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

Open Thread

As most of the recent posts have had restrictive comments policies, feel free to discuss unrelated topics here.


Ideology: Political Concepts Chapter 3


2021 Fundraiser


  1. bruce wilder

    I often peruse Lambert’s “Water Cooler” for the daily update on COVID19 and it has become quite alarming.

    I especially like MWRA (Boston-area) wastewater detection as a kind of objective of the virus’ biomass so to speak. It slumped way down in the Summer then came back up and chugged along in an apparent steady-state at surprisingly high levels to my untutored eye. And, with the nationwide upturn in cases, it, too, has gone up. Just in time for Turkey Day.

    One thing I think it may mean is that the vaccines have fallen far short of the goalposts. Another is that endemic COVID19 is going to be a background reality for a long time to come. I wonder how many of the half-hearted mitigation efforts will ultimately be discredited.

  2. Astrid

    I found the collapse subreddit’s weekly observations thread to be useful for early warning signals. It’s a lot of doom scrolling and they have a specific mind set (very much taking the MSM line on Covid and Russia/China/Syria/Iran/etc.), but I saw reports of shortages/ supply chain issues and “the great resignation” several weeks before mainstream reporting.

    I think the vaccinations are preventing a lot of the more serious cases while doing little to curb infection. So that’s what’s showing up in the MWRA. Thanksgiving is likely to be a mass infection event, as kids and college students infect their parents and relatives. Just as pretty much everyone had their shots more than 6 months ago. We’ll find out around Christmas how things are going. Apparently the infections are terrible throughout Western Europe, despite very high and later than US vaccinations.

    My personal observations of Covid is that most people are wearing masks indoors but ineffective surgical or cloth ones. My parents and in-laws keep insisting that they are careful, but they wear ineffective masks (in-laws despite been gifted a box of 50 N95 masks this summer) or N95s poorly fitted (my parents). My in-laws do indoor dining, as if the act of eating protects them from airborne virus particles. I supposed we’re not that much better, since we go to crowded concerts, albeit with N95 + cloth masks.
    I will say the 3M Auras I bought at a NC commenter’s recommendation are by far the best of the 6 kinds of KN95/N95 masks I’ve tried. Comfortable fit, good seal, reasonably easy to breath, and doesn’t fog glasses. If I have to get back to the office next year, I plan to wear these full time when indoors.

    The fallout of the atmospheric river event in SW British Columbia and NW Washington state is certainly something for me to keep an eye on. The area was always thought to be risky for the Cascadia Fault and being in the Ring of Fire, but I don’t think anyone before 2021 would have suspected the area to be amongst the first to really fall victim to extreme climate change induced weather events. Now Vancouver is cut off from the rest of Canada by road for possibly many months, and presumable and supplies will have to come through the US or by water. A good chunk of the local food supply has been flooded. Vancouver is an extremely rich city so presumably it will be able to cope, but this should give some interesting clues to how the rich urbanized West will be handling collapse.

  3. Plague Species

    Reddit, seriously? Come on. Yet another wolf’s den.

    Bruce, bizarre you mention that. We’re channelling. Yesterday I was thinking the same thing about waste water detection as an indicator and thought how simple and brilliant it was and here you go and post the same.

    Politics or not, there’s this. Politics cannot miraculously make economies of scale manifest, but it can obscure the fact that economies of scale for EVs is impossible and will never be.

    EVs Are A Farce

    All this is to say, if EVs are truly the future, then the future doesn’t include most people because most people can’t afford EVs now and will never be able to afford one. By outlawing combustion engines and mandating EVs, considering everything I just mentioned, most people’s mobility will be greatly restricted because you can be sure there will be no mass transportation initiative to fill the gap.

    What this means is, most people will become largely ghettoized similar to the Brazil model and the favelas. America will be transformed, it already is being transformed, into a dystopia where most people will live degraded, unhealthy, short and brutish lives crammed into putrid favelas. The wealthy elite will own all land and property and it will be off limits to the unwashed outside of the toxic favelas which will be nothing more than open air concentration camps where the unwashed will go to die.

  4. Plague Species

    Who here has gotten a booster? Raise your hand if you have. I haven’t yet. None of us have yet. Should we?

  5. Plague Species

    Why Spain Has Avoided Europe’s COVID Surge

    Was this in Lambert’s Water Cooler links? I doubt it. If not, why not? An agenda?

    As most of Europe suffers a COVID-anxiety attack, however, la buena vida continues in Spain. Crowds revel at terrace bars, drinking sangria and eating tapas into the night, the clubs have reopened, crowds frolic at beach parties and wine festivals, and unlike in many Western European countries, a vaccine passport is still not required. According to Statista, the COVID rate in Spain over the past seven days is 46 per 100,000 population, compared to Austria at 851, the Netherlands at 539 and Slovenia at 1,058.

    The reason for the relatively carefree mood across Spain, said Dr. Daniel Lopez-Acuña, former director of Health Action in Crisis at WHO, is the country’s very high vaccination rate, nearing 90 percent of those 12 and older, and its continued protection measures, like indoor mask mandates, which, unlike most places, Spain never dropped.

    Those precautions are paying off. “Spain is doing particularly well compared to other European countries,” Lopez-Acuña told Yahoo News, crediting health agencies, stringent class-size reductions and mask wearing in schools, and a science-accepting public, as well as long-enduring COVID restrictions.

    After being shut down for over a year, nightclubs didn’t reopen until October. The national government required pedestrians to wear masks even outside until this past June. Most Spaniards, Lopez-Acuña said, “have developed a consciousness” about COVID prevention measures, accepting social distancing and face covering indoors.

    “Even in the streets, large parts of the population still wear the masks,” he said.

    “We’re trying to learn from the success stories like Spain,” said Pebody. He noted that Spain and neighboring Portugal, where 87 percent of the population has had two shots, are “in a good position at the moment.”

    As I read this, I can’t help but hear Biden telling the vaccinated to drop all COVFEFE-45 precautions as a reward. F*cking senilic b*stard. The precautions plus vaccination make a substantial difference as Spain and Portugal are proving.

  6. someofparts

    “I will say the 3M Auras I bought at a NC commenter’s recommendation are by far the best of the 6 kinds of KN95/N95 masks I’ve tried.”

    Astrid, do you still have the link for that?
    I would love to have something effective that doesn’t fog my glasses.
    So far I’m one of those people wearing ineffective cloth masks.

  7. Ché Pasa

    Masks help slow the covid spread. Around here — Trump Country, remember — some people wear their ineffective surgical masks while driving. Never quite understood that, but they do. Old folks as a rule mask up. Been seeing more and more cowboys, though, going without. They tough, yanno? The other day, I saw a couple of our ricos indoors without masks. Fine example they set. But then they’re only in their 60s. Hardy.

    Friends of ours bought a house in Seattle a couple of months ago. 1920s vintage, 2bdrm, 1 bath, on a large lot. It was under a million dollars, so they think they’re sitting pretty, and perhaps they are. Of course they’re planning to spend $200K + on the remodel, so the total cost will be in the $1M+ range. They can afford it, but thinking about how the climate crisis is affecting the PNW, somehow the long-term wisdom escapes me. Will Seattle and environs become uninhabitable? For the masses, no doubt. But how will the upper middle class fare? Are they disposable, too? Will they be able to afford living in 10 years?

    The “local” Walmart (15-20 miles from most of the people who live around here) closed. Someone set it on fire. Not for the first time, either. Sabotage? Disgruntled employees getting revenge? No one has said yet. But it has thrown everyone who had come to depend on shopping there into disarray. The next closest one is about 40 miles away. What with the cost of gas and such, there’s no savings to shop there. But the local shops have been hollowed out or gone for so long, there aren’t a lot of options.

    Heating fuel costs are hurting a lot of folks, and programs are being developed to help cope. That’s good. Neighbors decided not to heat their house, we had a hard freeze, and their pipes froze yesterday. Great. Relations are hauling water to them.

    EVs? Not any time soon, not around here. But in the cities? Those that don’t drown or blow away or burn to the ground, sure. Why not?

  8. Plague Species

    As for 3M Aura N95 masks, you can get them here.

    3M Aura N95 Masks

  9. Hugh

    Rittenhouse innocent on all counts. See, you can get away with murder. Of course, it does help if the judge is biased but again what would you expect from a bananas republic judiciary?

  10. Plague Species

    I think Rittenhouse would be a good running mate for McDonald in 2024. There would be no need for the Secret Service. Kyle will have security covered.

  11. Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty and rightly so. Self-defense upheld. The Jurors found the courage to stand up to the mob and the Judge is vindicated in his belief the system can work.

    Ironic fact: The Judge was appointed by a Democratic Governor, is a registered Democrat, and voted for Biden.

    He clearly recognized Kyle was innocent and made it clear to the Prosecution when he rubbed their noses into their defeat by subsequently granting the now moot Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice due to prosecutorial misconduct in violating his 5th Amendment Rights.

    Justice prevailed.

  12. Hugh

    Nice to see Golladay could take time off from one of his Klan meetings. Interesting that even a fascist nutcase like him could see that the judge was biased, although he saw that as a positive.

  13. Willy

    Maybe reactionary vigilantes will keep the justice guillotines from being rolled out. We need to protect our rich. On the positive, the Qanon Shaman’s lawyer trashed Trump for getting away with everything while his client is getting his. Power still matters.

  14. Mark Pontin

    Astrid: ‘I think the vaccinations are preventing a lot of the more serious cases while doing little to curb infection.’

    There’s no doubt the vaccines are mitigating fatalities. On the other hand, the way the vaccines have been promoted in the US by TPTB in order to return to business as usual is mendacious and incompetent. It’ll become very obvious by Christmas that with delta — since viral loads are more than a thousand times greater and the vaccines don’t mitigate against that — that vaccinated people are in fact massively spreading the virus. This is already obvious in Western Europe.

    The American public’s complete lack of trust in TPTB will then play out politically. I said at the beginning of this that how the US handled COVID would be a slow-motion Chernobyl over the next 3-4 years — i..e it would become internally and globally obvious that the US has essentially become a failed state with nukes, as the USSR did in its time. Later, I wondered whether that metaphor was overly dramatic. Nah; I’ve returned to it. COVID-19 will be a slow-motion Chernobyl for the existing US social order.

    Keep wearing the masks.

  15. Mark Pontin

    PS: ‘Who here has gotten a booster?’

    I’ve gotten the booster shot (Moderna.)

    Generally, I avoid avoidable vaccinations, like flu shots. I know that the range of human genetic variation is such that if you inject enough people with _ANY_ vaccine some will have adverse reactions and a few may die. My father is allergic to penicillin, FFS (I’m not), and almost died when he was young because a night nurse didn’t look at his chart and injected him with it.

    Also, one of the more interesting afternoons of my life was spent talking to Ken Alibek, who ran the massive Soviet bioweapons program, and a fellow called Chuck Bailey, who’d been head of USAMRIID and Alibek’s nearest US equivalent. Both men stressed to me that as a result of working in bioweapons/biodefense labs they had vaccination records several sheets long and immune systems that were severely compromised.

    Not surprising; the human immune system is at least as complex as the central nervous system.

    All this said, I’ve exhibited zero reactogenicity to any of the three vaccine shots I’ve had and nor has anybody else I know, except a niece who had an unpleasant reaction to the J&J Covax.

    Purely anecdotal, of course. Still, I suspect a lot of the anti-vaxx sentiment in the US is not overall borne out by the actual statistics, but an (understandable) product of people’s lack of trust in US authorities.

    By comparison with, forex, the UK, people there may mistrust Boris Johnson’s Tories but they generally trust the NHS. Thus, the antivaxx faction is nothing like so large.

    The thing is, once social trust in a given institution or set of individuals is gone, that loss is permanent. This is one reason I say that COVID19 may be a slow-motion Chernobyl for the current US order.

  16. Willy

    Yup. Cars are made to be just good enough to require many more purchases in the future. It’s that level of competency I imagine with big pharma’s vaccines. Sure they’ll work, for now. That has to be part of the plan. But with America’s failed state status almost ensured, maybe somebody in China will invent and market something far better which outcompetes.

  17. Beave Sampsonite

    I try to not pay attention to most news stories and instead focus on learning skills to survive in the third world country I will eventually live in (USA).
    However the limited coverage I do hear has such ridiculous framing it seems like the only conclusion that can be drawn is they are trying to mislead in the news coverage. As an example the whole he crossed state lines with a rifle looking for trouble is just absurd,; his father lived in the city where this took place and the rifle was stored there. Why is this such a story? Is it because the can demonize a citizen in a way they can’t when it is a cop that does something actually horrendous to an actual black person? Killing someone is certainly serious business but everyone involved came ready for a fight.

    Some days I wonder who all this division benefits and then look at all of the groups the US government funds in the world to cause chaos; which keeps me going on preparing for the power to go out at the worst possible time.

  18. Hugh

    China, like the US, is just another failing state. The problem with covid is that it jumped species. This gave it a new population to proliferate in. We simply didn’t know how it was going to play out, how it might mutate, and how vaccines would affect it. Fauci and the CDC mostly went with the best case scenarios from pathogens which had not jumped species, were far more easily controlled or less infectious. They did not stress what we didn’t know, or the potential feedbacks from covid reservoirs among the unvaccinated. While what has happened is far from the best case scenario of a sterilizing vaccine, containment, and a quick burn out, the vaccines have sharply reduced deaths in vaccinated, at risk populations. Boosters are a wise follow up. They bring up another aspect of covid that was touched on early in the pandemic but then got lost from view. A novel virus like covid had a significant chance of becoming endemic. With a significant covid reservoir of anti-vaxxers, with sufficient genetic mutation to preclude herd immunity, this is where we are heading for now, an endemic virus.

  19. Hugh

    So Beave, where was Rittenhouse’s father? Did he make it a habit to send his son out alone at night with an assault rifle? Rittenhouse went out that night, alone, armed, precisely to confront protestors. He shot three people and killed two of them. So mission accomplished! If you want to talk about what kind of pond scum his parents are for letting him have access to a military grade weapon and not supervising him or it, I have no problem with that. That Rittenhouse in any way didn’t tell or evaded that supervision just goes to his awareness of the wrongness of what he was doing, that is criminal intent.

  20. someofparts

    I don’t think the bungling that has turned covid persistent is the only thing that will kill off citizen trust in the TPTB in the US. Prices across the board are being boosted while CEOs brag about it to investors, even though wages have not gone up. Problems with the supply chains won’t be getting solved either, so that problem will persist and get worse.

    In what I think was her last book, Jane Jacobs characterized what we are heading into as a dark age. Apparently dark ages, like mass extinctions, happen more often than we realized. By dark age, she means that knowledge of every kind will be lost. We already know better than to trust our media and we are learning, to our horror, that our public health system has also stopped working. Literacy is an increasingly rare capacity. We are also learning that we no longer know how to manufacture or ship the basic good we need to maintain our lifestyles.

  21. Beave Sampsonite

    Hugh I really don’t understand why people are so passionate about this and want to turn it into something far larger than what I see it as which is a 17 year old in a riot doing what he thinks is right. Google works for you to I’m sure but his dad has been an on and off unemployed alcoholic machine operator for Kyle’s life and his mom with whom he lived couldn’t make enough money to provide stable housing for Kyle’s life. So when the boyfriend of his sister offered a chance to be on the good guys side Kyle joined to be part of something and go on an adventure which is what a 17 YO wants.

    It is stupid, sad, wasteful ect what happened that night. Most importantly the real issue of law enforcement getting judged solely in the instant they act instead of on the situation they create as a whole goes unchanged.

  22. Mark Level

    Yeah, the Rittenhouse verdict will be a signal to right wing, Proud Boy style vigilantes that they have a free hand to kill anyone left, “anti-police,” “unpatriotic”, etc. The US will continue its descent into failed state status. Li’l Kyle had mommy drive him to a bar during a jail release to share drinks with and make White Supremacy “gangsta” hand-signs with Proud Boys buddies, it is certainly no secret who and what he is. Wisconsin is about 8 miles away from me, & I often pick up the right wing shock jocks and anti-vaxxer Bible Banger fake martyrs (“we’re the new Jews wearing yellow stars!”) when tuning the radio in the morning. Over at National Review, the respectable wink-wink we’re anti-Trump and not full-on Racist website, the commenters are all exultant. “I’m lifting Kyle’s mom up in prayer” and “Its so great to drink librul tears” are the tenor of the comments . . . It can and has happened here. I can certainly boycott any and everything Wisconsin starting today, and will. I’m not sure if my financial resources are adequate to get out of the US, but will research the idea more . . . & as a final dunk for crypto-& full-on fascists, let’s acknowledge that Dodderin’ Uncle Joe’s turning the Dem party over to the likes of Mansion-Enema does mean R. wins in 22 with control of Congress and Trump reinstalled in 2024. I’m not sure this country was ever “a republic”, but no, Ben Franklin, it’s definitely a kleptocratic oligarchy now, with a bunch of hate-filled, knuckle dragging troglodytes to watch out for the masters in their Imperial, Cop or just Vigilante roles.

  23. Astrid


    I bought these. Yeah, it’s Amazon, unfortunately.


    I think PNW is still a better bet than CA in the long run. They will have water for the foreseeable future. CA has the same atmospheric river (extreme version is called an ARKStorm) risks, but be a dessert most of the time. The Cascadia Fault is the big unknown with PNW. JMG thinks and I agree, that once it ruptures, hundreds of thousands will die and the region will not recover.

    Still, it’s a lovely lifestyle. The Gulf Islands and the Olympic rain shadow area has the perfect weather and so much beauty close by, plus the best oysters in the world

    Mark Pontin,

    I think most people out there still believe that vaccines are sterilizing and that’s why they’re so hysterical against the unvaccinated, even though they would have no reason to be so personally affronted if they believe the mrna vaccines are highly protective. Or maybe liberals are just happy to have another group that’s socially acceptable to look down on.

  24. I have again, recently hear Dr. Peter McCullough say that the boosters are failing. And again, he neither explained any details, nor was even asked any. (Shame on the interviewers).

    However, in the most recent installation of thehighwire dot com, it is stated (I believe) that the protection afforded by boosters only last something like 3-4 months, which was sort of my guess, though I had thought 2 months a more probable figure.


    I’ve had some vague thoughts about the need to measure something I’d call “functional intelligence”, and try and measure that, objectively, and somehow favor intellectuals that have such an intelligence. This would be some sort of combination of objectivity and practical problem solving. (I don’t remember what the trait was called, but I’ve read that top CEO’s tend not to have high IQ’s, but do score well in a trait that was similar to “common sense”. So, I’d start there to figure out who is likely skilled at solving problems.)

    If you listen to Bigtree’s interview of VANDEN BOSSCHE, it’s clear his “mainstream” colleagues are what I would call “functionally stupid”, though their IQ’s are probably similar to Bossche’s. These functional morons have caused great suffering, already, but it’s nothing like what might transpire if they continue on their mad quest of vainly trying to vaccinate our way out of a pandemic, at least with the current crop of vaccines.

    Another part of the systemic dysfunction I’m vaguely trying to put my finger on may well be “relatedness” – in particular, the ability to interact with possibly similar, but distinct domains. Bossche mentions teams of vaccinoligist, epidemiologists, evolutioinary biologists, plus one or two other specialties. A functional moron may be a god in their narrow field, but incapable of productively contributing to a multi-disciplinary analysis.

    I think citizens should develop such teams in parallel to the “official” ones. I’d most trust engineers to lead such efforts, since they are more practical than scientists.

    I’d ban all politicians and political influence.

  25. Hugh

    Beave, you’ve got to work harder on getting your stories straight. One moment Rittenhouse has to go to Kenosha to defend his father. The next, his father is a good for nothing POS. Which is it? And how warped are you that you shovel that manure that some under-aged kid knows what is right??? when his right is to go to a protest at night alone with an assault rifle to intimidate and shoot people? Maybe some day some seventeen year old will shoot you and as your life is spilling into the dirt you will no doubt comfort yourself in your last moments with the thought that they were probably just doing what they thought was right. So it’s all OK. How do you get through your days without choking on your hypocrisy?

  26. Hugh

    BTW two elements of a legal definition of self-defense are proportionality and real imminent threat. If like Rittenhouse you go to a protest armed with an assault rifle and have a confrontation with someone there, and they’re unarmed, you shoot them, there is no self-defense because there is no proportionality between you armed and them, unarmed. Secondly, being afraid is not a defense in and of itself. Rittenhouse could only use deadly force if a reasonable person in his situation thought there was an immediate deadly threat. But aside from the police, the only clearly armed person in the area was Rittenhouse. He had zero indication that anyone wanted to shoot him. And being afraid that someone might punch you does not constitute a deadly threat. If Rittenhouse was afraid that someone might get his gun away from him and shoot him, why did he bring the gun in the first place? And if someone did want to shoot Rittenhouse, why wouldn’t they just shoot him. The very fact that anyone confronted Rittenhouse is a clear indication that they did not mean him deadly harm. This is how turned upside down rightwing narratives get, that the one guy who was a clear menace in Kenosha was Rittenhouse. It’s harsh but I hope that the people who defend Rittenhouse get the chance for them and their families to live near someone like him.

  27. @Hugh

    Kyle worked in Kenosha, he had family living there. He had the right to openly carry a rifle. Given the Rioters were armed, he had good reason to go armed as well.

    Fists are deadly weapons. Feet are deadly weapons. Skateboards are deadly weapons. Chains are deadly weapons. Fires are heavy weapons. Bricks and rocks are deadly weapons. Guns are deadly weapons.

    Kyle had no duty to retreat. But did so as he wasn’t looking to kill anyone. Rosenbaum who just got released from the nut house and was a violent man, decided to attack Kyle. Ziemenski who fired on Kyle first and riled up Rosenbaum, instigated the entire affair. In fact Ziemenski would fire more shots than Rittenhouse that night.

    He fired only the rounds necessary to end the threat to his life after Rosenbaum lunged at him and grabbed his gun, which by law made him armed.

    Once Rosenbaum was neutralized he went towards the police and told Grosskreutz as much. Grosskreutz instead of letting him go to the cops, incited a mob on Kyle. This led to Huber dying and Grosskreutz losing his bicep.

    This is all on tape. Case is closed and Kyle should immediately sue the estates of Rosenbaum and Huber, sue Grosskreutz, Jump Kick Man, BLM, Antifa, and the media.

    Viva Frei and Nate the Lawyer (Defense Attorney and Former Prosecutor) discuss the case and go through all the elements and how the Prosecution had no case.

  28. Hugh

    As usual, Golladay, you are lying. Rittenhouse was the one who was armed. Paranoid nutcases like you are reduced to the absurd argument that the whole world is one massive set of murder weapons aimed at you and Rittenhouse. Of course, if this were true, it just raises the question why Rittenhouse brought an assault rifle when he was practically drowning in deadly weapons all around him.

    What kind of a life is it for you that you waste it going from one stupid lie to the next, learning nothing, understanding nothing?

  29. Thomas B Golladay


    You are delusional. The night before the rioters burnt a building down with a man still in it. Disabled an elderly minority shop owner with their fists.

    The rioters started the fight and had already killed a person the night before and injured another. Also the rioters fired rounds the night before as well.

    They were destroying a minority neighborhood. Insurance won’t pay for damages caused by riots.

    You also refuse to acknowledge that the rioters were armed. Kyle had every right to carry a rifle for defense. And he had every right to use lethal force when he was attacked by rioters. And videos showed he avoided confrontation while the rioters sought it. And he fled first, and only fired at the last possible second when his life was in danger.

    You and NR are the real fascist authoritarians and racists. And cynical opportunist ones too.

  30. different clue

    I left a comment at the Bad Times thread, in case anyone is interested, about how Texans can survive another winter power outage if there is one, and why there might be one.

  31. Hugh

    Again more lies. Why was Rittenhouse, a minor, wandering around what you describe as a chaotic situation at night alone with an assault rifle? What kind of sociopathic creep was he? You make up lies and fantasies to avoid that Rittenhouse went specifically to Kenosha to be a vigilante and put himself in situations where he could threaten and shoot people. Your intellectual cowardice is a dead end. Why persist in it?

  32. Thomas B Golladay


    Rittenhouse’s father, aunt, and grandparents lived in Kenosha, he was born in Kenosha, he worked in Kenosha as a lifeguard. He had friends in Kenosha. It was his hometown.

    He did not seek a conflict, he also help several injured rioters as well, which is on camera. He even got pepper sprayed that night and was further injured.

    You are arguing against overwhelming evidence that Kyle did not start the fight.

    You are also ignoring the fact that the rioters were attacking a minority neighborhood and burning it. Kyle, a Hispanic Minority was defending an Asian Owned Business whose owners are on tape asking him to defend it. Said owners lied on the stand because the Prosecutor suborned perjury.

    The facts and the law are with Kyle Rittenhouse.

    And you are a racist, fascist, authoritarian.

    At the 2:13 mark, the Jury Forms are read out. The Jury decided on the 17th that Huber and Jump Kick Man were self defense, on the 18th they decided Grosskreutz was self-defense, then on the 19th they decided on Rosenbaum being self-defense and agreed with McGinniss that he was in no danger from Kyle.

    Its clear they didn’t believe a word out of the Prosecutor’s mouth and Richards habit of not aggressively objecting and saving them for things that the Judge would send the Jury out on, killed Binger’s credibility with the Jury.

    Finally, the newest phrase: Hocus Pocus, its out of focus. It certainly resonated with Cochrane’s: It Makes no sense, it doesn’t fit. If it doesn’t fit, then you must acquit. The Prosecutor ridiculing the phrase in the rebuttal made it stick in the Jurors heads.

    Justice prevailed in the case. No amount of screeching changes that.

  33. Ché Pasa

    I was watching a livestream from Kenosha the night Rittenhouse went berserk shooting people. I don’t remember which one I was watching, but it was a pretty up close and bloody view of what was happening.

    There were no “riots” that night.

    I’m not sure whether the prosecutor made that point or not, but he should have. There were no riots in Kenosha that night. Mostly folks were just milling around, gathering in groups, venting outrage, posturing, but not rioting. Some of the hot heads were starting trash fires in the streets but not many.

    The little punk was milling with the rest of them, all gunned up and ready to rumble, A lot of men and boys were showing their weapons that night; I think I remember at least one woman/girl flashing a gun, too, but I can’t be sure.

    Anyway, when the first shots rang out, the livestreamer I was watching was some distance away, but ran toward the gunfire at first, then crouched behind a wall till it seemed safe to go out and check what was going on. Saw the little punk running, and chased after him, then all hell broke loose. Gunfire, two people shot, many more shot at.
    One killed outright, another had his arm practically blown off. A livestreamer attempted first aid.

    The little punk was sort of wandering around, headed toward police armored vehicles. Couldn’t tell just what he was doing, but the police seemed to have no interest in taking him into custody, though people were shouting that he’d just shot somebody. The ones who went after him had been trying to stop him. Instead they had to stop and care for the own wounded and dead in their midst while the little punk (a phony EMT) kept going.

    Claiming self defense, then crying “white woman tears” on the stand was absurd. But that’s obviously what the judge was looking for from the little punk and he got it. Charging him with murder was absurd, too, but that’s apparently what the DA wanted, and he got it.

    So in my view, the DA was quite deliberate in choosing to go to trial with a case he knew he wasn’t going to win, and in a sense he consciously blew it. There was no way he could get a conviction in that court, as it was clear from the outset that the judge was biased for the defense and that was that. I’ve seen some curious defenses of the judge: “Oh, he can run his court the way he wants; nobody can interfere.” There’s something called “law” and “procedure,” but apparently in Wisconsin, those are mutable at the sole discretion of the court. So here we are.

    Vigilantism has been vindicated and further enabled. Those who were saying this was a travesty are right, but it’s also representative of how “justice” works and doesn’t in this country. It was essentially impossible to convict the little punk, just like it is all but impossible to convict a cop. The boy was acting as if he had a cop’s authority, and the only ones who interfered with his fantasy are dead or wounded.

    The court supported his fantasy. It’s not just his fantasy. It’s widespread among any number of white people who believe they are under siege by roving bands of rioters. They believe they have the authority to shoot down anyone who scares them or gives them the willies — or who questions their authority or is disobedient to their commands.

    That’s where we are, and some think it’s a set up for civil war. I don’t see a war, I see the imposition of domination by a shrinking handful of would-be warlords. They may make war against one another, but only to determine the top dog.

    The rest of us don’t even register on their radar.

    The little punk wants to play in that realm.

  34. Plague Species

    Thanks for your reply, MP. You’re the only one who could be bothered. Not surprising. If we get the booster, it will more than likely be the Moderna. Three of us had the “One and Done” J&J vaccine. My daughter had the two dose Moderna.

    NPR had a segment yesterday morning discussing boosters for all. The reporter said she spoke with many experts off the record and they claim boosters simply aren’t necessary for those under 65 — that the evidence does not support it. The reason the Biden admin is pushing the boosters for all is because they believe, unscientifically, they can bring the numbers down to Spain-like numbers with boosters rather than by ensuring greater than 90% of the population is fully vaccinated like Spain AND COVFEFE-45 precautions like PROPER masking and social distancing remain in effect indefinitely. In otherwords, it’s purely political and not evidence based which has been my suspicion.

    It really is incredibly challenging to separate the wheat from the chafe when we operate in a such a hyper-politicized environment where fiction becomes fact. I, like you, don’t do the flu vaccine and certainly don’t subscribe to the notion of designer vaccines. I got my tetanus vaccine last year but I never did get my shingles vaccine even though I had a prescription for it. So, like you, I am not a vaccine zealot and I feel the Biden admin is exploiting folks like me and you in pushing the booster for political purposes.

  35. Plague Species

    I wonder if Kyle Rittenhouse has gotten his booster shot. Anyone know? Thomas, are you privy? Inquiring minds want to know.

  36. Astrid

    What does it say about the liberals here who are so outraged by a jury finding Rittenhouse innocent, but have nothing but derision for the fates of Assange, Murray, and Donziger? And I don’t see much from them for the millions who are sent to jail on questionable evidence and reasoning by awful judges and prosecutors, to (often privately run for profit) prisons where rape and violence and torture are considered part of the punishment.

    Is it surprising that most liberals here are also loudly and reflectively anti-Russia/China/etc despite very little actual knowledge about those regions and the specifically hold forth on, but still considers the US to be the essential country? So they don’t seem to know or care about US history either.

    And have any of those liberals who haunt these comment spaces actually giving money to Ian or showed appreciation or concern for our host? I admit I having skip over some of their comments now, but I’m going to guess no more than one or two based on past history.

  37. Plague Species

    There was nothing in that recent comment that should ever have been moderated. It should be duly noted that Astrid’s comment preempted it so maybe that’s it. Cheaters. That’s them.

  38. Plague Species

    Who are Murray and Donziger? I have no idea.

    When will Kardashian and all the pop entertainment icons take up Richard Glossip’s cause. Oh, that’s right, Richard was just some poor white slob who deserved his injustice and false conviction. If he had been black and named Julius Jones, he would be a cause célèbre. Same goes for the likes of Astrid and Thomas — where are they in their defense of Richard Glossip. Nowhere to be found. Richard can’t help them in their cause to collapse America and throw it into civil unrest.

    Killing Richard Glossip

  39. Hugh

    Thanks, Ché Pasa. Golladay reminds me of some throwback to 1930s’ Germany where Goebbels preached the bigger the lie the better. Golladay keeps trying to push Rittenhouse’s connections to Kenosha although he wasn’t living there. He keeps talking about all Rittenhouse’s family there, but again none of that supposedly numerous family could be bothered to accompany him or exercise a restraining influence on him. Golladay also continues to treat the under-age Rittenhouse as an adult with an adult’s legal rights although none of their responsibilities. Golladay is instructive in that he shows what lengths the right will go to defend and promote its murders and murderers.

  40. Hugh

    Under fiction becomes fact, Astrid showed once again there is no subject or thread that she can’t work one of her pro-China anti-US rants into.

    Plague, Trump wasn’t on the curve, and Biden has been behind the curve on covid. His pushing boosters is I suspect him trying to be pro-active. I have heard remarkably little about any of the vaccines provoking strong T cell responses to covid, and I associate these with effective long term immunity. This may be why we may be needing boosters for some time. But again I don’t know because I haven’t seen any good discussions of the kind of immune responses we are seeing versus the immune responses we want.

  41. Astrid

    Hugh and PS,

    I link the 3 topics together to illustrate that you are not interested in justice or the truth or empathy. You’re just interested in excuses to hate the “other”. There’s plenty of injustice out there, and there may be positions where you’re right (by virtue of being broken clocks) and I am wrong (because I’m far from all knowing and have changed positions as learn better throughout my life), but it’s telling which ones you fixate on.

    I used to think it might be a flaw in your perception or reading comprehension, that lead you to completely ignore 99% of what other people are saying and go off on bizarre tangents and conclusions. But now I think it may be sign of great intelligences to be able to ignore all the evidence to the contrary and cope so hard and well.

  42. Astrid

    As for what China is spending its carbon emissions on. I know people in Shanghai who are now travelling to Xinjiang and Tibet via rail. Somehow they built this (starting from when they were much poorer than now) and even now, they only have 1/3 the USian carbon footprint. Maybe the construction is shoddy, but I don’t hear about accidents and I’m sure the MSM would happily report on them if they existed.

    Meanwhile Biden just opened up millions of acres of the Gulf of Mexico to drilling. After chastising Russia and China for not doing enough.

  43. Hugh

    As I have said before, China puts twice as much carbon into the atmosphere as the US. Climate change is occurring because of the total amount we are putting into the atmosphere. So lame propagandists like Astrid are reduced to per capita carbon production. Well, if you divide anything by a billion, it comes out smaller. So being massively overpopulated has its advantages. China takes climate change so seriously that Xi couldn’t be bothered to show up for COP26 in Glasgow, and China will helped water down the phasing out of coal because it uses a lot of coal and intends to for a long time, which no doubt explains why China hasn’t said it would stop increasing its carbon emissions until ten years after the rest of the planet.

  44. someofparts

    Speaking of American misrepresentations of facts on the ground in China, check out this one –

    I’m disappointed to report that even Krystal and Saagar got this one wrong.

  45. Astrid

    I meant to say 1/3 carbon footprint on a per capital basis. And again, that’s including making substantial infrastructure improvements and being the factory floor to the world. What the US uses its far higher per capital carbon footprint on is almost purely consumption and warmaking.

    China most certainly is no paradise. What’s impressed me recently is realizing that they can fix what doesn’t work and improve things. The Chinese I know have always been highly cognizant that their insanely competitive school system sucks, that their healthcare system (where hospitals will outright bar care for people without upfront cash) sucks, corruption and pollution (including things like gutter oil and excessive pesticide use), that there’s great urban/rural disparity, great wealth disparity, that air quality in most cities is terrible (a major reason why I didn’t move there after school), and inflation (especially in housing, education, and food) is making life harder for those at the bottom.

    These were tolerated for 30+ years in the name of development and because that’s just how things were. But now that they have money, Xi’s government is making a substantial effort to fix these issues. I don’t know how things look on the ground, but at least I personally know a few kids who will have a better childhood because the recent changes is freeing them from part of the Red Queen’s Race in their schooling.

    This doesn’t mean the Chinese will be able to do everything right, or do enough right to save themselves from climate change and the death throes of the current world order. But damn, at least their solutions center on providing plausible benefits to their people (and neighbors and trading partners, at least for now), and not the international relations version of negative campaign ads or setting your neighbor’s house on fire to make sure they don’t get uppity.

    Meanwhile the likes of Hugh stand with the ETIM terrorists who killed thousands in Xinjiang and perhaps tens of thousands in Syria, Hong Kong chauvinists who are filmed beating up Mainlanders and publish incendiary articles calling Mainlanders locusts, a Tibetan exile regime with tons of dirty laundry and close ties to CIA/NED, and a Taiwan separatist government who turns to nuclear chicken for it’s electioneering needs. You all embrace this. You own it.

  46. Astrid

    I have a comment above trapped in moderation that goes a little further on my thoughts about China. Basically, a country’s future is about trajectory and demonstrates ability to course correct. I see evidence of that in China and Russia, USA not so much.

    To twist the knife a little bit more for PS, I actually haven’t found any real noticeable price increases in my occasional Costco and Trader Joe’s shopping forays and what I buy from D’Artagnan’s and specialist online grocers hasn’t noticeable jumped in price. D’Artagnan’s grass fed beef, with the occasional 30-40% discount, is now about the same price as Choice for the same cuts at Wegmans. Still working from home for the foreseeable future. This is the life of my cohort, where the hardship is limited to being trapped home with their kids (often with a hired nanny during the work day) and limitations for vacation travel (though plenty of them are still traveling). Meanwhile my parent’s networth probably went up 30% in the last 2 years and they’re running out of ways to spend it since they can’t run up $30-50K annual travel tabs like they did previously. It’s probably end in tears for all, but for now life is very good a for a certain splice of the PMC.

  47. Plague Species

    Release my two comments from moderation, Astrid. Clearly by virtue of your response you have seen the two comments in moderation, otherwise why include me in your comment to Hugh since I haven’t said anything about your argument that others here can see since my comments are in moderation.

  48. Astrid

    Ha! The moderation system doesn’t like me today as a second comment is trapped.

    Someofparts – MofA is enthusiastic but their understanding about China is very one dimensional. I recently started reading Palladium’s China articles and find them very deep and perceptive. China is not a monolith and studying its fine grains is interesting.

  49. Mark Pontin

    @ Astrid —

    Palladium is okay, but mostly pretty limited. Some other sources on China —
    Reading the China Dream is a blog translating interesting and significant documents and interviews from Chinese intellectuals of all stripes — did you know, forex, that there were Chinese Trumpist intellectuals, oxymoronic as that sounds? –and particularly of establishment Party-aligned intellectuals.
    Sixth Tone is the opposite, a blog run by ordinary, mostly young (but not stupid) Chinese people out of Shanghai and featuring stories (in English) that mostly affect and concern (mostly younger) Chinese people out on the ground: social media trends, climate change, the new Chinese ‘hyperpop’ scene, fashion, gender roles, life in various cities.

    Most of us here in the West are limited by knowing no Mandarin.

  50. Mark Pontin

    Hugh: ‘China takes climate change so seriously that Xi couldn’t be bothered to show up for COP26 in Glasgow’

    China’s CCCP have arguably taken climate change more seriously than the West.

    It’s just that — being mostly engineers, rather than lawyers and financiers — they’ve come up with a different answer. Because they’ve already begun geoengineering over a territory larger than Alaska and more than one-and-a half times the size of India in the Himalaya mountains.

  51. Hugh

    Reading Astrid on China is a lot like reading 1930s’ German propaganda on Germany. I was thinking today of how upside down everything is getting. Then Astrid comes along and offers all of these wonderful illustrations of that. Uighurs for her have completely lost their identity. Now they are nothing but an acronym ETIM, East Turkestan Islamic Movement terrorists. And while Han Chinese are holding a million of them in concentration camps, with no evidence whatsoever Astrid claims these Uighurs she can not bring herself to name have killed tens of thousands. Upside down.

    When it comes to climate change, she tries to minimize China as far and away the biggest carbon emitter by dividing their emissions by 1.4 billion as if climate change counted Chinese carbon less than anyone else’s. More upside. Next we get that China isn’t oppressing Hong Kong. Oh, no, rather it is Hong Kong that is abusing those 1.4 billion mainlanders. More upside down. And then she is on to those dirty non-Han Tibetans and much like those Hong Kongers, those mean ole Taiwanese are abusing China too. They’re just about forcing the peaceful, beneficent Chinese to crush them. Much like his 1930s German role model though Xi is the kind of guy who can get the trains to run on time, unlike those decadent Western democracies. It is all so upside down. It would be funny, but it looks more like trying to over-compensate for an enormous inferiority complex. Upside downism is the sign of our times, but it is also a real danger to the rest of us. There have always been a lot of crazy people in the world but at some point we hit a critical mass when they feel entitled to act on their madness.

  52. Astrid

    Mark Pontin,

    I’ve read stuff from both sites in the past and they are worthwhile, but doesn’t quite catch me the way that Palladium’s deep dives do. Definitely not the full picture, but interesting glimpses.

    t’s a matter of reading for pleasure versus knowledge, I guess. I do read Chinese for pleasure and do not enjoy inelegant web-Chinese, so mostly I read old books by dead men. Well written Chinese is a real pleasure to read, with themes and allusions that traces easily across the centuries and millenias. Poorly written stuff is like scratching chalkboard, insufferable. I hope Harold Bloom would approve, at least.

  53. Hugh

    How many of China’s 14 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalents a year has it removed from the atmosphere?

  54. Astrid

    I have previously referred to The Gray Zone’s debunking of the Uyghur separatist narrative of Chinese oppression. They also have some juicy reporting about the NED links to the racist Hong Kong black shirts.

    Many millions of Chinese and Western tourists have been to Xinjiang. The purported genocidal crimes would be impossible to hide if they were there.

    Since Hugh has seen these links and never responded to them, I assume it’s something other than ignorance that’s behind his insistence of their existence.

    But carry on. I’m out. I hope you and PS at least throw a couple bucks at Ian to help him keep this space open for you to hurl your abuse and uncontrolled mental issues to all the “others”.

  55. Hugh

    The Grayzone is a project of Max Blumenthal who has something of a history supporting dictators like Assad, Putin, and Xi. He is about as reliable as a broken clock. He’s another conspiracy nut. I guess that’s why Astrid likes him. Some of his lies and conspiracies line up with hers.

    Astrid is far too common a type nowadays. She states her prejudices as conclusions, and that’s that. No real argument or evidence. Maybe a citation to some other conspiracy minded kook, but that’s it. She reminds me of metamars, a guy with an encyclopedic knowledge of conspiracy theories, all of which unfortunately he believes.

    If you are interested in understanding and solving the problems we face, they are dead ends. Their main value is to show us what we are up against. They would rather sink with their prejudices intact, then solve a problem or better the world around them.

  56. someofparts

    Astrid – Thanks for the heads up about the Mike Duncan podcasts. Great podcasts make my morning walks around the park even more pleasurable.

    Reading comments here reminds me of picking wild blackberries. There are tasty treasures to be found for anyone who knows how to pick around the thorns and sour green fruit.

  57. Plague Species

    The answer to what ails us is yet another podcast. You can never have enough podcasts. Books too. Everyone should publish a book and hawk it on cable news and podcasts. With more and more podcasts and books, we’re sure to get to the promised land in no time.

  58. Plague Species

    Astrid, considering the amount of Chinese propaganda you deposit at this venue, I think it only proper and decent your parents with their stolen wealth and the CPC contribute the $11,500.

  59. Plague Species

    Most of us here in the West are limited by knowing no Mandarin.

    If Astrid and its ilk have their druthers, we will all be speaking Mandarin as our Mother Tongue in no time.

    I wonder if the atmospheric river that has descended on British Columbia is the Chinese weather modification project gone awry? Either way, it still stirs Astrid’s loins.

  60. Jeff Wegerson

    My long time take on FDR is that he saved Capitalism in the US. I recently began to think of Xi as turning to a version of FDR. Will see I guess.

    Hugh or Astrid? I dunno. I like them both. Maybe I’ll flip a coin. Damn it landed on edge. What the f does that mean?

  61. Plague Species

    There is nothing to fear but America itself ~ Xi

  62. someofparts

    Comment moderation is expensive and labor intensive. The real crime here is against Ian, who does not deserve to have the caliber of comments he deserves run off by trash. You could never do what Ian does, but any malicious loser can ruin it for everybody else. Scum.

  63. Astrid

    Mark Pontin,

    Just coming back to thank you for the 2 recs. I read them a while back and didn’t think much of it, but they’re better than I remembered and I like the linking to source articles in RTCD.


    A good podcast is one of the comforts of our current agree. Mike Duncan is a treasure. I also enjoyed Patrick Wyman’s Tides of History, though it’s telling that Wyman probably never worked with his hands except in MMA whereas Duncan used to be a fishmonger. In Our Times produced by the BBC has a good archive of topics going back decades.

    It’s good to get lost in things bigger than ourselves. And for something a bit different, I recently started to listen to a podcast called Na Mele I Hawai’i, 2 hours per week on the history and music of Hawai’i. Very relaxing and informative.


    Kindly do not lump me in with that holier than thou yet ignorant racist woke imperialist. You see how he proudly deflects engagement with anything that might threaten his narrative by smearing them with false accusations (TGZ doesn’t support Putin, Xi, or Assad, they’re just reporting that all three regime has popular support and why. They do support anti-imperialist governments in LatAm and NEA, but I’ve never found substantial errors in they’re reporting and they issue clear corrections for the few times when they are wrong.). When I name call, I can point to specific behavior and statements that warrant it. When he does it it’s all made up projections ungrounded in anything the other person said.

  64. Astrid

    In the Uyghurs. There’s plenty of documentary footageof ETIM violence in Xinjiang and Syria. There’s plenty of footage of family members denouncing their separatist family members for telling lies. There’s plenty of footage of people going to alleged camps and finding ordinary schools and factories. There’s plenty of testimony of graduates of so called concentration camps starting that they’re deradicalization centers used in lieu of imprisonment (where the West would send people who behave similarly) and the attendees could go home on weekends. There’s plenty of evidence online that these separatists want to ethnically cleanse Xinjiang, including non-Uyghur northern Xinjiang, to bring about a Turkic dominated Salafist theocracy that is alien to traditionally Uyghur culture.

    Nobody in China deny that additional security measures were put in against Uyghurs in the 2010s in response to an escalation terror campaign, how much is reasonable can be debated, though it should be a debate for the Chinese. But there’s no evidence of this 1 million…no 3 million…Ughyur in concentration camp story. It was all concocted by Adrian Zenz, a self proclaimed China hater with no expertise in the area, using dodgy analysis of Google Maps images and misrepresentation of official Chinese government reports, and through ASPI which is largely funded by the US MIC. There’s a small number of “victims” with ever changing and repeatedly debunked (often with their own words) stories. In other words, there’s no credible evidence there but the MSM and Amnesty International and The Nation and Human Rights Watch cried genocide all the same.

    Hugh spent all his energy decrying unsubstantiated and often thoroughly debunked crimes of China and Russia (and Syria, Iran, Venezuela…) while ignoring the fully documented and admitted crimes of the US, and then reaches his conclusion that the US is still the essential country and that he’s sure things will be worse in a world without the US hegemon. It is on this basis that I call him racist, imperialist, and ignorant.

    Then note that Hugh doesn’t respond or debunk the other side, he just calls them nasty names and make nasty unsupported insinuations. When that fails, he typically slinks off without further response, only to return with exactly the same nastiness in the next thread. There’s an unmistakeable pattern and the kindest interpretation is very high grade copium and willful ignorance, which I’ve seen IRL amongst my PMC cohort, though Hugh would be an outlier even there.

    PS is a nasty nut case, no more. Frankly I’ve really tried to avoid engaging with him (not fully successful, because I’m not that good of a person) because it would probably just set of his problems and issues further. He appears to be under a tremendous amount of economic and possibly familial stress and decide to handle it by blaming the Chinese in general and me in particular.

  65. Astrid

    Good luck getting my parents to support any left wing cause. My father cussed me out when I told him that I would vote Sanders in the 2020 primaries. They are “bootstrappers” despite gaining 75%+ of their networth through asset appreciation. Anti-socialist even though they benefited substantially from New Deal era and Great Society programs. My dad is always crowing about his latest efforts to minimize his taxes.

    I do give some money to left leaning and independent blogsphere, already too much as far as my spouse is concerned. He correctly thinks it’s just getting unnecessary emotive about things being my control and being unhappy and stressed all the time.

    So no, despite my relative affluence I can’t write Ian a big check and be done with it. Plus, if I did that it would just further fuel PS’s paranoia (nevermind that this is one of the very few places on the internet that would tolerate PD’s presence), so really I’m doing PS a favor by just chipping in a teeny fraction of what Ian is worth as one of the few sensible voices out there.

  66. Z

    Presumably most of us have had more time to cruise the internet since COVID hit. So, what’s the wildest thing … in comparison to what we’re conditioned to think and believe … that you would have reflexively dismissed without ever looking into it prior to COVID that you strongly believe today?

    I’ll go first: the CIA and possibly the FBI, but most definitely the CIA, was involved in the Manson Family and at least peripherally in the infamous Tate murders.

    I’ve read several articles about the book CHAOS: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O’Neill, but not the book itself, and everything fell into place for me. I had read Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi in its entirety many years ago and though I don’t remember exactly what it was in the book that bothered me, I do remember there was something towards the end of it that bugged me about his narrative of the situation.

    What probably happened IMO is that that the murders were drug related and that the CIA was knee deep in selling drugs, which I imagine they still are today though probably not as much involved on the ground selling it as they were back in the 60s. I believe that they worked with Manson as part of their MK-ULTRA/Operation Chaos in the use of drugs to condition people towards violent behavior. I think that explains the somewhat sophisticated tactics that Manson used on his followers as far giving them acid and then having group love and mind-mood conditioning sessions. By the way, the drugs they gave Tex Watson and company on the night of the Tate murders almost definitely were either straight speed or drugs laced with speed.

    What I think what happened was that there were drugs that were delivered to the Tate place around that time and some faction of the CIA, it seems that the CIA was running very loose back in those days, asked Manson to send some of his people over there to murder the occupants and then the CIA faction came back later that night and took the drugs. There were several reports of people coming back to the house that night before the police were called and arrived in the morning. Manson himself said he went there afterwards and maybe he suspected or knew that there were drugs there. Why would he go there after Watson and company told him that they had done their evil deed? Wouldn’t he have been afraid of the cops showing up if it was merely curiosity on his part? There were also some drug related disputes that happened at the Tate house prior to the murders but around that same time according to several sources.

    That makes the most sense to me. If the CIA was involved in selling drugs … they were and still are (why do you think heroin usage increased so much in the U.S. immediately after we invaded Afghanistan?) … then they had alliances on the ground with non-state protected drug dealers and the Tate contingent may have stepped on the CIA’s toes unknowingly by having a conflict with one of the CIA’s private business partners. Look at it from a CIA agent’s point of view: what the CIA was directly involved in was probably loosely book-keeped, though I’d imagine there was plenty of opportunity to skim profits, but what they could steal and sell went straight into their own pockets.

    Anyway, I would have probably dismissed that notion as crazy before COVID and I had had the time to read about O’Neill’s book. Since Helter Skelter was the only “non-fiction” book that I read about the 60s it had always struck me how many mistakes the cops made back in those days in regards to their paper work and letting people loose on warrants and whatnot based upon how many times Manson and company got out of jail for crimes that you’d think they’d be held in jail for until trial. But now looking at it, it probably wasn’t indicative of the cops’ laxity back in the 60s but instead what probably happened was that the cops let them off because the CIA and/or FBI pressured them to and what cop wants to make a stand against those entities that are much more lawless and powerful than the cops themselves?

    I’ve also learned a lot since COVID about all the murders and suspicious deaths of Leftist leaders back in the 60s that the U.S. government openly went after or had the CIA’s and/or the FBI’s fingerprints all over them. The lack of an effective Left in this country and worldwide is not primarily due to a lack of will of the populace, but the treachery and unaccountable power of the U.S. government and particularly the military, CIA, and FBI.


  67. Hugh

    Astrid just has this incredible sense of entitlement that we all should bow down before her lies and prejudices. Europeans and Americans think they have a monopoly on racism, but I remember getting blown away by the casual, blindingly dismissive racism of some people from various parts of Asia. They serve as a reminder of what we are up against.

  68. anon y'mouse

    when the comments section devolves to ad homs, it loses all utility as any kind of a discussion forum.

  69. Mark Pontin

    Astrid: ‘I read them a while back and didn’t think much of it, but they’re better than I remembered ‘

    Heh. Funnily enough, I just looked at Palladium again for the first time in six months after your recommendation and it’s gotten a lot deeper, including the analysis on China. In terms of non-Chinese analysts of China, any time I see the name of Geremie Barmé in particular I pay attention.

    That said, those other websites provide something Palladium’s analysis doesn’t — a window on the concerns and thoughts of real Chinese people on the ground in China, however imperfect, given the constraints of government censorship and selection for English translation.

  70. Mark Pontin

    anon y’mouse: ‘when the comments section devolves to ad homs, it loses all utility as any kind of a discussion forum.’


    On a practical level, too, if you’re actually _not_ interested in discussion, but merely in enacting belligerent meme wars it’s still useless because you still won’t win or accomplish anything.

    There’ll always be somebody being wrong on the internet, morons will still be morons (because Dunning-Kruger), and most human beings have formed what passes for their identities around their belief systems — however stupid — and have a hard time changing their minds about anything.

    Of course, for those very reasons y’all will almost certainly continue with the idiocy. But you could surprise us and show that you’re actually capable of learning something.

  71. bruce wilder

    Astrid: “When I name call, I can point to specific behavior and statements that warrant it. When he does it it’s all made up projections ungrounded in anything the other person said.”

    On the specific issues of apologizing for China’s domination of Tibet, Taiwan, the open ocean of the South China Sea, the Uyghurs or others, with due allowance for doubts associated with often not-knowing a whole lot, I am inclined to come down on Hugh’s “side”. These are all conflicts with contested narratives and I do not imagine that I can or should arbitrate morally, but I do not have much else to bring to the table. All I have is my prior: I am more sympathetic to aspirations to nationalistic self-government than to overreaching paternalistic claims of beneficient authoritarian domination. Since I do not have much else, I usually keep quiet, but very little said here by Astrid has moved me off my priors, though I am grateful for additional nuance.

    That said, on the separable issue of appropriate conduct by a commenter, I am wholly on Astrid’s side. She does bring not just a point-of-view but valuable information and considered insight along with her perspective. Hugh’s penchant for “making it personal” with restatements of a commenter’s argument into a black-and-white strawman indistinguishable from personal slander is out-of-bounds for me. I agree with Astrid’s assessment: Hugh is often projecting, describing his own approach to aggressive argumentative commenting under the guise of criticizing someone else. I wish he would reflect on the consequences of his bullying for the quality of comments here.

  72. Z

    In O’Neill’s book about Manson he said that Manson’s parole officer was working on an “Amphetamine Research Project” at a clinic that Manson and his family visited when they lived in Haight-Ashbury and then after Manson and company got arrested for the Tate-LaBianca murders all the files from the project went missing.

    I’d bet one of the experiment they were working on was creating new infrastructure in their subjects’ brains … expanding their consciousness … with LSD and then conditioning/programming those new channels while their subjects were on LSD and then later attempting to focus and energize them towards their programmed task with the amphetamines.

    That’s also pretty much what was done with the Manson people who were involved in the Tate murders. They took LSD together and Manson wove love and death into a tapestry of nullifying nihilism. Then they were given speed to do the murders.

    Most of the coverage on MK-ULTRA program emphasizes the LSD experiments, but overlooks the amphetamine experiments they were doing as well.

    During the decline of the Haight-Ashbury 60s scene Allen Ginsberg said, “Let’s issue a general declaration to all the underground community, contra speedamos ex cathedra. Speed is antisocial, paranoid making, it’s a drag, bad for your body, bad for your mind, generally speaking, in the long run uncreative and it’s a plague in the whole dope: industry. All the nice gentle dope fiends are getting screwed up by the real horror monster Frankenstein speed freaks who are going around stealing and bad mouthing everybody.”


  73. different clue

    @Beave Sampsonite,

    I think America’s future will be at least as much ” collapsed former Soviet Republic” as “Third World Country”.

  74. Astrid


    Believe it or not, I am generally sympathetic to national movements. People should be able to form smaller governing units that allow themselves to maintain their unique identity and not get subsumed by a larger country.

    However, I think you need to examine if the separatists are organic and represents the best interests of the people they are speaking for. What I see more and more in Asia and Africa are separatist movement funded by the West to disrupt local power centers that they dislike, where separatists do not represent the aspirations of a majority of their populace.
    Outside of China, I am currently thinking of the TPLF in Ethiopia, who are waging a civil war against the popular will of the majority of Ethiopians, under the guise of separatism. Even though they were in power for nearly 30 years and were oppressors rather than oppressed. They are backed by the West under humanitarian grounds because the current Ethiopian government isn’t sufficient pliant for the US and too friendly with China. We seen this script play out in the destruction of Libya and Iraq, and near destruction of Syria. The oppression that comes after the victory of the “freedom” movement is exponentially greater than what existed before, even in the case of Iraq for non-Kurds.

    This is what I see with Hong Kong and Xinjiang. The separatists do not represent the will of the majority of people they speak for, and are essentially corrupt stooges of the West to weaken China. They are openly xenophobic and uninterested in improving their society or working towards peaceful independence, they never tried. All they do is terrorize the local population through violence.

    Taiwan and Tibet are somewhat different cases, in that I do see more organic separatist mmovements. However, the Tibetan exile government is rampantly corrupt and has afeudalist view for their society that the majority of Tibetans in Tibet do not want.

    Taiwan is its own thing. But know thatthe pro-unification candidate nearly won in the last election. That the separatists are intentionally playing up the divisions within Taiwan society between those who traces their roots to before 1949 and those who arrived with the nationalists in 1949, and doing a good bit of whitewashing on Japanese colonialism on the island. Also, the PRC wasnt forcing the issue, they have peaceably allowed taiwan to exist for 70 years, Tsai is inviting in Americans and playing nuclear chicken and escalations a trade way that harms the Taiwanese populace, for electioneering purposes. TWhat I see is the West supporting one side oover there other in Taiwan’s domestic affairs, which is just another form of imperialism and over an area that it has no historical claims oover

    As for China’s land diisputes, you do realize that Taiwan had claimed even larger area than China and that the Chinese have resolved the vast majority of its land diisputes peacefully, right? the only sticking points are islands in the south China Sea, which is important to come to keep its sea lanes open, and border with India, which is due to India wanting to control Tibet the way that it controls Bhutan and Nepal. There are more than one regional hegemon at play here, and India is backing the separatists even while they keep Bhutan tightly under their leash.

    These are my views and I’m certainly open to evolving them.. I would say that up until the last 5 years, when I’ve started to realize the extent of US imperialism, I would be sympathetic to all 4 separatist movements and especially the Tibetan one. But now that I see how they are funded and supported by the US government and looked more closely to what they are actually espousing, I cannot in good conscience support and if them. Not because I support China, but because the movements themselves are very bad for the people they claim to speak for.sgni

  75. Astrid


    I should also say that I shudder at the fates of Tibetans under India, given India’s record in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

    Nevertheless, I certainly think others are entitled to their different opinions and I am open to changing my mind if other people present a more persuasive argument. There’s no point spending time here at all, if I didn’t want to learn.

    My problem with some of the opinions here is that they are illogically formed and comes from an imperialist mindset, where deference to US’s unspoken empire of 800 international military bases, petrodollar, SWIFT, and myriad of international organizations is presumed unquestionable. I appreciate you as a consistent voice questioning that narrative.

  76. Z

    -So, the CIA was probably not only running individual experiments to see if they could program people to take certain actions, almost certainly assassinations, but also social experiments and what better place than Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love in the 60s where large groups of people were apparently getting along fairly fine sharing weed and dropping acid? The CIA probably started selling, and giving out for free, high dosage speed to breed disunity and it looks like it worked to some extent.

    -This is anecdotal and I never requested confirmation, and was blind to it at first, but when I worked a midnight shift job, which you’d imagine there had an over-representation of amphetamine users, it seemed that libertarianism seemed to also be over represented. And when you think about it, it makes some practical sense that that would be the case. Libertarianism’s heroine, Ayn Rand, was a speed demon and it’s an ideology that is ultimately intellectually shallow and selfish which you either grow out of due to your life experiences or in some ways don’t grow at all.

    Speed makes people mentally process quicker and I’d imagine that comes at the cost of intellectual depth and also leads to selfishness because the factor that one is always taking into account, and often the initial and greatest factor, is one’s personal stake in a decision and if one is speeding up process times it would make some sense that one’s decisions would therefore be more heavily weighted towards one’s self-interest.

    I’d also imagine that a factor in people’s behavior on the drug is also tied to dosage as well and not everyone turns into a selfish bastard on it.

    -Note, how secretive that MK-Ultra was. It ran from 1953 to 1973 and the public wasn’t made aware of it until 1975 when it came up in the Church Committee.

    -On a side note, I’m not as down on Reagan as many people on this site are. Too many liberals use the inflection point of weakening labor power and corporate profits that happened during the Reagan administration and blame everything that happened afterwards on him as if the presidents that followed him lacked free will and were somehow hypnotized by Reagan to carry on his economic policies. This is often used in particular to make excuses for Clinton’s economic policies. As I’ve noted before, Clinton was elected largely to veer away from twelve years of Reaganism and what we got instead was Robber Rubin-ism: Reagan’s industrial policy and anti-union zealotry plus a criminally unaccountable Wall Street-dominated financial system.

    I hardly ever read about one of Reagan’s most damaging legacies though: he gave the CIA and FBI back their power and then some after a brief retrench in it from the Church Commission and Watergate. That IMO is an enduring and shameful legacy of Reagan because once the CIA and FBI reestablished their power, and probably used it to spy on politicians, it became very difficult to diminish that power. We’re still paying for that today.

    Central and South America in particular paid heavily during the Reagan era for the growth of the CIA’s unaccountable power.


  77. Astrid

    I will say that although I find the China articles in Palladium to be nuanced and considered, their podcast does disclose a fairly classist and liberal editorial bent. Bless them for trying but they’re perhaps not there yet.

    So yes, listening to Chinese voices is important. I do think it’s important to verify the veracity of charges against the CPC. Before I did so, I was wondering willing to believe that they did some terrible things. But it’s just like Iraqi WMD and Syrian gas attacks, when you look closer, you realize it’s not vague wrongdoings by “authoritarian” governments (what the hell does that even mean? Governance by authority? Then what is the US “rules based” world order for the rest of the world? Or why the majority of the US population can’t get anything it wants while the 0.0001% gets its full wishlist?) but damning evidence of dishonesty and bad faith by US and its satrapies.

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