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

Open Thread

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Ending Zero-Covid Coming Home To Roost For China


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – May 28, 2023


  1. rangoon78

    Comment in the last thread about icemelt trumping other concerns seems right.

    Ice age data raises new concerns about future ice melt, rising sea levels
    “Ice sheets are retreating fast today, especially in Antarctica,” said Eric Rignot, a scientist at the University of California at Irvine. “But we see traces in the seafloor that the retreat could go faster, way faster, and this is a reminder that we have not seen everything yet.” ensures their audience that there is no need to question our (suicidal) economic system (let alone the necessity to dismantle it) while “real” climate catastrophe is always far, far away. is the soma of the 21st century.
    “False consciousness of the nature of American liberalism has been one of the most powerful ideological weapons that American capitalism has had in maintaining its hegemony.” — James Weinstein

  2. Ché Pasa

    Department of Only the Good die Young:

    Kissinger at 100

    He’s truly a horrible human being, but at no point in his long and infamous career has he been held to account for the millions dead, societies destroyed, and the endless deceptions he enabled. At no point has anyone in power brought him to the bar of justice. He’s hailed instead.

    We are such a deeply compromised people…

  3. bruce wilder

    We are such a deeply compromised people…

    Indeed we are. And somehow also superficial and narcissistically self-righteous and enveloped by Dunning-Kruger effects cubed.

    As a political culture, in my lifetime, we have moved further and further into a shared space of pretend, performative outrage/scandals/controversies/debates.

    The most profound economic development of our time is the intertwined slow emergence of climate change / ecological collapse / resource depletion / depletion of the earth’s waste assimilation capacity. If we were collectively to “meet those challenges” in ways that avoid immiseration of our posterity, it would require a great deal of thought and productive debate to devise and agree on those ways. These are really hard problems even to understand. So naturally we turn to the glib, the hysterical, the ignorant, to denial, to fantasy, to performative nonsense.

    Of course, these political developments make sense if you can acknowledge that voting and political partisanship and political news/opinion have no purchase whatsoever on actual policy or governance.

    Political journalists and pundits are engaged full-time in manipulating us and keeping us enveloped in whatever dream/nightmare is being scripted this month for our demographic/sociologic segment. The idea that policy ought to control or meliorate consequences has no role, no objective existence outside scripting the drama of “the narrative”.

    The handling of COVID-19 demonstrated the dominance of narrative management over any consideration of science, expertise, integrity, competence. The insane pursuit of the conflict in Ukraine as a proxy war against Russia demonstrates that fairy tale narratives of fighting against the Hitler of the month are never exhausted.

    Lovely weather we’re having. Enjoy your holiday.

  4. mago

    Trungpa Rinpoche called the Stalins, Pol Pots and Charlemagnes of the world Cosmic Monsters.
    Kissinger deserves his own special category because he led behind the scenes.
    He of stained karma, not hands.
    Don’t know what to call him beyond doomed for time beyond reckoning.

  5. capelin

    Half moon waxing, and
    Summer Solstice approaches.

  6. Curt Kastens

    I saw an article yesterday that reported Slovakia is the only country in the European Union in which more people favored a Russian Victory over a Ukrainian Victory.

  7. Chuck Mire

    “ The Dunning-Kruger Song”

  8. Curt Kastens

    I expected Better from this Person. Formeer German Foreign Minister Joshka Fischer said that Russia represents a permanent threat to Europe. God talk about the high of hypocrazy. How can a nuclear armed country of 160 or so million people represent a threat to an organization with 450 or so million people that also includes a nuclear armed country, which is itself already the property of another nuclear armed country??

    Did J.F. get paid for making an advertisement?? This whole Russia is a threat meme is so assinine that it rises to the level of evidence that at least I, if not you readers, are trapped in a simulated world.

    The makeshift people who claim that Russia is a threat will say, But Curt have you not noticed that Russia has invaded the Ukraine thereby proving that Russia is lead by an evil madman. And that said country will be a threat even after this mad man dies, until it is of course dismembered and occupied by the west.

    That so many people believe that rather than the meme that Russia has attempted to liberate the Ukraine and has been unable even do that let alone to liberate Slovakia, Poland, or Germany so clearly shut the mouths of those that say Russia is the threat and not the other way around. And that the historical context of this war is now a tabu subject which shows that the Russians were more than justified in defending themselves from NATO aggression.

    If and when the Russians invade Slovakia, Poland, Germany, and France such an invasion will be more than justified. The creeps who say that Russia could have done something different other than invade the Ukraine as the first step in this war never really say much about what that would have been. Furthermore as a Political/military expert I can offer a guarantee that there were no other options that would have been effective.

    That such drivil gets promoted and accepted by so many is evidence that the world does not work as advertised by the western media. (Maybe because we are in a simulation. Or maybe because the CIA-MI6 control public preceptions through a corrupt media.)

  9. Jorge

    “Chuck Mire” Dunning-Kruger turned out to be a statistical mirage.

    Also, the IgNobels should be done at the Reiksbank awards.

  10. bruce wilder

    @ Curt Kastens

    For whatever reasons of personal interest, I try to follow the course of the war in Ukraine, and I concur with you: the propaganda war of narratives is revealing for its stupidity and willful ignorance. I am by no means a military expert, but I still know enough to recognize neither the cheerleaders for Ukraine in the mainstream Media nor the small band of Russophile YouTube critics are making an effort to account for the basic array of knowable facts in constructing their respective narratives. And that is before the official propagandists on both sides get started with their obscuring claims.

    The Russians had largely demilitarized from Soviet days, but the implications are rarely fairly drawn, either by the Russophobes in the State Department and European capitals nor by those YouTube dissenters who confidently predicted the Russians would swiftly advance. The history of the Ukrainian color revolutions, economic catastrophes and 8-year civil war in which the Western powers played false are seldom acknowledged in the U.S. I saw Der Spiegel pushing the six rogues in a rowboat theory of the Nordstream sabotage — no one who believes that should be allowed to drive the autobahn.

  11. Willy

    Be easier to view Ukraine from the perspective of the bored psychopathic power elite who knows that chaos creates cash. Take any of the “but the leaders (or my preferred leaders) are just trying their best for their (or my preferred) people” out of any equations.

    Then try imagining all the right people being in control. What I mean by “right” is anybody who can feel another’s pain and weight their ideological calculations accordingly. Maybe things would never have gotten this far to begin with?

  12. bruce wilder

    Dunning-Kruger turned out to be a statistical mirage.

    That a lot of educated “smart” people are flummoxed by any frame featuring probability is itself evidence for a Dunning-Kruger effect.

  13. mago

    It’s Tuesday, and this thread is probably dead, but no matter, gonna comment on the word “clash”.

    Just read an account about the Kosovo/Serb/NATO aggression and the journo kept using the word clash to describe the violence.

    The western MSM employs the same weasel word to describe full front maiming and killing of Palestinians by their de facto overlords.

    Clash=Joe Strummer and band. Should I stay or should I go . . .

    I’m old enough to remember when a spade was a spade, a garden was a garden, and when men were men and sheep were sheep.
    Never mind.

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