Links 7/8/12

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Volunteers Stop Bulldozers from Burying Tortoises Alive Care2

Call for NIH research chimpanzees to be retired Nature (Lance)

Has ‘Organic’ Been Oversized? New York Times

Real-life Avatar: The first mind-controlled robot surrogate ExtremeTech

Racial bias colours visual perception Nature (Lance)

Does Twitter Like Me or Hate Me? Tim Duy

Syria crisis: Clinton lambasts China and Russia as Kofi Annan urges unity Guardian

Iran won’t crack Asia Times

Debt crisis: Spain poised for further spending cuts Telegraph

Doubts Emerge in Bloc’s Rescue Deal Wall Street Journal

Leaving the euro: A practical guide Roger Bootle. Late to this, which won the Wolfson Prize


Barclays urge Diamond not to take full £17million payoff Telegraph

The British, at Least, Are Getting Tough Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

A grotesque clash of politics and banking Telegraph

Heat turned up on global Libor probes Independent

Three years into recovery, just how much has state and local austerity hurt job growth? EPI (Mark Thoma)

Ohio Restaurant Owner Dies After Meeting Obama Clusterstock

Brawling Over Health Care Moves to Rules on Exchanges New York Times

The battle over the New York Public Library Guardian. This is terrible.

Noam Chomsky: ‘The Occupy movement just lit a spark’ – video Guardian (Lee S). Warning, I really had trouble hearing this, but what little I could glean sounded interesting.

Location, location, location: ATM Fee Disclosure Edition Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

Appeals Court Calls Bank’s Security “Commercially Unreasonable” ThreatPost

Antidote du jour:

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  1. bulfinch

    RE: the NYPL story — where even the sympathetic author of the story is careful to distance himself from the lowly antediluvian Luddites clinging to their musty tomes — I thought this snippet from a 1944 essay by TS Eliot on the matter of temporal pronvincialism somewhat fitting:

    “In our age, whem men seem more than ever prone to confuse widsom with knowledge, and knowledge with information, and try to solve problems of life in terms of engineering, there is coming into existence a new kind of provincialism which perhaps deserves a new name. It is a provincialsim, not of space, but of time; one for which history is merely the chronicle of human devices which have served their turn and been scrapped, one for which the world is the property soley of the living, a property in which the dead hold no shares. The menace of this kind of provincialism is, that we can all, all the peoples on the globe, be provincials together; and those who are not content to be provincials, can only become hermits.”

    God save the booklovers.


    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      b, thanks. The purpose of the Global Regime is to ELIMINATE our history, that lives still in printed, bound books–which even at the New York Public Library are “being removed to a safe location” off the premises–so that the PUBLIC will have no access to “contrarian” HARD RECORDS of the History of the Western World and of America in particular. This SYSTEMATIC removal of bound books written by GREAT critical minds, with the assistance of GREAT editors, published by GREAT publishing houses of the past can be nothing but a comprehensive conspiracy to make the People as ignorant, stupid, and docile as possible.

      Moreover, the ENFORCED use of “digital” hardware–which we must buy according to programs of “planned obsolescence” for short-term profits by “quick turnaround” makes us MONITORED SLAVES to the Reich System.

      It is inconceivable, to those who have been so fortunate as to LEARN our complex history from bound books by great thinkers and critics, that these two Fascist Movements together are not the results of 1% Reich conspiracy.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        And the “cashless society” programme now ready to be implemented in the First World comprehensively on the European Continent (see link to Wolfson Prize piece) is the Financial Realpolitik Triangulation of Movements to profit the Absolute Despotism of the .01% Reich and their .99% Agency du jour, in their conspiracy to impose their Extraction Totalitarianism upon the Earth.

    2. Garrett Pace

      I love that quote, thanks so much for it.

      I grew up in a home that had a sizeable number of books. As I progressed through adolescence I would periodically raid it for books that interested me, and try to read them. I still do it today, decades later.

      Digitization is a blessing, not a curse, for the dissemination of information. It should not be fought against, for there’s a lot of info many people won’t be able to get any other way. But when information takes up physical space in a home or library, there’s some powerful symbolic value to that. It’s a statement on the relevance of what’s in that book. As a kid I thought, these books must be marvelous because dad liked them enough to buy and read and keep them. Lots of them were.

      This just isn’t the case when information is passively digested via some digital media. Then, as Eliot says, it’s the device that matters, the device that is occupying the space, and that device will be discarded as the final phase of its planned obsolescence.

      I am going to keep a lot of books in my house for my boys.

    3. Garrett Pace

      Also, vis a vis the “comfy chairs and blueberry muffins” alluded to in the article, does anyone else get a spartan vibe, as if knowledge should be pursued, unencumbered by any concern as worldly as butt comfort and hunger satiation? As if such things are not appropriate to be considerations for public libraries, in case people come in who want muffins and comfy chairs?

      A peculiar attitude. Barbara Tuchman makes a statement about this in her terrific essay, “The Houses of Research”. It’s about the Public Records Office in London, not NY:

      “The chief disadvantage of the PRO is gastronomical: There is no place to eat a quick lunch in Chancery Lane (or there wasn’t when I was there last), and when absorbed in a pile of original papers one hates to waste time by going far afield for food. In these circumstances my solution is a small package of raisins and nuts which can be carried in one’s purse and eaten surreptitiously while working. Our National Archives in Washington, the American counterpart of the PRO, suffers from the same disadvantage, except for a cafeteria in the basement; and concerning all cafeterias in American government basements the only polite comment is silence. Maybe libraries and gastronomy do not mix, except, naturally, in Paris…”

      I understand this was written a generation ago so I’m sure things can have changed. But in general, if conditions are too spartan for Barbara freaking Tuchman, it is time to reassess.

      1. Mel

        You seem to have missed the part about “when absorbed in a pile of original papers”. The plan is to take away all the original papers and leave everybody with the chance for a nice snack.

        I put it down to the bad employment market. There are a ton, especially in the nerve centre, New York, of marketeers desparate for something to do. Weaselling into the NYPL may be the only chance for some of them. And what to do? People are flocking to Internet cafes, so transform the NYPL into an Internet cafe and people will flock to it, just as they do for all the others, all over town.

        Marketing as its own end will go insane, just as we’ve seen Finance as its own end do. People talk about niche markets, but nobody will settle for the second-largest niche. Specialization be damned.

        1. Garrett Pace

          No, I read the whole article. My point is that we shouldn’t make the “comfy chairs and blueberry muffins” to be symbolic of what is wrong about the NY public library effort. Creature comforts are a different issue entirely. What is wrong is the change in focus, removing wonderful books that haven’t even been digitized.

          My opinion: even if it becomes totally obsolete as it is (and it isn’t yet), I think it should be kept as is, only as a museum of how past generations approached learning. But muffins are okay with me.

          1. JTFaraday

            It’s not about the food or the Starbucks or the internet or the e-books.

            It is about the curators and the specialist research librarians, who cost more than the $30-40k you can get away with paying generalists. It is about how, if you can’t get access to Columbia or NYU, then whatever it is you want to look at is probably not something you should be looking at anyway.

            This basic, gutter meanness is where you see the fingerprints of the philistine consultants, McKinsey and Booz Allen, all over this thing.

            The fingerprints of the hedge fund and private equity narcissists are all over the overpriced architectural alteration of this landmark building and in selling off the art collections and the valuable rare books once you no longer have the staff that tends to them.

            Why? Because they piss wherever they want to– and because they’re already looking forward to the gala opening and the auctions at Christie’s.

          2. enouf

            I suppose i’m just waiting for the demise/demolition/destruction of such a lovely landmark — does anyone recall what the Original PENN STATION looked like-inside and out?! Most of the architectural elements, sculptures, etc were demolished (saved were the 22 gorgeous eagles). The Grand Concourse was something to behold, truly – check this slide show out;

            “Old Penn Station New York City with aerial & skyline views of Manhattan & Empire State Building etc”

            note the Uploader’s comments area; that’s basically how i think about it all.

            Naturally, MSG (no, not monosodium glutamate, but might as well be) had big $$$ behind the decision to impose such a disgraceful and disgusting venue that replaced the Old Penn.

            If this is the future of the NYPL, …. ugh


          3. enouf

            re: Old Penn Station;
            p.s. I’ve seen color/colorized versions of photos like those in that slideshow above — the black-n-white does no justice.


    4. Susan the other

      Thanks for TS Eliot’s paragraph. Sometimes I think he was a little too cloistered. Words travel through time. Not necessarily their medium. But still. The thing that bothers me is that, regardless of the technology, there is still a vast maintenance necessary, and expensive, to keep these words available to us, whether they are digital or analog (paper). That e-books are digitized by selection, some committee, is disconcerting because anything too controversial will be postponed or prevented. But for the most part, books e-available are a great convenience and should be done as fast as possible. It worries me that we are giving up a good library system, all across the country, for a digital system that requires hidden upkeep. Digital recordings kept in big clouds or memory warehouses are as fragile as words kept in books in stacks. Prone to the same oxidation, magnetic anomalies, sun spots, or accidental eradication equivalent to a fire. Clearly it is a ruse to say they are replacing the old system with “people” because they are obviously eliminating people. So that part is just annoying and sows the seeds of doubt for the whole project.

      1. bulfinch

        The material is ultimately more important than the medium — however, in the aftermath of a Doomsday/Zombie Apocolypse or otherwise ultimate nightmare scenario, you will have a much better chance at retrieving information from a book or film strip or even a record — in the case of the latter, you could, in a pinch, construct a crude device for audio playback. Firing up a Kindle or retrieving something from the cloud, however, might not be an option.

        Extreme scenario? Perhaps. Legitimate observation? I think so.

      2. Mel

        Vernor Vinge parodied the digitization thing in _Rainbow’s End_. At least I think it was a parody. Interesting book, btw.

  2. psychohistorian

    The robot avatar link was interesting until the end where the author said he dreamed of engaging in robot vs. robot deathmatches.

    Another example of a neutral technology that can be abused for hate or other vile behavior.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “neutral technology”? – tech designed to destroy “humanity” in humans, this is its purpose.

    2. K Ackermann

      That’s because he couldn’t say robot vs. human deathmatches, but you know they are drooling for it.

      Wait until somebody figures out they can strap an explosive vest on one.

  3. financial matters

    Heat turned up on global Libor probes Independent

    “”Across the world, the scandal has led to outrage and calls for more transparency in the way Libor is arranged. This is despite the fact that, at the moment, banks are barely using the rate. The huge influx of lending from central banks, from the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve to the Bank of China, have flooded the markets with cash, making interbank lending fairly irrelevant.””

    This paragraph is interesting in 2 ways. First it misses the point that interbank lending is not the issue but its the fact that the Libor is embedded in trillions of dollars of derivative contracts.

    Second is that the central banks are flooding the banks with cash. Why pour money into these black holes when sovereigns could be funding their populaces with cash for productive endeavors and helpful social safety nets.

    1. hermanas

      ” Why pour money …” Why indeed?
      Someone’s got “some ‘splaining to do.”
      “…behavior not criminal”?

    2. Lambert Strether

      Why? Because the powers that be don’t care whether the populace engages in productive activities, or not, or whether they have a safety net, or not. After all, they’re just animals….

  4. Ned Ludd

    I started shopping at a local co-op in the early 1990’s. Back then, organic food was often grown on small farms and usually produced by small companies that focused on quality. Now, most organic food is garbage. It tastes terrible and is full of highly processed ingredients.

    Honest Tea, which recently became a wholly owned subsidiary of Coca-Cola, now flavors their teas with ingredients like blueberry powder (“organic” blueberry powder) and lemon oil. There is a big difference in quality between a drink made with blueberry powder and a drink made with blueberry juice. And lemon oil tastes nasty. My family used to drink their teas all the time, but they ended up staying on the refrigerator shelf longer and longer because nobody liked the flavor anymore.

    There is no longer a correlation between “organic” and quality.

    My local co-op has grown considerably. It is probably ten times larger, in terms of floor space, than is was 20 years ago. But it’s gotten harder to find quality food there. I talked to a staff member who told me that, now, all the managers care about is how much they sell. The entire culture has changed. In the 1990’s, each co-operative was unique and reflected the local community. They were fun to visit. Members volunteered at the stores and were well-informed and political. Membership pamphlets promoted co-operative economics and economic democracy. Today, most co-ops simply sell a slightly different mix of products from national corporations, exploiting brands that long ago ceased to exist as independent businesses.

    1. William C


      You will presumably not get the Tablet (UK magazine, Catholic but quality) so will not yet be aware that Paul Moore (former HBOS risk officer and badly treated when he tried to rein them in) is trying to launch something called the New Wilberforce Alliance – alluding to William Wilberforce the anti-slavery campaigner. This is in an article in this week’s edition.

      The purpose of the alliance is a broad moral campaign – not just for Catholics – but partly, obviously to address ‘the problem of banks and bankers’ (his words). He is hoping to recruit big names in the UK. It will be interesting to see how he gets on. I think I will contact him but I thought you would like to know about this as I think you might look to at least some degree favourably on what he is trying to do.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Very Old School. No real “break-out” possible, and “Wilberforce” tag is the tell.

    2. Capo Regime

      Ned. Indeed. I worked at the first whole foods on lamar and 12th in Austin some 35 years ago. Indeed things have changed. Should have bought the stock though when is was first made public……Ah youth…

    3. Goin' South

      The NYT article and your comment demonstrate that words like “organic” and “coop” mean nothing in and of themselves.

      If we want to know how our food is grown, best to do it ourselves, in concert with our neighbors or, if we must buy it, to purchase it from people we know whose operations we can physically visit. Local, local, local.

      You can only count on attempts at regulation of “organic” to fail because Capitalist money will always be able to buy “representatives” and regulators in our kind of system.

      As for coops, they provide a democratic vehicle that can serve us well, but our personal involvement is necessary. Bank at a credit union instead of a bank? Great. But if you don’t go to your CU’s annual meeting, better yet, run for the board, then don’t be surprised if the CU ends up being run just like a for-profit bank. The same thing with food coops.

      And while personal participation is great, it’s really the minimum. Those of us who care about these kinds of institutions must also be busy organizing others to go to the meetings, run for the boards, etc.

      Everything in our culture pushes us in the direction of passivity: do-what-we’re-told wage slaves at work and manipulated, glazed-eyes consumers the rest of the time. There are always “management experts” and “consultants” happy to take over and destroy potentially democratic institutions like coops.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        The Model for .01% Global Reich “regime change” aptly described in “The Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins. But before that the U.S. Military co-opted corrupt “local” partners in tyranny for Anglo-American BigCorpPoliticalEconomy in:

        Guatemala, China (Standard Oil/Esso), Cuba, Haiti (eternal destruction of the First Black Free State of the EuroColonial Era), Middle East, Europe (2X going on 3), Japan, Indochina, India (Raj), China (genocide, abortion, slavery), etc. ABROAD, and NOW in the Homeland. Fooled us, didn’t they? Did We the People of the U.S. suppose we would NOT become the Moveable Feast of the Global .01% Reich? See How It Worked initially from John Coleman on YouTube.

        Old Leviathan consumes the Earth Entire.

      2. Ned Ludd

        I have found that there is a big difference between the culture at worker-owned co-ops and consumer-owned co-ops. I was a member-owner of a worker co-op a long time ago. Working alongside other members – in a store that we owned – created a natural community. We socialized during our shifts and talked about politics, food, and the co-op. We all knew what was going on with the store because we all worked there. We kept each other educated. It was easy to brainstorm ideas for the store and to bring up any concerns. It felt very democratic.

        In contrast, my experience volunteering at a consumer co-op – back when they still had volunteer programs – was a different experience. For the staff, it was just a job, like working at Starbucks. As a volunteer, I was free labor to do the menial tasks the staff didn’t want to do. I didn’t know any of the other member-owners. Consumer co-ops allow you to vote at annual meetings, but the culture doesn’t create a democratic community. It’s not designed to create community. It’s designed to sell stuff and return any profits as dividends to the members. In practice, it functions a lot like a small business.

        Unfortunately, worker co-operatives are hard to sustain because, in our society, work is something you do for yourself, not for a community. Work is expected to lead to personal wealth, individual achievement, and career advancement. It is hard to convince people to make a sustained commitment to working to build a community. As more people joined worker co-ops, they often voted to transform them into consumer co-ops because it just seemed easier to make a one-time monetary investment instead of working a few hours every other week to keep the community alive.

    1. JTFaraday

      “Many of the librarians with whom I spoke… had signed “Separation Incentive Program” agreements that offered small payments in exchange for agreeing, among other things, not to “disparage or encourage or induce others to disparage” the library. This is why so many former staff members mentioned in this article are cited off the record.”

      Just waiting for some journalist in order to speak “off the record,” LOL.

      “No former staff member said to me, “The administration doesn’t care about books.” Rather, they said, “The administration doesn’t care about research.””

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        “Be mouth for the System or be fired.” Works very well in “hard times.”

  5. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Link: “Leaving the euro” (Wolfson Prize) – right, it’s old news, and seemed good point of departure, but it is “too tight” for fluid spontaneity of political process in the New “Vital” Economy. And its KEY PURPOSE is to impose the “cashless society” on the Continent, which is as top-down programmatic as the mind-set of the author and backers of the Prize piece that is already “so yesterday.” Surely this piece is the Herald to the entire world that the top-down decision to impose the “cashless society” in every corner of the Earth is definitive, and that it shall be “tried comprehensively” in the First World on the European Continent, come what may. This piece tries to be C.21 New Economics by dint of C.21 technology and financial realpolitik within the same Old Economics “way of thinking.” Who can make the necessary leap into C.21?

    The comprehensive intellectual/imaginative throughput of Douglas Hofstadter (“Godel, Escher, Bach;” and “Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies;” and “Le Ton Beau de Marot”)–in light of the practical implications of the Higgs Boson discovery–is desirable for the more JUST (from .01% to 99%) resolution of the C.20 mind-set problem: via the C.21 dynamic thrust of such actions as:

    Kaletsky/Das Euro Finesse + Keen’s Debt Jubilee + Hudson’s Just Economics Globally for the BIG RE-SET good for all participants.

    1. K Ackermann

      Hofstadter’s GEB is a brilliant book, but wrong about AI.

      His “book” of Einstein’s brain was a clever thought experiment, but it never did say how the book would open itself or read itself.

      Godel is on solid ground, and Turing found the same thing. Some things just can’t be decided algorithmically.

  6. ambrit

    The “Iran won’t crack” post was on the money, so to speak. Especially the last part where the author suggested that the Washington strategy could well hasten the demise of the Dollar as the worlds’ reserve currency. The Neocons have consistently shown themselves to be the evangelists of a failed ideology. “Shock and Awe” has generally been a self defeating strategy in the long run. The only effective use of the doctrine I can think of was at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Imagine that happening in the Middle East. Looking at the silver lining; rebuilding our battered globe after that will be the greatest Public Works Program in the history of the species.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      ambrit, thanks. The petro-dollar is the war-dollar, and the “Anglo-American” FIX for TopDog Currency is in grave jeopardy. But, hey, the Shard in London brings hopium, doesn’t it? They have burned their dream down to the bottom of the pipe. I guess the “free, democratic, stable” Afghanistan will provide.

      Ain’t no War Empire when the oil runs out. Tesla has the last laugh.

      They do kill the “corrupt” in China, don’t they? Morgan meets the Man.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Americans will see the light when “peak oil” from shale Extraction Capitalists move to the City’s swell digs in Hong Kong to bring “economic development” to the Chinese, while turning most of U.S. soil into the ruined earth, water, and air of Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska. It is now WE who have become the “Moveable Feast” of the .01% Reich and their .99% Agency du jour.

        Eliot’s “The Wasteland” beyond even his imagination, as he sold bonds in London, and had Ezra Pound for an editor.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Edit: “when peak oil from shale is extracted, and Extraction Capitalists”

    2. ambrit

      LBR, you inspired me to one of my more despicable puns, to wit, Americas “Fraktional” Reserve Policy. (Hint: It stinks.)
      On another front, so to speak yet again, did anyone notice the deployment of the National Guard attack units to “somewhere in the Middle East” going on? Two weeks ago, roughly, the Times Picayune had a big send of piece for the Loiusiana National Air Guard unit from N O to ‘parts East of Suez’ for the stated term of three months or so. This unit went with all of its F-15’s, a primary offensive strike aircraft. They often team up with the ‘Stealth Fighters’ to soften up targets in the beginnings of major offensive operations. This particular unit has been involved in various ‘assaults’ in the past. Moving such a unit, with all its’ support elements is no small matter.
      Alas, “Shock and Awe” still lives in the hearts of Imperialists everywhere.
      What worries me is, what are the Chinese and Russians going to do when it happens? This could well turn into a close replay of the ‘Indochina Adventure.’ They never learn.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        The TP tribe of Comus and the Boston Club is the .99% Reich Agency in NOLA.

        1. ambrit

          Dear LBR;
          Yeah you rite cher!
          Seriously though, hasn’t the TP been bought by some venture capitalist outfit from Baltimore or somewhere?
          As for the Patriot angle, (.99% Reich Enablers Club,) the article was an almost over the top Super Patriot fawning, “Bless You Boys (and Girls)” paean to militarism. I’d love to see what the Levee would have made of it all. (All the News that’s fit to be held back.) We need more scurrilous muckraking journals. Oh, wait, just where do I think I am at this very moment? Silly boy.

          1. sleepy

            Remember the old States-Item? Actually endorsed McGovern back in 72. It was a pretty decent muckraker at least by current standards.

      2. neo-realist

        The deployment of that National Air Guard unit may be nothing more than the usual exercises to show strength or just being prepared for worst case scenarios. I don’t think the Obama administration nor its global corporate/military industrial interests are looking for any kind of conflict if they can help it.

        1. ambrit

          Dear neo-realist;
          Someone else I know who actually worked at the Pentagon says the same thing. All part of our “forward basing strategy.’ Seems Saddam Hussein caught us by surprise once and could have taken the entire Arabian Peninsula if he had sent his units down the coast a bit and taken the water desalinization plants. Water is the key to Arabia, not oil, is his assertion. Sounds right to me upon sober reflection. We do now have tons of materiel stockpiled on that sandy piece of ground. Blood for oil seems to be the equation.

  7. SR6719

    (Note: this off topic comment can be filed under “weird stuff”)

    Joseph Beuys and the Baader-Meinhof Gang

    Joseph Beuys was one of the most influential artists in post-war Germany. A decorated ex-serviceman who dreamed of becoming an artist and ended up in politics, Beuys became the object of a cult following, sometimes speaking to the faithful for hours on end.

    Women adored him, always in his gray uniform, and his image was plastered everywhere. He had a personal myth to rival any Wagnerian hero’s. Shot down as a young Luftwaffe pilot over the Russian Steppes, he claimed to have been saved by a friendly tribe of Tartars who covered his burnt body in fat and wrapped him in layers of felt.

    Thus fat and felt became symbol-laden materials in his art: Installations, performances, objects produced in multiple revelled in these drab, sinister substances, his trademarks.

    In the summer of 1972, the Rote Armee Fraktion (Red Army Faction) commonly known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, was being hunted throughout Germany. The RAF described itself as a communist and anti-imperialist group engaged in armed resistance against what they considered to be a fascist state.

    At that time the Documenta de Kassel was the most important exhibition of contemporary art in the world and in June 1972 Joseph Beuys had displayed the following message at the entrance of the Documenta V exhibit:

    “Dürer, ich führe persönlich Baader + Meinhof durch die documenta V”.

    (“Dürer, I’ll personally guide Baader and Meinhof through Documenta V”)

    More specifically, disguising himself as Albrecht Dürer (one of Germany’s greatest artists during the Renaissance), Beuys was offering Baader and Meinhof a personal guided tour through the art exhibit.

    And as they toured the exhibit, he wanted them to wear shoes made of felt with fat and rose sticks inside, specially designed for the occasion by Beuys himself.

    By extending this gesture to Baader and Meinhof, Beuys hoped to transmute their revolutionary energy into a non-violent force that could be used to benefit the whole of society.

    And the beauty of it is that he was completely sincere, no matter how deranged.

    Of course, Baader and Meinhof never showed up. On the one hand, they would have regarded contemporary art as a sign of bourgeois decomposition; on the other hand, they must have feared a trap by the police, and this was entirely possible, as the Documenta did not enjoy any special status.

    But in the state of delirium he was in at that time, Beuys had probably not given a single thought to the police.

    1. just me

      Delirium or grace?

      What a great story! It seems to me that Occupy’s built-in potential fail is its identification as 99% vs 1%. We’re all in this together, and the Constitution we so desperately need to restore is based on the premise of We the People, all created and treated equally. I don’t know what Beuys saw in the RAF, but maybe it was just that they were targets, like he once was when strangers saved his life. We all need to save each other’s lives, the way I see it, and the task at hand is to restore flow and connection.

        1. Susan the other

          Of recent note is the difference in official German sanction of the neo-nazis v. Baader-Meinhof. Still at this late hour, there is a lot of sympathy in Germany for Nazism, now beome racism.

  8. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Link: “Grotesque clash” Telegraph – all propaganda all the time; the site is but a platform for Jaguar ads of various kinds.

  9. LucyLulu wants a seal!

    Antidote is awesome! Best video I’ve seen this year.

    Attention all men: Some of you, and you know who you are, could take lessons on how to romance a woman from that seal.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      LL, you consider a MAN WITHOUT SPEECH, hands, and mind desirable?

      No wonder you don’t care about corruption of language.

      1. ambrit

        Dear LBR;
        Have you seen the, *ahem*, quality of the eligible men available lately? It’s taken my wife, (and, yes, I do still use the possessive tense,) half a lifetime to partially domesticate me. She still despairs when in an introspective mood. The reciprocity of affection is rare enough without imposing species specific limits. (No, I’m not advocating that!) Where does it say that Agape is a purely human experience?

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          ambrit, still true that “good men” are hard to find. The dominant examples of fraud, hyper-militarism, war for profit, the systematic ruin of humanity, the destruction of liberal (critical) education, TVBS, and “Hookers and Blow for Winners” have helped to create the world we live in. Men are just as much victims as women are.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Besides, the Antidote is for PUNNING: Seal: French “Phoque” sounds:”F%ck.

          2. ambrit

            Dear LBR;
            Mon Deiu! Where else but the home of Quelle Surprise would such a multilingual pun reside anyway. I feel, so, so, gauche!

    2. JTFaraday

      Don’t get too excited about it.

      Just because a seal snuggles up to you doesn’t mean he’s in love with you– could be he just wants to see if you have fish in your pockets.

      Haven’t you ever been to Sea World?

      1. JTFaraday

        Ah hah! There it is– did you catch that? At 2:35 he was looking around for other fish.

      2. SR6719

        JTFaraday: “Just because a seal snuggles up to you doesn’t mean he’s in love with you”

        According to Proust, it depends on the seal’s age. If this is an older seal then even if he is not in love with the woman, if he has the feeling that he possesses her heart, this may be enough to make him fall in love with her.

        (“Autrefois on rêvait de posséder le cœur de la femme dont on était amoureux; plus tard sentir qu’on possède le cœur d’une femme peut suffire à vous en rendre amoureux.” – Marcel Proust)

    3. old.frt

      Very bad to show this without cautioning viewers that not all wild animals naturally “make nice” with human animals.

      In fact, not a few non-humans have been in the news–and listed on this website earlier–showing extreme hostility to their erstwhile “friends.”

      Maybe I am wrong but this smacks of Walt Disney more than anything else.

    4. craazyman

      Nah, the seal’s just a fat dude getting the cutesy treatment from a nice girl who’s amusing herself getting her feet kissed in public.

      It happens all the time at the Tiki Bar. But then nothing happens. No hot tub liason. No hotel room extravaganza. That seal couldn’t make it past the concierge.

      If you want to see a real pro make the sale, this is it:

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        c, the vain “mark” was born yesterday. Never was there such an easy lay.

  10. Kim Kaufman

    “Call for NIH research chimpanzees to be retired (Nature)”

    Presumably they have a comfy pension plan.

    1. LucyLulu wants a seal!

      Chimp Haven in Louisiana, using federal funds, pays for:

      All food expenses, provides daily nutritious prepared meals
      All housing and related expenses
      All necessary medical care

      Beats the heck out of my pension plan.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Tulane’s “Ape” center in Covington has been working the Military Industrial BioMed rackets for a long, long, long time, with Dr. Ochsner’s legacy in tow.

        1. ambrit

          We used to live in Covington, LA. The Tulane Primate Center has always had occasional ‘releases’ of monkeys. I remember one of the men I worked with relating the tale of T.U. operatives trying to catch monkeys roosting in some big Oak trees down by the Tchefuncta River early one morning. Driving by you see some of the larger primates sitting out in their admittedly large cages, looking bored and restless.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Surely Jesse knows that Stalin was well-kept by Allied/Axis .01% to perform massive genocide, n’est-ce pas? This is why Jesse is either in chains or in step.

  11. just me

    God bless the turtle rescuers!

    As a volunteer, I got notice from them that a 38 acre site in Vero Beach was under construction. Unfortunately, this land was the home to dozens of the endangered gopher tortoises. A controversial state law in Florida allows developers to pay into a land management program, and then plow over gopher tortoise burrows condemning the tortoises inside to a slow death.

    Reminds me of what Chris Hedges said at NatGat, that when you live in a world that corporations create, they commodify everything.
    When societies lose the capacity for the sacred, when everything has a monetary value and nothing has an intrinsic value, then you exploit those commodities until exhaustion or collapse. And that is why the environmental crisis is intimately twinned with the economic crisis.

    The church of greed is a drive-through.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A boson-joke is very elusive, but not as elusive as Miss Higgs’ bosom.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Taxing Americans’ brains?

        Does the professor’s health plan probably cover brain augmentation with silicone brain implant? Some people say women think big brains are sexy.

          1. JTFaraday

            Okay, but don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

            We’ll see how much he sniffs around once he knows you’re all out of fish.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Mind-controlled robot bankers – that shouldn’t be far behind.

    This time, I will really be able to make money from a beach on some Pacific island.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Three years into recovery, just how much has zero percent interest hurt senior spending and thus job growth?

    Just how much has artificial propping up of housing prevented new money from coming in, as they sit on the sideline seeking higher yields, and thus job growth?

  14. LeonovaBalletRusse

    YVES, is Swiss-American convergence @1.2O in progress? No “Armageddon?”

    See “It Ain’t Priced In” by Bruce Krasting.

  15. rjs

    re: Ohio Restaurant Owner Dies After Meeting Obama

    local TV coverage blames her death on being hassled by the secret service…

    1. bob

      It sounds like the “local TV coverage” sat down in front of their computer and logged onto twitter to figure out what happened. That’s some serious investigative reporting.

      On one hand, the town probably wouldn’t be any worse without “local TV coverage”. On the other, things might get better if people started to leave the office and INVESTIGATE. Start small, pick up a telephone…

  16. Hugh

    The how to guide for leaving the euro violates my common sense paradox. That is if European elites had the sense (and honesty) to follow its roadmap, they would never have created the eurozone the way they did, necessitating such a plan.

    It assumes that all players are basically honest and competent, that there are no kleptocrats, banksters, or corrupt political elites. In that sense, it is profoundly neoclassical in its outlook, because it presupposes rational, interchangeable actors pursuing their natural self-interest, in other words facts not in evidence.

  17. Valissa

    Barney Frank Weds Jim Ready

    Although I am not a fan of Barney Frank as a politician, the picture of Barney walking down the isle with his honey is verysweet. I congratulate him on his marriage to Jim Ready and their historic accomplishment.

    Mr. Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, became, in 1987, the first sitting member of Congress to volunteer that he was gay. He is now the first to be married to a partner of the same sex. Both bridegrooms said they recognized the historical significance of the ceremony, which lasted less than five minutes. Gov. Patrick told the guests that Mr. Frank had requested that the service “be short and to the point.”

  18. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Ingmar Bergman’s “The Magic Flute” (Copyright Sveriges Radio AB 1975):
    Janus Films – DVD The Criterion Collection
    Cat. no. MAG 100 ISBN 0-78002-308-0

  19. Hugh

    Re the New York Public Library story, it got me to thinking about how often nowadays our reliance on university certified professionals leads to decision making that is just divorced from reality.

    Kleptocracy is in a lot of ways an elite disease, the product of diseased elites. What I am getting at here is that you have the leadership of one of the premier libraries in the country and they don’t know what a research library is or how research is conducted. I don’t know which is more incredible, that something like this happens or that it has become so common.

    Look at almost any subject area or discipline: economics, finance, the law, medicine, education, political science, foreign affairs. All of them impact people like us, but the elites who dominate and are gatekeepers for them act as if they don’t know the basics about their fields. The mission of their disciplines is not just lost. It is actively worked against.

    Someone with broader experience and knowledge would be more likely to see the big picture, see what was done through the lens of the discipline’s mission and be less likely to foster such fundamental contradictions. And this individual is precisely the kind that our system for university certification of professionals does not create and does not train. Elites like things compartmentalized and elite certified because it keeps them in charge. As we can see in so many areas, this approach doesn’t work for our benefit, the benefit of the 99%, but it sure does for them. And that is the tie-in with kleptocracy because that same dynamic of elites seeking gain and control no matter how insane the result is the same. It is why we need to do away with the whole idea of elites. We need expert knowledge to run our society, but more than that knowledge informed by broader experience. What we do not need is the system of hereditary privilege and rents that elites demand and then use to subvert our civil society.

  20. SR6719

    “The first time it was reported that our friends were being butchered there was a cry of horror. Then a hundred were butchered. But when a thousand were butchered and there was no end to the butchery, a blanket of silence spread.
    When evil-doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out “stop!”

    When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible. When sufferings become unendurable the cries are no longer heard. The cries, too, fall like rain in summer.”

    All the gang of those who rule us
    Hope our quarrels never stop
    Helping them to split and fool us
    So they can remain on top.”

    – Bertolt Brecht, Selected Poems

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