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.


The Government of Canada Long Covid Report Suggests 15% Will Get Long Covid


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – April 23, 2023


  1. Watt4Bob

    Ok, here’s my latest rant;

    Our politics has devolved into a contest where one side (there’s only one side) pushes for never ending tax cuts for the rich, while the other side (of the one side) waves their “woke” flags manically.

    Both of these activities are worthless performance.

    Closely related to the never-ending tax-cuts is the ever more strident demand for ROI on the part of the investor class which has recently resulted in the lay-offs of thousands of tech workers employed by big tech.

    From The Insider;

    Some of the layoffs we’ve seen in tech are ones that the companies have probably wished they could do for years. Some of the above, for example.

    But they didn’t want to be seen by Wall Street as companies at risk. They didn’t want to be the only one laying people off while other companies were still hiring or at least staying stable. The optics would have sent their stocks into a nosedive.

    With the cover of many companies doing layoffs, there was safety in numbers. Companies who otherwise would have avoided layoffs have done them. Even notoriously cautious and stable Apple has used this to realign their retail organization and lay off a small number.

    The cover offered by a broad retreat has made the layoffs more widespread than the pure economic metrics might justify.


    I’m highlighting this situation because last week witnessed a collapse of Microsoft’s Office 365 on-line services. Thousands and thousands of Office 365 users unable to access their business documents in the cloud.

    Having an immense number of employees was probably a less than reliable indicator of an organization’s worth to investors all along, and now, laying off a large portion of those employees is supposedly is going to make those investors happy, and keep that stock price rising?

    I’m responsible for all our organization’s systems.

    I have a nagging fear that someday soon, I’ll come into work one day and nothing will work, and contrary to the past 30 years, there will be nothing I can do to help.

    I got a foretaste of that nightmare last week.

    The race-to-the-bottom that is end-game capitalism has a momentum that will inevitably carry us well past the point of no return, the point where nothing works any more and the first tier support folks in the call center in Pakistan (if they answer the phone) are very sorry but they haven’t been able to communicate with their 2nd and 3rd tier tech support for a few days now, and good luck, hang in there.

    …and you’ll get a “How did we do?” email survey, when, and if your email starts working again.

  2. Curt Kastens

    Here is a link about how the Corona Virus narrative is now being pedeled in Germany.
    To me this looks like a classic Orwellian change of script.

    I wrote a long comment about this on the 15% Long Covid article. It appears that my comment did not make it past Moderation.

    I am disappointed by that decision. At least one person had to read what I wrote about how the 3 year Corona narrative fits in with the hybrid war that is being waged between the US and NATO and other Pacific allies on one side and Russia, China, Iran Cuba and Venezuela on the other side.

    But I am not sure that the person who read my comment can appreciate its sublime nature. I did not write those comments to make myself look intellegent to a small community of people that I do not even know. I wrote those comments to get revenge. Vengence is what helps me get up out of bed in the morning.

    I am under the impression that my comments could be moved from that thread to this one. If management sees fit. In this time of hybrid warfare each side leaves no stone unturned in an effort to gain an edge by weaponizing institutions, ideas, data, definitions, and human propensities. This trend can be viewd from Mars looking at earth with a telescope and a radioscope. The Corona pandemic was an extension of this trend.

    I want to hang out the dirty laundry of the western nations, particularily the US MIC, in a public space for the entire world to see it. Not that the world is unlikely to do anything with it. Because what I wrote does not provide any actionable intellegence at this point anyways. It is all water under the bridge. I did not figure things out fast enough for anyone to be able to take advantage of what I have revealed. So I can not expect anything in the world to noticably change.

    Yes the comment is a needle in a hay stack in a county of hay stack fields. But I have reason to believe that some people are at least searching for the needle. And I get pleasure in knowing that there is at least a theoretical chance that some one might be able to find a needle that should not be outside of its icehouse. That hopefully will piss people off that I hope to piss off.

  3. GlassHammer

    Las Vegas Strip Has a Scary Covid-Created ‘Fatal Fungus’ Problem:

    The theme song for this next decade has to be “The Best Is Yet To Come” by Frank Sinatra.

  4. anon y'mouse


    how does the fact that the entire “western” world moved simultaneously, almost as one to the “passport/vaccination” scheme fit into your narrative? how does the fact that the contracts for the vaxx scheme were kept secret and used as extortion devices to lay claim to natural resources of other countries fit?

    i view the corona thing as being used against solely internal population for control for the coming “us vs them vs the Environment” thing.

    what could be a better preview of Central Bank Digital Currency (you will go along with your masters in word and deed or you will be shut off from the entire economy and beg in the streets) than “get this shot or else no work, no shopping, no anything outside your house for you dirty unvaxxed spreader”?

    even while the vaxx didn’t stop spreading, ALL western nations went along with this false narrative that to take the shot would be to stop the spreading.

    softened up by the confinement to homes prior to magical vaxx invention and deployment (within DAYS? something not smelling right).

    **disclaimer: i do believe Covid is real, and i do believe that actual lockdowns (not the fake ones that the Rightists have been screaming about for 3 years) could potentially have bought some precious time if done correctly to develop an actual elimination strategy.

    my theory: the Covidocalypse is laying the groundwork for what the elite plan is for dealing with the Climateocalypse. that seems almost to magically by design than it should. it also rids them of the “useless” ones who aren’t generating surplus. you know–the very people who remember when normal people had jobs and pensions and things that they could use to live a “real” adult life on, instead of the permanently infantilized one they seem to have planned for the children post 9.11 (another reason to keep genx out of power—they remember those times too).

    What say you, Curt?

  5. someofparts

    Curt Kastens – This is a good haystack for stashing the needle. Ian and this site are well-respected and widely read among those worth heeding in the world of alt-media.

  6. mago

    @the universe, we get all worked up and all worn out over complex issues, which are reduced to sound bites and bumper sticker slogans—even happens to those who consider themselves above bumpers and stickers.
    “Elites” have the illusion of control, which may be temporarily true, but every mother’s son and daughter’s gonna bite it sometime. . .

  7. Willy

    I just saw a thing about how charter schools are fucked up messes for everybody except for the owners of the schools.

    I disagree with any kind of concentrated plot to remove surplus humans. It doesn’t jibe with the insatiable drive “elites” have to extract profit off of them.

    I equate late stage capitalism with other late stage systems from history, like late stage Imperial Rome or late stage Mafia. Once-disciplined opportunistic systems turn to shit because any internal rules for meritocracy and accountability have turned to shit. Instead of maintaining an equilibrium with the host, the system/parasite/virus becomes so calloused by its success that it destroys its host.

    Maybe while somebody else can describe what I’m experiencing more clearly and eloquently, I’ll be trying to figure out how my piece of shit dehumidifier got such a high star review on Amazon.

  8. anon y'mouse

    easy—amazon reviews, from socks to soap, from things to view through things to use, are crap lies.

    just like every other website with reviews.

    those algorithms impact sales, therefore those algorithms are a bought and paid for service of the seller.

    when have you ever met a salesperson who talked you out of a purchase?

    yes, they exist (and i sometimes -are- one), but they are more rare than hen’s teeth and the usual deal with humans is that we just shrug and are embarrassed by the idiot thing at the insane price that sellers expect you will be talked into instead of outright discouraging you. fake stars out of concocted reviews can’t shrug.

    and those of us who bother to post up reviews that clearly state all the ways “this thing is crap” are essentially doing unpaid labor and those reviews get stuffed to the bottom if shown at all (see Yelp, for instance).

    never trust reviews. that said, i read them all of the time and my strategy is to read the bad ones, then the middling ones. i figure the middling ones are going to tell you both good and bad and you will at least have a heads up about some of the stupider “features” included.

    also this—on amazon, how do you even know you got the real product? knockoffs abound.

  9. Willy

    I always look at the 1-star reviews. From those I ignore the nitpickers, the bad spellers, the “they were rude to me once” folks… anybody who seems to be even more cynical than I am. I specifically look for people who have obvious previous experience with the type of product in question and seem to be reviewing intelligently and honestly. Unfortunately, I bought when the product was still quite new.

    My first dehumidifier lasted 20 years – a Kenmore. I would’ve gone back to that Sears and bought another one but they closed years ago.

    The “Vremi 22 Pint per day 1,500 Sq. Ft” had 4.8 stars on Amazon and 9.9 stars from an appliance reviewer, so for $180 I said what the hell. After a week I realized it can’t do anything anywhere near “22 pints” or “1500 square feet”. As added bonuses, it won’t do cold room operation, the radiator tends to freeze, and it makes these loud popping noises during the slow cycle.

    But some good news. I was helping a friend make a dump run for his aging mother and spotted her old dehumidifier he’d tossed into his truck (Hisense DH70KP1WG – basically a Lowes special which reviews between 3.7-4.3 stars). He let me have it and that thing runs like a champ and does everything advertised.

    My point was to piggyback onto Watt4Bob’s latest rant. Late-stage capitalism means increasingly crappy products and services for us working folks. Everybody needs to acknowledge this. It also means outright false advertising fraud, which used to be a thing taken very seriously by the mob not too long ago.

    As for human consumers preferring Amazon to Sears (which has a catalog just like Amazon. Yes, slower delivery but once had many meatspace stores where prospective buyers could actually put their hands on products), I have only theories. One is that Amazon advertises a lot, repeat-repeatedly a lot, that everybody is always super happy with all their purchases and that these purchases will make all of your wildest dreams come true. Sears was more just trying to sell stuff. This would mean that Amazon knows exactly how stupid and gullible most humans really are while Sears (maybe still) gives them the benefit of the doubt.

  10. anon y'mouse

    Sears is crap, sells crap and was deliberately made into crap by that Lamprey guy.

    that’s why no one wants to go there anymore.

    i know because i worked there during the time he was carrying out his big time fraud and not getting a striped suit for it.

    everything in that place was absolute garbage, the product lines sold off for money and the only thing they cared about for clerks was “how many people did you get signed up to our ripoff credit card in a shift?” your hours would be dicked around with and your job threatened based on metrics like that. a job that wouldn’t guarantee you 40 hours and no medical benefits anyway.

    the stores also looked like crap.

    they ran that thing into the ground. and customers who shopped there were obviously either wanting or needing “cheap” something-or-other just to get them through. they weren’t buying to have the item 30 years. almost no one (except us freaks) has that kind of expectation about consumer goods anymore.


  11. different clue

    anon y’mouse,

    I remember having bought some good things at Sears decades ago in better times. Then inertia led me to kind of stop shopping there. Meanwhile I was reading about the new owners or management or whatever slowly selling off stores, closing stores, appearing to put Sears onto a stealthy glide path to liquidation.

    A few years ago I started thinking, Sears must be sad and lonely. I should go there and buy something. I went there and found nothing that I wanted. The store did not look gray and dingy, but it did look sad and lonely, with not much there of any real interest. I have no idea what the quality of the things which were there really was.

    ( Somewhere in there I remember watching the ” elegy for Eaton’s” on CBC news when our cable TV still delivered CBC news.)

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