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

Open Thread

Use to discuss topics completely unrelated to recent posts.


Some Acts Are Always Evil


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – April 9, 2023



    Wake up Ian – you’re too smart to remain wilfully ignorant of this.

    I know you’re on board with the official “Safe and Effective” narrative and that’s fine with me.

    But you’re too important a voice to lose to this shot.

  2. Curt Kastens

    I saw yesterday that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has decided to challenge Joe Biden in the next round of Democratic primaries. I knew nothing about RFK Jr. So, I decided to look up his Wikipedia entry.
    I was very impressed. I was impressed by the fact that RFK Jr. has never held political office. I was impressed that he has never served in the military. I was impressed that has sued the military on a number of occasions. I was impressed by his life long service to trying to protect the environment. I was also impressed by his skepticism of the prevailing Corona Virus narrative in liberal, left wing circles. Such skepticism is usually only seen in the domain of the right. In short I have the impression that we are ideological twins. To be precise however I am not an anti vaxer or an anti masker. I am agnostic on these issues.
    I digress here a bit. But I am actually shocked at how little skepticism has been shown by people on the left to the Corona Virus narrative, and that it has become some kind of a litmus test for sanity on the left. I was actually a banned from an economics site for questioning the narrative.
    Back to RFK though. There is division on the left as to how important the office of the presidency actually is. I belong to the faction that things in Washington DC do not really work as advertised. That means that even if RFK could get elected unless he could control the deep state he could not reform the United States any more successfully than Khatami reformed Iran. Which brings me to Donald Trump.
    I always thought that it was fantasically absurd that so many white Americans thought that the swamp predator Donald Trump was actually a man that they could expect to drain the swamp. It should have been obvious that there was no way in hell that Donald Trump would drain his own home. The fact that so many white Americans hold him in high regard is damning evidence of how brain damaged so many white Americans have become. I understand that the United States has never been a force for good in the world, but at least for a while it could maintain a veneer of respectability during the time that civil rights legislation was being passed until Reagan was elected President. RFK Jr. on the other hand has a life time of service that could actually give a person hope that he would try to drain the swamp. His record could give a person hope that he is not a puppet of the deep state employed to prolong their hold on power. His pedigree gives me a bit of hope that he could actually pull off an election victory not only in the primaries but even in a general election.
    Because things in Washington have not worked as advertised for so long who ever would gain the reigns of power in Washington DC is going to have a credibility problem with honest men and women until they have done two things.
    This is where we get in to a practical application of the assertion that some things are always evil. I maintain that if honest people were to come to power in Washington DC they to clearly demonstrate that the completely reject and abhor the history of behavior of the leadership of the United States of America. Such leaders need to demonstrate that they are not actually sleeper cell agents of the deep state by doing two things.
    First they must either murder, kill in battle, or execute after a guilty finding in a trial those that they believe bear the most responsibility for bringing the United States and the western nations to where they are today. And those chosen to be sacrificed for their lifetime of behavior should die by the methods that I have previously outlined.
    Second the new leaders have to start to carry out policies that would make those sacrificed turn over in their graves.
    I myself do not give a rats ass as to how a new leadership would or could come to power.
    To pretend that the electoral systems not only in the US but in the entire western world are not broken is flat out childish. The very foundations of such systems are built on lies. Of course those that defend these systems say that the burden of proof is on me (us) to prove to the electorate what those lies are. I maintain that is not possible without being able to destroy those institutions that spread and maintain the lies in the first place. Democracy does not work. It can not work. There are plenty of theoretical reasons to explain this. And we can see that the theoretical reasons and what we actually see happening match.
    To continue to maintain that a constitution and laws can protect us from barbarism is childish. There are theoretical reasons why this can not be so. The reality that we actually see happening confirms the theoretical reasons. Furthermore evil people wrap themselves not only in flags but in Constitutions as well to do things that really piss me and other people off.
    Of course resorting to violence to counter the gains made by others through fraud and force does not guarantee success either and it has obviously bad side effects.
    These observations bring me to the point in which I make the assertion that ethics is a subjective art not a science. But I qualify that assertion that it seems to me that there are two principles that one can use to color the canvass that we paint with our lives.
    The first principle is the golden rule. This is the one that encourages us to act with kindness towards others. The second principle is the platinum rule. This rule is treat others as you see them treating others. The platinum rule allows us not only to maintain discipline with in the overall system, or society, like the eye for an eye rule does, it allows us to judge people not by my standards of conduct or your standards of conduct but by the perpetrators standard of conduct that they reveal by their own actions.
    This is important when it comes to the issue of torture. Torture is one of those red lines that leftist often think should never be crossed. I agree that the use of torture should never be used to discourage political conduct and to maintain power. The reason why is that humans are not all knowledgeable and maintaining power by using fear of torture, the most fear inducing power of all, makes it much more difficult to change a status quo. In my opinion balances of power are much more important to avoiding abuses of power by rulers than voting is.
    Torture should also never be used to extract military information. If such a rule is adheared to by both sides niether side gains an advantage in upholding this rule. Also when combatants fear torture they are much more likely to fight to the death resulting in greater overall casualties.
    But I believe that there are circumstances in which torture can be justified. One is dealing with someone like Ted Bundy when you think that victims can still be freed from imprisonment. Ted Bundy’s behavior is in no way shape or form politically motivated.
    Another is to punish people who did conduct torture to prevent political change or to obtain military information to discourage such behavior in the future. We do not need to consider whether or not we approve of torture because we are not judging such people by our standards but by their own standards.
    I realize that there is a counter arguement that fear of any punishment does not deter any kind of behavior when the perpitrators do not believe they will be held accountable. But I believe it is somewhat more nuanced than that. I think perps consider the chance that they will be held accountable and if they think that there is a 5% or 10% chance that they will be held accountable and with a very severe punishment there would be a deterence effect.
    I agree that at least in 99% of circumstances the ends justify the means when we have to decide how to behave.
    I also think that we have to stop worrying about getting our hands dirty. We deserve to sleep well at night even if we buy a shirt made in Bangledesh by low paid workers with cotton that was not grown sustainably. LIke live in a fragging SWAMP we do not need to feel guilty because we have gotten our hands dirty trying to survive making lesser evil choices along the way.

  3. different clue

    Sometimes we need a brief digression into pure innocent humor. Here is a 5-or-so second video someone sent over to Naked Capitalism called . . . ” The birds outside my window at 5:00 a. m.” It is some guy moving his face around in exact time to some bird song.

  4. different clue

    If RKjr. is running in DemParty primaries, I will vote for RKjr. in my state’s primary, if the DemParty doesn’t cancel primaries entirely ( which I hear the DemParty lords are considering doing). Or if someone else whom I might want for President were to run in the DemPrimaries ( if any are permitted), I would vote for that nomination seeker.

    If the DemParty offers no one to vote for in primaries ( if it doesn’t cancel its primaries altogether), then I will invade the Republican primary to vote for Trump in order to lower DeSantis’s chances of getting nominated. If there is going to be a Republican President, better Trump than DeSantis.

  5. Curt Kastens

    I was rushed out the door near the end of my comment above. I meant to say that WE live in a fragging swamp so we should stop carrying about whether or not we get our hands dirty.
    What is important is how the swamp looks once you are done terraforming it.

  6. mago

    Wow dc that’s some down home lesser-evilism right there.

  7. capelin

    @ Jeremy

    It’s a psych-op; those with smarts and edjumacation seem especially vulnerable.

    Noam Chomksy, who literally wrote the book on mind control via media by the deep state, nonetheless early on called for the dirty uninjected to be forcibly interned in camps.

    Fear changes a bunch of brain proccessing, and the air we breath seems to be an excellent disseminator.

    The play is so big, and bold, and obvious, it becomes a wall.

  8. Curt Kastens


    Before I came to accept simulation theory I thought that it was likely, but not certian, that we were under observation from aliens. That was important because if it were true it showed that there was a possible path forward. Well whether there ever was a possible path forward or not we have clearly missed it. We probably missed in the last half of the 19th century.

    Now there is nothing to do but to record the collapse. A record which no one on earth will ever read. There is almost no point in it. But the record will survive. Yes, this could be wishful thinking. The record of our human accomplishments and failures and back stabbing will survive on the hard drive of a computer in another dimension of the universe.

    Hurray Hurray!! Is that sarcasm?

  9. Ché Pasa

    Desantis is more dangerous, I suppose, since he can focus whereas Trump is both chaotic and addled in his dotage. Poor thing.

    RFK, Jr. though is not the answer, and Dems would never put him up as a candidate in any case. He’s burnt too many bridges as it were. I don’t see Dems being able to “find” a better candidate than Biden, sorry to say, but there’s still time. Not much. But you never know. Someone might emerge with both the moxie and charisma that it takes to get elected these days. Maybe?

    The problem with US presidential elections is that every one of them is the Most Important of Our Lives, and every one has the potential to be the last.

    When in fact the Presidency is a function of the corporate state and the real Last One was probably Nixon ’72.

    When he was removed from office (peacefully compared to Kennedy, JF) and replaced with an unelected factotum, for all intents and purposes the game was up. We’ve gone through the motions of elections for President, but we don’t really have a choice, and the Electoral College will cheerfully cancel our votes anyway. We see the results. It’s not pretty. But it is what it is.

    One assumes Desantis is ready to declare himself Il Duce and march with his camo shirted fans on DC to demand… something. If he did it, he’d probably get it, though we may laugh. Trump on the other hand would just wallow in his… Power.

    Biden, if he’s able to function at all, would simply maintain “norms” as he has, getting this and that done, mostly on behalf of the financial interests he’s served for ages, and that will be that. Those interests don’t want more upheaval, more disruption, more spectacle. Do you?

  10. Mary Bennett

    The Trump indictment in NYC this last week is payback. Back in about 1987, I believe it was, five young African and Hispanic men, the Central Park Five, later known as the Exonerated Five, were on trial for a crime which, it turned out, they did not commit. Now no one has alleged that these young men were persons of saintly character, but the system we have is that you prosecute specific crimes, not prosecute because someone important thinks you are a bad person. The Governor of NY was Mario Cuomo, famously adamantly opposed to the death penalty, which was a moral principle for him. Then private citizen Donald Trump paid for a full page add in a NYC newspaper, calling for passage of the death penalty. The add did not mention the young men on trial, but the implications were clear and the add is thought to have had a certain effect on public opinion. Any young person of color, watching the trial and the hysteria surrounding it, knew that it could well have been himself or a loved one being accused. Three of the names of those then teenagers are Mr. Bragg, Mr. Adams and Ms. James, Manahattan DA, Mayor of NYC and Attorney General of New York State, respectively. Not to mention that the current Lt. Gov. and likely future governor, one Antonio Delgado, who appears to be something of a political genius was also growing up in or near NYC. One of the more amusing aspects of this spectacle is the way a certain Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green seems to have thought she could get support from the centrist if not outright neo-liberal mayor. Not bloody likely, not this time. I can’t help wondering if proceeding with investigation of The Donald was part of the payoff to James for giving up her own candidacy for the governorship.

    It is also interesting to note that no strings were pulled to get Donald a dual-citizen, friendly judge. Can it be that his buddy Bibi has deserted him?

  11. anon y'mouse

    the president doesn’t really matter, except as a symbol.

    the Plan, whatever it is that has been dreamed up long about by the CFR and various other Stink Tanks, continues regardless whomever is in there. yes, each side has their role to play in the fake hegelian dialectic—social security is bound to be cut by a Dem, whereas a Rep would get too much pushback etc, but cut it will be.

    so why many intelligent people waste all this energy wondering about who will run and what will happen (a rigged game) is beyond me. a Sanders type is never getting in there, symbolic runs to shake fists righteously don’t seem to matter (he proved it), and the system overall needs changing. even had Sanders or a Sanders-like ever managed to defeat the rigged game, they would get nothing done except making noises and that would be quite limited. BidenTime ain’t running anything except his mouth, which then has to be cleaned up after by his handlers.

    oh–another psyop being perpetrated upon the public is this—-endless hoohah over ChatGPT and other fake “AI”. this is being let loose now as a distraction. this does nothing that Google’s own search engine used to be able to pull off with good key terms 10+ years ago, before they severely bastardized it. granted, you had to actually read and assess validity, sources etc but by breaking their own search engine they removed the ability for people do their own work in this regard (can’t have the plebs FINDING SHIT OUT!!) and are now putting up the fake version as a trivial little toy.

    this serves two purposes–it will only give the biased info our overlords want us to know (the search engine was too powerful and allowed us to figure shit out for ourselves and use that much vaunted but totally unwanted “critical thinking” to do it), but it also makes AI itself appear to be a pointless toy full of garbage. shades of “releasing” digital currency onto the internet for the kiddies to play and work out the kinks, while the real work of Central Bank Digital Currency goes on (let the kiddies play and lose their shirts and then offer them the “safe” version).

    you can be sure Big Daddy Gov and his contractors are already using some kind of ultra powerful AI for real purposes, and i bet it doesn’t resemble much the thing they are letting people toy with as a distraction from Ukrainamania. good psyop as most people will now think of the faulty public version and discredit the abilities of the hidden version they are likely already using, if not avidly working on to put into use behind the Punch & Judy screen.

    and the intelligent falling all over themselves to comply with both of these games 1)who will be the Prez? isn’t this just like who will get FIRED next week? 2)AI looks like garbage therefore it must be garbage and no one could possibly be using some form of it right now to make decisions and gather info about stuff, could they?

    more time for posturing (“don’t throw us in the briar patch!” sez Melon Husk and Woz), fake “safety” legislation, political grandstanding, etc to bring the real one into the realm of limited hangout.

  12. anon y'mouse


    dear Matt Taibbi,

    if you want to do some real work rather than exposing the rat hairs in the sausage works that was Twitter(everyone knew they were doing that, and although it’s nice that your current crusade exposes exactly how, it doesn’t change that it is still going on and will not be changed, even under your buddy’s “management”), then perhaps you can expose how Google bastardized their own product under the smokescreen of “responding to market demands”. it is one of the most active agents of what people using the internet can see or watch, or even know is there so it should be a much juicier turkey leg for you to gnaw on.

    Google essentially IS CIA (or whatever that claque calls themselves or thinks of themselves as. i use CIA as a header for all such “intelligence” workings, in or out of government), so i’m sure you can find a lot of meat there. but since it is a Holy Cow running a lot of the internet show, whereas Twitter is just the playgrounds for twits to act out in public while being shaped by private actors. Google complies with China, for instance. who all they are in bed with and why they really turned their truly good product into a shitshow would be an interesting project. granted, whom among the CIA will tell you the whole story, even if you do know much of it already?

    it can burn up more years of your life, and earn you hatred from all sides but that’s what doing good work (rather than career&image boosting work) is about, no?

  13. anon y'mouse

    addendum addendum:

    Covid Psyop is “ovah”. meaning, it achieved its objectives—making “public knowledge” nothing but nonsense, making sure the business class and their aiders and abettors don’t have to give up their zero-paid-sickleave stance nor pay for corralling workers into deathtrap locations so they can give each other the sickness, no public healthcare ( i refrain from “medicare for all” since that program is itself now garbage unless you understand how to avoid all of the traps laid in it), making sure the Spice Will Flow to those who have invested in the right areas, further separating people by class while pretending to separate by “lifestyle factors” (aid class based bias because only “low class” people are vulnerable because they eat garbage all day and don’t grind their Peloton, dontcha know), and on and on and on.

    and the biggest bennie–adding to the fake “two party” partisanship strategy and the culture war bullshit.

    so, whatever side of the issue you are on, everyone is being played. we saw what the “Intelligence Class” can do in live time, and it worked beautifully.

    see a bare bones recap of how they did it here:

  14. mago

    Please, if I may, it’s all GIGO.
    Garbage in garbage out.
    Eat the shit and poop it out.

    There’s a haiku in there somewhere, but I’m not going write it.

    Season of the witch
    strong winds blowing all around
    Yesterday’s leafs gone

    Never mind the path
    Coyotes know no boundaries
    They just shit the trail

  15. GrimJim

    Hi Ian, I would love to see a summary of events and developments in France right now.

    Finding anything is difficult. Finding anything that hasn’t been through the propaganda grinder is almost impossible.

    Any help here would be lovely.

  16. Curt Kastens

    An Important Conclusion:
    I have been pondering for a long time why the war in the Ukraine has devolved in to a World War 1 type battle. I still believe that my previous conclusion that the Russians did not want to push to far westard because they are concerned about other NATO countries directly entering the conflict is part of the explination. But I now think that it is the minor part.
    What got me thinking further about this issue is that I wondered, if the US has the ability to disrupt a Russian strategic nuclear attack why is it that they do not disrupt other important Russian military communications. My first thought was because that would require a larger secret program with a greater chance that someone would talk about what they are doing.
    But based upon the tactics that the Russians continue to use to fight the war I have come to a different conclusion. My current conclusion is that the reasons that the Russians do not launch any massive attacks against Ukrainian defences but stick to a large number of small battalion sized attacks is because NATO forces have degraded the Russians ability for Commanders to direct their subordinates down to a 19th century level.
    It should be obvious that niether side would want to talk about what is going on. The Russians certianly would not want this issue discussed because it puts an inferiority of thiers on display. It may get talked about by simple Russian soldiers who might have figured out that there is a problem. But unless their voices get magnified there is no way that it will become a normal subject of public discourse in Russia, or China, or India.
    In addition to that there is no way that the Russians can prove who is behind the sabotage of their communications systems. This is a kind of thing that NATO military forces can do so that Ukrainian forces do not have to. It frees up the Ukrainian men to become cannon fodder while at the same time makes it unneccessary to transfer advanced technology to the Ukrainians. It makes sense to me that American or Israeli personnel are jamming the Russian strategic nuclear forces because they would be the most politically reliable. While Polish and Lithuanian forces would be helping the Ukrainians jam or disrupt in other ways the Russian tactical communications.
    One of the things that led me to reconsider what has been going on is the contnued insistence by both sides that the war is going in their favor. And the insitance that time is on their side. It is because both sides have some reason for optimism.
    It is clear that to win without triggering a nuclear war the west has placed all of its chips on embarrassing, or panicing poweful forces in Russian and China in to overthrowing thier current leadership with the idea that the new leaders will be happy being puppets of the US leadership like Scholz and Macron and the rest of the European leaders are with the possible exception of Orban.
    But this strategy up until now has been a collossal failure. For now the Ukrainians may have a huge advantage in command and control but the Russians have a huge logistical advantage. Both sides have been blaming the weather, more specifically the muddy conditions that prevent armies from moving off road, and in the Ukrainian case the need for more weapons and ammunition to launch a major offensive.
    Another aspect of the struggle for both sides is to create economic conditions in the other countries as to cause the civil societies to start to fracture. I think that western leaders still believe that if the Ukrainians can achieve a large retake of territory this year they may create the conditions for the overthrow of the Russian Government.
    I myself do not think that either are likely to happen.
    But unless the Russians and Chinese can overcome the sabotage of thier command and control by NATO the Russians will not be able to bring an end to fighting with the Ukrainians either. But despite this impass I do not expect either side to seriously pursue peace. The bridges between the west and Russian/China have been irreparibly burned. There may be talks or rumors of peace talks but I believe things have gone to far for China and Russia to ever trust western leaders until those leaders have been dealt with by thier own people in a manner satisfactory to the Russians and Chinese. Or when Russian and Chinese Tanks are driving through the streets of Paris and eventually Washington DC so that they can deal with these leaders themselves. Of course that second option is absurd the planets environment will collapse long before that can happen.
    Well that sums it up. I hope that you the reader were entertained by this assessment of what is really going on. You have earned the previlage of knowing what is really happening behind the curtain, (…. …. ….. …. …. …….). But do not expect it to be brought up anywhere else because no one has an interest in amplifing my thoughts on anything.

  17. anon y'mouse

    are you one of Those People? (said in that television announcer voice we all have in our heads)

    you know, the kind that thinks psyops don’t really happen?

    “One war-game, said Price, involved environmental activists protesting pollution from a coal-fired plant near Missouri, some of whom were members of the well-known environmental NGO Sierra Club. Participants were tasked to “identify those who were ‘problem-solvers’ and those who were ‘problem-causers,’ and the rest of the population whom would be the target of the information operations to move their Center of Gravity toward that set of viewpoints and values which was the ‘desired end-state’ of the military’s strategy.”

    Such war-games are consistent with a raft of Pentagon planning documents which suggest that National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance is partially motivated to prepare for the destabilising impact of coming environmental, energy and economic shocks.

    James Petras, Bartle Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University in New York, concurs with Price’s concerns. Minerva-funded social scientists tied to Pentagon counterinsurgency operations are involved in the “study of emotions in stoking or quelling ideologically driven movements,” he said, including how “to counteract grassroots movements.”

    looks like it is safe to assume that they ARE happening.

    reddit seems a very likely place where they are happening. not that that i don’t read there as well.

  18. anon y'mouse

    Project Icebreaker: The Beginning Of A One World Digital Currency System?

    talks about the BIS and the IMF setting up a central bank digital currency in combination with a SWIFT like clearinghouse system.

    looks like -they- are getting ready for the fallout of the de-dollarization with an even larger and worse system of control and spying.

    and since China, Russia et al are setting up their own CBDC, you can never escape except to the other side who is doing the same sorts of things.

    and i am sure they will eventually “talk to” each other, as everything does seem to nowadays.

  19. anon y'mouse

    more hmmm…..


    1 day ago
    This makes me wonder if Elon Musk is actually a symptom of a much broader problem in Western science, engineering and business, in general. To what extent is the entire construct of Western science and engineering a giant Ponzi scheme,…

    Paypal, under Elon Musk, was one of the participants in the CIA/DoD-run Highlands Forum which incubated most of the technology that USA presently uses to maintain global hegemony. Their main success was Google.

    If you look at what Musk has been working on since then, it is all military, with the possible exception of a vanity project, the Boring Company. And he has benefited from an obvious finger on the scale by the US deep state to paper the way for him.

    Tesla: DoD wants self-driving tanks and other hardware, linked to satellite and terrain maps, integrated with another DoD project, Google Earth. How else could Tesla have run their self-driving car thing for years without regulatory approval, with cars driving over pedestrians, sometimes exploding, but he hasn’t been sued out of existence nor did anyone shut him down?

    Starlink: DoD realized their satellites were vulnerable now that everyone has anti-satellite weapons, they theorized they needed thousands of inter-connected low orbit satellites with complete redundancy, like they have with Internet trunks on the ground. Suddenly, Starlink appears and starts throwing up thousands of satellites despite no obvious path to commercial success of this venture, and then we find out that Ukraine has un-killable communications in a war with Russia, the champions of electronic warfare.

    Space-X: Well, the Pentagon has a bunch of new secret satellites in orbit, and they’re not using the Russians to launch them. The actual capabilities are secret, it seems.

    Neuralink: obviously military, they want their new class of super-serfs to be fully controllable and not able to rebel or act independently.

    Is all of this a ‘Ponzi scheme’? Well, a lot of the tech actually works. Starlink seems to work, anyway. Space-X is launching stuff into orbit. Other stuff is never going to work, IMHO.

    The big gamble is that they’re betting this sort of technology (including Google and the like), in the hands of the MIC, will be sufficient to control the global population and keep Western banksters in charge of the world, forever. The reason they’re taking this gamble is straight-up racism, they think Russians and Chinese are barbarians and not able to match them technology-wise. I’ve had people on reddit argue with me that the Chinese are only smart enough to copy Western tech, but unable to invent anything on their own. And we all know what they were saying about Russia. It is this fundamentally flawed, arrogant view of Anglosphere superiority and divine right that is causing their collapse.”

    under original post here:

    Elon is CIA? well, he is in the MICIMATT and he is heavily in the information space along with all of the other fellow travelers.

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