Groovy Friday

Stereolab plays Brakhage

(Many thanks to Fake Steve Jobs)

Whatever you do, don't breath.

Sidney Blumenthal has been using some nasty tactics to attack Obama for months. Maybe Hitchens was right about Blumenthal...

Every Italian citizen's income has been posted on the internet. What does Berlusconi's return to power mean for Italy? Some see the spectre of fascism returning.

Volvo wants to make cars that are injury-proof.

It's not just email that the feds are looking at - they watch your snailmail, too. As if you don't have enough problems already...
Here's an article from Editor & Publisher to remind us just how much hubris was moving through Washington and the press on that fateful day five years ago. Makes me want to puke. What a stupid, vainglorious country we have become.
Someone over at the Daily Dish wrote in to explain the Obama phenomenon. As an old fart, I'd just like to say that I understand, and despite being a cynical old man I see Obama in a similar way. Actually, I see Obama's candidacy in even starker terms. If you watched even some of the video of Chalmers Johnson that I posted yesterday, then maybe you'll understand that Obama may be the only thing standing between us and the death of the Republic.

A Conversation with Chalmers Johnson

Nelson Mandela is on the US list of terrorists. Condi Rice may find it "embarrassing", but it is simply and purely absurd. This is yet another example of how in trying to secure the "homeland" the Bush Administration has created a farce of a police state. How long will it take to untangle this mess?


The Jeremiah Wright scandal is bad for Obama, plain and simple. But look more closely and you'll find that all is not what it appears to be... and another interesting bit.
The Pentagon has a big problem, and it's not overseas. You thought it was difficult to sell a condo these days... Try selling this. Richard Rogers says London is a model city for development. Sarah Williams Goldhagen isn't so sure about the New Museum. Very expensive graffiti. A long search continues for a WW2 doctor, while on the other side of the world, reconciliation is sought. Out-Foxing history? Well, look at it another way... most people don't even know who invented the radio, but elephants never forget. Oh, sure - blame the coach. That always works... Going to Beijing for the Summer Olympics? Man, have I got the restaurant for you... Breaking news! (hats off to the Daily Dish).

For Dave D'Alessandro

Isiah speaks...
Congress has no authority to examine the actions of the Office of the Vice President of the United States. You can stop worrying your little head about lies, torture, war crimes and such and go on about your business.
Fareed Zakaria explores the conflicting ideas that the presumptive Republican candidate embodies in McCain vs. McCain.
Free-Market Fundamentalism has been driving our economy for the last three decades. Adam Smith has been trotted out alongside Burke at every opportunity in order to promote free markets. Where has that gotten us? George Soros thinks we need more regulation, but not too much. Everything in moderation. Meantime, the housing mess is deepening. There are now 2.3 million homes vacant and for sale. As Andrew Leonard over at Salon points out, that means there are roughly 24 empty houses for every homeless person in the United States. Maybe we should just give each one and solve a problem for a change.

Who is the most powerful figure in Iraq? Bush? Maliki? Sadr? or is it an Iranian General? So, how's things going in Afghanistan you ask? Not well. More broadly, what's next in the Global War on Terror? Good question.

As for politics here in the Homeland, there are mountains and there are molehills. But don't get too dispirited - after all, it's sunset in America.

To Infinity and Beyond!

Futuristic stuff has had a wide influence on architecture and design over the past century. Jonathan Glancey writes in The Guardian about the particular influence of a comic hero, Dan Dare.

TV can still actually say something of value. Thank you, Boston Legal.

The current global food crisis is making some people angry. As food prices soar, where do the profits go? The Economist offers a partial answer. James Carroll reminds us that Hunger Affects Us All.

The world faces so many problems, and so little gets done to improve things. I'm hungry for change.

Yesterday, I watched Fox News Sunday, which was a first for me. I haven't watched Sunday morning news in years, simply because I don't need anyone telling me what to think - especially the self-reagarding and vacuous bobbleheads of the Washington establishment. I made an exception yesterday because I couldn't resist seeing Obama and Chris Wallace chat (see above). After the Obama segment, Fox's pundits discussed Obama and Hillary. They concluded that Obama is a weak candidate who has been well-served by his campaign, whereas Hillary is a strong candidate who has been ill-served by her campaign. I found that laughable - a typically adroit feint by the pundits to obscure the issues and confuse up with down, black with white. If Hillary is indeed such a great candidate, why can't she run a campaign? Isn't she in charge of it? The pundits make it seem like Hillary is a really great gal who is being poorly served by her campaign staff. Well, whose fault is that? She picked her staff, didn't she? And if Obama's campaign is so well run, doesn't that speak to his strength at surrounding himself with competent people? That would seem to be a crucial test of someone who is likely to run the biggest corporation - I mean country - in the world.

Of course, Bill Kristol continues this morning to praise Hillary in his way (starting his article with a back-handed comment), reiterating his talking points from yesterday's show. Forgive me for being cynical in regards to Kristol's motives, but why would he praise Hillary? Are we to believe that Kristol is an honest, non-partisan commentator with no interest in the outcome of the Democratic selection process? Hardly - Kristol wants Hillary to carry-on her campaign for two reasons: the continued battle between the Democrats strengthens antipathy towards the party generally - especially amongst undecided voters - which benefits McCain, one of the weakest candidates the Republicans have put forward in years, and; should Hillary win the Democratic nomination, she is a far easier target for the "vast, right-wing conspiracy" to attack in the general election. Further, assuming that McCain lost the general election, I reckon that Kristol would prefer to have Goldwater Girl Hillary in the White House rather than Obama because Hillary's policies would align more neatly with Wall Street's and Republican norms, and another Clinton in the White House would give the Right a nice, easy target for four, long years, leading hopefully (in their eyes) to a single Clinton term and the resurgence of the Republican Party. Divide and conquer - the strategy that the Republicans have used so effectively for the last 28 years.

You can't trust pundits farther than you can throw them...