VLADRUSHKA by John Linton Roberson (c) 2022.
I Didn't Write That!
30 June 2009
  And Unless We Forget

There's the matter of just what kind of governor Mark Sanford is as well. The kind that wanted to keep schoolchildren from receiving necessary federal money, and these were the usual kind of people denied any support in South Carolina: poor and black, in the rural districts, such as the Sea Islands.

This, while he jets off to Argentina and lives it up on the SC taxpayer's dime, and frequently. Please click here or watch the video below to find out some things about these children and what a bastard Mark Sanford is all around.

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  Michelle Bachmann and the Census: She's Right, Minnesota!

Don't fill out your census, Minnesota! Rep. Michelle Bachmann wouldn't lie to you.

In fact, she's being self-sacrificing. One of the purposes of the census is to determine how many representatives a state has in Congress. Less numbers on the census means new congressional districts made up of ones absorbed, like Bachmann's. She's warning you of this even though it means she will cease to be a representative.

So do as she says.

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  The GOP Should Stand By Their Man

I say the Republican Party's loyalty to and defense of this man, regardless of how laughable it makes them seem to the small-minded majority, is laudable. And they should stay the course.

They should keep trying to present this as a Christian soap opera and redemption narrative, and holding out the suspenseful hope his wife will return to him. They should keep talking of this exactly as they have been, spend all their energies upon it.

As many Republicans as possible should speak up, on live TV, at length in his favor. They should bet whatever remains of their credibility and dignity on saving Governor Mark Sanford.

Please, GOP. Do this for me.

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  Advice From Myself To The GOP On How To Eat It

Chew. Otherwise not only might you choke, you won't get to savor the full, steamy flavor.

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  This Story Came To Mind
"Shooting an Elephant," by George Orwell.

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  Sanford: "He's trying to fall back in love with his wife."
What a magnanimous, wonderful man of integrity Mark Sanford is!
During an emotional interview at his Statehouse office with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Sanford said Chapur is his soul mate but he's trying to fall back in love with his wife.
I can just see her weeping right now from joy, squeaking, "Oh, thank you, Mark." Can't you?

Can I ask why his wife should give a damn? Can I ask in what way she can't do without him? How big a divorce settlement will statements like this cost him, and is that why she's letting him keep talking without response?

Could Sanford be showing less empathy or class, and does he care that when he says these things in interviews his children will hear and know how bad a father and husband he is? Why is how Drama Queen Sanford feels of any importance? How long will SC let this man embarrass them? Under the dictionary entry for "narcissistic personality disorder," will we only see two pictures, Mark Sanford and John Edwards?

These are intriguing questions. Now that the GOP is a powerless sideshow act.

Chris Kelly put it better than I could though:
...what else can we do for you, Gov. Sanford? I'm glad the taxpayers have this chance to let you improve yourself, but is that enough? Next time you're boning someone in South America, can we hold your dick?

Okay, now clearly Mark Sanford is just a twitching loon who should be locked up before he hurts someone. What's cool is that he isn't even out of office yet, and he's already talking about God opening doors.

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  It Appears The Real Hitchens Has Been Freed
Judging by this quote today:
Wiser and older people tell you that the passions of your youth will dry up and that a more sere and autumnal condition will overtake you as maturity advances, but the thought of the Nixon gang in the White House still infuses me with a pure and undiluted hatred and makes me consider throwing up things that I don't even remember having eaten.
Hitchens, no offense, but take it from a cartoonist: hating Nixon never gets old.

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  Eat It, Norm Coleman

It's official and final: Al Franken won. Now go sell cars or whatever it is you do, Coleman.

Democrats? You're at 60 votes. Now or never. For Christ's sake, act now. Health care, gays in the military, gay marriage, whatever. The GOP is now officially irrelevant. Stop pretending they're a threat. Start showing them all the deference they'd be giving you if this were them.

GOP? Take up a hobby. I suggest collecting string.


  And Even More Goddamn Sanford

More revelations about Sanford's Scarlet Woman. Which show him to be a liar. Drip drip drip.

You know what, Sanford? It's going to get worse the longer you stay, but if you leave, no one will care. What kind of idiot are you?

And you know what, GOP? The longer you splash down in the mud with him the more it will stick to you. Why do you care about saving someone who only cares about himself? Have you really gone mad? Not that I mind. The more you defend him, the more I smile. Keep it up.

And SC, what's with you? One thing I do say in your favor is that you've never seemed to have much tolerance for bullshit artists. So explain why he's still there given the very broad powers you have to remove him?

But...these are the things I wonder.

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  Sanford's WoMEN: Tell Me More Fairy Tales About Marriage, GOP
In the midst of the GOP's exciting new soap opera, Mark & Jenny & Maria, it appears they may have to lengthen that title, as someone noticed the coverage in the State actually seems to imply this wasn't the only of Sanford's affairs. Apparently, at least two others. I wonder if this is as much new to them as it is unsurprising to me.

Good luck remaining the paternal guardians of what's right, GOP. The rest of us will be off doing grown-up stuff. I really wonder when my home state is going to grab this jerk by the scruff of his neck and set him loose on an ice floe.

Which, around Charleston waters this time of the year, would very soon solve the matter, if they also attach a weight to him.

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29 June 2009
  Ahmadinejad Vows To...Find...Neda's Real Killers.
Yes, he really said that. After the Guardian Council determined the election was fair, which is very shocking. I was in such suspense wondering what these unelected catspaws of Khamenei would decide. As much as I was wondering what Scalia and Thomas might think of Bush vs. Gore.


  No, Seriously, GOP, What? WHAT?
We have reached a new low in the elephant's pit. Behold what the deepest and most psychotic stage of denial looks like.

The GOP has hinged whether Sanford remains as governor on whether he and Jenny can get back together(good luck there!). A kind of Christian soap opera, so touching, so suspenseful, and so easy on the kids! And have said--their own marriage counselor has said--that their marriage, as a Christian marriage, is based in mutual obedience rather than passion. (so I'm assuming that tacitly means he can go someplace else for his passion. And the GOP claims to hate the French)

And apparently that pigs daily take wing, gays shouldn't get married--well, not to each other, and, oh you know what, I'm out of snarky remarks. These fuckers have gone insane.

We've crossed now from bigoted to hateful to spiteful to pathetic to quite bloody mad, and sad. I am just done with these freaking lunatics whose view of religion twists them in so many dimensions of hypocrisy and lies. Anything but the truth, and anything but let gays get married, and frankly, the GOP are the ones destroying the definition of marriage.

Which they have revealed, in their view, has nothing, nothing to do with love. How beautiful. A life of passionless obedience and lies to maintain it. That's appealing. No wait, I'm looking for a word that's almost spelled that way.

Click here or look at the video below to see the full, horrifying, gaping abyss of the nightmare parallel world in which they live and keep fake grins stapled on their faces all day long, which I call Earth-GOP. Which must really be like living in Hell, every day, if they take this seriously. The GOP needs deep therapy, now. Though it bothers me not at all if they keep destroying themselves this way. But in how many ways and for how long can they abuse reason and religion both?

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  Jones & Anderson's "Somerset Holmes" (1983)
...which, as I noticed recently elsewhere, appears to have a lot of similarities to David Lynch's much-later film Mulholland Drive. Though it's probably purely coincidental(they certainly both pursue the same noir thread), but interesting. Actually, it would be even more interesting, and fun, to see Lynch adapt that comic. (anything but another Inland Empire, which I respect, but dislike--and I'm a fan of "the Grandmother")

In any event, here you can see some of it. Enjoy and ponder. Something I wonder if someone can answer for me: how did Bruce Jones have so many freaking projects ready for Pacific? Seriously, in the early 80s it seemed he did everything they published that wasn't done by Grell or Kirby. Dude was a machine.

And Jesus, isn't Brent Anderson(later of Astro City, of course) an amazing artist? Here's a taste...


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  Bob Mould: "New Day Rising" at Coachella 2009

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28 June 2009

General Electric, the world's largest industrial company, has quietly become the biggest beneficiary of one of the government's key rescue programs for banks. At the same time, GE has avoided many of the restrictions facing other financial giants getting help from the government.
No, seriously, what.
GE's finance arm is not classified as a bank. Rather, it worked its way into the rescue program by owning two relatively small Utah banking institutions, illustrating how the loopholes in the U.S. regulatory system are manifest in the government's historic intervention in the financial crisis.
That's it, I can't ever write anything satirical again. I cannot catch up to reality. I'm done.

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  Slowdive: Bleed and Joy (Live, 1992)

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27 June 2009
  “His career is not a concern of mine. He’s going to have to worry about that. I’m worried about my family and the character of my children.”

Jenny Sanford, absolutely no one's victim, and certainly not Gov. Sanford's.

I like her!

Also, you can decide for yourselves if this fact makes Marc Sanford either incredibly callous or incredibly cowardly:
She told him to end the relationship, but he repeatedly asked permission to visit the woman in Argentina in the months that followed.

“I said absolutely not,” Mrs. Sanford told The A.P. “It’s one thing to forgive adultery. It’s another to condone it.”

Then, last week, when the governor told her he needed time alone to write, she had specifically warned him not to see his mistress. She said she was devastated when he went to meet her in Argentina.
What a selfish, childish little piece of shit he is. Remember that this was prior to Father's Day weekend; he was going to go during that time.

Did he honestly think she was going to cover for him? (Her actual answer when asked where he was reflected clearly that she didn't really care where he was or when he came back) And I am convinced, judging from the way he's spoken of his "true love", and not really spoken of his wife and four children, that he's, shall we say, moved on emotionally from this "family" thing. Kids and all. And yet he seems to think he can keep going on about family values, and God.

Here's a reason why this should matter to everyone. By way of Sullivan, this letter in the Washington Post:

I am a gay man. My partner lives 12 time zones away. We are in a monogamous relationship, and we do not cheat. We get to see each other only twice a year for less than three weeks. Although he is a professional in marketing, the United States will not let him immigrate because he was not picked in the lottery. The federal government would not recognize our relationship if I married him. The government will not allow us to be together.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford ["S.C. Gov. Sanford Admits to an Affair," front page, June 25] and Sen. John Ensign (and former House speaker Newt Gingrich and senator Larry Craig) oppose same-sex marriages even as they do their best to destroy the institution of marriage in the United States.

I pay my taxes. I served in the military. I was an Eagle Scout. In short, I am a good, but second-class, citizen. It's very hard not to be infuriated by the double standards.


And yet Sanford gets a pass? No. This man is one of the people that wants to keep some of my friends from marrying, from being full citizens, from being happy. I couldn't give less of a fuck about Sanford's happiness or private life.

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26 June 2009
  Oh Good Jesus LORD, Sanford

As you'll see in this video of him talking to his staff today, Governor Sanford's subject was humility. So by way of analogy, he compared himself to King David.


By the way, like most Southern right-wing Christians, he hasn't read his Bible, or he'd realize what a poor choice that was anyway. In order to screw around on his wife Abishag, David sent Bathsheba's husband, his captain of the guard, to his death. And got away with it. Only later, David's most beloved son took up against him and got killed. So, I dunno, Sanford might want to pick something else. Solomon would be more helpful. Tch--If Sanford were only smart.

I can see why the got-away-with-it part might appeal to Sanford, who now seems to have taken on an odd God-complex sort of air, like a very guilty man about one step from breakdown trying to act the role of a saint, which somebody in the SC government needs to deflate about, oh, the fuck now.

It's interesting to watch his ongoing self-narration, like he's stepped into a movie in which he's both protagonist and director. It's somewhere between "what are YOU looking at" and "I don't see what the fuss is."

This is a man in an almost psychotically narcissistic state of denial, and I think the only way he's brazening his way through this is that everyone's still trying to pick their jaws up off the floor from watching this. "What balls," we're all thinking, not admiringly, more like the way we reacted to the testimony of Officer Stacey Koon.

So, can the SC legislature do anything? Ah, my ancestors. Such imprecision and such messiness when it comes to law. A reflection of a world in which gentlemen of property could come to an unwritten understanding.

But that has its own disadvantages.
...we chatted with Alan Tarr, the director of the Center for State Constitutional Studies at Rutgers University - Camden, who talked to us about the possibility of impeachment.

According to Tarr, the South Carolina constitution gives “unusually broad” removal powers to the legislature. Not only can the legislature impeach a governor for “serious crimes or serious misconduct in office,” it can also remove a governor in a process called “address” for any “willful neglect of duty” or “other reasonable cause which shall not be sufficient ground of impeachment.”

According to Tarr, a removal by address, which only a handful of state constitutions allow for, “is essentially the same as a no-confidence vote.”

Of course, adds Cook, impeachment and removal takes us out of the realm of the law, strictly speaking. “Because the legislature makes this determination, the outcome is necessarily political.”

By the way, I love the segment of poor, poor Rush Limbaugh getting all disheartened as he speaks of the melodramatic ennui of Sanford. Interesting to see what brings something like "caring" out in this gelatinous, corrosive greasy fascist blob in a golf shirt.

Please, Rush, you're right. You too deserve a rest after fighting the good fight for so long. I know, it's sad to find out we never really loved you. We don't deserve you. You should, like Sanford, only think of yourself. Take some time for you. Call your maid, get a case of Oxycontin, quit your show, go to some little dark room in your gated estate in Florida, swallow all your drugs at the same time and give the fuck up.

Perhaps doing that one good deed will even get you into Heaven.

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  Samuel ("Joe the Plumber") Wurzelbacher: Lynch 'Em!

The mentally challenged mascot of the GOP, Samuel Wurzelbacher, won't go away! But that's fine as long as he remains such a visible face of a party that needs to be put out of its misery. He'll help speed that along. Especially when he expresses surprise that we don't lynch Democratic senators we disagree with, like Chris Dodd! Anymore. Oh, and then he's surprised and shocked, shocked, to be called an extremist, like he was on April 15:
"I'm here for one reason and one reason only: It's 'I love America,'" Wurzelbacher told the crowd. "Mainstream media wants to paint us as a bunch of extremists, right? We're in search of liberty and our freedoms. What's so extreme about that?" [...]

"Let me give you another extremist view, 'In God We Trust,'" he said to wild applause. "Say that too loud in some parts of America and you will be shot. It's terrible." "'In God We Trust' ... too loud in some parts of America and you will be shot."

Actually, it's his side that loves guns, and goes around shooting people, isn't it? You know, for being OB/GYNs, for being in the Holocaust Museum, that kind of thing. And also speak in favor of secession, armed revolt, and child abuse. Gosh darn it, I seem to have missed the people who were shot for saying "God bless America." Because there aren't any.

Except in this ignorant asswipe's baldy head. (which makes me wonder if, like Jeff Gannon, or by his real name, James Dale Guckert, this is another male prostitute the GOP hired as an operative) This liar who's not really a plumber, who is not called "Joe," who dodges his taxes like you'd expect a liar to do, who was against a tax plan that would actually have helped him. How does one single brain cell manage to keep almost 200 pounds walking and blabbering?

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  The Iranian Government's Brutality Goes Global

...as personnel at the Swedish embassy physically attack protesters. Oh, that'll make friends.

Iran's dictaators forget: it's not as isolated as it could be. It still has friends(or at least business partners) among some of the Western powers.

But at this rate, not for very long. And without even that, the people can last a lot longer than the regime.


  Robert Wyatt: "Sea Song" Live (BBC 4)

Heartbreakingly pretty.


25 June 2009
  Did Gov. Sanford Kill Michael Jackson?

Well, there's no reason to believe he did, of course. Of course. But one must say, the death of Jackson is the only thing that could have pushed off the news that Sanford, yes, used SC taxpayer money to fund his trips to Argentina. Oh, and he'd intended to stay for ten days, not five. Oh, he's a devil-may-care international rogue. It wouldn't surprise me.

As someone said, in any event, in an odd way he "must be the luckiest man on earth."

Oh, Iran? You must be joking. For the networks that was a placeholder. This coverage though? This will be 9/11 times Princess Di plus Kennedy divided by OJ. That happens when you have as much footage as there is of him.

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  The Michael Jackson That Will Never Die

As opposed to the one that did years ago till his body caught up today.

Well, hell, this one too.

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  Oh Boy! Scientology Hate Mail!

After posting this link to a story on the abusive and violent leader of Scientology, David Miscavige, who reportedly likes to strike his underlings, a lot, I received a flurry of comments calling these allegations lies. Well, I suppose a court can decide that. I'm just passing on the information.

But my goodness, all those links you tried to overwhelm me with. Much easier to just reject your comments as I don't care what Scientologists think, just as I don't care what any cultists think, because the whole point is they've stopped thinking. (This includes the Christian Right)

Oh, did you know when you sent all those links that this is a moderated blog, is not a democracy, and that I really, really enjoyed pressing "reject?" Guess not as I bet it was automated spam you sent to every blog you could find that linked to it, didn't ya? Thanks, Scientology! Please send more!


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  Iran 6/24

Also, the Revolutionary Guards are at last living up to their name: they're breaking ranks. When the means of defending the regime go against the regime...well, it happened in Russia a couple times, to two very different despots. You figure it out.


  I'm Surprised He Has Anything To Adjust


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  Hey Gov. Sanford: Here's the Law on Adultery in SC

Did you know it's still illegal? Just saying. I mean, if you remember the old sodomy laws there, which I'll bet you supported.

"SECTION 16-15-60. Adultery or fornication.

Any man or woman who shall be guilty of the crime of adultery or fornication shall be liable to indictment and, on conviction, shall be severally punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than one year or by both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court."

Of course, he did it in Argentina, so it may not count...

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  Yawn, New Nixon Tapes

Oh dear me. Let me guess, he said something vicious and stupid about Jews?

No, wait, it was Billy Graham this time! Surprise!
Nixon mentions an upcoming dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, and Graham, who said in earlier taped conversations that Israelis were the best kind of Jews, now brings up a biblical reference to the dense and difficult final book of the Bible, Revelation, which says in verse 3:9 that there are those who claim to be Jews who are liars, and that they belong to a "synagogue of Satan."
Still: yawn.

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  What the Basij Do (Warning: Very Graphic), and What Side I'm Not On

The following is a photo of the body of a protester attacked by the Basij in a morgue, probably attacked with the axes that were said to have been used in yesterday's attacks on the demonstrators. The photo, according to Andrew Sullivan, has been verified as real.

It's truly ugly. If you really want to be confronted with the truth of what's happening there, click here.

Now: Imagine this was your friend, or your brother.

Also: I would like to address something. There was a message I received yesterday in the comments that I rejected. It was lauding my post, but then went on to assume I was also attacking Barack Obama's reaction to this, and the commenter went on to attack Obama for his supposed "inaction". I might have even let the comment through, though I would have replied that I'm actually an Obama supporter, if not for the blather that followed about "monkeys" and "savages."

Let me be clear to that person. I am not on your side. Leaving aside the racism, which all by itself puts you outside the community of civilized humans, I also know what you right-wingers want with your urgings of Obama to take action.

You are children. I will explain to you what grown-ups think.

Obama is in a difficult position right now. A potential opportunity is opening up that any interference by an American president will surely fuck up. Because any interference will play into the hands of the Iranian government. Already they're using the little he has said publicly as justification to accuse the protesters of being tools of our government, and well, it results in things like using axes on them. And worse. Both for the sake of the protesters and the future of Iran and our relations with them(and presently we have none), it is vital that we place not one finger upon this. It would only strengthen the fascist bastards. Obama knows this and is treating it appropriately. He may have already said too much publicly. His decision to send an ambassador to Damascus, however, is in fact a first step to trying to talk to Iran.

And the right wing knows this, unless they're stupid. I'll be kind and assume they're not. But they don't care. They don't give a damn whether Iran reforms. They don't expect it to. And they think the only solution is to bomb it, and so they'd rather have the bastard that's there already because he is much easier to demonize. Of course, that's insane--they'd rather have a dictator there so they can kill people, than have a reform occur. Probably because Iranians would do the reforming themselves. The right wing only wants a puppet Iran. And as long as the oil's there, I imagine they'd not mind if everyone there was dead, just like Iraq.

But more importantly, they want to stick it to Obama for short-term political gain, no matter what damage it might do. They want to plant a seed of the notion he's weak on foreign policy, just to get a few points ahead in the polls. He was very discreet at first and Graham called him weak. So he was firmer, and about as definitive as he could be without giving Khamenei something to decontextualize into a propaganda weapon. And now you have the Republicans trying to egg him into a definite threat. Which would then lead to them asking for military action, of course. And that would be foolish and possibly result in a world war. But do you think for a second that its being a foolish choice would stop the Republicans from wanting it? That never stopped them from doing anything, especially damage. Ask the Iraqis. Ask Panama.

The Republicans are a dying party that is unserious about government, that in their heads live in an action movie. It is natural that a dying monster wants to take others with it, and that's what they're doing. And this nipping at Obama's heels as though anyone still thinks they're authorities on anything is all they have left, and they wouldn't care if action taken on their advice kills us all.

That's why their advice is exactly what not to take. The only reason their story seems the only one the news addresses is because they're the only ones flapping their decayed gums. Measured and careful response is good geopolitics but terrible TV. But the networks have nothing from Iran and little from Obama, so to fill in the space, they are glad to give the children in our government a voice and whip up suspense.

Which is another reason I'm glad their gatekeepers are becoming irrelevant.

What action should Obama take? None. He cannot without causing harm, nor can any American president, not given our deposing of Mossadegh, backing of the tyrant Shah Reza Pahlevi, and arming of both sides in the Iran-Iraq war in hopes they'd kill each other off. And any taint of American interference will get people killed for nothing. And military action? Do we have special bombs that will only kill the Basij? Would those be the same bombs we used to save Kosovo? And what standing do we have when we tolerated openly stolen elections here in 2000 and 2004? Or, for that matter, given Iraq?

If we really want things to change there, we have to let things take their course, while still aiding the Iranians individually by doing whatever we can to help them get the information out that Khamenei wants to squelch. If we do that, they may win. But if we stick our noses into it?

If we do that we have no chance.

So, to all right-wingers: if you really care about the people of Iran, shut up about Obama talking tough. Because it doesn't help a damn thing.

But given what my commenter called Iranians, well: you don't give a fuck about the Iranians, do you? You're too obsessed with wanting to hurt Obama, and too hot for bombings.

So, you're children. Please go play with the other children and let the grown-ups handle the grown-up stuff. Or spend some time with your Argentinian mistresses or whatever. Just go away for a while. You've proven what your ideas do. You've had your chance.

Now, to quote your god O'Reilly: SHUT. UP.

Or, in the words of a real Iranian:
The neocons know nothing about Iran, nothing about the culture of Iran. They have no interest in understanding Iran, in speaking to any Iranian other than Iranian exiles who support the idea of invasions -- I'll call them Iranian Chalabis. It's offensive, even to an Iranian American like me. These are people who would have actually preferred to have Ahmadinejad as president so they could continue to demonize him and were worried, as some wrote in Op-Eds, that Mousavi would be a distraction and would make it easier for Iranians to build a nuclear weapon and now all of a sudden they want to be on his side? Go away.

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24 June 2009
  "I spent the last five days of my life crying in Argentina."-Gov. Marc Sanford.

Don't cry for him, Carolina. Good Lord, what a drama queen is Gov. Marc Sanford.

Oh, ha, ha, good heavens, it's so lovely. Everyone in the GOP, dropping like flies. Particularly possible presidential candidates.

But this sounds wrong--He's a religious Republican and the affair was with a WOMAN? I'm disappointed.

When I'd heard "Argentina," I was certain he'd tell us of his great love of a particularly enticing and frisky underage capybara.

And what a son of a bitch, making certain that his family and staff would be humiliated before the whole world with the publicity his bullshit excuse caused. If he doesn't resign his governorship, I feel they'll toss him. There's no way this made him any friends. He made everyone around him look like a fool. And he's attacked others for behavior at least as bad.
But if his supporters follow his example, Sanford may not get much sympathy after his confession of an extramarital affair. As a member of the U.S. House, where he served from 1995 to 2001, Sanford was not very forgiving of prospective House Speaker Bob Livingston when it was revealed he'd had an affair. "The bottom line is Livingston lied," Sanford told CNN. "He lied to his wife."
The man is a child. And a laughingstock. Literally, this is what a laughingstock looks like. Better yet, from his look of surprise in the picture taken of him when he got back, I'll bet you anything he had no idea anyone had noticed or cared. I'll bet he thought everyone would capably cover for him. In any event, I absolutely, positively, do not think that, before he returned to America, he had planned to have this press conference. Which would be magnificent stupidity. And of a kind only today's GOP can give us.

But then, I grew up in South Carolina. My father, when I was 11, announced to my family he was divorcing my mother, as it turned out because he'd fallen in love with someone younger and blonder(and, as he later found out, drunker, and it served him right). He then left us during an ice storm. I can't speak for all Southern men, but South Carolina men can often be quite childish. And Sanford is an example.

I wish I could say this is surprising, but the only good governor of SC I remember was Richard Riley, who later was Clinton's secretary of education, and whose attention to education helped make my generation of South Carolinians the precocious smartasses they were.

Other than him, what I remember is demagogues and dilettantes, The latter of which would be Sanford. From Newsweek, which expresses a lack of surprise:

...I suspect that Sanford is only half-politician. He cries in front of a reporter. He protests too much. He can't make basic chit-chat. He'd rather talk about riding a raft as a kid than his latest policy proposal. And he clings, despite the homogenizing influences of our political process, to a stubborn, impractical libertarianism derived, at least in part, from the writings of Ayn Rand. For years, this refusal to compromise, this individuality, served him well politically; Sanford slept on his couch in Washington, got trims at Supercuts (with coupons!), railed against spending and won every election he entered. But no longer. In the real world, you can't refuse $700 million meant for teachers and cops. And you can't run away to South America, unannounced and untraceable, simply because you had a bad day at the office—however much you might think it's your prerogative. Especially if you worked, say, at the White House.
I know it's an easy shot but I don't care: go on, GOP, preach to me about family values and the sanctity of marriage.

And Sanford had the gall to go on & on about "God's law." Oh, shut up you hypocrite, and get off the stage. Make room in government for grownups.
Update: Turns out Sanford's wife threw him out two entire weeks ago. Also: I'd remind everyone that this affair has been going on a long, long time, but only this past February, Sanford rather pointedly criticized Rush Limbaugh and never apologized.

And it's pretty clear that Sanford only admitted it because he knew he was about to get revealed anyway, like Ensign. One might infer this is what happens to those who fail to apologize to Fatboy McFascist.

Just sayin'...
Just the same, I cannot stop going hee hee hee.

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  Iran's Broadcasters: No Sense of Irony

So, after a pretty full day of savagely shooting and beating people to death in the streets of Tehran, forcing Neda Soltan's parents out of their apartment for having the audacity to have a daughter savagely murdered by the Basji, announcing a man known as "the Butcher of the Press" would be leading the prosecutions of the protesters that have been arrested, and oh, what the hell, arresting over 70 professors(it's traditional!), what idiot thought broadcasting a "Lord of the Rings" marathon would cool nerves?

"Say, people want to rise up against the government because they think it's absolute evil. Let's distract them, put on something escapist. How about this?"
"What's it about?"
"It's about a war against absolute evil."

"Brilliant! You get a raise!"

"The measure of a nation is its vote."

I am burning, I am burning." --reportedly, Neda Agha Soltan's last words.

Meanwhile, America remains what you see below.

Sigh. I apologize.

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  Torture In Iran

Of a 17-year-old who wasn't even a dissident.

Also: Tehran is exploding today, outside Parliament, in fact. Video here.
CNN just aired a heartbreaking phone call from an exasperated female Iranian student describing events today. In a desperate tone, the caller said she saw police violently beating people "like animals" until they were covered in blood. She said she saw a woman and an older man savagely beaten, and ended her call pleading with the CNN reporter, "You should help us! You should intervene!"

Another Iranian who has been reliable in the past posts on Facebook, "In Baharestan we saw militia with axe choping ppl like meat - blood everywhere - like butcher . . . Fighting in Vanak Sq, Tajrish sq, Azadi Sq - now . ."


  Apparently I'm Not Alone in my Hatred of Credit Cards

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy


  "Kings" Episodes 6 and 7

It's back! But for how long? About eight more episodes which NBC isn't bothering to promote. It would be nice if someone else picked this up, as NBC seems to have no idea how to let a show develop.

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23 June 2009
  David Miscavige, the Violent Leader of Scientology

Who, according to former Scientology executives, thinks striking those below you(and worse), on a regular basis, is a good leadership strategy that belongs in the 21st century.
Rathbun asserted Miscavige would "assault" executives during conferences. "Regularly David Miscavige would in the middle of a conference physically assault, punch, slap or grab by the neck a number of executives," said Rathbun.

De Vocht said that Miscavige would "lose it" if he did not hear a satisfactory answer from his executives: "If it wasn't the answer he wanted to hear, he'd lose it. If it was contrary to how he thought, he'd lose it. If he found it to be smart aleck, or it was a better answer than he had, he would lose it." Scobee was critical of Miscavige's actions while calling himself a "religious leader". "You cannot call yourself a religious leader as you beat people, as you confine people, as you rip apart families. If I was trying to destroy Scientology, I would leave David Miscavige right where he is because he's doing a fantastic job of it," she said.

Granted, but then again, it's also stretching credibility to call Scientology a 'religion." It's a mob, and Miscavige is merely acting as all mob bosses have.


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  Iran Update: Bullet Fees, King Khamenei, and Oh, Kate Harding Is Not Neda.

As new protests are prepared for Thursday and the Iranian police arrest as many people as they can, the parliament is getting angrier about the crackdown and a showdown between Khamenei and Raftsjani looks increasingly inevitable.

The truth is that Khamenei now has no credibility, which might be why he has the balls to charge the families of protesters $3,000 apiece (per bullet) for the bullets used to kill their family members. Great way to get the people on your side!

But of course the Supreme Leader no longer is even pretending to do that. The message this sends is meant as the quite deliberately contemptuous, cruel voice of an unmasked dictator. The message he wants to send is that he does not care about their lives and that if they don't shut up, he's prepared to kill everyone.

It's only a matter of time now before his government cracks. It depends how many believe Khamenei remaining there is worth the lives and futures of all Iranians. Including much of the ruling class itself, which is revealed as hardly monolithic. Everyone realizes that keeping him gains nothing, even from an evil bastard point of view.

You see, it turns out Khamenei would like to leave his position to his son Motjtaba. His intention is to create a theocratic monarchy. They most likely did not even count the votes. (and Ahmadinejad is to be sworn in soon) This may be what's really at the heart of his drastic desperation here. And people now realize the Revolution has nothing left of it. It's the Shah, but with veils and with international isolation.

Oh, and Kate Harding, at Salon, tells us she's "not Neda" Soltan, and wasn't affected by her death because she's seen it done more convincingly in movies and TV. Good to know, Ms. Harding. I've never come across your writing before, and now I'll know to avoid it unless I want to know what people without souls think. You'll notice I have rendered her words in the universal color of excrement.
I did not gain any further understanding of the situation in Iran, or even of Neda's final moments, by watching them. I did not cry or shake with horror. Because what I saw was actually too familiar to me -- from crime dramas, war movies, the thousands of fictional depictions of violent deaths I've seen in a lifetime of watching various screens. This time, the thought kept going through my head, "This is real, this is real, this is real." But it was no match for almost 30 years' worth of knowing that when I see blood gushing out of a chest or a mouth, it's actually red-tinted corn syrup; that when I see the spark of life leave a victim's eyes, they only stay that way until the camera shuts off and the actress stands up; that when I hear the screams of frantic bystanders, they've been recorded over and over until the most chilling possible version was achieved. None of that was true, this time. My brain knows that, on one level -- but on another, deeper level, I am so desensitized to similar imagery, I can't fully process it.

Reading this made me feel quite sick. She is not moved by women fighting and dying for what they believe in Tehran? Is this post-post-post-feminist thinking of some kind? Perhaps if Neda Soltan was fat she could have felt her pain. I woud just suggest that if she saw that and felt nothing, she should seek therapy.

I would also suggest she should ask Neda Soltan's father and music teacher who saw her die if she got up afterward. And then, I would like to see if she has the guts to say to Ms. Soltan's family the reaction above. Verbatim.

Would she? Of course she would not. That would be unfeeling and callous, and also reveal what an ignorant, narcissistic American she is. Oh wait, it already has, as anyone in the world can read it.

Neda Soltan, Before She Was Shot

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  Limbaugh Defends His Sponsor, Zicam

Zicam, a cold remedy containing zinc, was taken off the market last week by the FDA because it causes people to permanently lose their sense of smell. (though the 3-year-old child of this confused mother will, we assume, never miss it)Or was it? Could it have been an evil Democratic plot to unfairly persecute a brave sponsor of a radio host who is one of the very last bastions of the truth?

Well, since it's Rush Limbaugh whose sponsor was Zicam, obviously not. But that doesn't prevent Rush from mindlessly defending said sponsor. Zicam is probably grateful. Just look at all the good that Rush's words have already done for the now less than 25% WOMP.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Zicam Recall
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

I say Rush listeners should go out and stock up on Zicam right now, and use it every day whether they need it or not, whether it destroys their sense of smell or not. What do you need it for, anyway? To smell pretty flowers like some fruity liberal? To notice you may need a bath? Don't let them emasculate you! If, say, Visine was a Limbaugh sponsor, and it turned out that using it caused your eyes to slowly melt it, would you believe it? No!B You and I both know: FDA really stands for "Fun Destruction Agency."

Fight on, brave Rushbots! Fight on!

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22 June 2009
  What Happens If You Criticize Rush Limbaugh and Don't Apologize

You disappear like SC Gov. Marc Sanford.

Update: Drat. he was just hiking and told no one, not his staff or family. Well, that's a pretty dickish thing to do...

Later Update: Yeah, it is.

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  "You Don't Belong Here"

The Fox News audience collective expresses displeasure with comrade Shepard Smith for dissenting. Premier Limbaugh was unavailable for comment. So far.

“When a crazy man has walked into a Holocaust museum and shot the security guard, maybe that’s an appropriate time to warn people: you’ve got a crazy person in your life, keep an eye on him,” he said in an interview in his Manhattan office last week.

Mr. Smith said he fully anticipated one result of those comments: the nasty e-mail increased.

“Thousands of them,” Mr. Smith said. “And I know they don’t mean the things they say. I know they don’t hate me and want death on my family.”

What they mostly say, he explained, is: “You don’t belong there.” Mr. Smith paused a moment before adding: “I do belong here.”

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  "Reagan Was Wrong"
The beginning of the real infighting in the feckless GOP.

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21 June 2009
  "You Are The Media"
“Today you are the media, it is your duty to report and keep the hope alive,” - Mir Hossein Mousavi.

And if the people are the media, what does that mean for "the media?" If no gatekeepers are necessary, then...well, I'm imagining that this weekend has taught the TV networks the fear newspapers have already felt for a long time. Because, though TV attempted to pretend there was nothing more important than a shuttle launch going on because of their lack of access to Iran(if TV can't own it, they try to make us forget it exists), it happened around and without them.

Thousands and thousands of photos, hours and hours of footage, of history. And not one bit of it was recorded by a professional, and no one owns any of it, nor will win awards for it. And that makes no difference. Everyone is now a reporter.

The best the networks could do was play catch-up, and summarize what it could get from StateTV and the web. But in the time it took them to report one story, you can already see all their source material unfiltered from Youtube, Twitter, and others. From everywhere. I found that, when I watched news on TV, it was not to see what was happening, because I already knew more than they were reporting. It was to see how much of it they reported, and what angle they took on it. Eventually I stopped bothering.

The TV networks should take note of this. And be very frightened. Because perhaps we just don't need them anymore.

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  Iran's Voters Were So Committed
...that there was a more than 100% turnout in 50 cities!

But we knew that. What's new?
The Guardian Council of Iran has admitted it.


  Neda Before She Was Shot

She's the one standing next to the older man in the blue striped shirt, reportedly her dad:


  "Have no fear, we are all together."

Today in Iran:

And I can't embed this, but click here to see the Iranian police turn tail and run.


  Not Even Safe In Your Home

So suppose you get off the streets of Iran and go home? All the better, as there's then no place to hide from the Basij.


  The Girl Shot In Iran Today

Her name was Neda.


20 June 2009
  "Tick-Tock, Motherfuckers"

No going back now.

"Basij shots to death a young woman in Tehran’s Saturday June 20th protests At 19:05 June 20th Place: Karekar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st. A young woman who was standing aside with her father watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim’s chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes. The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gass used among them, towards Salehi St. The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me. Please let the world know."


  And the Tiananmen Square Moment Arrives?

Macagogo: RT Iran: FB friend says: Iran source: there is a military tank in Azadi Square.#iranelection

ruairi1338: RT Iran is full of rumors- but the army is NOT on the streets- not against the people- no tanks yet #Iranelection


Call from Iran reports severe skin burns due to the unknown liquid dropped from helicopters. #iranElection #gr88

Omid007 says: Security Forces attacked Khomeini Hospital to arrest injured protesters, it is said at least 30 injured are there...

Omid07 says Basij base burned by protesters at Navab St. (South Tehran)

Conf'd Iran Fatemiyeh Hospital Tehran: 30-40 dead as of 11pm; 200 injured. Police taking names of incoming injured. #iranelection

Omid007: Haft Hooz SQ. is on fire, Protesters are so angry and try to push back Bassij with Coctel Molotov...

RT Omid007 reporting more journalists arrested in iran.


  “I welcome death
But not subjugation”


"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil."
--E. Blackadder, 1789

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Interview of Steve Pugh by John Roberson & Tim Young!

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October 2015: 
Erotic Comics, Erratic Censorship

Discussion with Tim Young; also featuring Dale Lazarov & Tim Pilcher.

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