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

It’s Not OK to Think Everything Is OK or Getting Better and Better

Globe on FireI’ve discussed the “better-than-ever world” argument before. I find it questionable, for a number of reasons and if that interests you, read the linked article and the articles to which it links.

What I’ve been paying attention to lately is WHO likes and buys into this argument.

They fall into two groups: the first are techies, the second are neoliberals.

We’ll start with neoliberals first. Neoliberals want to claim that everything’s going great so they don’t have to make serious changes. If even the poorest are getting better off rapidly (50K a week, I saw as a recent claim, for improvements in “dire poverty”), then all that is required to the current system are tweaks: It’s working.

More importantly for the neoliberals, if the world is better than ever, the people who have the most don’t have to give anything up–not money, or power, or the way they do things. What they’re doing is basically working, their being rich and powerful isn’t hurting the poor; in fact, it’s lifting the poor up!

So statistics have to show that poor people are getting better off, and if a few show that the poor in parts of the first world aren’t (like certain groups in the US having decreased life expectancy), well that cost has been far outstripped by all the people lifted out of poverty elsewhere and why care more about Americans than people objectively worse off in other countries?

The world order is basically fine. No need to do more than “bend the curve,” as Obama famously said.

Techies have some of the same reasons, especially those who are doing well, like the ones who run Silicon Valley, or who are very well paid. The world is fine, no need to change what’s working.

But there’s something deeper to it for the techies. While neoliberals want to defend neoliberal capitalism–which is why they get offended when one points out that China used mercantalist capitalism to lift people out of poverty. Almost all poverty gains, no matter how you slice the numbers, have been made in China and China DID NOT do what economic orthodoxy says you’re supposed to do.

Techies don’t care about that. Instead they want to defend their legacy and current actions. Forget capitalism, communism, fascism, and all that guff: Really, virtually all the gains of the last 250 years come down to using hydrocarbons to power various engines.

Technological progress is the actual driver of what’s happened. Modern techies identify with the engineers and scientists of the past, especially now that programmers like to call themselves engineers.

Likewise, the computer/internet/telecom revolution which has been driving new industries (I wouldn’t quite say “growth”) since the mid 70s or so is their child, their project. They either worked on it or are still working on it. The world must be doing well because they created it or are creating it, or are maintaining the technology it runs on, the technology that is really responsible for supposed welfare gains.

They believe they are good people, who do good work, and therefore the results of their work must be good.

We all want to believe that the order for which we are responsible, the work we do, and the economics that works to our benefit, is justified, because we want to believe we are good people.

Neoliberals, elites, and techies feel they have created this world. Therefore, this world must be a good one.

Techies also want to think that technology can solve everything, because it’s what they’re good at. And hey, it does demonstrably work. It’s just not clear that it can do everything, or do everything soon enough, since we all will, well, die.

Anyway, the larger point of this is simple: We argue over these things because they are about legitimacy and people’s self-esteems and self-images.

Of course those (like myself) who oppose the current neoliberal order want these figures to be BS. We want to be able to argue that change is urgent, and needed, and that the existing order has failed.

It’s good to understand that, no matter what side you’re on. What do you WANT to believe. Then see if you’re still justified.

Of course, I think I am. This doesn’t mean there’s been no progress, there has. I just think the numbers are wildly over-inflated outside of China, and the progress is unsustainable due to climate change and the impending environmental collapse. I can live like a king if I have a ten million dollar credit card limit, but if I can’t pay it back, eventually that ends.

Also I grew up in the development community. My father worked for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Bangladesh, and had worked before in various other developing countries. I spent time in India, and so on. I listened to development workers talk about what worked and (mostly) what didn’t. There are more cynical (or rather, realistic) groups in the world, but not many.

So there’s always been an off-smell to these numbers to me. I know what works for development (mercantalist policies with the cooperation of the current hegemonic powers, and virtually nothing else, unless you’re a city state) and what doesn’t (anything orthodox development economists tell you to do).

I know who’s been allowed to actually bootstrap up and industrialize (American allies and China–because they bribed American leaders), and who hasn’t (almost everyone else).

And I know something else: If you’re forced off your land into a slum, you make more money, but you’re worse off. The economic and Western obsession with $$$$ as a measure of quality of life is unwise. Even calories (though better) are not great, because for example, when NAFTAs tortilla manufacturers were bought out after NAFTA, their nutritional content plummeted.

So it all smells off, to me.

But even if it didn’t, even if it was all true–that the world was “never better,” radical change is needed because climate change and ecological collapse are on their way, with the leading edge already causing problems. We can’t even keep industrializing the way we have been. If every developing country was allowed to industrialize properly, and we gave them what they needed to do it, we’d just bury ourselves deeper.

The fundamental WAY we have run our economies, both in terms of any type of capitalism (and communism back when, but they’ve been gone for 30 years now, so grow up) and in terms of technology is fucked. Fucked. It cannot continue or we risk civilization collapse. Worse case scenarios are great die-offs which take us down too. Good case scenarios are one or two billion deaths.

No matter what, we are past the point where we aren’t going to be able to change the environment in a way that prevents the climate from being fundamentally warmer and different from the environment and climate which has existed for the entirety of human civilization.

That’s not an economic or technological system which is more or less OK, or producing more or less good results even IF the triumphalists were right about everything.

It requires change, and radical change, if we are to avoid, not disaster (we’ve already had those), but multiple catastrophes of civilization-shaking levels.

It’s not OK to think everything is OK.

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Bolivia’s Evo Morales Forced Out of Presidency


Open Thread


  1. Eric Anderson

    Ian, I can’t tell if you’re a student of, or, have reasoned to the same conclusions as ….
    but it seems you’re knocking down the same doors and could stand to benefit from one another.

    Personally, I think the LPE crowd is a bit too sanguine as to our future and should be more focused on how to rebuild in the image they propose after the “state shifts” predicted by ecologic resilience theory begin to come to pass.

    p.s. I think you got you own sub-post Peter.

  2. Herman

    Great piece. It helps to be open to changing your mind even if it goes against what you believe. As a young man I was a staunch Republican but then the disastrous Iraq War and reading about the negative impact of globalization on American workers via Pat Buchanan of all people led me to question George W. Bush-era conservative orthodoxy. I read some work on socialism and while I admire some of the accomplishments of the socialist movement I think there were and are major problems with socialism.

    Perhaps the biggest change to my thinking has been going from being a tech optimist to a tech pessimist. I think we are on our way to some kind of horrible catastrophe and our obsession with endless economic and technological growth is driving it.

    I came to my current views not because I wanted to but because I think this is what the best evidence shows. I honestly hope that I am wrong because the state of the world is profoundly disturbing. In some ways I am still a conservative at heart but too many people on the right have an Alfred E. Neuman, “What, me worry?” attitude about the world, particularly the environment. The same can be said for many centrists and even left-wingers as well.

    Of course, nobody is totally unbiased and free of emotional commitments. We all bring “baggage” from our upbringing and life experiences with us. Sometimes there are also deep philosophical differences between people that produce unbridgeable chasms between worldviews. But it is good to check and see if your worldview is mostly due to class position or emotional factors. I think your analysis of the current optimist position is dead on.

  3. Ian Welsh

    LPE is not something I’ve read. But this is the sort of conclusion a lot of people are coming to, I suspect. It’s fairly obvious.

  4. ~ a bit too sanguine as to our future ~ wry understatement?

    Dog doesn’t roll dice. Seven billion people, ten in a generation people on a ball of mud that can barely sustain one. It ain’t rocket science. It’s physics (physics is everything), simple physics, not rocket science: “wheels coming off” implies momentum, momentum implies an anticipation of where the wheels will go. It isn’t chaos, dog doesn’t roll dice. We have to stop doing what we’re doing, NOW! It isn’t working. Damn the inconvenience damn the expense. Ample evidence at hand, ample geological record to read from, if we don’t stop doing what we’re doing there is the very real likelihood even some of us Olds – OK Bitch? – will see the end of life as we know it.

    But … we won’t, nothing will change … until perhaps billions have died mean, rude and otherwise all around unpleasant deaths, whence it will be too late. It’ll get uglier before it gets pretty.

  5. Hugh

    I was thinking last night about how crapped out the US has become. It’s like an invisible chair in a room that everyone moves around without ever acknowledging it’s there. You only know it’s there because everyone reacts to it even if they never admit it. Our country isn’t working. For the lower 80%, this fact suffuses the air we breathe. Our political parties don’t work for us. The political system doesn’t. Neither does the economy. You see it in everything from lives stunted and destroyed to good jobs that aren’t there to the lack of healthcare to the homeless and panhandlers on street corners to the endless parade of greed and corruption on Wall Street, in Washington, and of course Silicon Valley.

    I thought how against this backdrop it is nigh on impossible to discuss anything seriously, the problems we currently face, those we will be facing, the lack of democracy, a government and economy run by and for the rich, and looming over all, climate change, overpopulation, and the societal collapses and mass die-offs that will come from them. We need to act decisively, and now. Instead we remain frozen, apathetic, unable as a society to even tie our shoelaces.


    You mean the Green New Deal won’t lead us to the promised land flowing with milk and honey? Party pooper. How dare you rain on the Wokester’s Everything’s Gonna Be Alright parade.

    Tweeting will set you free. Just ask Donald Trump. Social media is the answer. What’s the question answered is the question.


    I was thinking last night about how crapped out the US has become.

    Me too. I swear. America has fallen to 2nd World status as far as I’m concerned. Donald Trump in the Oval Office is proof of that as if we needed anymore proof. China is the new dominant rising power. Russia can’t compete with China. If China ever decides to be imperialistic, it’s game over entirely.

  8. Ché Pasa

    Good rant. The Panglossian view still has its adherents of course and always will — gotta have hope, right?–but more people are understanding just how fucked things are and how much worse they will become in the not too distant future. Our rulers seem intent on making sure that we know with utter certainty that nothing can be done about it either — apart from the increasingly brutal resource wars, popular suppressions, migrations and their resistance widely under way.

    In other words, the Apocalypse isn’t nigh, it’s here. What we are to do about it is essentially nothing except roll with it — and defend our own turf.

    Note should be made about the matter of “wealth”. Personal wealth always was largely illusory, but these days it’s much more so, as practically every dollar or euro or whatever is literally nothing more than an electronic notation. Those notations can be jiggered all sorts of ways or they can be eliminated altogether with a keystroke. Our billionaires — of which none are good — are particularly vulnerable. I think we should keep that in mind as conditions continue their deterioration.

  9. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Welp, since I have zero power to change the situation, I am compelled to hope that the boffins can get us out of this latest set of messes, Meanwhile, I take cold comfort in the fact that I have completed 56 solar orbits, and lack a spouse or descendants.

    As for China, its great weakness is that of all authoritarian regimes; the fear that strong standing armed forces will lead to an ambitious general making himself a dictator. That was a major factor in the centuries-long weakness of what should have been the mightiest civilization on the planet. (That also was a major factor in the decline of the Roman Empire.) China maintains strong standing armed forces only because its leaders–due to the “Century of Humiliation” at the hands of the Western imperial powers and the Japanese Empire–currently fear foreign conquest, or at least indirect domination, more than they fear an ambitious general. If the leaders of China ever feel secure enough from foreign influence, I expect they will return to their ancient disdain for the military, and so imperialism by China will not happen.

  10. ponderer

    Anyway, the larger point is simple: we argue over these things because they are about legitimacy and people’s self-esteem and self-image.

    I don’t think so. I think we argue over these things because we have been trained to argue and find conflict in anything that challenges our identity. Since we have substituted our factions identity for our own self interest, also through media guided training, people have largely given up their self interests for convenience. Critical thought has been replaced by social media, which works great at “perception molding”. It’s just so much easier to give your burdens (worries, doubts, intellectual workload) to your faction(s), and then share in the emotions of the group so you don’t even have to have your own feelings. Its like the release of responsibility and inhibitions that occurs in a mob. I’m pretty sure its modeled on that ancient human behavior and why the shouting and conflict are all so encouraged. We can even see that dynamic in these comments.
    While Climate issues are currently used in our mass media training program for some factions, I think it’s not intended to ever allow a solution. It only serves to highten emotions (fear), push people into factions, and cause further conflict. If there were ever a consensus on the issue they would find a wedge issue to cause further fracturing. The more I think about the state of our social discourse the more I come to the conclusion we are all being readily manipulated into a kind of frantic nearly violent dis-action. Twitter and Facebook are the tools.
    Thinking things are not OK, isn’t an answer to this, but I’m not sure what is.


    China, like the West, is addicted to growth and it’s been experiencing phenomenal growth for half a century now although its been waning a bit in recent years but still it’s impressive and destructive growth far exceeds the growth of any Western economy. China has caught the Capitalist bug and the Capitalist bug is like Herpes — once you have it, you always have it. As such, China is outgrowing its borders and if it wants to maintain its growth fix, it will have no choice but to become overtly imperialistic.

  12. nihil obstet

    This is like the economists who argue that actually workers have gotten much bigger raises than usually reported. The cost of medical insurance has skyrocketed, so the employers pay more for employee insurance. Even though the employee has gotten little additional money and the employee cost of the insurance has risen, the employers’ share constitutes a raise.

    In a financialized world, the rich will constrict their world to easy simple data (#of dollars) that can be put into charts and formulas and pride themselves on their realism against the emotionalism of the less privileged.

  13. I Hate Giving My Email

    I’ve adopted a lot of Josh Ellis’ philosophy. I’ve cut off connections with anybody who responds with “I’ll just LOL and live my best life and not worry about it” whenever I try telling them to start preparing for climate change. I will just look for as many people as I can who actually are committed to surviving and team up with them. If 1-2 billion people are going to die, might as well make it, as Josh said, the cruel, the greedy, and the terminally stupid.

  14. Temporarily Sane

    Stephen Pinker is the patron saint of the people who desperately want to believe that everything is great and getting better. Guys like Pinker have turned science into a religion and use it to divine “truths” that, very conveniently, always line up exactly with the neoliberal status quo. The media will write a piece about “this red hot job market” and run next to a story about a city park stuffed with more homeless people than ever before and boy is housing is still expensive and families have to move to the suburbs to find a more affordable place to live.

    It used to be when the economy was “booming” there was a tangible sense of optimism in the air, people were happy and had money to spend and prices were affordable. That is no longer the case but the media seems to think just writing ridiculous articles about how great everything supposedly is will convince everyone that it is true.

    The fact is this system is broken and it’s only going to get worse until we come up with something that can replace it. Waren, Sanders, Corbyn are not going to change the system even if they get elected and have the grit it takes to face he opposition that will be mounted against them.

    In the absence of a mass movement that rallies people together behind a vision of a better system the neoliberals will continue with to reign. You can’t replace something with nothing. The left today is full of seriously deluded fools who think we can vote our way out of this mess or that sitting behind a computer and cataloguing the failures of neoliberalism will magically bring a better world into being.

  15. Hugh

    World population will go from about 9.8 billion in 2050 to 1-2 billion in 2100.

  16. Herman


    I agree. The U.S. is a mess, despite all of the happy talk from people like Steven Pinker, things are getting worse. There is actually a lot of evidence pointing this way in terms of declining life expectancy, rising suicide rates, increasing rates of drug and alcohol abuse, etc. Also, as @Temporarily Sane points out, there is no sense of optimism in the country which is what you would expect if people like Pinker were correct.

    The media either denies that there is a problem or they come up with silly things like men dying of “toxic masculinity” which is a cute way of trying to dismissing the problems of much of the population as entirely psychological. Yes, I am sure Uncle Bob killed himself because he watched too many John Wayne movies, not because his job was outsourced or automated away and he is over 40 with obsolete skills and little chance of getting rehired even if he retrained.

    Some people will then try to argue that Westerners are just losing their privileged position in the world, but most developing countries had more developmental success in the period from the end of World War II to the 1970s compared to the neoliberal period and even in countries like China where there has been real developmental success there is some evidence that the Chinese are less happy than they were in the past and that is not even getting into the other problems with the Chinese regime.

  17. Peter

    It’s not accurate to claim many people think ‘everything’ is OK or that ‘everything’ is getting better. Many things may be OK and many things are getting better.

    Neoliberal economics had some big flaws in practice if not in theory. The first was free but unfair trade used by globalists and the other was austerity imposed on people, who didn’t create the debt, by governments who did.The US suffered greatly from the globalist unfair trade but those days are over if we can continue to defeat the globalists at home and abroad.

    Quick action by our wise and beloved President to dump the TPP, NAFTA, confront China, reject forever wars along with tax reform, cutting excessive regulation and opening up energy exploration should guarantee we won’t face austerity. Cutting the tentacles of foreign entanglements of the Paris Accord especially when we are the only country who actually managed to cut CO2 emissions, removed that austerity plan the globalists want to impose.

    If you want to impose radical change on people, who are enjoying growing prosperity here and people escaping extreme poverty by the billions around the globe, you best develop some new ideas that don’t depend on a failed 150 year old ideology that produced the most death, suffering and depression in the history of the world.

    PS, I eat real Mexican tortillas made the same way they have been for at lest 3000 years they are delicious and nutritious Mexico grows all the maze needed for local consumption. The yellow untreated tortilla usually consumed north of the border is much less nutritious or tasty. I did see a report that some Mexicans are eating more flour tortillas because of a growing desire for modern American style fast food and this is leading to obesity.

  18. bruce wilder

    I clicked on some click-bait headline claiming a famous professor had revealed why so many highly educated people are bad writers. Turned out it was Pinker, claiming the problem was “knowing too much” which leads to using jargon as shortcuts and so on.

    My pessimistic self would say the problem is highly credentialed people who never have to test their theories as skill and therefore never understand anything, but talk anyway in full consciousness that they are just being pretentitious, mostly in imitation of other people they never understood but admired for seeming powerful and arrogant about their “knowledge”.

    If we really are on the cusp of a collapse of civilization, it might be because the people in charge of running the complexity of our complex society have no real idea of how it works and what connects the rules and management philosophy with outcomes and performance. Pinker’s optimistic assessment of why “experts” so often can not or will not explain anything clearly seems of a piece with denial of the more obvious hypothesis: they cannot explain because they do not understand any of it.

  19. Some day’s are diamonds, some day’s dust.

    Some day’s you find diamonds in the dust.

  20. Hugh

    Peter never disappoints with his news from whatever alternate universe he comes from. In our universe meanwhile, the TPP was dead before Trump came to office. Trump simply renamed NAFTA. The content remained the same. His trade war with China was incredibly stupid and pointless. About the only thin g that has come out of it is that some US companies are moving production from China to Vietnam. The US remains in Syria and what troops were removed from Syria were simply transferred to nearby Iraq. Trump also has been deploying troops to Saudi Arabia and bombers to Qatar and he continues to support the Saudi genocide in Yemen. So the forever wars are still very much alive and kicking. His tax “reform” was a big, sorry yuuge, tax cut for the rich and corporations. The corps mainly used their cut to inflate their stock price with stock buy backs. nd thank goodness for cutting all the “excessive” regulations that kept us from breathing toxic air and drinking toxic water, oh and being gouged by predatory corporations. As for Trump being anti-austerity, has anyone found the least microscopic evidence of this? As I said, jobs are not returning to the US, corps are not investing. And as I have been saying for months, 2019 is the worse for job creation in the last six years. An important way the US has cut its CO2 emissions has been by exporting its manufacturing to Asia. And people enjoying growing prosperity? I guess that explains the tsunami of suicides, drug overdoses, and declining life expectancy. People are just enjoying themselves too much. Good to know.


    We learned some important things in the televised impeachment debates.

    1.) Republicans are batshit crazy. Okay, we didn’t learn that since we already knew it, but the televised impeachment proceedings yesterday certainly validated this assessment and underscored it.

    2.) Ukraine is, and should be, referred to as Ukraine and not “the Ukraine.” As well, Crimea is properly referred to as Crimea and not “the Crimea.”

    3.) Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, is pronounced Keev and not Key Ev as it is customarily pronounced in the American mainstream media. The ambassadors should know and do know so I trust their proper pronunciation and proper pronunciation is important. We have a POTUS who is illegally and unethically doing personal business with Erdogan and cannot even pronounce the guy’s name correctly.

    4.) Zelensky, despite his inauspicious credentials, is an impressive reformer and he is cleaning house. I respect that. Every one of us who read this space and comment here should respect that and support it. It’s an example to follow here in America and no, Donald Trump IS IN NO WAY a reformer like Zelensky.

    5.) The genius behind Zelensky is Ivan Bakanov. He reminds me of the genius behind Putin, Vladislav Surkov. I’d like to know more about Bakanov. His history. How he came to hold so much power and influence. Does Russia have its hand in it? If so, it’s an intriguing angle and strategy. Remember, Putin and his puppet masters play multi-dimensional chess. Reform and democracy are foils and tools to the consolidation of absolute power.

    6.) Trump doesn’t give a shit about anything or anyone but himself and his own interests. It’s all about his self-glorification. Zelensky’s response to Trump’s quid pro quo betrays Russia may be behind Zelensky, multi-dimensional chess withstanding. Surely Russia would prefer America not arm Ukraine to the teeth considering it is at war with Ukraine. If Zelensky was in Russia’s pocket in any way, he would have refused Trump and made a spectacle of it and thrown Trump under the bus. Instead, he’s kept it all at arm’s length and has taken great care not to get in the bad graces of Donald Trump which means he sorely wants that aid and is willing to mute himself to get it.


    America needs a Zelensky. Many of them.

    Volodymyr Zelensky Is Ukraine’s Anti-Trump

    The shocking rise of performer Volodymyr Zelensky as the frontrunner in the March 31 Ukrainian Presidential election has been greeted with derision, defamation, and skepticism. He’s been labelled variously as a “clown,” a “joke without experience,” and “Ukraine’s Donald Trump.”

    But Zelensky is no “clown,” nor is he the Slavic version of Donald Trump. He is a lawyer who has made millions as a producer and performer with theatrical productions and a hit television series called Servant of the People. Now on Netflix, the series stars him as a naive history teacher whose classroom rant about the rampant corruption in Ukraine is videoed by a student and placed online where it goes viral, propelling him to the presidency. The race in Ukraine is about art preempting life.

    Zelensky is the antithesis of Trump, who never had a policy thought before he ran for public office. Zelensky’s scripts are manifestos on the country’s problems and possible solutions, and his character has so successfully skewered Ukraine’s political and oligarch classes for years that he has become a de facto opposition leader. Thus, his name recognition and his political credibility as a reformer are established.

  23. ponderer


    What do they have besides their credentials? I see professionals of all stripes playing the same game (doctors certainly come to mind). Imagine working for most of your life to get a credential, one that will be the linchpin of your entire future, then realizing that most of that knowledge is having a better grasp of what you don’t know. If “regular” people don’t believe you have *all* the answers then you’re a fraud. So much easier to retreat behind the facade of your credentials and keep your life style intact. The worst part is that you become afraid to even ask the questions as it may expose your ignorance, furthering the problem. Now, you can’t test your hypothesis in any meaningful way. Our society doesn’t tolerate weakness (through failure or lack of knowledge) well, unless you belong to certain groups, and never in an academic setting. It doesn’t matter how little you know or accomplish, you have to appear arrogant and all knowing if you want to “make it”. That’s why when you see someone who is humble and well respected they have a much higher probability of being the “smartest” in their field.

    I can’t remember where I heard this but one of the more insightful things I’ve heard is “you don’t really know something until you try to teach it to someone else”. I’ve found it exactly on the mark. If you don’t know and can’t teach, the only thing you have left is to intimidate.

  24. Willy

    While working in a highly competitive gig economy, I learned there are two kinds of experts: the one who teaches clearly (for hopeful reciprocal return favors I assume) and the other who intimidates (to try and maintain their status quo by keeping newbies in their place). The difference seems the amount of integrity each has.

    Then we have pop scientists like S. Pinker and J. Peterson. Talk about getting wrapped around so-called credentials for the sake of livelihood. They get to rake in good money going round and round in circles ‘debating’ instead of actually resolving much of anything. And as Prager learned, there can be a fair amount of billionaire funding to be had as well.

    There are reasons why such people have as many fans as they do.


    Here’s a great article from The New Yorker that comprehensively covers this embarrassing and destructive quid pro quo debacle and clusterf*ck. There are so many channels of analysis that emanate from all of this, they’re too numerous to list. Ian, you really should type some blog posts up related to this. It deserves a non-partisan, objective discussion.

    Ukraine’s Unlikely President, Promising a New Style of Politics, Gets a Taste of Trump’s Swamp | Volodymyr Zelensky swept to power pledging to end corruption. Then the White House called.

    I learned a new word. Laikozavisimost. It’s a millennial affliction borne of social media.

  26. Peter

    Thanks to agent 450 we have two examples of how our Pravdaesk chattering class organs deliver their propaganda lies to bolster the Party line while assisting the ongoing cover-up’
    AI is more crude in their attempt to portray Zrlensky as the anti-Trump. Their childish ignorant slur about Trump never having a policy thought before being elected is laughable.
    The NY piece is more clever except for the headline that tries to project the silly notion that the Swamp is now a Trump creature. They secrete their Party Line assumptions among paragraphs of boring fluff beginning with the debunked opinion that the call transcript is a summary. and then proceed to infer they have special powers so they can tell us what Trump and Zelensky were really thinking before during and after the call that we all have witnessed from the transcript.
    Western Civilization is certainly threatened by these demonically possessed voices but fortunately we don’t depend on them to keep the lights on and their power is limited and declining.


    The question remains, if the whistle blower didn’t out this, would Zelensky have acquiesced to Trump’s demand? He was , and is, between a rock and a hard place. Damned if he does and damned is he doesn’t.

    I like this quote. Not just Zelensky’s words but the authors insight too.

    During my meeting with Zelensky, in August, he talked about the frozen military aid as a technical matter. But there was clearly something on his mind. “There are some difficulties,” he said. “It’s a complicated story that started a long time ago.” He summed up his position: “Large empires have always used smaller countries for their own interests. But, in this political chess match, I will not let Ukraine be a pawn.” The sentiment was spot on and the delivery perfect, but, in reality, it might have already been too late.

  28. bruce wilder

    What exactly did “the whistleblower” disclose?

    It is important to examine this question closely and dispassionately. Not to convict or exonerate Trump. But, to understand the derangement of the elite political classes.

    To praise this “whistleblower” while Assange is being slowly killed is obscene.

    The worship of narrative that has taken over the alleged minds and replaced their judgment is on full display in the way the talking heads repeating “quid pro quo” without noticing the transaction was never completed.

    It is almost as if the political classes want to drown the coming election and campaign in a bathtub of stupid.

  29. Ché Pasa


    The question is why did Nancy and the Dem leadership jump at this revelation rather than any of the other obvious depredations by the regime? What was it about this call, most of the substance of which has been confirmed by the White House and other sources, that made it impeachable (finally) and why does Trump think the call was “perfect?”

    It should be obvious, but apparently few see, and hardly anyone wants to say. In this case, it’s not a policy dispute — which Nancy has said over and over again is not a cause for impeachment. This is a purely political dispute in that Trump asked (ordered?) Zelensky to perform a political service for him: investigate the Bidens, Barisma, and Ukranian involvement in the 2016 campaign on behalf of Hillary if you want that weapons funding. Apparently, he also told Zelensky to publicly announce these investigations — which, apparently, he was planning to do until the “never mind” message came through from the White House after the whistle was blown and the funding was released without meeting Trump’s request/order.

    Why is that — and so far only that — impeachable whereas all the other horrors that have come out of the Trump White House are not? It parallels Nixon’s aborted impeachment. He could obliterate millions of people in Southeast Asia with complete impunity, and he would not be impeached for it. His impeachable offense was political: authorizing and covering up the burglary of the DNC offices for dirt on Democrats. Reagan could not only be an addle-pated fool, he and his staff could engage in all kinds of illegal/immoral and deadly activity and not be impeached for it. Clinton could engage in his own unethical/arguably illegal activities and not be impeached for those, but he was impeached for lying about an Oval Office affair.

    We can go through pretty much every presidency since Washington and spot all kinds of outrageous/immoral/illegal actions that should have led to impeachment, and yet we’ll find that only relatively petty things do.

    The question is why? Why do the real horrors administrations engage in routinely get a pass while messing with the political opposition or having an affair exposed inconveniently or (in the case of Andrew Johnson) defying a Congressional demand lead to impeachment?

    Assange and Snowden — among quite a few others — must be asking the same question.

    Why this and not that?


    To praise this “whistleblower” while Assange is being slowly killed is obscene.

    I’m not praising the whistleblower. The whistleblower isn’t even the point and should not be of concern other than to say, if not for the whistleblower, this wouldn’t even be on the radar and Zelensky would be in a further pickle than he already is. He would have to consider manufacturing false evidence and conducting a false inquiry into Joe and Hunter Biden. In otherwords, a true witch hunt — if he wanted the aid. As it turns out, since the whistleblower shed light on this shadow play, Trump was forced to release the funds whether Zelensky complied or not, otherwise, if Zelensky didn’t comply, it’s highly possible Trump would have reneged just as he did on the already feckless, but symbolic, Paris Accords.

    The real traitor here isn’t the whistleblower, it’s Trump who is for all intents and purposes Putin’s puppet in the White House. Trump’s handlers are on board with this and play it to the hilt. The card they are playing on Ukraine is the card Putin has given them. Pompeo is complicit with this. A former director of the CIA is a traitor working for the KGB. What would Jesus Angleton say? I know this, Jesus, Cold War warrior that he was, is not rolling in his grave, he’s jumping up and down in it. If Jesus was alive, Pompeo would be on his hit list, that’s for certain. My, how times have changed. Who would have thought the KGB, after the fall of the Soviet Union and its reincarnation into a oligarchic autocracy would have been capable of infiltrating and co-opting American intelligence organizations to the point said intelligence organizations report to Putin and do his bidding? Who exactly won the Cold War? I know this. It wasn’t America as the history books would have you believe.


    The question is why did Nancy and the Dem leadership jump at this revelation rather than any of the other obvious depredations by the regime? What was it about this call, most of the substance of which has been confirmed by the White House and other sources, that made it impeachable (finally) and why does Trump think the call was “perfect?”

    That’s a great question and it should be answered and analyzed but it shouldn’t detract from the fact that Trump should have been impeached long ago for even more egregious offenses. This Zelensky quid pro quo spectacle is his modus operandi and standard operating procedure for his administration. Everyone who has ever served under Trump is guilty of being a traitor to America and a traitor to the Constitution. Every single one of them. As containment, because they know what I am saying is true, they are using what I call the Valkyrie Strategy meaning they claim they served Trump in order to prevent him from destroying America, and the world, entirely. Bullshit. They served, and serve, Trump because they are serving themselves and they ALL should be made to pay for their treason. They cannot save face because they have no face left to save.


    Thanks to agent 450…

    If I’m an agent, I can’t compare to the Agent in Chief, Donald Trump. He’s a Russian agent Putin and his cronies refer to as Agent Orange. They love the smell of gelatinous gasoline in the morning, don’t you know? They see a green swamp and they want it painted black.


    Western Civilization is certainly threatened by these demonically possessed voices but fortunately we don’t depend on them to keep the lights on and their power is limited and declining.

    No, unfortunately “Western Civilization” depends on increasingly privatized public utilities to keep the lights on and if PG&E is any example and it is, that business model is failing miserably and is sure to cast us permanently into darkness which, cathartically speaking (hat tip to the Cathers who deplored the material world), is a good thing for climate change I suppose.


    That’s Cathars, not Cathers. My bad. If the Cathars had their way and weren’t genocided, there would be no climate change or AI to wring our hands over. Maybe they were right. We’re living in a material world and Madonna is a material girl.

  35. bruce wilder

    Why this and not that?

    Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion. There is an element of that in Nixon and a third-rate burglary. The burglary was for a political purpose that made little sense, but it was not a purely political crime; it was a burglary. And, Nixon obstructed the investigation of that burglary. There was never any doubt that a burglary had taken place and involved Administration employees.

    I do not think the analogy holds. What Trump did was crass. His big offense in the eyes of the several “witnesses” who mostly did not witness anything is that he wants to conduct a foreign policy that is not insanely Russophobic. No actual transaction ( “quid pro quo”) took place.

    In Nixon’s case, I think he had earned the enmity of many in Congress with usurpations of power, but it would have been futile and self-defeating to charge him with those, because Republicans would rally as partisan champions of not just Nixon, but the precedental usurpations. The Dems, who opposed Nixon on these, had to find a charge the Republicans could not defend: the burglary and covering up who knew about it.

    In Trump’s case, the Dems do not actually oppose him on his more obvious crimes. Even on this charge, there is the conspicuous problem that Biden did exactly the same thing. On emoluments, there is the Bill and Hillary extortion act, otherwise known as the Clinton Foundation. On the campaign finance violations, well Hillary hijacked the DNC fundraising in a big circumvention of limits. On Trump seeking dirt on Hillary from the Russians, turns out Hillary used a British agent to seek dirt on Trump from the Russians.

    And, on the policy issues, no one is serious. The Blob objects to a President making foreign policy and the Dems seem to think casting the CIA and NSA as a Praetorian Guard is a Constitutional innovation worth making.

    People like 450, who sign on to lip-syncing MSNBC jingles, are shamefully ridiculous.


    This article gives more detail on Zelensky’s improbable rise to power. If you drill down deep, it appears Russia does indeed believe he has value if only as a foil. The American Oligarchs also believed immigrant settlers had value in “civilizing” the frontier.

    Zelensky Unchained: What Ukraine’s New Political Order Means For Its Future


    People like 450, who sign on to lip-syncing MSNBC jingles, are shamefully ridiculous.

    I don’t watch MSNBC or any of the cable news shows, so you’re wrong.

    What jingle am I lip-syncing? Are you capable of thinking about this and discussing it in a non-partisan way? I am. I agree with CP that this is political. It’s ALL political but that doesn’t preclude us from evaluating this specific issue and parsing it from the politics if that’s possible.

    Of course, if you think aid to Ukraine is a bad thing and you believe Ukraine belongs to Russia then of course you wouldn’t want to discuss this at all. Is that what you think? If Ukraine belongs to Russia, doesn’t Mexico and Cuba and pretty much all of South America and Latin America belong to Spain? Doesn’t Canada belong to the UK? Algeria to France? Or, does Cuba belong to the United States and as such, the U.S. should annex it just as Russia has annexed Crimea?

    I refuse to conflate Trump with all other politicians who have come before him and claim they’re all one and the same. Trump is a cut below. In fact, Trump is many cuts below (versus a cut above). He’s a crazed ball-less bull let loose in the precarious china closet of America’s teetering fragile democratic republic. He’s the wrecking ball paving the way for unbridled despotism. You don’t save the village by burning it. You don’t depose the rich by supporting the rich. Trump is the rich. He’s direct oligarchic rule and it shows.


    This nutjob, Donald Trump, instead of busying himself being POTUS and doing things the POTUS should do, like promulgating & enabling policy, is tweeting insults in real-time as he watches the impeachment proceedings he said he isn’t watching and wouldn’t watch because it’s boring.

    How can you defend this, Bruce? The same way Putin defends it? My answer to the wealthy elite who own both parties and run the show isn’t Donald Trump. I refuse to defend him and my criticism of him no way aligns me with the wealthy elite and their D.C. Establishment courtiers who comprise in totality the politicians and apparatchiks of both parties. My criticism of Trump is independent of their criticism. It transcends it and the fact they criticize Trump shouldn’t preclude us from criticizing him as we would criticize any sitting president.

    Here’s Trump latests tweets. Who does such a thing? Certainly not a sitting president, right? This is indefensible. It’s absurd. Preposterous. A national embarrassment. The man, or pussy I should say, has ZERO CLASS. He has no social skills. Etiquette is beyond him. Decency is beyond him. He’s a sabot. A clog. In the weathered & worn intricacy of America’s languishing loom of democracy.

    Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.

    Here’s something new to impeachment proceedings of yore. Adam Schiff read Trump’s real-time tweet insult about her into the record and gave her a chance to respond. She handled herself with class and didn’t get reactionary even though Schiff was prompting her to get into the pit with Trump. Good for her.


    As for Trump and policy, how’s this for the most recent example of Trump’s vaunted foreign policy?

    Erdoğan bitch-slapped Trump and the GOP. This is what Trump and the GOP call America First. Like I said, they are batshit insane.

    It’s clear from this and many other examples just like it, Trump is a coward of tremendous proportions. He’s the antithesis of John Wayne.

    Turkish Media Paints White House Visit As Erdoğan Triumph Over Trump

    Let’s see Bruce & Che Pasa and Peter defend this. It’ll be the standard “but, but, but, Obama and Hillary & Bill…” It’s the standard response to any criticism of Trump. To point the finger at the Democrats and deflect.

  40. anon y'mouse

    someone needs to get their own blog.

    especially if they want to rant on about the impeachment in every post.

    draining attention away from the main post.

  41. Eric Anderson

    Here, here, mouse.
    There’s an open comment thread for that, 450.


    Got it, guys. I can understand why you’re afraid to broach the topic. It’s better everyone just keep their thoughts to themselves and let the experts in the mainstream media handle the discussion of it. Thanks for setting me straight. Leave it to the experts is sage advice. I’ll go hibernate and let you all echo.

  43. Peter

    Bruce, great comments but I wonder what ‘obvious crimes’ Trump has supposedly committed. Agent 350 seems more like a Correct The Record activists than a MSDNC type.
    I’m not a postmodern relativist and try to avoid Marxist Whataboutism, anyone who commits a crime should face blind justice. I despise the Soviet style presumption of guilt seeking to fabricate a crime we are witnessing today and have for three years. Bribery is the latest supposed evil deed the Star Chamber apparatchiks are offering their focus groups and marxist media boot-lickers.
    The emoluments crime claim is the only truly hilarious element of this ongoing display of the dark arts. Who in their right mind believes that petty receipts from hotels would influence a billionaire. To quiet these imbeciles Trump Inc refunded about $200K in profits from suspect foreigners and voluntarily halted all new business ventures outside the US This was not required and may cost them billions in future revenues.
    What is most troubling to me is that so many people have rallied behind these dark forces knowing the truth about what has been exposed and what they are trying to cover up.

  44. NRG

    Nobody is telling you not to discuss the news of the day, 450. Folks are asking that you don’t deliberately hijack a comment thread dedicated to an entirely different topic to do it. That doesn’t make us all co-conspirators. . .

    On topic, the gist of the argument presented by Hillary Clinton in 2016, and by several Democratic candidates this time around is explicitly that most everything is okay. They argue that all we need to do is get rid of the titular head of state, and return to the ideal situation we enjoyed under the prior administration. The argument Ian identifies is pervasive, popular, and backed by those who have benefited from the lies that form its basis. I am sure I am not alone in despairing over the prospects for our compromised political system to solve this situation, or escape the bonds of mone. . . errr, free speech as defined by the Supreme Court.

  45. Ian Welsh

    Do remember that every Saturday I put up an open-thread meant explicitly for topics unrelated to recent posts.

  46. Hugh

    Trump has been a crook and lousy businessman all his life. Nothing changed when he became President, except his scope of operation exponentially increased.

    Pelosi did not want to impeach Trump at all. She thought it would energize his base and cost some Democrat-in-name-only Representatives their seats –putting her majority at risk. On the other hand, no impeachment and Trump fatigue worked in her favor. Events and her caucus pushed her to act. She had the choice of going long (delving into all Trump’s multitudinous illegalities before and during his Presidency) or going short form (focusing on on Ukraine). She decided on the second, a simple case, lots of evidence, a President compromising national security to get dirt on a political opponent. In other words, something which she could sell to and be understood by the American public.

  47. nihil obstet

    The “everything’s fine” political argument has two sides. The post and most comments look at those who don’t want to change anything because of greed and narcissism. The other side is of people who are willing to sacrifice for fairness and equality because of a sense of moral purpose. The argument beloved of the Democratic Party these days is that most Americans have to accept a lower standard of having because the desperately poor elsewhere should have a little more. This, along with TINA, is meant to deflect ordinary Americans’ anger at their immiseration.

    In the eighties, watching the rising greed in the society, I thought it might not be a bad thing, especially in the area of war. If nobody would volunteer for a volunteer army, maybe we’d have to stop the psychotic killing. I was wrong. Too young people went to war for idealistic reasons, to “serve”.

    We need to keep hitting both the obvious self-serving of the rich and technocratic and the ability to raise standards of living everywhere with the destruction of hoarded finances.

  48. Hugh

    nihil, if we had a draft, everyone would have skin in the game, and it would be a lot harder to wage and continue all these pointless, endless wars. A professional, volunteer army makes it easier to have such wars precisely because relatively few of us are directly affected by them.

    And yes, the mantra of Establishment Democrats is “You can’t have nice things,” but what is so stone cold galling is the continuation: “But we (the elites) can.”

    I think we need to keep several things in mind. We can provide the wherewithal for a decent and meaningful life to everyone in our society, but not with billionaires and not sustainably. This does not mean that some will need to go without, but rather that we have a window in which to manage our population down to sustainable levels.

  49. Peter

    Nihil you make some good points but what hoarded finances do you want to destroy?
    The wealthy must invest their wealth and that adds to the pool of finance that business and government depends on for growth, social programs and the spread of prosperity around the globe we all desire.

  50. anon y'mouse

    that people reframe their economic necessity as honorable or valorous is not surprising.

    the heartland knows that there’s precious little to do but work in munitions factories and send their sons (and now daughters) to military, lest they too become un/under-employed wastrels. thus this becomes part of their moral code, and they don’t want to look to the reality of what they and their kids actually did because too many benefits are generally forthcoming (permanent military discounts on near everything being a very large and underappreciated one).

    there is continuous reframing of negative things as a survival mechanism.

    it is very similar to the abused spouse who says “well, he really loves the kids. and he does work and pay the bills. and he is just stressed right now” when she gets hit.

  51. S Brennan discovered the Cathars in the blog post below as a counter argument to his assertion*…he couldn’t wait even a few posts before pedantically preaching…a lack of impulse control that goes beyond pathetic.

    *Organization and solidarity trumps guns… they’re just waiting to be GENUINELY organized under an egalitarian umbrella of solidarity.

    My reply to 450’s kumbaya: “Learn a little history my friend, the Cathars had the numbers, had the egalitarian society, had the organization…and were crushed like grapes, in the million.”

  52. Eric Anderson

    Peter says:
    “The wealthy must invest their wealth and that adds to the pool of finance that business and government depends on for growth, social programs and the spread of prosperity around the globe we all desire.”

    Read the link above, Peter.
    That so many in our societies have been duped into thinking such bafflegab evidences the frailty of our species. Not to mention a great argument for mass social welfare. Euthanization isn’t an option, obviously. The only other option is to drag your dead intellectual weight behind us. So, nevermind. Don’t read it. Save your time. It’s above your pay grade …

    As to Graeber’s conclusions, I seem to recall one of your posts recently reasoning to the same, Ian. Tell me this language doesn’t sound familiar:

    “If an ‘economy’ is to be defined as the means by which a human population provides itself with its material needs, the British economy is increasingly dysfunctional. Frenetic efforts on the part of the British political class to change the subject (Brexit) can hardly go on forever. Eventually, real issues will have to be addressed.

    Economic theory as it exists increasingly resembles a shed full of broken tools. This is not to say there are no useful insights here, but fundamentally the existing discipline is designed to solve another century’s problems. The problem of how to determine the optimal distribution of work and resources to create high levels of economic growth is simply not the same problem we are now facing.”

    Sounds like you two were reading from the same page. What post was that???

    Read any Skidelsky lately?

  53. different clue

    Kee-whateverve is pronounced “Keev” in Ukrainian . . . the majority language of West Ukraine and it is pronounced “Kyev” in Russian . . . the majority language of East Ukraine. ( Maybe it is pronounced Kyev in East Ukrainian too . . . I just don’t know).

    Making a special point of calling it Kyeev is an identity-marker of the Galician ethnic nationalists and especially the hotsie totsie banderazis who helped drive the Maidan Coup-Riots and whom the US DC FedRegime especially wants to support . . . including in a banderazi war of genocide-conquest against the Russified East of Ukraine. I suspect a lot of ordinary West Ukrainians will finally lose interest in such a conquest, leaving the Amerigovernment holding an empty bag of . . . what?

  54. different clue

    About Assange, sometimes the Lord works in mysterious ways.

    Remember the ClimateGate emails? Public understanding of man made global warming was advancing until those emails came out. Then it was washed away in a flood of interpretation and disinterpretation about those emails’s showing scientists behaving badly. And Assange was THE one who revealed and published those emails to an amazed world. Those emails certainly provided ammunition to the “global warming is a hoax” community.

    How many people will die because of the years of deny and delay in addressing the problem which Assange caused by releasing those emails? Perhaps the torture he is experiencing at the hands of the US/UK authorities is the Lord’s punishment for Assange’s role in the billions of deaths to come. Perhaps the USUK torture-masters are merely vehicles for delivery of the Lord’s Judgement. Perhaps Assange is in the hands of an Angry God.

  55. bruce wilder

    different clue: And Assange was THE one who revealed and published those emails to an amazed world.

    That is NOT true. How did you get recruited into the effort to slander Assange and justify by lies his mistreatment?

  56. I love the smell of desperation in the morning.

  57. realitychecker

    Does anybody else find it hilarious that the Democrats have spent years now ridiculing anyone who decries the innumerable blatant violations of regular “process” that have been committed by all the anti-Trump elements for the past three years, yet yesterday the focus of the Ambassador’s testimony was that somehow the PROCESS of removing a disfavored ambassador was not scrupulously followed?

    Such differential views of process should not be tolerable to anybody who cares about fairness, or logic.

    As a lawyer, let me tell all of you that process is the fundamental guarantee of fairness for all of us.

    I pity the fools who can only advance their cause by selectively deriding, and then relying on, PROCESS!!!!

  58. nihil obstet

    Perhaps the torture he is experiencing at the hands of the US/UK authorities is the Lord’s punishment for Assange’s role in the billions of deaths to come. Perhaps the USUK torture-masters are merely vehicles for delivery of the Lord’s Judgement.

    You’ve saved me from the fate predicted by Monty Python — now I expect the Spanish Inquisition.


    different clue, spot on. Assange has allowed himself to be used as a tool and a fool and a proxy for the sadistic forces that foistered Trump upon us as an answer to “The Swamp.” Where is Trump’s day-in-and-day-out defense of Assange? I mean, the Assange defenders are necessarily Trump defenders too considering Assange helped get Trump elected. Plus, Assange, Snowden too, is a hacker. I have less than zero respect for hackers. The same argument that applies to guns applies to hackers. Hackers and hacking, like guns, are mostly used to hurt the little people instead of being aimed at who deserves those bullets the most. I have advocated for the death penalty for hackers and will support any candidate who has the nerve and gumption to run on a policy platform that includes that as a policy prescription. Death to hackers. There are no good hackers. They’re all bad and hacking is a crime against humanity. Your example about Assange and the climate change emails underscores just how destructive hacking and hackers can be and are. Peter consistently talks about dark forces which is ironic considering he and his are the dark forces. Note the religious nature of Peter’s posts. He consistently uses terms like “demonic” and “evil.” It indicates he’s a religious nutjob and he’s coddled and supported by the regulars who read & comment at this venue. How pathetic. Clinging to the apron strings of an insane religious zealot who for all we know could be a Russian troll assigned to this blog.

    Being afraid to discuss certain topics proves many are victims of years of disillusionment with the Democratic party. They fear if they comment on the latest impeachment proceedings they will be accused of what Bruce and Peter are accusing me of and so Trump is left off the hook and avoids a robust critique from the more non-partisan voices in the resistance to empire. By these crucial and critical voices being muted, the dark forces Peter represents hold sway and fill the vacuum with their agenda. It’s sad. There are a few old lions here who have lost their claws and their teeth have fallen out and their manes are sparse and ragged. They no longer have the stamina or the verve to stand at the top of the rock and roar.


    S Brennan, yes, all credit goes to you. Thank you for introducing me to the Cathars and their plight. I don’t agree with your use of them as your example in your argument, but I find them and their plight interesting for other more important reasons. As far as pedantically preaching, I’m sorry if you were offended by comment about privatization of utilities and PG&E turning the lights out and the power off. I guess that was a bit preachy.

  61. S Brennan

    “I’m sorry if you were offended by comment about privatization of utilities and PG&E turning the lights out and the power off.” –

    Nope, I wasn’t offended by that remark, because, I never bothered to read it…really.

    Sadly FF, it’s you who are offended by others not agreeing to be sermonized on a subject you decide, within your unilaterally declared boundaries…it’s then that you go into your victim routine…sheesh.

    Others have suggested you start your own blog…it’s probably good advice.

  62. Hugh

    “If an ‘economy’ is to be defined as the means by which a human population provides itself with its material needs…”

    It is one of modern economics’ great mistakes or propaganda coups to treat an economy as a product of individuals rather than of a society. It is the organization of society which makes an economy possible and prescribes what it does. As Aristotle noted, ethics/morality is about how we act in society, and one of the ways we do is economically. So an economy is never just about material things but moral ones as well.

  63. different clue

    @bruce wilder,

    About Assange receiving and publishing the stash of University of East Anglia Climatology Center emails, I read it somewhere in the MSM, I believed it at the time, I still believe it, and I am therefor not lying.

    If the story is WRONGGG . . . then I am misTAken to believe it.

    If you have evidence for your different story, which you say is the TRUE story, of who and what revealed the Climategate emails, I will look at anything you show me. If I decide to believe that instead, I will retract my whole comment about Assange and the Climategate emails.

  64. bruce wilder

    I am not Google; I am not Wikipedia. I did not recall Assange or WikiLeaks being associated with either the hack or the dispersal of the “Climategate” information, so I looked at a few news accounts at various news media websites and the article on Wikipedia about about Climategate. (BBC 4 recently did a documentary on ClimateGate and its aftermath, if that is of any interest.) The hacker was apparently never identified and the data was dispersed widely, but I never saw WikiLeaks mentioned as a publisher. A second hack uploaded the email trove to the RealClimate website but it was also disperse to other places and people.

    I have no doubt in your assertion, “I read it somewhere in the MSM”. Just because you did not author the lie, does not make it less of a lie. My question to you was, how you got recruited?

    I get why participates in all kinds of nonsense. I am surprised by you in this instance.

  65. Eric Anderson

    Good point. Commensurate with the L&PE position I posted above. Foundational, actually.

  66. different clue

    You ask me a second time . . . . ” My question to you was, how you got recruited?” Interesting way to phrase the question. So let me phrase an exactly same question in the exactly same way.

    How did you ( bruce wilder) first get recruited into beating your wife?

    All levity aside, I found a link to Assange himself giving a talk on the Video Record. In this talk he brags about how Wikileaks (meaning Assange) received the material and published the material.
    So if ” Assange diddit” is a lie, Assange himself is the “Liar Zero” who originated the lie. And if I have been “recruited” into “spreading the lie”, then it was Juian ” Liar Zero” Assange who recruited me.

    Here is the link which contains the video.

    There. Happy now?

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