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

Open Thread

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Reversing European Decline


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – November 19, 2023


  1. mago

    I’m going down
    to that Tehran town
    Do you wanna go?
    I hear they got some pretty women down there. . .

    Wasn’t a ZZ Top kinda guy, although I ran into them a couple of times in Texas airports.
    Don’t care none for autographs
    Never asked and never received

    The measure is: do you have a good heart?

  2. GrimJim

    My expectation is that, barring some major black swan event, Trump will win the presidency in one year and the Republicans and Kakistocrats will take the Senate and strengthen their hold on the House.

    Internationally, we will see the US drop out of NATO and pretty much all other military alliances, as well as most economic treaties. I would not be surprised to see us dropping out of the UN almost as quickly.

    US international diplomacy, such as there will be, will be reduced to the global equivalent of schoolyard bullying at expect the US to become a pariah nation pretty quickly.

    Not only because of the abandonment of diplomacy and multilateral treaties, but also by the conversion of the US into a Christofascist state, abandoning all forms of civil rights other than those for white heterosexual conservative Christian men, and bringing about the kind of civil unrest that the Right dreams of, that will give them the excuse to round up the “vermin,” as they are now openly calling anyone they do not like.

    This will all result in the collapse of the dollar and most international trade, throwing us into a Greater Depression.

    I’m curious if there are good, solid resources on the civil wars in Lebanon and Yugoslavia, which are the nearest, if by far, lesser examples of what we will experience.

    The advantage of both cases was that there still remained an outside world, not engaged in utter madness, to which one might flee or at least from which resources were available.

    That won’t be the case in the US for the most part.

    But I think reading about how people survived in Lebanon and Yugoslavia might be enlightening.

  3. Chuck Mire

    When Trump tells you he’s an authoritarian, believe him:

  4. mago

    Hahaha. Even the survivalists don’t know how to survive.
    LA refugees in the Idaho panhandle storing freeze dried non foods in basement barrels and commandeering local politics with their Christian fundamentalist ideologies.
    Buena effing suerte with all of that.
    Assholes gotta be assholes.
    It a stinking toxic shame.

  5. Seattle Resident

    Polls show that a Trump conviction (most likely in the DC case before the election) puts Biden ahead of Trump. A lot of time for black swans and other chaos to go down before the election – McCain led Obama in the polls prior to the 2008 election. When Trump wins the primary, he’ll have to say what he’s going to do for the people besides put his enemies in concentration camps and make all Federal Employees and administration aides sign loyalty oaths if he’s going to win independents.

    Dems will have to get smart and make Trump eat his Fascist rhetoric day in and day out and chill out the Gaza violence to get the youth vote back on their side.

  6. Curt Kastens

    I accept the Cuban Government as legitimate. The Cuban economy and Cuban people might be suffering extensively. But the Cuban government is doing the best that can be done with what Cuba has to work with.
    I suspect that this is true in Venezuela as well. And I now also suspect that it was true in Libya under Ghaddafi. I suspect these things, but I have greater doubts about them.

  7. Curt Kastens

    The reporter claims that going over the 2° increase level does not mean that this level will become permanent. What a bunch of bozos the people are that released this article. Well, yes I guess if we completely ignore everything that human beings are doing and not doing to influence the trend and if we completely ignore all of the amplifying feedback loops a 2° increase for one day does not mean that it will become a permanent condition.

    If we also completely ignore that prior to 2023 the highest that the planet ever got was 1.25° we can still pretend that this figure is a freak anamoly rather than a trend that is increasing in its speed.

  8. different clue

    A 2 degree increase probably won’t be permanent in the sense that the increase won’t stop there. It will keep on increasing.

  9. Eric Anderson

    Ahem …

    Eric Anderson — Nov. 23, 2022.
    No reference to the corporate question? The squillionaire question? Ok, then.
    Taking these questions into consideration, I agree, Twitter is the best of the worst. But. Big, big, but.
    There are alternatives.
    And an opportunity has recently been presented where masses of people are willing to take on the switching costs because they agree … corporate social media is the antithesis of community because, duh, product or consumer, users are commodities to be “managed.” The managing is always and every time occurring.

    Everything that’s been said here applies to Mastodon as well. And my experience there is that anyone who says “oh, I’m so confused by it” is really just lazy. Take the time. Absorb the switching cost. If enough people come over we can destroy corporate social media. And that, is good. That, is ethical. That, is moral.

    Or, we can just keeeeeeeep on coming back to twitter because power users aren’t willing to absorb the switching costs.

    Oh, and lest I forget, that timeline that’s supposed to be serving you content in real time?Bee. Ess. It is gamed. The term “shadow banned” didn’t just materialize out of nowhere. Post subversive content and you get throttled.

    I’m so confused by the lethargy.

    Update — Nov. 21, 2023
    *oh, and lest I forget … the now, very plain, fascist question.

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