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

Open Thread

As usual, feel free to use comments to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


The Cadfael Mystery Novels


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – July 26, 2020


  1. S Brennan

    I wear a mask for shopping, [and other utilitarian ventures into retail outlets], I support mask requirements in such venues as well as social distancing, additionally, I support widespread/easy-access testing…all are nice, good to have things that will make the administration of this plague less stressful on hospitals and funeral homes. None of the medically indicated restrictions offend my God/constitutionally given rights but…

    …All are pathetic band-aids in spite of what numerically illiterate morons endless spout. That’s because NONE of them address the disease, they just lengthen the time before all in this nation will face the falling Damoclean sword. Yeah, Fauci’s says we are turning the corner and will have an effective vaccine soon…he said the same thing to gays back in 1984 and they are still waiting…yeah I have the vids to back this up..Fauci’s word is as good as his throw.

    Fauci upstages Trump by throwing out Baseballs 1st pitch…

    What’s needed now is the widespread adoption of PRE – HOSPITALIZATION TREATMENT REGIMES. With the adoption of low cost PRE – HOSPITAL TREATMENTS, that are available RIGHT NOW, infection rates would numerically drop below 50-66% of the current rate because the average number of days a person remains infectious would also drop 50-66%. Additionally, treated people will shed fewer viruses thus making the disease less likely to spread [proven during the ongoing AIDS epidemic]…and asking somebody to totally self-isolate for 5-6 days instead of 15 days is logistically far simpler. The death/hospitalization rate would disappear underneath the radar and the pain and suffering of the economic crisis would come to a screeching halt as the disease became manageable at the individual level, but…

    That might help Trump and we all know that getting rid of Trump takes precedence over vanquishing Covid-19 and…the lives of our fellow countrymen. That cause, getting rid of Trump is just….yes, Yes, YES, what are few hundred thousand deaths in the grand scheme of things ?

    I mean really[?] “liberals/progressives/lefties”- have been working hand in hand with the worst elements of the Deep-State and have spent four years prioritizing Trump’s removal over all other concerns. The whole “Trump’s a Russian Spy” didn’t pan out but, finally, “liberals/progressives/lefties” prayers have been heard, divine Providence has delivered a plague…such a small price to pay for Trump’s Covid-19 is the magical bullet that will allow the DNC/Biden an election victory! Eight more years neoliberal policies at home and neocolonial abroad…thank God we focused on ridding ourselves of Trump instead watching for the DNC’s slight of hand. 2028 here we come!

    And the beauty of going all in with Bernie is, God forbid, Trump wins, there won’t be any genuine liberals/progressives/lefties in the bullpen for 2024, just the usual collection of neoliberal/neocolonialists with their ability to virtue signal. 2024, should Trump win 2020, would be a realignment year but there will be nobody but neoliberal/neocolonialists with name recognition…well, we could always give Sanders one more run at it, send him money one more time and one more time…watch him cash in taking another dive.

  2. Zachary Smith

    From the Hullabaloo site: A public service message

    This is some good advice here about using Absentee Ballots. Back before I concluded calling my Elected Representative in DC was a complete waste of time, I noticed the person on the other end of the line always asked for my name and address. This wasn’t because they planned to contact me (this almost never happened even when I specifically requested a reply from the Great Man), but rather to do a quick lookup of my voting registration. In Deep Red Indiana those boys and girls on the other end of the phone line would obviously pay a lot more attention to a registered Republican than to a low-life Democrat.

    My point is this, the folks who examine your unopened mail-in Absentee Ballot can – and likely will – do the same lookup. In my area, those coming from Democrats will probably get an extremely detailed examination looking for the tiniest error. If they find any problem at all, it’s Destination Round File! So be very, very careful.

  3. Joan

    @S Brennan, pre-hospital treatment sounds like a good idea. It could keep people out of the hospitals, and allow them to isolate at home during treatment rather than risk exposure to a heavier virus load in a hospital. Right now people are just bearing with it on their own mostly. My friend’s dad went through two weeks of heavy covid symptoms alone in his trailer without ever calling a doctor. He figured he’d either get over it or he wouldn’t. That’s a really rough way to look at it, but it seems people are doing it.

  4. highrpm

    nick cordero. he could afford the best treatment at the hand’s of the experts. he’s dead.

  5. S Brennan

    All the money in the world might not save you following Fauci’s advice….waiting to treat the viral infection until it has advanced to the stage that you need hospitalization. PRE – HOSPITAL TREATMENTS, are available RIGHT NOW but sadly, not for Americans, at least not for the plebs.

    Let me know when one of the 0.01% dies from this disease…then your point will be valid.

  6. Ché Pasa

    Pathetic protest suppression in Portland.

    I check in pretty much every day to see how things are evolving — or whatever they’re doing — at the Mark Hatfield Federal Courthouse, site of the Nightly Riots in Portland. Participants call them riots, and Riot Ribs feeds the crowds in the park across the street, so riots they must be, eh?

    Thousands, many thousands assemble nightly at the neighboring Justice Center to chant “Black Lives Matter” and demand policing and justice transformation. We’re well beyond the point of reform. Then as night settles in, the crowd thins and moves to confront the federales behind their fences at the fortress courthouse. From what I could see on the livestreams, there were easily well more than a thousand protesters confronting the relative handful of bored federal defenders. One was so bored he was casually batting away the water bottles hurled over the fence, another wandered away with a hockey stick, one had two possibly confiscated leaf blowers that he was using to battle protester leaf blowers for dominance of the clouds of tear gas. One of the federal defenders was apparently hit with something tossed over the fence and had to be helped away from the fray, hobbling.

    Water bottles, fireworks and garbage were tossed over the fence at the defenders. Sometimes the trash is burning. Tear gas and “impact munitions” (mostly pepper balls and birdshot filled beanbags) were shot through and over the fence at the protesters. It’s a game. It’s a standoff.

    Then as the night goes on, the federal defenders file back into the courthouse and the riot and dispersal orders are declared. Protesters stay where they are until the tear gas gets too thick and phalanxes of federales appear on the streets to the tune of the Imperial March from Star Wars.

    The protesters disperse and reassemble one or two blocks away. Trumpets blare, tear gas and rubber bullets (or whatever) are fired at the diminished crowds, and so it goes until the federales get tired and go back to their fortress followed and mocked by the protesters.

    Every night.

    I’m sure the White House gets reports that their troops are dominating the streets. But it’s all very silly.

  7. S Brennan


    Sad to read your friends father had to go through covid-19 without any medical support, that is truly awful and yet, that is what Fauci/CDC recommends…

  8. NRG

    “Let me know when one of the 0.01% dies from this disease…then your point will be valid.”

    Stephen Miller’s mother died.

    So, while you are generally right, the plague also reaches Marie Antoinette, given time.


  9. S Brennan

    Again NRG, “when one of the 0.01% dies from this disease…then your point will be valid.” Stephen Miller’s mother wasn’t within the 1 %, much less the 0.01%…reading/comprehension is a factor…

  10. Zachary Smith

    On foreign policy, Biden is worse than Trump

    On the face of it, that’s hard to believe. I’ve somehow got the impression Trump has been doing little besides watching Fox News and sucking his thumb these days. Given his near absolute freedom of action, Pompeo has been doing untold damage to the US on virtually every foreign relations front. The chaos the Fat One has created will set a newly elected Biden up to do even more.

    But suppose by some kind of ugly miracle Trump stays for a second term. Does anybody seriously believe that imbecile could run a war with the slightest bit of competence? Trump is very good at looting, and smashing things. Look how he has handled Covid 19.

    Biden. Trump. As things stand now, one of those two will be sitting in the White House this time next year. Either way, we’re SOL.

  11. Zachary Smith

    Israel Demolishes Covid-19 Clinic in Epicenter of West Bank Outbreak

    I have quite a few Fundamentalist relatives living in the South, and in the past more than a few of them have scrimped and saved to make a trip to The Holy Land. I doubt if any of them will have heard of horror stories like this, and in the unlikely event they ever did, I don’t think it would bother them the least bit. The thieves and murderers of the Apartheid state are God’s Favorite People, and that’s that.

    Suppose they saw this recent headline: “Coronavirus: Israeli court rules Palestinian prisoners have no right to social distancing” (Published date: 24 July 2020)

    This stuff will NEVER be covered by US Mainstream Media, so those relatives of mine will never hear of it. Would they care if they did? Again, I doubt it.

    Israel informs Hezbollah via UN that they did not intend to kill fighter in Syria
    The Apartheid state has been casually murdering Palestinians for years. Since about 2006, it has found a bunch of folks who have the ability to retaliate. The Hezbollah policy has been a virtual “eye for an eye” copy of what was done in the Old Testament. I suspect the pissant state would prefer to wait for President Biden before starting another war – hence the mock “regret” expressed in the note to Hezbollah. So far as I know, Semi-Senile Joe has never met a war he didn’t like. Replacing highly unreliable Trump with somebody like Biden will be a very good thing for the Apartheid state.

  12. Zachary Smith

    Some astronomy trivia: First, we’re less than four years away from the next total eclipse which will have Totality passing through Indiana. If I’m still here, and Indiana is still here, I won’t have to leave my back yard to see the entire spectacle from start to finish.

    There are a lot of hints “something” in the outer solar system is affecting orbits of large observable and very distant rocks. So far, that “something” remains invisible. In the event they can’t find an oversized planet causing these anomalies, there is a Plan B:

    “Scientists propose plan to determine if Planet Nine is a primordial black hole”

    There is even a scheme to detect this little black hole – if it really exists.

    Finally, the most trivial thing of all.

    “Can You Really Fit All the Planets Between the Earth and Moon?”

    If you try this exercise when the Moon is at its apogee, the answer is “yes”. On a side note, I’m really unhappy some dip****s removed Pluto from the list. IMO this was on account of a few nasty people who had never heard of the concept of “grandfathering”. Personally, I’m going to stick with the memory device of “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas”.

  13. someofparts

    I think Atilla the Hun’s foreign policy was better than Biden’s.

  14. Zinsky

    Misdeeds and Treachery in 2020 Elections Will Be Rampant

    First, thanks to Zachary Smith upthread for the important information about the latest Zionist actions which endanger innocent Palestinian civilians. The inhumanity of the Israeli government is on full display once again. I post this here because I find this a friendly and open site for progressive views, as well as my personal concerns about certain disenfranchisement techniques the far right plans for the 2020 U.S. elections, including: closing of polling locations, purging of voter registration rolls, deceptive ads about poll times and locations, as well as direct hacking of voter databases and social media disinformation campaigns by proxies and other trickery. I go to various right-wing websites to follow these techniques and they are there in plain view. Popular opinion has swung decidedly against Trump, but I bet the final results are exceedingly close. There will be electoral treachery committed by and for agents of the Republican Party that has never been seen on this scale. Beware.

  15. krake

    Among patients hospitalized with mild-to-moderate Covid-19, the use of hydroxychloroquine, alone or with azithromycin, did not improve clinical status at 15 days as compared with standard care. (Funded by the Coalition Covid-19 Brazil and EMS Pharma; number, NCT04322123. opens in new tab.)”

  16. Bruce

    It’s amazing that in all these links, nobody wants to get rid of capitalism. They just want it to work better, to be more sympathetic. Might as well make wolverines pets.

  17. S Brennan


    After watching the blatant and large-scale corruption of the Democratic Primary election in 2016 and again in 2020 I found this remark of yours pathetically humorous:

    “There will be electoral treachery committed by and for agents of the Republican Party that has never been seen on this scale. Beware.”

    I mean, both sides cheat…but…only a knave, child or fool would claim that only one party is involved in widespread election fraud…yeah?

    Besides Brze-zinski, some of our best [and probably most] Presidents obtained office due to election fraud…

    And yes, you have the right to be a partisan hack…for me to suggest otherwise would be racist, misogynistic, homophobic and all the other ad hominem insults that substitute for genuine argumentation….

  18. S Brennan

    “Lancet, New England Journal retract Covid-19 studies on Hydroxychloroquine”

    But after publishing fraudulent papers and apologizing for their sloppy work, the New England Journal returns with a study designed to examine why taking birth control pills, after the onset of pregnancy is of limited efficacy…oops, sorry, I meant Hydroxychloroquine. Let me quote some of the the punchlines of this “study” after a 5 minute read of Krake’s posted link.
    “Hospitalized Hydroxychloroquine-treated patients were more severely ill at baseline than those who did not receive hydroxychloroquine [control group]…The trial included patients who had been hospitalized with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 with 14 or fewer days since symptom onset…[two weeks after Covid-19 symptom onset..hence my birth-control-pill remark…what next…hydroxychloroquine fails to raise the dead? ].

    Among the reasons for exclusion from the trial were, previous use of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, or any other macrolide for more than 24 hours beforeenrollment (and since the onset of symptoms)…[in other words anybody who had been properly treated with hydroxychloroquine prior to hospitalization]….the [control group] treatment was at the discretion of the treating physicians. The use of glucocorticoids, other immunomodulators, antibiotic agents, and antiviral agents was allowed [for the control group..just not documented]”
    Which means the control group was anything but a control group, they were highly treated patients…we, the reader of this “study” are not allowed to know what the control group was treated with…that my friends, is not science.

    It goes on, the full protocol was written in Spanish…which is odd for an article written in English, probably more irregularities buried there. But let me add one more salient point, the study was financed by EMS Pharma, the largest pharmaceutical company in Brazil and they provided the pharmaceuticals! No conflict of interest there…huh?

    I can already see Fauci loving this “study”

  19. S Brennan

    Krake, I have a rebuttal to that study but, it awaits moderation…

  20. Zachary Smith

    Trump has a knack for picking dingleberries for Official Posts. Take his Ambassador to Iceland.

    “Controversial U.S. Ambassador to Iceland wanted firearm, security for Reykjavik post”

    The CBS link says Iceland is one of the safest nations in the world, but this fellow not only wanted a personal gun, but also “door-to-door armored car service”. He was also considering a stab-proof vest.

    On the last Open Thread I remarked about being unable to contact the Survival Blog site. Turns out the place is blocked by my own Internet Provider. The technician with whom I talked had no idea why this was happening. (it didn’t open for him – even at the central office) The reason I had wanted to check the site was to see if they had erupted on account of the behavior of Trump’s Personal Storm Troopers. When I used a relative’s internet to access the site, not a word. So I must conclude they object only when Democratic Presidents like Obama are doing evil things.

  21. highrpm

    hydroxychloroquine. pointless discussing its role in the covid pandemic w/o some basic understanding of how the immune system works and where hydrox… plays its role. new antigens cause the immune system to precipitate the cell-mediated response of white blood cell production and those white blood cells enter the blood stream and travel throughout the body to seek out and destroy the deplorables. meanwhile, the humoral-mediated response starts up in its role to deliver antibodies, after the cells dna has finally produced effective antibodies, to the interstitial fluids where those new antibodies live forever so that, when these deplorables invade again, sometime in the future, the first line of defense is those antibodies. and they have a long life. hydroxy… acts in the cell-mediated immune response, stimulating white blood cell production. its a safe drug. most folks can take it w/o worry, as they would elderberry or colloidal silver or whatever their favorite early defense supplements are. its most effective to take early one when one first starts feeling awry, when one knows the first response signs of the activating immune system is starting, fever, sore throat and runny nose.

    i will wrap this layman’s discussion with a flag-waving for sovereignty: i don’t want/ need a nanny government health administration offering advice. why? i’m rightfully leery of the next step of authoritarianism: your body, my choice. as a sovereign, i own my own choices and my own body. i don’t want/ need the collective experts’ one-size-fits-all advice. that’s what growing adapting intelligence–learning–is for. however, with the collapse of the public education system, this country’s masses are apparently short on intelligence. mommy, what do i do??? help me!!!

    (now, s brennan, pls tell me where my simpleton understanding of the immune system is broken. correct me in your esteemed learnedness.)

  22. S Brennan

    I have no interest in your immune explanation/question, a response is not worth my time, nor, in spite of your dogmatic argument, is it germane [even tangentially], to my post. For all your words, you have not touched the substance of my comment. My only medical advice to you on your colloquial rendition of high school biology is to beware of a sore elbow that can comes from patting yourself too often on the back in self-congratulatory manner…it could lead to serious complications in your case.

    Now to your “I don’t want/ need a nanny government health administration offering advice. ” remark. Well, you’re a little late for that because, that is what Fauci is doing as of this moment, trying to force pleb-serving MD’s to follow CDC/FDA guidelines [non-treatment ’till hospitalization] by threatening medical licenses…there your ignorance is glaring…you argue incorrectly…and with the wrong person.

  23. highrpm

    your response is pretty much what i expected. and your ignorance is glaring. and your sociopathy screams even louder than your lame attempt at presenting yourself as above the fray, intellectually. (i thought ian’s commenters tried to stay above ad hominems.)

  24. Zachary Smith

    Dr. Anthony Fauci isn’t ‘particularly concerned’ about safety of Moderna coronavirus vaccine

    I consider this remark by Fauci to be unfortunate, to say the least. But it caused me to go looking for a recent story I saw at the Naked Capitalism site.

    Covid-19 Vaccines With ‘Minor Side Effects’ Could Still Be Pretty Bad

    Since my first link is about the “Moderna” vaccine, my quote will focus on that one rather than the Oxford version.

    With last week’s paper from Moderna, results from that same group of people finally had their formal publication. At the same time, the group registered a 30,000-person phase III clinical trial, specifying a pair of 100-microgram injections of the Covid-19 vaccine. According to the press release from May, there were no serious adverse events for the people in that particular dosage group. But last week’s paper shows the full results: By the time they’d had two doses, every single one was showing signs of headaches, chills, or fatigue, and for at least 80 percent, this could have been enough to interfere with their normal activities. A participant who had a severe reaction to a particularly high dose has talked in detail about how bad it was: If reactions even half as bad as this were to be common for some of these vaccines, they will be hard sells once they reach the community—and there could be a lot of people who are reluctant to get the second injection.

    There is already a high level of misinformation and distrust about fast-tracked Covid-19 vaccines in the American community. This week, a new preprint from Kin On Kwok and colleagues found that even a sizable proportion of nurses in Hong Kong would be hesitant to take one. We may have a vaccine soon, say the authors of that paper, but “communities are not ready to accept it.” It won’t help to overcome this skepticism if notable evidence of harms keeps getting pushed off to the side. It’s much better to be straight up about what it’s really like to take one of these vaccines. Why would anyone trust the experts otherwise?

    The Trumpies have actively encouraged distrust of Government. This could end up biting them on the butt when it comes time to pitch a ‘miracle’ vaccine in attempt to get The Leader his second term. I can endure a certain amount of pain in a good cause like protecting myself from Covid 19, but will I trust anything told to me by Trump or any of his political appointees? Hell No!

  25. Zachary Smith

    Tom Cotton, US Senator:

    “As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction.”

    That’s not how a person typically phrases something with which he disagrees. A person might allow the remark to be a slip of the tongue – except for Cotton’s history on this subject. In this case he has been trying to halt some history teaching about slavery. Also, the man has voted against changing the names of some Army bases. The ones named after traitors who did their best to destroy the United States. Cotton wants removal of Confederate statues to be a “Local Decision”. He has accused Kamala Harris of supporting slavery by merely belonging to the Democratic Party.

    “Joe Biden & Kamala Harris are helpfully reminding Americans that the Democrats were the party of slavery, secession, & segregation. By contrast, the Republican Party was founded on & has always stood for the natural equality of all men & women.”

    I must assume he has a secret meaning for “natural equality”, for the the US of A doesn’t have an Equal Rights amendment, and Republican voter suppression continues to get better and better.

    We here in Indiana have had some genuine dopes elected to the US Senate, but I’m not personally aware of any as bad as Cotton. Smart and evil are a VERY bad combination.

  26. Jimmy

    I\’ve heard various individuals say that there is no \”left\”, including Chomsky. Is there a definition or foundational element to being considered \”left\”? I\’ve never heard a precise definition of what it means to be \”left\”, or \”right\”. Thanks.

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