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 Supreme Stupidity of the “End of History” And Its Consequences


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – September 3, 2023


  1. mago

    Borders. Borderlands.
    Everyone talks as if they are permeable or solid, one or the other.

    On one side are bureaucratic enforcers, maybe taking bribes, maybe not and on the other side the same. In between are touts and money exchangers.

    Borders are edge lands inhabited by predators of all stripes preying on the marginal, the tired, the desperate and the weak.

    The elites get a pass. They fly on private planes and avoid the smell of pressed bodies on overcrowded buses, trains, ships—what have you.

    Border crossings. I’ve endured a few. The only appreciation I found was safe passage to the other side and the socio/anthropological insights gained.

    As such an observer I enjoyed a modicum of privilege insofar as I lacked desperation.
    Still it was down and dirty in the streets, the bus terminals, and the endless lines at immigration waiting for a stamp in your passport, confident at least in wearing white skin and carrying a U.S. passport.
    Don’t know how safe that is these days, but I don’t get around much anymore.

  2. someofparts

    This week I’ve listened to Tucker Carlson’s interview with Robert Kennedy Jr and then to a half-hour talk by Dr. Peter McCullough. They paint a frightening picture of our medical system as utterly corrupted and weaponized. I guess going forward I will follow this news more closely and pray someone stops us before our rulers deploy biological weapons.

    Economically, Jeffrey Sachs says that the impact of losing the petrodollar will be worse than the big depression in the 30s. I wonder if that will make it more likely or less likely that our rulers deploy biological weapons?

  3. different clue


    Biological weapons work best if they look like an accident. The way our Occupation Regimes would achieve that would be to take opportunistic advantage of any infection that happened to emerge and stand down every effective public health measure that exists to slow the spread of such an infection.

    That’s what most of the Occupation Regimes did with covid. They stood down and/or passively obstructed and/or actively prevented every public health measure which would have slowed the spread in order to make sure it spread everywhere and became a permanent endemic. They pretended to care and try “containing” it while in reality doing everything they could to make sure it could weaponise itself and spread everywhere.

    That’s how government favored and supported plagues will work in the future. Governments will practice every form of anti-public anti-health they can so that any infection which emerges will spread on its own and weaponise itself and “let nature do the rest”.

    Releasing an obviously tailor-made totally novel horror-movie type germ would be so obvious as to possibly goad tens or hundreds of millions of people to rise all at once in “genocidal intensisty” rebellion against the upper classes. Better tfrom their standpoint to just foster the conditions which favor spread of every disease which emerges on its own and let nature take its course.

  4. Willy

    someofparts, our elites aren’t that smart. It’s more likely they’d unleash hell on the masses as a result of some stupid oversight which explodes badly, such things being inherent in libertarian business practices.

    When I look up high school classmates to see what became of everyone, it’s rarely the best and brightest who won “the game of life”. More likely it was some opportunistic socially politically skilled jock who took control of something which a best and brightest came up with. But occasionally a geek did sneak through the system.

    And so I think of Ramaswamy. On the surface he’s a fast talker who at age 38 seems able to get to any answer for any problem quicker than anybody else performing on stage. But most of the time it’s a nonsensical answer which fails badly under any kind of in-depth scrutiny. I think of the lab experiment monkey who can outrace the other lab monkeys to get the machine to dispense the treat and make the pleasing “ding” noise. Sure, he thinks fast in the moment. But there’s no depth to his thinking. No painful experience, no empathy, and most importantly, little caution. He’s does what a typical rich, spoiled, self-entitled Brahman usually does, promote a system which empowers only his kind and ultimately immiserates all the other castes. In other words, he’s full of shit.

    I guess I can imagine rulers deploying biological weapons. But they’d have to first make themselves immune somehow. And I really don’t think they have it in them to think that far ahead.

  5. Mary Bennet

    Willy, I think Ramaswamy, VR, can be in some ways likened to the scion of British aristocracy. He is the inheritor of generation upon generation of privileged elites and would have been trained since about age 3 in the techniques of how to win approval, good wishes and even emotional attachment of the lower orders. Everything from dress, demeanor, tone of voice, carriage and body language would have been taught him. Nothing left to chance. Notice how the You Tube commentariat were fawning over him after the debate. I think some had all but fallen in love. He also benefits from the idiotic American fixed idea that personal discipline and attractiveness are the outward and visible signs of virtue.

  6. Chuck Mire

    US military plans to unleash thousands of autonomous war robots over next two years:

    “Decoding this, “autonomous” means a robot that can carry out complex military missions without human intervention.

    “Attritable” means the robot is cheap enough that it can be placed at risk and lost if the mission is of high priority. Such a robot is not quite designed to be disposable, but it would be reasonably affordable so many can be bought and combat losses replaced.

    Finally, “multiple domains” means robots on land, at sea, in the air and in space. In short, robots everywhere for all kinds of tasks.“

  7. Privacy?

    Welcome to dystopia, unfolding live every day. This is The Panopticon:

    I’ve lived fifty years on this earth, all in the US. If you had said to someone in the seventies, eighties, nineties…even into the early 2000’s after 9/11, that your children’s schools would be monitored in real-time by frighteningly accurate digital cameras that are directly tied into the policing institutions. Oh, and your kids will have drones spying on them, too.

    Some AI company recently got a huge contract to install emotion-detecting software at airports and other such entities. This AI will report if it “thinks” people are nervous.

    Makes me nervous.

    This is how “policing” (controlling) will be done in the future, at least in cities of any significant size, and most even-somewhat-well-to-do towns.

    You can walk through many city neighborhoods now and be met with an audio recording that says, “Hello, you are being recorded” or something similar. And there is indeed a camera that presumably is recording you.

    Perhaps some are akin to people who put up stickers on the door or window that have an alarm company name, but they don’t actually pay for the alarm service.

    But the price of these devices is relatively cheap, so many buildings – seemingly all new buildings – have these cameras that record, quite clearly, essentially everything within a certain range, at various angles – prompted merely by the slightest movement, or even sound. And this range includes people walking by on ostensibly “public” streets.

    Most of these spying devices are actually installed by the landlords of the buildings, who will more willingly tie the systems directly into the “public” policing/control systems when the time is right.

    Things like this were unimaginable in this country – or most places on earth – even twenty-five years ago.

    The cities are being recreated from the top-down in the interest of the full-spectrum Panopticon police/surveillance state. There is an illusion of grassroots, but it is largely controlled by big finance and its minions, just like idpol is a facade of the world’s true natural diversity – vive la difference! – in the interest of controlling it.

    Edward Snowden, among many others, has written and spoken about the deeper psychological regressions that come with a camera/surveillance society: people first and foremost repress their true feelings/emotions in anticipation of what the authoritarian state/controllers want.

    A typical response offerred by those who don’t understand “true freedom” (a clumsy term with many connotations, I know, but I lack a better descriptor at this time) is something along the lines of, “If you aren’t doing or planning on doing anything wrong, then you wouldn’t care.” Or, put in the context of my preceeding example, “If you aren’t planning on robbing the house (with the camera recording you, and the audio announcement you so despise), or doing some sort of property theft or damage, or breaking into to rape someone or something similarly monstrous, then…”

    Many of us have fond tales of passing out in a neighborhood yard on the way home after a few too many. Sometimes more than once. It is not at all far-fetched to imagine a not-so-distant future where we would be detected by motion devices and some sort of robot device is activated to deal with us.

    The modern cameras are more frightening than ever. At least the old ones were single-directional. The more modern round black camera eyes that are on almost every public and private building and have become completely normalized among the populace at large with few exceptions…

    I don’t know that anything frightens me more.

    Of course, there is a cop at the local elementary school every time school is in session. All day. The cop plays with the kids sometimes. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but…

    Cops didn’t play with kids at school when I was growing up. In a healthy society, your civil servant policing entities are in the background. Keep the cops at the police station and the donut house. If you want to bring the fire trucks out to give us a demonstration and clear the water lines, that’s fine.

    The wholesale digitization of everything – perhaps most importantly money – is part and parcel of the Panopticon.

    What kind of world do you want to live in?

  8. StewartM

    I don’t know, someofparts, anyone who concludes that ‘natural immunity’ is superior (Dr. McCullough) doesn’t know much about the actual history of infectious diseases. I’d say anyone espousing *that* as a fix truly *is* on the side of ‘mass culling of the herd’.

  9. Z

    A momentum shift in the republican race for president? This lady’s feeling it …

    (best watched in a loop)


  10. Z

    Vladimir Putin confronting oligarch greed:


  11. GrimJim

    I LOLed when I read this.

    Like this is any sort of surprise…

  12. someofparts

    Stewart – It doesn’t sound to me like McCullough or RFK Jr are anti-vax at all. They are raising the alarm that vaccine administration and manufacture are nothing like what they were when we were young. I am eternally grateful for the vaccinations I got as a child. What they give kids these days is way beyond what is necessary and probably actively harmful. Cases of autism, for example, used to be one in 10,000 and now they are one in 40.

    Zappa once said that we should abolish the “Defense” Dept and just hand every man, woman and child in the nation a rocket launcher and a box of ammunition. (I suppose that would be one way to address the immigration problem.)

  13. Z

    Our rulers are eagerly looking down their crooked nose at China’s economy citing their weakening real estate market as a sign of China’s economic collapse, but what it really signifies is that China is willing to let real estate investors take it on the chin and allow housing prices to recede so that they don’t rise out of the reach of the working class while our rulers would never allow such a thing and are always at the ready, through their drive-up window at the Fed, to rescue real estate investors and inflate assets at the cost of the working class, particularly the younger working class, and as a result we have an entire generation that is being priced out of buying a new house and are being forced to pay artificially inflated rental prices in order to have a place of their own and not be forced to either move in with their parents, live in their car, or pitch a tent.


  14. StewartM

    More on our looming environmental disaster…

    American groundwater has been severely depleted in recent decades, with 40 percent of more than 85,000 wells hitting all-time lows in the past decade and rainwater failing to replace the losses, according to an analysis by The New York Times.

  15. StewartM

    What Z said. Vietnam is also allowing a bust, and moreover throwing top execs in real estate companies in jail.

    (I found an interesting Google factoid, that I could not longer bring up the recent scandals in prosecutions in Vietnam due to the real estate bust via Google search–instead I got articles many years back. Is Google doing its own news blackout of this??

    I had to really dig for these stories of upper crust executives getting *life imprisonment* for white collar crimes).

  16. StewartM


    Stewart – It doesn’t sound to me like McCullough or RFK Jr are anti-vax at all.

    Google searching doesn’t indicate that, and indeed the Wikipedia on McCullough says he specifically states that ‘natural immunity’ is superior to that by vaccination–which it isn’t, with the caveat that you only get good natural immunity from Covid strain only it almost kills you and you spend months in a hospital because of it (a case of Covid sniffles doesn’t cut it). Moreover, that protection only is for that strain. The Wikipedia article is sourced, so you can check the references yourself.

    Like I said, the McCulloughs and Kennedys appear to be more on the side of ‘cull the herd’ than the mainstream science. There is no ‘vaccine holocaust’, which was the title of a talk given by McCullough to a John Birch Society media outlet. I find it bizarre that some of the people who said we didn’t do enough about Covid (very true) embrace people who say (in essence) we should have tried treatments proven to be ineffective and little more. The McCulloughs and Kennedys aren’t in favor of putting good air filtration systems in public places to prevent the spread of not only Covid, but other airborne disease, are they?*

    * Caveat there–there are some who worry that exposure to infectious diseases is necessary to prevent auto-immune disorders later in life. Moreover, exposure to infectious diseases may play a role in how well one’s body fights off cancers. There are often difficult choices in public health to make about which option is worse.

    They are raising the alarm that vaccine administration and manufacture are nothing like what they were when we were young. I am eternally grateful for the vaccinations I got as a child. What they give kids these days is way beyond what is necessary and probably actively harmful. Cases of autism, for example, used to be one in 10,000 and now they are one in 40.

    That autism state could be as simple a thing as reporting. I had a good friend in high school who was borderline autistic, he wasn’t classified as such then but he would probably have been today.

  17. different clue


    What percent of our rulers have crooked noses? And how did their noses get crooked? And is a crooked nose a sign of something in particular? Something significant in itself which we should be aware of and watch out for?

  18. Z

    WWF Wrestling promo or a group of real, live U.S. neo-Nazis?

    Neither! It’s an FBI/ADL joint venture dummy trap for 80 IQ and lower White Supremacists.

    Note how the script calls for the leader to state that their intentions are non-violent. That way if they can somehow entrap some fool into stating an intention of carrying out or plotting a violent, criminal action the FBI can go to court and use that as evidence that the dupe was not provoked by the group into violence, a legal issue that I’d imagine the FBI has been confronted with in the past because they always seem to be right in the middle of, and arguably integral to, any domestic political violence plots.

    The script writing isn’t too bad, but the production is overdone and the acting stiff and unconvincing. I’d give it a D overall.


  19. Z

    Different Clue,

    I placed the adjective “crooked” before the nose not as a physical description of our rulers, but as a description of their character.

    I wouldn’t use that term to describe Jewish people as a whole and that was not the thought that came to me. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever used the term “nose” in any fashion to describe the Jewish people. I don’t know why I would. I don’t believe it would be right to denigrate all Jewish people by identifying them with as having crooked noses, for one thing, and frankly I’ve seen too many people of so many different races and persuasions with odd noses that I truly don’t believe that there is any group of people that sticks out in my mind and distinguishes themselves from the rest as owning crooked noses. I can arguably come up with several groups of people that, percentage-wise, produce more crooked nose people than Jewish people do.

    So no, though I understand that you may have thought that I was using it as a trope (though that’s an old one I’d imagine because I don’t hear it used by anyone these days), I didn’t mean it that way.


  20. mago

    Crooked this and crooked that
    Could be your nose
    Could be your toes
    But I think it’s your mind

    Paraphrasing Frank Zappa who crooned
    ‘Whats the ugliest part of your body?
    Some say your nose
    Some say your toes
    But I think it’s your mind . . .

    What is mind?

    Never mind.

    Happy holiday weekend for los norteamericanos

  21. Jorge

    We’ve done a natural experiment. There has been vaccine boycotting in affluent areas for long enough that it should be possible to decide once&for all whether vaccines cause autism.

  22. Curt Kastens

    The residents of the USA can also reduce their risk by building a giant levee along the Gulfg Coast. Such a levee will have an added benifit of diverting rising seal evels in to the Rio Grande River creating an impenitratable barrier between Mexico and Texas.

    I am not oppossed to the idea taking measures to prevent bad things from happening in the first place. The context is decisive.

  23. anon y'mouse

    vaccine boycotting in affluent areas?

    where is this practice so widespread that it could be considered an actual “experiment”? even among bay area yupster/hipster psuedo hippy fringe people, it was never “widespread”.

    show me the demographic or geo-location where the majority don’t vaccinate their kids. i will wait…..

  24. different clue


    Thank you. My thinking process is very linear and its flavor is very literal. And it sometimes moves slow. But given time it gets there.

    So thank you again for the detailed and point-by-point nature of the answer.

    I once altered a Hunter S. Thompson description of Nixon as being so crooked he needed a personal valet to help him screw his pants on in the morning. Here was my alteration, in case anyone ever finds it amusing enough to use somewhere. ” (Whatever/whomever) is so crooked that he needs a pneumatic torque wrench to put his socks on).

  25. Curt Kastens

    To make good decisions one has to know not only what is true, but to be able to prioritize truths by how relevent or important that these truths are to everything else that is going on.
    Here is my ranking of most important to least important
    1. Climate Change
    2. Resource Deplition
    3. The gross lack of integrity and competence of insitutional leadership in the western world in particular and to some extent the rest of the world as well. Though not being an expert in the rest of the world I would not pass as harsh a judgement on the leaders of the non western world.
    4. The on going conflict between the western world on one side and China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea on the other side.
    5. Worldwide economic exploitation
    6. A complete breakdown in the transfer of truthful, useful, information to the world’s non elite population.
    7. The covid pandemic and the response to it.
    8. Pushback against US hegemony by disadvantaged nations.
    Those are the vegitables in the soup. Everything else is just broth.

  26. Willy

    it should be possible to decide once & for all whether vaccines cause autism.

    Actually, there’s been a great many things proven beyond what should be the shadow of a doubt. But our elites have created a cult army so full of Bonhoeffer’s stupids, that there’s no “once & for all” persuasion possible with them anymore. Not without defeating the entire hive mind, waiting for them to die off, or all of us hitting bottom together and then making sure we get to the ring of power first before they do.

    But as always, I am open to other options.

  27. Z

    The smell of fresh ink and paper is in the air as trouble is beginning to peek over the horizon in the office and multi-family (apartments) real estate markets.

    The cause for it in the office real estate market is obvious: less folks are going to the office and hence there is less demand for office space.

    The cause for it in the multi-family (apartments) real estate market is that some fast and loose players bought a ton of it at the peak of the market financed by what were essentially ARM (Adjusted Rate Mortgage) loans and now that the interest rates have increased they are overlevered and can’t keep it all afloat with the rents they are getting from tenants so it is making increasing business sense for them to default and hand the keys back to the bank and potentially create a cavalcade of multi-family housing supply to the market.

    Expect the Wall Street loyal Fed to be ready at the “PRINT” button once again though to bail them out and paper the structure in place that has empowered financial institutions to extract optimal amounts of money for shelter from the public, at the cost of empty units and increases in the ranks of the homeless, rather than let them fail and the prices on multi-family housing market reset and create a lower cost basis for investors which may have led to lower rents.


  28. Curt Kastens

    A comment about my comment on September 4th. Numbers 4 through 8 are all symptoms of number 3. But numbers 1 and 2 are not symptoms of number 3. They are symptoms of industrial civilization.
    We (humanity) essentially fell in to a booby trap once we started explointing fossil fuels. And if we had not exploited fossil fuels we would have eventually cut down every tree on the planet to meet the needs of a growing population. A population that was growing because humans got to smart for their own good, in a manner of speaking. Humans got better at not dying. But they were not smart enough to understand the
    kinds of problems that would lead to.



  29. Curt Kastens

    Some climatologists are saying that they did not expect things to change as fast as they did in 2023. I myself do not believe them. Lots of people saw that change would not be linear but would be exponential. I think that they were really self censoring their public pronouncements.

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