Post-Balzacian

This isn’t about one’s attitude toward [Bill] Clinton. He was wrong to do what he did and wronger still to lie about it. This is about the use of sexual morality as a political weapon. It is only ever used as such by right-wing hypocrites. Newt Gingrich was having an affair while he was carrying on about Clinton’s morality—an affair with the woman who became his third wife, whom serial adulterer Donald Trump appointed as our nation’s envoy to the Vatican! Balzac would have rejected this as a plot line that was beyond belief.

Michael Tomasky writes a brief, poignant farewell to Kenneth Starr (no link; here’s an earlier appreciation), who, in his guise as dirty rotten hypocrite prez of Baylor, often featured in these pages.

The INSANELY Corrupt University of Southern California…

… enjoys yet more of the fruits of its extra-legal labors as the dean of its school of social work (way back when) pleads guilty to bribery.

At 83 years of age, Dean Marilyn Flynn has made what’s formally known as the I’m Too Old For This Shit plea; and now her partner in crime, political bigshot (way back when) Mark Ridley-Thomas begins twisting slowly in the wind as his trial is set to begin.

Type University of Southern California in my search engine to set off on a long, long trek through the wilds of malfeasance.

For years, we’ve all watched in wonder as the city of San Francisco jettisons what Oberlin College calls an “archaic chase and detain policy,” and instead lets shoplifters take merchandise and simply walk out with it.

It’s such a small crime, and the jails are already full, and hell just let em go. The results have been spectacular if you’re a fan of neighborhoods with no stores in them, and the president and trustees at Oberlin, faced with their own neighborhood shoplifting problem, wasted no time expressing the same contempt for archaic law-abiders/merchandise retainers as their model, one-time SF DA Chesa Boudin.

An archaic local bakery, on discovering an Oberlin student shoplifting, viciously accused him of the crime, and then, when he denied it, proved its truth by approaching him and opening his jacket, in which two stolen wine bottles were hidden.

The crude, reactionary nature of the bakery’s response to the theft of its merchandise outraged Oberlin, which, under the organization of one of its deans, so relentlessly harassed the business – tagged as racist – that it practically collapsed.

The business sued Oberlin and won big – a way-angry jury awarded the bakery 44 million in damages, which a judge reduced to 36 mill. Oberlin proceeded to fail to pay, sending the suit to higher courts and failing upwards, and now Ah fuck it ok we’ll pay. Though where in our measly ONE BILLION DOLLAR endowment we’ll find it I don’t know…

Background here.

Look at ’em scoot! (To quote from…

… one of the world’s greatest short stories.) Look at more and more of the No Exceptions crowd start backing away real quick from their original position on abortion.

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One of them sings a sad ballad.

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Where is that girl with the zygote?
That little girl was my big electoral chance
The one whose father beat and raped her
But no abortion under any circumstance!

…….

Did I need a gentler hand?
Did I need a lighter touch?
On abortion I was tough
Nothing was too much
Kill the mother in a clutch!

But the moment when I said full ban
All my voters turned away
God please say it’s not too late
For me to totally reverse today


Was my stance a little cruel? Was my bloodlust less than cool?
Did I let my mind go wild? Were my thoughts defiled?

She’s just a little child…

Yes it seems there were a million things
I was dumb enough to say
Can my voting base forgive
If I walk them back complete today?

Should I blame my Trumpy operatives
Who told me incest didn’t count?


What a shame
I failed in human decency
Before I lost the game


Was I something of a dick?
Was my world a little sick?
Was there too much MAGA crowd
All too mean and loud
And not enough of me?

Though I’ll ask myself my whole life long
What went wrong along the way
Would I make the same mistakes
If I tried to be humane today?
If that girl with the zygote
Walked into my life today?

‘… Malaysia’s then-Prime Minister Najib Razak … channeled over RM 2.67 billion (approximately US$700 million) into his personal bank accounts from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a government-run strategic development company.’

The hyper-pious ex-PM (‘Najib recently said Islam’s holy book, the Koran, would be the guide for all government policies and actions.’) allows modesty edicts to repress Malaysian women, while he himself pleases Allah by stealing seven hundred million dollars directly from the Malaysian people.

Theologically, it is a conundrum; Allah smiles equally upon downtrodden black-cloaked women AND the world’s largest kleptocracy case. He smiles at sick Malaysian children dying from lack of treatment because, of the six billion in the fund meant to help them and their country, four billion was stolen.

Everything would have been peachy; America’s sweetheart, Goldman Sachs, would have pocketed its suspiciously massive fees from 1MDB, all the other crooks who stole hundreds of millions for themselves would have been fine…

But people began to notice the absence of four plus billion dollars from the world. Things began to sour, see, onaccounta

‘Because the money was stolen, it wasn’t invested; without investment returns, the fund couldn’t pay back the bonds.’

Shades of pious Bernie Madoff (in his case his piety was orthodox Judaism — he acted as the treasurer – not making this up – of Yeshiva University)! Pious Najib and his legion of co-conspirators overlooked the fact that if anything goes wrong with schemes like this, you’re up shit’s creek cuz the money’s already up the nose of your cocaine-snorting, super-yacht-private-jet-super-thin-nyc-penthouse-owning Islamically pious investment group.

Najib now enjoys twelve years of uninterrupted prayer in a Malaysian prison.

Watch this video, titled Behind Goldman Sachs’ Alleged Involvement in the 1MBD Scandal. It explains the gist of the thing. I know you’re distracted by The Trump 300 (700?), but trust me 1MDB is more important; America will survive a once-in-a-lifetime madman having attained the presidency; the sad sick world cannot be defended from lethal international criminals (including, again, our own adorable Goldman Sachs) unless we all make an effort to understand how they are killing us.

A Walk Down Memory Lane…

… Via the Los Angeles Times review of Bad City, a book about disgusting events at pretty much always-disgusting University of Southern California. My coverage of these particular grotesqueries can be found here. Put University Southern California in my search engine for years of scandal and corruption.

[T]wo major scandals at USC involv[ed] two doctors employed by the university: the medical school dean, Carmen Puliafito, and a gynecologist who worked at USC‘s student health center. Both doctors took advantage of young women to satisfy their prurient desires. Eventually, the book becomes a pointed critique of USC’s culture of secrecy and its shameful efforts to protect its public image. The university’s supporting role in the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal serves as a kind of coda to a dark tale of privilege, amorality and coverups...

In one especially outrageous scene, [Dean] Puliafito brings a pair of addicts into his office at the Keck School of Medicine, where they don the doctor’s USC lab coat and an inflatable Trojan hat after smoking heroin...

Chesa Boudin Falls Prey to ‘Assume a Can Opener’

Forcibly evicted by the citizens of SF, the city’s appalling district attorney discovers (no he doesn’t, and he never will; but the rest of us discover it again today) that acting on assumptions and theories rather than acting on reality is murderously stupid.

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Nellie Bowles:

[H]e didn’t seem to care that he was making the citizens of our city miserable in service of an ideology that made sense everywhere but in reality. It’s not just about Boudin, though. There is a sense that, on everything from housing to schools, San Francisco has lost the plot—that progressive leaders here have been LARPing left-wing values instead of working to create a livable city…

[W]ith the smartest minds and so much money and the very best of intentions, San Francisco became a cruel city. It became so dogmatically progressive that maintaining the purity of the politics required accepting—or at least ignoring—devastating results...

Policy makers and residents largely embraced the exciting idea that people should be able to do whatever they want to do, including live in tent cities and have fun with drugs and make their own medical decisions, even if they are out of their mind sometimes. But then fentanyl arrived, and more and more people started dying in those tents...

[It’s] a sort of progressive-libertarian nihilism, …the belief that any intervention that has to be imposed on a vulnerable person is so fundamentally flawed and problematic that the best thing to do is nothing at all. Anyone offended by the sight of the suffering is just judging someone who’s having a mental-health episode, and any liberal who argues that the state can and should take control of someone in the throes of drugs and psychosis is basically a Republican. If and when the vulnerable person dies, that was his choice, and in San Francisco we congratulate ourselves on being very accepting of that choice...

During his campaign, Boudin said he wouldn’t prosecute quality-of-life crimes. He wanted to “break the cycle of recidivism” by addressing the social causes of crime—poverty, addiction, mental-health issues. Boudin was selling revolution, and San Francisco was ready. In theory.

But not in fact. Because it turns out that people on the left also own property, and generally believe stores should be paid for the goods they sell...

We tricked ourselves into thinking psychosis and addiction on the sidewalk were just part of the city’s diversity, even as the homelessness and the housing prices drove out the city’s actual diversity. Now residents are coming to their senses. The recalls mean there’s a limit to how far we will let the decay of this great city go. And thank God.

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Don’t read the section on the school board unless you’re absolutely vomit-proof.

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The thing on nihilism and congratulating yourself on your radical personal freedom morality when someone dies on the street dovetails wonderfully with the same contemptible shit deep in the far-right libertarian weeds… The same necrophiliac splendor… Congratulating yourself, really, on your corpse-love… (“In February 2021, at a corner in the lovely Japantown neighborhood, just a few feet from a house that would soon sell for $4.8 million, a 37-year-old homeless man named Dustin Walker died by the side of the road. His body lay there for at least 11 hours.”) On the right, excitement at the big bloody holes in place of children a truly superior sporting rifle can make; on the left, the same excitement at the big bloody holes fentanyl can make all over dead bodies in city plazas. I wish I were Cormac McCarthy or William Burroughs or Irvine Welsh or Anthony Burgess or John Fowles or hey even Jonathan Swift so I could begin to be adequate to the blood-soaked hard right/hard left orgasms of this my beloved country. So many of our teenage massacrists spent all their time, before they picked themselves up out of their chairs, getting off on exactly this via unspeakable video games. No gun restrictions for this country. The pleasure is too deep, and lots of our senators either share the bloodlust or would never think of getting in its way.

Murdered law professor’s probable killer finally charged.

For eight years, police have been trying to prove that Charles Adelson had Dan Markel killed. Anyone who followed the appalling story of a man killed simply because he wanted to share custody of his children knows that the evidence has always pointed to the brother of Markel’s ex-wife, but authorities only recently had sufficient proof of the conspiracy. Now a trial can proceed.

Pathetic Psycho Creeps.

To be sure, they’ve got the weapons to deploy. But it seems increasingly important to call the Russians exactly what they are.

A bittersweet finish for Oberlin College and Gibson’s Bakery.

It’s been a long sit-down, but an appeals court has topped off the college v. bakery court case with a flourish: Gibson’s will indeed be served an abundant money feast from Oberlin (background here). So: bitter for Oberlin, sweet for Gibson’s.

The main miscreant in the matter, a VP at the school who sicced a student mob on an innocent local bakery (screamed all over town it was racist, organized a boycott, when all it did was confront a shoplifting Oberlin student), has moved on to generate her own particular form of magic at Oglethorpe. No doubt she is as we speak scanning commercial life in Atlanta to find a cafe against which she can organize a student mob. The obscenity she staged at Oberlin will cost the school thirty mill; here’s hoping Oglethorpe has a large legal payout fund.

Five fetuses found in a federal flat. Now riddle me, riddle me, riddle me that!

It’s all about defending the dignity of the unborn.

This is why men should be kept out of politics.

They are hysterics. Their emotions overwhelm their ability to make sense of things.

This scene – from the American Senate – is a real embarrassment for the country.

And as for Ted Cruz…

Sung to the Tune of You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun
Mother Russia was robbed by us fellas they say.
That's why we've got such wonderful yachts.
Give a little to charity?  No, nyet, and nay!
 We're spending each ruble we got.

 We docked in Ibiza, but then they said 'ey, please-ah:
All di Rusos get out: bye bye! 
Then we pondered it - Hum... hum... Where is the place for pond scum?
And the answer was clear: Dubai!

... Yes, Dubai!  Yes, Dubai!
For there's nothing too vile for Dubai!
Ukrainians die and our money piles high
Come one and come all to Dubai.
Next week, Les UDs, in all their innocence…

… leave Garrett Park to go shelling on the Delaware beaches, while everyone knows that the real shelling action in that state lies within the nondescript buildings in Wilmington that house shell companies from around the world.

People are beginning to be aware of this because of all them Russky oligarchs in the news.

For the state of Delaware, these small [incorporation] fees add up to as much as 41% of the state’s entire revenue. In 2019, they collectively amounted to $1.4B...

Adopted in 1899, the Delaware General Corporation Law “reduced restrictions upon corporate action to a minimum” and promised to maintain the most hospitable business enclave in the nation — a place where corporations could frolic in the open fields of capitalism, unencumbered by income tax, bureaucratic policing, and shareholder litigation.

As we frolic ‘pon the open early spring fields of sand, all around us the open fields of capitalism sprout another astounding bumper crop for wee Delaware and we are so oblivious. It’s all secret, see, so even if we wanted to shake the sand off our feet and take a serious look at Delaware’s incomparable tax haven we couldn’t.

Delaware and Nevada are two of the jurisdictions where it is the easiest to obtain the anonymous companies money launderers like best. Those states are in fact significantly less transparent than famous tax havens like the British Virgin Islands... Delaware and Nevada have not just risked the rest of the country, they have risked the entire world. They have tunneled a gaping hole in the domestic laws of any country concerned with preventing corruption, fraud, tax evasion, drug trafficking, terrorism, and all the other ills facilitated by anonymous shell companies.

Here’s one guy who at one time had a slew of Delaware shell companies:

On 2 November 2011, [Victor] Bout was convicted by a jury in a Manhattan federal court of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and officials, delivery of anti-aircraft missiles, and providing aid to a terrorist organization, and was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment. Since June 2012, Bout has been held at the United States Penitentiary, Marion.

This guy must be itching to help Putin’s war effort!

Same idea as the writing featured in the post just below this one.

[The British government sought] to find a way to make sure that Chelsea could continue to function, roughly as normal, once Abramovich’s other assets were frozen. The players, the staff and the fans — especially the fans — must not suffer, the government said. A few hours earlier, Russian artillery had shelled a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine. But the government was clear: The sanctity of the Premier League could not be sullied...

His arrival marked the start of what will come, in time, to be thought of as soccer’s oligarch age. It was Abramovich, as noted last week, whose arrival kick-started the inflationary spiral that has fractured European soccer beyond repair, with only a handful of clubs hoarding all of the wealth of the game, ruthlessly stripping its natural resources for their benefit...

Soccer’s age of the oligarch is over. This time, there can be no excuse for failing to understand what the game has become. On that, we have clarity.

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This was four years ago, laddies.

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