Saturday, August 11, 2007

For such a slight people, the Japanese take their McDonald's seriously.

I give you the Mega Mac.

Elliot S! Maggin runs for Congress.

Truth, Justice and... well, you know.

I'd vote for him.

Via Wikipedia:
Elliot S. Maggin, also spelled Elliot S! Maggin (born 1950) is an American writer.

...He attended Brandeis University, where he wrote a term paper titled "What Can One Man Do?" for a class during his junior year. When it received a grade of B+, Maggin disagreed with the assessment, remade it as a comic book script, and sent his script to DC Comics. It was passed around the DC offices, and Neal Adams chose to draw the script. Though the initial grade was not amended, Maggin became a writer for DC, selling his stories to fund a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. He became the principal writer for Superman from 1971 to 1986. He also wrote for Green Arrow, where his sense of humour was allowed far more freedom in the loose dialogue of the main character.

My Pop Cultural Brethren:
"Among the assumptions I've always made in life has been that each of us Americans is a worker in a common cause. It was the job of each of us to make sure everyone for whom we were responsible had a chance to get a good education, had a chance to grow up healthy, had the chance to create a life as fulfilling and accomplished as it was in his or her soul to make it. Save the whales and the rest of us. To start with, each of us had roughly an equal shot and we lived our lives freely in pursuit of whatever we felt happiness to be.

Then, lately, a new thing began to happen. My country started to slip out from under my feet.

Now, in my fifties, I suddenly live in a country where people are born not to privilege or opportunity, but to enormous debt. The mind-spinning wealth that we still generate has been redistributed upward so few of us reap the benefits of a still increasingly productive system. Risk has been socialized while profit has become individualized. When you've got a strong, prosperous middle class you have a forward-thinking, innovative business community. When the middle class is under social and economic assault as it is today, the inevitable result is social torpor and political extremism. We approach a condition where a small group of enormously wealthy people are served by a growing community of servants, and opportunity is a foreign notion. And when anyone anywhere notices this out loud he is immediately accused of being a “class warrior” or a “blame-gamer” or a “conspiracy theorist” or some such centrally generated piece of tripe talk.

If there's really a conspiracy behind a thing, then it's no longer a theory.

The 24th district in California takes up most of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, just north and west of Los Angeles. Currently -- and for the past twenty-odd years -- a man named Elton Gallegly represents the district in Congress. Elton has generally been a reliable, if lackluster, operative of the conservative agenda. He supports tax cuts for people earning over 200-thousand dollars a year, and has voted to make those tax cuts, including the elimination of the estate tax, permanent. He voted to declare the war in Iraq part of an ongoing war on terror without an end date, and against earmarking funds to provide troops in the field either with armor or bomb-safe personnel transports. His votes are consistently anti-labor, with a 7 percent AFL-CIO rating, including completely de-funding OSHA's ability to enforce workplace safety regulations. He supports making the so-called Patriot Act permanent, and as far back as 1996 he voted to deny the right of habeus corpus in appeals of convictions. His rating from NARAL is actually 0%: he opposes funding for health care providers who give counsel on abortion, and opposes all stem cell research. He buys the whole package.

I'm running to oppose this guy, and I plan to win. This time, I'm going to make very clear who I am and who I've been. “Truth, justice and the American way” is my personal torah and I'll say so everywhere I go. I'm asking the community of people who have, over the years, shared my thoughts and many of my values, to get this thing started.

It makes me very sad to see a generation of Americans coming of age, many of whom are never exposed in the public forum to traditional American values: doing right for its own sake, being responsible to a common spiritual authority, striving to create a world where opportunity truly is equal for all and where all of us -- even the jaded -- consider integrity a virtue.

...Well I've got another campaign for you. I hope you're ready."

Jackie Karma seems like it will rock.

The '76 Blog: Rejected "Cool" Promo #2:
"Shot of Pete slumped at a table littered with beer bottles.


Bruce Wayne is a billionaire who uses his fortune to wage a one-man war against crime.

Pete Walker bounces checks at Pizza Shack and wages a one-man war against sobriety.

Fuck Batman.

Positively Orwellian doublespeak from Rudy Giuliani.

It's double plus good!

Seriously, he said it.

Brilliant image via the always amusing and edifying

BeaucoupKevin(dot)com. BlogMachineGo.
In tonight's presentation, Dr. Doom will be quoting from the collected works of Rudolph Giuliani, Presidential Candidate.

The Universe is Information.


Rigorous Intuition (v. 2.0): Author, Author:
"Vallee, who is both a computer scientist and a UFOlogist, invested his energy in Information Theory, which led to his model of an Associative Universe.

The Melchizedek incident that I experienced on February 21, 1976 suggested to me that the world might be organized more like a random database than like a sequential library... Alternative explanations are equally inadequate, unfortunately. I did not discuss my research with the driver, so a hoax is out of the question. There could be a well-organized conspiracy against me, of course, to put lady taxi drivers on my path with names related to my current reading interests, but the motivations of such conspirators would be rather obscure! Fortunately, another avenue of explanation exists.

If there is no time dimension as we usually assume there is, we may be traversing events by association. Modern computers retrieve information associatively. You "evoke" the desired records by using keywords, words of power: you request the intersection of "microwave" and "headache" and you find 20 articles you never suspected existed.
Perhaps I had unconsciously posted such a request on some psychic bulletin board with the keyword "Melchizedek." If we live in the associative universe of the software scientist rather than the sequential universe of the space-time physicist, then miracles are no longer irrational events."

Every. God. Damn. Day.

My man-love for Joss Whedon continues.

Joss Whedon | The A.V. Club:
"With Buffy, I needed closure, because she, poor girl, had earned it. Buffy is about growing up. Angel is really about already having grown up, dealing with what you've done, and redemption. Redemption is something you fight for every day, so I wanted him to go out fighting. People kept calling it a cliffhanger. I was like, 'Are you mad, sir? Don't you see that that is the final statement?' And then they would say 'Shut up.'"

Pick Your Candidate - Cool way to find out what candidates views match your own.

Unsurprisingly, I ring up Kucinich, Gravel and Paul. I am way the hell outta the mainstream, clearly.

Pick Your Candidate:
"Okay, here's a really simple way to find out which candidates share your views. This script is composed entirely of data collected by Enter your choices below and hit GO to rank the candidates.

Here's how it works, if you want to know. If you agree with a candidate, he gets point(s). If you disagree, take point(s) away. Unkown/other results in no points. The number of points given or taken depends on the weight you set. "Meh" is worth 1 point, "important" 2, and "key" is worth 5. The items you disagree about will be listed directly underneath each candidate (if they score greater than zero).

[My results. - Rob]

Kucinich 45 No Child Left Behind, Assault Weapons Ban

Gravel 41 (you have no disagreements with this candidate)

Paul 26 Abortion Rights, Embryonic Stem Cells, Citizenship Path for Illegals, Border Fence, Net Neutrality, Same-Sex Marriage, Universal Healthcare"

Friday, August 10, 2007

California offices seem cool.

Overheard in the Office | Or Should It Go Under "B" for "Bubble"?:
"Admin: We received a brochure for a fog and bubble machine in the mail today... This is cool! Why are they sending us this?

Coworker: Oh, Alan* saw that at the trade show and wanted it. If we had a bubble party, would you show up in a bikini?

Admin: Of course! We'll file this under 'Awesome.'

San Luis Obispo, California"

"...a perfect storm of arrogance and ignorance."

Sounds about right.

"...The Bush Administration has, at least, understood the concept of using the power accrued; they’ve just made a terrible hash of it. Can we all agree that the WMDS were always an excuse, that 9/11 had nothing to do with Saddam Hussein, and that the Bushies knew it, know it, and didn’t and don’t care? The real basic premise of the Bush Neo-Cons was to get rid of a murderous dictator that even the other Arabs didn’t much care for and, in his place, create a functioning democracy that, by its success and example, would begin to change the face of the Mideast. 9/11 simply offered a justification. All in all, it was a seemingly laudable goal but it was attempted by a crew that didn’t know the language, didn’t know the culture or the people, and couldn’t be bothered to learn. There was no contingency planning. It was a perfect storm of arrogance and ignorance.

...So what’s going happen next? I don’t know but I can tell you what I fear is going to happen. For the rest of the Bush Administration, our military will be in Iraq. There won’t be a political solution because the Iraqi government is too divided to create one. In the long run, I think you’ll see an Islamic government run by the mullahs and clerics.

So – who’s to blame for all this?

The first and most obvious choice is the Cheney Administration – sorry, the Bush Administration. Their stupid plan, their rotten execution, their stubborn unwillingness to face up to the truth and make it right.

The Republican Party also gets high marks. It used to be that the Republicans could be counted on for some fiscal sanity and an unwillingness to get into foreign entanglements. Not no more. They let their party get hi-jacked by Right Wing Jackasses. Same for the Conservatives. Bush and Company aren’t really Conservative or Republican but were embraced by both because, frankly, they were in power and Republicans and Conservatives were both hungry to have someone from their political philosophy in the White House. They let themselves get bamboozled.

Bush’s Administration made the media into their whipping boy; they kicked their asses and the media went belly up in surrender. “Access” is their lifeblood – their power – and they were afraid of being denied it so they published the lies right along with the truth in an effort to be “balanced.” That’s not being “fair,” that’s being complicit. Yes, there are exceptions and they’re notable because they are exceptions. The media only really got back to their jobs as Bush’s approval ratings fell and they felt they could do so without too much danger.

Let’s not forget dem Dems...

The Dems lost control of the Congress and then lost the White House and that’s because, in my eye, they’re lazy. They didn’t think Bush could beat Gore (and maybe he didn’t). They assumed that anyone could beat him for his second term by virtue of Not Being Bush and so they nominated Kerry. They take things for granted.

Nor am I taken with any of their candidates for next year’s presidential race. Hillary Clinton – when did our two party system become a two family system? For the past twenty years the President has been named either Bush or Clinton. I’m also not certain she’s electable – I come from the Midwest and I’ve talked to a lot of people there and they just plain don’t like her. At the least, she’s a polarizing figure. Barack Obama – like him but not enough experience. OTOH, the legendary JFK wasn’t all that seasoned, either, when he ran for President. The one I like most, I think, is Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico. He’s had world political experience under a previous administration and he’s had executive experience as governor. But I don’t think he’ll get within a stone’s throw of the Democratic Nomination.

My concern would be that, once again, the Dems are making the fatal mistake of assuming that whomever they nominate will win (sort of like the Chicago mayoral primary, now that I think about it) except for the Republican field of Presidential nominees. Rudolph Guiliani is leading the pack right now? Cross dressing, thrice married Rudy is going to get the Republican votes out? Well, maybe – if his opponent is Hillary Clinton. Do not underestimate how deep some voters hate Hillary..."

Japanese old ladies are hardcore.

Via the always entertaining Gaijin Smash.
"OSAKA -- A 70-year-old woman who was attacked on a street in Osaka managed to foil her would-be robber by kicking him in the crotch, police said...

If some country ever tried to invade Japan, Japan should just send a small contingent of like 300 old women or something. Have this lady at the front, so she can scream 'THIS! IS! NIPPON!' as she kicks some messenger right in his fucking nuts. Messenger: Our arrows will blot out the sun! Obasan: Then we will fight under our parasols. Bitch."

Patton Oswalt just rocks.


And his new CD is brilliant too.
"I just got a very polite, well-written, and genuinely friendly message about my criticisms of Bush and the war. The writer implied that my time in Hollywood had impaired my critical thinking. He also, with a wink and a shrug, said he was one of those 'crazies' who supported the troops, but was also for the war.

And his message included this heartwarming paragraph:

"The fact is, most of the people in charge of this war -from the White House on down to the staff level - care a great deal about our troops and want what's best for them. "

Here's my response (keep in mind I couldn't sleep last night, haven't had my tea yet, and Susan Sarandon and Ed Begley blew me off for veggie dogs):

What the fuck are you talking about? They can "care" all they want. Bush can give as many motherfucking speeches in front of soldiers, saying how "great" he thinks our troops are, and dress up in his little soldier costume all he wants.

It's his ACTIONS that concern me, now how much he "cares".

And his actions have been:

1. Reducing combat pay and health benefits to veterans

2. Denying troops functioning body armor and armored vehicles, while his contractor buddies get to ride around in concave-bellied Rhino transports, which are impervious to mines, and would save countless soldiers' lives.

I'm sorry, but your "reasoning" is unreasonable and childish. And this is not bullshit Hollywood propaganda. I got these facts from talking to combat veterans, and hearing first-hand their stories of being screwed over.

And yes, being "for the troops" and "for the war" is not only crazy, it's retarded.

Guess what? I support my grandma. But I'm also 100% behind the cancer that's killing her. Hope that doesn't sound "crazy".

Jesus Christ."

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Justice League: New Frontier Animated Preview


"Adapting the award-winning DC Comics miniseries DC: THE NEW FRONTIER by Darwyn Cooke, Justice League: The New Frontier spins a tale of the DC Universe in the 1950s, focusing on test pilot Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) and the Martian Manhunter."

Monday, August 06, 2007

Kucinich smacks down Rumsfeld on Tillman coverup; uses logic, common sense.

How is it the only guys I'd even consider voting for [Kucinich/Paul] have no shot? On BoingBoing the other day somebody wrote their ideal candidate would be "a bastard love-child" of Kucinich and Paul. Yeah.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Kumamoto castle with the Adachi clan.

On Saturday Sandy, Bachan, Eiko and Kawabata-san all headed out to Kumamoto castle for the monthly day trippin'. [I wimped out, stayed home, chilled out.]

Through sheer coincindence, also visiting Kumamoto was Bachan's older sister [Sandy's great aunt? Is that right?] Sumako.

Older Japanese ladies + Ninjas = always an excellent combo.

Sandy was captivated and amused by the Japanese gent riding a tiger.

[Where did they get a tiger in Japan anyways?]

If you can't tell, that's Kumamoto Castle pastry, whose destiny I control in the palm of my hand.

Another 40+ pics over at the Picasa archive, but these were all Sandy asked me to blog. So for many more, click on over below, and be enthralled by her photo taking endurance.


What if FDR had been like George W. Bush?

Pretty damn funny.

You'd have to be an idiot to trust the government.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Presence of Malice:
"...recently completed study of the 124 exonerations of death row inmates in America from 1973 to 2007 indicated that 80, or about two-thirds, of their so-called wrongful convictions resulted not from good-faith mistakes or errors but from intentional, willful, malicious prosecutions by criminal justice personnel. (There were four cases in which a determination could not be made one way or another.)"