Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Lots of people have been complaining about having problems with Apple's new MobileMe service. My biggest problem is that they took my .Mac account and made it a MobileMe account without giving me a choice. Fortunately, I can still use my @mac.com address, because @me.com is too dumb for words. Didn't Apple do any marketing research on this? I have yet to find anyone who thinks "me" is a good domain name.

Well, now I'm more than annoyed because my email stopped functioning completely today and is showing no signs of coming back to life. This is my main email address, now I can't trust it. When problems like this happen and are so wide spread, they are often never fully dealt with and email never functions well again.

I've used .Mac since it first started back in 2001. At one point I let my subscription lapse and went on a crusade to find decent replacements for all the things it does. Much disappointed I came back to .Mac, but was a bit happier when they increased the storage space to 10 GB. Now they had to mess with it again. Disk space has now doubled to 20 BG but what good is that if I can't get my email?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Still Sick

Friday I realized I was getting worse, not better. Must have been because Thursday night I had 103 fever and was hallucinating. So I went to see my doctor, he said I had pneumonia and gave me some antibiotics for it. I thought I'd had a viral bronchitis and there was nothing to do but ride it out. Feel a little bit better today, most importantly, I haven't had the 7 pm fever-fest that I'd been having for 2 weeks, after my first dose of antibiotics on Friday.

The Chantix is helping me cut down on the smoking. Bad lungs wouldn't do it, I've had lungs far worse than this and barely been able to cut back. But now I've only had 2 cigarettes over the weekend and have not been going crazy, which is pretty amazing. I still want to smoke even with the Chantix but the desire is reduced enough that I can fight it most of the time, something I can't do normally. So I have high hopes of Chantix eventually getting me completely off the cigarettes, even if it takes a while.

I don't mind taking the Chantix longer because all minor side effects disappeared after the first week except that it's really curbing my appetite, which makes it worth while just for that even if I don't quite smoking. My doc weighed me and I'd lost 5 lbs, while smoking half what I normally would. That is simply amazing.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Than a Week Since My Last Post

I really hated to see that date when I looked it up. Unfortunately I've been sick that whole time, to the actual day. Friday the 11th, the day of my last post was also the day I came down with a very bad flu/bronchitis. I've been running fevers as high as 103.5 as well as shaking with the chills and here it is the 20th and I'm still very sick.

The timing, of course, was perfect. Jimmy of Nightmare Girl fame, had just given me 3 new pages to color. Very important because they were the first 3 completely redone, and he was having a book printed up of our first 20 pages so the first 3 had to be done by last Wednesday in order to have time to get it by the Comic-Con, coming up this Wednesday. So my weekend of the 12th and 13th was spent working until I felt too terrible then going to bed. After a short nap I've be back at the computer again and so on for the whole weekend. Then on Monday I had to get into work because STS had a ton of work to do and Bob at Graphitti has his own Comic-Con deadlines, like the Con's official shirts. Wouldn't be too cool if the Con didn't have their own T-Shirts to sell this year.

But I got all that done and I've had this whole weekend free to just relax and get better. Unfortunately, I don't feel any better. I've been sweating like crazy and last night had the shaking chills again and pretty much feel awful and can't stop coughing, feever seems to hover a little over 100, although I'm sure it was higher at times when I didn't take it.

So that's why I haven't been making any blog entries lately. Wish I could skip all the work and just do blogging but I can't do it. Don't know how much longer I'm going to be sick, either.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Obama Lies Some More!

It was a while ago I told the Obama people to take me off their mailing list and told them it was because of his support for the new FISA bill after promising to filibuster it. So they sent me an answer. Nothing new and still damn pitiful.
Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting us and sharing your strong feelings about this important issue. Please find a statement from Senator Obama below.

We appreciate hearing from you.


Obama for America,

Given the grave threats that we face, our national security agencies must have the capability to gather intelligence and track down terrorists before they strike, while respecting the rule of law and the privacy and civil liberties of the American people. There is also little doubt that the Bush Administration, with the cooperation of major telecommunications companies, has abused that authority and undermined the Constitution by intercepting the communications of innocent Americans without their knowledge or the required court orders.

There is the key phrase, they did it without the required court orders, they broke the law. And Obama let such law-breaking go without even a slap on the wrist. Instead they rewarded Bush and the telecoms for illegal spying on Americans. But, they will obey the law THIS time. SURE they will.
That is why last year I opposed the so-called Protect America Act, which expanded the surveillance powers of the government without sufficient independent oversight to protect the privacy and civil liberties of innocent Americans. I have also opposed the granting of retroactive immunity to those who were allegedly complicit in acts of illegal spying in the past.

After months of negotiation, the House passed a compromise that, while far from perfect, is a marked improvement over last year's Protect America Act. Under this compromise legislation, an important tool in the fight against terrorism will continue, but the President's illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over. It restores FISA and existing criminal wiretap statutes as the exclusive means to conduct surveillance - making it clear that the President cannot circumvent the law and disregard the civil liberties of the American people. It also firmly re-establishes basic judicial oversight over all domestic surveillance in the future.

"Cannot circumvent the law" - what complete bullshit. The Bushies ignore the law on a daily basis, why would they suddenly pay attention to this one, especially when they know if they break it they will get immunity for it? Because this time it's really, REALLY illegal?
It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I voted in the Senate three times to remove this provision so that we could seek full accountability for past offenses. Unfortunately, these attempts were unsuccessful. But this compromise guarantees a thorough review by the Inspectors General of our national security agencies to determine what took place in the past, and ensures that there will be accountability going forward. By demanding oversight and accountability, a grassroots movement of Americans has helped yield a bill that is far better than the Protect America Act.

And the Inspector General works for who??? Remember Attorney General Mukasey refusing to enforce the subpoenas and contempt charges against those who refused to show up when summoned by Congress? Karl Rove just did that yesterday. The Inspector General will just look the other way and not even fill out any reports. The IG is supposed to keep track of the good and bad the various Federal Attorneys but they haven't bothered to file that report yet. Hell, they keep breaking the law and getting away with it, each time more outrageous than the last, why would they stop now? YOU, Mr. Obama, aren't going to hold any of them accountable, you are going to capitulate and call it compromise.
It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives - and the liberty - of the American people.

I shudder to think how casually you will treat the Constitution and the law when you ARE president, based on your current record. Oh, I get it!! You know it's too late to go after Bush so you want all these special powers in the executive branch for YOURSELF!! It's all so clear now! And we can "trust" you to NOT obey the law because you're a much better person than George Bush ever was, right? You don't need to obey any silly laws that ordinary mortals do. You can be trusted - right?

It should be noted that Hillary voted against this bill, but she had to know such a vote would not make any difference because the bill was going to pass no matter what she did, so I'm not sure she should get any credit for it. And if someone wants to give her credit, so what? What good does that do now? She isn't going to steal the nomination although I bet she's thinking about it. "I wonder if I can push him in front of a car," she thinks. "No, it won't work, too many people around all the time. Could I make it look like an accident? Better not to risk it, must keep thinking."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Jonathan Turley

Rachel Maddow was hosting Countdown yesterday, my second favorite after Keith himself. She had Jonathan Turley on, the Constitutional law professor. He had some very emotional things to say about the FISA bill that will be voted on today.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Super Obama

I've been dying to put this on my blog for weeks now. I may be disappointed in Obama but this is a great illustration, which I made in to a T-shirt, because that's what I do.

The artist is Alex Ross, one of the best in the comic book business if not THE best. The guy paints entire comics. Go to your local comic book store and ask for some books by Alex Ross, you won't be disappointed.

I've been putting Alex's art on T-shirts for Bob Chapman at Graphitti Designs for a long time now and it never gets any easier. His painterly style is the very worst kind of art to transfer into screen printing, too much detail, subtlety and texture for screen printing, so every one is a challenge but still fun because the art is so good.

Anyone who wants a T-shirt can go over to the Graphitti Designs web site, look over on the left for New This Month. Bob will also be at the Sand Diego Comic-Con in a few weeks with quite a few shirts since he sold out of the pretty fast at the Chicago Con last weekend.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bush Got Punked

In case anyone hasn't been paying attention to the details, the UN mandate that makes it sort-of legal for the US to be in Iraq runs out in December and will not be renewed. So Bush has been in talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki for the US to stay there indefinitely. Even though he denies wanting to stay there indefinitely. I wonder if those 18 permanent military bases he wants seem a bit inappropriate? Bush, being the arrogant jerk he is also does not think this needs to go before Congress, even though the Constitution very specifically says Congress must affirm any and all treaties with foreign countries. What does Bush care about the Constitution anyway, it's not like he swore an oath to God to protect it against all enemies foreign and domestic, or anything serious like that.

Well, it so happens that Maliki announced today that he wants the US to pull out, or at least set a timetable for withdrawal, because he doesn't want the US to stay there. The Times Online has the story:

Iraq said for the first time yesterday that it wanted to set a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from its territory.

President Bush has long resisted a schedule for pulling his 145,000 soldiers out, arguing that it would play into the hands of insurgents. Nouri al-Maliki, the Shia Prime Minister, who boasted last week that he had crushed terrorism in the country, suggested that it was time to start setting time-lines.

This would be laugh-out-loud funny if there weren't so many dead Iraqis and Americans lying around. The article goes on to say:

The Iraqi parliament has bridled at pushing through such a binding deal with the outgoing and unpopular Bush Administration, saying that the negotiations have been secretive and could undermine Iraq’s sovereignty. “I don’t know anything about this agreement and neither does parliament,” said Ezzedine Dawla, a Sunni MP. “We’re going to pass something we don’t know anything about.”

Basically, the Iraqis don't like us, go figure. Kill a million of their people and they take it personally. Also, they think we are trying to steal their oil, probably because we are. Thing is, oil is the only thing they have and they don't want it stolen. Ungrateful bastards. Then there is the Pentagon's response:

US snubs Maliki pullout timetable

WASHINGTON: In a rebuff to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki, the Pentagon said yesterday that any timetable for a US withdrawal from Iraq would depend on conditions on the ground there.

After all this time of Bush saying how a timetable for withdrawal would only help the terrorists they couldn't very well agree with Maliki, now could they? Besides, who will protect the Western Oil Companies while they are stealing the Iraqi oil if US troops aren't there? But then, Bush has also been saying all along that we would leave whenever the Iraqis asked us to. Oooops, Maliki just stuck it to Bush. Poor guy, things just don't seem to be going his way these days.

But of course, we all knew Bush didn't really mean it when he said we would leave if they asked, any more than he meant that pesky oath about the Constitution.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Faith Based Programs

Obama seems to be slipping down my quality scale almost daily. And he's not doing it in little ways, every policy flip he now makes is a huge one. The latest bitter disappointment is that he wants to continue giving government money to religious charities. Here's the article from Huffington's Post:

CHICAGO — Reaching out to evangelical voters, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is announcing plans to expand President Bush's program steering federal social service dollars to religious groups and _ in a move sure to cause controversy _ support some ability to hire and fire based on faith.

Obama was unveiling his approach to getting religious charities more involved in government anti-poverty programs during a tour and remarks Tuesday in Zanesville, Ohio, at Eastside Community Ministry, which provides food, clothes, youth ministry and other services.

"The challenges we face today ... are simply too big for government to solve alone," Obama was to say, according to a prepared text of his remarks obtained by The Associated Press. "We need all hands on deck."

So let's recap, shall we? So far Obama has reversed himself on protecting the Bill of Rights, changing NAFTA (he thinks it's pretty good now), taxing the rich (says he might not do that right away), is for the death penalty and doesn't even need murder to be one of the requirements, and now he trashes the wall of separation between church and state. It's beginning to look like Obama will serve Bush's third term just as well as McCain. Obusha? I'd break out Photoshop and drop Bush's features on Obama's head but that would be way too scary.

It seems like the best we can hope for from Obama is that he will not be as bad as McCain, and that's looking pretty iffy right now, or that his first positions on these things were his real ones and THIS is the time he's lying.

Special thanks to vjack at Atheist Revolution for the link to the Huffington's post article.