Trump, Saudi Arabia, and the Killing of Jamal Khashoggi

This administration continues to astound me. Every time I think I’m beyond being surprised by their actions, they dig a little further into the rock bottom.

Here is the full statement from the Trump White House:

Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Standing with Saudi Arabia

The world is a very dangerous place!

The country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen, trying to destabilize Iraq’s fragile attempt at democracy, supporting the terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon, propping up dictator Bashar Assad in Syria (who has killed millions of his own citizens), and much more. Likewise, the Iranians have killed many Americans and other innocent people throughout the Middle East. Iran states openly, and with great force, “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” Iran is considered “the world’s leading sponsor of terror.”

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia would gladly withdraw from Yemen if the Iranians would agree to leave. They would immediately provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has agreed to spend billions of dollars in leading the fight against Radical Islamic Terrorism.

After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year, the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States. Of the $450 billion, $110 billion will be spent on the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other great U.S. defense contractors. If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries – and very happy to acquire all of this newfound business. It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States!

The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone. Indeed, we have taken strong action against those already known to have participated in the murder. After great independent research, we now know many details of this horrible crime. We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the disposal of his body.

Representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an “enemy of the state” and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that – this is an unacceptable and horrible crime. King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!

That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!

I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other reasons, would like to go in a different direction – and they are free to do so. I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America. After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world. They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels – so important for the world. As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm. Very simply it is called America First!


Last First Post?

I’ve written quite a few “first post” blog posts but I’m hoping to make this one the last one. The plan is to consolidate my meaningful (and not so meaningful) blog posts here and have this be a bit more substantial and substantive than past blogs where I post a few times about miscellaneous topics and then stop forever. Only time will tell if I hold to that plan but here we go.

Dear FCC

Dear Ms. Clyburn, Mr. O’Rielly, and Mr. Pai,

I am an internet user just like you. I check email, send a few tweets, shop on Amazon, watch enjoyable but stupid Youtube videos, and look up symptoms on WebMD when I get sick. As an internet user, I believe in privacy and the net neutrality protections currently in place.

With all due respect to Chairman Ajit Pai, his proposal to deregulate ISPs like Comcast, Spectrum, Frontier, AT&T, and his former place of business, Verizon, would effectively give them the legal latitude to create internet fast lanes and sell personal user data for the sole purpose of making them more money. They already charge users for internet service. To roll back the previous administration’s net neutrality protections and allow an ISP to then sell your private browsing history is both an invasion of privacy, and a crushing blow to small business owners who use the internet to make a living. Allowing ISPs to discriminate against certain types of data or websites, robs us all of innovation and a diverse Internet

At present, our current net neutrality rules ensure that Internet providers can’t slow or block our ability to see certain websites or create Internet “fast lanes” by charging websites and online service money to reach customers faster. Chairman Pai’s proposed repeal of the rules would transform ISPs into Internet gatekeepers with an effective veto right on innovation and expression. His op-ed that laughs at a digital dystopia and claims that the regulation has halted innovation is, at best, misinformed (see Freepress’ paper “It’s Working: How the Internet Access and Online Video Markets are Thriving in the Title II Era). Do you remember when Comcast and other ISPs charged Netflix a “toll” to deliver their streaming videos in 2014? I and the many other internet users do. This is no fantasy dreamed up by alarmists behind a computer screen. That happened, and corporations whose sole purpose is to seek profit should never be deemed to be the guardians of the public interest.

I plead for you to consider not just your party or corporate interests (I’m looking at you Chairman Pai) but the American people you serve and to keep Title II net neutrality in place.

The Best App for Adding Business Cards into Your iPhone Contacts

I’ve been looking for a good way to pull the information from all the business cards I get and easily put the contact details in my iPhone.

The best app I have found thus far is ScanBizCards. It does a very good job of scanning the information from a business card and immediately putting the person as a contact in your phone. The pro version is $0.99. Honestly, that is all I want from a business card scanner.

Something to look out for on other pro version of business card scanners is a subscription. Some of them look like they’ll charge on a monthly basis, and some on a yearly basis.

[Updated] How to Fix the Slow Typing in iOS 10


TL;DRI had to wipe everything and set my phone up as a new iPhone. No restoring from backup.

When I updated my iPhone 6 to the new iOS I was very excited. I was looking forward to all the cool new things that iMessage would be able to do now, from the cool new ways to send texts (Loud, Slam, invisible ink), to the new apps that would work in iMessage, and yes, even the sticker packs.

I updated both my work phone and my personal phone and have had drastically different experiences. This blog post contains my notes on my fixing the slow typing issue in iOS 10. I hope it helps you.


  • So I updated to iOS 10 over a free hotel wifi in London. Maybe that was the problem? I thought it might fix itself but no dice.
    • Fix: I updated my phone to the new release of iOS 10 (10.0.2) when I got back a week later.
    • Outcome: It seemed to make my phone better for a few hours but it still lags when typing anything.
  • It was still lagging so I called Apple Support
    • Fix: They told me to backup my phone to my computer and do a full restore and that would definitely fix the problem.
    • Outcome: I did. Despite trying to delude myself that the issue wasn’t as bad, there really wasn’t any change.
  • I called Apple Support back a day or so later.
    • Fix: The support person was very pleasant and had me change a few settings on the phone.
      • Under Settings > General > Accessibility > Increase Contrast, I turned on both Reduce Transparency and Darken Colors.
      • Under Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion, I turned Reduce Motion on.
    • Outcome: Neither of these made much of a difference.
    • Fix: Since we were in settings, I decided to turn off Assistive Touch (under Settings > General > Accessibility > Assistive Touch). This isn’t something everyone has on, but I gave it a try just to see what would happen.
    • Outcome: This was definitely helpful and seemed to almost cure the problem. At least, it did while I was on the phone with Apple Support.
  • After a few hours, the problems were back. Not nearly as bad as before, but still there. I tried ignoring the problem for a few days but when you can’t text anyone back and you want to tweet as much as I do, you can’t ignore it for long. I started tinkering around with the iMessage apps.
    • Fix: I disabled all but two of the iMessage apps. No more Mario Run stickers for me. I had 11 or so active apps.
    • Outcome: This helped marginally but the lagging remained.


  • This was really bugging the hell out of me. I would go to type an email, text, tweet and I could get only a few words down before the phone would lag and act nonresponsive. I called Apple Support back and set up a Genius Bar appointment.
    • Fix: They told me to NOT restore from the backup on my computer but rather backup to iCloud and restore the phone from iCloud and if that didn’t work, to set it up as a new phone.
    • Outcome: I restored my phone from my iCloud backup. It still has a subtle lag. Dammit.
  • One day later, I am beaten. I caved and deleted everything.
    • Fix: Finally set it up as a new iPhone.
    • Outcome: Aside from having to re-download all my apps, put my password back into almost every app I own, lose all the photos on my phone as well as my most recent set of contacts, at least the typing is finally back to normal.

Conclusion: While my incremental steps were frustrating and it’s been four weeks of extreme annoyance, I’m glad I was able to finally fix the issue despite the hassle of setting up a new phone. The Genius Bar employee said that sometimes, issues can be underneath the surface and a new iOS can bring them to light. While I was annoyed to be told this in the store, I suppose there is some wisdom to that statement. I have been quite good about not losing my phone [*knocks on wood] and so have not set up a new iPhone since I got my iPhone 4S in October 2011. As inconvenient and aggravating as it is to have to set up everything again, maybe a 5 year reset is a good thing.

*These gifs were shamelessly stolen from George Tinari’s post on the new iMessage Bubble Effects post.

[UPDATE] – I’ve found the biggest difference by deleting extra Siri voices and especially extra keyboards. Keep only your main language and the emoji one and no others.

Summer 2014 Movie Wager Wrap-Up


To wrap up last year’s Summer Movie Wager (2014) before gearing up for 2015, see below for the actual Top 10 movies, followed by where they were in my predicted list.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy (#6)
2. Transformers: Age of Extinction (#3)
3. Maleficent (#9)
4. X-Men: Days of Future Past (#2)
5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (#5)
6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (#4)
7. Godzilla (#7)
8. 22 Jump Street (#10)
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (#Dark Horse)
10. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (#1)

The biggest disappointment for me was How to Train Your Dragon 2. I had high hopes for this one. I didn’t expect anything but box office glory. I didn’t think there was any way the other movies had much of a chance. It was a sequel to a well loved original, parents could take their kids, it had dragons, and it seemed cool enough for the crowd that had seen the first one. I dunno; I guess another Shrek-like franchise was too much to hope for. So despite the expectations, the love the first movie garnered didn’t translate as well as expected to the sequel. HTTYD2 only made $177 million compared to the original’s $217.5 million. I figured that with the extreme merchandising and hype, the sequel was destined to be a smash hit. Alas…

At least I wasn’t the only one to think so.

As for biggest surprises, both Guardians of the Galaxy and Maleficent really came out swinging. My thoughts going into last summer was that the advertising for Guardians was too character-centric and not enough plot for a Marvel comic that no one had heard of. As for Maleficent, it seemed too dark for a children’s movie and I presumed that parents would steer clear from taking their children until they heard it was okay and not too scary. My thinking had been that the hesitancy to take children opening weekend would translate into lackluster opening run at the box offices despite the hype that Angelia Jolie would bring to the role of Maleficent.

I probably should have thought through my predictions a little better. Guardians was a Marvel production and they have yet to put out a movie that has been short of awesome, at least as far as I’m aware. Well…except for the the Hulk movies in 2003 & 2008. What happened there? That aside, Angelia Jolie was incredible in Maleficent. I’m not normally one for movies where they show the “bad guy/gal” perspective on an old tale but I’ll make an exception for Maleficent. It had enough of Sleeping Beauty interwoven for reference but was different enough that it wasn’t a rehashed storyline. I thought both Guardians and Maleficent were fantastic and certainly earned their respective positions.

Despite coming in 2nd last year with my movie picks, I have high hopes about this coming summer’s movies. The second Avengers movie (Age of Ultron) will try to live up to, or surpass, the first Avengers (which currently holds the #3 spot for All Time Domestic Box Office Gross). Some of the other contenders this summer will be Mad Max without Mel Gibson, a new Terminator movie, Pitch Perfect 2, the second Magic Mike, a Despicable Me spin-off for the minions, and Ted 2. Ted 2 will be interesting because Ted was a breakout comedy hit and did quite well but compared against how another Seth MacFarlane movie, A Million Ways to Die in the West, performed (read: bombed) last year, I’m a bit skeptical. We also have another Mission Impossible, Peter Pan’s origin story, The Fantastic Four, a Guy Ritchie spy movie, and the video game adaptation of Hitman in addition to many more.

Jurassic World is probably the one I am most excited about. After watching the trailer while a bit drunk during the Super Bowl, I will admit my expectations are probably a bit high. I figure the best way to bring them down is to watch the 2nd and 3rd Jurassic Park movies.

Jurassic World, Here We Come
Jurassic World, Here We Come

So hold on to your butts. Summer movie season starts in 1 month!

Summer 2014 Movie Predictions


I have not been diligent about posting, regularly or otherwise. Blame law school. Now that I’ve finished, it’s time to watch more movies and tell you all about them. As a Welcome Back Post, I thought it would be appropriate to let you all in on my Summer 2014 Box Office Predictions. As I mentioned in my first post about the Summer Movie Wager, my friends and I try to predict which 10 movies will do the best at the box office. Without further ado, below are my picks for the 10 movies I think will do the best at the box office for Summer 2014.


10. 22 Jump Street

They actually filmed part of this movie outside of my law school this past year so I would like to see it make the Top 10, although this might be a bit of personal bias. Considering how well 21 Jump Street did and how well the reception was after the DVD came, I think this is a safe bet.


9. Maleficent

I went back and worth on even including this movie on my list. It’s unclear to me who their audience is and if it is children, it seems a bit dark to be a parent’s first choice. That being said, Disney is heavily promoting it and ad budgets account for a lot.


8. Neighbors

I’m really excited about this one. It looks like it is going to be hiliarious. Comedies don’t normally do that great but I have high expectations for this one. The “Family v. Frat” premise seems promising.


7. Godzilla

I reluctantly put this one on my list. I’m personally kind of tired of big monster/alien movies (Pacific Rim, Battleship) but I still think it will do decently well.


6. Guardians of the Galaxy

There haven’t been a lot of breakout August movies but Guardians doesn’t have a lot of competition and I think people will be interested in seeing a less familiar Marvel movie.


5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes



4. Amazing Spider-Man 2

I’m pretty excited to see this one but unfortunately, I think general audiences are getting a bit tired of the Spider-Man franchise. [sigh]


3. Transformers: Age of Extinction

No Shia LeBeouf or Megan Fox? Mark Wahlberg can certainly help this movie along (in addition to the Transformer dragons and dinosaurs) but it won’t make the money that the first few did. Also franchise fatigue.


2. X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men is going to do well this summer. It’s bringing both the original cast and the cast of X-Men: First Class together which should already help X-Men give an Avengers-type feel but I’ve also heard rumors that there is a ad for X-Men after Amazing Spider-Man 2 which should help boost X-Men over Spider-Man this summer.


1. How to Train Your Dragon 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2 has a lot going for it. Without many contenders for children’s attention and considering how well the first one did in addition to how great of a date movie I perceive this to be, How to Train Your Dragon 2 tops my list as the number 1 box office movie for the summer.


Dark Horses – These are movies that didn’t make my list but were close and have a chance to make it into the Top 10.

A Million Ways to Die in the West


Planes: Fire & Rescue


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


When a freak hurricane swamps Los Angeles, nature’s deadliest killer rules sea, land, and air as thousands of sharks terrorize the waterlogged populace. Starring Tara Reid, Ian Ziering, John Heard, Cassie Scerbo, and Jaason Simmons.