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Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – November 28, 2021


  1. bruce wilder



  2. Trinity

    There’s something that should be said about a culture that survived 10,000 years. (The Australian aboriginals lasted longer, at 40,000 years according to one source.) Every European account called the “New World” a paradise upon arrival, not counting malarial Florida. Capitalism has turned it into a wasteland of freeways and strip malls, poisoned earth and sky, useless monuments to the gods of greed.

    And note that very little has ever been said about the native “re-education schools” in the US. Kudos to our northern, more sane, neighbor:

    Compare that history with Monbiot’s most recent article on Great Britain being turned into a Superfund site in a range of what, 150 years give or take?

    Don’t forget the Iroquois helped draft the US Constitution based on that same long-term wisdom. I, for one, am cheering on the original inhabitants. They may be the last hope for humanity; the psychopaths certainly are not of any hope. Something that lasts 10,000 years (sans psychopaths) is worth keeping. Sprinkle in modern science and modern medicine with old world traditions that make life worthwhile for another 10,000 years, and I’ll take a little of that, please. In other words, keep only what works, and can continue to work without destroying the planet.

    I highly recommend the book “Columbus and other Cannibals” by Jack D. Forbes.

  3. Astrid

    I think Taibbi’s take on Thanksgiving is bad, if understandable. The United States is not uniquely evil in its treatment of aboriginals and African slaves, but it is on the evilly evil end of the spectrum. It can’t even justify itself through lens of religion or civilization, as Manifest Destiny was always about the right of the settler to vanquish and self actualize. The rhetoric of freedom and liberty, unshackled by responsibility and tradition, abet some of its worst historical excesses. Compare how much native culture and activism is left in the US, compared to elsewhere in the Americas.

    However, the current revision of Thanksgiving and “rectify” other past wrongs isn’t about a truthful reexamination of the past or a truth and reconciliation effort. It’s just another culture war where factions of the cultural left (already completely unmoored from any class consciousness or solidarity) weaponizes their distorted understanding about the past to prosecute each other and fuel their hated against peoples who did not personally commit the monstrous crimes of the past, while discrediting any good that came out of that past.

    If the purported leftists actually gave a damn about justice, they would look at the evil currently being committed by the regime they passively and sometimes actively support, than keep looking for “others” to hate. I see Taibbi’s rant coming from that place in the main stream media, which is now all Stalinist/Maoist denounciations and divisions, funded by corporations and oligarchs who love keeping the masses hating each other.

  4. Stirling Newberry

    Omicron is out.

  5. Stirling Newberry

    Profit is a bad motivator for vaccines. Germany and Italy have reported omicron cases. Vaccinated every now. Pass a treaty saying “It is not legal to question vaccines.”

  6. edmondo

    On the new Covid variant, no one is looking on the bright side. these constantly changing mutations offer our capitalist society one final gesture: Naming rights to future variants could be offered up for sale to our corporate sponsors . Think about it. The naming rights to a crappy coliseum in Los Angeles brought a $400 million price tag. How much would Apple pay to have their name on a media star Covid varient – hundreds of billion, I’m telling ya.

  7. Z

    KYRZ Evening TV for Tuesday, November 30th
    6:00 Local News
    7:00 National News
    8:00 Weekend at Biden’s (Ep. 44 – “Frozen Turkey”) – Lead stiff gets packed on ice and shipped to David Rubenstein’s for Thanksgiving.
    9:00 Spotlight – Exclusive hour long interview with AZ Senator Kyrsten Sinema. “How a burning ambition to be hottest girl in the club led her to the Senate”.
    10:00 Hunter’s Junk – Weekly live arts and talk show hosted by Hunter Biden who creates a work of art every week and candidly discusses his bad boy days before he found art. Auctions off work at end of show.
    11:00 Local News


  8. different clue


    Canada had the same system of anti-Indian cultural erasure schools that America had, only Canada called them Residential Schools. And now mass child-graves are being found on the grounds of some of them. More sane? Or just more quietly done?

  9. Ché Pasa

    “What’s wrong with Matt Taibbi?”

    Matt is having his mid-life crisis. Pretty soon, I expect him to get a red sports car (if he doesn’t already have one) to prove his virile manhood; it’s that bad.

    It was good to see Troy’s excellent take down of Taibbi’s anti-Zinn, anti-historical-reflection rant on the other thread. Matt was basically acting stupid and behaving the way he accuses the unfathomable “we” of behaving. To claim that Thanksgiving is either an anti-historical celebration or anti-historical condemnation itself ignores what it is and long has been for most people: a moment for reflection, communion with friends and family, and honoring the good things in life.

    It’s deeply personal. It has nothing much to do with “history” one way or another. Which Taibbi recognizes but ignores for the purposes of his rant.

    But the historical self-mortification has gotten out of hand. American exceptionalism used to mean 300 million yahoos being so convinced they were a unique force for good in the world that history before 1776 was irrelevant. We’re now living through the moronic inverse: America is such a unique evil, we’re told, so much the standard-bearer for the oppression of innocent peoples everywhere, that human suffering before 1776 is hardly worth mentioning. Or before 1492, as it were, since a lot of the current fashion stems from our pseudo-intellectual class being unable suddenly to handle the revelations of one decades-old book.

    This paragraph is largely false. And that’s the way of his whole piece, It’s not just erecting a strawman — or a series of them — it’s his failure in the attempt to. Somebody said something somewhere on the teevee, and he — like many of his compatriots — tells us that the collective “we” are now saying and believing it in its entirety without thought or consideration.

    It’s just not so.

    On the other hand, a good deal of the discussion from immigrants’ perspectives in the comments is interesting, illuminating and instructive and mostly has nothing to do with what Taibbi is blathering on about.

  10. Jim Harmon

    Matt rox.

  11. bruce wilder

    I wish Taibbi had a mere strawman in hand for his characteristic rant, but I fear it is not a strawman at all, but a symptom of a mass formation that threatens to envelop our polity.

    Enjoy some whipped cream on your leftover pumpkin pie. I will.

  12. js

    “To claim that Thanksgiving is either an anti-historical celebration or anti-historical condemnation itself ignores what it is and long has been for most people: a moment for reflection, communion with friends and family, and honoring the good things in life. It’s deeply personal. It has nothing much to do with “history” one way or another.”

    Yea make it primarily about politics and watch people hate you. Most people aren’t thinking about history at all on thanksgiving. Maybe some older people can if pressed remember pilgrim decorations from childhood. Maybe in the present a few express some appreciation of indigenous americans. But mostly history doesn’t cross the radar. And in a society that has so few paid holidays, no paid vacation or sick leave or family leave. And other than food this holiday isn’t even primarily about spending money. Then it mostly sounds like anyone complaining about thanksgiving and history is just another uh Calvanist angry about people enjoying leisure time, heaven forbid. I mean even if your motives have passed the purest of purity tests, if for some reason your favorite thing to complain about is when the peasants in this godforsaken county get a day off from working for an extremely unforgiving form of capitalism, uh … yea. Expect the hate. And queue the reactionaries. But most people aren’t thinking about history at all, from the right or the left or … at all really.

  13. someofparts

    Astrid –

    Your take on things strikes me as spot on and very well put.

    Here is my one point to disagreement –

    “I see Taibbi’s rant coming from that place in the main stream media, which is now all Stalinist/Maoist denounciations and divisions, funded by corporations and oligarchs who love keeping the masses hating each other.”

    I would say that he is one of the leading critics of “that place in the main stream media”.

  14. someofparts

    from Rev Kev at NC –

    “Fortunately countries like the US learned their lesson during the first waves. So they ramped up things like mask production, the manufacturing of ventilation devices, learned how to do contact tracing properly, set up fast and accurate reporting mechanism so that doctors could constantly update the CDC with the latest figures so that the government could make timely, accurate decisions, investigated off the shelf medications to test their worth and finally they set up rapid testing facilities throughout the country so that virus samples can be genetically sequenced. Also, Santa Clause is real and he comes in 27 more sleeps.”

  15. Plague Species

    So let me get this straight, js, the unwashed celebrate Thanksgiving because they’re appreciative of the few crumbs thrown their way so don’t begrudge them that? That’s your take but it’s not the decisive take. My take is, Thanksgiving is celebrated, if you can call it that, by most people because they’re just going through the motions. It’s not because of history they celebrate and it’s not for deeply personal reasons. They just recognize and abide by the holiday because it’s expected. It’s going through the motions.

    My wife and I have decided this past Thanksgiving is the last we will recognize and abide by. We both have never really been enthusiastic about Thanksgiving or any American holidays for that matter. We’ve always seen holidays as charades. In this sense, they’re rather depressing and pathetic.

    Next Thanksgiving we will just have a normal meal so it will be one less turkey that has to sacrifice itself on the altar of waste.

  16. rangoon78

    A widely shared article doctor mischaracterizes a quote from a South African doctor that Omicron cases were “mild.” Dr Coetzee made clear her patients were all healthy and young and she was worried the new variant could still hit older people much harder. “when older, unvaccinated people are infected with the new variant, we are going to see many people with a severe disease.” SA demographics different

  17. Astrid

    JS brings up a good point about what Thanksgiving is for most people. We’re in it for an acceptable excuse to take a day or two off, spend time with family that we no longer see regularly (even if media conspires to make that experience as unpleasant as possible), eat too much food, and watch the Lions lose on teevee. The only upsetting thing in this mix is the low quality of the food. Europeans and Asians would never accept inexpertly overcooked turkey, goopy stuffing and casseroles, fatted up potatoes, and oversweetened desserts, as the basis for a celebratory meal. I’ve cooked there best version of this meal (butterfly and dry brine the turkey, then smoke over low heat) and it’s still not very good.

    If we want to chase down crappy origin holidays, Columbus Day, Presidents’ Day, Veterans’ Day, Labor Day (not in May), Memorial Day, and Independence Day all deserve cancellation ahead of a day (or two) off for Thanksgiving. I’m fully onboard with changing every one of those holidays to commerating and celebrating the many victims of European settler colonialism, including recent victims in Korea, India, SEAsia, NEAsia, Russia, Libya, Chile, Colombia, etc. But don’t be surprised if they, like Juneteenth, just become another traffic snarl for the beach heading crowd.

    Or cancel all these holidays, but give the proles a maximum 4 day work weeks + minimums of 4 weeks of annual leave (convert to pay if not taken). I think even the most ardent Thanksgiving loving peasant can get behind that trade.

  18. different clue


    I think that Matt Taibbi has misapplied his distaste for the well-paid pimps, hustlers and hucksters of Whiteness Privilegiosity, Racial Sensitivity Training, and Wokeness Display like Robin DiAngelo to the historian Howard Zinn.

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