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

Open Thread

Use the comments to this post to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


Social Facts Create Reality


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – December 22, 2019



    Compare and contrast with the oligarch Trump. There is no comparison. Bloomberg has taken on and is defeating coal. He plans to do the same with natural gas and he’s taken on the NRA and will continue to do so if he’s elected POTUS. Direct oligarchical rule is antithetical, but it’s what we have. As the result of three decades or more of NeoLiberal policy, this is what we have and we must deal with it.

    The last major gun safety ruling by the Supreme Court, in 2008, affirmed that reasonable restrictions on gun possession are constitutional. But the NRA has not given up on its absolutist vision of the Second Amendment, which is inconsistent with American history, oblivious to public safety and out of step with the American people. The NRA opposes much-needed fixes to the gun-sale background check system — which are supported by 90% of Americans — as well as restrictions on gun possession for domestic abusers and stalkers.

    Despite the NRA’s obstruction, America’s gun safety movement has successfully put hundreds of strong laws on the books in recent years. Last year alone, 20 states passed significant gun laws, thanks in large part to the grassroots army of Americans we have mobilized to stand up for the right to safety. And we have made progress not only in rallying Democrats, but in winning support from more Republicans. Last year, Illinois’ Bruce Rauner was one of five Republican governors who signed a “red flag” law that helps keep guns out of the hands of people who pose a threat to themselves or others. Those laws would be at risk if the Supreme Court issues a far-reaching opinion in the New York case.

    As president, I will appoint judges who understand that the Second Amendment allows for common sense limits on gun ownership. I’ve spent 15 years working to build a national coalition that is capable of taking on the NRA and winning — and I’m glad to say that we now have the NRA on the ropes. That may be one reason why the NRA is hoping the court will save it.


    Things have gotten so bad because of Trump, I’m seriously considering not attending my mother’s funeral. The majority of my family are Trump supporters and defenders and like the trolls they are, they have squatted on my mother’s last several years of fading and ultimately her passing. To get to my mother, you had to cross their bridge and you still do even in her death. Fyi, my mother was also a Trump supporter and defender and ironically and inexplicably she was also a rape survivor (her boss raped her when she was 18 and she had an illegal abortion by a physician who was admirable enough to provide his services at the time knowing full well if he didn’t women would die horrible suffering deaths from back-alley butcher jobs). My family, the majority of them, are for all intents and purposes Nazis. My wife and I agree that if things go to the next level and roundups ensue, my family, and her family too, would turn us over and have us rounded up. There is no doubt for us that our families would sign on to having us sent to work camps and ultimately liquidated.

    Trump may not be Hitler and instead a Hitler wannabe, but he’s paving the way for a Hitler-type leader because he’s testing the limits of the unwashed orcs who elected him and defended him and it’s clear from this experiment there really are no limits. These orcs will support anything he or a fascist predecessor would do. Anything. They are so filled with hate and rage, they are ready to destroy the world when dear leader says go. They will gleefully and emphatically engage in genocide on behalf of a dear leader.

    Trump is thankfully not Hitler which may come as a disappointment to him. Hitler was a moral man, Trump is not. Both were/are narcissists but Hitler’s narcissism was balanced by his moral code. Yes, Hitler was a moral man. You may not agree with his morals, I surely don’t, but he acted out of moral conviction. His hatred and rage for the Jews and other groups was palpable. It was a debased moral conviction. Trump has no such moral conviction. Trump’s sole purpose is his self-glorification, thank God because otherwise Trump would be many times more dangerous than he already is. He is so consumed with himself, he doesn’t have time to devote to the distraction of moral conviction, and for that I am eternally grateful.

  3. bob mcmanus

    From the Salvage post-mortem on UK election. linked in the Corbyn thread

    “As Dominic Pettman has written, what is distinctive about the social industry is not exactly the uniformity of the experiences millions have on it, but rather the ‘homeopathic parcelling of tiny and banal moments’ of ‘modest – but collectively significant – affects’. This is one reason the effects of online propaganda are so hard to detect. However massified and synchronised our ideological experiences online are, they are also so individualised as to create billions of ‘individual pinhole perspectives on life’. ”

    As I said before, from the Routledge Companion to Neoliberalism, neoliberalism like liberalism is characterized by individualism, universalism, and meliorism (incremental change). These have antitheses in collectivism, multiculturalism or intersectionality, and radicalism/revolution.

    I used abortion choice as an example of what has changed under neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is an ontology, immanent and pervasive, revolutionary as capitalism, and we are not going back. Any leftism must deal work with the theses and antitheses, all six factors above.

    When business/finance/capital has merged with the neoliberal state, the state disappears, becomes a shell, front, facade. Fascism vs anarchy. Social democracy is dead. Electoral politics at least on a national level is lost as a means to significant resistance or social change. No, Bernie is not going to win.

    We are in a condition of devolution, dispersal, deconcentration, dissolution, and secession. Working locally or regionally with ambiguous larger networking is the only path and the tribal (feminism, anti-racism, ethnicity, etc) concerns will have to addressed as important as economic ones. This will very often look like unbearable concessions to…neoliberalism.

  4. Why isn’t “thank you” good enough? If I thank you for a pleasant holiday greeting, whatever it may be, why isn’t that good enough? Why does it have to turn into a snot-nosed temper-tantrum over what exactly the pleasant holiday greeting is, or my response? Why isn’t it good enough I respond to pleasant seasonal greeting with a pleasant “thank you”? Could be “fuck you”.

    Today is the shortest day of the year, “New Years Eve”, tomorrow is the “New Year”. Happy New Year. ‘K? Happy New Year. Yule! Now get back to work.


    Yes, direct oligarchical rule is antithetical but it’s the card we’ve been dealt do to decades of NeoLiberalism. It will either be Trump or Bloomberg, and if that’s the choice and I believe it will be, my vote will go to Bloomberg. Unlike Trump, he is presidential and he will use Trump’s blitz strategy to get positive things done like gun control and climate action without having to run it by the party elders to get their approval or have them squash it or water it down. He’ll dictate to the DNC, not the other way around and he’ll finally put a stake into the dark heart of the batshit insane NRA.

    Bernie has no plan for the DNC. He can’t bury his head in the sand about it yet he is and he does. They screwed him last election and they are screwing him again already in this election. They will not allow him to get the nomination and he doesn’t have the ability to do an end-around the DNC like Bloomberg does.

  6. Willy

    I don’t think most people know that they’ve been conditioned to ignore that most donor money is seen as an investment.

    450, I have similar. Brainwashed, faith-based, conditioned, whatever… relatives who are far better at repeating the mantras they’ve been given than they are at doing any critical thinking on their own. I do occasionally reach them when I speak tangentially along some Dear Leader platitude. I’d like to understand better why they forgive all the obvious Dear Leader lies which should be revealing true character and intentions.

  7. realitychecker

    Trump is now argued to be less moral than Hitler.

    No realitycheckers needed here, that’s obvious./s

  8. Mark P. wrote: ‘Bernie has no plan for the DNC. He can’t bury his head in the sand about it yet he is and he does … They will not allow him to get the nomination and he doesn’t have the ability to do an end-around the DNC like Bloomberg does’.’

    True. Bernie doesn’t have an ability to do an end-run around the DNC. But while he’s giving the run for the presidency his utmost, I don’t think he’s burying his head in the sand.

    I think that was the reason for the deliberate branding as a democratic socialist, which many said was an unnecessary encumbrance to take on if he was serious about a presidential campaign in the US. Together with promoting candidates like AOC and the maximalist positions, his long-term project has always been about the building of a true progressive political movement in the US.

    He’s already gotten far further than Debs. So when he starts winning bigger in the primaries than TPTB hoped — unless the DNC can completely jigger the ballots from the very start — it’s going to get very nasty. I think — I hope — there’s a very good chance that the Democrats will sufficiently destroy their own future credibility so as to be swept aside. They’re the obstacle to having a party of the left in America; that’s what the big donors and the lobbyists pay them for.

    So it may be a ‘I’ve been to the mountaintop’ thing for Bernie himself, and it’s Bernie’s children who get there. In the meantime, he’ll have 15-20 percent of the delegates at the convention. He’ll be a power-broker there, unless they kill him. As the adage goes: “they who have the power to destroy a thing, they have power over that thing.” I hope he’s hard enough to do that.

    I’m fully prepared for 2020 in America to be nastier and more unstable than 1968. I’m thinking of being out of the country.

  9. Herman


    Sorry to hear about your family. I also have hardcore Trump supporters in my family. Their views are worse than what Trump says, at least in public. That being said, I still visit with them. I try to avoid talking politics but it is not always easy to do. For the most part, there is no arguing with them. Some of them can have a civil discussion but others will become extremely angry so I don’t even bother.

    If it is any consolation, most people are just blowing off steam. As bad as things are I don’t think that Trump is a fascist or that America is in danger of slipping into fascism, at least not yet. One thing I am careful about, though, is how I behave in public. I used to enjoy discussing politics at my local pub but not these days. As if the anger and widespread gun ownership weren’t bad enough, everyone now has a camera in their pocket and I don’t feel like ending up on YouTube due to getting into an argument. Debating is just not worth it since you will likely never change their minds.

  10. different clue

    Our host has been running two features with weekly predictability and regularity for a while now. The Saturday Open Thread ( I think) and the Sunday Wikrent Report ( Economic Roundup). Rising numbers of time-limited people may come here on weekends for those two features.

    I have sometimes expressed a wish that Ian Welsh might also offer a Survivalist Saturday Thread where people could offer, ask for, and/or discuss specific actionable information or resources about the same for personal/ family/ regionalocal survival-chances enhancement. If such a feature were to be introduced and consistently offered on a consistent schedule, rising numbers of people might find their way to it and increase ( perhaps greatly) the readership of this blog.

    If Ian Welsh WERE to introduce such a Survivalist Saturday Thread, he might well delete every immoral and unethical ” survive-by-killing-and-eating-your-neighbors” type of comment until the Mad Max fantasists finally gave up and stopped commenting. And then all the comments would be about various ways to enhance your own survival without harming anyone else’s survival in the process.

    But if he chooses not to add that yet extra burden onto the burden he already has . . . then this Saturday Open Thread might itself be a reliable place to offer ethical, moral and also real-world actionable Survival Information and Advice.

  11. nihil obstet

    One of the issues with family political fights that replicates the media environment is that a lot of it is about pushing each others’ buttons. I can get to a quiet political place with my relatives but it takes a while, it’s narrow, and it widens slowly. I go big for agreement. So, the screaming outrage of my family right-wingers has to do with the fact that when you have to go into a nursing home, govmint’ll come and take away all your money before they start paying for it. You don’t have to scrimp on things you need, ’cause if you can’t pay for a nursing home, the government will pay for it, but first, they take away all your money and that’s not right!!!

    I can get them listening very closely when I describe lefty proposals for more complete medical support/benefits. It will settle them down for a while. Then, of course, they start into, the government will only give that to those people, but not to us (they’re firm believers in the secret welfare system), but over time it does have an effect on them. Remember that even the right-wingers love most left policy proposals. Of course, you have to disconnect most of your own buttons to do this. It’s hard, because they think they’re hilariously funny describing liberals as they really are, and that’s just tedious.

  12. DMC

    Back in my days in the polling industry, the outfit I worked for got a lot of business from the Republican National Committee. One thing they did a number of highly misleading “push polls” on was the estate tax, which they vilified as “the Death Tax”. They posed a bunch of hypotheticals that implied farm families were losing family farms due to the estate tax, when in fact, such a thing had NEVER happened. EVER! They also failed to mention that the tax only kicked in on estates in excess of $850K or so(later bumped up to 1.2M or so. and then to 1.4M), and so didn’t actually apply to the VAST number of the respondents to the poll. This was 25 or so years back, so adjust accordingly. I get the impression the haven’t gotten any more ethical in the intervening years.

  13. bruce wilder

    bob, neoliberalism is a dialectic — that has always been its great source of strength: that it could be its own faithful opposition, supply its own “best” critics, channel the floodtide against it into another flow in its favor.

    Neoliberalism, by synthesizing its own contradictions, is none of the things you suggest characterize it and wields as familiar tools all the “antitheses” you suggest stand in ready opposition.

    I doubt Marx would be much baffled by the emergence of a new technical and professional class, divided into a secure and self-satisfied credentialed bunch of assholes on the one hand and an earnest, naive, hopeful precariat on the other.

    The role of academic scribblers, in a pseudo-intellectual equivalent of professional wrestling, fashioning an absurd economics and even more absurd sociology as a service to the elaboration of neoliberalism, might not surprise the bearded one either. (The “influencer” [claim to fame being that he was the first one voted off the island in some third-rate reality teevee show two or three years ago — I know this because I googled him] who just appeared on my Instagram to announce that he was going to spend Xmas & NY in Bali instead of his native Sydney [where he has been on all previous such occasions in his young life] might cause a bit of unease . . . did anyone have any tips on spending one’s holiday in paradise while the homeworld enveloped in darkness choked on ash? [Not how he phrased it — but that was my pinhole perspective for the day])

    Young Labour activists frustrated that they were not able to “cut thru” Brexit should ask themselves how credible they really are, fighting against neoliberalism by clinging to the greatest edifice of neoliberalism. Whose side are they on, when they decry rising nationalism? That these seem imponderables is a measure of how successful the fake dialectic of neoliberalism has been.

  14. Tom

    Rise of Skywalker was a Trash Fire as expected. People were walking out in disgust. Every plot leak was true and Bob Iger’s inability to man up, fire Kathleen Kennedy and give a giant middle finger to the SJWs and Cancel Morons meant JJ’s workable cut he did with George Lucas and planned as 2 movies got deleted for KK’s trash fire cut that retcons the prior trilogies and just made low magic Star Wars into High Magic Marvel where death is Cheap and Planet Killers are a dime a dozen.

    All hope lies now with Baby Yoda and Kevin Fiege, John Favreau, and Dave Filoni when KK’s contract expires. Their going to have to do a new Trilogy set 400 years after TROS with a grown up Baby Yoda discovering his heritage and combining it with the Mandalorian Way to take down Palpatine who because of JJ now, is alive still having had yet another backup body ready with planet killers. Because Yoda was right, the Jedi misunderstood the Chosen One Prophecy, and the ‘Other One’ Yoda mentioned in ESB wasn’t Leia or Rey, but the Child aka Baby Yoda.

    Otherwise 30 percent of TLJ has to be reshot and re-released and/or TROS re-released with the Lucas Cut and in two parts to tamp down on the whole death is cheap and force ghosts interact with physical matter plot holes.

    Internet is melting down over TROS which is now set to bomb. It already bombed in China and Australia, and word is spreading fast that this is a trash fire and not to waste your money.

  15. Hugh

    “academic scribblers, in a pseudo-intellectual equivalent of professional wrestling, fashioning an absurd economics and even more absurd sociology as a service to the elaboration of neoliberalism”

    Love it, a real five-star description.

  16. Mark Pontin

    Adolph Reed: “That … brings to mind Marx’s critique of Proudhon, where he pointed out that in Germany, where they didn’t know political economy, Proudhon presented himself as a political economist, and in France, where they didn’t know philosophy, he presented himself as a philosopher … this is also a marker of the extent to which academia is one of the last strongholds of the professional and managerial class.”

    An interview with political scientist Adolph Reed, Jr. on the New York Times’ 1619 Project

  17. bruce wilder

    For ten bonus points, use “anti-disparitarianism” in a sentence.

  18. Mark Pontin

    It’s a mouthful.

  19. Willy

    Aren’t tribal concerns usually mutual support organizations? I’d say the better tribal concerns are (initially) intended as a counter against some perceived powerful evil. Isn’t that what social democrats have in common with the better tribal concerns?

    They’d be going up against worse tribal concerns, “worse” being defined as having already being co-opted by powerful evil.

  20. bob mcmanus

    “Aren’t tribal concerns usually mutual support organizations?”

    Sure. I don’t have a universal disapprobation toward tribes, they’re just self-identifying and self-organizing communities geographic ideological historical gender whatever. I usually call them collectives. They overlap and interweave with each other and compete with other tribes for resources. I am, besides Marxian, also a basketball fan and an Expanse watcher.

    The anti-intellectual performative cynics seem to want to control these comment sections. For the most part, they are welcome to it.

  21. Willy

    Your average voter is anti-intellectual.

  22. different clue

    “For ten bonus points, use “anti-disparitarianism” in a sentence.”

    Okay. Here goes . . .

    “Anti-disparitarianism” is a very big fancy word.

  23. bruce wilder

    Aren’t tribal concerns usually mutual support organizations?

    No. Emphatically no. We use the term “tribal” it seems to me very particularly to designate the sense of belonging and identification associated with manipulations where there is no actual membership organization and nothing of policy substance is being achieved by or given to those identifying with the entirely imaginary tribe.

    The “tribe” can be an artifact of identitarian politics, where there is no organic basis for the abstractly conjured “identity” (which is often an artificial catch-all [but very much not all] category like Asian-american or lgbt)

    In the kayfabe of mass media politics, “tribal” can just mean uncritical receptivity to particular ideologically determined narratives and shibboleths where a feature is the implied virtues of the tribe and its members as opposed to those other stereotyped people, the libtards or the Trump supporters or Bernie Bros or . . .

    Mutual support organizations built on social affiliation and formal membership would not need “tribe” as a label unless there actually was a real tribe (Cherokee for example).

  24. Willy

    “Anti-disparitarianism” is how we separate the sheep from the goats. I’m currently at a WalMart herding people into the two categories. Gotta to do this as quickly as possible since the cops will be arriving soon.

    Comon bob. You’ve gotta be in this for more than just the mental masturbation. As a Marxist, where did Marx go wrong when it came to dealing with concentrated power?

    Or, if power always derives from the intellectual, then maybe Einstein really was just a little swiss bombmaker after all?

    Or, how do we get all these minions herded into doing the right things, even if it’s just for their own children?

  25. bruce wilder

    “all signifiers can be made to float” – Salvage Editorial Collective

    words to live by, you might say

  26. Willy

    bruce wilder,

    I wasn’t talking about tribes as defined disparagingly by others outside that tribe. But who cares about all that.

    So white evangelicals, blacks, hispanics, gays, feminists, whatever.. never actually group together for mutual assistance in some righteous cause against some wrong, let alone in general. Nope.

    I’m just looking for a best fit political “big tent”. Monkey-man Reagan seemed to be able to do so with ease. Okay maybe he had his handlers doing all the heavy intellectual lifting, but why cant our intellectuals manage the same? Aren’t we all just trying to do the right thing?

  27. bruce wilder

    Aren’t we all just trying to do the right thing?


  28. bruce wilder

    I wasn’t talking about tribes as defined disparagingly by others outside that tribe.

    Just to be clear, neither was I. I was talking about professional manipulators conjuring up a “tribe” by disparaging others “outside” (who may not even exist!) among various techniques for creating an illusion of social association and belonging.

    “Us against them” is just a template, among many, that can be used for propaganda.

  29. bruce wilder

    Of course, people actually do join membership organizations and act collectively or cooperatively as the case may be. That happens. When it does occur, we do not need the term, “tribal” to designate the phenomenon. We use “tribal” to label political coordination of a different character from actual mutual support. That we need the term at all is a significant tell. Pay critical attention.

  30. bob mcmanus

    From Yahoo/Google (and yes, there are tighter definitions)

    “noun. The definition of a tribe is a group of people, or a community with similar values or interests, a group with a common ancestor, or a common leader. An example of a tribe is the dead heads who followed the Grateful Dead. An example of a tribe is the Choctaw American Indians.”

    “A tribe is an Indian (India) group which possesses certain qualities and characteristics that make it a unique cultural, social, and political entity.”

    Anytime someone tightens the definition of a word they usually have a political exclusionary purpose, to demean outsiders

    I am old enough to remember the gathering of the tribes

  31. bruce wilder

    Anytime someone tightens the definition of a word they usually have a political exclusionary purpose, to demean outsiders

    rubbish, bob. you want to insult me, man up — none of your passive aggressive indirection, thank you

  32. bob mcmanus

    It’s not always all about you Bruce. I was thinking more widely than that, like the restrictions and rules Native Americans have used, or the general process of deciding who really is a true Star Wars fan, or whether scientists demanding precision is a political act.

    Or Adolph Reed’s playful precisionism. Although I didn’t really get it, I enjoyed “anti-disparawharever.” Neat. Fun.

    “What is Japanese?” and the purposes of defining also came to mind.

  33. nihil obstet

    Most words have more than one meaning. It is most useful to use the meaning that the word carries in context. In current political speech, “tribe” carries the meaning of people who identify with a group for reasons other than the announced purpose of the group. Usually, in fact, it means attacking other people or groups simply to enhance the strength of the leader(s).

    Republicans claim to value individual freedom. Tribal Republicans support the surveillance state. Democrats claim to value a strong social safety net. Tribal Democrats resist actually funding one. However, the arguments are not about the policies. It’s whether a whistle-blower, for example, is really a whistle-blower or simply a traitor betraying vital national secrets. The tribe takes its position depending on which party’s leadership is being hurt.

  34. different clue

    Perhaps “tribal” in this case could be thought of as being “psycho-balkan”. Groups of people finding eachother or being herded together or magnetised like a bunch of iron filings based on what shared hatreds they share of what held-in-common behated groups.

    The hatred-design engineers hope to feed and water their flocks’s hatred long enough that the hatreds become psycho-balkan in their intensity and durability. And then those artfully conjured-together groups of happy haters can be led around by their hatred.

    Am I getting close to what is meant here?

  35. Hugh

    I have to say I hate to see anti-disparitarians parroting pro-paritarian policy points.

  36. Willy

    Tribalism: “the behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group”

    Don’t political operatives covertly manipulate “strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group” towards their own ends using a variety of techniques? Is this what we mean by “tribal”? Should another set of words be used?

  37. Willy

    I wanted to explore the possibility of aligning progressive goals with those from other “tribes” (as bob described them), under any possible common theme.

    From my view, it seems that our overlords have already succeeded in doing exactly that in their goal to supercharge mindless consumerism which enriches mostly, themselves.

    Why can’t progressives counter, or use, similar strategies?

  38. bruce wilder

    Why can’t progressives counter, or use, similar strategies?

    I am sure you are aware that this is a question that has been widely discussed around the work of George Lakoff, a professor of “cognitive science” who has tried to argue that reactionary Republicans are better at the techniques of propaganda because they have been using the techniques of business consumer marketing and applying them to politics, while the academic training of liberal and progressive thought leaders tend to be in fields like economics or political which have ignored the findings of his own field, concerning how people really reason, how the brain “really” works. Thus, no Frank Luntz of the left.

    It seems to me that the “left” that would result from having a Frank Luntz of the Left would not really be left. There are people who want such a left and are willing to pay for it, so we are seeing it arise in political media. We have seen it take shape as Black Lives Matter and in the pages of The Atlantic and on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show and in the candidacy of Buttigieg. It is the politics of “hope and change” and clever branding. And, fundamentally, by its very nature, it will always be antithetical to genuine left politics, if we understand left politics as representing not one elite faction against another but as the politics of the masses against the elites, the bottom against the top, the workers against the bosses, the proles and plebians against the patricians.

    These are the tools of top-down manipulation. Different values or goals slotted into the empty spaces of their programming will not change the nature of the tool: it would just be a different brand of top-down, elite-driven politics.

    I am not saying that it is actually possible to do entirely without elites; that is a dead-end. I do think elites can be made to feel their dependence on the masses more acutely and their responsibility for and to the masses can be made real by organizing from the bottom up.

    The problem with the strategies of hypnosis employed thru marketing and pr and journamalism is that they are about preventing organizing from the bottom-up. They are about atomizing society. They are about insulating elites from the welfare, cares and concerns of the people who are being herded about like cattle on their way to slaughter by these techniques.

    Seeing the reality of this state of affairs in politics is critical to even opening to the possibility of something else. The polarization of politics and the emergence of so-called “tribal” politics amidst the discourse of identitarian politics on the left and right — all of this is top-down manipulation aimed at preventing a bottom-up politics, to my mind the only genuine politics of the left.

    I have been so insistent that we should not confuse the common use of “tribal” to label our emotionally polarized politics with membership organization for mutual aid and support because propaganda that creates the former has nothing to do with the latter and it is critical to recognize that.

  39. Willy

    thanks bruce.

    Owning many things and having much power is where most people ‘feel’ they want to be. Yet beyond certain levels, the acquisition of such becomes as addictive and pathological as any substance dependency with negative consequences for humanity as a whole increasing seemingly exponentially in that direction. I think most of us here agree.

    You’d think that employing proper checks and balances against social pathologies could be recognized as some kind of Iron Law Principle. But as I’d originally asserted in one of my very first comments in this place, most people seem to need to hit bottom first before becoming “woke”.

    I was hoping to get some thinking outside the box. Since these dynamics scale well down to the personal level, some practical ideas as well. I’d be all over that myself but have to get to work again, probably every day through the holidays. My wife will be pissed, but she ain’t quite “woke” yet.

  40. different clue


    If your wife likes to live in a house and eat food, she may come to accept the necessity of you working every day through the holidays.

  41. Trump Should Sue House Democrats to Submit Articles of Impeachment to the Senate

    Doing so will “heighten the contradictions” betweens the Dems’ whopper about Trump impeachment being an existential threat, and Pelosi’s desire to further milk the mechanisms of the legislative branch for purely political purposes.

    To emphasize the point, Trump can taunt Pelosi to submit declarations as a “friend of the court” that impeachment is, indeed, an existential threat.

    (Note: I’m not a lawyer. However, neither is Trump, and the taunting is suggested primarily as a means of constructive propaganda.)

  42. While many of us so-called “climate change deniers” believe that the stories of polar bears drowning, and being threatened with extinction, that Al Gore talked about was another BS claim*, it appears we may have been wrong.

    That would mean that Al Gore would have been right, on this point, but there are worse fates in life.

    Here is a current news report that tells the sorry tale. Polar bears, in desperate search for food, have taken to eating Santa’s elves.

    This report was probably inspired by this more recent, and more credible, report:

    * see, e.g.,

  43. Andrew Yang interviewed by Neil Cavuto of Fox News. Very likable guy. Is almost certainly more practical and less divisive than much of the stellar-but-not-really Dem field. (Not that I know much about them….)

    I’d be willing to bet a Yang/Gabbard ticket would beat Trump. Not that I think it’ll ever happen.

  44. anon y'mouse

    happy holidays, Ian. and thank you for hosting the place. regardless of some of my complaints.

    hope you are healthy. you are already wise. wealth is only important vis a vis being able to keep and enjoy the other two, and no more than that.


    Bile alert.

    Here’s Donald Trump’s cameo role in Home Alone 2 where he, in his dead friend Epstein’s fashion, creepily fixes his gaze on Macaulay Culkin’s pre-pubescent ass. Trump insists he be given cameo roles in any movie or show that is filmed on one of his properties.

    And no, Trump doesn’t “trigger” me. I like to smash bullies in the mouth every chance I can get and Trump is a bully’s bully hence he deserves, metaphorically at least, to have his face turned into hamburger.

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