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

Open Thread

Use the comments to discuss topic unrelated to recent articles.


I Was Shocked To Find Out How Many People The Terror Killed


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – October 31, 2021


  1. Eric Anderson

    Just signed on to this fun little act of protest and I’d encourage others to do so. I post here b/c I think, despite our different ideologies and approaches to what plagues society, we can all get behind getting money out of our politics.
    Cheap, mass action. Check it out …

    Sorry if this breaks a rule Ian. I thought it might make for some interesting discussion/action.

  2. NL

    For us, the revolution – even if ‘officially’ not recognized – was the execution of Charles I, thus firmly refuting the divine right of kings and placing power completely into the hands of nobility and propertied, tax-paying citizens. Estimates are that more than 200,000 combatants and civilians died in the English Civil war. This approach minus nobility was then adopted in the US. Initially, only propertied white males could vote and be voted for in most US states. But then ‘Jacksonian democracy’ expanded that to all white males. Should we consider the latter another revolution? Probably not, there was no war, it was more like a struggle between the masses and their betters for control. The political arrangement that was worked out then is what we still have now — two parties both claiming to represent the citizenry, politicians whose job is to get and stay elected and citizenry who votes but not decides.

    Nonetheless, the “Jacksonian democracy” was a revolution but in a different way. It ‘executed’ (semi)public banking and (semi)public money represented by the Bank of the United States and placed money issuance in private hands, thus establishing the final element of our political economy — a private government of ambitious individuals that directs economic activity through money lending and exists in and for itself.

    Public banking and money were re-instituted during the Great Depression and WWII as the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and thus giving us a chance to re-consider public vs private money, and ‘we’ made a clear decision in 1960s, when RFC was closed, and the responsibility for economy was fully given back to the private sector. And here we are now…

  3. NR

    This video is worth a watch if you have about 20 minutes:

    It’s the best explanation I’ve heard for why conservatives defend rich people so intensely even when they themselves are poor. And as the video explains, it’s not actually because they think they’ll be rich themselves one day.

  4. different clue

    @ Eric Anderson,

    This seems interesting. The more people use it, the more people will see it, and then see others see it, and so forth.

    As Butch Swaim once said . . . ” Before there can be a revolution, there first has to be a revolution between the ears.”

    There is a precedent for the “currency tracking” side of this minus the political meaning. The “currency tracking project” got people to put little “where’s George?” stamps on $1.00 bills with a website to report any sightings to.

  5. Hugh

    Thanks, NR, for the video. It helps.

  6. Plague Species

    It’s the best explanation I’ve heard for why conservatives defend rich people so intensely even when they themselves are poor.

    It’s boggles the mind. The Cavaliers comes to mind. Now let’s see the video explaining why liberals defend rich people so intensely even though they themselves are poor. Lots of liberals admire Alec Baldwin especially for his portrayal of McDonald Trump on SNL and Baldwin is filthy rich.

    Alec Baldwin 2024. He can campaign as McDonald in costume but for the Democrats. 2024 will be McDonald versus McDonald. May the best McDonald win. It just might work. Baldwin can brag he can shoot someone on set on camera for all the world to see and get away with it.

  7. Plague Species

    Virginia And Rural England: Cavalier Rape

    Mrs. Chesnut knew whereof she spoke, and was haunted by her knowledge of sexual predators within her own family. But she (and the abolitionists, and many historians too) were very much mistaken in thinking that the “peculiar institution” of race slavery itself was the first cause of this behavior. The same pattern had appeared in Virginia before slavery was widespread. It had also existed in rural England.

    The cultural idea of the predatory male was carried very far in early Virginia—even to the point of condoning rape. The diaries and commonplace books of Anglo-American gentlemen often recorded a complaisant and even jocular attitude toward rape that differed very much from prevailing mores in Puritan New England. The founders of New England made rape a hanging crime. In the courts of the Chesapeake colonies, it was sometimes punished less severely than petty theft—a different attitude from the Puritan colonies.

    The sex ways of the southern colonies differed from New England in other ways as well. The people of Virginia thought less of the biblical commandment to increase and multiply and replenish the earth which so obsessed the Puritans, and more of breeding stocks and bloodlines. The gentry of Virginia studied one another’s genealogies as closely as a stockman would scrutinize his stud books.

    What is McDonald Trump if not a Virginia Cavalier in sentiment and character? If not, they made him fit come hook or crook.

  8. Z

    A potential black swan event that I haven’t heard anyone mention is if Mexico has a civil war. That’s not close yet, but the conditions are ripe for it: a new legit Leftist government with a bold leader bordering the U.S., which our rulers will reflexively try to sabotage, in a country that has plenty of neo-liberal and neo-conservative elements from past governments in play and that also has a ton of weapons circulating in the populace from the drug wars, not to mention well developed distribution channels to get more into the country.

    All it might take is the economy to go south, and you can be sure our rulers will be willing to give it a shove by f*ing with the currency markets with their essentially unlimited amount of leverage from their friends at the Fed, and the head of the military to be bribed into a coup de’ tat and it could blow up. If one side gets routed you’d have to imagine the U.S. would have a border crisis and some of the people fleeing Mexico would be armed.

    There’s enough potential downside to the situation that our rulers should be wary about contributing to the volatility of it but of course they’re more concerned with preventing any leftist governments gaining foothold in Latin and South America, particularly in Mexico.


  9. Z

    Love seeing Status Quo Joe’s approval ratings plummeting. That increases the chance the stage hound might do something radical to get the public back on his side such as student loan forgiveness.

    It’s the risk our rulers took in pushing him to the front of the queue. He never had much backing from the populace and the people who do support him aren’t going to leave their comfy sofas or their last bite of avocado milquetoast to go out into the streets to support him while the Trumpists fervently hate him for allegedly stealing the election from their clown hero and he has a well-established record of championing legislation that has enslaved young adults with essentially non-dischargeable debt.

    At some point during our Weekend at Biden’s you’d have to imagine that there will be some more serious protests against the financialized police state our rulers have imposed upon us and Status Quo Joe will clamp down on the protestors and probably garble something that will piss off folks on both the right, who see him as illegitimate to begin with, and the left and then we’ll see what will ensue. Ought to be interesting. Grab your cornpops and watch …


  10. Trinity

    NR, what a GREAT video. Thank you.

    I was going to add that hierarchies are unnatural, but they took care of that, too.

    As I’ve mentioned previously, because of the unnaturalness of hierarchies, continuing hierarchical activities will lead to their ideological demise, and climate change disasters will help with that as well (or at least, this is what I hope).

    I can’t help but think that ending Nature, which seems to be a major focus, is also an attempt to end references to that alternative way of organizing. Even if it’s not completely conscious to their thinking, they are warring with nature as much as they are warring with us. My money is on Nature. The stronger, more resilient model is the non-hierarchical one. Something to think about when organizing any kind of resistance.

    “This approach minus nobility was then adopted in the US.”

    Wrong. The US has always had a nobility, just never the titles. The use of “sir” (little “s”) and “madam” were reserved always for our “betters”.

  11. bruce wilder

    Z: Let’s go Brandon!

  12. Well Done Pro-Vaccine Propaganda Still Falls Short

    The MedCram youtube channel has the following discussion, which I recommend listening to: COVID Vaccine Myths, Questions, and Rumors with Rhonda Patrick and Roger Seheult

    This was well done pro-vaccine propaganda. It targets thinking people who have been reading up on covid, especially non-mainstream (non-Fauci-approved, if you like) information. This is different from pro-vaccine porn, because the information content was much, much, higher; and it made reference to specific scientific papers, as would be required in a serious discussion. Furthermore, the tone wasn’t emotionally manipulative or condescending. (In fact, I’d say the tone was just right.)

    It challenged some of the things that I’ve heard and believed, which I now believe might be wrong. (Notably, in my case: the risk of ADE appears to be greatly exaggerated.)

    So why I am calling it propaganda? (Implying dishonest or deliberately biased propaganda. I’m all for honest propaganda.)

    Because it’s not completely honest or to-the-point. Their desire for an end result in their listeners’ minds exceeds what should be their capacity for honest discussion. They are apparently targeting people like me. Oh, but I’ve already had my coffee, sirs!

    This real agenda is most evident at the end: 02:08:34 – Long term side effects / were vaccines rushed? No explanation is given why abbreviated phase 1, 2, and 3 trials should be trusted to achieve the same margin of safety that normal-length trials are geared toward. Or, more reasonably, how the relative risk increase was determined (as opposed to it being a fond hope. “Hope is not a plan”). The question isn’t really addressed! Instead, we see a graph showing how all the various steps in producing a vaccine were abbreviated, and basically made to overlap. Because starting to build a factory from the get-go, due to government guarantees, really has any effect on whether the vaccine that’s going to be made in that factory kills 16,000 people in the US before the first year, or not. And whether it will neurologically damage a close relative of mine, who now must go through life with his left hand frozen in a kind of cupping gesture (as though grasping an oar). And whose other hand is now frozen flipped over at the wrist. I’m sure this risk came out at the J&J testing trials, abbreviated though they may be, right?

    On a sort of technical note, the handy, fairly detailed graphic showing Seheult’s “swiss cheese” theory of medical approach sort of suggests the scripted nature of the discussion. Was there a hidden hand behind this meeting of the minds? Perhaps one funded by vaccine manufacturers?

    Probably the 2nd weakest part of their video was uncritical comments about VAERS. I am leaving the details as an exercize. Suffice it to say that Seheult does a bad job contrasting what should happen with what does happen, in a number of contexts. Why-y-y-y-y-y, it’s almost as if Seheult is unware of all the corruption present in the medical field, and that medical practitioners might be afraid to report all vaccine injuries into the VAERS database. E.g., under threat (silent or otherwise) from hospital administrators.

  13. Plague Species

    Growth is killing the planet. Capitalism just so happens to be the current mechanism to deliver growth. Is “Monibot” prepared to live the rest of his life without an internet? It should be a requirement of contraction. No more internet since the internet’s purpose is to facilitate further growth. No more Smart Phones. No more 5G or any G. If we’re not willing to do any of this, well, we’re collectively killing the planet too so it’s not just capitalism. Blaming it solely on capitalism is a cop out.

  14. pro-vaxxer John Campbell interviews pro-vaxxer Kyle, who happens to be vaccine injured.

    Kyle is trying to get recognition and research for therapies, for the vaccine injured, as well as compensation.

    See “Kyle’s vaccine complication” on youtube. The reference website is react19 dot org.

    They have a demonstration in Washington schedule in 2 days. See realnotrare dot com.

    The demonstration is also anti-mandate. Not sure it’s a good idea to mix treating the vaccine injured humanely with anti-mandate….

  15. Plague Species

    The demonstration is also anti-mandate. Not sure it’s a good idea to mix treating the vaccine injured humanely with anti-mandate….

    I agree.

  16. Hugh

    It must be a great frustration to metamars that, according to Johns Hopkins, only 745,725 people in the US have died from covid so far. If we had only followed metamars’ advice, we could have doubled that number by now. Still he does what he can to keep the number of unvaccinated as high as possible, and with that their chances of dying from covid as high as possible as well.

  17. bruce wilder

    Just wait your turn, Hugh. The vaccines are not that effective, fade fast and do close to nothing to retard transmission or the emergence of new variants. Some variant may kill or cripple you yet.

    But, hey your lesser evil pals have taken giant steps toward that fascism you are always braying about, mandating these “experimental” vaccines. And, oh yeah “taxing the rich” is now monitoring every bank deposit over $600.

  18. Z

    Status Quo Joe doesn’t have the melanin or the teflon to sell/conceal neo-liberal policies as president. Nor the wits at this point. Like most amphed narcissists he’s always had an exaggerated sense of himself when in fact he’s never actually had to answer for the neo-liberal policies he’s pushed for because he’s been politically coddled in the corporate state of Delaware and then as Obama’s vice. He’s been a conman riding on his smile during his whole political career and now that’s been fittingly bent crooked from cosmetic surgery.

    It’s nice to see him finally front and center in the middle of the mess he’s help make …


  19. Hugh

    Vaccines reduce hospitalizations and deaths. Sorry to disappoint you but no, they don’t come with sparkle ponies out here in the real world. Speaking of which, the real world, maybe you should try it sometime.

  20. different clue


    There is a theory of a possible approach to human social organizing called “rhizome”. I first saw it written about by Jeff Vail. Here are a few web hints about it. I don’t know how hard our current Search Obstruction Engines will make it to find anything else.

  21. Chuck Mire

    This is representative of what anti-vaxxers read:

    I never heard of him, so I searched:

    Mainly, a successful writer of fictional novels. He ought to remain in that field. Here are what the mainstream thinks of his “truths”:

  22. Z

    Expect a wave of lesbianism in any state that illegalizes abortion.


  23. Eric Anderson

    Plague Species:
    Certainly sounds as though he’d be perfectly comfortable banging out press on a Royal from the tenor of his article. Heck, we could all publish our own pamphlets and subscribe to each other so we could carry on the conversation — something tells me, however, that the tone would be a bit more considered.

  24. Plague Species

    …something tells me, however, that the tone would be a bit more considered.

    There are not enough trees left to replace the internet with pamphlets. We’ve discussed enough for a thousand years or more. There is no more to discuss. It’s going ’round and ’round with nothing to show for all the hot air accept rising CO2 levels.

    More play, less say. Yes, play. Instead of productivity. Produce the basics and play the rest of time so long as said play doesn’t involve production to support it, meaning play cannot become an industry as it is now.

  25. Melissa Tate
    Robert F. Kennedy makes a desperate plea to the world to resist the tyranny being implemented in the name of Covid warning we are now in Nazi territory.
    I don’t know why people (mostly on the left) that is going along with this don’t see what’s happening

  26. Trinity

    The Stamp idea sounds good on paper (heh) but the reality is that if money means corruption (and it does) then we need to end money, including coin. That’s the only way bazillionaires lose their power. They probably rarely handle physical money anyway, they pay other people to do that.

    DC, I will check out those sites.

    PS, the internet needs to go. It’s a major driver of climate change, and humans did without it just fine for 10,000 years. The real problem isn’t the internet. If it had been handled well, and not turned into a tool of oppression and a way to simulate (not a typo) economic growth, it might have actually worked. I personally prefer carefully curated knowledge that libraries provide.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén