VLADRUSHKA by John Linton Roberson (c) 2022.
I Didn't Write That!
31 August 2009
  I Totally Agree With Michelle Bachmann

No, your eyes do not deceive you. The infamous rep from Minnesota has finally said something to her followers that I think is a truly awesome idea, at least the first part.

“This cannot pass. What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn’t pass.”

Which is how cults often end, so it makes sense. If they think this will help their cause, she and they should put their blades where their mouths are and impress us with their seriousness. Time's a-wasting. Be heroic! Show us you're not just talk!

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24 August 2009
  Republican Congressman Praises "Right-Wing Terrorist' As A "Great American"

I realize it's already obvious that the GOP is so angry about having lost power, and so completely out of even bad ideas, that they're perfectly willing to make use of the terrorist crazies on the fringes of the right wing if that's what it takes to get back to power. The overt attempts at intimidation and threats of violence at the town halls that they have been condoning being one example of this. But now they're overtly endorsing people who call themselves terrorists. In this case, we're talking about Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA) at a town hall. Please try to picture what would have happened to a Democratic representative in the Bush years had this exchange(with the word "right" exchanged with "left," say) taken place:
Justify Full

One speaker said he could trace his ancestors back to the Mayflower and said “they did not arrive holding their hands out for help.”

“I am a proud right wing terrorist,” he declared to cheers.

Herger praised the man’s attitude.

“Amen, God bless you,” Herger said with a broad smile. “There is a great American.”

Amen, he said. (By the way, the people who came on the Mayflower nearly starved to death and had to get help from the Indians, who took pity on them, to survive) Amen to someone who calls himself a terrorist. I could say something about the Republicans becoming what they beheld, but it's simpler than that. The Republican party has been practicing terrorism since the day after 9/11. If you define terrorism as trying to scare a population into doing what you want, please tell me when the Bush administration ever flinched from doing just that from 9/12 onward, from taking advantage of the attack to keep America nice and spineless to keep themselves in power and to discourage any questioning of anything they wanted to do. It was their only tool. And they used it till it broke, and ground our souls down to the rind in the process.

What we are seeing now is only the version of that when they're out of power. Why should they pretend? The GOP has turned themselves into a terrorist organization. Herger is simply coming out of the glass closet on that. Terrorism is wonderful to the Republican party. It was, and is, their only working tactic. It's irrelevant whether they had a hand in 9/11 or not--the important fact is that they took full, distasteful advantage of it to turn around a political climate that, till the attack happened, was going very much against them. Everyone forgets that was the summer Jim Jeffords took away their majority, among other things, and Bush was proving to be an empty suit and becoming an early lame duck, and a very unpopular one as well. The destruction of the WTC was the best gift they ever had. 9/11 was like Woodstock to them and they still get wistful when they speak of it: a day when they made everyone shut up.

And now this rep has made it even plainer. A "terrorist" is a "great American." Carrying guns to presidential events is "patriotism." Bringing the political process to a halt through fear and intimidation is good politics. Wrong is right. This is what the Republicans have come to. Because they will do anything, anything, to retain power, even if they have no idea how to use it(and no inclination to use it) for anything that actually makes this country a better place. Even if it means encouraging lunatics who may(and have in the past) kill other Americans. Remember the 8 years of Bush. It is a scar, a blot, a nightmare which we must wake ourselves from.

There was a time when I considered the GOP just another political party. It's no longer that. It is a threat to us all. Push back.

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  The Companies That Enable Glenn Beck

As of August 24, here are the companies that are still sponsoring quasi-fascist Fox star Glenn Beck. Keep this in mind as you make consumer choices, these are companies that don't mind enabling hate speech.

•Binder & Binder
•Liberty Medical
•Superior Gold Group
•Bank of America
•Rosland Capital
•Johnson Law Group
•Citrix (GoToMeeting)
•Merit Financial
•Discover Bank (Discover Card)
•Pulaski & Middleman
•Sandals Resort
•The Villages
•Smart Balance
•Zero Technologies (ZeroWater)

Beck will no doubt start to cry that a bunch of liberal bloggers are trying to destroy him. I will answer that with: yes. We are. Because this country does not need a Lonesome Rhodes poisoning our soul. We already have too many.

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  Reader's Digest In Chapter 11

I was going to read the whole article but I just skimmed it.

This is in the wake, by the way, of a decision they made earlier this summer to focus tightly on stories designed to appeal to conservative readers, by which specifically I mean the Joe the Plumber/Fox viewer sort of conservative. Unfortunately, that would entail teaching them to read, which took more time than they expected, I guess.

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23 August 2009
  Grassley Admits He's A Liar: There Are No Death Panels

Now that his words have had a chance to be spread and stick with some people regardless of what he might say afterward, the weasel Senator Grassley says there never were any "death panels" in the health care bill. Well, aren't you just the honest decent fellow, Chuck.

In an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation," the Iowa Republican admitted that the current legislation being considered by Congress didn't include the infamous death panel provision that would allow the government to determine who should live or die.

"I know the Pelosi bill doesn't intend to do that," said Grassley. "It won't do that," he added later.

That's the truth, yes. Now does he also admit he was lying in order to capitalize on hysteria for his own gain? Oh, no, of course not.

But if Grassley's initial statement seemed bizarre, his explanation for making the remark was equally curious. The Iowa Republican said he was merely trying to quell concerns of constituents who had read about death panels on the internet and grew scared when they heard talk of increased government involvement in the health care system.

"I was responding to a question at my town hall meetings," he told host Bob Schieffer. "I let my constituents set the agenda. A person that asked me that question was reading from language that they got off of the internet. It scared my constituents. And the specific language I used was language that the president had used at Portsmouth. And I thought that if he used the language, then if I responded exactly the same way, that I had an opposite concern about not using end-of-life counseling for saving money, then I was answering and relieving the fears that my constituents had."

By VALIDATING those fears? You scumbag. Look at this: he justified the ignorant fears of his constituency to relieve those fears? Don't ever let this man put out a fire. He'll go for the gasoline first.

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20 August 2009
  I Love Destroying Racist Propaganda

Hey, whomever was the vile racist who posted all those Obama-as-Joker things on every light post on my block? Yeah, hope that didn't take you too long. Because I just pulled them all down, and deposited them in the filthiest trash.

And I'll do it again every time I see them, you Nazi scum. Not on my goddamn block. Go on, let me catch you doing it.

The reason? Apparently Alex Jones, the most gutsy conspiracy freak to broadcast(literally) from his mom's basement, is running a contest to see who can post the most. So, hope whomever posted those wasn't looking forward to winning. Serves you right.

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18 August 2009
  Oh HELL No: Obama, Don't You Dare Wuss Out Now

It's all over the news that Obama is considering dropping the public option from the health reform bill, in hopes of getting the GOP on board. This is very disturbing, as if you drop that, not only does it render the bill meaningless, but it will assure that those who do support the bill won't.

Obama. You are acting like the stereotype of the Democrat you were supposed to be defeating. Let me explain. You will win nothing by doing this. If you insert this poison pill into the bill, it will fail. And you will fail along with it. The GOP will use this as proof it was a bad idea. They will crow about their victory, they will make you look weak and ineffective. In 2010 they will say this over and over in ads and you know what will happen then? What you think you'll be averting by giving in: what happened in 1994. Your supporters, like me? We won't care. We might stay home then, as we will know it won't make any difference. And then after 2012 you will have one term to look back upon with regret.

You're being played and you should understand that. It does no good to compromise with the GOP: they do not compromise with Democrats or try to make them happy, and so they win. They will just continue to attack you, because why shouldn't they? It's how they get what they want. To the GOP, "compromise"--theirs or anyone else's--is capitulation and weakness.

They did not get you elected, and it was our hope, through our vote, in you, and your will to do this, that caused them to now be out of the way. Or they should be. But you're acting like you have to listen to them. Were you a Republican dealing with Democrats, how much would you be listening? Look to your predecessor for the answer to that. Was the wilderness so nice you want to return so soon?

You are teaching them that you are a coward. You are teaching them that threats and violence work. Do you think that hungry, vicious beast is satisfied with just a taste of fresh meat?

Take me as an example of the people you will be abandoning. As a freelancer, I can't get health insurance feasibly. I am counting upon this. Do you know what would happen right now, if I got a life-threatening illness?

I would die, that's what, and that's true of many, many others. Because what I have could not come close to treating it.

There is no reason to give a damn what the Republicans think of you, and they will bully you for the rest of your term if you don't fight now. They're laughing at how easy this is, Obama. As they always do. Because the Democrats never understand how to use power when they have it, except to do what the Republicans want. You're abandoning those that supported you.

Here's how it is, Obama. If you drop the public option, the GOP will devour you. And we might just let them. Because you'll have proved you're not on our side, that you are a putz, that you are, Barack Obama, a pussy.

Don't you dare.

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16 August 2009
  The Day Chicago Died

That'll be October 17. I smiled and smiled on reading this. I keep seeing comments threads amazed this is occurring. After living there and learning to hate it like I've never hated anything, my reaction is: it's only happening now?

Sink into the mire you've made of yourself, disgusting, dirty, lying, hateful Chicago. Looks good on you.

Yes, that is vindictive. and no, I do not care.

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15 August 2009
  "The ABCs of C Street"

One of the nation's two most prominent Christian magazines does an expose of the Family, the authoritarian Washington pseudo-Christian cult that has enabled and shielded figures such as John Ensign and Mark Sanford, and that believes Hitler, Mao and Stalin were leaders who truly understood what Jesus was all about. I know more than a few Christians who might take issue with the Family's opinions there, and more besides. Give it a read. And kudos to World for printing it.

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  Whole Foods CEO Doesn't Realize His Clientele Are Educated, Affluent...LIBERALS.

Whole Foods has always been pretty easy, for my own part, to boycott, much like my lifelong boycott of watery, unpleasant, racist and homophobic Coors--it's easy to boycott a crappy product. Even easier, as in WF's case, when you simply can't afford it. My food tastes are fairly simple and frugal, so I have no taste or need for their fancier stuff(though CEO John Mackey, about whom even more in a moment, also recently said in the Guardian, which he doesn't seem to know we can read here too, "We sell a bunch of junk"), and it's overpriced anyway. When I lived in Berkeley, my former wife used to save on lunch simply by strolling through and taking every free sample.

Which is fine. I'm not a rich foodie, but they exist, and for those people, Whole Foods is great.

But the aforementioned Mr. Mackey, mmmkay, seems to be out of touch with the people who make him rich. He wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal decrying the health care reform bill as socialist, and attacking it up and down. And also taking the opportunity to state that if only more people bought, coincidentally, just the kinds of food that can be found at his stores, most health problems would be fixed, without any healthcare plan at all. Which is not at all something a self-interested douchebag would say, of course.

Which, again, is fine. True, the stink of snake oil is heavy on him. I don't agree with him, he's stupid and wrong, but as my character in Vitriol, Sally Gilmore, once said: "Listen, fuckhead! I am a grownup, and a citizen, just like you! It is my right as a US citizen to believe whatever I want! Respect my fucking diversity!" So, fine. And it's not like you expect enlightenment in the WSJ anyway.

But golly, is it wise business, when your primary clientele are health-conscious liberals who pride themselves on being well-informed, to spit in their eye like that and totally blow the image you've maintained of the place, and make them realize that their food dollars are going into his pockets and possibly, from there, going to Freedomworks and the other insurance-company-owned lobbying groups spreading terror and lies and disrupting town hall meetings on the subject? Groups they despise? Does he really think they don't think about the ramifications of their purchase, that they're making their enemy wealthy? Does he realize that his customers are the ones who support health care reform, vigorously?

This may be one of the greatest moments of business tone-deafness. Because he chose to piss off exactly the kind of people who not only spend their lives finding such connections, but acting upon them. Who do you think buys fair trade coffee, and why? These are people who separate all recycling into as many discrete categories as they can. Every purchase choice they make, they pride themselves on the ethical nature of it, and brag about it to their friends. It's a sign of status to them. Trust me on this. I lived in Berkeley and live in Seattle. There are businesses built entirely upon this more-ethical-than-thou contest, and they make a killing.

Businesses like, most prominently, Whole Foods.

And then he opens his mouth on this matter, in this way, and doesn't think his customers--without whom, and without the image that Whole Foods has worked very hard to protect and project, he's just another idiot against health reform--would notice?

He begins his piece with, for Christ's sakes, a quote from Margaret Thatcher. It's as though the head of NASCAR had gone on a tirade about how much he hates rednecks, and wanted to screw their mothers as soon as they were done with them.

Something on that level of lack of PR sense. Mackey may want to look into some market research. Like maybe walking through one of his stores, talking to a customer or two, that kind of thing. So did they notice?

They did, and on the Whole Foods site, almost immediately, at last count 300 threads went up discussing ways to boycott Whole Foods. Because now, in their view, it's as if they found out it was owned by Glenn Beck. (who, by the way, has now lost a dozen advertisers and more will be coming) He's alienated most of his customer base, and for nothing.

But hey, he'll be able to replace these customers with all the conservative health food freaks who can afford "Whole Paycheck"'s prices, right? Who care about organic produce, fair trade, and that which is macrobiotic?

Nice business you had going there, Mackey. Shame you decided to kill it. No other words for him, but fucking, and idiot. FAIL, I believe the youngsters would say today.

By the way, a correction to yesterday's post about another fuckhead, Sen. Grassley, who bragged(and now Palin has joined in, as though she has any power over anything) that he'd killed the end-of-life-counseling part of the bill. Actually, he didn't. Congress is not in session during August. No changes of that kind have been made, at least not to the actual bill. And I doubt very much if his premature crowing will help him in negotiations later. In fact, after the behavior of the GOP this month, I have a feeling the Democrats will finally realize that their votes aren't needed anyway, so there's no reason to listen to any changes they might want. I hope that, anyway.

The GOP may find soon that the other side was just trying to be polite. And may remember what they did, when they had the majority, to the other side. I'd tremble, myself, were I them. God, I'm glad I'm not.

Donkeys are known to kick, you see. Never experienced that myself. But if it's anything like the kick of a horse(which I have, in the stomach, when quite young)--ouchie.

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14 August 2009
  Republicans Fool Seniors Into Screwing Themselves

So end-of-life counseling, or rather reimbursement for it, thanks to Chuck Grassley(who should burn in Hell--he did this only as a delaying tactic), the health care industry, and a lot of extremely stupid people who cannot read, is out of the health reform bill. And Medicare won't be paying either, whether the bill passes or not.

So now, if a person who is dying wants to know their options, if they can't afford it, too bad--they can't talk to their doctor about it. Which will make it likelier they'll just kill themselves, or suffer till their death not knowing what else was possible. Well, Grassley won't. His health care plan covers it. Yours probably won't. He gets his, you don't. I would like to see the look on the faces of seniors who believed these lies the day it becomes relevant for them, and how they'll spit and cry and complain. But you asked for it.

Well done, Republicans, your yahoos, and senior citizens and their families. You deserve the consequences of this. Enjoy the suffering you've just caused, you fucking idiots. Welcome to an entire nation of Terri Schiavos.

What good is playing fair with a side that isn't serious about government, or the well-being of America? And that only has the power we let them have? Although I'm wondering whether the well-being of such a stupid, stupid country that has turned into a big junior high school is worth giving a shit about. It doesn't give a shit about itself.

If you've ever had a dying relative, and you are still on the Republican side...you're so stupid that I'm surprised your brain generates enough power to keep you breathing, and hating.

Speaking of Terri Schiavo: in 2005 the Republican party was not nearly so shy about government actually interfering in end-of-life decisions and overriding the decisions of families, which the bill did not in fact have anything to do with. But then, who ever said the Republicans follow principle except the Republican leaders who display none? They only follow what will harm the other side, not what will help anyone.

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12 August 2009
  My Country?

Watching the right-wingers yelling and shouting and threatening(and even shooting) their way back to power, and watching the left completely unwilling to fight back at these people, and pretending these people have a point, I'm now starting to get to a point that this country has become too stupid to care about anymore.

I love this country. My family goes back at least to 1800 here, and I've lived all over this nation. Whenever I move, like I have, for instance, from South Carolina to California, or from there to Illinois, or from Illinois to where I am now, I have always done it by car or truck, over land. Because I like looking at the expanse of this country, its geography, everything. The mountains, the rivers, the plains, even the deserts. I like being on the ground, engulfed in its expanse, talking to people along the way and feeling the various climates place to place. So I take the extra trouble to do it that way. To me "flyover country" is at best a metaphor.

I love the ideas that supposedly animate the place, and the sort of place it's supposed to be, the concept that differences are resolved through debate and vote rather than intimidation, fear and murder.

That last part though? Often that isn't the case, now and then. We're entering, I fear, one of those periods. The right wing thinks it fought a revolution in the 90s and views 2000 as when they won. And not the election. That wasn't the point. They overcame the election. They believed they had entered a period where they could rule by fiat, and many Bush/Cheney supporters didn't care whether that meant cheating to win elections, so long as they took power and held it. What others call "cheating," they looked at as a system that assured power could not leave what they believed were the proper hands.

And then they had a rude awakening when it turned out they could still lose it. As they view their power as having been seized in the first place, they now think(egged on by amoral and apolitical corporate interests) that it's time to use force again, which is why you're seeing an uptick in right-wing extremist groups that were quiet in Bush's time because they thought they'd won. (Of course, Bush didn't care about them any more than the insurance companies care now about those they're using)

I'm reaching the point of having enough of this shit, these false debates, adults acting like children, the constant game of "I know you are but what am I?"--all of it. The junior high school that is now our national discourse. I wish politics were boring again. I wish Americans would act like adults and realize we're in a crisis that is beyond party. I wish America's brain did not resemble this:

Twelve percent of NC Republicans do not believe Hawaii is part of this country. A smaller percentage of same do not believe in Hawaii.

I am tired of hoping for this country, of wishing it would grow up, of watching it devolve into its worst instincts. The feeling of a hungry beast coming out of its hole again. Tired of people like sheep being led into acting against their own interests and thinking Jesus wants that. Tired of being angry about it.

So where does one go then? How?

Because I'm really getting tired of watching my country act like a huge, lumbering, drunken, retarded giant.

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11 August 2009
  Man Openly Carries Gun To Obama Event

Carrying a sign saying, "It's time to water the Tree of Liberty." Which refers to a Jefferson quote. The "water" referred to is the "blood of tyrants."

Huh! Obama's opponents call him a tyrant, and guns are great for spilling blood. What could he mean? Gol, duh, I dunno!

And yet he gets interviewed by Chris Matthews(who tears him a new one, granted), rather than the Secret Service? Interesting. Carry a loaded weapon to meet the president and get to explain and spread your "views" on national TV. It must be great to be a conservative, to know that no matter how far you go, how threatening you become, you'll still be listened to and walk around free.

That's some tyrant. And when one takes a shot, will he get his own TV show as punishment?
Update: But the Secret Service did detain a man with a loaded gun and a knife who tried to get into the event.

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  Conservatives Think Stephen Hawking Is American!

At least Investor's Daily does. In trying to terrify us all against adopting anything resembling Britain's NHS(oh, if only it went that far...), they said:

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

Someone should tell the NHS to get on the ball. Because Hawking is a British subject and has been kept alive by the NHS for 40 years. And yet somehow, in all that time, they forgot to kill him! Perhaps it's just bureaucratic inefficiency. Not at all like the tight ship run by US insurance companies, who decide quite quickly and efficiently who to deny services.

Morons. And lazy! What does it take to find that out, less than one second on Google? That's for those who somehow didn't know Hawking is British.

I really don't think they're even trying, between this and the pathetically forged Kenyan birth certificate. They're just throwing everything at the wall, but unfortunately for them, the wall is Teflon.

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10 August 2009
  Ratings, Even If Someone Gets Shot

By way of Andrew Sullivan, the reason right-wing radio and TV are heating up the violent and paranoid rhetoric, courtesy of the tool Michael Medved:

One of the most civil voices in talk radio, Michael Medved, explains the economic pressure upon the industry. He told NewMajority: “In this [economic] environment, you have something of a push to be outrageous, to be on the fringe, because what you’re desperately competing for is… P-1 listeners [those who tune in most frequently]. The percentage of people on the fringe who are P-1s is quite high,” he explained. As a result, talk radio hosts are feeling more pressure than usual to yell harder, scream louder, and insult further. Talk shows “are fighting for an ever- smaller pie, [which means that] you’ve got to be even louder about it because you’re trying to get the attention of an ever-smaller niche,” said Medved.

If not for the need to make money, the ideas would not be so violent. But this isn't a TV show. It's real life, with real lives to be lost. And the Bad Moment is fast approaching, if this incident is any indication: an attendee dropped their gun at a Democratic congresswoman's town hall event. A gun brought for what reason? Were they afraid someone at the event might mug them?

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  Palin's Complex View of Health Reform

She describes it as "the current bill that Washington is trying to rush through Congress."

There's more, but really, I ran out of breath in my reaction to that opening.

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  In the Village: You Ain't From 'Round Here, Are Ya?

Here's a reason I suspect I will never get to like nor understand Seattle.

Yesterday, in my local supermarket, the cashier, a perfectly nice and polite woman apparently either just near, or in, her sixties, happened to notice my driver's license in my wallet. "Wow, what kind of license is that?" I haven't bothered to get it changed yet.

"It's an Illinois license," I said. "I came from Chicago."

"What brought you here?" she asked as she brushed the groceries, one by one, across the laser.

"Oh, personal reasons, and I didn't care for Chicago that much."

"Yeah, everyone wants to move here. Tell you though. I'll be honest," she said, still just as friendly and polite in her expression, in her cadences, "we don't care much for the newer people here." Like this somehow didn't include present company. Perhaps I'm one of the "good" ones?

Well, that's what I'd suspected all along, but it was interesting to hear it said so frankly. "Is that a fact?"

"Well, it used to be a much better city before all these new people moved in."

I was feeling both clarity and offense. But I kept half-smiling as I gathered up my bags. "Well," I couldn't help saying, "I doubt I've caused the problem."

"Oh, I don't mean any offense. Just being honest." She smiled, handed me my receipt, and honestly wished me a good day.

With such honesty and unintended offense, I can't imagine why I would feel unwelcome here in the Village.

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  I Will Be Performing Live, In A Russian Accent, In Seattle

...at Faire Gallery and Cafe (1351 Olive Way, Seattle) at 8pm on August 17th, reading "Koba's Bad Cut," by Jim Snowden. The story concerns the complexities of deciding what to reply when Stalin has had a bad haircut and wants your opinion on it. The reading being put on by The McCroskey Memorial Internet Playhouse, and I'm assuming they might be filming it.

Oh, and as mentioned above, I'll be doing it in a Russian accent.

Those of you who live in Seattle: you'd better be there!

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09 August 2009
  Man Jailed For Rap Lyric He Wrote as a Teen

So I guess my question is: if a black 20-year-old man can be put in jail for two years for a rap lyric he wrote as a teen on his Myspace page,(and I'm not sure it's illegal to write a lyric, is it?) threatening police officers--in the abstract, much like NWA or Ice-T quite legally did, like 20 years ago--why is Glenn Beck walking around free after his poison-Nancy-Pelosi skit?


08 August 2009
  "Blackadder Rides Again"

A BBC anniversary documentary on the brilliant comedy series.

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  Authorities Happen To Notice All These Death Threats

Guess what, rabid Right! Threatening a public official, or inciting violence against them, is still against the law, and law enforcement does investigate it!

So, if I were Glenn Beck, I'd be very concerned this weekend.

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07 August 2009
  Here Is The Problem: Meet Tim Phillips

In the video below(or at this link for those of you reading this through a feed that doesn't allow embedding, like Facebook) is Rachel Maddow interviewing Tim Phillips, of the disingenuously-named Americans for Prosperity and, with Ralph Reed, was a founder of Century Strategies. This man is behind--and proudly--the "spontaneous" protests erupting at these town hall meetings, that are starting to become violent. He makes no bones about having corporate money behind him, and openly declares he'd like more many times in the interview.

He then goes on to brag about how well his organization has spurred these mini-riots on and yet at the same time claims he's "grassroots," when everything that's known about him, and anything he says, makes it clear that he's in fact astroturf. Somehow he thinks he can be both at the same time, and he seems to think corporations are "just folks." But that's a reflection of the corporate mindset, in which corporations are individuals, and more valued ones than actual human beings, allowed to commit crimes that not one of us could get away with. (I mean, could you get away with poisoning your neighbor's backyard? Or whole cities? Corporations have.)

Good god. The man has FANGS.

I watched this last night and was amazed at what I saw: pure, distilled, amoral lobbyist, with just about the most sinister smile I've seen on a real human being. If you can call it a smile; it's more like he just pinches his mouth at the ends and lets his teeth show, because he's learned humans do something like that to put others at ease. If you ever saw "Thank You For Smoking," this is That Guy. I swear, when I was watching, I almost thought I could smell brimstone. Watch him and see if you can detect any semblance of humanity as you understand it(unless you have a very low opinion of humanity, in which case it will be easier). Rachel lets him hang himself pretty well.

This is what's behind the "protests" against health care, which are not protests but campaigns of intimidation. Racism, fears of euthanasia(I still want to know how they got people to believe that one), fears of "socialism"(as though any of the protesters have any idea what that is anyway), whatever it takes. He doesn't care. He'll use it as a way to entice people to panic, all for the sake of his corporate clients. It's kind of clumsy, as many people wearing shirts with health insurance company logos on them have been spotted at these protests. But the idea is overkill, to clog up the system with enough shit that the reforms can't be done, or to scare our elected representatives into not voting for it and scare Americans into not supporting it.

Fear. That's all they have. You'd think this country would have had enough of that. But as someone once said, fear is the mindkiller. It destroys the ability to reason, or to think, or to debate, or to decide. It destroys.

And those being manipulated into these protests are the ones who will lose. And the corporations and people like Phillips will chuckle and enjoy some expensive champagne the day it's defeated, still a bit amazed that these people are such sheep and can so easily be reduced to children, and will unthinkingly act against their own interests for the sake of corporations that will then deny them health care when they need it, though they'll certainly accept the premium money.

It's time to recognize this, though it's so obvious and out in the open I don't see how it could be missed, as a war of the corporations not against the government, but against you, me, and even the people at these protests. They're laughing at you as they urge you on. They do not care whether you live or die. They profit off your suffering. Understand this before it's too late. And if you start feeling doubt? Watch Mr. Tom Phillips again.

You're being fooled. Not by Obama.


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  Death Threats Over A Town Hall Meeting

This is where we are as a country, where the side that can't win elections decides to issue death threats over town hall discussions; in this case a union was the target, and wouldn't you know it, Rush Limbaugh was aiding and abetting this.

The Service Employers International Union was, as one aide put it, "deluged" with calls on Friday after several conservative media outlets accused the organization of trying to assault demonstrators who had showed up to protest Obama's health care agenda. Making it even scarier for union employees, the address of the union's St. Louis headquarters was mentioned on air by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

Callers who reached both the front desk and the communications department compared the union officials to Nazis, union aides say. On Twitter, organizers of the town hall protest urged people to take pictures and write down the license plate numbers of attending SEIU officials. More alarming than anything else, angry callers and protesters pledged to take up arms against the union.

"If ACORN/SEIU attends these meetings for disruptive purposes, and you have a license to carry....carry," read one tweet.

"I suggest you tell your people to calm down, act like American citizens, and stop trying to repress people's First Amendment rights," one caller warned. "That, or you all are gonna come up against the Second Amendment."

Again, these people think we should trust them with guns? I didn't used to think their guns should be taken away. Now I do. Because it's obvious now the real reason they want their guns is to be able to intimidate others and to hell with democracy: it's lynch mob time.

And then there's the contemptible racist Philadelphia police officer who is now suspended for running an illegal background check on the president. As far as I'm concerned, the right wing in this country has lost any legitimacy politically and has turned into something akin to terrorists or the Mob.

It's quite clear that the GOP and the corporate interests who want no change in healthcare are amoral scum who are willing to use stupid people who are going insane at the thought of a black president to their advantage. Even if it means violence, as we saw at the Tampa town hall last night.

Time for RICO charges. That's what happens when you start organizing violence & intimidation, which are criminal, across state lines.

It's true this is no longer the same country, as some protesters claim, but not because of Obama. It's because of racist scum that blame everyone but themselves for their shitty lives.

Grow. Up. And realize: this doesn't help your...cause, whatever it is. It only shows us that you're criminals and cannot be trusted. That you cannot participate in a reasonable discussion. That you're nothing but hate-filled, bile-vomiting, bullying garbage.

Beyond contempt. I know you people. I grew up in the South. And I know what you're thinking. Is your next plan to send some night riders to try to pull Obama out of the White House and lynch him? If so, I look forward to the Secret Service cutting you down in a hail of bullets like the mad dogs you are. I spent most of my childhood hearing rhetoric from you about how the South shall rise again and feeling like the place I lived in didn't think it was part of America--a feeling that was only reinforced when I left the South and realized just how isolated it was. Are you Americans? Then why are you so proud to fly a traitorous flag? If you're proud of the stars & bars, you're not an American.

You're not Americans; fine. Then leave my country alone. Or just leave. We don't need you.

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  Glenn Beck Jokes About Poisoning Nancy Pelosi

Whether Glenn Beck is trying to incite assassinations or not, he certainly is fantasizing a lot about it on the air. Like this grotesque bit he did last night, in a "skit," I guess you might call it, about poisoning Nancy Pelosi, with a somewhat disturbing stand-in. Click here for the video or watch below:

My question is, isn't there some kind of line that's been crossed when you're openly talking about murdering government officials? This isn't satire, whether Beck calls it that or not. It's not even funny--it's the kind of video a psychotic might record in his basement. It's sinister and its underlying message...isn't even underlying. It's right on the surface. This is starting to become incitement, and Fox is enabling it, just as it let O'Reilly go on and on calling George Tiller a murderer till someone murdered Tiller.

I wonder, with all this murderous talk from the Right, why the hell they think this means they should be trusted with guns in the first place. Why is violence so appealing to the Right? What would they do with the country once they got it? Because if the last eight years, when they did have it, are any indication, perhaps violence and intimidation are the only hopes they have left. In any case, the Secret Service should be talking to Beck the same as they've done to many people over far less. For that matter, people like Don Imus were fired for far less. Beck should be too.

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06 August 2009
  Glenn Beck Begins the Violence
The ignorant right-wing racists that the GOP and the insurance lobbyists have been gleefully sending out to disrupt town hall meetings on healthcare have finally erupted in violence, in Tampa, at a meeting held by Rep. Kathy Castor. Here's the video:

Here's the description from the person that posted the video:

As Rep. Kathy Castor was introduced, the reaction was overwhelmingly against her, with boos and chants of "You work for us." And in the lobby, the counter of Planned Parenthood representatives shouting, "Healthcare Now."

Shortly thereafter, violence erupted, where there were 2-3 big goons came out and started pushing those in line, and roughing up one in the corner (see top left screen) as well as another being put in a choke hold. Directly in front of the gentleman in the plaid type shirt, is one of them in a flower print. (eleven o'clock from the camera phone in the scene.) To right of the phone, another in a white shirt. Keep your eye on him, as he then goes for the choke hold on one of the people.

Deep in the corner of your upper left screen, there's a gentleman in a green shirt, whose is getting roughed up, as these two are pushing others. A police officer enters the seen, (Dark blue uniform, short, and a black officer.) You still see the gentleman getting roughed up. The cop not doing anything. They then let the guy go, as they slam the door shut. Later in the video, you see the officer conversing with the gentleman who got roughed. After a brief description from myself, the cop walks away.

Worse will come, I am certain. They actually said they were spurred on to this by what Glenn Beck has been saying. I believe, were these left-wingers incited by, say, Keith Olbermann, this would be called "incitement to riot." If this was a school shooter who listened to Marilyn Manson, his CDs would be banned. So what the hell is this?

So just what has the GOP set loose in the country? What do they want to accomplish? The first stage of what they want is already evident: to spread unreasoning doubt and intimidation. They want anyone who is allied with Obama to fear for their lives. Which brings me back to what I've said all along: only those ignorant of history would think the Bush regime was like the Nazis. No, it was more akin to Kaiser Wilhelm II. We're still well down the road from the Nazi point. But sending thugs like this out to intimidate people? That's a classic "brownshirt" tactic. These are words the Republicans have been freely tossing around, and they've been taking advantage of the terror some idiots have that, oh NOES! there's a black man in the White House.

The Republicans are trying to cause the country to break apart, thinking they'll be able to pick up the pieces after. But it's the nature of monsters to grow beyond their makers' control, and it's time we treated this phenomenon as the monster it is, and the Republican party as the criminals they're being. We should no longer even try to be nice to them.

Why are these people not relegated to a "free speech" section like left-wing protesters are, I wonder?

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04 August 2009
  Blackwater Founder Murders To Cover Up Evidence?

The founder of our old friends Blackwater, Erik Prince, has been implicated in murder. I mean besides the ones his company was already hired to do in Iraq.

A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company's owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life."

In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting "illegal" or "unlawful" weapons into the country on Prince's private planes. They also charge that Prince and other Blackwater executives destroyed incriminating videos, emails and other documents and have intentionally deceived the US State Department and other federal agencies. The identities of the two individuals were sealed out of concerns for their safety.

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03 August 2009
  CCTV In British Homes: Alan Moore Has a Lot to Answer For

In the recent documentary "the Mindscape of Alan Moore," Moore facetiously takes credit for the installation of CCTV cameras on every street in England. In his book V For Vendetta, this was presented as a symbol of a terrifying future nightmare. But as that's pretty much the norm in real life, in Britain and in many places in America, that had to be played down almost two decades later in the film version, as nobody considers that odd anymore. And thanks to television, the word "Big Brother" now calls up not fear but a popular TV show, where people have gotten used to the idea of being under surveillance. Thanks to similar shows here, so have we.

So Britain has taken the logical next step: installing them in private homes. The thin edge of the wedge is in the homes of dysfunctional families, with problem children, and is already in 2,000 homes. As usual with every form of repression, children and their welfare are given as justification. It's always the same, whether with this, censorship, or the like: for the sake of the children we must all be infantilized, and be made to believe that while we might have rights, we're not responsible or smart enough to use them. And that privacy is dangerous.

It won't be difficult if someone wants to institute that here; the GOP was already well on its way, considering that it thought nothing of illegal wiretaps and reading US citizens' e-mails. We've already become accustomed to broadcasting our status to the world on a regular basis through Twitter or Facebook, about the smallest and most insignificant things. Addicted to it, in fact. Why do we want the world to know what we're doing? Would we care, then, if the government wanted to watch it? All that we'd need, to agree to it, was to know it would be on national television.

Does anyone remember what it was like for this not to be the norm? When reading that in "V For Vendetta" or "1984" was frightening?

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