardon me, but my bias is showing.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pure epic greatness in three parts

Act I: TheA Daily Show with John Stewart

Act II: The Colbert Report

Act III: Late Night with Conan O'Brian