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

Open Thread

Use to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts. (No trucker protest comments.)


Why the Left Doesn’t Copy the Truck Protests


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – February 13, 2022


  1. Z

    A symptom of capitalism-on-the-brain is speaking of the declining birthrate as a negative sign for the future.


  2. different clue

    I was listening to BBC on NPR last night and heard that the amazing young international skiing star athlete Eileen Gu had renounced her U S citizenship and taken Peoples Republic of China citizenship. Is that true? You can’t always believe everything you hear on the BBC. ( Case in point . . . I once heard a BBC newsreader refer to ” Nebraska Senator Chuck Schumer” when everyone knows that the Senator from Nebraska at the time was named Chuck Hagel. Everyone except the BBC I suppose. It never was corrected on air).

  3. bruce wilder

    How long will it take the bloodhounds of mainstream media to question whether Bob Saget’s extensive skull fracture indicates an assault might have been involved?

  4. Z

    About the funniest thing I have ever seen on twitter:


  5. bruce wilder

    The progressive legalization of gambling and the lack of imagination that has sometimes treated a casino as a development strategy and has now breached the wall around sports gambling is a sign that neoliberalism is continuing and continuing to become its own, worst, truest self: centered on predatory attrition of most of the population.

  6. NL

    I want to recommend an interesting read: The passions and interests by Albert Hirschman. No one mentions anymore that Adam Smith was a professor of moral philosophy, and economics as a ‘science’ did not exist at that time. Capitalism was offered as a morally superior alternative to the plaque and war-ravaged theocratic monarchies of the middle ages. The latter is not a ‘news’ to me, but the smallish book provides a nice overall summary and some details — still reading it. Reading ahead chapter titles, the author seems to think that the proponents of capitalism as a morally superior society were dead wrong (does not come as a surprise to us, does it — capitalism saw the biggest wars WWI and II and potentially may soon see WWIII). Of course, whether Smith and the other likeminded moralists supported capitalism or not was likely inconsequential to its rise, or in other words, capitalism was on the rise for some ‘organic’ reasons, and someone was bound to find it appealing — its just that the books of those who found it unappealing are forgotten and lost. So, even through an interesting read on the evolving zeitgeist, the book is really not illuminating regarding how the new system came to be.

    There is another book – The promise and peril of credit by Francesca Trivellato — a difficult read with many layers of meaning and many interwoven topics – trade, money exchange, evolving financial instruments, credit and anti-Semitism. Collapsing all together, it seems to speak to the nucleation and expansion of ‘stealth private governments’ outside of and able to avoid ‘regulation’ (using a modern term) by the theocratic monarchies. These ‘governments’ coalesced over financial transactions and were composed essentially of financiers who enabled trade and industry and thus had an upper floor view of economies and could direct productive efforts. Bills of exchange was one of the earliest tools available to the financiers to collect pure speculative profit off arbitration on currency exchange. The theocrats and other moralists picked up on this ‘unproductive’ use of bills of exchange but could really do nothing about it. The ‘private government’ outside of the theocratic monarchies erupted on the political surface through parliaments; the protestant revolution and executions of Charles I, Louis XVI and Nicholas II ended the previous regime and ushered in the era of capitalism and ‘private governments’. Not surprising, the early parliaments and enfranchisement had property qualifications. This origins of our current ‘private government’ seems to explain a good deal about our current predicament: the rule of finance over industry (and the consequential inability of our industry to be competitive in the world markets), obsession with trade, private money. The voting rights have expanded, but the rule has remained in the hands of those with the largest property — which is how it is supposed to be.

  7. different clue

    Just for fun, I decided to look up ” Ian Welsh image” on the Yahoo image search function, to see if a picture of Mustapha Kemal ( Attaturk ) was still there. And sure enough, in the 3rd row down of images, near the right side, there is the picture of Mustapha Kemal (Attaturk).

  8. Trinity

    I’m beginning to see television ads (Olympics) that assert a given news network only provides news and facts. It isn’t worth mentioning how often US broadcasts of the Olympics use a lot of air time to make political statements about our two “enemies”.

    Also, I’m seeing “print” (online) ads that assert they provide only news and facts, and don’t try to tell you “what to think or how to feel”.

    I would laugh if I wasn’t already crying.

  9. Trinity

    By all accounts, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is corrupt as heck, in the usual ways with huge perks, payoffs, and “discounts” for the already rich board members. Yet, just like the koala bear, the Olympics are heading to extinction.

    I remember reading an article (in 2021? 2018?) that most cities don’t want to host it anymore, due to the huge number of headaches and the very high costs (probably funneled elegantly to the IOC). The amount of kickbacks and payola during construction work are probably huge.

    I will miss the koala bears more. The koalas are definitely more important.

  10. Keith in Modesto

    My brother and I play D&D every few weeks with friends. One of the players is hosting a Super Bowl party today and invited everyone. I’m sure it will be packed, as this is an established recuring event for family and friends. I don’t want to attend because of COVID-19 and my brother advised me that I have to stop being afraid. I countered that I’m not afraid, I’m being cautious. I could have followed up with the specter of the B2 variant of Omicron emerging on the stage, but he didn’t press me.
    Is anyone else avoiding huge Super Bowl parties? I don’t want to be the only one.

  11. different clue

    @ Trinity,

    The fact that a given News Network feels driven to have to assert that it only presents ” news” and “facts”, and given that it even feels driven enough to have to pay money to say so on media platforms that it does not itself own may well indicate that a given News Network fears that a near-critical tipping-point massload of people already don’t believe it.

    If that is so, then that is something to cheer up about, as more and more viewers defect from a given News Network for their “news” and “facts”. Perhaps more disappointed viewers will also become highly disgruntled ex-viewers. And perhaps the Highly Disgruntled Former Viewer Community can recruit more and more ex-viewers from more and more media outlets.

    For example, am I the only NPR listener ( background ear-candy) who notices how suddenly and completely the NPR news shows ( Morning Edition and All Things Considered) have suddenly and uniformly adopted the Banderastani Ukranazi pronunciation of Kiev? They are all saying ” Kee-yiv” and some of them are outright saying ” Keeev”. If any fellow NPR listener hasn’t noticed that, it is there to be noticed. BBC does it a lot too, just lately.

    And they are also using the Banderastani Ukranazi pronunciation for Lvov, Kharkov, etc. They are saying “Lviv”, ” Kharkiv” etc. If these place names come up in conversation and people use the Banderazi names for these places, one could reply by stumbling over the pronunciation, viz ” Keeyeviveev” or making sure to use both pronunciations at once, viz ” Kharkivov..ivov..ivov”. Perhaps hilarity will ensue.

    The Olympics have been politically corrupt and an eager servant of evil ever since Avery Brundage so eagerly put the Olympics in Nazi Germany. Every so often we see an eruption of more of the same. Let the Olympics keep rotting in public till no decent person can stand the stench except misguided athletes and the Totalauthoritarian Regimes which will still delight in hosting these Cultural Fascism spectacles.

    And raise a glass to the first community, somewhere in Colorado, which rejected a plan to host the Winter Olympics. They really kicked that shit over and stomped on it good. ( I forget whether the city who rejected the Olympics was Denver, or Fat City, or just which town it was).

  12. Z


    If you haven’t heard of it yet, you might want to read about CPTSD (Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Considering your upbringing, it wouldn’t be surprising if you have some form of it.

    All the best,

  13. Keith in Modesto

    I sometimes listen to NPR while driving to work (if they’re discussing something interesting) and I did notice the new (to me) pronunciation of Kiev. I wondered if it meant anything.

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