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.


Freezing and Seizing Bank Accounts To Stop Protests And End Bail Funds & Protests


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – June 4, 2023


  1. multitude of poors

    I’m increasingly repulsed by those who insist that psychological violence is not usually violence, particularly as I witness someone utterly vulnerable be literally destroyed by it. Such stoicism in the face of other’s terror. REPULSIVE.

    As is the increasing norm, unfortunately I doubt I’ll have time to timely respond to any responses to my comment. Just had to spit this out, it made me nauseous what I read elsewhere.

    Hugs to those in desperate need of them

    (I wrote this comment at, 12:21 PDT :, when no other comment was showing on my browser.)

    gotta run …

  2. Curt Kastens

    If Russia is going to get any protection from NATO it has to eventually be able to arrest NATO officials and the officials of European Governments that encouraged Ukrainian Aggression against Russia. That will be a difficult task to accomplish.
    A neccessary step towards achieving that goal will have to be the liberation of the entire Ukraine. A neccessary step towards achieving that goal will have to be the liberation of all the land east of the Dnieper River. Once the land east the of Dnieper River has been liberated all of the territory east of the river and west of the Russian speaking regions that will become part of the USSR, oops, I mean Russia, will have to be turned in a desert. 100% of the buildings, 100% of the roads and rail lines, and every piece of infrastructure have to be completely destroyed. The cost of rebuilding this territory has to be so huge that no one will ever want to live in the area again.
    It is neccessary to do this so as to make any kind of a peace deal impossible so that Russia and China have time to marshall the neccessary forces to drive all the way to Lisabon and even cross the English Channel to liberate London from the illegal occupation that it now suffers from. The Chinese will gain valuable experience on how to liberate the UK once they have liberated Taiwan.
    The only theoretical alternative to an eventual Russian-Chinese invasion of western Europe would be for there to be Putschs in western European Countries in which those leaders who collaborted with NATO imperialism are hung from upside down from bridges, or lamp polls if no bridges are near by and burned alive. That is the only way that the Putsch leaders could prove that they had broken the necks of the NAZIs that had been their supiriors for over 70 years and were not just pulling some kind of a psy op stunt.
    Of course the leaders of the western world are extremely devious and ruthless. It could be just as likely that I end up getting hung from a light pole and burned alive.
    The same fate may await Russian and Chinese leaders if western leaders have their way. This is a legitimate end for those who fail when playing such a high stakes game.
    One can not say that it is torture because death comes to quickly. Besides the leaders on both sides have sent men in to battle that have had to face a risk of being burned to death alive. and no leader should ask his men to take risks that he/she is not willing to take themselves. Besides this is a punishment that western leaders have earned. Thomas Paine says that western leaders will ever have to worry about it actually happening though. The collapse of industrial civilization due to global warming and resource deplintion will happen first. I wonder if Thomas Paine can be trusted. I also wonder if anyone will believe that I can quote Thomas Paine.
    Many human beings may accuse me of being a barbarian(s) for proposing to turn the middles of the Ukraine in to a dessert. Yum Yum I can taste it now, just like grilled marschmellows. But human beings have already guarranteed this result due to global warming anyways. My proposal would only speed up the process a tadpole bite.

  3. Curt Kastens

    Shiek, I guess that I can not quote Thomas Paine after all. I said will when he said won’t.

  4. mago

    The word clash is employed by journos right, left and everywhere to describe bloody violence, whether it happens to Palestinians or Serbs or name your oppressed ethnic group anywhere in the world.
    Clash. Por favor.
    That’s what Joe Strummer and his mates named their band.
    Has jack shit to do with beheading your perceived enemies.

  5. I wonder if it’s enough to be in community with a small group of people redefining their working, living, and artistic experience by putting the engagement of our shared values at the fore of every activity.

    I wonder if it’s enough if some days I write jokes about long past pop culture icons to members that are half my age—sometimes even younger.

    It’s going to have to be, is what I’m feeling.

  6. Willy

    The problem with “psychological violence” is that it needs to be clearly defined. While most people are affected by intentional psychological attacks which are meant to manipulate or destroy or done for the perverted ‘fun’ the abuser experiences by being sadistic, others seem impervious to it. And then we’ve all experienced the overly sensitive, or the highly manipulative, or somebody just having a bad day… who’ve claimed abuse when none existed.

    An observer in a position of power over a proven abuser will notice the varying reactions which targets have to abuse and might choose to ignore it because some can ignore, manage, or avoid the attacks better than others. This could be a bad mistake. In my own workplace travels I’ve seen managers ruined by the abusers they tolerated amongst the people in their care. They learned too late that it hadn’t been a “personality conflict” or “jealousy” or “some bored peer trying to get a rise out of another” after all, but the clear signs of a cunning predator.

  7. We must be as radical as reality itself

  8. Chuck Mire

    How AI could take over elections – and undermine democracy:

  9. bruce wilder

    conflict is the normal state of human society, inherent in social cooperation and a deep division of labor

    using authoritarian domination to bully people into believing otherwise is commonplace

    violence in the negotiating of conflict amid cooperative mutual dependence can be a tactic embedded in any number of strategies for negotiating cooperation cum conflict

    violence from a rational player is generally a desperation move. from an already powerful player, it can be bullying by additional means.

  10. Brian A. Graham

    Best wishes, Ian. I hope you are feeling well.

  11. Curt Kastens

    I do not see the war in the Ukraine coming to an end until the collapse of industrial civilization brings it to an end. Or, NATO directly intervenes in the fighting and one side or the other wins an outright conventional military victory which leads to the political collapse of the other side, or a nuclear response.
    The Russians may be able to eventually take over all of the land up to the Dnieper River. That would give them a good defensive position to prevent the west from infiltrating men and material in to Russian Territory. But that would leave a Ukrainian Government in place that the west would never allow to make a peace dea l with Russia. Perhaps a temporary stalement would result from the Russians capturing all of the territory east of the Dnieper. But that would leave a Ukrainian proxy state in place.
    With the west saying that Russia can not be allowed to have a gain of territory it is unlikely that the west will accept a stalement. Under such conditions negotiations are pointless from both sides.
    There can not be peace with with a continuing criminal enterprise (the US and NATO) that is determined to prevent Russia and China from achieving parity with the west.
    But if the Russian take all of the Ukraine. A huge border is created with a hostile block that will then have the opportunity to create a Taliban style insurgency in the Ukraine fighting the Russians to the last Pole and Lithuanian.
    In the mean time CO2 levels are rising, global temperatures are rising, copper is getting used up to make bullets.

  12. StewartM

    Visited Phúc Quốc Prison this weekend.

    The prison was run by the South Vietnamese to hold NLF and NVA POWs. From what I saw in the exhibits, the bad treatment US prisoners got pales next to what the communist troops got. These included:

    Barbed wire cages so small that any movement would result in tearing one’s skin. POWs were left exposed out there for days in uncomfortable positions.

    Solitary confinement in a big metal enclosure; I can only wonder what the heat index in that during summer was.


    Burning genitals with fire.

    Hammering nails into prisoners’ kneecaps, ankles, wrists, and skull.

    Boiling prisoners alive.

    Using a wooden chisel to chisel out teeth.

    I’m probably leaving some things out. I read in comparison the North Vietnamese treatment of US POWS, which included beatings, ‘the ropes’ (strappado), solitary confinement, irons, and waterboarding. But nothing as bad as at Phúc Quốc (where I believe 10 % of the prisoners died and many were left with lasting injuries). If anyone has more information on the mistreatment of US prisoners I’m unaware of, I’ll accept correction.

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