The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Divided Societies in Decline Use Scapegoats to Re-Unify

Chinese and American flags flying together.

A while back, Haydar Khan wrote an excellent article on American economic and technological decline, focusing on the diagnosis and differing solutions offered by economist James Galbraith and by Peter Thiel (the founder of Palantir, who made his initial fortune with PayPal and who is famous for his libertarianism, despite running a surveillance company).

The US is riven by divisions, split into two factions, who mutually hate, fear, and distrust each other. It has been in relative economic decline since the 70s, and this decline shows up in productivity statistics and in other ways like corruption and inequality. China is now, by some measures, the larger economy, and still growing faster than the US. While still somewhat behind technologically, in some areas, like 5G wireless, China is ahead.

So how does one fix this decline? We’ll skip Galbraith’s plan and move to Thiel’s.

Khan thinks that Thiel’s solution is more likely to work, because unlike Galbraith, Thiel has found scapegoats: The PC Left, parts of Silicon Valley (Google in particular), and China.

This is a standard policy. When a country is cracking up with internal divisions, it is common to find enemies to focus on. The German Nazis found socialists, Jews, and other “mongrel” races like Gypsies (whom everyone seems to forget), and the nations who had taken what they saw as German land, in particular France, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.

Obviously, any country that is “great” can’t “fail” and if it does, it must be because of “traitors and enemies.”

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The pivot against China began with Obama, ramped up with Trump, and despite some fears among China hawks, seems likely to continue under Biden. The PC left includes all the usual scapegoats, people who violate “purity” ethics: transsexuals, gays, blacks, and so on. The people the US and, indeed, many nations, love to beat down. Its core includes a LOT of Jews. These are groups many people live to hate and hurt.

As for Silicon Valley, it’s a neat trick for Thiel to pretend he doesn’t belong, but also it’s smart: He’s picking a part of Silicon Valley (his enemies) to be taken out, hoping to avoid the backlash himself. Silicon Valley isn’t loved, everyone believes that tech companies took and take away the good jobs, leaving people driving cars for Uber and doing odd jobs for Task Rabbit, and so on. There’s no dignity to these jobs, and definitely no money to speak of.

The political classes have bought in, big time, to the China part of this pivot, and there is a lot of hatred among both Democrats and Republicans of big tech, though more Facebook than Google. The PC left is a harder question; the liberal core of the Democratic party loves PC politics because they treat it as weaponized tokenism. It doesn’t matter how blacks are doing, what matters is that a black man was President. It doesn’t matter how women are doing, what matters is that a woman is going to be vice-President. Liberals want the glass ceiling shattered for minorities and women, not for the majority of minorities to have a good income and good health care, say. Plus, PC politics is easy weaponized against the Left: claim someone is racist, sexist, or anti-semitic (or is 30-years old and dares to date a 20-year old) and by the time it’s shown they aren’t, they’ve already lost.

Still, there’s a deep contempt in the liberal class whenever identity politics are taken truly seriously. Joe Biden may make noises about Black Lives Matter, but his plan is to give the police more money, after all. He doesn’t actually believe in it.

Thiel’s trying to package up all his personal hatreds and enemies into one bundle and get them chosen as the scapegoats. This may or may not work, but that’s what he’s doing. The problem is that, even if he doesn’t get everyone he wants in, the basic strategy is working. The US is moving towards a cold, and perhaps hot war with the rising superpower and the last superpower (China and Russia, respectively). At home, passions are hot and, at some point, some groups are going to be chosen as the “bad Americans.” The traitors. Some part of the elite (a small part) will be thrown to the dogs and so will many of the powerless.

This doesn’t happen in all great powers in decline, to be sure. But it’s a common play, and it has powerful people other than Thiel pushing it. They see US decline and its disunity, and they are looking for a way to turn the decline around or at least distract Americans from the actual authors of the decline (that would be people like Thiel) towards scapegoats.

Given how angry the American people are, this seems like a good odds bet. It’s not a sure thing, but it’s one of the high probability outcomes, especially with regards to China.

If you’re in one of these groups, or if you have ties to China or Russia or countries which will fall into the Chinese bloc, you should be keeping a very careful eye on how this develops. These are people who don’t blink at mass casualties to keep their power and wealth, and they won’t blink if you become a statistic.




Know Your Enemies


The Flynn Pardon Is The Right Thing To Do + Mishandling Russia


  1. Chiron

    Hot war with China and Russia isn’t happening, event Ray Dalio said that time is on China side. In the next 10 to 30 years (2030 to 2050) we’re going to see bug changes in the world.

  2. Of the 14 defining characteristics of Fascism, #3 is Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

  3. The J

    A hot war with China is possible but unlikely. Over the past two decades China\’s military build-up was primarely aimed at creating parity or superiority when it comes to fighting the US in what China regards as her own turf or backyard (f.e. South Chinese Sea). And this is reflected in the war games the US are doing where they repeatedly get their ass handed because their virtual carriers and other hardware are sunk/destroyed within the first few hours of the simulation. Knowing that they won\’t be able to win a conventional war and that a nuclear war will bring total mutual destruction, I believe it is very unlikely for the US to risk an actual hot war.

    A cold war between the US and China is already in progress and is bound to get more intense. But as Chiron pointed out, an increasing number of the elite realise that the ship for the US has sailed. They continue to fiddle while Rome burns. Meanwhile, China is on track to overtake the US on multiple fronts.

    Knowing many people from the Chinese middle class, I was curious for their take on the whole situation. Contrary to what Trump tells his people, the Chinese love him and want him to stay president. Because in their eyes he is speeding up America\’s decline. One term I often hear them say is that the situation in America looks like \”the end of a dynasty\”. In its long history China went through a lot of cycles where dynasties emerged, peaked and declined. The Chinese know from experience the signs of downfall: Greedy elites who are unwilling to cooperate, a hollowed out economy, riots, …

    Another thing I often hear now when talking to people from the Chinese middle class: Until a few years ago, it was the dream of many to go to the US to study or work and live the \”American dream\”. Those who made it raised quite some envy among their peers who had to stay in China. Now the same people are telling me that they are looking for a way out because the situation in the motherland is looking so much more stable and promising. You know that things for the US don\’t look so rosy when Chinese expats suddely realise that living in China is the better option.

  4. someofparts

    “The connections Thiel makes between economics and other factors are astute, as are the connections that Galbraith makes. But as they stand, neither position is likely to make headway by itself. … It begins to look as though the way out of our national impasse lies in … a synthesis that takes the best of both positions and provides a way forward for the U.S.”

    It sounds like Kahn thinks the plans promoted by Galbraith and Thiel will both fail for different reasons. Maybe the nightmarish Josh Hawley presidency that follows Biden will give way to a landslide victory for AOC in the ensuing elections … or not.

    If the socialists want to push a cultural narrative it should glorify people like Jonas Salk and demonize people like Paul Singer.

    “you should be keeping a very careful eye on how this develops. These are people who don’t blink at mass casualties to keep their power and wealth, and they won’t blink if you become a statistic.”

    ‘Keeping a careful eye on how this develops’ would be a good name for a website. But it’s good advice that I plan to take. Showing up here and listening to Ian is part of that process.

  5. Plague Species

    Nothing unifies more than war. Look for Syria (Republicans have always clamored for this and Blinken believes you should never concede a red line) to be stoked and escalated and look for Biden’s own unique intervention project on top of that.

    Perhaps CNN (CIA News Network) is telegraphing it with its recent out-of-place and out-of-nowhere coverage of Nigerian protesters being shot as if we give a shit at this point and time about Nigerian protesters being shot.

    China is making considerable inroads in China so it stands to reason Africom needs to be shored up and beefed up to provide a check on China’s expansion. As the pandemic rages in America and throngs of Americans are dropping like flies and are forced into poverty and immiseration, the professional class and the wealthy elite they serve will wholeheartedly support Biden’s answer to it all with a much more combative military presence in Africa under the aegis of Humanitarianism.

    These creatures are scum incarnate. god and hell are for the rubes — they, the professional class and the wealthy elite know there is no god and hell but instead only the here and now and their goal is to exploit the here and now for all it’s worth and they’re willing do whatever it takes, no matter how immoral and in fact the more immoral the better, to derive maximum benefit during their short here and now temporal tenure.

  6. Joan

    The “gypsy”/Romani as a demographic are one of the most anti-LGBT out there. Same with the conservative Muslims that end up as refugees and immigrants. I’m more a fan of the US not bombing the Middle East so people can stay where they are and not go on the move. In cases where people desperately need refugee status and it is granted, the fact that these demographics are aggressively anti-LGBT seems to be overlooked.

  7. bruce wilder

    The Haydar Khan article is remarkable for its clarity on a topic of such breadth.

    May I say, Toynbee was wrong: civilizations are organic. The failure to recognize that and force the necessary reconciliation with the concept of will sows confusion. It may all be too much to comprehend, from the personal perspective of a relatively short life-span, to see the organic whole of which any of us are a (mostly passive) part. The temptation to try to sum the course of civilization in a glib narrative arc highlighting political conflict events and the doings of leaders is overwhelming.

    Credit to Galbraith and Thiel for at least acknowledging the resource limits as a factor, though it would be hard, I suppose, to ignore them entirely in our era past peak oil and on our way to climate change apocalypse.

    I question how “real” is “America is riven by divisions, split into two factions, who mutually hate, fear and distrust each other.” This division, it seems to me, is more manufactured and handed down from above than emergent from below. The so-called “Left” with its idPol obsessions and incessant mirroring of the corruption of its caricatured version of the Right still feels artificial and superficial to me, despite the absurdity of the record turnout of the 2020 election.

    Imagining either Thiel’s choice or Galbraith’s choice merely highlights how little choice the masses of an organic America have been left by a rapacious oligarchy and its predatory minions among the PMC. We are individually adapting in decentralized fashion to circumstance and it is driving the whole off a cliff. That is the tragedy of civilization — it has no brain of its own, no inherent capacity for intelligent executive decision-making to overcome the inertia of a billion individual choices all adding up to collective catastrophe.

    In another essay, Ian mentioned Milton Friedman, a prophet of an idiotic philosophy that denied this basic paradox of political economy: claiming against all reason and evidence that what emerges “naturally” from the decentralized “market” economy is optimal. This was a philosophy that said that no central, purposeful executive representing a public interest and providing public goods is necessary or desirable.

    Say what you will about Russia and China, but those great countries have conspicuous capacity at the center to make choices for the public good and their politics are focused by elaborate, rationalized plans of great scope. The U.S. has a senile Biden succeeding a clown. And, the opposition to the outgoing clown spent four years proposing nothing, falsely blaming the clown as a way of avoiding responsibility for proposing reforms of any kind.

    Thiel and Galbraith point at diverging paths out of the nightmare with varying points of hope and despair, but the larger reality is that we ain’t going anywhere but over the cliff on the current trajectory and there is no capacity in American politics to focus attention or exercise deliberate public choice — and powerful, institutionalized capacity to create artificial division and prevent emergence of such capacity.

  8. russell1200

    Divided societies in decline use scapegoats. But so does just about everyone else. It’s not like the Russian Pograms in the early 20th Century were done by a “declining” power, and the rise of the Klu Klux Klan in the early 1920s in the United States wasn’t about our actual decline.

    I would associate it more with an effort to ramp up unity through nationalism, and possible at any point in the continuum.

  9. Ten Bears

    Not to get too far off track but it has long been my contention, bruce, that we can’t even begin to be cognizant until we can think in geological time. And I think that’s absolutely right, civilizations, nation/states, wtfever are products of the environment (though not necessarily the ecosphere), are products of the times. An outgrowth of the way things are. Maybe a better analogy would be when looking at family history look at three and four generations as a whole, rather the just the child.

    The ahhh … the sphere of influence has indeed moved east – of somewhere.

  10. Plague Species

    Speaking of Peter Thiel, there’s yet another not surprising but atrocious and telling Biden cabinet pick. Avril Haines. She is a murderer. She had the job of choosing the kill list for Obama each and every day. Diversity, you have to love it. See? Women can kill just as perniciously as men. She is, not surprisingly, a big Gina Haspel fan because torture is as American as apple pie afterall, or it should be and maybe will be again under a Biden administration considering his staffing. Biden is a Catholic afterall, and the Catholic church knows a thing or two about torture. Torquemada, anyone?

    The affiliation — and its apparent disappearance — raises questions for a campaign that has posed itself as the antithesis to President Donald Trump’s far-right governance. Co-founded by a far-right, Trump-supporting tech billionaire, Palantir, whose business has benefited from a slew of government contracts, has been accused of aiding in the Trump administration’s immigration detention programs in the U.S. and helping the Trump administration build out its surveillance state.

    “Palantir’s information technology systems have given the Trump administration the ability to carry out mass deportations that have been tearing apart and terrorizing our immigrant communities,” said Yasmine Taeb, senior policy counsel at Demand Progress, a group that marshals support for causes ranging from human rights to transparency.

    Haines’s biography on the Brookings site was captured by the Wayback Machine, which archives websites, on May 9. At that time, the page showed the Palantir affiliation. A printout of the Google cache of the page as recorded on June 20 — the same day that Biden’s campaign announced Haines as an adviser — shows the affiliation. By June 25, the Google cache shows the Palantir affiliation has disappeared; it is not clear when between those dates the listing was removed.

    Unity, right? This is Unity for you. Trump was a foil all along and the union of Avril and Peter proves it. He was chosen for this time and place. These people are more sick than anyone can imagine. No one ever promised diversification would be kinder and gentler and in fact, it’s just the opposite. Afterall, Avril’s a woman and Peter is gay.

  11. Plague Species

    Fyi, the software put my latest comment into moderation because I typed PT’s name in full. I’ll let you determine what PT represents. Does Palantir have a back door into this software? I bet it does. It has a backdoor into all software, I bet. He’s a scary dude. Hell hath no fury like a quasi-closeted scorn gay guy.

  12. Stirling S Newberry

    >Not to get too far off track but it has long been my contention, bruce, that we can’t even begin to be cognizant until we can think in geological time.

    This is a good point. We actually do have such people – they are called “Astronomers.”

  13. Ten Bears

    Geologists, Mad Scientists

  14. KT Chong

    A reminder: Peter Thiel is openly gay.

    So, he has been digging his own grave by picking the “PC lefts” as one of his three scapegoats — because if the shit really hits the fan, he is standing right under the fan and the shit is gonna splatter over him first.

    He may be smart, but he is definitely NOT self-aware.

  15. GlassHammer

    First, the divisions in the U.S. aren’t self directing (they are created and managed) and that means there is no inevitable future outcome you could predict from just looking at them. To put it simply “The dog is fed and on a chain.”

    Second, the future of the U.S. could easily be set into motion by state actors, non-state actors, and coalitions of nations. As we decline we are more vulnerable to the actions of others.

    The future could very well be massive internal control inside the U.S. while the nation frantically moves from one external crisis to another.

  16. John

    I find it interesting that in these articles there is no mention of the fact that Peter Thiel is a gay man and how that may influence his views. I also find it interesting that many people of great wealth think their money bubble can protect them. When Thiel talks of scapegoating, does he think that scapegoats are only selected from among the little people.If we follow the long and venerable (sarc) tradition of scapegoating, especially of small identity groups, he could be among the first to be dragged to the edge of town and dealt with. Why do they never get that?

  17. Plague Species

    More on Blinken. Born in New York to Jewish parents. He attended the Dalton School through 1971 after which he moved to Paris and attended another exclusive private school there. Many of you will remember the Dalton School. Donald Barr, Billy Barr’s daddy, was the head of school and it was Donald Barr who recruited Epstein to teach there before he, Donald Barr, and the school parted ways. They kept Epstein. Blinken’s biological father’s name was also Donald. So many Donalds — it’s hard to keep track of them all. Donald is like Fidelio. Blinken later attended Harvard and then Columbia. He was clearly CIA from a very early age, or slated as such. He has all the hallmarks. CIA are the scum of the earth. They are demons, quite literally.

    Also, fyi, guess who made Trump capitulate? That’s right, a hedge fund CEO. What say you, Tucker? Schwarzman yesterday told McDonald enough was enough, and what do you know, the GSA suddenly loses its recalcitrance and ascertains the election for Biden and is releasing the transition funds. Schwarzman is a nice Irish name, isn’t it? Or is it Polish? Iranian?

    So, who wins either way be it Trump or Biden. Russia? Nope. China? Nope. Israel? Yep. Curious, that.

    The Schwarzmans of the world, ALL the wealthy elite because they are ALL evil and cannot be reformed, deserve the same fate as the Dermonds, don’t you think? They have sacrificed over 250,000 American lives and counting because, hey, they’re bored and it’s fun to play head games with the unwitting unwashed. It’s a contemporary version of Gibson’s Apocalypto with the heads bouncing down the stairs and all.

  18. Ché Pasa

    Scapegoating was one of the things I despised about the Clinton regime. Of course it goes far back in Western and US society, probably to the beginning, but Clinton used scapegoating strategically as a deliberate distraction from whatever he didn’t want the public or media to focus on — particularly the looting and depredations of the rest of us by the ruling class. It came back to bite him on the ass, but that’s another story.

    The point is, scapegoating wasn’t used as a means to unify the country, it was used as a means of distraction, and it largely worked. So as we move on through the regimes since Clinton, we see similar patterns of scapegoating and distraction, sometimes but not always including War as a means to ensure that the looting classes are protected from scrutiny.

    I think the hysterics over Biden’s presumed war-bent (like the hysterics over Hillary’s warriorism) are both premature and unsupported by evidence. It’s more distraction in that it is a form of the same scapegoating. “Dems (like Hillary and Old Joe) start wars” is more scapegoating, not necessarily true at all. Anymore than Trump “brought the troops home” and “didn’t start a new war” is necessarily true. Horrors happen under any and all US administrations. And troops are somehow not kept home no matter what.

    As for China and Russia, I think China has ample reason for confidence about the future while Russia is not in such a happy place. The progress of the pandemic and the responses to it in various nations are clear indications of how things are liable to go over the short term and likely the longer term. The US and most of Europe, including the Russian Federation, are walking, hacking, spewing growing disasters. China and most of Asia are not.

    There you go.

    Whatever is done in the West at this point is too little and far too late. But every crisis is an opportunity, and in this crisis the opportunity is one of reducing population. More stuff for those on top of the heap, including Thiel. Whoo-hoo!

  19. KT Chong

    For whatever reason, the Anglo sphere has a long anti-Chinese tradition that predates communism. The English-speaking Anglo “Five Eyes”— the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand — all have a two-century long history of being anti-China and anti-Chinese. Sinophobia is not a tradition and culture that will go away anytime soon in the Anglo nations.

    Just google and look at their history: the UK instigated the Opium Wars, while all the other Four Eyes (the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) all have had their own variations of anti-Chinese laws and frequent outbreaks of anti-Chinese riots throughout the late 1800s and early-to-mid 1900s: the Chinese Exclusion Act in the US, the (anti-)Chinese Immigration Act and Chinese head tax in Canada, the Anti-Chinese Legislature and Chinese taxes in various parts of Australia, and the Chinese head and poll taxes in New Zealand. Anti-Chinese riots and violence also frequently broke out in the four Anglo immigrant nations in the 1800s until the mid-1900s. (In Canada, they were called the “Anti-Oriental” and “Anti-Asiatic” riots.)

    Among European nations and spheres, all those anti-Chinese laws and riots were UNIQUE to the Anglo nations. As far as I know, none of the German, French and other European countries and territories has never implemented any anti-Chinese laws. All those anti-Chines laws, riots and sentiments started even long BEFORE China because communist. Communism is merely the current and most convenient excuse and dog whistler to continue and justify the anti-Chinese rhetoric. If it was not communist, Anglos would find another reasons to hate on China and Chinese. Sinophobia in the very bloods of Anglos. The current anti-Chinese climate is just a continuation of that long history and tradition in the Anglo Sphere.

  20. KT Chong

    Obviously Chinese in China (or Asia in general) are generally unaware of the cultures, customs, histories and laws in the Anglo nations that are outside China. So, Chinese have not yet been able to connect the dots, to connect together all the long anti-Chinese histories and laws and riots that have been unique to the Anglo sphere in the West. I think I might be among the firsts who have observed the pattern here. However, I think China has, on the instinctual level, started to figure out the hostile nature of the Anglo cultures, nations and people.

  21. Plague Species

    KT Chong, America hates the Chinese so much, it allows Xi’s daughter, and many sons and daughters of Chinese nobility, to attend Harvard or any other exclusive college/university they prefer and graduate under assumed names to hide their identity. That’s some queer sinophobia, wouldn’t you say?

    On a sunny morning last May, a member of Harvard’s graduating class received her diploma and prepared to depart from campus as quietly as she had arrived. Xi Mingze—the only child of Xi Jinping, the President of China, and his wife, the celebrity soprano Peng Liyuan—crossed the podium at Adams House, the dorm that housed Franklin Roosevelt and Henry Kissinger. She had studied psychology and English and lived under an assumed name, her identity known only to a limited number of faculty and close friends—“less than ten,” according to Kenji Minemura, a correspondent for the Asahi Shimbun, who attended the commencement and wrote about Xi’s experience in America.

    She has more in common with Blinken and Obama than I have in common with Blinken and Obama or in common with her. They all suffer from an affliction called Bourgeoisie.

  22. Dan Lynch


    1) Tribalism is part of human nature. Humans evolved to be part of a tribe, and to view other tribes as competitors. Tribalism is sometimes overcome and replaced by some sort of international humanism, but that’s very much the exception, and tribalism is the rule.

    2) Inequality pits people against each other.

    3) Capitalism pits people against each other.

    This is quite obvious in some workplaces, where despite giving lip service to “teamwork,” the truth is that employees compete with each other and stab each other in the back, hoping to beat the other guy for the promotion, or at least survive the next round of layoffs. Employers encourage this competition by paying workers different wages for the same job, having annual performance reviews to make employees feel insecure, and having “favorites” and “shit lists.”

    This dynamic also plays out in some families, where parents fuel sibling rivalry by treating their children differently, having a favorite child who does no wrong in the parent’s eye, and a “black sheep” child who can do no right in the parent’s eye. The black sheep child will likely despise the favorite child.

    So if you want to divide people, make them feel insecure and treat them unequally. Which is exactly what capitalism does.

  23. Plague Species

    Wikipedia has this, amongst many other things, to say about Schwarzman. Keep in mind, Schwarzman is a Republican, and thus Biden is a Republican, and has long been a good friend of McDonald Trump.

    In June 2007, Schwarzman described his view on financial markets with the statement: “I want war, not a series of skirmishes… I always think about what will kill off the other bidder.

    I’m sure you do you lying, cheating, filthy scumbag.

    Schwarzman’s version of The Art of War doesn’t just apply to financial markets and financial transactions. It also applies to the class war. That quote also should read as follows.

    In June 2007, Schwarzman described his view on class relations with the statement: “I want war, not a series of skirmishes… I always think about what will kill off the unwashed lower and middle classes.

    And what do you know, he thought about COVFEFE-45 and there it was and here it is.

    Hey Schwarzman, I think about killing you and your’s off too. I hope one day soon that dream comes true. I won’t hold my breath, but lord knows it would be a glorious moment in history. The wealthy elite finally getting their comeuppance in spades for their millenniums of malevolent abuse.

  24. Zachary Smith

    Haydar Khan. Whoever this person might be, he or she keeps a VERY low profile. Essentially all I could find was this: “Haydar Khan is a former mathematics researcher and instructor at a public university in the U.S. South.” While his long essay has many interesting and important features, the subjects which were ignored are equally “interesting”.

    I saw precious little about the snowballing growth of inequality in the US. Or the way the “Media” can turn public opinion on a dime is entirely left out. Biden, a failed politician in every sense of the word, was rescued from oblivion and catapulted into the the White House in the course of a very few months. Ditto for Harris, the first major candidate to drop out of the Democratic Primary. IMO the Corporate Media was the primary means by which all this was managed. The owners/operators of the “Media” have some rather extreme powers over thinking processes of US inhabitants.

    Here he considers the “financial casino” induced by the unstable nature of commodity prices and de- regulation. This, he argues, has resulted in chicanery not only in the commodities markets but also in the information-technology sector. Out of this came the crash in 2000 and subsequently the collapse of the once-stable U.S mortgage market, which led to the great financial crisis of 2008.

    Here the author totally ignores the dismantlement of the regulations which permitted the 2008 disaster to happen. Why go with the “it just happened” theme?

    The US of A has been doing some mighty stupid things in recent years, but author Kahn didn’t care to mention the influence of actors/agents who have been using this nation for their own purposes. What possible gain was there for the US when Iraq was repeatedly attacked, then finally invaded and destroyed? What was in it for us to destroy Libya? Syria? Why did Trump recently press for an attack on Iran?

    The Kahn essay was useful and thought-provoking, but IMO it was also designed to create “tunnel vision” for the readers. Events have been more complicated/convoluted than the author lets on.

  25. Plague Species

    I agree, Zach, the Kahn article is weak sauce.

    Wikipedia has this for Avril Haines. Her career has meteoric to say the least considering she got a late start. She didn’t start in government until 2001 and even then, she had no experience whatsoever. She was sponsored. She was buoyed. Why?

    In 1992, Haines moved to Baltimore, Maryland, and enrolled as a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University. However, later that year, Haines dropped out and with her future husband purchased at an auction a bar in Fell’s Point, Baltimore, which had been seized in a drug raid;[6] they turned the location into an independent bookstore and café.[9] She named the store Adrian’s Book Cafe, after her late mother; Adrian’s realistic oil paintings filled the store.[9] The bookstore won City Paper’s “Best Independent Bookstore” in 1997 and was known for having an unusual collection of literary offerings, local writers, erotica reading nights, and small press publications.[10] Adrian’s hosted a number of literary readings, including erotica readings, which became a media focus when she was appointed by the President to be the Deputy Director of the CIA.[11][12] She served as the president of the Fell’s Point Business Association until 1998.[13]

    In 1998, she enrolled at the Georgetown University Law Center, receiving her Juris Doctor in 2001.[14]

    From theoretical physicist to erotica reader to government lawyer to mass murderer and torturer. High weirdness in The Swamp or par for the course actually. Epstein had a penchant for erotica too, did he not? For some, torture and murder are erotica I suppose just as sex with underage girls is.

  26. S Brennan

    Posted over at MOA, [with some added commentary].

    1] Biden is to the extreme right of Trump on the issue of the USA’s endless neocolonial wars. PS’s guess at a resumption of Obama’s Syrian Campaign is probably right, though, US logistics there are very poor and…Russia could use a war to suss out a replacement leader who has Putin’s ability.

    2] Biden is, as we speak, laying the groundwork for the deconstruction* of Social Security, work he began as VP to Obama.

    [and yes Hugh/Willy, I already provided the links demanded by you two “only blue” bros.]

    That makes Biden to the extreme right of Trump on foreign & domestic issues…all thanks to the “blue no matter who” crowd. Meanwhile, the election “make ’em scream” ploy Pelosi employed will toss millions off federal extensions of unemployment midnight 31 Dec 2020 at least until congress reconvenes in Feb, over two months and probably much longer since R’s can use Pelosi’s hostage taking technique [without having to worry about Trump pestering them for money].

    And for all those who claimed Trump to be evil incarnate, worse than Hitler…in a few weeks, facts will show those people to be clownish frauds.

    * Wall Street will be pleased have Uncle Sam not honor the Treasury securities AND to see the huge influx of dollars as people will now be forced to “invest” in their undoing.

  27. Feral Finster

    “Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

    ― Hermann Goering

    Sooner or later, it will become abundantly obvious that a Biden Administration cannot fix the problems that America faces, because they will not attack entrenched interests.

    At that point, it will be necessary either to switch Biden with Harris, which will be more of the same except you must be a racist if you point out any of the Administration’s manifest failings, and/or start a war.

    Nothing like a jolly little foreign war to get Americans to rally ’round the flag one more time.

  28. Pelham

    The authors of American decline are indeed American elites. But expansion into China by offshoring jobs and handing over taxpayer-funded US technology was one of the very big ways they’ve sold out their fellow citizens.

    One can’t blame China for taking advantage of this capitalist largesse — although it’s fair to point out that China flagrantly violated nearly every major rule for its participation in world trade, giving it an initial leg up with lasting effect even though they play more nicely now. But even here, China can’t be blamed for the fact that Western countries did nothing to hold it to account.

    So. What’s to be done? China is largely blameless but, I would argue, must nonetheless be dealt with, and it would be advisable to do so in a peaceful fashion. However, the first order of business should be leveling the appropriate charges against our own corporate and political traitors dating back to the 1990s.

  29. Plague Species

    Both Kerry and Biden invoked god in their speeches today during the cabinet announcement charade. Let me just say this, if they considered themselves blessed by their god, their god is surely a monster.

    Whereas Trump’s slogan, disingenuous as it was, was America First, Biden’s, by virtue of picking this part of his cabinet first, is telegraphing that it’s America Last. The notion of Trump’s motto was appropriate — that you take care of your own backyard before pretending to clean up others’ backyards. Of course, Trump never did that and never intended to do it, but it doesn’t make the notion any less legitimate. We have enough to worry about here at home, too many intractable problems, to play world leader and world cop. You want to lead? Lead by example and show the world how you take care of your own people. That’s the best way to lead. Dropping bombs on brown and yellow and black people the world over is not leading, by example or otherwise.

    Just you watch, though, because it’s coming. The various “Springs” around the world are going to start anew like clockwork. The terrorist attacks that serve as convenient pretext for “action” will come one a day soon enough. The mass shootings too, whether in America or elsewhere. Synthetic, most of it. Designed of whole cloth. For a purpose. For control.

    And, in case you didn’t know, now that Biden has announced his national security state advisors and his foreign policy advisors, the pandemic is already over despite the many more who will die from it. That’s old news now just as Trump said it would be.

    Alejandro Mayorkas? Unbelievable. A Batista Cuban. A fascist, in otherwords. A Jewish Cuban, at that. Israel sure is liking Biden, right? The percentage of Jews in his cabinet will approach the percentage of Jews who own NFL teams — 33%. Imagine if it was Muslims instead of Jews at that percentage. The screams would be deafening.

  30. Willy

    Hugh/Willy seems to be S Brennans’ own personal scapegoat. He ascribes many things to Hugh/Willy, which we’d avidly deny, since they have little or no basis in reality, in such a binary us/them world.

    Since resistance to that kind of thinking is futile, I dedicate the following dance video to S Brennan:

  31. Ten Bears

    I don’t think I want to hear about how we’ve got a painful piss hard-on for China when the Transportation Secretary in the current maladministration and spouse of Manchurian Senate Majority Leader Mitch the Mole McConnell is a commie Chinese princess.

    Blind hogs and acorns.

  32. Anon

    PT is a perfect storm of psychopathologies, the kind of man who comes around once every 100 years. He\’s very smart, he hates human beings, and he has the resources to do something about it. Compared to PT, someone like Trump is a piker.

  33. S Brennan

    “I don’t think I want to hear about…” – Ten Bears

    Then Ten Feathers…clutch your pearls and head for fainting couch.

    “I think the hysterics over Biden’s presumed war-bent (like the hysterics over Hillary’s warriorism) are both premature and unsupported by evidence.” – Ché Pasa

    Ché, I think you win the prize for the most dishonest post today. And no, I am not buying that you could be that effing ignorant of recent history. Hillary and Biden are both certified war criminals, both facilitated wars of aggression…Syria, Libya and Biden most certainly Ukraine; between the two there are millions of innocent dead civilians. And then we get to all the wars those two bloodthirsty satanist supported.

  34. KT Chong

    Plague Species,

    Claiming that American could not possibly be anti-Chinese because it allows Xi Jiping’s daughter to attend Harvard University has as much merit as saying someone could not be racist against Blacks because he has Black friends.

  35. Hugh

    China has had 25 centuries of dynasties, and what is so interesting about them is that they, including the current Xi-di’s, follow the same trajectories and make the same mistakes. It is an authoritarian state run by a dictator. It engages in internal repressions, especially against non-Han groups, like Tibetans, Uighurs, and Hong Kongers. It has bankrolled and run interference for one of the kookiest and most repressive regimes on the planet, North Korea. It has initiated border clashes with India, continues to pressure Taiwan, and is actively engaging in an imperialist venture in the South China Sea, an area to which it has no real or substantive historical claim. As the coronavirus has shown, it is capable of massive screw ups. And while the country has done some amazing development over the last 25 years, as already pointed out, a fair amount of this was based on ignoring trade agreements, manipulating its currency, and hoping that large unstable, unsustainable parts of its banking sector don’t blow up.

    As for the future, China will not replace the US as the next hegemon. China is more imperialistic than hegemonic. As I have said so many times, China is much more focused on exploiting the profits of the US hegemony than taking on the costs of establishing, and paying for, one of its own. And it’s pretty irrelevant anyway. Like the rest of us, China is facing the same 2030 deadline to confront climate change, and not remotely meeting it. It is not clear how much of China will exist in 20 years or how many of its suppliers and customers. So I do not put much credence in China as the next big thing. It is a big thing now, but it has lots of problems and climate change could damage or destroy it.

  36. KT Chong

    Hong Kongers = Cantonese = an archetype of HANS.

  37. Hugh

    Yes, I should have been clearer: Uighurs and Tibetans = non-Han; Hong Kong = Han, speaking Cantonese mostly, but with increasing Mandarin speakers.

  38. Tom R

    Adding to Joan’s anti-LGBT immigrant groups, let’s not forget Russian Pentacostals, a different but not inconsequential demographic in metropolitan Seattle, San Francisco, and Sacramento, among other cities.

  39. KT Chong

    Cantonese is not only a language. Cantonese are also a people, a Han ethnic.

    Hong Kongers = Cantonese THE PEOPLE = a Han people. Which had nothing to do with the Cantonese or Mandarin language, and which should have been apparent.

    Hugh obviously has very little idea about China or the Chinese people.

    Hugh or White people keep saying “Tibetans and Uyghurs are non-Hans” as if China, Chinese or the Han people are not allowed to govern or rule over non-Han people. If only he applies the same rule to America or White people govern or rule over Puerto Rico, Guam, Samoa, etc., (all which are COLONIES.)

  40. KT Chong

    On Hawaii:

    On Puerto Rico:

    Reposting as a reminder to people like Hugh.

    If only non-native people were not allowed to govern or rule over a native people… then America, Canada, Australia or New Zealand and the Anglo sphere would not exist. But hey, let’s do what we preach to you, not what we actually do ourselves.

  41. Trinity

    The US of A has been doing some mighty stupid things in recent years

    No, they haven’t. It’s foolish to think this, and better to assume (or even better to understand and accept) that they are doing exactly what they want to do. Makes planning much easier, because one then also understands that the problems one is experiencing will never be fixed by them. Plan accordingly.

    Re: scapegoats, I posted awhile back that scapegoats are used to redefine the problem. Destroying the scapegoat does not solve the problem, but as noted by Che, the process also conveniently distracts everyone for some period of time. The problem itself is never solved because a new scapegoat is then chosen. This is not “stupid” at all, it’s actually quite clever, and as noted, scapegoating is the number one tool in a narcissist’s/sociopath’s toolbox. See my first paragraph above: it’s better to understand they know exactly what they are doing.

    The only ray of hope I am seeing is that more and more people understand the reality of our situation. This was not the case ten years ago. This may, however, only mean that the frequency in which problems are redefined (to avoid accountability, and to avoid actual, sane change) will increase. And that is also what (I think) I’m seeing. These insane efforts to deflect blame to prevent change so that the few continue to benefit are occurring more frequently, imho. Does that mean there is hope? I don’t know. It’s debatable that driving at higher speeds off the cliff will benefit any of the occupants of the car.

    PT has drawn a line in the sand, which may also be good news. It suggests the oligarchs are beginning to fight with each other, and suggests that a real (not manufactured) division is occurring in their ranks. Either way, it will be interesting to watch this play out.

  42. Ten Bears

    I’ve been having a pretty good laugh these past couple of weeks and I suppose I should share it with the community: everyone in “America” nearly everyone in Canada and damned near all of Mexico know that in Native American cultures the feathers of your bonnet are a measure of the degree of respect you hold within the community, more feathers in your cap the greater the status you enjoy within the community, the more authority, if you wish, that you command.

    Thank you for the compliment.

  43. bruce wilder

    China has some very possibly insoluable problems to overcome in its vast overpopulation. It has become an unequal society with hundreds of millions half-educated people and no possibility of industrial employment for them. They have built a modern political economy for 400 million people in a country with three times that many people. It will not work out well, as it becomes clear that the end-game is no game at all.

    For the U.S., the problem of building a political economy for 2000 billionaire oligarchs and tossing 5 to 15% of the population out of the economy in each successive business cycle, while keeping 250 million in precarity as sheep to be shorn or eaten at leisure does have an obvious solution, which neither Thiel nor Galbraith wish to embrace as feasible, and indeed by the nature of its core “process” that obvious solution may be prone to chaotic disruption of the political and chaotic order. Call that obvious solution space, “eat the rich”, and its dimensions are clear enough.

    The U.S. can climb down from an economy structured around the unlimited greed of the roughly 40,000 people that make up the immediate families and intimate friends of billionaire oligarchs. Doing so would free up a lot of resources. Realistically, radical conservation of energy would be necessary to contain the on-going damage to the environment, so most people would find themselves living a life of greater leisure, but most jobs in the U.S. are doing work that does not need to be done. Galbraith is certainly right that the New Deal faced a different solution space given abundant oil and hydro-electric resources. We have a different solution space, one where we could have the satisfaction of natural or “animal” needs with radically reduced resource consumption. The tech, so-called, is available for that. The use of those possibilities in the capitalist economy is what is driving the disinvestment that throws off the niagara of cash funding the billionaires and their Media-propaganda Leviathan. To save ourselves and the planet, humans have to turn off the waste of that.

    In principle, it is using, say, LED in place of incandescent light, but without doing what we are doing, which is using the “cheapness” of LED to brighten the night multiplying the number and brightness of artificial light many times. Substitute the “tech” that uses much less energy, but realize the conservation of energy instead of multiplying the waste with “growth” of no real value. Politically and socially, I doubt that can be done in the short-run without either eliminating billions of people or, my preference, eliminating billionaires. I think we would still have to embark as well on the kind of radical constraint that would gradually reduce human population numbers. We cannot have either unconstrained energy-use or population-growth and expect the natural world around us to survive the tidal wave of accumulating waste.

  44. Ché Pasa

    In this interregnum, the oligarchs are clearly in control and jockeying for supremacy among themselves. Their serving classes are re-dividing among themselves as well. The “Establishment” faction appears vindicated for the moment, but like Trump, the “Radicals” haven’t given up — and are getting crazier as time goes by.

    It looks like the would-be Biden regime is trying to split the baby between them. I don’t think it’s going to work. The Radicals have convinced themselves that only their way can ensure a future for themselves. That future takes many forms, but a lot of it seems to be Xtianist clap-trap. Apocalypse followed by Paradise. We neglect at out peril how strong a fervent pseudo-religious belief is among our rulers, and how much they share with one another in that belief. Fundamental to it is their shared belief that they alone are chosen by their Divinity to be King-Godlet-Ruler of Men, yada yada. The other part of their shared belief is that none of us-the-rabble is needed or necessary for their comfort or convenience.

    Are they right?

    We’re seeing the consequences of their actions and their policies play out every day, and the would-be Biden regime gives us no comfort, barely a nod. As Ian and many others point out, Trump said some of the things that need saying, but action is policy, and his policies were those of his oligarchic faction, not policies that serve the People and sustain the Earth. Just the opposite.

    Yet something short of half the electorate is fine with it. And something more than half is fine with the other oligarchic faction.

    Are they wrong?

  45. Plague Species

    KT Chong, America’s history is replete with racism of every stripe. No doubt about it and that legacy still haunts America to this day, but you’re going to have to roll your sleeves up and give us a working definition of “America” when you use that term in the context you use it and also a working definition of the term “Americans.”

    My point stands. I and mine will not be flogged for the actions and policies of the wealthy elite who I decry daily and who I vehemently oppose wholeheartedly and emphatically. If Xi and the Bourgeoisie of China believe as you do that America’s wealthy elite and ALL Americans more generally are insultingly racist, then why in the hell would they send their children to elite American institutions of higher learning to be educated by, and subjected to, said racists? Your fight should be with Xi and friends and not with my wife who serves wealthy Chinese by educating their indulged and privileged children. How dare you call my wife a racist. By labeling her with a broad brush as a racist without even knowing her and without evidence, you are the racist.

    I prefer to maintain my class lens when analyzing all of this and that lens is the most clear lens by far. Any other lens is opaque and obscuring by comparison. That is why I say Xi’s daughter has more in common with Blinken and Obama that I have in common with them or with her. They ALL belong to the same class. The irony is, not merely a few believe China is communist when it is in fact state capitalist as is America although America is transforming and is on the doorstep of fascism. Either way, state capitalist or fascist, the wealthy elite win. Hell, one could argue even with communism the wealthy elite win. Sure, the composition of the wealthy elite might change, but the status of wealthy elite remains. That must change for good for anything to change for good and it hasn’t yet in the history of civilization.

  46. Plague Species

    I think Biden should lead all of his press conferences with an erotica reading from Avril Haines. It will go a long way to fostering the unity he’s peddling. Far better to be masturbating in unison with one another to an erotica reading than blowing each other away in the streets, right. The erotica reading will pry open the chakras allowing the truth and the light of Neoliberalism to penetrate far and deep. Erotica readings are speaking truth to power, don’t you know? Waterboarding is sexy. So too is blowing brown and yellow and black people to bits in the name of humanitarianism.

  47. Hugh

    Apparently KT thinks it’s OK for Xi, his party, and government to oppress and brutalize its ethnic minorities as long as the Han are doing the brutalizing and oppressing. And those Han aren’t just Han but Mandarin-speaking Han. And Cantonese and Mandarin are mutually unintelligible. But again we are supposed not to notice.

    It’s not like the government and party of China didn’t kill millions of Mandarin-speaking Han since their rise to power but in the 30 years since Tiananmen most of their violence has followed the rule of the less Mandarin-speaking Han you are the more violence and suppression.

    This undercuts KT’s pro-China narrative so it gets denied.

  48. S Brennan

    Biden has been a man who has been photographed numinous times groping women/children in public for 50 years, rather like the degenerate denizens of the Palatine Hill, he needs no encouragement from a comment section to engage in “public erotica”.

    But if polls are to be believed, Biden is, by far and away, the most popular Democratic President in history. The unbelievably strong support given to him by Sanders/Sanders supporters justifies, in full, the DNC’s contempt of Sander supporters…if…Biden’s extraordinary polling in areas that were Sanders territory are to be believed.

    Sanders ability to deliver his voters over to the DNC has to be admired, if only in political terms! He, Sanders certainly earned more than his usual 30 pieces of silver. What a con man that Sanders, even after being warned that he was going to pull the same bait ‘n switch again, his marks fell for it twice hook line and sinker. Of course he had a lot of help, a lot of “Sanders supporters” were actually DNCers ready to calm the crowd once the trick was revealed.

  49. Astrid

    Hugh – other countries can and do do bad things for good/bad/terrible/understandable/inexplicable reasons. The problem is that you, as a USian, (1) don’t understand the underlying dynamics at a sufficient level to make that call and (2) belong to an imperial power with an absolutely appalling record of destroying other countries for “humanitarianism” and “freedom”.

    Given the choice of living under Saddam or Quaddafi and what came afterward, I will take my chances with the oppressive local regime, over whatever Clinton/Cheney/Obama/Trump/Joemala wants to sell.

    So maybe spend less time worrying about what’s happening outside of USian borders?
    Let the locals figure out their own level. They have to live with the consequences of their successes and failures. I trust that’s likely to be a better outcome of USians botching up country after country with zero negative consequences for it’s warmongering elite.

  50. S Brennan

    Astrid; “Hugh” is what we call a “cruise missile liberal”, he loves watching war on TeeVee…wheeee…war is SO MUCH FUN!

    Of course Hugh has “better things to do” than serving his country in uniform and sharing in the risks of war’s “enterprise”. Yes, such earthy toils are the lower classes burden to bear. In fairness to Hugh, he always remembers to offer up the trite phrase “thank you for your service” but, that is the limit of his national sacrifice.

  51. Willy

    Idiots, Trump will be out of power, but is certain keep up his scapegoating efforts along with his many theory nutjobs supplicants.

    It might a good time to focus on what Biden actually does which impacts our lives and push others towards doing the same, instead of compulsively comparing the sizes of imaginary dicks.

  52. Plague Species

    It’s not just Chicago. It’s all over America. These people are suicidal murderers. They are effectively a throng of mass shooters because the number dead will make all the mass shooting deaths historically combined pale in comparison. And, it’s not just Trump supporters. It’s Biden supporters too and not a minority of Biden supporters but instead a substantial number of them. “F*ck It” and “F*ck Them” is the American way. In America, you can be all you can be because it’s all about you and your wants (versus needs), everyone else be damned.

    Sorry, Sclerotic Joe, America is not the world leader and it is not a superpower any longer and never will be again. America, for all intents and purposes, is a failed state. Like the American wealthy elite have failed so many other nation-states around the planet, they have now failed America. It’s their purpose, apparently. To fail everything they touch and/or set their sights on.

    The airports and airlines should have been shut down. The interstates and state highways should have had checkpoints in place to turn out of state travelers away and fine them in the process. But no. In the name of freedom, people must unnecessarily die in droves because the weaklings are suffering from pandemic fatigue and feel compelled to climb all over each like cockroaches spreading this virus further and wider and deeper.

  53. Plague Species

    Astrid is right, it’s China’s turn to play imperialist. It’s off to a good start. Same blueprint, different tyrant.

    Hao had scored big, but before long there were other things to worry about. He hadn’t thought much about the people who lived on the land or controlled it before he came along, or even who his neighbors were. After a period of warm enough hospitality, people from nearby villages began to ask him how he had gotten the land and to demand compensation, with some of them, claiming the area was an ancestral holding.

    “The local people are really not friendly. They arc peasants, and they resent the idea that the government took their land and gave it to us. They have no land for themselves. They’re not comfortable. They are working for us, and they are not comfortable with it. In fact, the Mozambique government has given us land, but it’s not forever. After a few years, once we’ve put the land to good use, perhaps they will take another tack and try to reclaim it from us. But we’ve got our own ideas. We’re also making plans.”

  54. Hugh

    Thanks, Astrid, for scapegoating 330 million Americans. It keeps with the theme of the post.

    Also good to see S Brennan make it out of the Führerbunker as often as he does.

    The world is complicated and a lot of skepticism is in order. I just don’t get the selective nature of the skepticism though. If being skeptical of the US is fine, why is skepticism of China out of bounds? If skepticism of the Democrats is OK, why is skepticism of Trump and the Republicans bad? How is this different from idpol? or right wing nuttery? The same techniques just different targets.

  55. S Brennan

    Jeeze Willy, just few weeks ago you were saying that Trump was a dictator and would never leave office peacefully, this week you are saying:

    Idiots, Trump will be out of power – Willy

    Predictions about the future are hard..huh? Especially when the guy who “predicts” calls people who disagree with him “idiots”…no? You’re the idiot “Willy”.

    Besides, Biden’s ballot stuffing crew still faces legal challenges:

    “After the Keystone State announced the certification of the presidential election results on Tuesday, the plaintiffs filed an emergency request just before midnight, arguing that there was no need to act so fast. In 2016, Pennsylvania certified the presidential election on Dec. 12.

    “It appears that respondents’ actions may have been accelerated in response to the application for emergency relief … in an effort to preclude any remedial action by this court faster than this court was able to evaluate the application for emergency relief and the answers to it,” the plaintiffs wrote.”

    And unlike you Willy, I am consistent, in 2000, I supported Gore’s legal challenges to Bush and felt that he quit too soon…and that was in December, about two weeks from now.

    With “liberal”-“progressives”-“lefties” like you Willy, your concept of “justice” is based solely on how the outcome serves your wishes, a justice akin to the the Queen of Hearts, a self-serving Alice in Wonderland logic; a logic that repulses all those not properly propagandized into mental subservience of the Deep State’s Dominion.

  56. Plague Species

    Case in point (see article linked below). Fyi, China is the leading supplier of weaponry in Africa. All that weaponry goes to kleptocratic oligarchs who use it to quell any “local” dissidents. Astrid tells us to leave it to the “locals” while the Chinese enrich and support and enable the kleptocratic oligarchs in their campaign to tyrannize the “locals.” And no, this is not an advocation for Western forces to intervene. It’s a valid criticism of all those who seek to exploit and harm and maim in the name of profit and power and the Chinese are as guilty as that in Africa NOW as the West is now and historically.

  57. different clue


    Because I have extremely limited and restricted computer screentime ( not having my own computer and therefor being at the mercy of other computers) I decided to comment on your comment before reading any more comments.

    America is in the shape it is in because the American branch of the International Free Trade Conspiracy lured and trapped America into an Iron CatsCradle of Forced Free-Trade Relationships.
    If National Economy Patriot Americans are not somehow able to overthrow and exterminate the American branch-plant personnel of the International Free Trade Conspiracy, then America will become as poor as Moldova and East Ukraine and Transnistria and etc. And then poorer.
    That is the IFTC goal for America.

    It is also the Chinese goal for America. So I can see why Chinese expats would like to flee an America which has been targeted for economic extermination by the IFTC and its CommuNazi China-Gov Regime Allies.

    If we can somehow exterminate the Free Trade supporters in our midst and create a United States of Autarkamerica, then America can re-evolve into being a Middle Power or a Lower Middle Power able to support all its legal residents in supporting eachother in making a decent

    As part of that re-evolution, we could reject the concept of American Greatness Exceptionalism and create for ourselves a concept of American Okayness Ordinaryism.
    ” We’re good enough and that’s okay”.

    MAOKA. Make America O K Again. No more Exceptionalism. No more World Leadership.

    Time to lay this burden down.

  58. Hugh

    Yeah, Willy, I mean just because Trump lost the election and declared that he had won it, or filed dozens of incoherent, baseless suits seeking to contest the election results in various states, or demanded pointless recounts, or tried to stop certifications of results, or felt out Republican lawmakers in states like Pennsylvania to see if they would ignore the election results and name electors supporting him Trump, or pressure the GSA to delay the release of millions of dollars and government resources for a Biden transition, and just because Republicans would have crucified any Democrat for doing even a hundredth of what Trump has been doing, you get this idea that Trump has no interest in abiding by election results that don’t favor him or that he can’t steal. I mean what’s up with that? Sure, he is sucking up tens and tens of millions of dollars from his deluded true believers to try to taint an election he lost just so he can rationalize to himself that he really didn’t lose it. Sure, this is destructive and harms our country but Donald’s ego is so much more important than the country, dontcha know?

  59. different clue

    About the aside that Peter Thiel being a libertarian and running a surveillance company are somehow inconsistent or internally contradictory . . . . I don’t see any contradiction there when you consider what the inner truth of Libertarianism is.

    Libertarianism is about the money, the whole money, and nothing but the money. Libertarianism is the philosophy that a talented pirate has the total and unrestrained right to piratise as much as he can get away with. Libertarianism is the belief that Peter Thiel has a perfect right to make all the personal money he can by running a surveillance company. The money, the whole money, and nothing but the money.

  60. different clue

    I think Trump will plant as many mines as everywhere as he possibly can for the Joemala Administration to spend the next four years stepping on. He will leave, leave ugly, and burn the motherfucker down on his way out the door.

    And then he will try to find a way to call himself President In Exile, or something. He will keep his base together and energised. He may found a media company to take Fox down with, because Fox wasn’t loyal enough, or something.

    He will hang around and keep beheading any post-Trump Republican leadership which might try to emerge.

  61. S Brennan

    Different clue;

    You must be in a time warp, or suffering an extreme case of amnesia, it was Obama who:

    “plant[ed] as many mines everywhere as he possibly [could] for the Trump Administration to spend the next four years stepping on. [Obama left] ugly, and [tried] to burn the motherfucker down on his way out the door.”

    America is not going to improve if “liberals”, “lefties” and “progressives” can not face reality.

  62. What would Shakespeare have said about all the vote fraud denialism currently on display, which is becoming more untenable by the day? He might have said,

    “The shady doth protest too much”

    This insight is inspired by watching 10 minutes of David Pakman’s unfortunate coverage of the live coverage of the hearings in Pennsylvania (he cut it off after 1:39).

    I’m really glad that Sidney Powell is – she says – going to go after Republicans, also. Besides the fact that D’s and R’s have abided the vote fraud, if the charges are as severe as has been suggested, this will destroy the ‘defense’ of pointing to lying Republicans as ‘proof’ that election rigging doesn’t go on.

  63. Hugh

    Shorter SB: Mein Führer hat immer recht. Obama ist der Teufel. Es ist immer seine Schuld.

    “My Führer is always right. Obama is the devil. It’s always his fault.”

    This goes along with the Trumpist mantra:

    Die Realität ist, was ich sage, es ist.

  64. Astrid

    Hugh – it’s not scapegoating to call out the responsible and tell them to stop doing/ supporting the bad thing. The USian populace keeps voting in regimes that bombs and sanctions other countries for “freedom”. The USian populace, when presented with better choices, were happy enough with Trump and Biden. Just as you are happy to lump in the Chinese and Russians for their purported collective actions, I am comfortable saying USians have a terrible track record and shown they are incapable of making things better, either abroad nor at home.

    Let’s go with the most charitable interpretation of your harping on the oppressive governments of the Chinese and Russians. You’re genuinely concerned for those hurt by the actions of those regimes. What does your concern actual lead you to do? Can you actually get those governments to treat their population better and do their population actually want the freedom. Or is it just providing cover for the USian Biden government you just voted in to do more sanctions and attempted color revolutions?

    As for ignorance… If you’re trying to represent yourself as a knowledgeable USian on the China situation, then accusing the Chinese government of discriminating against Cantonese speakers is a weird starting point. The 113 million Cantonese speakers of Guangdong province are not by any stretch of the imagination an oppressed minority and I suspect very few have any sympathies for the Hong Kong anti-government protesters.

  65. different clue

    @S Brennan,

    Thank you for your interest in my comment. I am always happy to hear from you. Please let me know if you have any other concerns.

  66. Hugh

    No, Astrid, you’re saying it’s not scapegoating when you do it. When you say that the US population is collectively responsible for terrible things but can’t bring yourself to say the terrible things regimes like those in Russia and China do, that’s at least a double standard and/or scapegoating. Besides, what blameless country and population do you belong to?

  67. S Brennan

    Watch the Video and then read the comment that followed and you will get a glimpse of “liberals/lefties/Progressives” inability to reason. If you can’t reason, you can’t be “fair” you can not be “just”…
    Immanuel Kant @ModernKant
    Replying to @DineshDSouza

    “Can they address where those votes came from? Because if it came from a predominately Blue area, then it makes sense.”
    So this fellow thinks a 99.5% vs 0.5% split is perfectly reasonable in a “blue area”.

  68. Astrid

    Hugh, you’re projecting. And apparently lacking in reading comprehension if you call what I’m doing scapegoating. And BTW, I am USian and live in CONUS, not that it should affect anything I’ve said. I’m not in denial about the evil and incompetence perpetrated in my name or so arrogant as to think I know a situation better than people living it.

    I never said what the Chinese and Russians government did is good. I specifically prefaced my first comment by saying that they do bad things, and quite possibly do them unnecessarily and for bad reasons. My point is that the local populaces and elites should be allowed to decide the good and bad themselves, that they’re in the best position to decide, without the perverse interference of the US (given it’s appalling track record for doing “good”) or your performative virtue signaling. Whether their actions are good or not, let them determine their destiny and stop Monday morning quarterbacking the actions and motives of peoples an ocean away from you. Again, maybe if the USian record was not so overwhelming horrible, there might be more of a justification for interfering and finger wagging. But the US and USians have no credibility.

  69. Hugh

    That’s silly. So only someone Chinese who grew up under its variously totalitarian, authoritarian, and neo-imperial systems and were credentialed by them can give us the “real” lowdown (as in nothing to see here) on China and its oppression of ethnic minorities and suppression of democratic movements? Good to know.

    I guess if the Chinese so brutalize the Uighurs so that they are too scared to say anything. Then you would argue that the Uighurs aren’t being brutalized because only they can talk about their brutalization and they aren’t talking. Hey! Problem solved! How convenient.

  70. NR

    There was, of course, no vote fraud, as shown by the fact that every single Trump lawsuit on the subject has been laughed out of court due to lack of evidence. There are only the sad, delusional ramblings of a loser and the pathetic, slavish devotion of his cultists who will believe anything and everything he says.

  71. different clue

    So, it is written that ” the US and USians have no credibility.” and therefor we have no standing and no place to fingerwag. But if we do not fingerwag, then who shall wag the finger?

    Let China and America each fingerwag at eachother, and in that way each can keep the other honest.

  72. different clue

    I just stumble-uponned a picture of a truly impressive traffic jam in China.

    Wow! That’s at least as good as anything in California.

    China has arrived. Its a modern country now.

  73. different clue

    And while we’re wagging the finger, here is a little recording of a First Nations Aboriginal person wagging the finger about some goings-on in her little part of Canada.

  74. Astrid

    Hugh – I would say there’s plenty to performatively fingerwag at within the US. I think it’s still rather pointless and possibly harmful because nothing in the US these days is done unless it’s for the benefit of its scloratic elite, but at least it’s unlikely to give justification for more wars and sanctions and coups (though you never know, plus everything seems to help grow the Fascist corporate surveillance state).

    As it happens, the actions against Uighurs occurred after the Uighur separatist terrorist attack (probably at least partially under Saudi and US influences and funding) in Kunming and when the Chinese seem on the precipice of dealing with their own Chechen separatist/IRA problem. Now given the terribly biased reporting on both sides, I have no idea whether their actions are justified and I don’t want to for reasons stated above. But it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me for a national government to want to be seen protecting its populace and territorial integrity, which is what the Chinese and Russian government are doing. If they can’t do that, they failed as states, just as the US has continued to fail its citizenry on gun violence, police brutality, and corporate predation. And I do think however indoctrinated their citizenry happen to be, they’re in a better place to judge their happiness than outsiders with minimal understanding of their situations. And I don’t know why you think the citizenry of the “West” are less indoctrinated and enslaved. COVID19 and Assange and Joemala illustrate that very well.

    And also, even as a USian (albeit one with some ties and understanding for the PRC, but one who hasn’t lived there in 30 years and has zero love for its government), I would certainly prefer living in Russia/China/Iran, warts and all, to Iraq/Libya/Afghanistan/Ukraine and increasingly, the US of A. I say this as a “winner” in the US. I have been lucky to be doing well and living “the American Dream” and most of the people in my PMC cohort think Obama is awesome, but I’m aware of the foundations of civil society breaking all around me and am scared as heck.

    Again, if the US has a better track record than the one it had for the past 6 decades, maybe it can justify its meddling. But its record is of unmitigated failures and trails of destroyed states and lives.

  75. Willy

    Lawyers are falling over themselves to ridicule Powell’s long awaited “Kraken lawsuit” document, apparently full of conspiracies and spelling errors.

    For example: “It reads like it was drafted by Jeanine Pirro after a Black Friday sale at BevMo”.

    Oy Veh.

  76. Manqueman

    News to me that liberals are opposed to a living wage and affordable healthcare.

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