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 Level Of American Foreign Policy Incompetence


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – February 25, 2024


  1. mago

    All right. Crows.
    And what do we have to learn from that branch of the Corvid family , aside from Uncle Jim tainting the clan’s name?
    That’s nothing to crow about.
    Gonna stop before I get pulled off the stage and have to eat crow, which I wouldn’t eat anyway, not only because I’m a vegetarian, but because there are principles and limits to be observed.
    Although maybe some of the so called leadership class could down a crow burger or two.
    Hey, it’s a full moon right now and time to make like a wolf and howl . . .
    Gotta run before they come to take me away.

  2. For “antidepressants” 4-8 week corporate studies show the drug has no clinical benefit, but does have a “statistical benefit”. These studies contain an active placebo bias, a withdrawal effect in the placebo group, a publication bias, and other design flaws that make the drugs falsely appear better then they are.

    In long term studies people with depression/anxiety who take antidepressants have 50%-300% worse mental health outcomes then those who do not take the drugs long term. Long term studies also find the drugs cause 5% of users to develop bipolar, and around 10% of users to become disabled.

    The longest and largest study on the mortality effects of “antidepressants” found a dose dependent relationship showing they are as deadly or 2.5 times deadlier than tobacco.
    This is despite the study contain pro-drug design flaws such as excluding “antidepressant” users with the worst outcomes (those who ended up taking multiple drugs), and using 5 years of “antidepressant” use as the baseline.

    That’s what the pharm-medical industry considers “effective” and “safe”.

  3. Poul

    Excellent X-thread by Michael Pettis, Professor of Finance, Peking University, on the policy problems facing the Chinese government on trade with the EU/USA.

    China’s economic position is weak in a trade war if they cannot replace their EU/US constumers with domestic ones. The same reasoning goes for other trade surplus countries, like Germany.

  4. capelin

    Caw! Caw! Yes that’s a great new header picture. Perfect for the site, really.

    I would agree, looks like crows. Ravens are rougher looking.

    For a couple summers, the place I used to live at was the contested boundary between two groups of ravens, or really a group of about 7 vs 1. It was on a bit of a hill in open scrubby country, the battle raged for miles. The loner would go screaming in, deep across the line, get chased out, and be right back at it minutes later. For two years. It got to be a bit much, actually. Eventually he? picked up a buddy, but they were definitely the underdogs.

    One day in the yard, he was being pursued near the ground, and came ripping by me 15′ away pursued by 3 others, all at full throttle. The loner either wiped out or bailed – hard, into thick shrubbery 50′ away. After a half an hour of verbal abuse, the others flew away. I wandered over and asked nicely how it was doing, then went back to my yard tasks. A little while later, it walked over and hung out quite near me for the rest of the afternoon – several hours, and I was banging around and doing stuff, and never fed it.

    Had grackles in my gable a couple years ago. Very sleek, tenacious, and smart. There are grey jays around, in the winter, and robins, in the not-winter.

  5. UphillBend

    I’ve been perusing through translations of the Qur’an and discussions about the merits and otherwise of the various versions, for possible future reading. Thank you, Amazon and Google Books previews, as well as the many complete translations of the Qur’an online on several websites.

    Anyway, I ran into this fascinating biography of the translator who produced the most popular English version of the Qur’an in the 20th century. I’m risking offending the Open Threads rule about recent posts by putting it up, since the founding of Israel, and Yusuf Ali’s reactions to the events, were milestones in the tragic arc of his life. My justification would be that fascinating details concerning individuals, related to and shadowed by the events of the day, deserve their own spotlight. Also, I don’t think the links below would fit well with posts discussing the visceral reaction causing events unfolding in Gaza.

    Fascinating fleshing out of how much India was important for Britain’s military power, the conflicted loyalty of Indian Muslims towards Britain, on the one hand, and towards the Ottoman sultan as their Caliph, on the other, and the betrayal many West-leaning Muslims felt at the opportunistic dismemberment of the Ottoman empire and the treatment of Palestinians. And an observation unrelated to politics about how “friends” will leave you to hang dry once your utility to them is gone.

    Check out the picture of the refugee camp in the essay. It’s not that so much has changed and so much has stayed the same. It’s that you can add a qualifier there that so much has gotten so much worse. All three statements are true without contradictions.

    Another related link, again doubly related to Palestine and a once-British civil servant in India. Our host may find it interesting for the overlaps with his family’s history.

    Walter Terence Stace authored pioneering works on Hegel and mysticism, writing on the first, impressively, while he was still in the Ceylon Civil Service and before becoming a professor at Princeton.

    He had this to say in a lecture in 1947. His case reads like applied moral philosophy rather than political analysis. But it shows that there were perceptive people who could observe, from a distant remove, the way things were going, and the moral consequences, even before the Nakba.

    Right after 911, there was this recollection of Stace’s lecture, as a letter to an alumni magazine.

    And then the follow-up. The earlier reactions at the bottom two-thirds of the page point out some incorrect details of facts and dates in the original letter, along with the usual defenses. They get a push back towards the top one-thirds of the page.

  6. anon

    More than 300,000 Coloradans hit with long COVID, creating waves in work and school, according to new survey

  7. mago

    Yeah capelin.
    Got a daily bird to-do around here.
    The usual characters pecking away at the hanging suet cage.
    Woodpeckers, jays, chickadees, others.
    Then a scavenger deer climbs on the deck and eats leftover seeds from the plate of birdseed left there every dawn morning.
    The jays are the first to hit the dawn offering— the birdseed on a plate.
    And on it goes.
    I view this display outside a picture window in a rarified atmosphere.
    The description attempted here refers to sacred world.
    Having typed these words, it’s exit time.

  8. UphillBend

    Correction. After some checking I realized that Britain administered Ceylon separately from the Raj.

    “Another related link, again doubly related to Palestine and a once-British civil servant in India.” >> The last word should be replaced with “the Indian subcontinent.”

  9. Curt Kastens

    Cynthia McKinney had competely drifted off my radar because she has not been in the news much recently. But I saw her name name mentioned today.

    A RFK Jr. Jesse Ventura ticket would be an interesting alternative to a Biden or Trump ticket. A RFK Jr. Cynthia McKinney ticket would be an alluring alternative to a Biden or Trump ticket. I would actually prefer a Cynthia McKinney RFK Jr. ticket. But I obviously do not have the power to set that up.

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