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

Open Thread

Feel free to use the comments to this post to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


May 8th US Covid Data


May 9th US Covid Data


  1. Z

    Pushing 100 million livestock through the chutes of financial destruction and have us passively accept it is going to be a difficult maneuver for our rulers to pull off even though us U.S.ers aren’t exactly the most punchy bunch, except at each other based upon weakness and proximity in adherence to the hierarchical dynamics of bullies and bullied. That’s partly because our rulers’ primary weapon against us is the systems they pen us in and we get frustrated and with frustration often comes an impatient need to release it.

    What they’ll do is try to divide us, as usual, probably by means tested benefits and whatnot so that we continue to direct our anger at each other. As sorry as we are, I don’t think they’ll be successful at it though and eventually somebody is going to knock off one of these bastards and 99% of the country is going to cheer. Loudly.

    Our rulers will also heavily favor one working class sector of our population that I’m not going to mention and it won’t be because they give a damn about them, they most certainly don’t, but only for their own self-interests.


  2. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Rock & roll pioneer Little Richard died this morning. He was 87.

    May he rest in peace in Rock & Roll Heaven.

    The article includes YT clips of some of his songs.

  3. Ché Pasa

    I’m starting to look at the current situation as a whole as not entirely unlike that of Western Europe and the Soviet Union during the Nazi occupation. After the initial shock of the conquest and the imposition of New Rulers and Rules, things settled into a routine struggle, primarily to get by as best one could under the circumstances. Oh sure, there were the daily round ups, deportations and executions, the restrictions on movement, the lack of essential foods and supplies, the lack of money to buy supplies with if they existed, the constant sense of dread, of what was to come. The not-knowing what was next was perhaps the worst part for many, but for many others, life went on, not much changed — until it did. And when it did, things got worse, and they just kept getting worse until the bitter end.

    So far, we’ve seen no vision of a better future when we come out of this. No vision of a future at all for most of us. We will struggle through as best we can — until we can’t.

    The existential threats are piling one atop the other — for most people, it means that nothing is likely to return to “normal” in their lifetimes. They may or may not survive the pandemic and subsequent economic collapse and whatever consequences come from them, they may even live to see the transition into a much warmer climate, but the pre-2020 reality is never coming back for them or anyone. We’re in uncharted waters without a captain and without a vision of where we are or should be headed.

    We should be past the point of blaming anyone; we never got to the point of actually doing anything about the existential crises we knew we would face. And so we drift along.

  4. Z

    We should be past the point of blaming anyone

    Well, we’re not exactly all in this together, as I’m sure you’d agree.


  5. Zachary Smith

    HHS Proposes Removing Vaccine-Related Shoulder Injury From Federal Compensation Program

    I have some serious doubts about the merits of this proposal, but even more about the timing. If Crazy & Stupid Americans are shooting people on account of masks, what will they be doing if and when we get a Coronavirus Vaccination? IMO they’ll continue in their damn-fool ways at the urging of the antivaxxers, so why give either set of morons some free propaganda material?

    Whatever this is a good idea or not, settle it later!

  6. bruce wilder

    the pandemic has compounded the legitimacy crisis in which the U.S. (but not only the U.S. — the Eurozone is not looking too good) is enveloped already with its clueless political class.

    the politically-aware populi are still preoccupied with their “tribal” narcissistic narratives, empty as they are in any context, let alone this one (will any historian be able to fathom “the war on Christmas” or “Russia,Russia,Russia” let alone Stormy Daniels or Tara Reade?)

    the eruption of this volcano is building below the noise of the twitterverse and CNN and the foppish readers and writers of the New York Times or the Jeff Bezos blog.

    We are descending Seneca’s cliff now. There will be plateaus where the remnants of disintegrating civilization may pause for as much as a decade’s respite, but descent is the future, every shock preparing the way for the next step down. It might take a hundred years or two to play out fully.

    In the short-term, it is hard to see how the U.S. does not experience political upheaval. I do not know if we are likely to begin blaming anyone at actual fault. With the Dems pretending that 27 year old claims of sexual something matter, but dementia and corruption do not, it would require travelling a great distance in a short time to blame anyone in or near power for the consequences of policy choice.

    the epidemic hit densely populated urban areas hard first — so blue states. But it is spreading out and there is nothing to stop it and no effective treatment to limit fatality rates or long-term damage to survivors of severe cases. everyone who is susceptible is likely to become infected at some point in the next two to three years. the economic damage so far has been more acute in red states. the effect on meat processing might mean early signals of collapse in supermarkets. A lot of the newly hungry and homeless are going to be young in a country near the peak of one of its historic cycles of increasing violence.

  7. Zachary Smith

    Something I missed seeing yesterday:

    Trump’s Incendiary Linking of Pearl Harbor & 9/11 to COVID-19

    Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday, Mr Trump said: “We went through the worst attack we’ve ever had on our country… This is worse than Pearl Harbor, this is worse than the World Trade Center [attacks on September 11, 2001]. There’s never been an attack like this.”

    If you care to rank the levels of stupidity, this is surely at the “Hillary Clinton” level.
    The man is increasingly unhinged.

  8. Zachary Smith

    Ohio Urges Employers to Snitch on Workers Who Stay Home Due to Covid-19 Concerns

    Ohio officials are encouraging employers to report what they’ve designated “Covid-19 fraud” as the state begins reopening some industries. Workers who refuse to report to work in light of the pandemic, which has killed more than 1,300 Ohio residents so far, can be reported via a government website and have their unemployment benefits taken away.

    Come to work at the Covid place, or starve. Nice choice.

  9. Joan

    Maybe this is naive of me, but I still think there is the chance to make political change non-violently, and that Americans should do it now. Instead of Bernie, someone who isn’t a sheepdog and who is honest rather than polite. Or better yet, hundreds of them across the country leading different causes such as M4A, etc.

  10. krake

    Those of us *below* will never win the contest of blame, narrative and mythos.

    In a just world, or at least a more equitable one, responsibility for fault matters. We have never lived in that world. So, it’s part of the Spectacle, a set of distractions attuned to our sense of fairplay, but which turn fairness into caltrops we throw at each other.

    Does it matter if women are equal, race supremacy is abolished, animals are well-treated and the world is left mostly wild, and unpoisoned? Of course. Does negotiating with corrupt rulers achieve these ends?


    What matters, for us, is practical mutual support: food, shelter, health, skill-sharing and yes (this is for you scrimshaw birdman types) arms. A ‘half-world’, that rhizomes through and out of the latifundia of a metastasizing human-farming system.

    Ways to seize the goods and gains, then to remove them, liberating more persons and people to live and thrive without going into thrall to the hungry ghosts who farm and rule us.

    Ways to disrupt, seize and repurpose infrastructure, transport and power. Ways to take the world back.

    We will never make this happen by polticking in a system where the winners choose the rules for each round, the referees, the spoils and the punishments. It won’t happen with stupid, stupid electoralism.

    To paraphrase Leguin, first we have to start “walk[ing] away from Omelas.”

  11. bruce wilder

    “rhizomes” as a verb, not something I have seen before. you are a treasure, krake

  12. krake


    I used to believe that. Daniel Berrigan, Ammon Hennacy and Dorothy Day were, collectively, my lodestar. Fr. Berrigan was as gracious a man as there ever was.

    But they were wrong. Their way cannot work where the Nazarene is a war commodity.

    And in the US, hell – in all of North America, non-violence is a way to become a punitive example to others while also strengthening the position of those in power. Power is nothing if not used. Its use demands bodies to be used upon, sometimes symbolically. Non-violence provides easy targets and easier examples of submission.

    Without googling, can you name any of the people currently hunger-striking in US prisons?

    Without googling, could you remember the names of the clan of ranchers who have turned not paying land-use fees into a global cause celebre?

  13. krake


    All credit due to the japanese knotweed and ‘american bamboo’ we fail to defeat every single year.

  14. Hairhead

    Most of the time I feel I am inured to the senseless, revolting hypocrisy of our elites; but occasionally, my can still be made to drop. And there was a clang, a mighty clang as my chin-bone hit the floor upon reading this headline today:


    Um. Barack Obama, who refused to prosecute or even discipline ACTUAL FUCKING NAZI TORTURERS, and total anti-American, soldier-killing TRAITORS? Barack Obama, who promoted the HAMP program, which was actually designed to make people lose their houses? Barack Obama who refused to prosecute the banksters, the executors of the greatest FRAUD and THEFT in American history? Barack Obama who, without a declaration of war arbitrarily MURDERED thousand of innocents by drone attack?

    This makes me physically ill, just like when I saw that front-page picture of Michelle Obama smiling broadly and hugging (hugging!) a smirking ex-president George Bush.

    The elites are not just hypocrites, they are depraved.

  15. Zachary Smith

    This makes me physically ill, just like when I saw that front-page picture of Michelle Obama smiling broadly and hugging (hugging!) a smirking ex-president George Bush.

    The elites are not just hypocrites, they are depraved.

    Excellent summation. Trump may be a worthless piece of crap, but Obama is just a smoother-talking version cut from the same cloth. Even counting the Covid-19 Pandemic deaths, I’d bet money Obama’s Body Count remains much higher than Trump’s.

  16. Z

    The demo-zombies bang on the MAGA crowd and yet over 90% of these f*ing idiots believe Obama was a good president and now they’re falling head over heels in love with Cuomo!

    Not to mention how many of these f*ing morons voted for a lying piece of trash who is in the throes of cognitive decline to be their presidential candidate this year.


  17. Hairhead

    And another thing . . . .

    A couple of weeks ago I read a 100-comment free-for-all on a democratic forum, all about how Joe Biden MUST be supported and that Bernie supporters were “dirty birds”.

    Actually, I’m misrepresenting the case.

    The main Biden apologist actually called all who didn’t support Biden unquestioningly, get this, “fascist collaborators”.

    And they say that the MAGA hordes are divisive and intolerant.

  18. bruce wilder

    Z & Z

    I am right there with you in my contempt for the partisans of Trump or Biden. NC pointed to a Rod Dreher column today, Anti-Mask Snowflakes Of The Right, which in turn led to a rant of epic quality by Erick Erickson of all people.

    I lost a lot of respect for Sanders when he endorsed Biden. It was too much for me. Hairhead is right on, regarding Obama and the rule of law.

    Some kind of realignment has been underway. I can only imagine the epidemic has shattered some illusions. I don’t know what i am trying to say.

  19. Zachary Smith


    ESO instrument finds closest black hole to Earth
    Invisible object has two companion stars visible to the naked eye

    Those monster telescopes in South America are beginning to get some really nice results.

  20. Jerry Brown

    Anyone recommend a good fiction type book? I find I need to distract myself at times from what is going on right now.

  21. krake


    Anything by Joe Abercrombie.

  22. Ché Pasa

    Those who have been eager for large scale population loss may get their wish soon enough though it will be slower than the Apocalyptic Asteroid Strike. I think it’s what our rulers are counting on. Not just the virus as killing agent, no. We also have economic collapse, famine, pestilence, and numerous continuing wars of aggression. The dead from all causes and more to come are too numerous to bury. Eliminationists are having a field day — we’ll end homelessness! The weak, sick, old, and worthless will perish! The Great Cleansing has (re)begun!


    Krake is right about “rizoming”. And it will happen. Enough will survive and thrive to irrelevate the overclass, dismiss our rulers, and who knows David Graeber’s anthropological musings might just be the sketch of a future we can barely imagine.

  23. bruce wilder


    hoping that does not become a word

  24. Jerry Brown

    Thanks Krake. I will.

  25. Z

    Demo-zombies to their heroes:

    Kill us, but just tell us that you love us and we’ll understand.


  26. dbk

    @Bruce Wilder “I don’t know what i am trying to say.”

    Hmm. Nonetheless, you say it very well.

    At this point, the virus is in charge and we (American) humans are struggling to deal with unheard-of (in our lifetime, anyway) human, economic, and political consequences.

    None of us really knows what’s coming next, what the latest headline will be each day when we awaken; admittedly, the omens aren’t looking very auspicious at the moment.

    Clearly, I don’t know what to say either. Hope springs eternal?

  27. Zachary Smith

    If you have a Windows computer, consider downloading Kindle For PC from amazon. That way you could sample quite a few authors before deciding to buy a hardcopy from a bookstore.

    These days when I’m searching for a specific book, my first stop is eBay. Second is

    My preferred fiction is SF, but the modern stuff isn’t to my taste. Consider Poul Anderson, Clifford Simak, and Jack Vance. Since the Pandemic began, I’ve branched out into crime/mystery. Tonight or tomorrow I’ll start reading the last of my Tony Hillerman books. (later I may box them all up and send them to an elderly relative) Most of Raymond Chandler’s stuff I found to be wonderful.

  28. Ché Pasa

    Irrelevate: v. t. to make irrelevant “The rebel alliance found it necessary to irrelevate the ruling clique. And they did.”

    So can anybody tell me why Kushner et al. are all hot to invest in pharmaceuticals that counteract radiation sickness? Bugger the virus. Radiation is the real problem. Right? Right?

  29. Chuck Mire

    A science-fiction movie analogous to the fight against COVID-19:

    Independence Day Movie

    A 1996 science fiction film about a hostile alien invasion of Earth, focusing on a disparate group of individuals and families as they coincidentally converge in the Nevada desert and, along with the rest of the human population, participate in a last-chance retaliation on July 4 – the same date as the Independence Day holiday in the United States.

    A deeper significant message was the coming together of all races and classes of people in the entire world to defeat a common alien enemy from space.


    “…Israeli hospitals, buckling under the pressure of hundreds of new virus cases a day, rely on Palestinian doctors who are citizens of Israel, as well as some Palestinian hospital staff from the West Bank, who must pass through Israeli military checkpoints to work in Israeli hospitals.”

    “The corona doesn’t care about religion. Doesn’t care where you live.” Maybe humanity can lighten up on racial and religious baloney.

    For example, your different skin color, hair, language and eye shape makes you a “them” – not “one of us” baloney.

    AND my “god” is the true “god” and the rest of you are wrong and damned if you believe in your “god” baloney.

  30. Zachary Smith

    Trump: Katie, she tested very good for a long period of time and then all of the sudden today she tested positive… This is why the whole concept of tests aren’t necessarily great

    I’ll say one thing for the Orange POTUS – he is establishing a very high standard for sheer stupidity. Anyone who manages to top his output should be given full-time 40-hour employment at the burger-flipping place with all the overtime he desires, and definitely kept out of more complicated jobs.

  31. SagerXX

    Ché Pasa said: \”So can anybody tell me why Kushner et al. are all hot to invest in pharmaceuticals that counteract radiation sickness? Bugger the virus. Radiation is the real problem. Right? Right?\”

    We just had to shut down a bunch of meat processing plants because workers got sick (or were afraid to get sick, or their employers were afraid to get sued for workers getting sick, or, or, or…), yeah?

    So — when (if?) enough workers at nuke plants get sick that it becomes challenging to manage the plant? Anybody know how complicated it is to shut one of them down? Much less a couple dozen? Or a hundred?

    So if Jared Douchener is buying up anti-rad meds? I\’d think about all of the nuclear power plants out there that might (before too long) be a few sandwiches short of a picnic, employee-wise. That would be just like the narcissistic death cult in charge of things these days: don\’t try to solve the problem (that could kill the planet) — make MONEY off it….

    VIVA anyway — Sager

    P.S. I think TPTB are gonna lose control of their attempt to take control. Typical grandiose sh!thead behavior. So, I\’m less worried about vaccines and microchips and social credit schemes and more about food supplies and the like.

    We\’re on our own. Plan accordingly. And…frankly, get stoked! The sh!theads are going to choke on their own clueless overreach.

  32. Hugh

    In an old scifi series, Babylon 5, one of the characters the cynical Londo is recruiting his idealistic aide Vir to help him kill their emperor who’s mad. Vir asks Londo why the people around the emperor haven’t done anything. Don’t they realize he’s mad. To which Londo replies that of course they do. They talk about it like you or I discuss the weather.

    I can’t help thinking they we are living through a similar time. We have a President who is quite simply nuts, swinging into the room on chandeliers that aren’t there crazy. We all know it. He gives us fresh examples of his being out of his freaking mind every day. And we have become so used to it that we discuss it much as we do the weather, missing the underlying problem that Trump is mad and taking the country down with him.

  33. Stirling S Newberry

    “I’ve been mad for fucking years, absolutely years, been
    over the edge for yonks, been working me buns off for bands…”
    “I’ve always been mad, I know I’ve been mad, like the
    most of us…very hard to explain why you’re mad, even
    if you’re not mad…”
    Breathe, breathe in the air

    Dark Side of the Moon

    We, as a collective entity, want to kill ourselves. When just need to find a way to kill off the ones in power hour are directing us the kill ourselves so that the spice flows.

  34. Hugh

    Hairhead, it is always entertaining seeing Democrats argue that progressives have some kind of duty to support their candidate even though that candidate does not stand for anything we stand for and has vowed to fight against what we believe in.

    Their primary system is a stacked sham. When it looks like the primaries will choose someone (Sanders) not to the liking of those pulling the strings behind the DNC (Obama), they simply pull the plug on them, and tell us who the candidate will be. And that candidate is always the most anti-progressive one they can find. Then they turn around and say we have to support that candidate. They take no moral responsibility for offering us a candidate who doesn’t represent our views. On the contrary, they think they own our votes and don’t have to offer us anything. Screw them. From were I’m sitting if they want our votes offer us something. If they offer us nothing, then obviously they don’t want our votes. It’s just icing on the cake that they name call precisely those whose support they say they want.

  35. bruce wilder

    Hugh, you forgot to mention that the DNC chose to nominate someone who displays symptoms of dementia.

    The Democratic Party ceases to be a potential vehicle for progressives because of the mirroring that the Democratic Party establishment chooses to do. It is not so much that Democratic leaders choose to oppose their own progressive wing — though they do do that — as it is that they choose to mirror the Republicans on both policy and in terms of political behavior/style.

    The Republicans have an old addled sexual predator with a long history of authoritarian impulses and greed and corruption, so naturally they find the one guy who mirrors that. They impeach Trump for Ukraine and then nominate the one Democrat who did exactly the same thing and bragged about it on teevee.

    The Republicans have been pushing voter suppression, “vote fraud”, undermining restrictions on campaign finance and so on. So, naturally, Hillary Clinton mired herself in a scheme to circumvent campaign finance restrictions and engaged in primary manipulation. Even her scheme to have her own email server was an imitation of Republican practice.

    The Clintonistas before the 2016 election were pressing Trump on whether he would “respect” the election outcome, then turned around immediately and launched a scheme to induce faithless electors to change their minds.

    If ever there were an incumbent President and a Party where it would make political sense to offer a stark contrast, a naive person would think it would be this President and this Republican Party.

    As recently as 2008, they went with at least the appearance and promise of contrast, of change. In 2016, Clinton argued for a contrast of manner and, from style, quality of judgment. Putting aside the lack of credibility with regard to any progressive desiderata, what is the argument for Biden as an alternative? That Biden’s dementia is mild? That Biden being unable to complete a sentence is better than Trump riffing some oddball notion?

  36. Stirling S Newberry

    The Democrats have always had a Conservative or Reactionary Wing. Most of the time it is the one in charge.

  37. Jeremy

    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Vaccines and Covid – quite the exposé:

    Part 1 –
    Part 2 –

    How “vaccine passports” will work – And the Gates Foundation are the prime funders of this too.

  38. Z

    Jerry Brown,

    If you’d like to take a prolonged trip back in a time portal right now, 11/22/63 by Stephen King might be of assistance.

    It’s a great book.


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