VLADRUSHKA by John Linton Roberson (c) 2022.
I Didn't Write That!
29 July 2009
  Nah, No Racism With MA Police

A Boston cop was suspended today for a rather illiterate posting online--at a Fox News site--calling Henry Louis Gates a "banana-eating jungle monkey," not even once but over and over and over again. And then he goes on to say he's not a racist.Story here, at Fox News itself, which I wouldn't normally link to, but in this case I make an exception.

So now, who's "stupid," and why do you think they wouldn't pay attention to Gates' ID?

And why is it driving some people absolutely insane that we have a black president, by the way? Why are some taking it as license to be as racist as they wanna be?

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  Marvel Super Special #1(1977): KISS

Excerpts from the legendary collector's item by my hero, the late Steve Gerber, as well as some personal memories I have wrapped up with it. Click here.


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28 July 2009
  Solder Commits Suicide: Cumulative Injuries To Blame

A soldier who suffered repeated bombings, and brain injuries as a result, in Iraq kills himself, probably due to said injuries slowly destroying his brain. Begging the question: why was he repeatedly sent back into combat? More here.

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27 July 2009
  911 Tape Reveals: No, The Cambridge Cops WERE Stupid Racists

The 911 caller whose call led to Professor Henry Louis Gates' arrest? She never said the people in the house were black, according to the newly-released 911 tape. She also mentioned that they might live there or work there. It was the cops that assumed they were burglars and who made something of the fact Gates and his driver were black.
Speaking calmly, she tells the operator that she was stopped by an elderly woman who told her she noticed two men trying to get into a house. Whalen initially says she saw two men pushing on the door, but later says one of the men entered the home and she didn't get a good look at him. She says she noticed two suitcases.

"I don't know if they live there and they just had a hard time with their key. But I did notice they used their shoulder to try to barge in and they got in. I don't know if they had a key or not, 'cause I couldn't see from my angle," Whalen says.

She does not mention the race of the men until pressed by a dispatcher to describe them.

"Um, well, there were two larger men," Whalen says. "One looked kind of Hispanic, but I'm not really sure. And the other one entered and I didn't see what he looked like at all. I just saw it from a distance and this older woman was worried, thinking, 'Someone's been breaking in someone's house. They've been barging in.'"...

The officer who arrested Gates, Sgt. James Crowley, said in his police report that he talked to Whalen soon after he arrived at Gates' home. "She went on to tell me that she observed what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the porch," Crowley, who's white, wrote in his report.

Whalen's attorney, Wendy Murphy, said her client never mentioned the men's race to Crowley and is upset by news reports she believes have unfairly depicted her as a racist.

"She doesn't live in the area. She is by no means the entitled white neighbor. ... That has been the theme in the blogs and the implication in some of the mainstream news media," Murphy said in a phone interview Monday.

The police lied. And when Gates told him he lived there? The cop called for more cars. Because Gates is so frightening and intimidating, what with his skin so dark and all. Old black men have terrifying superpowers!

In his written report, Crowley said Gates became angry when he told him he was investigating a report of a break-in, then yelled at him and called him a racist.

In a radio communication with a dispatcher, also released Monday, Crowley said Gates was not cooperating.

"I'm up with a gentleman, says he resides here, but was uncooperative, but keep the cars coming," Crowley said.

Another voice can be heard in the background of the transmission, but it is unintelligible and unclear if it is Gates.

Cambridge police Commissioner Robert Haas acknowledged that the police report contains a reference to race, but said the report is merely a summary of events.

The caller has a lawyer now and is outraged that the racism was attributed to her by the police. I'd be too. And what does this mean? Obama was right. They did act stupidly.

The "disgrace" the president of the Cambridge Police Patrol Officer's Association mentioned recently, regarding Obama being president? No, the disgrace is all the department's. And as far as the cop who supposedly trains against racial profiling who's central to this, I wonder how good he is at his job then.

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26 July 2009
  Aww, Poor Baby: Roeder Expected Operation Rescue To Help Him

Apparently Scott Roeder thought Operation Rescue would come to his aid in some way, given the large amounts he's donated to them:
In a phone interview Friday, Roeder said he was upset at the president of Operation Rescue, Troy Newman, who had condemned the killing and said his organization had nothing to do with Roeder.

“He said that I never was a member and I never contributed any money,” Roeder said. “Well, my gosh, I’ve got probably a thousand dollars worth of receipts, at least, from the money I’ve donated to him.”

Roeder said he wrote Newman a letter from jail.

“I told him, ‘You better get your story straight because my lawyer said it’d be good for me to show that I was supporting a pro-life organization.’ ”
That'll help you in a murder case? Are you insane?

Operation Rescue, not wanting, I'm guessing, to be subject to RICO conspiracy charges, are trying to pretend they never knew this murderer. Unfortunate for them that Randall Terry jumped right in on the subject, in support of Roeder, back when it happened, enthusiastically praising the act of murder. And there was also when they were talking about making Dr. Tiller's clinic their headquarters. Stuff like that. Oh, did I forget that an Op Rescue official helped him stalk Dr. Tiller? Roeder was in fact pretty deeply involved with Operation Rescue.

Their real fear, I suspect, is that the extent of Roeder's connection will be more fully investigated and that he might not only implicate them further than they already have themselves, but that he'll link them to the outright, declared anti-abortion terrorists the Army of God, which he also had contact with.

Considering what a blabbermouth he is, this should get interesting.

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23 July 2009
  G. Gordon Liddy Tries To Defend Birthers, Greasy Spot Remains

I have to say, I'm glad I lived to see G. Gordon Liddy humiliated. As he should be for defending the birthers, and Liz Cheney too. I love how the right wing is obsessed by anything right now but trying to fix the problems this country has. Watch Chris Matthews take him apart here.

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  New Jersey Arrested

That's only a slight exaggeration. More here.


21 July 2009
  No, Really? Palin Implicated In Ethics Probe

Completely unsurprisingly, Palin probably quit because of the numerous ethics violations she may have committed to pay for her lawyer fees. Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul.
The report obtained by The Associated Press says Palin is securing unwarranted benefits and receiving improper gifts through the Alaska Fund Trust, set up by supporters.An investigator for the state Personnel Board says in his July 14 report that there is probable cause to believe Palin used or attempted to use her official position for personal gain because she authorized the creation of the trust as her legal defense fund.

The practical effect of the ruling on Palin will be more financial than anything else. The report recommends that Palin refuse to accept payment from the defense fund, and that the complaint be resolved without a formal hearing before the board. That allows her to resolve the issue without a formal ethics reprimand.
So basically, what it amounts to is: no money for Palin to defend herself in court. She's been stripped of it. Which may be a problem:
At least 19 ethics complaints have been filed against Palin, most of them after she was named the running mate for GOP presidential candidate John McCain. Most of those have been dismissed, and Palin's office usually sends a news release with the announcement.

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19 July 2009
  Warren Zevon: "My Shit's Fucked Up"

I miss this man.

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18 July 2009
  Why Not To Buy A Kindle: Because Amazon Can Erase Your Books

When you buy a real book, it's yours till you lose it, sell it, give it away or throw it away. But not in the world of Kindle. Amazon just revealed what a crappy system it is, in a way that not only is deeply ironic but that guaranteed this would get publicity. And shows the publishing industry is remarkably stupid and tone-deaf.

Because of rights issues, customers who bought certain Orwell--ORWELL!--books such as, yes, 1984, or Animal Farm, saw their Kindle copies erased remotely this week. They refunded the customers, but that's not the issue.

The issue is that Amazon and publishers still haven't figured out a way to do this that isn't greedy and doesn't make customers feel insecure about something as personal as one's library. And if you buy a book on Kindle, it's only yours till some publisher decides it should be removed from the lists. They might let something out for a short time just to boost their sales figures, then pull it, then expect you to buy it again.

This sort of sneaky, dirty, dishonest bad faith guarantees that not only will people not adopt the Kindle--I certainly have no plans to do that after reading this--but that the numerous free copies of 1984 you can easily find through the Pirate Bay or other torrent sites will continue to flourish, given that 1984 is easily available in digital, public domain form throughout most of the world.

Amazon has made readers angry. And readers of Orwell are particularly sensitive about this kind of bullshit. And Amazon's terms of service do not include the right to recall the purchase:

Amazon’s published terms of service agreement for the Kindle does not appear to give the company the right to delete purchases after they have been made. It says Amazon grants customers the right to keep a “permanent copy of the applicable digital content.”

Retailers of physical goods cannot, of course, force their way into a customer’s home to take back a purchase, no matter how bootlegged it turns out to be. Yet Amazon appears to maintain a unique tether to the digital content it sells for the Kindle.

“It illustrates how few rights you have when you buy an e-book from Amazon,” said Bruce Schneier, chief security technology officer for British Telecom and an expert on computer security and commerce. “As a Kindle owner, I’m frustrated. I can’t lend people books and I can’t sell books that I’ve already read, and now it turns out that I can’t even count on still having my books tomorrow.”

Nice going, Amazon. You murdered your product just as it was starting to go mainstream., and might have been a popular Christmas gift this year.

We don't trust you now. Especially as now, we can see that this would be an excellent way to ban books, that past censors would have killed for.

I imagine this, in stupid publishers' minds, is a good thing, and they think this will protect sales of physical books. No, they're just assuring that neither they nor the authors will see a dime from digital editions, which anyone can make and download. They're showing all the greed and stupidity that we saw in the music industry that made illegal sharing prosper. This is the future. The only question is whether they want to make money from it, or die.

“If this Kindle breaks, I won’t buy a new one, that’s for sure.”
What would happen to ITunes if they did this, even once?

Don't buy the Kindle till Amazon can prove it will not do this again. Or if you must buy an e-book reader, there are others to choose from.

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14 July 2009
  Republican Racism Watch #8

Today's a twofer! This time, Michael Steele claims he'll get black voters to the GOP with "fried chicken and potato salad." Huh! That's really disturbing! So that's what the sound of the GOP putting a gun in its trunk sounds like.

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  Republican Racism Watch #7: Jeff Sessions

Considering Senator Jeff Sessions himself was denied a judgeship on the basis of his demonstrable racism years ago(which makes me wonder why someone with such a strong reason for revenge is on this panel), it takes some mighty big balls for him to focus so hard on what he calls Sotomayor's racism. It's like letting Al Capone onto a panel investigating organized crime.

It takes even bigger balls for him to then imply that another judge's opinions on cases that aren't even relevant to hers, somehow relate to hers because she and that judge are both Puerto Rican. That because they're both Puerto Rican they should vote the same.

The only way that line of reasoning makes sense is truly disturbing. In what it reveals, which is that, in letting Sessions be their attack dog for this talking point, the GOP has become the old, wetbrained, incoherent drunk sitting in his own piss in the unlit back of the barroom, screaming bitter obscenities at no one in particular, till someone gets sick of him enough to put him out of his misery.

Also revealing personally about the twit, Sessions. Think of it. He suggested Sotomayor should have judged a certain way in a case because another Puerto Rican judge did. Hmm, Sen. Sessions, why's that? Do, say, white men do that? Actually, if they're you, yes. He once called a white lawyer a disgrace to his race because he represented black clients.

So Sessions believes it's all about the genetic team! Racial loyalty trumps ethics, professionalism, and decency. In his mind, he's revealed, whites think the same as other whites, blacks same as blacks, Latinos with Latinos. It's an interesting world, this parallel place called Earth-GOP. And we see in others the faults that are worst in ourselves, and so with this chinless little freak. Or, as a great Texan once said:

I wonder when Sessions will come to the hearing wearing a KKK hood(he said he thought the KKK was okay till he heard some smoked pot; no, really, that's one of the things that sunk him in 1986), at the rate he's going. And possibly try to rile her by asking if she feels threatened. And hey, Sessions, thanks again for perpetuating the stereotype that Southerners are racist pigs like you.

Watch the video and feel the whole room around him cringe. The man is an idiot, asking childish and contemptible things, and I have no idea why the GOP thinks it's a good idea to talk this way. Surely there must be one or two left in that party that wants Latin voters in the future. Seriously, is the coarsest, most vulgar, pandering, croaking racism all they have left?

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  Dacii (1966)

So what does Roman-era period drama from the Communist bloc look like? Like this.

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13 July 2009
  Palin Keeping Busy

Here we see her in McGrath, Alaska, preparing to cut a child open for sacrifice.

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12 July 2009
  Grant Morrison at NY Comicon

In 2008. Sorry, no subtitles for the Glaswegian-challenged. (like myself, actually; and I dare call myself Scottish...)

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10 July 2009
  Playing Stupid: Republicans' Fave Tactic, or: Guess What, It Was ALWAYS BUSH.

Bush personally authorized the warrantless wiretaps and torture, it was revealed today. And, though the details aren't yet public--and they had better be, soon--it went way beyond wiretapping. For instance, maybe your e-mail. And IMs. More.
The Bush administration built an unprecedented surveillance operation to pull in mountains of information far beyond the warrantless wiretapping previously acknowledged, a team of federal inspectors general reported Friday, questioning the legal basis for the effort but shielding almost all details on grounds they're still too secret to reveal.The report, compiled by five inspectors general, refers to "unprecedented collection activities" by U.S. intelligence agencies under an executive order signed by President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Just what those activities involved remains classified, but the IGs pointedly say that any continued use of the secret programs must be "carefully monitored."
Well, that's good I guess...wait, wait, what? "Continued" use? But here's the punchline.

The IG report said that President Bush signed off on both the warrantless wiretapping and other top-secret operations shortly after Sept. 11 in a single presidential authorization. All the programs were periodically reauthorized, but except for the acknowledged wiretapping, they "remain highly classified."

The report says it's unclear how much valuable intelligence the program has yielded. The report, mandated by Congress last year, was delivered to lawmakers Friday.

They never even cared about proper authorization, and in fact did this before they told anyone they were. And then lied about the extent of it. And, most likely snickered a lot at all of us, and how there's nothing we could do about it even if we knew, because, you see, our government 2001-2009 was an unelected dictatorship resulting from a bloodless coup. And we learned this: when push comes to shove, we would not defend our rights. Not if we have enough toys thrown at us. Too depressing to think about.

It was Bush, himself, and Bush all along. More here.

Jail. Put him in jail.

In addition: there is no evidence, whatsoever, that the program thwarted any attacks, or was used to, or was intended to. The information collection was for a different purpose. We do not yet know what that is. I say "is," because as you see above, the programs may be continuing. I'm assuming you conservatives who are so paranoid about Obama now stand by your president Dubya, that authorized and used it?...

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  Sarah Palin: One of Only Three To Resign, and the Other Two Were Crooks

Governors who bailed in their first term that is, without being impeached, or tapped for a higher office, or dying. By way of Sullivan:
Over 1200 politicians have taken that first-term oath of office. Some soon died in office. Many resigned to accept other positions in government, including Spiro Agnew who was “tapped” by Nixon after being the Governor of Maryland for about five minutes. On a handful of occasions, a first-termer was dragged off to the slammer or impeached. One was incapacitated by a nervous breakdown and one left just as impeachment came knocking on his door. So—how many out of over 1200 just up and quit before the end of their term?

Three: Jim McGreevy, Eliot Spitzer and Sarah Palin.
And notice something in common about the first two.

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  For All Those Who Think We've Forgotten What Jackson Did

Go to the end of the clip. It's a portrait of you.

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  A Place to Get Old Radio Shows: OTRCAT.COM

Something I grew up on was comedy albums, by which I mean sketch comedy, like Monty Python and the like, which grew into a love of audio drama and comedy in general. I rather wish that wasn't such an dormant art.

Eventually I managed to get into older radio shows (Stan Freberg and the Mercury Theatre were faves) and so was very pleased to find this site, Old Time Radio Catalog, which has one of the most extensive selections of shows I've ever seen. Check it out!

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09 July 2009
  Segregation Alive In Huntingdon Valley, PA

I just saw the most disgusting story on ABC news. It seems The Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley, a predominantly white suburb outside Philadelphia, are not only racists but incredibly stupid ones.

They voided a contract they had with Creative Steps Camp to allow the kids to use the club's pool, because they're black. Even better, their reason given was that the kids would "change the complexion" of the club.

Brilliant phrasing, if unintentional. But I think it was as intentional as when, growing up in SC, I'd hear older relatives refer to black people as "those dark-complected[sic] types." I bet they thought it was witty.

I wonder how they feel about their little move now that it's made the national news. Sen. Arlen Specter certainly has taken notice, and advised the club to undo its transgression. I also wonder whether they realize that race is not a reason to void a contract, and lawsuit settlements on stuff like this could allow the camp to buy their damn pool.

This has a bit of history there:
The club, which is unaffiliated with Huntingdon Valley Country Club, is just outside Philadelphia's city limits and was founded in 1954, a time when pressure was emanating from within the city to integrate pools. In 1953, State Sen. Charles R. Weiner (R., Phila.) had offered a bill to desegregate all public pools. In 1951, South Philadelphia's the Rev. Harrison DeShields had sued pool operators across the city and suburbs, alleging discrimination.

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08 July 2009
  Shocker: The CIA Lied To Congress After All!

According to current director Leon Panetta, they did so almost from the start of the Bush administration. Oh, much, much more here.

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  This Isn't Iran

Ted Rall illustrates.

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  Republican Racism Watch #6: Brian Kilmeade of "Fox & Friends" Bemoans the USA's Racial Impurity, & More!

Uh-oh, the nervous breakdown of the conservatives gets faster and stronger. Today on the loathsome "Fox & Friends," a host extolled the "pure genes" of the Finns, and also this tidbit:
"We are -- we keep marrying other species and other ethnics and other ..."
Other...species? (only if you're Neal Horsley, noted conservative cowfucker and anti-abortion activist) And no, this wasn't the very blonde Steve Doocey, who wasn't there--it was short, dark Brian Kilmeade. Who just gave people like me something to whip Fox News with. Thank you!

The whole exchange:
KILMEADE: We keep marrying other species and other ethnics--

GRETCHEN CARLSON(laughing nervously): Are you sure you are not suffering from some of the causes of dementia right now?

KILMEADE(ignores her, continues): The problem is the Swedes have pure genes. They marry other Swedes, that's the rule. Finns marry other Finns; they have a pure society. In America we marry everybody. We will marry Italians and Irish.

DAVE BRIGGS: This study does not apply?

KILMEADE(proud and yet nervous): Does not apply to us.



Watch in this video how happy this idiot is with his insight, and how his co-host makes it clear she ain't part of this. Apparently she wants to keep her job. Imagine.

But today's a twofer! There's also the GOP congressman, Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who wants to be on record as the only member of Congress to oppose acknowledging that slaves built the Capitol. (the resolution passed 399-Steve King)

And then there's Victoria Jackson(whom I didn't even like on SNL with her idiot little-girl voice; some of us did not like the Judy Holliday "twit voice" revival she and Melanie Griffith spearheaded in the 80s), who thinks that Obama is Satan and wants to kill grandmas. No really, she does.

Battling miscegenation and history itself, and quitting to win, this is your GOP, circling the drain.

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07 July 2009
  Reid Grows a Pair and Grassley Wants to Grow the Federal Government

Suddenly, Harry Reid woke up, and realized that he didn't need Republican votes to pass health care reform. So he told other Democrats that today. No more chasing Republican votes. Oh, and also, he wants to drop the proposal to tax benefits.

Welcome to the cold outdoors, GOP. Nobody can say you didn't ask for this. Like Sen. Charles Grassley(R-Iowa) saying the following recently:
Last week in Waukon, Grassley slipped up. Asked by a voter why he can’t receive the same health care as Grassley himself does as a federal employee, Grassley’s response was, “Go work for the federal government.”
Huh! Would that not mean more federal jobs? Why Grassley, I thought that was "socialism!" Here's video:

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06 July 2009
  How Selfish Sarah Palin Is

She didn't just try to overshadow the 4th of July. She actually upstaged her own state's anniversary:
Palin should have waited a few days before announcing her resignation. Instead, she dropped a bombshell just one day before Alaska was to celebrate its 50th anniversary of statehood. Her announcement could have overshadowed the historic significance of the Fourth, but it certainly didn't in Juneau or Douglas, where people were much more concerned about celebrating their state's heritage than about what the "guv" was doing or saying.
Wow. I wonder if she knew.

I also wonder why nobody's noticed yet how much like Carrie Prejean her speech, and her toothless legal threats, sounded. It helps to understand Palin if you recall her beauty-queen past, and that she may view being governor or president not as a public trust, but as a title you win.

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  McNamara Dies, and Is In Hell

Robert McNamara, an evil, stupid and irresponsible bastard who caused the deaths of countless Vietnamese and over 58,000 Americans, and more personally, the total ruination of my father's brain and my family's lives, has died at 93. One would like to think that the truly guilty live so long so that there's no question in their minds of where they'll go when they die.

What can I say? I hope he likes Hell, where he burns in a sea of napalm forever. LBJ was there to welcome him to the barbecue, as demonic dogs sodomize him while jerking hard on his ears. They strolled in on the stretched, living, salted skin of Nixon's face.

I do not care whether he was sorry. He should have been sorry. He should have been haunted. When you commit mass murder, what there is of your soul should be crushed by it.

After a certain death and damage count, it's too late for forgiveness of any kind. Some things only God can forgive, and if there is one, I'd like to think he wouldn't. It's great that he was so honest about it, though. The words of the damned are good warnings. And future leaders will look at his damned face and think twice before taking a step toward being that. One hopes. But he's damned. Good riddance.

This man agrees.

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  Republican Racism Watch #5

This time, luckily, no shootings, just some dumbfuckery. A Young Republican running for its chairmanship apparently doesn't realize her Facebook page is visible to non-Republicans. They really need to start understanding the internets.
On Wednesday, Shay—a 38-year-old Army veteran, mother, and event planner from Louisiana who has been endorsed by her governor, Bobby Jindal—was holding court on her Facebook page, initiating a political conversation by posting that “WalMart just signed a death warrant” by “endorsing Obama’s healthcare plan.” ...

Two minutes later, Piker posted again saying “Obama Bin Lauden [sic] is the new terrorist… Muslim is on there side [sic]… need to take this country back from all of these mad coons… and illegals.”

Eight minutes after that, at 2:02, Shay weighed in on Piker’s comments: “You tell em Eric! lol.”
Even better, when a number of sane fellow Republicans called the poster she agreed with out on his racism, Shay's response? Not to object as well to the racism, but in typical contemporary Republican style, to de-friend the critics of the racism.

But she did have her defenders, like this helpful and eloquent fellow:
At 10:31 p.m., a friend named Dale Lawson raised the P.C. defense, writing “the over reaction to it was a little amusing.” Then her friend Piker came roaring back: “I agree with dale… this is still America… freedom of speech and thought is still allowed… for now any ways… and the last time i checked I was a good ole southern boy… and if yur ass is black don’t let the sun set on it in a southern town…”
Golly. I'm no expert, but that's not the sort of thing any candidate for anything but Klan leadership needs to publicly agree with, is it? Best of all, it embarrasses Bobby Jindal. Thanks, Ms. Shay!

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  More Allegations That Sarah Palin Is Greedy and Corrupt

Just allegations, you understand. But:
...new allegations have surfaced today in Alaska charging Palin with additional violations of the Alaska Executive Ethics Act.

Zane Henning -- a conservative government watchdog from the governor's hometown of Wasilla and an oilfield worker on Alaska's North Slope -- asserts in a letter to Alaska Attorney General Daniel S. Sullivan that Palin has "been charging and pocketing per diem to live in her home and has used the process for a personal gain since being elected."
Remember this? It's not actually a new allegation, just a reminder of an old one that wasn't followed up. This was that accusation that popped up in the election that she was having the people of the state of Alaska pay her for nights at home with her family. Go ahead, Sarah, sue it away, like people in Real America don't. Except when they do.

Speaking of which, here's more on Sarah Palin's insane belief she can sue people for reporting the news, which again, in itself, disqualifies her from any public office.

Also: Fox News turns on her too!

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  Ah, Fritz Lang

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  Quitters Never Win

So it's good that the GOP has become a party of quitters. Bruce Reed elaborates.


  Now China Riots? Sort Of.

With all the Palin "Look At Me!" that marred this weekend's national fun, no one noticed: rioting has now hit China--or more precisely, in Xinjiang, the autonomous Uyghur region in the country's northwest, on the border with Tibet(on the other side of the country from Beijing, basically). 140 people are dead. Salon explains why.


05 July 2009
  There are Rumors Sarah Palin Is Corrupt And Stupid

I just wanted to make sure that was right at the top. I want every blogger to put something like that at the top of a post, to make sure that Sarah Palin is swamped with lawsuit targets and nobody forgets how ridiculous she looks.

A still-sitting governor threatens a blogger for reporting the truth, that rumors of corruption and a to-be-revealed scandal swirl about the governor. This is fresh off the heels of her quitting because, poor thing, she's in over her head, and before that threatening David Letterman, who I hope takes the opportunity to make mincemeat of her tomorrow. As the blogger in question, Shannyn Moore, did in her statement:

When Sarah Palin gave her three-weeks notice to the people of Alaska, aborting her term as Governor, a lot of people wondered why she quit. Mid-level managers turn-in their notice, not elected public officials. It didn't make sense. It still doesn't. People have been trying to guess why she really quit, and everyone in Alaska has been playing the guessing game. They're rumors. There are a lot of rumors. And with all the corruption we've had here in Alaska, of course we wonder what's really behind her resignation.

Governors don't just quit. But Governor Palin did.

The governor's massive overreaction -on the Fourth of July no less- should make any reasonable person wonder what's wrong with her. The Lady protests way too much. Eventually we'll all find out why she really walked off the job.

Sarah Palin is a coward and a bully. What kind of politician attacks an ordinary American on the Fourth of July for speaking her mind? What's wrong with her? The First Amendment was designed to protect people like me from the likes of people like her. Our American Revolution got rid of kings. And queens, too. Am I jacked-up? You betcha.

Sarah Palin, if you have a problem with me, then sue me. Shannyn Moore will not be muzzled!

I don't really care whether this simply reflects that she has no understanding of the country she lives in, or history, or the Constitution, or the irony of violating freedom of the press on July 4. We already knew she's unsuited to any leadership position. (I would be horrified if she was a PTA leader) But then she keeps giving us more reasons. In this case, that she's Nixon without the intelligence. Which fits in well with her rambling, bitter resignation speech, very reminiscent of the "you won't have Nixon to kick around anymore" speech--which, unfortunately, was as much a lie as anything else Nixon ever promised. And I'm sure we'll have Palin to kick around for some time, no matter what I'd prefer.

But I have to wonder--this woman lost the election, more than anything on the GOP side, for the Republicans. Why aren't they cutting their losses and blaming her? When the Democrats lost in 2004, do you think they then made John Kerry a rallying totem? Or in 1984, Geraldine Ferraro?(who's known to say some idiotic things herself, which I assure you the Democratic party did not back her on)

Also, Palin has been threatening other news organizations with lawsuits:

Using the substantial might of the Executive branch of government to bring down unenforceable legal threats on a private citizen in Alaska, and attempting to curtail free speech through intimidation on the Fourth of July? Not a particularly brilliant PR move. By specifically singling out and naming Moore, Palin has done two things; she has shown herself to be a reactionary immature politician, and she has made Shannyn Moore a lot better known. And she is not the only one in Sarah Palin's crosshairs, mind you. You stand warned Huffington Post, New York Times, MSNBC and The Washington Post! You just better knock it off!

The New York Times and Washington Post haven't written anything about this, but Van Flein said he believed they were asking questions. "What I've been informed is that they've been interviewing people in Wasilla about this, and have tried to interview the governor's parents about it," Van Flein said.

OK, in the case of The New York Times and the Washington Post, you'd better stop even thinking about asking questions about it.

Here's the thing, Palin. You're a public figure. It's too late for defamation lawsuits. You can't file them anymore. The New York Times itself established that legal precedent. You can't just be a private citizen when it suits you. You can't try to stir up publicity for yourself and then get to cherry-pick what people say about you. And by the way, you are a corrupt liar. And a weasel. And an idiot, with a family of rednecks. And try to update that hair, huh? You look like a truckstop waitress around 1982.

Oh, and John McCain, God damn you to Hell for bringing this thing into the limelight, you stupid old fuck.

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  To Obama: "That's Great, Now Fix The Economy"

Don't think criticizing Obama is just for right-wing nutjobs calling him the Antichrist! There's also people like me, his voters, who have been cutting him slack. Till now. See, we're different from his haters. We're people out of work who actually expect him to do something, and oh, Joe Biden isn't helping, and needs a sock full of manure shoved right to his uvula.

Here then is some comment on the matter. Mr. President, I'm sorry, but we already ran out of patience before you, with the other guy. You don't have a curve.
Get off the TV and do something.

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04 July 2009
  "Kings" Episode 8: "Pilgrimage"

As the series staggers to its premature end...

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  You Wonder How Scientology Ever Caught On

You come across the most bizarre things at random. Doing a little background reading in light of the recent allegations against Scientology leader David Miscavige(which, I hear, are that he likes to beat underlings for fun), I found that...apparently there are Scientology beliefs even more lunatic than the ones we already know.

Hubbard believed that what we call "space opera" in science fiction literature, TV and film is just a manifestation of memories of actual events that happened, in his word, "skillions" of years ago.

Yes, I said "skillions." A quote from His Risen Hubbard self.

"...without suspecting that the Fourth Invader Force had been there for God knows how many skillion years, had been sitting down, and they have their installations up on Mars, and they have a tremendous, screened operation..."

If this and the other excerpts I have seen of Hubbard's work are any indication of his talent, I can understand why he would turn to confidence trickery instead. What I'm having a hard time understanding is how he managed to take what would be unbelievable, unreadable and stupid in literature, and make people instead believe it as real life. Perhaps we demand more of what we read than what we believe. I can understand why Hubbard spent so much time in isolation from his followers. I'd have had a hard time keeping a straight face in public myself.

In any event, I think it's amusing that he even uses the term "space opera," which in science fiction circles has a certain pejorative connotation, as a serious religious term. Scientology is just bad American pulp sci-fi rephrased, poorly, into a religion, and so obviously that it amazes me that people believe it. And the best part is that, by claiming that "space opera" itself, including Star Wars and like that, is all part of one huge race-memory, you can get away with your terrible writing and the inevitable observation that it sounds remarkably like something a hack SF writer would come up with on a deadline.

You can almost hear Hubbard laughing behind his teeth as he made up planet names such as Teegeeack(that's Earth) and, I'm not kidding, "Arslychus." There's a different suggested pronunciation than you'd at first think, but I suggest going with your first guess when saying it aloud, because it's much funnier. You have to be amazed at the lack of a sense of humor the followers of Hubbard's words must have, and almost have to respect someone who conned people so well.

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03 July 2009
  Proof That Palin Is Political Toast

Bill Kristol predicts a bright future for her.

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  Taking Her Ball, She Stomps Home

Sarah Palin is resigning as governor of Alaska after less than one term! After only two and a half years! One isn't exactly sure why, except that it might help her prepare for a run for federal office, except that appears unlikely because now she's a QUITTER; my guess is that the numerous right wing fringe groups up here in the Northwest will start recruiting her. But in any event, I'll take it for now.

Go, and godspeed to the wilderness, Barbie!

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02 July 2009
  "The Great American Bubble Machine"

Matt Taibbi's overview of the place of Goldman Sachs in the history of America's booms and busts.

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A volcano erupting, as seen from the International Space Station.


  "An evening with the right people can alter the debate."

True, giving lots of money to the Washington Post to go to their party and pal around with their financially and ethically lacking editors and reporters might indeed change their coverage in a favorable way. Should they have advertised this quasi-bribery opportunity though?


  Best Sanford Quote

One dark-eyed temptress and it all comes undone. You'd think the man had never heard a country song.
Gene Lyons at Salon today.

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  Sanford: “Well, I’ll be here until they throw me out.”

Sigh. Apparently so.

Come on Republicans. It hasn't been so long since Clinton. Try to remember back. What do you do with a politician who does this kinda stuff? You, specidfically, as a party.

I mean, you know, for the sake of the children, decency, and all that stuff you're self-appointed guardians of. Clinton didn't even brag about it like this dude. At this rate, I am expecting Sanford any time now to start telling us tales of his throbbing manhood, and publish them in Penthouse Forum.

Eh? That's only to Democratic politicians, you say? Well, as my late SC mother would have said: "No shit."

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  Mark Sanford's Future

As I pointed out the other day, adultery is, technically, still against the law in South Carolina. Less well-known is what it does to you in a divorce case.

It hurts.

From the looks of things, Jenny Sanford has little reason not to be finding herself a damn good lawyer right now, not because the governor will be difficult to beat, just to make the process speedier. I remember much of this from when my own parents there divorced, and the law hasn't changed since then. Little ever really does there, after all. He probably shouldn't have talked so much on cameras and to reporters about the song in his heart called Maria.
Sanford's admitted infidelity could, however, become an issue if he or his wife decides to end their marriage. South Carolina usually requires a one-year separation period prior to a divorce. But since adultery is one of the four grounds for fault (the others are desertion, habitual drunkenness, and physical cruelty), the Sanfords could speed through the process. And unlike those in no-fault states (Texas and California, among others), South Carolina courts take infidelity into account when making judgments about the division of assets. Mark will be ineligible for alimony. And Jenny could receive a much greater share of their estate than she would have if Mark's e-mail relationship had never gotten past the Gchat phase.
Also? He automatically loses custody and visitation rights will not favor him. That I personally know for the reason I mention above. I get the feeling he may not care about that part. I'm just saying, though.

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  Sonic Youth: "Death Valley '69"
Live in Toronto on their current tour. Enjoy its awesomeness.

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  I For One Welcome Our Ant Overlords

One single, impossibly huge, colony of ants originating in Argentina(again with that place) has, over time, taken over much of the world.

And yet when I step on them, they still go squish.


01 July 2009

I hate to admit it, but if I'm honest, I have the most conflicted feelings about this.
Just the picture, I mean.

Oh, wait, this will help.

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  How Cops Celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall

Why, by raiding a Dallas gay bar and putting at least one patron into intensive care. How surprising I didn't see this reported in the news. Flattering themselves in the first place, the cops claim they administered said beatings because they were flirted with--says them. Dan Savage explained:
Allow me to translate the chief's comments: "Them faggots in that thar bar touched mah officers and now they're complainin' about some rough stuff and one little ol' faggot with a brain injury? Those perverts should be grateful they're alive."
And the reason for said raid? Drunkeness, apparently. That's illegal? In a bar? In Texas?

I'll bet that wouldn't have happened if there were chicks there! Let that go to show ya!

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  Michelle Bachmann Is Actually Trying To Help ACORN!

Oh my goodness, Michelle Bachmann's attempt to create a census boycott just gets funnier. The Republican Party, realizing telling your constituents to disobey Constitutional law might look bad, slapped her down over it today, but it gets even better.

Besides the already-pointed-out fact that the number of representatives Minnesota gets would go down, and Bachmann's own district would be one of those absorbed by a bigger one(thus eliminating her job, which otherwise sounds a fine American notion full of promise), there was this, from the GOP itself, regarding her paranoia about the dreaded ACORN's involvement:
The unfortunate irony is that Ms. Bachmann's boycott only increases the likelihood that ACORN-recruited census takers will be dispatched to her constituents' homes. Anyone who completes and returns their census form will remove any need for a census taker to visit their residence.
Oh good God. My sides. The best part? The GOP went public, specifically to humiliate her, because she rebuffed their requests to be quiet in private.

Keep eating each other. Please. Here, some salt.

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  Sanford Has A Book Deal?

Yes, I know, I was thinking that too, that this explained just why he's doing so much oversharing regarding the affair.

But in fact the affair might cost him that book deal: it was to be a "manifesto of fiscal conservatism." One of those books every presidential candidate seems to have ready when they run these days.

But then, one assumes that this may lead to another kind of book deal. Gotta pay that alimony somehow.

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  Oh, Sanford, You Stupid Man

Did you not realize how much incriminating information on your little trips would be in the financial records you promised to release to the AP? Time does fly when you're in love, sweet love, doesn't it?

Well, it seems you remembered, because now you're going back on that promise! Which totally makes you look innocent of anything fishy!
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has backed out of a promise to release personal financial records to the media proving he did not use state money for trips to see his mistress.
Oh, you fool. Now you don't want to talk to the media? What, did you sober up?

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  Scientology To Lose Travolta?

The trickling news of the physical abuse delivered against not just any Scientology staff, but Sea Org(which is very, very high up) people by alleged leader and rage addict David Miscavige, continues, with rumblings that, among the present defections, Travolta might soon be counted. He wants to leave this alleged religion after all this time? I guess he finally realized the terrible influence they were having upon him.

Let's hope this scam operation goes down like Madoff's Ponzi scheme. (will we now be calling them Madoff schemes? It has a better ring)

Scuentology members? Send more hate mail! You're obviously nothing to be feared. Well, unless you're a member and near Miscavige.

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  More Kate Beaton, Who Is Awesome

Find it here.

(c)Kate Beaton.

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  Sanford Believes In Honest Family Values

He must! He said so in this campaign ad!

Meanwhile, the knives, thankfully, are out.
"South Carolina can't afford to be at a standstill for the next 18 months with a governor who ignores his job responsibilities while pursuing personal interests. Any other worker in South Carolina would be fired for not showing up at work with no notice."
That's right--what do the 11.6% of South Carolina's population that are unemployed, probably through no fault of their own, think of the governor keeping his job?

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  Dieu Existe!

And He is looking out for us all. I'm convinced. After reading this.
...the best part of a new interview with Joe the Plumber[*] published by World Net Daily:

Asked if he has plans to run for public office, he replied, “I hope not. You know, I talked to God about that and he was like, ‘No.’”

*Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is not actually a plumber.

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  The GOP Finally Admits, Outright, That They Want Another Attack

Thank you Glenn Beck and your bearded guest! Thank you for finally saying out out what we've all thought right along as Cheney went on and on: that you actually want another attack on this country, and thus more Americans dead, just so you can regain power. This is patriotism from your point of view? DO YOU LIVE IN BIZARRO WORLD?

Jesus, GOP. As far as you're concerned, every American could die as long as it meant you'd have power again(though now that you've publicly wished for that, if it does happen, good luck, traitors; this was recorded and will be very useful in campaign ads), is that not the truth? 9/11 was your Woodstock and you actually get nostalgic about it. You bastards.

Congratulations, it's official. You're going to Hell. And if the American people have any sense of self-preservation, you'll never gain power again.

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  Jackson Might Have Accidentally Killed Himself

Revealed today is the possibility that he might have been mixing pills to make himself temporarily sick, trying to cause himself to go to the hospital, to avoid doing the "comeback tour" that everyone thinks is such a shame he didn't live to do.

As someone who feigned illness many times to avoid going to an elementary school where he'd get beaten up, I can totally see Jackson doing this.(the only way to even begin to relate to Jackson, it seems, is to recall childhood memories and relate them to much of his adult behavior) I would also say that, if he did do that: stupid fucking moron.


  Thanks a Lot, Arnold

If not for your miserable financial stewardship of California, I might be back there now, like I'd planned. Effing idiot. Go back to making terrible movies.

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  Updates: Hanging In Iran

The retribution begins. Six Mousavi supporters were hanged in Iran, and the doctor who tried to save Neda Soltan is being prosecuted.

For what? Oh, what do you think: they're accusing him of killing her. That'll perhaps help them cover one of their killings. But I doubt they'll be able to blame him for all of the estimated(so far) 20 murders committed by the Basji in the protests. Like this teenager shot three times in the chest.

And the Basji want Mousavi arrested. For "disturbing the nations's security." You can find Mousavi's newest statement (in English) here. He has also called for a general strike.

More updates from Nico Pitney here.


"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."
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JLRoberson Self-Portrait 2005.
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July 2017:
Steve Pugh and the Flintstones

Interview of Steve Pugh by John Roberson & Tim Young!

December 2016: Politics in Comics
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With Emmet O'Cuana & Kumar Sivasubramanian

October 2015: 
Erotic Comics, Erratic Censorship

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

August 2014:  Crumb’s Confounding “Genesis”
Discussion with Tim Young.

April 2014:  Corporate Comics: Love'Em, Hate 'Em
Discussion with Tim Young, Deb Aoki, & Jason McNamara.

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Comics Events - discussion with Tim Young.
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Theatre and Comics - interview by Tim Young.

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