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Thursday, February 03, 2011


Not much time to write, right now. But I want to draw your attention to a few important items.

1. The Google Art Project.
This introductory video includes a special guest appearance by a certain noted comic book writer who has never before done the corporate boosterism thing. Who'd a thunk it?

2. I'm getting a bit freaked by the right's willingness to cut military spending. Previously, a hideously bloated defense budget was the only form of Keynesian stimulus the right would allow. (See: Ronald Reagan.) Earlier this year, I predicted a propaganda barrage designed to convince the American populace that our armed forces are ill-equipped, but it now seems that the barrage ain't gonna happen.

Maybe the far right simply doesn't want America to come back? After all, Rand Paul's dad is a secessionist. Maybe, within conservative-land, the stars-and-stripes nationalists have been pushed aside by the Deutschland ueber Alles crowd.

That would explain a lot.

3. Maniacs and Mubarak. I love Joan Walsh's piece on how Glenn Beck and his fellow crazies are spinning the (imminent) fall of Mubarak.

The conservatives hope to play it both ways. If Mubarak falls and Egypt becomes a democracy, the righties will try to take credit: "This all began with George Bush's program for democracy in the Middle East." If Mubarak falls and Egypt descends into chaos and/or theocracy, then the righties will blame Obama for abandoning an ally.

4 An absolute must-read: Dakinkat on corporate taxes.
...corporations here really don’t pay any where near the effective rate.

There are several reasons for this. First, many of them now set up real or pseudo headquarters in tax and off shore banking havens like the Bahamas or Qatar and place a lot of their operations out of the reach of the IRS. The second is the efficiency of lobbying efforts in getting them so many loopholes that most corporate revenues become exempt. Despite this, corporations use public services and create social costs. Social costs are those costs that the society gets to foot when corporations create problems they or their consumers can pass to the public. A big example is smoking that creates incredible public health issues or pollution. BP is definitely not taking care of the tab for its destruction down here and will most likely escape prosecution for costs the spill will continue to wreck on the environment, livings, and health of people and wildlife in the area. Meanwhile, as an oil business, they are the beneficiary of many, many tax loopholes and direct subsidies.
4. Free speech has limits. I saw this image on Covert History, which used to support Obama. Frankly, whoever created it should go to jail.

Why do Democratic presidents allow outright expressions of treason and incitement to violence? I think that this country would witness a marvelously instructive piece of political theater if, for example, a prominent advocate of secession faced legal charges. From the Constitution:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
Inciting secession and presidential assassination is certainly construable as offering adherence, aid and comfort to the enemies of our union.
I disagree that one should not be allowed to create images such as the one on Covert History, though I agree that it's disturbing and a horror that anyone would create such image of anyone, not just the president.

Kids know that "Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." I don't believe that there's one person I would assign the job to determine when an image is "treason". The U.S. Constitution has it right.
Scooter Libby & Darth Cheney qualify for outing Plame-- "aid & comfort"
Sean Hammity's little poll elicits a media yawn but let Joe Biden stick his foot and watch the uproar.

As to that ROPE image, I've seen this type of behavior before. A person clings to an ideology until some perceived wrong then does an about face becoming a bitter enemy. There is a least one web site who's owner started out attacking the Left then did that about face and now goes after Right Wing media hacks. There is probably a Latin name for it that the shrinks use.
Hope you aren't talking about me, Mr. Mike. I've attacked right-wing media hacks from day one -- and incidentally, "day one" long preceded the advent of Obama.
I visit Covert History periodically, and I didn't interpret the "Rope" image as being supported by the blog, or representing Gary's views, any more than the "photo of the day" that preceded it - "Homo Sex is a Threat to National Security"
After hearing about Grant Morrison's interest in the world of big business and magic it wouldn't surprise me much if Alan Moore's face showed up in similar circles too. "Google," a seeming nonsense word is prime sigil material. If you look up the origins it even follows a typical sigil creation process. I'm not suggesting that they did any of that with such an intention. However, unless I'm mistaken, in Morrison's favored approach to magic you don't have to know you're doing it it order for it to work, hence the power of brand logos and such.

I think Morrison even does consulting for businesses that want to use that to their advantage. If that's true I remain skeptical about his motivations. If I wanted to take the piss out of big businesses, charging them for magic consultations would be a hilarious way to do it.
The rightwing calls to cut the military budget are not surprising. Libertarians, whose crackpot theories heavily influence the TP, have long advocated closing all military bases abroad, withdrawing from NATO, etc., and simply thwarting any foreign aggression when it reaches our borders.

Of course, libertarians also advocate open borders....
Would it count as treason for a presidential candidate to secretly make a deal to sell weapons to a foreign government that was holding our citizens hostage, in exchange for continuing to hold those hostages until after the election?

How 'bout if a presidential candidate secretly undermined a peace conference by bribing the wife of a foreign president, just to help his chances in the election -- is that treason?

Just hypotheticals -- of course nothing like this has ever happened.
is a good alternate to "Google."
Just to be clear, I still support Obama, not in all things but in general, and was just passing on this disturbing image that I found on the internet.
Not you, Joe, this guy was one of the ones going after Bill Clinton then claiming he was blinded.
For criticizing Barack Obama to be the same as attacking the Left would mean he would have to be a real Democrat ... which he ain't.

But Barry and I do have one thing in common, a nostalgia for the Reagan years. I watch music videos and what-not from the '80s on You-tube. Back then Reagan sucked but we knew that there was a Bill Clinton in the wings.
Today we have no such luxury, we got Bush the Lesser then Reagan Redux.
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