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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ni Baka Gaikokujin episode 2 of the podcast for fans of Japan!

In episode 2 of the NBG J-cast, Jeff-san talks about the different kinds of cotton swabs and toilet paper you can get in Japan (and they are different!). ALSO: thepete talks about his intensive learning Japanese classes at the Japan Society in NYC!

Episode 2 of the NBG J-Cast is hosted at!

Check out the pics of what Jeff-san was talking about in this week’s podcast below:

Monday, March 28, 2011

"What really happened in Trafalgar Square" and what's with all this oppression?

Is this getting any coverage at all?


What really happened in Trafalgar Square

Neither mindless nor violent, young protesters were forced into a stand-off with police.

A protestor waves a GMB union flag alongside an Egyptian flag from a statue in Trafalgar Square. Photograph: Getty Images.

“We’re fucked.” says the young man in the hoodie, staring out through the police cordon of Trafalgar Square, towards parliament. “Who’s going to listen to us now?”

Read the rest.

Is it me, or is there a rising tide of governments abusing their citizens around the world?  There are the usual culprits, but it seems like it’s getting worse, even in the so-called “civilized” world.  I don’t mean just riot police beating on protesters, either.  I mean riot cops AND governments siding with corporations in situations where human rights are involved—like unions and collective bargaining.  You can’t outlaw collective bargaining. Yet, it seems like that’s what some US state governments would like to do.  Then there are the eminent domain cases that have been going around over the past decade or so, plus the odd double-standard the USG has with the idea of freedom versus our “allies” who oppress people (though this is nothing new, sadly).

So much to process these days.  It’s damn hard to keep up… thoughts?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

666cast episode 49: ugly (behaving) citizens, celebrities and soldiers, cowardice vs bravery and MORE!

In this week’s episode: ugly people doing ugly things, on Twitter, YouTube and representing America abroad (lovely).  PLUS: why bravery is better that cowardice (I *think* I made my point—not sure now…)  Listen and let me know what you think!  Thanks!

666cast episode 49 is hosted at

Please subscribe to the feed.

Don’t forget to visit webstore666!

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Like I needed another reason to be an atheist. If Japan is how god communicates... (UPDATED)

originally reblogged 3/14/11 but updated 3/25/11

(you can add your comments to the post)

Submitted by lorna08

Yeah, in my mind, if a god can’t just come down to Earth and grab coffee with us, I’m not interested in following him.  If a god can only communicate through violence and massive death, then I’m going to run screaming from religion entirely.  Shit, the attitude this young woman has is all the reason I need to stay firmly entrenched in the understanding that there is no God and that religion can be VERY VERY bad.

This woman sure seems to think the Touhoku Earthquake was a good thing. 

This woman makes my stomach sick.  Go watch her video and “thumbs-down” her video. Then leave a comment, whether you’re an atheist or not (especially if you’re not) and tell her why she’s wrong and that the Japan quake is not a good thing.

Fuck God.  Fuck belief.  I like facts. 

“Japan is a good place to start.”  ??? What the FUCK??  What the fuck is that supposed to mean??  Is this another racist Christian who doesn’t believe all humans deserve equal rights?  Christians everywhere better get loud about their feelings if they disagree with this kind of horrible person.  I’m beginning to think there are no moderate Christians around because they’re so moderate.

UPDATED: Turns out this chick was just a useless troll.  Faked the whole thing. What’s wrong with people today? Fucking get a life. Yours will be short enough—why waste it being a douche?

Michele Bachmann for President. Because She’s Awesome. | The Moderate Voice

Michele Bachmann for President. Because She’s Awesome. | The Moderate Voice



I think it’s great that Michele Bachmann’s running for president. I really do. She’s so good for the GOP, so much a voice of the conservatism of today. Without her in the race, well, it just wouldn’t make sense.

Okay, she’s not officially running yet, she’s just planning on setting up one of those exploratory committees. But come on, you know she wants it, and she’s got God behind her, so it looks like a done deal.

Oh, you think she’s a joke, do you? Well, laugh if you wish.

Posts like this one really make me really question the honesty in the title in the banner of this site…moderate my ass.

And with god behind her the bitch can accomplish anything!

Not sure why think4yourself thinks it isn’t moderate to mock Bachmann.  She’s kind of a mad woman, so speaking out against a mad woman running for the White House is 100% perfectly reasonable, in my book.  Moderate ? stupid.

Ni Baka Gaikokujin episode 1: a podcast for fans of Japan!

In the first official episode of the Ni Baka Gaikokujin podcast Jeff-san tells us about life in a quaking country, teaches us about prefectures and gives us tips for looking for apartments in Tokyo (or really, any city). Kikimasu!!

Ni Baka Gaikokujin episode 1 is hosted at

Listen to episode 0 of NiBaGa.

[Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 ]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Keep It Classy, USA! (very graphic, messed up pic of USGI and victim)


Seymour Hersh on the Der Spiegel “Kill Team” photos:

“Why photograph atrocities? And why pass them around to buddies back home or fellow soldiers in other units? How could the soldiers’ sense of what is unacceptable be so lost? No outsider can have a complete answer to such a question. As someone who has been writing about war crimes since My Lai, though, I have come to have a personal belief: these soldiers had come to accept the killing of civilians—recklessly, as payback, or just at random—as a facet of modern unconventional warfare. In other words, killing itself, whether in a firefight with the Taliban or in sport with innocent bystanders in a strange land with a strange language and strange customs, has become ordinary.”

It think it’s time for a war movie marathon of “Das Boot” and “Saving Private Ryan” for all Americans (ESPECIALLY OUR POLITICIANS!!).  Seriously, kids.  This is fucked up beyond all measure. 

If you’re capable of doing this, someone needs to tell you to STOP.

Lois Lane, Girl Reporter


Here are some notes and images from Lois Lane, Girl Reporter, a pitch for a series of illustrated young adult novels I worked on a few years ago for DC Comics. Story by me, with considerable brainstorming help from my pal John Campbell, and art by Project: Rooftop fan favorite Daniel Krall.

My wonderful editor, Chris Cerasi, was a real champion of the series, which we codenamed “Project 77,” and while we had a great time working on it and finding this secret window into the DCU, it doesn’t look like the current leadership of DC is remotely interested in this kinda thing. I thought some Lois Lane fans here on the interwebs might at least like a look at what might have been…

Read More

What an awesome idea. I would read this as a middle-aged adult male.

The New Yorker magazine did an awesome job on this week's Japan cover.


In this week’s issue: Evan Osnos on the earthquake in Japan. James Surowiecki on disaster economics. Ben McGrath on Barry Bonds. Alexandra Jacobs on Spanx. Malcolm Gladwell on Helena Rubinstein. Peter Schjeldahl on “Bye Bye Kitty!!!”

Yeah, this one is actually really beautiful and sad, too.  Well done!

Monday, March 21, 2011

666cast episode 47: why racism will never die--with guest host Stew!

This week, a special, single-topic episode where my buddy, Stew, and I talk about how racism will never die (not that we’re happy about it).

Yes, it’s true, this episode has been posted out of order, but last week’s episode was about Japan, so I decided to post them out of order for concerns of topicality.  Episode 47 (this week’s ep) was recorded before the quake/tsunami/reactor disasters but discusses something that will (sadly) likely be around for quite some time.

Download the mp3 for 666cast episode 47, hosted at!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ni Baka Gaikokujin Episode 0: It's a new Japan-themed Podcast!

Download the mp3 HERE.

So, I have a buddy in Japan I call Jeff-san.  He has been teaching English in Japan for the better part of a decade.  I have never been but have an almost religious obsession with Japan (both the good things and the bad).  In this, the first “test” episode of Ni Baka Gaikokujin (2 Idiot Foreigners), Jeff-san and I chat about all sorts of things Japan related. The country, its language, our fascination with it and, of course, the recent Tohoku 2011 Disaster (aka the Great Tohoku Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear Crisis Trifecta of 2011).

Let us know what you think!  Comment on this post or reach me (@thepete) or @Jeff-san on Twitter!

?????????????????? (that’s supposed to be “kikimasuwa arigato gozaimasu” which hopefully means “thanks for listening!” Sorry if it’s not right—what do you expect from 2 Idiot Foreigners?)

I’ll be attempting to post new episodes once-a-week (maishu!) on Thursday in the evening in the US and Friday morning in Japan.  Gomen if next week is late!

Ni Baka Gaikokujin episode 0 is hosted on

Man, I need to learn more kanji. Just look at this update from NHK news!

Can sound-out all of the hiragana and katakana in there (and even understand some of it) but there’s so much kanji used, I am lost.  Google Translate works OK, but it works better coming from English than from Japanese.  I just wish kanji were as easy to learn as kana is.

Monday, March 14, 2011

666cast episode 48: Japan, how we're dealing with it and how we shouldn't.

This week on the 666cast: Japan, how we’re dealing with it and how we shouldn’t. (Yes, this is episode 48, episode 47 will come next week—listen to the 666cast for an explanation.) It’s sad how some people behave when a disaster happens, but then, you knew that.

FOLLOW-UP TO EPISODE 48 of the 666cast:


And PLEASE NOTE: I’m an ass—the website I quote in the follow up is NOT “nihongoup” it’s “NihongoUp”.  SIGH. I’m dumb.  “Nihongo” is the Japanese word for “Japanese.”

Incidentally, here’s the link I used to donate ¥8,000 to Japan. I don’t entirely trust it, but it seems legit and ¥8,000 isn’t a lot to waste (but it’s all I can afford right now):

Fukushima Nuclear Fallout Map is a Hoax

Found this over at JapanProbe:

There also seems to be a prankster out there that created a “fallout map” warning Americans of a radiation cloud that will be heading their way. Of course, it is a hoax, not actually based on real data:

Some people really need to find better things to do with their lives.

Be careful who you donate to! (Even UNICEF!)

So, I saw this bit of (probably accidental) deceit in my Tumblr stream today reblogged from bodilygeography:

All it takes is one click…

Sounds great, right? Except there are a couple of catches. First, I don’t know who this guy is. He doesn’t say who he is in the image. If you reblog this and get reblogged, I don’t know how people wouldn’t think it was YOU willing to donate 10¢ per reblog. Second and MOST IMPORTANTLY, when you click the link you end up at a page for UNICEF that explains:

The Government of Japan has long invested  in earthquake and emergency response preparedness and has not requested UNICEF support at this time.

That’s right, so this guy is asking we donate to a group that isn’t even helping Japan yet.  The worst thing you can do with money is to waste it.  Please research who you are giving money to before you do it!  Sadly, I have no idea who your donation to Japan would be safest with.  I would recommend checking out  But even then, do your research!  Even trustworthy sources can make mistakes.


Sorry, but that could get pricey fast.  This is Tumblr, after all….

Sunday, March 6, 2011

666cast episode 46 from!

In this week’s episode, my old buddy Stew takes a walk with me in Manhattan as we discuss how China bought the company he works for and other signs of American economic doom.