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 Covid or Ukraine related discussion.


America Defeats Germany Again, Europe Foolishly Helps


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – October 2, 2022


  1. Astrid

    The most important thing that I learned from the now almost finished “Revolutions” is to never trust liberals. Regardless of the time and circumstances, they always swing to reaction and repression come crunch time.

    I should probably take some time away from this site’s comments section to drown myself in nu disco and EDM. Haha.

  2. Willy

    Speaking if Ian (the hurricane that is), DeSantis declared the flooding to be a once every 500 year event. Wrong. It’s a once every 10 year event soon to become a once in every 5 year event. Insurance company execs are already angling for ways to meet/avoid/be compensated for their payouts, so they can maintain their own ridiculous salaries. Yet people keep moving down there. The time may be right to revise Florida’s nickname from The Sunshine State, to something a bit more contemporary.

  3. Willy

    According to memes which made the conservative rounds back around the rise of Trump, the Bolsheviks trusted their then-Russian “liberals” who were sympathetic to their cause. Unfortunately for those liberals, many of them got gulag-d after the Bolsheviks took power. The point of the memes was to ‘prove’ the evil of leftism and the folly of those dangblasted bleeding heart liberals.

    As always I threw a monkey wrench into one of these discussions. I said that whether a movement is left or right, one can always tell what said movement is going to do after they attain power, by whatever it was they did before attaining power. If a movement is big into stuff like terrorism and the rationalizing of collateral damage to innocents before attaining power, then giving them power will only multiply all that. Pretty simple really. And so it’s best to only trust the nice ones.

    But I agreed, the Russian liberals had been a bit foolish to trust terrorists. My point was to illustrate that Trump wasn’t going to change just because he was suddenly talking “all conservative”, but would double down on whatever he’d been before after attaining power. Looks like I wasn’t wrong.

  4. multitude of poors

    Never been a regular here, but landed here temporarily in May, while I (still) search for a US Renter predominated site ( and comment 140172). I consider US Renters a lobby the US powers that be are in most fear of joining forces ( especially given the increasing explosion of renters as more and more people lose thier homes, or become unable to live in them).

    Some of the reasons I much appreciate the resting spot here, in the interum, are:

    Ian has a Poverty “tag” on his ‘side bar.’

    Ian rent’s his (non penthouse) housing.

    Ian doesn’t make me feel embarrassed at not being able to donate money to his site.

    I’ve had no inexplicablly vaporized comments since my May 2022 comments I noted above. All of my comments have posted.

    I’ve not read but a few of his hundreds of posts, but of what I’ve read, I personally love these posts:

    On May 4, 2021 The Most Radical Statement I’ve Ever Read

    On June 27, 2022 Books and TV and Movies Are Mind Control

    On September 13, 2022 Solutions: Cash, The Unbanked, and Cashless Stores

    On September 14, 2022 Lazy V.S. Uninterested & Quiet Quitting

    On September 16, 2022 Understanding and Surviving the Post-Prosperity Era

    I’ve haven’t noted him showing disregard for other peoples spiritual beliefs, or their life realities, by saying such insensitive things such as dog bless (something I always cringe at as a caucasian person, wondering what in the world black people, particularly older ones, must think of that when dogs have historically been used against them (and white people at the bottom of the totem pole)). I don’t notice him: passing out Darwin Awards; snark; or ill humor at some other hapless and vulnerable groups expense;—all of which, I personally find: arrogant; cruel; unhelpful; and tasteless in such bleak and terrifying times for so many.

    Very importantly, I’ve not noted Ian acting like his opinions of the moment are irrefutable, and you’re a Troll™ if you don’t agree. No short fused BAN™ word peppered all over the place either (if ever there were two words that should be Banned™, it’s the words Troll, and Ban). In fact, I’ve seen him show a very rare ability to totally admit loud and clear that he may have been wrong, with no trifling after commentary that tends to negate the initial admission that one may have been wrong.

    Thanks so much for the resting spot, Ian.

  5. DMC

    New Florida State Motto: Glug glug glug.

  6. someofparts

    There are so many chickens coming home to roost these days that they’re going to have to start including it in the weather forecasts. “Sunny to partly cloudy tomorrow with a light dusting of chickens coming home to roost later in the day.”

    In a sense, Trump was just the US voters’ way of telling their rulers that ‘We know you are lying.’ Telling us that Trump is a liar misses the point. Of course he’s a liar, and so are you dear leader, so are you. So it’s not a question of electing someone honest and decent. We tried that and you not only trashed the rules to shut it down, you are still livid with rage about it. So if crooks and liars are our only alternative, leadership-wise, then we prefer Trump because at least he is entertaining and you, dear high-on-you-own-supply leader, are not.

  7. mago

    Floridians are notorious for their delusions and Valium queens not to mention tropical storms and hurricanes, manatees and withered wannabes, mafiosi tambien.
    This comment will be moderated and deleted because it’s ad hominem or something.
    Doesn’t matter.
    Florida was better before DeSoto and Azteca prior to Cortez
    And we’ll skip the Pizzaro brothers and the Incas.
    Conquistadores gotta have their conquests along with the kings and queens and popes that supports them

  8. Trinity

    “DeSantis declared the flooding to be a once every 500 year event.”

    Technically, this refers to the magnitude relative to past flood events, basically saying this level has only been known once in the past five hundred years. You would rightly question whether we even have five hundred years of flood data in Florida. It’s old language used for decades that is being reworked. From the USGS:

    ‘The “500-year flood” corresponds to an AEP of 0.2-percent, which means a flood of that size or greater has a 0.2-percent chance (or 1 in 500 chance) of occurring in a given year.’ AEP means Annual Exceedance Probability, the new language seeking to dispel the confusion (and failing somewhat, imho). DeSantis is an idiot for using the old language.

    But I think you are absolutely right about these floods occurring more often in the near (and far) future. The AEP probabilities are changing, everywhere. Canada probably has a better system, but I don’t know. The Maritimes were hit pretty hard last week by Hurricane Fiona.

  9. someofparts

    I wish Biden/Putin would exchange Assange for Navalny. I was just thinking of Snowden safe in Russia and wishing Assange had managed to get away too.

  10. multitude of poors

    Apropos of her coming to mind as the sun was setting yesterday. at this over sixty years of my life, the only well known journalist I can recall who has not blemished my initial regard for them is Helen Thomas. She died on July 30th, 2013, still reporting at 92 years old, during Obama, the drone perfecter’s second ghastly reign. (Note: I am a female, like Helen, but it’s not because she was female that I have such high regard for her. Though, I’ll certainly admit, she made me feel proud, as a female—very much unlike any female politician that comes to mind, most particularly Hillary Clinton, and those from, or representing™, California—with its terrifying unsheltered homeless, incarceration, nursing/behavioral™ facility, etcetera, record.)

    For anyone interested, with some hopefully blessed extra time, in reminiscing— or familiarizing, if a young reader, and not familiar with her:

    July 31, 2013 By Paula Cruickshank 42 Seconds That Sullied Helen Thomas — and New Media–_and_new_media_119431.html :

    Unlike the 1.8 million people (and counting) who have watched that video, I was present when it occurred. I am the unidentified reporter in the video who was with Thomas when the whole thing happened.
    For a long time, I couldn’t make sense of what happened that day. The entire exchange between the rabbi and Thomas lasted less than a minute. I looked at the YouTube video repeatedly — both versions. (Nesenoff launched an edited version on his website first. The full video was released several days after Thomas stepped down on June 7.)

    One thing bothered me from the first time I heard a news report about the exchange on a radio station. The initial news stories depicted it as a “White House interview.” In an interview on June 7 with Yahoo News, Nesenoff said he “didn’t know about Thomas’s strident Israel views but approached the 89-year-old journalist for an interview because she is ‘an icon of the White House.’ ”

    Only it wasn’t an interview. It was a conversation.

    A few weeks after the May 27 reception, Nesenoff wrote a piece in the Washington Post noting the White House had issued him press credentials for the day since his son had been given a temporary pass. But with press privileges comes professional responsibility.

    032612 Helen Thomas Denied Table For White House Correspondents Dinner : :

    Veteran journalist Helen Thomas will not be getting her own table at the White House Correspondents Association’s dinner next month at the Washington Hilton.

    Thomas, a former WHCA president who covered 10 administrations before retiring from Hearst newspapers in 2010 over controversial comments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was initially told by WHCA that she could purchase two tickets to the annual glitzy dinner. (The two-ticket offer still stands and Thomas is welcome to attend the dinner with a guest).

    But in late February, Thomas sent a letter to WHCA board members asking for “the full board to consider [her] request” for a table. In the letter, Thomas said that she wanted to celebrate with her family and friends the 50th anniversary of women journalists getting the opportunity to attend the dinner — a breakthrough she helped achieve during the Kennedy years.

    The board acknowledged having received Thomas’ letter in a Monday email to White House reporters, which included the minutes to its March 16 meeting, but ultimately decided to deny her request.

    070209 Helen Thomas calls Obama administration out on social media smokescreen

    Thomas proved that her biting critique showed no partisan leanings yesterday when she and Reid laid into Gibbs for ridiculous executive branch policies that actually use social media to limit and “tightly control” the content of Townhall meetings and press briefings. The debate begins when Gibbs insists that Reid submit questions via Facebook and Twitter to be answered “tomorrow” rather than just opening the forum to on-the-spot questions.

    I hope all are as well as can be, bleakly loved the “Sunny to partly cloudy tomorrow with a light dusting of chickens coming home to roost later in the day.”, someofparts.

    gotta run….

  11. sbt42

    For anyone in need of a primer of how the UK has become a “dirty money laundering capitol of the world,” this is an informative FT mini-doc.

  12. Joan

    I wanted to reply to an American commenter a couple of weeks back who was a big fan of the suburbs and thought urban people living in apartments to be the end of freedom. Hopefully I was reading too far into their words, and if so I apologize. Here is my reply:

    American suburbanites have little concept of how ecologically destructive their living situation is, and some of them even believe they’re the eco-friendly ones because they keep pretty flowers in their garden and a bird occasionally lands on their telephone pole. In truth, suburbs are responsible for an enormous amount of habitat destruction and such land could be used for agriculture or left to remain wild. And when I say suburbanites, I don’t mean rural people or homesteaders. I mean people who live in suburbs and drive into a city for work.

    Suburbanites often refute the concept of density by saying they don’t want to live in a concrete and glass box in the sky. I would challenge them to live abroad for a long period of time and experience decent and dignified living in apartments. And by apartments, I also mean ones you can own, not just rent.

    There is a lot of strawmanning: comparing America to places like Hong Kong and India, where people live stacked on top of each other. I think a more apt comparison is America to Central Europe, as I’ll explain.

    Our apartment, for two adults, is 70 square meters and consists of two enormous rooms which we use as the bedroom and living room, plus an entryway, toilet room, shower-laundry room, and separated kitchen. The rent is 850 Euros, which my friends tease is too high. It’s centrally located in town, such that my husband could walk to work if needed, but he usually takes the subway, and I am well connected by trams anywhere I would want to go. There is a small grocery market half a block down in front of the tram stop, so I do the day’s shopping on my way home.

    The building is made of stone and concrete so we do not hear our neighbors unless the windows are open. We do not need a car. The building retains heat in the winter and cool in the summer, plus we have a cross breeze with the windows, even though we aren’t a corner unit. There is plenty of natural light and high ceilings of four meters.

    For people who work in a city, this is a very decent and dignified way to live. I do some gardening in my apartment and there is a city garden where you can apply for a plot if you want to do something more substantial. We are well connected to local parks and take train trips into the countryside, plus there’s trees along the street and the river is just a ten minute walk away.

    We rent this unit but owning one is a goal. To compare us to the resources an American suburbanite uses for their lifestyle would likely really be something. Thank you for reading this far.

  13. Chuck Mire

    Discover the best graduation speeches:

    A curated list of best commencement speeches with videos.

    Words of wisdom and advice that worked or not.

  14. multitude of poors

    Apologies re my Helen Thomas comment above, she died on 07/20/13 (not 7/30/13), and the date for the last piece noted, Helen Thomas calls Obama administration out on social media smokescreen, should have been June 15, 2013 (not July 2nd 2009).

  15. different clue


    About renaming Florida . . . . how about the Shearable Sheep State?
    Or maybe the Swamp Lemming State?

    We should encourage all the global warming deniers of America to buy land in coastal Florida and move there. Then we can all laugh when their investment goes ” underwater” – – har dee har har.

  16. Willy

    dc, I’ve proposed dwellings of concrete and rebar built atop concrete and rebar stilts, but in tests they were determined to sink into the soft Florida ground. The other tests involving floating cities didn’t go so well either. But there was this guy we called “The Mariner”, who had these gills and webbed feet…

    Joan, I’ve known people who’re quite happy living the townie lifestyle. I have relatives living abroad, raised in North American suburbia and small towns “with garages full of stuff” (H/T George Carlin) who’ve adapted well. But when they visit family here they usually keep a low profile about all that. Most Americans just don’t get it.

    Two extranational travelers I met explained that lifestyle well to me. I once flew to Atlanta sitting next to a Swiss girl living in an Italian town, here on holiday. While she found American natural wonders compelling, she expressed having very little interest in American cities. “They’re all the same… fast food places and big stores”. She described her own northern Italian apartment located above a bakery, near a town square where everybody knew each other and all the shop owners. She didn’t own a car and traveled by train to explore whatever European town she fancied, describing each as having a unique character and charm all their own. She was filling her life with experiences instead of “stuff”.

    My mother in Seattle hosted a girl from Shibuya she’d met while visiting my cousin in urban Australia. I showed her around for a day and she seemed to have all the same attitudes as that Swiss girl. I think the common suburban American views inner city living as groups of introverts and assholes living atop each other in glorified tenements. Police sirens, loser drunks in wife beater tees, poor kids playing stickball in the street and turning fire hydrants into water parks… I don’t think they appreciate a lifestyle of civilized folks living small in close proximity, just enjoying experiences together, agreeably. Not to mention leaving that small carbon footprint.

  17. Jim Harmon

    A couple weeks ago a neighbor friend told me he would soon be moving to Florida to be with relatives. If I run into him before he moves I’ll ask if he changed his mind.

  18. multitude of poors

    Bummer. I had meant to, but forgot to note this Ian post I loved so much on that list (in my first comment above, on this Open Thread):

    On September 1, 2022 Mini Electronic Vacations

    There are so many great comments there too. Being the long time luddite that I am—totally agreeing that Social Media can do very insidious and grave damage to a person, on a number of fronts—I had really wanted to add one, but just did not have the time, and it would probably have been way too verbose if I had.

    gotta run, before I get tempted to add one instead of addressing something I am very much hating addressing, but need to.

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