04.24.2017

04.24.2017

Be careful out there.

 

The Capsizing of Damien Hirst
Presenting the artist as shipwreck

Hirst once possessed a similar ingenuity, having wrung a not-quite-full career out of three ideas he had in his twenties. The taxidermied sharks certainly snatch the most attention thanks to their evocation of primal fears—though they induce a frisson of unease more than sublime horror—as well as for drawing a rather obvious parallel with capital itself: like a shark, our economy must move continuously or else expire. As if to illustrate this connection, Hirst’s original tiger shark, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, was obtained for $8 million by hedge fund manager Steven Cohen in 2004, one of the highest prices paid for a piece of contemporary art at the time. Hirst’s two other primary brands are much easier to replicate. Since 1986 he has produced, with a great deal of help from assistants, over a thousand “spot paintings,” in which colorful dots are strung in rows, executed with machine-like precision, or “by a person trying to paint like a machine,” as he has noted. Hirst’s “spin paintings,” generated by pouring paint on a circular canvas that has been affixed to a rotating potter’s wheel (like a larger version of the spin art offered at elementary school fairs), are even easier to duplicate.

 

Why Do We Want a Cooperative Relationship With Russia?
What Time magazine doesn’t understand about the noninterventionist right
By GEORGE D. O’NEILL JR. • April 24, 2017

 

First Transgender President: Trump Becomes Hillary
FRED REED • APRIL 20, 2017 • 1,100 WORDS

 

Ready, Set, Splat.
By Jim Kunstler • April 24, 2017

Macron might serve the interests of the American Deep State, which is determined to drive a wedge between Europe and the Chinese-Russian-Iranian “silk road” economic bloc that would consolidate trade in the Eastern Hemisphere. The US wants “the West” to remain what it had been for seventy years: the dominant posse. Even if the underlying conditions remained the same, this might not be possible.

But those underlying conditions are changing, and in ways that much of the political maneuvering across the West cannot alter, or even comprehend, for instance, the inability of these mature industrial economies to grow anymore. That is largely a function of the end of affordable energy. Unfortunately, the absence of growth portends not stagnation but collapse as society fails to generate enough new wealth to pay its debts.

 

Saudi Arabia restores perks to state employees, boosting markets

 

Britain’s first coal-free day since Industrial Revolution
The country has its first full day without using coal to generate electricity since the 1800s in a “watershed moment” for energy

 

What we know so far about the Larry Page-backed ‘flying car’ coming later this year

 

The retail apocalypse is accelerating

Coal Powered Cars

04.07.2017

Salvation? (or is the New York Times just scrapping the bottom of the barrel for Utopian scams?)

To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year-Old

He and his team at the University of Texas at Austin filed a patent on a new kind of battery that, if it works as promised, would be so cheap, lightweight and safe that it would revolutionize electric cars and kill off petroleum-fueled vehicles. His announcement has caused a stir, in part, because Dr. Goodenough has done it before. In 1980, at age 57, he coinvented the lithium-ion battery that shrunk power into a tiny package.

Lithium-Ion Battery Inventor Introduces New Technology for Fast-Charging, Noncombustible Batteries
Feb. 28, 2017

Transportation?

Coal-Powered Cars

 

 

The Allure of the DC Streetcar
By NATHANIEL KOCH • April 4, 2017

Living Arrangements?

How Tourism Is Killing Venice
By LEWIS MCCRARY • April 3, 2017

Art?

Damien Hirst Is Back With an Underwater Fantasy. Will Collectors Care?

Treason?

Blackwater founder Erik Prince is the latest Trump cutout to parlay with Putin’s men

Armageddon?

The head of the world’s largest investor thinks the stock market is overvalued

“We don’t have the tax reform that we’re expecting,” Fink said. “If we don’t see a true deregulation, I think the markets would have some setbacks there.”

He added that the US economy was slowing down and would probably grow by less than 1.5%. “In fact, I think the first quarter, the US may be the slowest economy in the G-7,” he said.

“If you believe that it would be longer for these to transpire and we have an economy that is slower because of uncertainty, then I would say the market is, the US equity markets are probably higher than they should be,” Fink added.

The Trump Administration Goes Neocon-Crazy
THE SAKER • APRIL 5, 2017 • 2,100 WORDS

Air cover for the US forces in Syria imply either a tacit agreement with the Russians and the Syrians, something like what the Israelis apparently have, or an immense risk for the USAF and USN aircraft. So we are back to negotiating with the Russians and via the Russians, with the Syrians.

In fact, I bet you that this is what the Americans are doing right now. Quietly negotiating with the Russians. Problem: the Neocons hate Russia and everything Russian. And they loathe Putin.

Russia says their air defenses in Syria ‘guarantee the security’ of their airbases

Conspiracy with and Without Conspirators
KAREL VAN WOLFEREN • APRIL 5, 2017 • 3,600 WORDS

Bombs Away!
– JHK

Close your eyes, click your heels three times, and tell me if you actually know what the fuck is happening in Syria. There’s an awful lot about the poison gas attack that doesn’t add up for the casual observer. It was only a week ago that the US enunciated a new policy that we would be content for Bashar al Assad to remain in power presiding over the Syrian government — after years of grousing and threats against him. Apparently Trump Central had concluded that Assad was a better alternative than another failed state in the Middle East with no government at all.