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.


God As Idea, By Eric Anderson


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – March 26, 2023


  1. Mark Level

    Hey, what about those French!!? They don’t take their pockets being picked and futures being destroyed like “Good Americans” do! YouToobs is showing plenty of videos, it looks like some of the firemen and cops have also stopped supporting the government and joined in with protesters . . . will Macron be ousted? Will this affect neighbors like the Germans, who had their cheap gas supply destroyed by doddering old Joe. The US hates good examples like citizenry standing up for themselves . . . if the Empire were more flexible in actually staying in power, they might shift some energy away from the UKraine meat-grinder & re-occupy France. Will Americans ever refuse the rule of Gold-Sachs, war chickenhawks & babbling PMC zombies? I don’t see it happening soon, but glad that at least one major Euro country has a sentient community that won’t let itself be impoverished, starved and corralled into misery.

  2. Curt Kastens

    The footnote about this story concerns the death of George Floyd in May of 2020.
    When I look at the film of the murder of George Floyd I see a police officer who is committing murder, who knows that he is being filmed committing a murder, and does not give a damn that he is being filmed committing a murder.
    I have to wonder if officer Chauvin was actually deliberatly sending a message to people like me on behalf of some higher ranking people. The message was, do not even think about trying to get our police forces on your side. We have people who are so much more dedicated to keeping us in power than you are in removing us from power that you have no chance. Our people will not blink an eye to go to prison for the rest of thier life to keep us in power if we ask them to. You can never hope to match that level of intensity.
    With people like Chauvin on their payroll it is hard to believe that sane people can ever bring accountabilty to the leaders of the US and the US MIC.

    Oh and a footnote to this is now I have to worry about being investigated by the German police due to my obvious pro Russian symphathies.

  3. Willy

    Right To Work (to death) law repealed in Michigan.

    A right wing survivalist influencer (who lives large thanks to corporate sponsors) put out a video proclaiming that today’s cops only protect and serve themselves anymore.

    What’s the world coming to?

  4. Curt Kastens

    What is the world coming to? Aint that the truth. There is so much lying going on the bull shit is deeper than the Pacific Ocean. It is not easy to know which side is lying about the tactical situation though. It is easy to know who is telling the historical and the strategic lies.

  5. anon y'mouse

    if i were an all powerful Owning Class, i would want the visible disenfranchisement and disillusionment with the current governance structures too.

    dictatorship hidden behind a friendly AI bureaucratic face would be easier to manage than this fake democracy, wouldn’t it?

    if the French actually DO anything with their protests, i will be amazed. somehow, i don’t think even Macron stepping out would change The Plan for everyone to work until they’re dead.

    and it will be that, with Covid flying around willy nilly.

  6. Z

    Is COVID effectively over?

    Sure seems that way. The vast majority of people are not wearing masks any more and no one I know has gotten sick from it lately.


  7. mago

    Renee Descartes (16th century) who is referred to as the father of modern philosophy—Western philosophy, let’s be clear—posited that animals have no soul and thus lack feeling. He demonstrated his view by dissecting live dogs in the audience of his peers.
    That thrashing and howling? Don’t mind that—it just proves my point.

    Somehow his mechanistic obscured view still pertains through much of western perception.

    I never trusted the French outside croissants, coffee and soap. Their wine is pretty good, too.

  8. Ian Welsh

    The numbers indicate Covid is still going strong, and anecdotally I know two people who got it in the last month and a half.

  9. Keith in Modesto

    Re: “The numbers indicate Covid is still going strong, and anecdotally I know two people who got it in the last month and a half.”

    Thank you, Ian, for this response. I don’t mean to cast any shade upon Z, but “…no one I know has gotten sick from it lately” is a textbook example of selection bias.

  10. Z

    Did I declare COVID to be over? Did I tell everyone to not mask up any more? Nope. I was just tossing my observations out there to see if anyone has had a different experience.

    I still mask up, but hardly anyone I see, even folks I knew who once did, mask up any more.

    COVID does seem to have taken a step back as far as its lethality, but at least part of the reason for that is the fact it already killed many who were most vulnerable to it.

    Thanks for the info, Ian.


  11. different clue

    Over the next few decades we will see how time-delayed and slow-motion lethal covid is to those who got it once or twice . . . thrice . . . fice . . . etc.

  12. Curt Kastens

    Peace without justice is war. It is a war in which only one side is fighting. I myself think that this war which started in the Ukraine has to continue on until the leadership of US and NATO countries and Japan and Taiwan and Australia and New Zealand (OK maybe not New Zealand) are hung from bridges and burned alive. The institutional control that these people possess is so massive that resistence from inside the system is futile.
    I doubt that Russia and China would be willing to continue the war to the conclusion that I would like to see. Maybe they would because unless the leaders of the west can be held accountable they will always be a source of injustice. We can not forgot that this conflict is being waged upon a world stage which is on fire and is threatened by collapse in at most a few decaes in any case. I and the Russians and the Chinese, and the Iranian Government supporters, could surrender and watch the world’s industrial civilization collapse under the wieght of its own contridictions anyways which is going to lead to human extinction almost surely by 2050.
    But, my level of disgust with western leadership has grown so high that I would rather destroy the world in a nuclear holocaust than let these people (the leadership of the west) remain in power until the time of the collapse of industrial civilization occurs.
    As I said earlier principles are more important than people. And I stand by that.

  13. Trinity

    I still check The NY Times maps and data every morning. A couple days ago, Florida counties lit up like Christmas lights, but now it’s back to being neutral. Spring break is imminent, ‘tho.

    Also anecdotally and without a single, specific reference, the death numbers are still in the thousands per week according to several sources. It hovered at about three thousand per week so far this year, and may have dropped slightly when the last wave ended. The latest research suggests that the newest variant is a killer, but perhaps not as virulent. Nothing is sure, as usual.

    The NY Times are changing their methodology. They were aggregating from numerous local and national sources, but those local sources have stopped sharing their data with anyone but the CDC, so data and maps moving forward will only report CDC data. Johns Hopkins stopped collecting data as of March 10th.

    I’m not sure what to think about any of this, other than the general “we are being lied to”. There is a lot of propaganda insisting that it’s over, legislation to ban masking, even threats to arrest people who are masked (although that seems far fetched), etc. Only hospital data is being reported, in most localities, moving forward, as there is no effort to collect data from home testing and home care and recovery.

    I wonder sometimes if TPTB have a specific number (of deaths) in mind they are trying to reach, a threshold defined in their plans that they are seeking.

  14. Keith in Modesto

    For anyone interested in the trend of Covid19 infection in the general population, basing one’s evaluation upon “people I know are …” is inherently unreliable. What would be better? If it’s available, wastewater data, like this for the United States:

    (This link is featured regularly in Naked Capitalism’s (week)daily Water Cooler.)

  15. Ché Pasa

    Homelessness in the United States: statistically, we’re told the number of unhoused in the US hovers around 600,000 +/- at any given time. It’s pretty consistent over the years, sometimes up, sometimes down, but never significantly down, and only rising significantly during periodic financial crises. Obtaining housing is a competitive process; one has to meet criteria that are actually quite difficult. I remember a few years ago, the City of Albuquerque built 30 some odd quite nice tiny homes (much nicer than LA’s for example) for the homeless, but after a year, only five were occupied because applicants could not meet the strict criteria especially for being clean and sober for X number of months and being “in the program” for X number of months.

    Despite the billions upon billions of dollars available for homeless services, the municipalities and NGOs administering the funds never seem to be able to resolve the problem; they’re able to stabilize numbers, but that’s about it.

    I contrast that with the situation prior to the closure of the mental hospitals and the substitution of jails for housing and treatment. People like to say there were “no homeless” back then, but that’s false. There were, but they were far fewer, and they were generally not visible. If you want a sense of what it was like for unhoused Americans — and who they were — read Kerouac’s “On the Road.” Meanwhile, mental institutions, as opposed to jails, housed millions — up to 4,000,000 at their peak. This was proportionately far more than the numbers we see today whether jailed or on the streets or under mental health care.

    There’s little doubt that many of the mental institutions were grossly abusive. Some were not. But the main issue of abuse was that these institutions held people against their will under pretenses that sometimes had no merit, and there was little or no ability for patients to contest their incarceration. But just as reform took hold, abolitionists succeeded in ending the system.

    What can/should be done at this point? Policy makers seem incapable of doing anything beyond maintaining the current inadequate system.

    Any ideas?

  16. Curt Kastens

    It is odd that you would expect allies, like Cuba to tell the truth about Covid. But even they have censored important information. The question that I am asking myself, of course is why? I can not come up with a good answer. I ask not only what are they trying to hide. But, more importantly who are they trying to hide it from?

  17. HMP

    I came across the “Trans Panic” post belatedly after comments had closed, and I just wanted to add this point about the term “misgendered.”

    So who is guilty of this injustice of “misgendering?” The technician who informs the expectant mother, “It’s a girl!” during a sonogram? The gyn-ob who makes a similar declaration during delivery?

    And this gendering is “mis” according to what? Are we relying merely on the subjective feeling of the misgendered individual? Is this subjective feeling ratified by anything? Is it in accord with the Tao, God’s will, or even the overwhelming majority of popular opinion? Otherwise, how do we know that this subjective feeling is not what it was previously considered to be: a type of neurotic self-hatred?

    We could resort to the teachings of the 4th century Christian writer Origen. Origen argued that the soul was eternal, having been created by God at the same time as the rest of the universe. Presumably, these souls were held in some sort of soul warehouse until matched up with the body at birth (interesting implications for abortion here). “Misgendering” would amount to a mix-up in God’s logistics with the wrong soul matched up with the wrong body. LOL.

    I think the term “misgendered” is tied to the idea of transhumanism that denies that human beings are constrained by physical reality. Sure, we may have once been animals/mammals/primates who existed as part of Earth’s ecosystems from the relatively recent past up until the present. But now, whatever crazy idea pops up in our heads trumps this reality. I may look down in the shower and see the body parts associated with being male, but why should that constrain me?

    It didn’t hold Origen back. According to church historian Eusebius–though now disputed by some squeamish scholars–Origen took Jesus’s exhortation quite literally to pluck out one’s own eye if it offended except in Origen’s case, the offending body part was between his legs.

  18. anon y'mouse


    it’s better to be thinking in terms of “burn rate”.

    you see, the real desire is to use up labor to the point that they realize they are being rooked.

    then to toss them.

    every place i have ever worked, regardless of “retention” being the stated goal, was about showing the door to those who had caught on to The Con.

    those people will tell others, and then the disenchantment spreads.

    it’s exactly why fast food industry (and now meat packing) idealizes the “stay at home teenager looking for extra pocket money”.

    churn & burn, baby. for that FIRE economy.

    calculate, and realize…..

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