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.


Things Are Going Much Worse For Israel In Gaza Than The Official Reports


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – December 24, 2023


  1. Curt Kastens

    Al i want for a Christmas is for Russia to liberate Finland and Sweden, as a substitute for my two front teeth, once Russian forces have captured the Ukraine up to the shores of the Dniper or Danube River.
    The Baltics Two.

  2. NR

    This is not the act of a strong leader with the support of his people:

  3. mago

    So you’ve got wet noodle academics fearing job loss for speaking the truth about murder.
    Speaking of which, since when did killing a 12 year old amputee in her hospital bed qualify as self defense?
    Other examples abound. Muchas. But your average USAian is unaware and uncaring.
    I got selected for jury duty in a murder trial. Under this state’s self defense law one can use lethal force even if that person doesn’t think their life is threatened.
    Questioning that idea of western justice thankfully led to my dismissal from jury duty.
    Not going to attempt connecting the dots here.
    A cheerful Yuletide to all.
    The light’s returning somewhere.

  4. mago

    Where have you gone my blue eyed son/where have you gone my darling young one?
    I went to Slovakia to Bonn to Amsterdam where the drugs are good.
    Think I wanna fight and die for a Zelensky cocaine wet dream?
    You can call me but I’m never going back again.
    Gonna roll another one . . .
    And the beat goes on . . . and on and on

  5. Z

    This is not the act of a strong leader with the support of his people

    The leader being Putin.

    But it is in fact the act of a strong leader who has the overwhelming support of his people.

    Shoot, the fact that he can do it and there are no large public protests in Russia against it (if there were, our rulers would be running footage of it 24-7) is proof of how strong and popular he is.

    Now NR, you can argue about the accuracy of the 85% approval rating and I’m not going to argue with you back about it because neither of us have much idea of how accurate it is, but I certainly don’t get the sense that those numbers are wildly off. For instance, I think it is fair to assume that Putin has the support of the majority of the Russian public by a comfortable margin. Why wouldn’t he have majority support considering where he led the country from … the calamitous Yeltsin years … to where it is now? And even right now, even though the country is in the middle of a war, the Russian economy is doing pretty well though our rulers have basically fired all the arrows in their quiver at it.

    The way I see it is that it’s also an act of a smart leader because Russia is at war and our rulers are salivating at the thought of regime change in Russia … that’s the largest reason why they instigated this war… so Putin is wisely denying them a political foundation for them to create dissension in Russia.


  6. Z


    Do you think it is outrageous to believe that Putin has a 85% approval rating in Russia?


  7. Curt Kastens

    The number of people who support Putin is not relevent to anything at all. What is relevent is that Putin has ordered his Military in to action for a good cause. Therefore anyone who does not support Putin is not worthy of anything but death and eternal damnation. That woman who wants to challenge Putin is lucky that she is allowed to live another day.
    Fighting for a just cause justifies almost everything. The ends really do justify the means. Peace without justice is not peace, let alone just. The fact of the matter is that principles of justice are more important than people. If I was put on to this earth for a purpose then I have duty to fullfill. That means that my family has a duty to fullfill. That means that my society has a duty to fullfill.
    One can always argue that preventing this anti war candidate from challenging Putin is a bad decision based upon a risk-cost-benifit analysis and is therefore stupid from a pro-Russian perspective. But I would not buy that arguement because I think that it has been a huge mistake for leftists to promote elections among the population in the first place. Elections held among the masses degenerate in to nothing more than fraudulent circuses. Of course humanity is caught in a catch 22 because there is no agreement on who is qualified to select leaders.

  8. Chuck Mire

    The Selfish Dataome:

    Does the data we produce serve us, or vice versa?

    In perspective: The human genome fits on about two CDs. The human species produces about 20,000 CDs worth of data a second.

  9. Chuck Mire

    SNL – George Washington’s Dream 🙂 (4:50)

    This is hysterical!

    George Washington tells his troops that the American Revolution is about fighting for our own weights and measures system instead of staying with the logical metric system.

  10. Mark Level

    I generally respected comments from NR in the past, but going to the BBC (!?) for views on Russia & “Putin”!! That’s rather like going to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion for insight on Judaism, or Ben Shapiro & Steven Crowder for tips on healthy “Western” masculinity!!

    The only person I respect & follow who is sometimes on the BBC but mostly indy at this point is Adam Curtis. (I know many don’t like him because he poses questions more than providing pat answers, his work is very frustrating if you can’t tolerate and work with ambiguity.)

    Recently I purchased Peter Hopkirk’s 1990/92 The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia, blurbed positively by no less than Christopher Hitchens (pre-NeoCon & alcoholic dementia phase) & look forward to working through its 565 pp. in the next several months.

    Are you unaware that The Great Game nonsense was invented by perfidious Albion for the hopes of world domination by Atlantacists (when they crashed & burned in ’45, big brother USA to take the reins)? And that this is the “Game” of death the NeoCons continue to pursue in Palestine with open genocide, abandoning the failed Project Ukraine to now pivot (aspirationally) to war with China over Taiwan next year?

    Yet you choose to read or view trash from the propaganda offices of what is now a 7th rate power? Turkiye, Brazil, Malaysia, even probably now struggling Mexico are just a few “global South” nations off the top of my head that now wield greater international & global cultural, civil & military power than the shuddering, miserable remnants of the broken & corrupted U.K. And the new global Behemoths are China (economically) & Russia (militarily).

    The Multipolar world is here, like it or not, even if the ZioNazi regime, fully funded by the US Epstein crew exterminates every last man, woman, child and baby in Palestine, there will still be 6 million or more Palestinians in the diaspora to return one day.

    I indulge in nostalgia every now & then, but I would never engage in nostalgia for the British Empire, Charlie Manson, or other entities that produced such foul legacies. To each his own, but sorry, I can’t join you in returning like a dog to the pile of reeking vomit that is the British empire. Be it damned & dead, Amen!!

  11. Joan

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  12. Bill

    I was reading a article somewhere else, and I wondered how much the war in Ukraine is like the constants wars in “1984” as a means to distract us from what is really happening to the economy and allow ourselves to be more and more controlled by those in power.

  13. bruce wilder

    Re: Putin

    The propensity to cheerlead and trashtalk obscures. There are two few engaged realistically and with good information — and a flood of disinformation compounds these problems.

    Russia’s 2022 invasion was a desperate move, a last resort by a cautious statesman, but one for which he prepared as well as he could. He took a great gamble with a great man’s expansive ambition to alter Russia’s security situation, both in Europe and globally.

    I have no difficulty believing “85% approval”. Russia is a nation at war. The naked hostility of the West to all things Russian is a convincing argument to most Russians that Putin was right. It has certainly dampened the spirit of longing and admiration for the US and Germany which was common among the liberal professional classes and which represents a risk to Putin’s corrupt, conservative regime. Mobilization of defense industry and expansion of the military at a much higher level of professionalism and efficiency reverses popular disgust with the military a decade ago. Repatriation of capital and business ownership expands the economic base considerably.

    Whether Russia is better off on net is hard to argue except polemically in a partisan’s voice. It has many of the problems it has had for centuries geopolitically, including fierce hostility from most neighbors and difficult access to trade routes. Political ideology is at best extremely confused and there is no consensus underlying Putin’s personal popularity. Violent crime simmers at a remarkably high level — higher than the U.S. though I have no statistics to hand.

    Russia is not imho a stable political society and in the absence of a political ideological consensus, Putin imposes censorship to dampen and constrain the kind of discussions that might well drive centrifugal forces.

    Putin’s regime may well not last out the next two years. We are at a high point in regard to Putin’s Ukraine and global multipolarity projects, but the situation domestically remains volatile as Russia is undergoing near-revolutionary change.

  14. NR

    I generally respected comments from NR in the past, but going to the BBC (!?) for views on Russia & “Putin”!!

    I didn’t post that link for the commentary, only because it was a source reporting what had happened. You can ignore the commentary if you like, that’s not the point. The point is that Putin was afraid to run against a former journalist with very little political experience–even in an election that was very likely going to be rigged in his favor. That’s not the attitude that a strong leader confident in the support of his people would have–in fact, it’s the exact opposite.

    As to the question of his approval rating, I have no idea what it actually is. Polls aren’t a substitute for elections, though.

  15. Curt Kastens

    My solution to the catch 22 of how legitimate rulers should come to power is the Colt .45.
    There is no way of coming to power that provides legitimacy for a nation’s leaders. Winning an election does not make leaders legitimate. Taking power through the barrel of a gun does not make leaders legitimate either. Legitimacy is gained by what you do with the power that you have once you have it. And yes I am smart enough to know that I am talking in circles. But someone has to decide who is legitimately working for the benifit of mankind. And since I am smart enough to know that I am taking in circles that person should be me. That should be my Christmas gift from Santa Claus tommorrow under my tree.

  16. Z

    In regards to violent crime in Russia, if it is true that Russia has more violent crime than the U.S., which I instinctively find very difficult to believe, it’s almost certainly due to alcohol related domestic abuse. Cold weather keeps more folks inside. It’s apparently a drinking culture. Drinking at home leads to domestic abuse.

    That would be the most logical explanation for it because they don’t have the racial strife and brutal economic inequality that we have in the U.S. that are major contributors to violent crime outside of the home. It’s also extremely difficult to believe that their family structure on average is as weak and f*ed up as it is in the U.S. which is a strong underlying cause of spawning the mass killers that we have in the U.S.. Neither are they as mass medicated by pharmaceuticals as U.S.ers are.

    I also believe that Russia is actually a fairly stable political society despite “The Coup”, which I see as 100% psy-op.


  17. Z

    Hearing increasing twitter talk that Putin is open to negotiating with Ukraine.

    Also, Arestovych, formerly one of War Pimp Zelensky’s Kiev-caine Cowboy inner crowd and now his political enemy from abroad, has recently come up with the suggestion that Ukraine and Russia should reach a truce and then collectively sue the West for provoking the war.

    I’d imagine that Putin might be amiable to an agreement along those lines as long as it also included kicking out all Western investment money and seizing the country’s assets for the benefit of the Ukrainian and Russian people (as well as the Russian government’s, of course) instead of Larry’s and Stanley’s Asset Inflation Factory BlackRock. Better that than to have to fight for Odessa and whatnot … and then have to govern and protect it from a hostile neighbor … and best to prevent all the damage to the cities and society that would ensue.

    What Arestovych is talking about … suing the West for reparations … could possibly be used as grounds to seize all Western assets in the country.

    Obviously though an agreement between Ukraine and Russia such as this can’t be reached with War Pimp Zelensky so it would necessitate an overthrow, in some manner, of him and his Western-corrupted regime. The one that took its place would have to be sympathetic, to say the least, to Russia. Malleable, most likely, with Russia particularly requiring some confidence of control over the Ukraine military so that it can’t be built up against them again.

    Supposedly, Andriy Yermak, one of War Pimp Zelensky’s homies, brazenly suggested recently that Larry’s and Stanley’s Asset Inflation Factory BlackRock proactively protect their current and future Ukrainian investments by lobbying the U.S. Congress to obtain a new package of military and financial assistance for Ukraine.

    There’s no world leader better experienced in running out oligarchs and pivoting a corrupt economy towards one that better serves a country’s interests and societal stability than Vladimir Putin.

    There’s no entity better qualified to “influence” the skilled stockpickers who infest our rulers’ rigged obstacle course of a Congress than Larry’s and Stanley’s Asset Inflation Factory BlackRock.

    Mind you that Larry’s and Stanley’s Asset Inflation Factory BlackRock is in essence hooked up straight to the Fed’s magic money machine just as they were when they were placed in charge of cleaning up the GFC mess:

    Twelve not-so-long years ago, the Fed turned to BlackRock to manage the three Maiden Lane vehicles that it created to hold assets from the defunct insurer AIG and also Bear Stearns. On Tuesday, it again tapped BlackRock’s Financial Markets Advisory, its consultancy arm, again to run three vehicles the Fed will create to buy corporate debt from the primary and secondary markets, and also commercial mortgage-backed securities.

    What that means is that the Fed can presumably shovel money to BlackRock, which the Fed previously placed in charge of cleaning up the GFC derivative mess, outside of public view, knowledge, and account of it since that money is not being dispensed into the banking system through the various open market operations that the Fed uses to ostensibly stabilize the U.S. financial system and overall economy. So, our rulers can therefore theoretically, at least, gain ownership of Ukrainian assets by mere unaccountable key strokes on their money making machine.

    When I think of the recent record highs in the U.S. stock markets and the amazing resilience that the U.S. financial markets have exhibited in general over the past year in the harsh face of exploding interest rates that one would think would cause all sorts of calamities in the unregulated gazillion dollar derivative markets … that the Committee to Save Enslave the World (Uncle Alan Greenbacks, Robfather Rubin, and Larry “Clemenza” Summers) aggressively and successfully championed during the Robfather Rubin I Administration to remain unregulated … and that the price of oil has somehow submitted to downward market forces … probably emanating from the oil futures markets … despite OPEC and Russian production cuts and the uncertainties of the hot conflicts in those critical oil producing regions, I think of that: what entity is monitoring the money that the Fed feeds to BlackRock to “manage” their “vehicles”? The Fed itself?! Possibly some other corrupt governmental entity?

    Just imagine if it could somehow be proven that the Fed is basically running an unmetered money pipe into BlackRock and are leaning on their ol’ Mr. Wolf-ian GFC fixers to “stabilize” the conveniently unregulated derivative markets, which I would imagine BlackRock would accomplish through a rabbit hole maze of intermediaries, to keep this whole corrupt financial system in place that enslaves so many hundreds of millions of working class people with debt and economic insecurity and thereby under-girds our rulers’ power over us? And what that revelation could potentially lead to?

    Anyway, ’tis the season to dream, ain’t it?


  18. mago

    Hello Z
    Home is the place to drink providing that you’re drinking alone.
    Don’t want to do nobody no harm outside your own self.
    Happy holidays. . .

  19. Curt Kastens

    I just accidently saw this Utube video in which the Young Turks were making fun of Trump supporters for calling the Covid pandemic the Plandemic and saying that it was a plot to cause Trump to lose the election.
    Well people are going to believe what they want to believe and there is not much that can be done to help them. All you can do is through out some thoughts in to the public domain and hope that it might make sense to one person in 10,000.
    In the instance of this Young Turk video that joke is just as much on them as it is on the MAGA people. Because there was so much information about what was going on that did not make any sense which when combined with the timing of the recognition that there is “apparently” a new serious problem breaking out that to reach the conclusion that this was really a pre planned psy op was perfectly reasonable. To conclude that the primary motive of the spy op was to unseat Trump is not so reasonable. But the MAGA supporters need to fit what they do know it to their very limited world view.
    If you ask me they are doing as good a job as the Young Turks. But one thing that these MAGA supporters are probably getting wrong is exactly who it was that planned the pandemic in the first place.
    My two primary suspects are the US Intellegence Services, followed by the Chinese Intellegence Services. If it was the Chinese Intell Services unseating Trump was certianly not one of their objectives.
    Of course many people scoff at the idea that this ongoing incident was primarily a psy op. The pandemic was an international event that was reported to have effected both sides that are involved in WW 3. But my response to that is that we live in a Byzantine World, or perhaps a Turkish Harem world, or perhaps a puzzle palace world, that one side or the other had motives for going along with the narrative created by the other.
    After the death of Pirgrozen few people still believe that the Wagner Uprising was a psy op now. But the ending of the story does not change the origin of the story.
    A parting thought is that if the Chinese are the origin of the clovid plandemic their motives were certainly much more defendable than if the Americans did it.
    Maybe that is not a parting thought. Maybe the parting thought is Remember the US Aircraft carrier that visited Vietnam in January or February of 2020 and then some weeks later the Captain of the ship declared it not combat ready and lost his job. What can we and what should we conclude from that aspect of the case??

  20. Poul

    Chinese news points out the cost of blind American support for Israel’s slaughter of Gaza.

    Cracks in Red Sea alliance underline US-Europe division, embarrassment of US leadership: Global Times

    American Shipping News on the same topic:
    French Navy Escorts CMA CGM Ships While US Ships Remain Stranded: gCaptain

  21. Curt Kastens

    I wished that I could write this on But that site no longer allows comments. Or if it does they are behind a paywall.

    Supporters of Israel have been trying to brand supporters of the Palestinians as anti semitic supporters of terrorism.

    The supporters of Palestine need to brand Israel supporters as Orwellian Nazi supporters of terrorism.

    It is to bad that the police in the United States take the side of the Orwellian Nazis.

    I wished that I could have done something to change that. I did try without success.

  22. Curt Kastens

    Ephany; Ephany!
    I think that i just came to understand what game the Indians are playing in the International arena.
    The indisclosed goal, at least undisclosed goal until now of the Indian leadership is to make sure that niether the west, nor Russia, China and Iran win world war 3. A stalemate is the name of their game.
    Whether or not they can pull that off I have a lot of doubt about. But time is on their side as the collapsing environment will collapse every nation sometime in this century.
    That pretty much guarantees that no one will actually win.
    It would be nice if the Indians would actually fully support the alliance of resistence so that something useful could get done by humanity before there is no more humanity.

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