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

Open Thread

Use the comments to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


How to Do Single-Payer, Medicare-for-All Properly in the US


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – June 6, 2021


  1. Kim Iversen’s recent show on ivermectin must have been shadow banned, as it didn’t come up on a search in vimeo, where it’s posted. There’s only 2 hits on duckduckgo, neither is a direct link. The show is called “CENSORED: Ivermectin Drastically Reduces COVID deaths in India and Africa”.

    The link is:

    While the federal government in India has allowed ivermectin to be used, in all of India, at least for early stage treatment, one of the Indian states has completely banned it for covid, anyway. She shows the worldometer covid death figures for that state, and compares to a couple states that have whole-heartedly embraced and promoted ivermectin. So, we have a de facto controlled experiment. Guess which state still has deaths rising? And which have had dramatic turn-arounds, starting 2 weeks after embracing ivermectin?

    Iversen also says that Trump has said nothing about ivermectin, which was my impression, also. This again shows what a useless “leader” Donald Trump is. If Trump is the best leader that the MAGA (i.e., national populist) movement can come up with, then that’s all we deserve.

  2. Stirling Newberry

    It international capital like something it because there will be fewer restrictions.

  3. bruce wilder

    The Murray case goes forward on Monday in Scotland on a leave to appeal to the UK Supreme Court.

    The UK Supreme Court has not existed for very long. New territory. It is actually a question whether the Scottish judges knew the case could be appealed to that body. Leave to appeal is likely to be refused and Murray may go to prison for reporting on the Salmond case.

    Left-liberal fascism marches on!

  4. Kim Iversen is back on youtube, after a brief suspension, with “Back From Being Banned. What Did I Say THIS Time? | 6-3-21”.

    She won’t utter the word “ivermectin”, but does talk about a drug that kind of sounds like her name, Iversen.

    She says she puts in 12-13 hour days, to be able to create a single show. Youtube started attacking her by demonetizing some programs about Nancy Pelosi. Other targets had to do with the election*, and covid.

    The result of all the demonetization is that her income has been cut by 2/3. Which is really discouraging. She makes the obvious point that, of course, this causes a lot of self-censorship.

    Trump’s complete failure to do anything to lead people off the common tech giant platforms has thus hurt not only conservatives, but honest progressives. Not that he gives a crap about either.

    * I couldn’t help but notice that I’d never heard Jimmy Dore cover any election fraud, but wasn’t saying that Trump was blowing smoke, either. I guess he got the memo.

  5. different clue


    I saw your newest comment on the Surviving Hard Times thread and decided to reply here to try and keep that thread isolated from all non-survival subjects.

    Thank you for the apology. If you decide to rethink it in light of what I am about to write, that is understandable. I was not, at heart, being sarcastic. Given what I have read/known/heard about CCP behavior down the years, I was/am entirely sincere in my opinions. On the subject of Great Hanistan, Uighuristan, Tibetistan, etc., I am afraid I will let you down over and over and over again.

    I remember a time 15 years or more ago here at U of M, when the Dalai Lama came to speak at Chrysler Arena about Buddhism, spirituality, environmentalism and stuff, a huge number of people came to attend. Along with that , a huge number of Chinese students came to scream and condemn his presence on all kinds of false , fake, specious and spurious grounds. “Someone” had even rented some airplanes to fly around the general overhead area pulling huge anti-Dalai Lama banners. All the thousands of rest-of-us were appalled and repelled by the organized Chinese student nastiness. We were, however, impressed with the effort and planning which went into the ChinaGov Regime hasbaraganda industrial complex display.

    I stand by my predictions for the ChinaGov’s resource takeover and preemption end game. In twenty years I will know whether I was right or wrong.

  6. Astrid

    Different Clue,

    Thanks for clarifying. Yes, to judge a country based on a single incident from 15 years ago does seem quite extreme and close minded to me. That’s like having a run in with racist violent Uighur separatists or getting beaten up by Hong Kong protesters, and then assume that to their causes are completely invalidated (I happen to think they are, but not just because of one act).

    I do happen to know a bit about Tibet, so I know that Dalai Lama isn’t just a spiritual leader, but also leader of an exile movement that used to govern it’s own people very harshly and feudally 1905-1949. I have also visited Tibetan areas multiple times as a tourist, and found the locals contented and relatively free to practice their faith. That was 20 years ago and I do believe they have become wealthier and more integrated in the time since. The exile government is also known to be corrupt and there was/is a decades long sex scandal that surfaced several years ago.

    I would say that the Chinese are fundamentally different in their nationalism, which doesn’t arise from the Western imperialist tradition. They’re not altruistic, but so far they seem to be far more lawful and able to work out mutually beneficial solutions with other countries, than the US regime. They can access resources and markets in win-win scenarios, they are trying to come up with a solution that is not quite so 19th century imperialism as practiced by the US around the world, EU in Greece and eastern Europe, and Israel in the Middleeast.

    I cannot predict the future, but no country wants to be smothered out of its life, the way that the USA has done to the global South via IMF, WorldBank, NGOs, sanctions, support of right wing color revolutions, lawfare, etc. Despite what MSM says, it’s clear that these countries find China regime to be much less terrible to deal with than the US regime. I think this is a positive development in the world.

    It’s not the Chinese or Russians who want a confrontation right now. It’s the imperialist US elite who fear this is their last chance to destroy a competing narrative, one that is far more compelling to the rest of the world because it’s less oppressive and better for anyone outside of the Western elite.

  7. different clue

    The CommuNazi ChinaGov Regime followed the Dalai Lama everywhere he went with this organized hasbaraganda campaign. There were many such incidents over many years. I just happened to see one of them.

    I would have to study the scholarly work of Tibetanologists to know how much truth there is to the CCP hasbaraganda tails of ” medieval Tibetan regime”. And I would have to wonder how relevant that is to the ChinaGov’s subsequent strip mining of all possible valuable resources out of Tibet. A Totalitarian government would probably have its Tourist Bureau guide you to useful contented locals. And would any Tibetans not on the official tourist itinerary dare to voice dissent, knowing what the ChinaGov State Authorities could do to them?

    Why should I believe the ChinaGov is pursuing its ” Indian War” in Shinjiang any differently?
    Except of course that it is settlering huge numbers of Chinese settlers in Shinjiang because it is more habitable for high-altitude non-adapted people?

    Of course China and Russia don’t want confrontation. Russia wants breathing space and time to develop its own resources and recover from past damage. The ChinaGov regime wants the benefits of conquest without confrontation. That’s what the One Ball One Chain plan is all about. Many countries may well prefer One Ball One Chain to the Washington Consesus Sphere. They may be right. Time will tell.

    I stand by my current understanding of events and by my prediction, especially that China will be bitterly and savagely hated by all the surrounding Asians whose water and other resources China will utterly usurp and destroy in the next twenty years. And at age 64 and in uneven health, I may well live long enough to either eat my words or laugh last.

    Free Trade is the New Slavery.
    Protectionism is the New Abolition.

  8. Z

    For those who pushed back on my inebriation that Kamala Harris would be a “game-changer” in the White House, it turns out that I was indeed foolish for taking such a huge draw on the hopium pipe and then posting in the midst of its initial rush. I must now soberly admit that I have been proven wrong and you were close to 100% correct, if not pegged on it. Nothing has fundamentally changed, as Biden promised his sponsors, and in fact matters are likely to get decidedly worse from here since we’re on a downward trajectory.

    Note though that the Biden administration first talked up some progressive ideas that they said they were seriously pursuing; the energy behind the protests decreased; Israel brutally attacked the Palestinians; the Biden Administration, in which the top three people in the State Department are all Jewish Zionist Mafia (JZM) members, gave Israel more money to “defend” themselves; Biden reached out to JZM member Larry Summers, who had been incessantly carping about the dangers of inflation, for his economic “expertise”; JZM member Yellen talked up the need to balance the budget; JZM henchman Rahm Emanuel got appointed ambassador to Japan (there were three other ambassadorships also announced at the same time and at least two of them went to JZM members, though in fairness it must be mentioned that one of them was for ambassador to Israel); and then after Israel was done bombing the Palestinians Biden dropped almost all the populist policies he said he was going to pursue to supposedly appease the republicans which Biden knows he’ll never get a vote from anyway.

    See how that works …

    Again, I will mention that when I speak of the JZM I am referring to a small but extremely powerful part of the U.S. Jewish community that has a controlling interest in the U.S. and derives its power from rigging the financial markets and blackmailing and bribing our politicians. Most Jewish people are fine people IMO and many of the folks who are fighting hardest against the JZM in their own way are in fact Jewish.


  9. Trinity

    So, what alternatives to politics can we do?

    I won’t claim to have all the answers, or even one answer because there isn’t one single answer in a complex world.

    But right now, I think they are still ruling by consent. OUR consent. So withdrawing consent seems like the next logical step, no matter how small. I, for example, have never owned a smart phone. When they became a thing, I couldn’t afford one. This situation was true for several years of school/unemployment. If they want me to have one now, they are going to have to give me one and pay me to use it. I have a cell phone. It works great. I can text and call people (but not at the same time). It’s also very affordable. I was instructed that it must be turned off for 30 minutes every day. Sometimes I do this, mostly I don’t. When I do turn it back on, it complains loudly that I haven’t supplied a WiFi password. Too bad, so sad. (Why would I ever want to surf the internet on a tiny 1.5 inch screen while at home? Seriously, these people are not very smart.)

    Matt Stoller has a great short article on how Australia is making Google and Facebook pay for their news. We will see if it sticks, but that’s what withdrawing consent looks like at the national scale. It’s well known that the internet was developed in US government labs funded by US tax payers (in conjunction with some universities) and it’s also well known that everything that has followed was developed from those same publicly funded ideas and engineering. I think it’s past time they pay us back for all the free stuff, including our content. I’m confident they will still have plenty left over to pay Australia for many years to come. (The US does not get credit for http internet protocols, etc.)

    Making the elites and their games irrelevant is the ultimate goal. The nice part is they are doing the same thing! (lol) Everyone will be working toward the same goal. Some politicians may squawk as the money tree stops showering so many shekels, and they might even (heaven forbid) have to address their constituents’ needs to make themselves relevant again.

    Meanwhile, Matt Stoller also notes that the problems of private equity continue to expand and these problems will hopefully start affecting someone else’s bottom line soon. We will have front row seats for that fight. Apparently the growing number of cyber attacks that are occurring are due to PE’s disruption of commercial software that used to actually work (before PE gutted the company). Looks like they are working hard to make themselves irrelevant. Is there anything we can do to help them along this path?

    And finally, protests are great, and still important, but they don’t change the hearts and minds of the people with power, and are easily corrupted/co-opted by elites. Still, they are important to us because they tell us who’s thinking what in other parts of the country or world. So that’s another thing we can do: support protests in whatever manner that we can (that will keep us and others safe). Summer’s here. And summers are getting longer here in the northern hemisphere.

  10. Ché Pasa

    Just to note: China in its current incarnation is not analogous to the Anglo-American Empire of the present or recent past. Nor are its government or actions analogues to those of the United States or Britain in its hey-day. From what I can see (not much through the fog of Anti-China propaganda) China has no hegemonic designs to rule the world or enforce its will outside its borders.

    However, the Chinese government is determined to ensure the prosperity and security of the Chinese people (Han and non-Han). This is a fundamental tenet of the Chinese Communist Party and so far has proved to be immutable.

    Chinese government is well aware that if given the chance, the United States and imperial allies would eagerly do to China what they did to the Soviet Union. Worse if they could. China will do what’s necessary to prevent that.

  11. bruce wilder

    You live and learn, Z. or, some few do, I am told. Congratulations, I guess.

    Chinese nationalism seems a fairly standard and imperialist type to me. Just way more fervent and less nostalgic than contemporary European versions. American nationalism has to risk idPol fury even to speak and the American governing elite is too predatory and globalist to embrace the solidarity patriotism implies, let alone a vision that doesn’t entail wasting their own and other countries. European elites are . . . neoliberal and European these days. Japan and Korea have their own problems with history.

    One ball, one chain is a good name for China’s resource grab.

    I can remember visiting China nearly thirty years ago, when Shenzen looked like the surface of the moon with so much construction underway. My tour group visited a human zoo — truly an outdoor space like a fancy American zoo, where the animals in characteristic landscapes and houses were ethnic minorities, kept as curiosities for the entertainment of local Han.

    Chinese culture does not much appeal to me. The political culture that finds the claim to the South China Sea plausible — never mind the claims to Tibet and central Asia, is dangerous to moral sanity. Europe had a similar problem with German nationalism early in the 20th century and things got ugly. The stability they offer is an imperial stability on their own narcissistic terms.

    Their domestic culture seems untrustworthy as well on points I think many Westerners find . . . unexpected. In the north the food is boring and in the South, alarming. In that global test of honesty, where researchers dropped wallets to see how many would be returned, China finished last by a mile. People make a big deal about things China invented, like gunpowder and paper money and porcelain, but forget what they curiously did not invent, like glass windows or pianos (and the tonal system that goes with them). They discovered the Indies and lost interest! How is that possible?

  12. Astrid

    Different Clue,

    You are projecting. People are able to travel freely in Tibetan area in Yunnan, Qinghai, and Sichuan. Even within Tibet, it’s easy to join an “official tour group” and then wander off after a few days and do your own thing. I know people with business interests in Tibetan areas and it is literally a thing for respectable communist party members to have portraits of Mao and the Dalai Lama in their homes. The situation is not how it’s usually portrayed in the west, the Tibetans and Uighurs do actually have a good deal of control over their destinies and China’s primary objective is to make sure it’s within China, and not as hostile, US controlled puppet States or worse, failed states like Afghanistan that China must continue to expended lives and treasure on.

    You cite to a book that accuse China of genocide and ecocide. On genocide, that’s just not true. Tibetans and Uighurs have had preferential treatment on birth quotas and education, they have magnificent monasteries (muxh more beautiful than the typically shoddy and ugly monasteries rebuilds I’ve seen in Han areas) where I’ve observes a significant proportion of Tibetan pilgrims. I don’t see the purported genocide outside of destruction of monasteries during the cultural revolution, which happened everywhere in China and was done locally. What they deal with is not comparable to what the Kashmiris, Rohingyas, and Palestinians must endure under actually genocidal regimes.

    On ecocide, I guess it depends on the definition. But as far higher resource consuming members of the USA, I don’t think it’s our place to lecture others on developments elsewhere, even if I do personally find Chinese damming efforts to be ecologically questionable. People do want material goods and not to do back breaking labor. Romantizing poverty from a heart of a country built on land stealing and over consumption is hypocritical. The Chinese position on environment had changed significantly in the last 30 years and the populace is now far more aware of climate change and resource depletion. And if nothing else, at least they kept the population far more in check than would otherwise be the case (though they could have kept it much lower if Mao didn’t push for large families to breed soldiers to fight imperialists).

    Would I prefer that Tibet managed to find a China allied future similar to what Bhutan has managed? Sure. But Tibet is a much bigger and strategically more important land. And based on what I’ve now learned about the corruption within Dalai Lama’s exile government, I’m not convinced that he would have been capable of doing so well by his people as the Wangchucks did for Bhutan.

  13. Z

    The UN says that at least 58,000 Palestinians are now homeless due to the Israel’s attack on Gaza.

    Forty-story buildings destroyed that will probably never be built back. Why bother rebuilding it when they can level it so easily?

    Roadways to hospitals destroyed too.

    Now the attacks have stopped so almost all news coverage has ceased about the situation even though these people have a hell of a lot of suffering still coming to them. Part of the reason for the lack of news coverage is that one of those forty-story buildings that Israel razed with their bombs, which they get from the U.S., was the headquarters of Al-Jazeera.


  14. Astrid

    I don’t understand why it’s so hard to understand that the Chinese might not want to bed imperialist. Traditionally, it has everything it needs. The few luxuries such as spices, furs, bird’s nest, and shark fins can be easily obtained through trade. Having a far-flung empire is inherently destabilizing and tend to hollow out the motherland over time, as occurred with Rome and Spain. Despite that, I suppose if the plunder was good enough, the oligarchy might have encouraged it to enrich itself. China might be lucky in that it was naturally bounded by mountains, deserts, steppes inhabited by hostile warriors, and malarial South, to curb it’s more expansionist forces.

    I don’t think the Chinese are interested in imperialism in the form of taking over land. As the somewhat more successful imperialists the British and US found out, it’s much better to farm out governance to locals but use preferential trade rules ( most especially IP and banking rentier practices). The Chinese can do this through favorable trade agreements that move it outside of the US sphere of control. Right now, they need to play nice and win as many friends as possible to compete with the US regime. Luckily for them, this is quite easy as the US has been extremely brutal to much of the global South for generations. If China succeeds and the US fades away, it’s interests may eventually drift to more oppressive and less collaborative measures. The temptation would be very great.

    This is all assuming that humans won’t go extinct in a generation due to the cumulative effects of climate change, pollution, resource depletion, and multiple nuclear weapons possessing countries being controlled by absolutely nutcases.

    But I’ve said my piece. If Different Clue is so propagandized to believe most of the NED funded lies about countries that he doesn’t understand, it’s probably too late in the day to try to engage. Not understanding that the US centered MIC/up/banking complex as the single greatest threat to human and non human life, while focusing on fake abuses ( there are real serious problems in Syria, Russia, China, etc. But the West isn’t interested in helping them solve those problems, they just want to stir the pot and cause trouble) and denying agency to locals, is not something I have time or energy to bother countering.

  15. bruce wilder

    China is an empire and has been an empire for most of the last two thousand plus years. Get real, Astrid.

  16. Z

    This AMC stock madness should have sunk some hedge funds, but after Gamestop, in which it seems that a hedge fund that supposedly blew up actually got bailed out, the markets are even more rigged in our rulers’ favor. Now they have been insulated from contagion by Larry Fink and Stanley Fischer of Blackstone aiming the Fed’s water hose to put out any and all fires, if you are in good with them.

    With Blackstone there is no transparency or auditing or obligation to tell us what they are doing with the Fed’s money. If the Fed themselves did it they might be some semblance of accountability, though a weak one. But at least they might have some slight fear of ever getting found out. Blackstone pretty much aims the Fed’s liquidity to wherever it pleases, no explanations asked.


  17. different clue


    I said I would disappoint you on this subject, and I am sure I will continue to disappoint you.
    Perhaps it was rude of me to refer to the suddenly built and truly huge network of vast facilities built strategically within Sinjiang to round up a million or so Uighurs and Kazakhs and so forth to give them an ‘attitude adjustment’ as . . . . “Concentration Labor Camps.” I could have used a nicer phrase. Like . . . Residential Schools.

    Lots of people have a personal favorite ” alien nation”. Those who have adopted Israel as their personal favorite ” alien nation” will justify all kinds of things within and about Israel. Those who have adopted CCP-ruled China as their personal favorite ” alien nation” will justify all kinds of things within and about CCP-ruled China. There are, after all, still people who will justify Israel building its illegal “facts on the ground” settlements all over the West Bank. And there are people who will justify China building its illegal “facts in the water” artificial islands all over the China Sea ( the West Bank of the Pacific Ocean, if you will). And so it goes.

    One wonders if a future for Tibet and/or Sinjiang really involves a binary choice between Borg-Assimilation into China or a cat’s-paw cardboard-replica independence under secret American guidance. When “friends of China” insist that was the binary choice, they may be projecting.

    If one has no reply to the factuality of reportage on ChinaGov ecocide and terracide against Tibet, it is a neat trick to fall back on American’s hypocrisy-based lack-of-standing to lecture the ChinaGov about Tibet due to the American lifestyle. And one would be correct. America and Americans have no moral standing to lecture the ChinaGov on Tibet. But I am sometimes too much of an insensitive and self-unaware lout to care about that. And this may be one of those sometimes.

    Still and all, you are correct to note that America has no particular moral standing or position from which to comment upon the ChinaGov’s policy of ecocide and terracide against Tibet. ( Of course, one could say that since the AmericGov and the ChinaGov both signed the Universal Convention on Human Rights, they both have standing to comdemn eachother’s record on these and other matters when they involve departures from the practices accepted and agreed to by signing that Declaration).

    The people who do have moral standing to comment on these things are all of China’s downstream Asian neighbors, and if things are happening the way I read, hear, think and believe they are happening; China’s own Asian neighbors will begin lecturing the ChinaGov in the fullness of time.

    Meanwhile, let the World lead the World and let America lead America. If whole country-loads of people wish to join the One Ball One Chain ChinaCo Prosperity sphere in the belief that it is something other than what I suspect it to be, who am I to say otherwise? GodSpeed, say I . . . and bless their heart.

    I just wish to see America seal itself off from the IFTC global economy system before America is reduced to being just one more link in the One Ball Chain.

  18. different clue


    Remember back when Bernie . . ( not that one, the other one) . . “Madoff” with the money?
    Billions and billions of dollars.

    And yet, from that time to this, with all the legacy cans of sardines I still have from that time and which I have been slowly opening and eating, I see no evidence that Bernie Madoff was able to suck so much as one single sardine out through the side of a single one of my cans.

    I think there may be a lesson somewhere in that.

  19. different clue

    @Bruce Wilder,

    China’s claim to Sinjiang and Tibet is based on the same moral system as America’s claim to the Oregon Territory or ” Northern Mexico” or the Hawaiian Islands. We conquered it, its ours. They conquered it, its theirs.

  20. Mark Pontin

    Bruce W. wrote: “They (the Chinese) discovered the Indies and lost interest! How is that possible?”

    We went to the Moon and lost interest. Maybe like that?

    More seriously, it’s fairly clear that around the 14th-15th centuries AD the Chinese ruling classes made the Confucian decision to embrace sustainability and freeze the social order — and their own rule — and suppress the incipient industrial revolution then about to take place.

    They’re not going to make that mistake this time around.

    For instance, in the case of He Jiankui and the two CRISPR-enabled genome-edited babies a couple of years ago, you’ll recall the Chinese government claiming that they’d no knowledge of what He had been doing. However, if you believe that He would have somehow been able to return from the US and set up a facility with almost 200 workers without the Chinese government knowing about it, I have a bridge to sell you.

    So what was going on there? A VC I know asked a Chinese VC. The Chinese guy’s claim was that though it isn’t much noted in the West there’s a large AIDS problem among Chinese country folk. Western-style drug treatments for AIDS are expensive and unwieldy. So the government in Beijing — or some segment of it — was interested in the feasibility of simply editing AIDS susceptibility out of the next generation.

  21. someofparts

    UFOs explained –

    “Since December 2019 the United States has a Space Force as one of eight branches of U.S. Armed Forces. Each of those branches has lots of higher ranking officer positions. All people who are put into those want a lucrative board seat at some weapon manufacturer when they retire. They will only get one if they manage to create enough revenue for those manufacturers while they are still in uniform.”

  22. different clue

    @Mark Pontin,

    Years ago I remember watching a Nova episode on PBS. It was noting that some few people lived a get-AIDS-over-and-over-again lifestyle and never got AIDS. Why not? They somehow seemed immune. But how? Why?

    To synopsize an hour-long program in a few sentences, I remember them saying that it was eventually worked out that bubonic plague bacteria attached to the same exact receptor-site on certain human cells as the AIDS virus does. And those few people in Europe who totally lacked this particular type of receptor-site anywhere on their cells didn’t get bubonic plague. And those of their descendants today who have the same total lack of that receptor site don’t get AIDS. If that is true and correct, I don’t understand it as being exactly “immunity” as such. I see it as being “invisibility”. If the AIDS virus gets into someone with zero of these cell membrane receptors, it can’t see or find anything to attach to. The person is, in effect, “invisible” to the AIDS virus.

    I found an article which pursues a somewhat parallel thought-path on this subject.

    Perhaps the Chinese gene-engineering scientists think they can exactly delete the gene sequence which produces the AIDS-vulnerable sequence on the membranes of most people’s cells? And thereby create a new generation of Chinese young people with the functional equivalent of this plague-gifted “invisibility to AIDS” mutation?

  23. different clue

    @Bruce Wilder,

    On further reflection, it occurs to me that the Chinese moral claim to Tibet and Sinjiang is also sentimental, like the Israeli moral claim to the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    ” It used to BE ours once upon a time, long long ago. Therefore it IS ours and will BE ours forever and forever and forever, amen

    I see another sentimental emotional parallel. Israel claims a right to conquer and keep the West Bank and East Jerusalem because “Holocaust”. China claims a right to conquer and keep the China Sea with all the fish in it and all the drillable gas and oil under it because ” Western Humiliation”.

  24. Astrid


    China is an empire the way that France or Spain within its continental borders is an empire. There is integration and incorporation of its borderlands, and there are definitely regional differentiation and suppression of separatism as against Catalonia and Basques, but in the Western context, that’s not called genocide or Nazism. It’s not in the same magnitude of oppression and dispossession seen in Israel, Amazonia, or what is done to millions of small farmers via IMF/World Bank lending conditions.

    When you say imperialism, it matters what strain of imperialism we’re talking about. I believe at this stage, the Chinese interest in Tibet and Xinjiang are that CPC is desperate for them not to become what Ukraine and Chechnya became to Russia.

    The nature of Chinese power can certainly change over time. That is a great danger of all governments and power is corrupting. But at this stage, it seems relatively benign to me, and offers a real and superior alternative for the global South compared to the blatantly rentier US regime.

    Talking about imperialism and state control, without understanding what they’re going against or the true nature of their “opposition”, is kind of like talking about Putin’s use of force in Chechnya without understanding what the forces were used against.

  25. Astrid

    Different Clue,

    The million Uighur (I seen Amnesty international claim 3 million, an amazing number since there are only about 12 million Uighurs in all) concentration camp story is an absolute fraud, concocted by the World Uighur Congress and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a defense industry funded think tank. Please at least read the Gray Zone article and if it’s wrong, please debunk it for me.

    If you look at the claims, they’re coming from people who receive NED money, who have a history of lying and xenophobia ( including a woman who changed her detention story multiple times and got her passport renewed during her claimed detention period). Chinese media and vloggers have gone to the purported “camps” and found that they’re normal schools and factories. This evidence is being completely ignored by the Western media but it’s everywhere if you actually looked. Xinjiang is open to internal and external tourists, people can go visit it and find out for themselves. But MSM prefer lies, this is just like Russia-gate and Douma, just as manufactured and false.

    Use your common sense. If the oppression is as bad as it is, why doesn’t neighboring countries have a refugee crisis on their hands? Why is it that the people fighting against China are a small number of Wahhabist extremists associated with the ETIM, a terrorist and xenophobic organization whose supporters repeatedly state that they want an ethnically cleansed East Turkistan governed by Sharia law. Why are people telling stories in media proven fabulists who also just happen to have China and Communism long before they got interested in Uighurs?

    The Chinese are giving Uighurs what much of the Palestinian populace wants, a one state solution where everyone is treated equally. To live securely in their homes without fear of violence and for their children to grow up to live good lives. Uighurs are free to travel within China (though their documents are checked much more often than Chinese, due to ETIM related security concerns), they can receive instruction in their language, pursue high visibility careers as pop stars, attend universities more easily than Han Chinese.

    Why are you so willing to believe the Western media narratives on Uighurs/Tibet/HK and the Chinese when you know they’re not believable on anything else?

  26. Astrid

    As for righting past wrongs. My view is that righting past wrongs, especially outside of the lifetime of people directly involved, is pointless and likely to be extremely harmful. Sure, rectify the information and put in safeguarded to make sure bad things don’t recur, recognize current wrongs and fix those to equitably benefit the living.

    Is returning most of the West to Mexico and ethically cleansing it off anyone with ancestry after 1848 going to do any good to anyone? And the Mexicans got it from the Spaniards, who stole it from the Aztecs, who conquered other mesoamerican. Talking about the past is pointless because everyone is guilty if you just go back another few generations, and soon it’s just counting how many angels can dance on a needlepoint. Trying for reparations or restoring the previous condition to a particular point in time would undeniably do great harm to anyone displaced. That’s not righting a part injustice. It’s just creating new ones.

    Even in Israel, most Palestinians aren’t literally interested in pushing Zionists into the sea as was done in the Nakba. They want to be treated equally, have right of return, and participate in civil and economic life in their native land.

    What’s more important is treating people currently alive as well as possible and help them to live good lives. On this account and based on what I’ve seen in the Xinjiang situation, this has largely occurred.

    I have problems with the Chinese government (certainly enough that I don’t want to settle there even though my background is somewhat compatible to a successful career there), but unlike the US government, it appears genuinely fearful of an angry populace and rests its legitimacy on providing for the welfare of its populace. It’s also evolving very fast, not just infrastructure and capability, but also behavior and thinking of its populace. I have in the past recognized a lot of bad behavior and regional arrogance amongst the Chinese, but that’s much less obvious in more recent trips. I had marveled at how nice and self possessed the Taiwanese are on 2012, but in my 2019 trip I thought the Chinese in Shanghai are getting closer to conducting themselves properly in public.

    So if you’re prejudiced against China without bothering to understand it, and use a few unpleasant antecdotes in your life to justify your loathing for it (I have quite a few myself and was willing to believe that there Chinese were somewhat oppressive on Xinjiang, until I read the debunkings for the sources of the stories), then you’re probably not open to a considered view of other subjects.

  27. Z

    Different Clue,

    Not sure what lessons you might draw from Madoff and your sardines, but I’d draw these: if Madoff had directly ripped you and your likes off, the “little guys”, he never would have went to jail. His mistake was ripping off the rich, some of them undoubtedly prominent JZMers, and that’s why he, and only he, went to jail while the rest of Wall Street destroyed the world’s economy with its corruption, greed, and recklessness and then bailed themselves out via the Fed, courtesy of Ben Bernanke, and the Obama Administration, which Robber Rubin basically handpicked the cabinet of, and they not only paid no consequences for it, they became more powerful and now they basically have a controlling interest in the housing market that they blew up.

    Getting back to knowing the right people, they bailed out Melvin Capital, owned by JZMer Gabe Plotkin, and even shut the market down to let him rearrange his trades to minimize the damage to Melvin Capital from Gamestop, while the Asian family that ran Archegos took it on the chin. They don’t invite Asians to bar mitzvahs.


  28. someofparts

    “Jenny Chan, Mark Selden, and Pun Ngai spent a decade conducting undercover research at Foxconn’s major manufacturing sites in the Chinese cities of Shenzhen, Shanghai, Kunshan, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Tianjin, Langfang, Taiyuan, and Wuhan for their book “Dying for an iPhone: Apple, Foxconn, and The Lives of China’s Workers”. What they describe is an Orwellian dystopia, one where global corporations have perfected the techniques for a disempowered work force.”

    “But over the past decade, the authors note, “the major changes inside Foxconn
    were not the replacement of workers with robots but the replacement of full-time employees with growing numbers of student interns and contingent subcontracted laborers.” ”

    “Those who lead these corporate behemoths often replicate the behavior of despots, not only exerting total control over every aspect of their workers lives but dispensing folksy wisdom to the masses. They are often treated by a fawning media as gurus, asked to opine–as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos do–on a range of social, economic, political and cultural issues. Their immense fortunes confer to them in our Mammon-worshipping society a sage-like status.”

    I have a copy of this book on order. If the matters the authors report on are true, I am sad to learn that conditions are like this for some citizens over there. I want somebody, somewhere to be better than this country.

  29. Ché Pasa

    Not even trying to understand China and Chinese and projecting ideas of Western-style imperialism onto them seems to be endemic to Anglo-American thinking — such as it is.

    Astrid provides personal testimony, speaks and understands the language(s?), and has worked and traveled extensively in the China and the region. As far as I can tell, Astrid is not a pro-China propagandist.

    I haven’t been there, but I’ve certainly known a number of Chinese immigrants (including former Red Guards), Chinese Americans — some virulently Nationalist, and some Tibetans, Mongolians, Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese, Laotians, Thais and Cambodians. China is not the West, is not like the West, and China’s internal and external dynamics are not those of a Western nation. The CCP is loathed or loved or considered ambivalently depending on point of view and history, but the current iteration of China seems to me to be widely regarded favorably both domestically and by the Chinese diaspora, and by many peoples throughout the region.

    Setting aside some of the endemic anti-Chinese prejudice in the West, just the economic strength, the relative prosperity and peace, and the dynamic efforts to assure the continued development of a strong, secure and prosperous future for the peoples of China makes China a threat to the Powers of the West, despite the fact that China is not in any way the physical threat that — say — the US is to every nation on Earth every day.

    China scares some of the US foreign policy establishment because in the end, it’s a moral threat to that Establishment. The moral principles by which China is developed and governed and how China interrelates to other peoples and nations are the antithesis of the moral rot at the foundation of Anglo-American core beliefs and principles.

    Government doing right by and for the People is terrifying to Powers in the West, and so projection of all the evils of the West onto the People’s Republic of China (much as was done to the Soviet Union and now to the Russian Federation under Putin) is customary in the hopes of inciting internal instability, external antagonism and the ultimate collapse of a rival.

    I’m sure China is no Paradise, far from perfection, and has plenty of internal and external unresolved issues. The peoples of Tibet and Xinjiang may or may not welcome their Chinese overlords — who won’t tolerate rebellion. Yet the West, at least the Anglo-American West, sees its interests advanced by a weakened and unstable China. Stirring up internal rebellion is part of the game. Isn’t it always?

    China is trying to serve as an example of an alternative to Western capitalism. From my perspective, it’s highly imperfect, but it is a viable alternative. And that is something that inherently destabilizes the West and is seen as an existential threat.

  30. Z

    It’s plenty early yet, but the leading contender to describe the 2020s is presently “The Decade of Despair”.


  31. Z

    In regards to the Uyghurs, any time our rulers’ media gets concerned about a group of Muslims I believe extreme skepticism is the proper take because they certainly don’t care one bit about Muslims unless it furthers our rulers’ interests.

    Often the faux concern about the Uyghurs is being used to try to diffuse anger about how the Muslims in the Middle East are being treated by Israel and the U.S.. Essentially, what the misleading hasbarist assh*les are trying to convey is that if you care so much about Muslims then why aren’t you up in arms about the Uyghurs? And if you don’t care about the Uyghurs then your so-called concern about Muslims is just a ruse to hide your anti-semitism.

    Well, of course the grand difference between whatever is being done to the Uyghurs in China and to the Middle East Muslims is that the U.S. government is funding the genocide of Muslims in the Middle East in some cases and that’s the government that most of us are living under.


  32. Joan

    On the AIDS invisibility topic: this is fascinating. I hope it comes to something. I have a gay family member who lost his partner to AIDS in the 80s.

    @Trinity, walking away is a very good idea! The analog world is so much more interesting than the digital one.

  33. Z

    Sloppy Joe likes to talk up the “dignity of work” as if all U.S. workers crave that, or should crave that.

    F*ck no Joe, we can give a damn about the “dignity of work”. We’d rather have your son Hunter’s gig where he got paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Burisma for breathing.


  34. Z

    An overlooked factor, probably purposely so, for restaurants and cafes not being able to staff themselves on the cheap any longer is that a substantial portion of the service industry workers were living from check-to-check and then once COVID hit they had to move in with their parents in order to cut back on costs.

    Now that they don’t have to pay rent any more and are living with their parents, who are probably at least in their 50s, why would they want to risk their health and the people they are living with for a meager $8/hour or so?

    Status Quo Joe and his handlers though want to force service workers back on the job by allowing their dancing partners across the aisle to cut enhanced UI benefits.

    It’s no surprise that private cooks are making a bundle right now. Our rulers don’t want the people they’re f*cking handling their food.


  35. js

    There was dignity in slavery too, or so a plantation owner must have said.

    What dignity is there in absolute submission to a workplace that one has no say in or else starve? Whatever that is, it’s not dignity.

  36. different clue


    The lesson I take from my cans of sardines not missing a single sardine is that “money” is not the same as ” wealth”. If you have your “money” converted into things of actual personal physical use-value, it is harder to be cleverly swindled out of that than it is to be swindled out of “money” , ” stocks” , ” bonds” , etc.

    If I spend a bunch of “money” upgrading my garden patch soil, adding mineral nutrient sources etc. to it, no Madoff however clever will be able to “swindle” or “suck” the mineral fertility out of my garden soil from a distance.

  37. Z


    “Do as we say or be homeless” certainly sets the parameters for an authoritarian culture.

    But the libertarians will say we’re still “free”, though they’ll spout this with no sense of the quality of that freedom: free to eat grub worms and live in a lean-too.

    One of the most depressing things about the “Decade of Despair” is that there’s still no movement towards a national strike. Not even a peep of it.

    Then you read articles like this ( that notes that there are at least 60,000 people secretly employed by the Pentagon, some of them with secret identities, and figure that there are probably at least 25K who are currently operating domestically. Then you take it a step further and reckon that there are probably at least a hundred highly capable people operating in each major U.S. city who are above the law to some extent and are probably infiltrating any resistance and reporting on these groups’ activities and who their leaders are. Plus, I’d imagine that a non-trivial portion of them were already embedded into these organizations and had built credibility within them before being leveraged by the government with a stick of a long jail sentence and the carrot of a well-paying gig with a fair amount of freedom in which to operate within as long as they bring in the goods.

    When you take all that into account, you begin to understand why there’s no effective organized resistance to our predatory ruling class.


  38. different clue


    You raise an interesting point about why young and youngish formers workers in the foodservice-and-hospitality industry don’t want to go back to it. They don’t care to work at McShit McJobs for McShit McWages under McShit conditions. Especially after they have been screamed at and abused by howling No Mask Freedom Trumpanons.

    If only there were a movement big enough and strong enough to raise hundreds of millions of dollars a year to GIVE at current minimum slave-survival rates to ex-working young people so they could survive at home or wherever without having to return to the McShit McJobs, the McShit employers would either have to raise wages and improve conditions to $15 per hour and dignity, respect and safety; or else go extinct as a business sector.

    But won’t the higher costs be passed on to the consumer? Good. And rightly so. People who don’t want to pay the price of living wage with workplace dignity and safe conditions to workers don’t deserve to have any foodservice or hospitality.

  39. different clue


    If we live under the physical surveillance stealth-occupation enforced by secret Pentagon expert warriors and stuff that you describe, then resistance, rejection, refusal, underminement, etc. will have to be a leaderless mass psycho-political cultural-economic upgrade on the part of tens of millions of people.

    The “establishment” thought they saw that happening during the Hippy Trip era and feared it and moved to end it. What if today’s leaner tougher meaner hippies of today regrew a leaner meaner Green BetterCulture in existential opposition to the Establishment Coaly Roller culture of today?

    I am beginning to think that Tony Wikrent’s every-Sunday roundup might be an interesting place to bring thoughts and ideas on psychological, political, cultural and economic combat.
    Things that we nameless no-account nobodies can do with our limited resources of time, money, attention, and personal power in our nameless no-account lives to “make this happen” and “make that unhappen”.

    Every dollar is a bullet on the field of economic combat.

    Here’s an imaginary demonstration parable of what I mean.

    You can bring a ten ton elephant to the Washington Monument and have it push on the monument till forever and the monument will never fall over. Or you can bring ten tons of moles and gophers to the Washington Monument and have them dig all the soil out from under one side of it. After enough time, it will fall over. Or you can bring ten tons of protesters to the Washington Monument, marching around it and squeaking their little squeaky slogans at it and waving their little signs at it. It will not respond to them. It can’t. It don’t gots no ears, you dig?

  40. Mark Pontin

    different clue wrote: ‘Perhaps the Chinese gene-engineering scientists think they can exactly delete the gene sequence which produces the AIDS-vulnerable sequence on the membranes of most people’s cells?’

    It was only He Jiankui and whoever his particular patrons were in the CCP. But using CRISPR to delete exactly the gene sequence which produces AIDS-susceptibility is doable. What we don’t know is what else that gene sequence is linked with and there are dangers of both off-target and on-target side-effects.

    See forex: -‘Genome editing in human embryos has unintended side-effects’

    He Jiankui produced two gene-edited embryos that went to term — became human babies — but there apparently were a whole lot more he threw away.

    Not incidentally, there are more gene-editing — even gene-writing — technologies emerging, including improved iterations of CRISPR. But ….

    Joan wrote: “On the AIDS invisibility topic: this is fascinating. I hope it comes to something. I have a gay family member who lost his partner to AIDS in the 80s.”

    It’d be really a pretty Rube Goldberg, impractical approach to deal with AIDS by gene-editing a half-a-billion embryos (or whatever the replacement population number for China is).

  41. Astrid


    China’s labor practices are not good. You have to remember that what controls and benefits we enjoy came out life and death struggles by the labor movements of the 19th and early 20th century. That never happened in China because the CPC doesn’t want an alternative center of power. Plus it was in a primitive accumulation stage, which is always labor intensive and exploitative of labor.

    Keep in mind that people who work in those factories and in exploitative conditions still have agency. They may work in a bad place for a few months, then learn about better opportunities and move onto better working conditions. Also that as exploitative as many working conditions are, they do typically provide free dorms for workers, so most workers are not going into debt even working in very poor conditions. I suggest that you read Factory Girls for a more balanced view of the pluses and minuses of migrant workers life.

    As for student interns, the first job out of school is often quite exploitative since the young haven’t proven themselves, I know that Ernst and Young paid its young Shanghai based auditors around 3,000 RMB about 10 years ago, which is certainly not a liveable wage in Shanghai then for anyone who must pay rent, for a job with constant 12-14 hour days and constant travel. The expectation is that most will leave in a few years and end up working in finance departments in other organizations for better pay and conditions, and a small number will graduate to better paid senior positions.

    It’s probably getting better. Working conditions may or may not be getting better (since I only know white collar people there), but wages have gone up significantly. The local news and internet also do regular expose of abusive practices by local businesses, so the worst offenders are managed and avoided.

    Also, keep in mind that Foxconn is a Taiwanese company and rather notorious for bad labor practices world wide. So as home grown industry becomes more competitive, the Chinese government may just enforce stricter labor practices against it or just shut it down.

  42. Jeff W

    Years ago I remember watching a Nova episode on PBS.

    That was not a NOVA episode. It was a Secrets of the Dead episode “Mystery of the Black Death” which first aired on PBS on 30 October 2002. (You can watch it in various places online.) It dealt with the idea that descendants of survivors of the bubonic plague had a mutation of the gene CCR5 called “delta 32” that prevented infection by HIV as it similarly had prevented infection by the Yersinia pestis bacterium that caused the bubonic plague.

  43. Z


    Very keen and astute comments in regards to China.


  44. Astrid

    A couple other points about China.

    Chinese residential schools are extremely common for rural students of all ethnicities. Traditionally, rural students might be able to complete their primary education in a nearby school much like single teacher schoolhouses of the American West, but then those who advance go to residential schools for higher grades for instruction. This isn’t unusual or targeted to ethnicities, though ethnicities are likely to have higher representation due to a higher proportion of living in highly isolated locations. This isn’t a forcible removal of children from their parents for specific indoctrination purposes, it’s just the practical function of logistics. Ethnic children living in bigger settlements and cities will attend day schools through high school. It’s becoming less common because commas is becoming more urbanized and infrastructure improvements allow kids to reach schools more easily (there used to be a lot of stories of kids who had to walk hours each day to reach their schools).

    My purported emotional attachment to China. I suppose there is one in that I know and like people there, and I don’t want what happened to Iraq, Syria, and Libya to happen to them. Hey, I also slightly know an Iraqi woman whose father was killed after the US occupation and whose extended family is still there. I feel terrible for them too.

    If anything, I’m likely to be more critical of come because of I typically am far more critical of things I understand than things I do not. ‘m more critical of the US, of liberals, of PMCers, than its opponents. So I’m aware of a lot of bad things and injustices in China. Frankly I’ve been willing to accept a lot of Western imposed narratives on China until recently like the hostility with Taiwan and treatment of Uighurs and Tibetans, albeit never to the MSM levels since they’re patently ridiculous.

    A lot of the negatives come from how “naive” the Mainland Chinese and the CPC were. There were many bubbles and mass fads that were completely silly. There are real prejudices against people from other regions (Shanghai old timers talk down about people from northern Jiangsu province because their parents/grandparents came to Shanghai in the 30s and 40s as war refugees). This probably also account for why the anti-Dalai Lama protests were so hamfisted back then. But then 20 years pass and now nobody really thinks about Tibet much anymore, and many within the exile community are going back to Tibet and prospering. (Meanwhile, the Chinese cleverly supported the Shugden sect and showed that the Tibetan government in exile is not tolerant of dissidents within its own community.)

    But recently I stepped back and realized that hey, it’s 2021 and the Chinese are prosperous and self confident. Actual governments and peoples in the global South are positive about the Belt and Road projects as a welcome alternative to the far more oppressive Western regime. The CPC has a one party monopoly on power, but it’s far more reflective and attentive to the needs of the Chinese people than the two parties in the US, and appear to have greater diversity of opinion than what’s tolerated within the US political establishment. Then I muse about why nobody in Rome wanted to go back to the Roman republic, even after multiple disastrous principates. I don’t like this world, but democracy (which in reality translates to heavily packaged oligarchy) is certainly not a panacea.

  45. Plague Species

    Astrid. Just another Non-Essential. The enemy, in otherwords. Che couldn’t spot a 15,000 lb. elephant in the room even with a magnifying glass or despite it. Astrid claims its career is compatible with China’s system. Astrid is a Non-Essential. A Non_essential with strong arrogant opinions which is even worse.

  46. someofparts

    plague species – So, are you just a troll?

    Astrid brings real value when she participates here.

    You, on the other hand, rarely say anything useful.

    just saying …

  47. Astrid

    Plague Species,

    The”essential worker” who seems to post a lot during business hours and ranting on his substack. Must be all the time you save by not bothering to understand the background of subjects that you’re pontificating about.

    Perhaps you’re amongst the 60,000 secret Pentagon workers. I guess they would all consider themselves essential. I imagine that they work kind of like the Venture Brothers’ Guild of Calamitous Intent, with you getting assigned to “arch” this corner of the internet.

  48. Antibody

    The rabid anti-China comments here are…interesting. I wonder if there are any other countries and cultures these people despise with a passion or is it only China and Chinese people? How small-minded and petty (or heavily influenced by propaganda) does one have to be to trash an entire country and its people as horrific and beyond the pale?

    An extra big lol at Plague Species who says he’s convinced China (and Russia) want to kill as many Americans as possible. Okay, if you say so buddy.

    Anyway, I found this documentary film, called Beyond the Mountain, on YouTube over the weekend. It’s by Japanese film maker Takeuchi Ryo who travels to one of the poorest areas in China and talks to the people there about their lives and the poverty elimination efforts of the Chinese government.

    It’s a very interesting documentary and it presents a view of China that is broader than what you would get on CGTN and also very different from the one-dimensional, propaganda infused crud presented by western media outlets when they report on China.

    I found the segment where he sits in with a class of schoolchildren and the graduate students who work as their volunteer teachers in the remote village particularly interesting. One teacher, when asked to reflect on his experience there, breaks down in tears as he describes how he thinks he was too strict with his students during the first part of his tenure there. The children in the class were also visibly moved by his raw honesty.

    You would never see something like that in an American or European elementary school and it flies in the face of what many people here believe about China.

    The entire documentary is worth watching. It’s about an hour and in Chinese and Japanese with English subtitles.

  49. Mark Pontin

    @Antibody —

    Thanks for that link.

    It’s worth a look. Interestingly, the mountain people that the documentary maker spends his time with are Yi, one of the non-Han ethnicities in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture (the Yi are also found in the highlands of Thailand and Vietnam).

    Also, it’s evident the government — whether on a central or local prefecture level — has put serious resources into throwing up school buildings and apartment blocks in a remote region with not much likelihood of profit in return. The effort really is aimed at poverty reduction.

  50. Astrid


    I think it’s the US propaganda apparatus taking advantage of a natural human instinct to fear and dehumanize the unknown. China is alien compared to Russia, so folks who are skeptical of the US MSM’s line on Russia are still taken in on China. They are also allowing their natural sympathies towards purportedly oppressed peoples (Uighurs, Tibetans, HKers) get weaponized by NED funded reactionary liars who are working against the interests of the people they purport to represent. (Tibet is a colorable case, as I do think the Dalai Lama is personally a good and honest man who wants good things for his people, albeit Tibet outside of China will be poorer and more open to exploitation than one within China. The people in the Tivetan exile government also seems quite personally corrupt and unsuited for governance.)

    I find myself straying into such feelings sometimes, where Africa and the Middleeast is much more alien to me than the rest of the global South. Sometimes I find myself dismissing what happens in Africa as something happening “over there”. Then I learn about what Quaddafi was planning for Africa to free it from the Western imperialist yoke and I’m horrified by the violence perpetrated by my government against the peoples of Libya and Africa.

    The ignorance or naive understanding of such situation isn’t what bothers me. What bothers me is the continued demonization of the other and insistence of their righteousness, and pointedly ignoring additional offered information. It suggests closed minds that are more interested in feeling righteous than striving to be right. I suppose it’s a human flaw and we all have our blind spots, but I am disappointed nonetheless.

  51. Plague Species

    “Kill these devils!”

    Eradicating poverty by pretending it doesn’t exist and ignoring the impoverished especially when compiling fake statistics.

    My wife and I watched this the other evening. We can’t tell the difference between China and America but apparently according to Astrid and its acolytes here, China is superior in every way.

    Still, they flock to America versus China. Why? Why can’t they see what Astrid sees? What Pilger sees? Even the Chinese flock to America not realizing they are leaving Nirvana behind. WTF?

  52. Plague Species

    The rabid anti-China comments here are…interesting.

    I have not witnessed any anti-China comments. I have seen comments critical of the Chinese Communist Party. Those critical comments are every bit as warranted as critical commentary directed at America’s ruling class. What’s noteworthy about Russian and Chinese agents and their critical commentary directed at America is, it’s always political. They don’t mind a wealthy elite but a wealthy elite that will do their bidding. Just goes to show you that communists are always capitalists waiting to be born again.

  53. Astrid

    (it’s unfortunate that I still have to respond to such an odious and obvious troll, but it is a decent prompt)

    US is a great country for the rich and due to union activism from a century ago, has a more humane white collar workplace. This makes the US desirable for rich Chinese people looking to park some money in a bolthole and a lot of STEM/banking types looking for best payout/work-life mix.

    I think China’s far superior performance on COVID is a game changer for Chinese diaspora’s views on China v. West. All these people grew up venerating the West for its technical achievements are now recognizing that the East (certainly not restricted to China) is demonstrably superior at handling a major public crisis. The plane fare going to China last spring/summer makes clear which way the wind is blowing.

    Mainland China is actually very attractive for the Chinese diaspora, including many Taiwanese and Western passport holders. Its downsides are the intense crowds of people everywhere, the language and culture if you didn’t grow up with it, the air pollution, the godawful climate of most Chinese cities, and the insane real estate prices if you’re looking to buy rather than rent. China is also amongst the least immigrant friendly countries, with many long time westerners still having to nip across the border to get their residency visas renewed. I believe you pretty much have to marry a local to get Chinese residency and citizenship for people without Chinese ancestry is really hard (though this is all vague second hand information as I’ve never seriously looked into it).

    and it seems for many westerners at least

  54. Plague Species

    I think it’s the US propaganda apparatus taking advantage of a natural human instinct to fear and dehumanize the unknown.’s unfortunate that I still have to respond to such an odious and obvious troll..

    I think it’s the Chinese propaganda apparatus taking advantage of a a natural human instinct to fear and dehumanize the unknown. Labeling someone a troll is dehumanizing and it’s about fear.

    Let’s not forget Astrid that it was China’s lax standards that helped lead to the lab leak. Yes, the research should never have been done and that’s on bot America and China. Each are equally culpable. Why does China have such lax standards Astrid is it’s so superior? Because individual life doesn’t mean much in the Chinese system. It’s all about the hive.

  55. Astrid


    Funny how many different people here call out your trolling behavior on practically every post, but somehow it’s some undefined Chinese propaganda apparatus at work, in a dead thread in a low trafficked corner of the internet.

    Learn the insult “wumao”. Will save you some time and make you appear more knowledgeable about China, though wage inflation should render that into”wukuai”.

  56. different clue


    Thank you for the correction. That should make it easier for interested people to find and watch that program.

  57. different clue

    Posing the choice for Tibet as inside China under current conditions of rule or outside China is a fake binary. The Dalai Lama himself keeps saying what he ( and others I suppose) want to see is Tibetan autonomy within China, something like a bigger better Indian Reservation inside America or Canada or the recognized-to-be-Indigenous Peoples’ lands inside Brazil before Bolsonaro. ( That is my analogy, by the way).

    Any commenters who are careful to distinguish between ” China”, the ” Chinese People” and the CCP ChinaGov regime can only hope that fellow reader-commenters note the carefullness of their distinction, and make up their own mind about where they see rabid Chinaphobia and where they don’t.

    I have thought of a kinder gentler word for the CCP under Shih Jin-Ping’s changes. Since Shih is moving to re Mao-ify the Party and the Country, perhaps I should call the ChinaGov Regime as it is CommuMaozi, instead of CommuNazi.

    Anyway, if I can overcome time pressures and inertia and my already huge and rising mountain of must-read material and read the sources Astrid offered me, and if they end up changing my mind on this subject, I will come back and say so. In the meantime I stand by my current understanding and predictions, and we’ll see in twenty years.

  58. Astrid

    Different Clue,

    Fair enough. Xi does represent a leftward/popularists lurch compared to his predecessors, so Maozi (Maoist Socialist?) is a fair description. Honestly I don’t particularly like the Chinese government or Chinese people, it’s just that I don’t want them to be dehumanized and stood up as faceless enemies who can be bombed and sanctioned without repurcussions. Calling any group Nazi dehumanized them into enemies, so I feel it should only be used if they committed acts that actually warrant the label.

    Chinese position against Tibet has struck me as harder than it needs to be. I’m sure Taiping Rebellion plays a big role in this, just as it did in suppression of Falunggong. CPC leadership is always clear that there can’t be a significant social movement that’s not clearly subjugated to the CPC. So they can promote religion, culture, capitalism, and diversity, they can deal with criticism of its governance, but there cannot be challenge to CPC’s authority.

    I feel that if the Dalai Lama was a younger man, perhaps they would come to an accommodation. But it’s easier now for them to just wait it out.

    How I feel about that is evolving. When I was younger, I was definitely against any one party state. Nowadays I look at Western oligarchies where people are given no voice and told they are free because they can choose between Kang and Kodos, and I could see why the Communists didn’t trust a democratic form to resist oligarchy. I am also now far more aware of Western efforts to subvert people’s will when they democratically decide on anyone who is anti imperialist and Left.

  59. Plague Species

    Guess what’s in Harrisburg? The Army War College. Lang’s shock troops at it again. The guy’s a crumb bum. Astrid is a fraud. A mole. A pretender. Maybe someofparts can move to Harrisburg and take courses at the Army War College paid for by “its” meager social security check along with all those expensive books on order from Amazon. It’s amazing how far you can stretch a social security check.

    Che is about as left as left can be at this venue and he’s in bed with an Establishment Non-Essential and endorsing them. Someone who as a Non-Essential was doing “business” in China allegedly and playing footsie with Ernst & Young types. My alma mater, fyi. Coincidence? Probably not just as mention of Dekalb Farmers Market isn’t a coincidence. I was there yesterday someofparts and I didn’t see you. On second thought, maybe I did. Two expensive suvs with blacked out windows with military insignia all over the license plates were parked in the loading zone when we entered and when we left. Vips of some sort. Special peeps for whom regular parking was beneath them. Maybe one of the vehicles belonged to you. I wouldn’t be surprised. If so, I’m sure you were well-protected with weaponry. Pat Lang always is. Same goes for his compadres. Studs. Tough guys. Regular Tony Sopranos, they are, and you too I guess. Here’s hoping the mosquitos get you and anytime you want to meet up at Dekalb and call me a troll to my face, let me know the timing and I will accommodate. No weapons. Weapons are for cowards and psychos.

  60. Astrid


    Whatever your essential job is supposed to be, I can safely rule out private eye. Feel free to hit up Pat Lang for more clues about my conceal carry permit and my apparently paramount role in the red-brown alliance.

    I’m going to take a hard pass on physical interactions with you, now or ever.

  61. someofparts

    Well, changing hemispheres, I discovered this eye-opening post about recent history in Guatemala. It strikes me as a worthy contribution to the project of understanding people in other countries. It is pretty harrowing, as our behavior abroad so often is. I wish there were some way to rein in the predatory behavior of our rulers.

    “By way of background, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala for 2.5 years in the late 1980s when the Guatemalan Civil War was winding down. After that I worked from time to time on other development projects in Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica in the early 1990s and have been back to the region many times since then and still maintain a lot of friends and acquaintances there.”

  62. someofparts

    PS – I’m sorry if I insulted you by calling you a troll. If anything, my guess is that you are much younger than I am and, as such, a bit more hot-headed, as I was at your age.

    Normally I scroll past any snark that flies here because it tends to happen between people who don’t post as much. Somehow when that snark gets directed at any of us who show up here and make thoughtful, informed comments, I get pissed. Mostly I keep quiet even then, but sometimes it catches me on a bad day and I fling that snark right back at the perpetrator.

    Sometimes the young can be hot-headed and sometimes geezers can be cranky, but I don’t think any of us who comment extensively are trolls.

  63. different clue

    I just found something interesting on Buzzfeed about Buzzfeed winning a Pulitzer Prize. I’d brag too, if I won a Pulitzer Prize. Here is the title. “BuzzFeed News Has Won Its First Pulitzer Prize”
    And here is the link.

    Here is the most relevant paragraph lifted from that Buzzfeed article.

    “BuzzFeed News won a Pulitzer Prize on Friday for a series of innovative articles that used satellite images, 3D architectural models, and daring in-person interviews to expose China’s vast infrastructure for detaining hundreds of thousands of Muslims in its Xinjiang region. The Pulitzer Prize is the highest honor in journalism, and this is the digital outlet’s first win since it was founded in 2012.”

    Now, if this Buzzfeed story is fake news in service to a broader deeper Psychological Manipulation Information-Operation, then the Pulitzer Prize people might well award it a prize to lend it a patina of credibility.

    On the other hand, if this Buzzfeed story is real news, then its Pulitzer Prize might be true, earned, and reality based.

    If it IS fake news, and awarded a credibility-lending Pulitzer to help catapult the propaganda, then somebody else could perhaps do the forensic journalism involved in finding the fakery within the Buzzfeed story. If they could do so, in a debunking-resistant reality-based way, they would be doing a real service to the cause of seeking truth through facts, even if it never won a Pullitzer.

    I will “watch this space” with the occasional half-an-eye.

  64. Astrid

    Different Clue,

    Sheesh, you have time to read Buzzfeed’s press release but not a Grayzone article that I specifically mentioned? Judith Miller of the Iraqi WMDs is Pulitzer winning as well, while McClatchy’s which got the story mostly right, has been destroyed in the less than 20 years since. MSM had so little credibility outside of a few PMC based cultists that appeal to authority is about the only thing the US establishment has left.

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