SUZY SPREADWELL #1 by John Linton Roberson, available at Google Play Books!
I Didn't Write That!
22 December 2010
  Deconstructing Comics on Thought Balloons, Other Stuff

Music is hard for me to work on comics to. Daytime, not so much. But I get lost in it if it's night. I need to hear voices speaking. So sometimes the TV's just on in the background without my watching, but a lot of the time, I like to listen to audiobooks, history lectures, and BBC radio comedy and drama while working on something late at night, as I am right now on the inks on the new Vladrushka.

And yes, I'm getting back to LULU soon too, but I do sometimes just follow what feels good and I felt I was starting to get stale with that one & needed to work on something else. Now I'm alternating. I actually have more pages of chapter 2 done than you see online, but I want to wait to release the rest till I have it in the can. Then it'll be nice and weekly.

But anyway, back to subject: something new I found among the great many dreadful comics podcasts online (Mindless Ones in the UK, however, and Inkstuds in Canada are two I recommend) is the excellent and engaging Deconstructing Comics podcast. One I'm listening to right now is on thought balloons, discussing artistic reasons why to use them and not, and so on.

Personally, my own thoughts on that have always been this: While I understand why not to use them--there are certain types of atmosphere ruined by them, much as sound effects --at the same time putting 1st person narration a la Frank Miller in captions instead is now also a cliche 2 decades--more--old. I use them shamelessly, because I want to use every tool comics allows me. I'm not trying to make it seem like a different medium.

I think their elimination sometime in the mid-80s had to do with a certain desire for the appearance of dignity, that by eliminating sound effects and thought balloons, the two most overtly "pop" visual signatures of comics, might make comics a less embarrassing medium. The two techniques, except in humor comics, were pretty much treated like a fart in a church. But that was accompanied by comics' gradual foray into grimdark and that led to some awful places.

And frankly, often it's pretty pretentious. Maybe it's just that it sounds ridiculous aloud even if spoken by Mickey Rourke, but after seeing the SIN CITY movie, I realized that Miller's internal monologues, indeed pretty much all his warmed-over Spillane captions are...hilarious.

But as I say, I do see reasons not to use it, but I'm a maximalist. I believe in using any technique that gets your point across at the time and shifting tactics as needed. Techniques are tools, not religion. There is no god of art that will reward or strike you down for never cheating. The point is what you end up with. How you get there is between you and your whims.

Anyway, my bloviations on it. The podcast is much more interesting.

Another one I listened to right before, by the way, is a great discussion on tactics of making and promoting a webcomic, and the ethics of the illegal downloading of comics and its effect on creators. Which I highly recommend to all comics creators.

And another on Moore & Campbell's BIRTH CAUL and SNAKES & LADDERS.

NEW RELEASES AT AMAZON!
MARTHA on sale now! THIS SICKNESS #6 with LULU and GLASS HOUSE on sale now!

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20 December 2010
  "Working For the Man" 8th Anniversary Download + Glass House

An essay I wrote upon the 8th anniversary, this month, of WORKING FOR THE MAN(2003), over at Scans Daily. It includes a free download of the original e-book, long unavailable. Click here!

NEW RELEASES AT AMAZON!
MARTHA on sale now! THIS SICKNESS #6 with LULU and GLASS HOUSE on sale now!

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19 December 2010
  DADT Dead


John McCain, Upon Hearing News of the Repeal.

Despite McCain's dogged efforts at trying to delay the repeal of DADT till at least after his death, whenever that will come, it happened. It's so sad that he finds himself on the wrong side of history, and so late in his career. It'll be so fresh in people's minds when his legacy is considered. And perhaps they'll then look more in detail at his history than beltway journalists do now, and realize he was always a hideous, lying reptile.

Anyway, one more remnant of a now-distant past out of the way. Well done.

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16 December 2010
  VLADRUSHKA: Every Story Online (NSFW)

Though I seem to have run into difficulties bringing these stories back into print, I can certainly give them to you via the web, and this I have done in a fit of what I can only characterize as pique. And now with a proper index page. Also, she now has a Facebook page, this being the modern age and everything.

Click here to go to Vladrushka's very own wing of my website, with all five Vladrushka stories to date available, plus her "secret" bio, sketches, and more. Most of these on the web for the first time since adultwebcomics.com shut down, and the fifth, "EpiProLogue," never seen before at all! And of course, all are only for adults. Like anyone else would understand them...

Because fuck all censors to death, that's why.

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14 December 2010
  Vladrushka Banned Again. Oy.

CENSORED AGAIN!

Vladrushka will temporarily not be available as I attempt to discuss things with Createspace regarding their bizarre inconsistencies on adult content when it comes to comics. Such as: why adult content and erotica are allowed--and they are--as long as it isn't comics. Well, except everywhere else on Amazon. If you have trouble finding Crepax, or Serpieri, or hentai there, please tell me. But should you be among the many I've heard from who wish to purchase a copy of Vladrushka #1, complaints about its unavailability should be directed here. Ask them why they allow all erotica but mine.

My apologies for living in a country so hypocritical on such matters. However, more LULU soon. And MARTHA and THIS SICKNESS #6 remain available.

In the meantime, I still have a website where I can put up anything I damn well like, so have this positively filthy Vladrushka 24-pager, published in 2006 by Eros/Fantagraphics, still available from Last Gasp, and on the web for the first time since adultwebcomics.com ended. But here is GULAG GANGBANG in all its NSFW glory, comrades! See for yourself if it's really so shocking.

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13 December 2010
  Health Care Requirement Ruled Unconstitutional

Well, at least he's still got his Nobel. I imagine now when you come into his office it's like Colbert is with his Peabody.

Here's a thought: if you removed this requiremen­t, what's to stop one from just making it a public option again? Then see how well it competes with private insurance. I promise you it would win. If not weakened to meaningles­sness. Which it would.

Ah well, probably too late to consider that now.

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  Boehner on 60 Minutes

I'm confused, was this a laxative infomercia­l? I think that's beneath him. Which I'd rather not be when he's moved by the American Dream, but nothing for that now.

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12 December 2010
  A Bunch of New Vladrushka Drawings (NSFW)

Some recent drawings from my sketchbook of Vladrushka (with her new hairdo, which I'm still undecided on) and her daughters London(the blonde one) and Berlin, and it's all filthy, filthy, filthy! Click each to enlarge.




That's right, Nikola Tesla too. He in fact does become relevant in the new series, as it's scripted currently.


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10 December 2010
  Bringing In Clinton Somehow Doesn't Make Obama Look Stronger



Why, look at the brat who's pissed off the entire neighborhood smirk as he hides behind Daddy. And he thinks this does anything but make him look smaller? Look at him. A president who at least could get things done. Thanks for reminding us the difference. Won't help though.

Wow. And then he left to go to the White House Christmas party, and left the room to Clinton. Bad idea. Bad, bad, bad idea.

They obviously bought the strange idea that Bill's appearance is instant magic with Democrats and the press. And that smirk. And that he left the room to Clinton, and for a party. The White House Christmas party, yes, but what kind of scheduling is that? He's the president.­..isn't he? It's like he just went, "You know, what, fuck y'all. Here, have some Bill. You like that, right? Here." Like it's not his job to talk to us any further, like he's had it with us, like he's not really a serious president.

Unfathomable. They should ban reruns of the West Wing in the communications department.



Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders spent today reminding us what it looks like to fight something that's wrong. And please, Bernie, stay off planes this entire winter.



Which Obama, it's painfully clear, has no interest in doing. One reason he was given a pass for a while and the benefit of the doubt was the idea that his attempts at being bipartisan were in aid of getting things done that would make life easier for the American people. But it turns out it perhaps was all about making his life easier, by selling us out and keeping us quiet on our way to the GOP's slaughter pens. What may be proof of this was what he and the GOP were trying to slip past us: that the working poor will have their taxes go up. How can he defend that? How dare he do it?



It may be that Obama was always just in this for the ego buzz, for the praise, and now that we're not giving it to him, he hates us, for not being unswerving in our devotion to His Wonderfulness. How dare we? Do we know better than the Nobel Committee?



I hope Obama's happy that Fox has nice things to say about him. Biographers have written that Obama is obsessed with Fox. Now his TV watching will be more relaxing, I guess.

Is he mad, however, not to think this is in fact a trap set for him by the GOP, to be sprung in 2012? Even leaving aside they'll use this combination of tax cuts and deficit to lay waste to all other spending. That's the first trap. But they will blame him for the debt he will balloon for their sake, and for the mortgage to China we will owe. And none of his onetime voters will care to challenge it, because by then they'll have someone to challenge him. Perhaps Hillary, as distasteful as the prospect is. But you get a bastard to fight bastards, not a creampuff. And that's another thing bringing in Bill today may lay a path for. Whatever it does, it doesn't help Obama. Clap! Clap for Tinkerbell, dammit!

What an opening, optically, subconscio­usly, really in every way that counts, he's given Hillary for a primary challenge! Because he just acknowledg­ed we liked them better than him, even given their own glaring flaws. This was really astounding imbecility­, and Obama is just making sure he's lost us with this. I mean, it doesn't even take anger now to sustain the feeling. I feel like a girlfriend feels three days after the revelation she's been lied to sinks in. The lip is no longer curled, just blank, unreadable and waiting.

But Bill? We don't want "something, anything" to be voted on. We want something that's not a steaming pile of shit we'll be expected to eat.

And now, a parable about elephants trying to frighten others to clear their own way.

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09 December 2010
  Protesting Elizabeth Edwards' Funeral? Enough of Fred Phelps

That's right. Fred Phelps plans to go to the funeral with his little fan club and sneer and laugh that God hates Elizabeth Edwards. Oh, and "fags." You know, the thing they usually do at fallen soldiers' funerals. The thing the courts will not stop, so gosh, guess we've got to be fucking civil, don't we? We're liberals. We're nice.

We shouldn't be.

I think I've made it pretty damn clear how I feel about Fred Phelps and his fucking little cult made up of his abused family. I think there's nothing here I'll say that is shocking as I already wished him dragged bodily to Hell, across shit and broken glass, and raped by thousands of Kodiak bears. So I have no problem being rude. Not to him.

I think this is the point where we say no. Where we stop them. Where we beat them senseless, and kick them till their blood is coughing blood. I think this is that point.

Enough of playing nice with these fuckers. It doesn't work. Enough. Fred Phelps has had too many teeth in his mouth for too long. He doesn't have the right to smile.

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  DADT Repeal Dies And Didn't Have To, Or Never Put ANYTHING In Care of Reid or Obama

We lost the wrong congressional leader.

...although it's not like I wanted Angle there either.

Who else is to blame? The one who doesn't fight is to blame. Yeah, blaming the GOP might feel reassuring but it's not of any help.

We KNOW that they are scum. That will never change.

We know they're trying to break the country into little pieces to clear the slate for whatever they want it to turn into, and thanks to Obama & Reid, they will get their wish.

Not just on this. Much more. And it is THEIR FAULT for not using the majority the GOP certainly would have known how to use. It is THEIR FAULT for trying to play nice with monsters. They deserve all the scorn that they are getting and will get. The fact that Wikileaks did what it did preceded what happened this week is interesting. People were primed by it to think and doubt. So it was easier to see the BS this week.

This is a side that laughs at you, Obama and Reid. They cannot believe how easy it has been to play you, and how little regard you actually had for those you supposedly represent, who worked for you, voted for you, made excuses for you, went along with your compromises only to realise your real intention was to be the Republicans' chauffeur with that car in the ditch you so loved to repeat like it was clever.

This is a side that, as DeMint revealed yesterday, would like to turn unemployment benefits into a loan. Think about the implications of that. Suppose most couldn't pay it back. Well, they'd have to work, and stay working at that job, maybe, in order to do so. Maybe the government might even sell off those contracts to private entities, perhaps in an auction. And then you'd be working for them and unlikely to go to something better, mouth off, or ask for benefits. That's one way such loans could be used.

It just occurs to me, things like how the GOP likes to talk about death panels so much, and then has actual ones like Brewer's in Arizona. What they paranoiacally rant about their enemies doing is usually, in fact, what they plan. And they pre-empt it by accusing the other side loudly first. They project. So then I think about how much they like to bandy about words like "slavery" and "serfdom."

I'm sure DeMint, who, like me, was born in SC and has aristocratic old blood polluting his veins, is feeling nostalgic. But it wouldn't be involuntary. You'd have to sign something. It would, however, be indentured. And that may be what becomes of the rights workers fought and died for last century. Thanks, greatest generation.

That's, of course, just speculation. But this isn't.

You don't blame a predator for being what it is. You fend it off, and don't complain that it bites your arm off when you extend your goddamn hand. You. Reid. Obama. You get-along, go-along cowards.

Pelosi is the ONLY one with any fight in her, and that is sad, given which house is changing hands.

Oh, and nice call, going ahead without Collins, Reid. You stupid goddamn bastard. You wanted this to fail, one could almost take it from how you handled it. Strike a deal with McCain, did you? Did you get some money for online gambling in Nevada out of it, you fucking little worm?

These are dark times and our leaders are not equal to it. And Pelosi is who should be president right now.

You know that experiment they do with kids where they have to take care of an egg as though it was a kid? I'd trust Pelosi with that egg. How long do you think it would take Reid or Obama to get it splattered all over their faces?

Worse than to be a monster is to be a disappointment.

Worse than to be a monster is to be the one that holds the door for it.

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08 December 2010
  My New Releases Are Now At Amazon

As mentioned, my two new books, VLADRUSHKA #1 and MARTHA, are now available through Createspace(and by the way, not in stores. I prefer true direct sales; though retailers: contact me for a great deal if you'd like to carry them). However, they have also now gone up at Amazon.

Also, if you buy all three (THIS SICKNESS #6 is already there), you get free shipping and, if ordered in the next 14 hours, delivery by Dec. 10. How cool is that?

All for mature readers, of course. This is underground.

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  "Go Away Sarah Palin"-Tom Chapin

I think it's time for a good ol' singalong. What do you say?

GO AWAY, SARAH PALIN, GO AWAY
YOUVE HAD MORE AIR TIME THAN BRITNEY OR O.J.
YOUR IDEAS WERE UNSPECIFIC,
BUT YOUR OUTFITS WERE TERRIFIC
GO AWAY, SARAH PALIN, GO AWAY

GO AWAY, SARAH PALIN, PASS THE TORCH
GO ON BACK TO WATCHING RUSSIA FROM YOUR PORCH
YOU HELPED OUT WITH THE ELECTION
THANKS, McCAIN, FOR YOUR SELECTION
GO AWAY, SARAH PALIN, GO AWAY

GO AWAY, SARAH PALIN, ITS GOOD-BYE
YOU SAID ANY OPEN DOOR WAS WORTH A TRY
WELL, HERES YOUR OPEN DOOR
LET ME SHOW YOU WHAT ITS FOR
GO AWAY, SARAH PALIN, GO AWAY

GO AWAY, SARAH PALIN, CUT IT LOOSE
GO ON BACK TO HUNTING WOLVES AND DRESSING MOOSE
AND WE HOPE THAT WHEN YOU GO THERE,
ITS YOUR FINAL BRIDGE TO NOWHERE
GO AWAY, SARAH PALIN, GO AWAY

WE'VE STILL GOT TINA FEY
SHE WAS BETTER, ANYWAY
GO AWAY, SARAH PALIN, GO AWAY

___________________

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  Obama: SHUT UP, YOU GODDAMN BRATS!

"Stop embarrassing me in front of the boss, you brats! What are ya gonna do? WHAT? Vote REPUBLICAN? When your whole complaint is I'm giving in again and again and selling you all out to people you tell me are destroying the country? Well, shut up then! What could you possibly do in two years? Find someone to successfully challenge me? Just sit down, and shut up. HOPE! HOPE, DAMMIT!"

My god. I haven't seen a press conference so bitter, alienating, insulting and self-pityi­ng since Nixon.





Sir? Um. Fuck you, Mr. President, sir.

Primary the bastard. We have two years. Go.



I know a pig when I see one, and I'm looking at a whole barnyard of them right now.

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06 December 2010
  NEW RELEASES! VLADRUSHKA no. 1 and MARTHA Now Available To Buy! (Not In Stores)

Oh, glorious day! Two of the three books I'm releasing are now available to buy at my Createspace store, and soon at Amazon. (but as I get a bigger cut here, why wait?) Here they are!

Just click on the images and buy. And please note: these are not available in brick and mortar stores--only here.

VLADRUSHKA no. 1--which collects every single story featuring her to date and includes a brand new 8-pager, features a story never before seen in color! That's right, color! And the subsequent issues will be full color straight through. Oh, and as though I need to remind you: both are very much for supposedly mature audiences.



MARTHA (48 pages, squarebound)



And THIS SICKNESS no. 6, with the first chapter of LULU, is still available as well, of course:

Watch for TRADE (with the very popular STORY OF OH! by Charles Alverson and me) soon as well. As soon as I inflict horrid punishment for every page in the proof having been printed askew.

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  Racism At The Huffington Post Is Okay If It's Bill Maher

Racism's not just for white Republicans anymore. Though god knows it's still very much theirs. Over at the Huffington Post, they have a story posted with Arianna's best buddy Bill Maher repeating this same line he's used on his own show and on Keith Olbermann(who, to his credit, seemed a bit taken off-guard and aback by the way Maher put this). The shtick goes like this:

"I thought, when we elected the first black president, as a comedian, I thought two years in, I'd be making jokes about what a gangsta he was, you know?" Maher said. Instead, Maher said we've got "President Wayne Brady."


You asshole.

Maher's basic point is a sound one, that Obama, as I've been saying, shows no spine. An opinion which, when I said it in comments on that site, I got labeled a "bagger" for saying. But when clueless white guy Maher says it, they clap their little ovine hooves. Well, fine. It's still a true point, and so if it makes them see this, that's not bad.

But. Is it just me that finds the way he put it, well, racist? You might also expect him to wonder next when Obama will get jiggy with it. It would be just as clever. (And just as dated too.)

And all over the comments, they applaud Maher for saying this. They think it's hilARious. And they don't see that it's a racist thing to say. "Gangsta?" Seriously?

When the GOP says the exact kind of thing, of course it's condemned. And it should be. But it should also be condemned coming from anyone. Whether it's Steve King, Mitch McConnell, or Bill fucking St. Maher.

But the clueless middle-class white liberals on the Huffington Post don't care. Because they don't understand. Most of them, most likely, are boomers, who often say things like that because they think they're "down."

They're not.

Maher should be ashamed, regardless of the basic truth of what he's saying, though the fact Obama has no spine is obvious to a brain-dead toad. It's not clever, certainly not enough to repeat it, verbatim, on every TV appearance he makes. It's not even current. It's 90s slang.

Some excuse it by saying Maher has black friends.

Yes, I'm sure "some of his best friends are black." And I've certainly never heard that excuse before.

The Huffington Post is a snakepit of cheerleaders for their own team and starfuckers.

And it's. NOT. EVEN. FUNNY. It's disgusting. And so are they. What a bunch of pigs.

Before this I was a Bill Maher fan. Not now.

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05 December 2010
  Wikileaks: The Torrent

The Wikileaks site is still facing DNS attacks. Good thing you can download everything as a torrent if you click here.

Also, Assange's "accuser" has a long history of working with the CIA. How surprising.

It should also be pointed out, because the US media has deliberately not been explaining this distinction(gosh, wonder why) that the accusations of "rape" are actually only considered that under Swedish law, and only in the most technical sense, whether true or not. It's not having sex with a condom--actually, removing one while the otherwise consensual act is still proceeding(which could even mean it slipped--Swedish law considers even that to be "rape")--that Assange is being accused of, not "rape" as you or I understand it.

Which trivializes the word, by the way, and that angers me because it's an issue I've always taken quite seriously. It's happened to far too many women I'm friends with. But what does the government care if they manage to avoid embarrassment?

Anyway, fire up BitTorrent and judge the actual info for yourself. Because that is the point, not Assange.

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04 December 2010
  Wikileaks Returns

Check it out before it's gone. And maybe print this time.
http://Wikileaks.ch

Also, mirror sites:

http://wikileaks.info/

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  The US: The Most Successful Totalitarian Culture Ever

"They told us that torture was over and gone/But everyone knows the same torture goes on."--Peter Weiss, Marat/Sade


How I love that age-old lie that the release of "secrets" like this (Wikileaks) helps the enemy. Uh, no. Not any more than the Pentagon Papers. The "enemies" DO know. Everyone knows, but us. Every single time. The purpose is to hide the truth from US, by our beloved news processors. (used to be called "journalists") We're the most seamless and successful totalitarian culture in the history of the world, because we're in love with our ignorance and collude in it, and internalize it.

Did anyone really not know, for example, in 2003 that the reasons for the Iraq War were BS? Go back and look at my archives from the time here. You will notice the same things people claim not to know now were reported then and dismissed. And I put many, many references to those things here, and so did others. If I knew, and I did, of course the rest of us did. I was getting my info from where everyone else was. How goddamn secret could it have been when I was getting my facts from media available to everyone? We just pretended we did not. We pretended the facts were opinions and ducked our heads right into the sand. Then we were awed and now we pretend to be shocked, SHOCKED.


Bullshit, all is bullshit.

There was a time when news organizations had a purpose because we had no other way of finding things out. That's not the case anymore, both because we can find out ourselves but also because it's clear they lie to us, every minute. Because they collaborate, for the sake of "access," with the government in doing their damnedest to keep the cloud in our heads. And that's why newspapers are dying and network news should be. Now that the means exist of knowing the truth, they know they're redundant. Unless they become another arm of the state, filtering, blocking and sculpting the facts and recontextualizing and marginalizing the truth to lubricate the gears of war.

Actually, that has always been part of their purpose, except perhaps a brief window in the 1970s. Now it's their only purpose. Politics is reduced to sports by our pundits and we go with this frivolous game, while our government murders and lies.

"'Secret' bombings? They weren't secret. I remarked on them! I said, 'Look, Martha, here come the bombs.'"
"It's true, he did."--Doonesbury, early 70s.


UPDATE:

I told you so.

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03 December 2010
  Obama No Closer To Putting Up The Slightest Fight

As I said from the start, Obama's attempts to play nice with the GOP only gave them the impression he is weak & encouraged their viciousness as the smell of meat would wolves. And he's done nothing to dissuade that impression since. From a GOP point of view, strength comes from destroying your opponent, not reaching out to them.

Meanwhile, we're not that thrilled with him either, given we know Obama will never fight the GOP on our behalf in any way that matters. They hate him just for being there, but we dislike him for being a naive coward. Which I guess you could call uniting the country, in a perverse way.

Obama, as I've said many times, is like George Costanza on SEINFELD in the episode where he becomes obsessed with making Jerry's girlfriend like him. She only continues to hate him, and doing this drives his own girlfriend away. This is Obama's situation.

And in January, whatever chance he had of turning this around will be gone with his pristine, unused House majority. It may be too late.

We wanted a lion, but we got a worm.

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  Reagan People Speak Out Against GOP. GOP Doesn't Care.

All these former Reagan people speaking out in general honestly think they'll have an influence. That's just so cute. Reagan is just a totem to these people. Were he still alive and joining in these condemnations, they'd ignore him too. They use his name as a magic word to push the buttons of the faithful. It has nothing to do with anything the GOP may or may not have stood for back then, any more than what's actually in the Bible has to do with their view of Jesus. These words merely give a veneer of credibility to what they'd be doing or saying anyway.

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  We Are All In China: Wikileaks Blocked

If you've gone to the Wikileaks site in the last few days, you'll see nothing but "Problem loading page" or "page not found," at least if you live in the US, because the site is now blocked off from view, which should please the quasi-fascist Sen. Lieberman to no end, as he's already gotten one host to drop them and intends to do the same for all others. Internet prior censorship is not just for China.

If you think freedom of information means anything in this country, you're quite naive. You're only free to know as much as you want about the Kardashians, or like that. Being in America means nothing as far as freedom to know when it comes down to it.

The only thing that makes us exceptional in that respect is that we have a greater illusion of freedom, while those in China understand the reality that the web can be censored any time, by any nation. And that ours is no less willing to do it than theirs.

Meanwhile, the US press is not reporting what's in the cables, but rather about Assange, filling the airwaves with lots of grainy extreme close-up pictures visually phrased in the same sinister way a mass murderer or rapist might be.

This is not a free country. Anyone who believes that fairy tale is a fool.

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"Eternity with Beelzebub, and all his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil." - E. Blackadder, 1791
JLRoberson Self-Portrait 2005.
Questionable words & pictures from John Linton Roberson

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