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 discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


R.I.P. David Graeber


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – September 6, 2020


  1. GlassHammer


    Quite a bit has been on my mind this labor day weekend but at the forefront is austerity, specifically state level austerity that U.S. residents will soon enjoy due to the economic contraction of COVID19.

    You see the state budgets are structured to always make an economic downturn worse due to a set of laws called “Balance Budget Requirements”. These laws prohibit states from spending more than they collect in revenue even during a crisis. 44 of the 50 states have these laws and how stringent they are varies from state to state.

    So with COVID19 reducing state revenues via smaller collections from sales tax, road/highway tax, and of course income tax you can tell what is going to happen to state budgets from this point forward. (If you have the time you should look into the tax revenue structure for various states because it directly links to how they handled COVID19. Florida gets close to 80% of its tax revenue from sales tax, they were always going to push to stay open no matter what.)

    Absent a federal bailout of the states, diminished state services is set to occur. In addition, some mix of privatization and tax increases will also occur. So if you live in the states it’s time to start thinking about getting less state level support and paying more to simply live.

  2. Ché Pasa

    — So far, the food pantries in this area have enough to serve the growing number of people who would otherwise go hungry. I shouldn’t say “otherwise” because a lot of people are going hungry anyway, even if, so far, their hunger is not starvation level. It’s worrisome because more people are moving into the area. Can’t say how many yet, but I’d guess it’s in the hundreds by now. Many have no jobs nor much chance of employment so long as they’re here. So, a lack of income is driving a lot of the current hunger levels. Even those who have income are facing ever higher food costs and have had to cut back.

    — The protests and riots continue without much let up, but they’re being more brutally suppressed by the Staatspolizei who seem to be taking their cues from the more repressive regimes around the world. The police aktion against Michael Reinoehl sent a shudder through the protest community in Portland and elsewhere, but it hasn’t stopped the protests, and from what I can tell, they knew it was inevitable that not only would rightists take out their bloodlust and aggression on the “commies”, so would special police death squads. And so here we are. Don’t ever forget the police are openly aligning with the white rightist squads of armed insurrectionists which exist essentially everywhere.

    — It’s not worthwhile to get caught up in the various conspiracy notions about anything anymore. Whether it’s the deaths in the streets (and there will be many more, sadly) or the apparent assassinations, “targeted killings” (was David Graeber among them?) It doesn’t help. The Revolution isn’t coming, and wondering who/what is preventing it is a needless distraction.

    — Do what you can to protect, preserve and defend yourself and those you care about. In the short term, no one else will, and those of us who make it to the other side of this period of chaos and catastrophe will probably be leery of anyone or any institution that claims to want to “protect and defend” anyone/anything but itself.

  3. Zachary Smith

    NYMA, the private boarding school where Trump’s parents sent him and where mine sent me, could be a brutal place where grown men who were veterans of the real military ruled with threats and force.

    Trump’s first year, under the command of Major Theodore Dobias, was hellish. Dobias slapped and punched him until he learned to make his bed and polish his shoes — things that Donald, an aggressive little wiseguy, had at first refused to do.

    In the aftermath of this experience Trump came to believe his own experience was akin to that of graduates of West Point. It has also caused him to really dislike high ranking military people.

    “Somebody just mentioned in passing that Vladimir Putin had asked for a call with him, and right in front us he absolutely shouted down Mike Flynn,” he said.

    “Like really shouted. This was at a formal dinner with butlers and fancy crockery – and he was properly shouting at him down the table.”

    Michael Flynn = 3 Star General.

    But let’s ask ourselves what kind of person would say these things to a retired 4 Star General who lost his son on the battlefield. I think it’s a power trip, saying these grotesque things to someone he knows will have to sit there and take it or make a huge gesture and walk off the job? I’m sure he knew it was offensive to Kelly. That was the point.

    John Kelly = 4 Star General.

    From all accounts Trump really didn’t want to make that short road trip to the cemetery because he has zero respect for dead Americans and on also on account of his being extremely self-centered and lazy. But twisting the knife in Kelly was surely a sweet bonus.

    From what I hear, active duty US military men and women have begun to understand how Trump holds them in total contempt. In fact, I no longer fear some kind of military coup to keep the nasty ignoramus in the White House.

  4. S Brennan

    It’s clear from the comments that, many [vote blue…no matter who] “liberal” commenters here support a Biden coup in the case of an unlikely Trump win.

    And it’s interesting that over at MOA a posting shows DNCers, Obama/Clinton officials and a cadre of “Never Trump” neoconservative R’s are plotting on how to accomplish such a coup in plain sight.


    “Those scenarios are the Color Revolutions Coming Home and they are promoted not by Russian media but by the U.S. establishment.

    “As Whitney Webb writes of the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) war games:

    A group of Democratic Party insiders and former Obama and Clinton era officials as well as a cadre of “Never Trump” neoconservative Republicans have spent the past few months conducting simulations and “war games” regarding different 2020 election “doomsday” scenarios.

    “…the Transition Integrity Project (TIP), justify these exercises as preparing for a scenario where President Trump loses the 2020 election and refuses to leave office, potentially resulting in a constitutional crisis…

    …However, according to TIP’s own documents, even their simulations involving a “clear win” for Trump in the upcoming election resulted in a constitutional crisis, as they predicted that the Biden campaign would make bold moves aimed at securing the presidency, regardless of the election result.”

    This TIP war game is indeed the plot for a coup:

    It is amazing how all this is unfolding in plain sight.”

  5. nihil obstet

    Looking for silver linings (although I suspect it’s all just tin foil) — The rich have tried to use the pandemic to push harder for privatization, but I think I’m seeing a much stronger, active public pushback than expected. Congress’s money cannon was loosed onto the 1%, but real active work has not followed. Acceptance of charter schools and vouchers for private schools appears to have dropped.

    There’s growing belief in gun control. I wouldn’t have thought that there could be anything worse than the various massacres of recent years, but it looks like people are finally saying “It’s crazy to have a situation that is expected to turn violent, and have lots of gunpower there. When the shooting starts, who’s the good guy, who’s the bad guy?” The revelations on La Pierre and his NRA grifting may have helped here.

    Support for the post office is loud and vocal. As I understand it, people now object to allowing building in places subject to natural disasters.

    More progressives are taking out not just open Congressional seats, but defeating incumbents.

    Overall, we seem to be heading towards more wanting to use government to make a better society, rather than just to act as the wholly owned oppressive arm of the rich. Yes, I know this makes Pollyanna look like a pessimist, but I do think the pandemic has broken something in the passivity of the general population.

  6. Hugh

    Much as Trump’s plan to reduce the coronavirus was not to test for it. He is now doing the same about racism by canceling government programs that address it.

  7. Plague Species

    The 19th anniversary of 9/11 is approaching. On that day, it is reported that a little over 3,000 people lost their lives to that tragedy. Per the following link, considering America’s current management or mismanagement of the virus, by January 2021 over 400,000 people will have perished and the number of deaths will exceed 3,000 per day. Wrap your head around that. Every day will be a 9/11, brought to by Donald Trump and his wealthy elite supporters, to include the ones like Pelosi who pretend to oppose him, will have murdered in cold blood over 400,000 mostly unwashed Americans and the number of cold-blooded, cruel and callous murders by January will exceed 3,000 per day which is a 9/11 per day, in effect. It’s Osama and Al Qaeda on steroids times one thousand percent. Only in their wildest dreams could they have accomplished what America’s wealthy elite have accomplished. Perspective is everything. These are needless deaths. Avoidable deaths. All America had to do was manage the pandemic and instead it not only didn’t and hasn’t managed it, but alternatively has prevented any effective management of it thus ensuring the maximum death toll. It is murder any way you slice it. Legal murder. Euthanasia, the taking of one’s life in a dignified manner on their own terms, is illegal, yet legalized murder of others via preventing the management of a pandemic to minimize needless loss of life by those who
    responsibility it is to keep Americans safe and secure, is not. 2020 is 1984.

  8. Plague Species

    It’s clear from the comments that, many [vote blue…no matter who] “liberal” commenters here support a Biden coup in the case of an unlikely Trump win.

    I don’t agree with this. It is not “clear,” as you say. In fact, I think this assessment is incorrect. I, for one, loathe Trump and everything he represents with every fiber of my being but I also don’t support Biden and Harris and the Dems as currently configured as the answer to Trump because they are as much responsible for the ascension of Trump as anything else.

  9. someofparts

    Well, here’s something I’ve wanted to share for a while that never fits any of the topics normally covered here.

    I’ve been enthused by some of the voices I’ve discovered on podcasts this year. Joe Rogan stands out among them as having the largest regular following. For a regular podcast he gets about two million followers. When he hosts someone especially interesting to the public, like Elon Musk, those numbers go way up.

    So, in a setting where audience numbers in the low millions are impressive, the guy I’m linking to here has a regular follower base that makes Rogan’s number look anemic. So here you go –

    He also has his own very well-designed website, if you google My Self Reliance.

    For some reason, I could just watch this guy for hours. It kind of restores some of my hope for my fellow humans that one focused guy with good values can do so much.

  10. S Brennan

    “There’s growing belief in gun control” – nihil obstet

    Dude, I don’t know what fantasy island you live on but you need to check into reality once in a while.

    The number of new gun owners has been screaming upwards causing unprecedented delays in “instant background checks” which are now taking months because new owners require much more time to check. My neighbor runs the most popular gun shop in the county, I get daily reports on all the “gun control advocates” suddenly seeking weapons and ammo. BTW, Ammo can not be found, all calibers. I have had people who “disowned me” in 2016 because I refused to [vote blue…no matter who] call/write me on what type of firearm to buy. And I do try to help them in spite of how badly they treated me in the hope that, they may, at some point in their lives, come to realize that they/their-cohorts may not be the total sum of wisdom and enlightenment.

    So no nihil obstet your unsupported conjecture is at odds with factual data and points to a magical belief system that has repeatedly been used to steer the American “left” onto the rocks.

    One final point, all these new gun buyers, firearm neophytes will probably get somebody hurt. The impulsive firearm buying by, for lack of a better definition, “hypocritical gun control advocates” indicates a lack of mental discipline and ability to plan ahead. I very much doubt these new gun owners will take the time to train themselves up to the point where they are “well regulated”. I doubt these new gun owners who can’t see their lack of planning or hypocrisy as personal defects will be addition to the responsible gun owners of America who have taken the time to understand their weapons and their limitations.

    All these new firearm owners who didn’t take the time to plan, to learn, to train themselves will probably hurt themselves or somebody nearby and blame the firearm. I can hear you say “yeah, it’s the gun stupid”…no, it’s just like a car, a boat, or a plane. Don’t plan, don’t practice, don’t maintain and bad things will happen. We don’t allow car/boat/plane owners to blame the vehicle when they kill somebody because they were irresponsible but, gun confiscation advocates have no problem denying agency to the individual when it comes to firearms.

  11. GlassHammer

    “There’s growing belief in gun control.” Nihil obstet

    Is there?
    From what I see demand for weapons hasn’t been higher.
    So much inventory has been sold, ammo is scarce, and everything firearm related is expensive. (Grumpy hunters as far as the eye can see)

  12. Zachary Smith

    Scary stuff. Looks to me like the Deep State is taking advantage of DJT’s well known ignorance and inattention to details. The US is poking and prodding everywhere these days, and it’s my guess they’re getting things all warmed up for President Biden.

  13. Willy

    There seems to be far fewer intentional vehicular homicides than there are intentional shootings, despite the far greater plausible deniability potential when killing with boats.

    Has the NRA offered to deal, to increase government spending for mental health testing and services in exchange for being left alone ala firearm regulation? Just asking.

  14. Zachary Smith

    Trump’s Vaccine Can’t Be Trusted –

    Subtitle: If a vaccine comes out before the election, there are very good reasons not to take it.

    Author Laurie Garrett proceeds to list those reasons. Although I’m miserable with the Covid 19 situation, the article title is correct. This isn’t something which can safely be rushed.

  15. Willy

    Maybe Trump can offer the vaccine at his rallies and blame the democrats/media/marxists for any fake results?

  16. Hugh

    Billionaires like gun ownership are signs of a desperately sick society. Billionaires are getting richer in the economic disaster of the pandemic. The country is awash in guns and people are buying more. As the saying goes, there is no cure for stupid.

  17. Arthur

    A quick word on the gun issue. The idea that there is a ground swell for gun control is ludicrous. I am a liberal on most issues, but I own a gun. Many people I know who are left of center own a gun. Speaking for myself, I have only shot my gun at the target range. And that was a few years ago as other things started to interest me more. I probably will never shoot my gun in anger, but I’m glad to have it nonetheless. What is it about the ‘left’ that it is fixated beyond all reason on non-violent protest, which has been shown over and over not to work?

    Let me also state that I have no intention of getting involved in any protest, be it one carrying a sign or a rifle. Maybe we’ll see in a few months how many of these non-violent protester will at least bother to vote, which MIGHT make a difference. I hope I’m wrong, but judging from past experience it will be damn few.

  18. GlassHammer

    “Billionaires like gun ownership are signs of a desperately sick society.” – Hugh

    You know no one thinks anything of people stocking up on food, water, medicine, or placing bars on home windows but you don’t see an increase in those actions unless people think things are getting worse.

    It could just be me but I was more alarmed by the lack of canning jars and canners than a spike in firearms.

  19. someofparts

    So if Trump wins a clear victory the military force him out anyway and put Biden in charge?

    Telling California, Oregon and Washington to secede if Trump wins and won’t step down anyway?

  20. Keith in Modesto

    I don’t know if I should bother to say anything, but several comments here seem to be premised on the supposition that supporting gun control and owning a gun are incompatible, or that an increase in gun and/or ammo purchases implies less support for gun control. Neither of these is necessarily true.

    “Gun control” does not simply equal gun abolition. Gun control can also mean regulating firearms and licensing owners, requiring they demonstrate competency and safety training. A person can support that and still own a gun without any hypocrisy or contradiction.

    And an increase in gun sales does not disprove any claim that support for gun control has increased. The two can very well go up at the same time. For one thing, there’s a lot of people out there in the United States, divided into many segments over many issues. One segment or faction that supports increased control gun could be increasing, while another segment is buying up more guns and ammo.

    Not only could those two things happen at once, but the first could actually cause the second. A certain segment of the US population, who have long cherished the 2nd Amendment and have for decades feared gun confiscation by the federal government, could easily react to an increase in support for gun control (among other segments of the population) by buying up more guns and ammo.

    It’s also conceivable that nominally “liberal” citizens might start arming themselves more with guns (out of fear of an increasing chance for civil unrest) to protect themselves, while still supporting gun control (which does not equal gun abolition).

    It would be really nice, as our country slowly spirals closer to low intensity civil war, if we could be a little more careful in how we parse this stuff out in our comments here on this blog. Thank you for your attention in this matter. You may now carry on in shredding the cultural fabric of our society apart.

  21. nihil obstet

    Keith Modesto, you’re right.

    The NRA was founded in 1871 to improve gun training, and has at various times in its history proposed regulations stricter than any recent politician has proposed. In the 70s and 80s, the Republicans saw hot-button emotional issues as electorally promising, so they whipped up ideas like the Moral Majority because Democrats hate God, welfare queens because Democrats are taking your hard-earned money and giving it to lazy welchers, and the constitutional right to carry an automatic rifle anywhere, because Democrats plan to confiscate your guns. Wayne La Pierre took over the NRA and turned it into a single issue political force that went ballistic over any sensible gun regulation.

    I do engage with a different crowd than many here, I think. Maybe it’s the toll being taken among the mentally ill, who don’t obey fast enough. I’m seeing more light bulbs going off over the videos of police shooting people they stop because they thought the person “was armed.” So far enough of the victims have been minority — men, women, and children — to keep the majority from getting too frightened. However, the idea that a person can be justifiably killed with a burst of police gun fire, because they were insufficiently obsequious to a policeman is a problem. “Don’t tread on me” and “Obey the government official obsequiously or suffer death” seem somewhat contradictory.

    I think we need to work through what contributes to the level of extrajudicial execution that we’re getting here.

  22. BlizzardOfOzzz

    Mob attacks diners in Rochester:

    This was always going to be the result of the bright idea to harass your political enemies on the street. The mob is stupid, as any Simpsons aficionado could have told you (“let’s burn down the observatory so this will never happen again!”) The best case scenario would be to turn your country in a Latin American style shithole where property owners live behind barbed wire fences and armed guards, and businesses are routinely shaken down by gangs.

  23. bruce wilder

    The best case scenario would be to turn your country in a Latin American style shithole where property owners live behind barbed wire fences and armed guards, and businesses are routinely shaken down by gangs.

    What billionaire oligarchs everywhere want, apparently and therefore what we get.

    I really do not think it is down to the choices made by the rioters — the desperation of rioters comes too late in the process of becoming a shithole country for that to be plausible causality.

    A mess like Brasil or Mexico is made by the 1/10th of 1% at the top, who decide they do not want old age pensions or public education or humane, non-predatory police and courts. Can’t have that burden of regulation getting in the way of bullshit jobs and payday lending.

  24. bruce wilder

    So far enough of the victims have been minority — men, women, and children — to keep the majority from getting too frightened.

    Certainly that’s the way the corporate Media report it.

    I am sure African-Americans are disproportionally affected, but if you just followed the national news media, you’d get the idea that it was entirely and everywhere a racial thing. At best, I think the impression left is, race plus mental illness. But, when someone counts, as the Washington Post has done — allowing for race not being identified at all for quite a few incidents — whites (however that might be defined?) are also dying. Even at ~1000 fatal incidents a year, these are somewhat rare events in a nation of 330 million people and other more common albeit petty oppresions ought to be tallied as well. Ferguson-style police predation has racial motivations in many places though not exclusively. Longer sentences for comparable petty “low-class” crimes and no sentences at all for crimes in the Obama-exemption categories.

    I guess my point is that suspicion of the media narratives is called for.

  25. S Brennan

    Scratch an ardent “gun control advocate” and you will find a “gun confiscation nut” underneath.

    Again, 80% of all the firearm homicides involve urban gangs in a tiny percentage of zip codes. 98% of all the firearm homicides involve pistols. Gun control advocates have been talking $#!t for so long that they have little credibility with the general public and 0.0% with people who don’t live in urban areas.

    NY Governor Andrew Cuomo in a interview “Confiscation could be an option…mandatory sale to the state could be the other option.”

    Dianne Feinstein “If I could have banned them all – ‘Mr. and Mrs. America turn in your guns’ – I would have!”

    Mayor Ed Koch “I’d ban all guns for except law enforcement”

    Boston Globe editorial “Gun control is first step, ultimately, there’s no way around it; there is a need to confiscate all firearms.”

    Scratch an ardent “gun control advocate” and you will find a “gun confiscation nut” underneath. They know “sensible gun control” doesn’t work because…wait for it…criminals don’t obey laws. So, it’s just a death by a thousand cuts because they don’t have anywhere near the votes for the legal method of banning guns, constitutional amendment.

  26. Stirling S Newberry

    Just ask the Swiss how to do it. Many of the problems we in America have, have been solved.

  27. Keith in Modesto

    S. Brennan wrote, ‘Scratch an ardent “gun control advocate” and you will find a “gun confiscation nut” underneath.’

    That sounds like rank prejudice, Brennan. None of the stats you site or the quotes from politicians establishes that everyone who supports gun control secretly wants to take all your guns away. Is your tin foil hat on a little too tight?

    Speaking of stats, according to Gallup (, as of last year, 64% of the population favors stricter laws regarding firearm sales. Are they all secretly yearning to take your guns?

    In regards to gun homicides, I’d like to see where you’re getting your stats from. My understanding is that most gun deaths are actually from suicide, and if you look at the data on this page ( it looks like gun homicides (per 100,000 population) are not generally higher in “blue” urban states than in “red” rural states.

    I find it rather odd this refrain that gun control can’t work because “criminals don’t obey the law.” If someone really thinks that is a good reason not to bother with gun control, then shouldn’t they be in favor of ex-felons being able to legally possess a firearm? I mean, they don’t obey the law anyway, so what’s the point? Brennan?

  28. Synoptocon

    The Swiss do it by being adults. Not a viable option in today\’s America – you guys are absolute *bozos*. Both sides of the aisle, all factions, all outlooks, all suasions.

    If the last six months have taught us anything, it\’s the necessity of interacting with you as little as possible.

    *\”us\” == the entire rest of the world.

  29. nihil obstet

    I am sure African-Americans are disproportionally affected, but if you just followed the national news media, you’d get the idea that it was entirely and everywhere a racial thing. At best, I think the impression left is, race plus mental illness.

    What I find interesting is the extent to which the protests are being cast so strongly as anti-racist. After decades of the media talking up how effective Clinton’s “Sister Soulja moment” was, now suddenly people have taken to the streets. Black Lives Matter is leading, but it’s almost as though people were upset and didn’t know how to express their ideas or what to ask for. The media have pronounced that the Occupy movement was ineffectual and left no results. So now you have another movement against the authoritarians, with a much clearer focus. It has drawn participation across a much wider range of the society than any previous civil rights campaign. It has given a goal and a language to people who couldn’t articulate either. And I think that’s why there’s so desperate a media and political campaign to cast it as purely racial.

    The mental health issue reaches into all groups. We all have a family member or know well a family with a member who occasionally acts confused and erratic. It’s easy to put that member in the situation of receiving orders when confused and ignoring them. And that would justify extrajudicial execution according to recent events. It’s like the 9/11 terrorist attacks. There were only about three thousand victims in a nation of over three hundred million, but it plugged into people’s fears in our endlessly warring nation. The police kill over a thousand civilians a year, which isn’t many, but it’s begun to plug into people’s fears of an oppressive government.

  30. mago

    I dropped reading the gun issue comments here because
    I grew up in gun culture Idaho way back when the NRA was about gun safety. Got a hunting license at age 13 and one requirement was NRA firearm training conducted on consecutive weekends in a university building basement.
    Like my WWII infantry Sargent father I was an ace shot.
    At age sixteen I sold my .06 4.10 300 savage and 22 pistol and rifle to my older brother’s friend and invested in pot. Viet Nam was a thing then.
    That’s to establish creds. What I want to say is that guns were invented for one thing: to kill. And if that’s your thing that’s your karma. My brother and my sisters always pack loaded as do some friends I consider family. I don’t air my views to them. The only motive for doing so in this public areana is because I just feel like flipping my thumb. Or something. Gun culture mentality dumb dumb dumb . . .

  31. someofparts

    Debates about guns aside, I think the information systems we depend on are more important. Having guns wouldn’t be so dicey if people were not constantly egged on to misunderstand each other by media owners who benefit from it.

    Before the internet, I would have said just put the Fairness Doctrine back in place. It worked just fine to keep hate speech off the airwaves until Regan struck it down. Now that the world lives online that won’t work anymore.

    Now I wonder if one day historians will say that a government like ours, built to facilitate individual license, was inherently incapable of surviving the internet without disintegrating. Maybe only a frankly autocratic system like the one in China will be able to handle the internet and still keep control of a country in the hands of its citizens, more or less.

  32. bruce wilder

    In the early days of blogging I naively thought people would use the internet to interrogate the narratives flooding the media. The internet, where people could talk back to journalists and talk to each other seemed like an antidote to the b.s.

    I remember when i admired digby for her subtlety. I had hope for the netroots. I was sure the NYT public editor would be the beginning of a reforming impulse. Surely, journalists — trained professionals would be embarrassed by Bob Somerby. People would surely realize Tom Friedman was a bad writer and a stupid man . . . six months is all it would take. The reality-based community would surely persist and prevail.

    I still feel people like Yves Smith and Caitlin Johnston are doing the lord’s work. Atrios is a voice for sense, but no one pretends he has any influence. He seemed to at one time, just as Ian did.

    But we have slid toward the dark side. Or at least the liberals did. Instead of a sharpened critique, every new revelation of elite reckless incompetence sows the seeds of more wilful credulity and empty moralizing. The impulse for rebellion revealed in the rioting and protest that has erupted in so many medium-sized cities. BLM has brought out a surprising sense that justice has been denied. But, BLM could scarcely be a more empty can, rattling down the road where it is being kicked by corporate hypocrisy.

    I get it in a way. In 1789, the Paris mobs knew where to find the aristos.

    I read Matt Taibbi’s latest rant this morning and it is a good one. He sees Trump as what he plainly is: a sleazy salesman. He wonders why we “chose” him, why only Trump was there to call the bluff of the political classes and why, like the bourbons, they learn nothing. Even though they also remember very little.

  33. someofparts

    I used to read Digby and participate at Kos. Now it feels like that happened in a different lifetime. I agree that Johnstone and Smith are doing great work. I like The Intercept too and there are also people putting up good work at Substack – Taibbi, Sirota, and Stoller in particular. A couple of good podcasts have also emerged – Rising and Useful Idiots.

    But despite the valiant efforts of those good voices, watching liberals slide to the dark side has been astonishing and depressing. I am old enough to remember the fear I saw on my father’s face as he watched Joe McCarthy and I can’t stop being furious with the people who insist on exhuming red-baiting. The only bright side is that is has gotten easy to talk to Republicans again because now I find Hillary, Obama, Maddow, and Whoopi as galling as they do.

    As to BLM, I’m starting to see all of that in a different light. The best explanation of it comes from, of all people, David Graeber –

    Graeber explains that the people who used accusations of antisemitism to stop Corbyn are putting people who are actually Jewish in real danger. They are alienating left-wingers, who have always been their best allies against antisemitism, even as fascist movements are on the rise across Europe.

    I think BLM is doing the same thing to blacks here. The wealthy corporate neoliberals who are getting so much political mileage out of the protests will not be the ones hurt if there is some violent backlash against the black community.

    There is one odd historical parallel that I keep remembering here. During WWII, when the allies provided money and arms to the Chinese nationalists, the nationalists never used any of those resources to lift a finger against the Japanese. Instead, even with the Japanese army marching across China, all they cared about was fighting Mao. I think about that every time the Democrats piss on socialists and cozy up to neocons. I hope I live to see them meet the same fate the Chinese nationalists met.

  34. bruce wilder

    The essay by Graeber takes on some of the dynamics. I cannot say whether I quite believe that a backlash is to be feared in the immediate future. As I have written before, I think in the U.S., overuse of the “racist” accusation — particularly as a blanket that covers or invalidates any other factor or grievance — and the use of “racism” as a moral trump card when there are so few alternatives — is worrying. But, Graeber raises a number of other issues that are starker in the context of British Labour politics, where the careerist centrists in control of the institutional establishment have subverted the resurgent Left in quite ruthless ways and the left have been, well, weak at best in countering the tactics. The Left seems to continue to expect to embarrass the centrists over the centrists’ ethical lapses, while the centrists successfully tie the Left up in knots over basically groundless accusations of not being pure enough. It is a very cynical play by the centrists, but their whole Blairite politics is morally vacuous.

    British political alignment has been challenged by Corbyn and by Johnson’s Brexit, and so far, Johnson has been far more effective I think. American political re-alignment is like a fruit rotting on the tree, it so overdue, and yet it has produced no leaders of note so far. Almost no voices, beyond a few online such as Rising (which I still view as suspicious — Graeber would no doubt take note of the high production values of Rising and wonder at that indicator of corporate backing.

  35. Chicago Clubs

    \”I very much doubt these new gun owners will take the time to train themselves up to the point where they are “well regulated”.\”

    They couldn\’t be any worse than a lot of the gun-crazy dipshits I have known over the years.

  36. Ché Pasa

    Hmmm. Bloggers back in the day were never quite the world changers they were made out to be or thought themselves to be. And blogger triumphalism as print media struggled financially and often disappeared has come back to bite everyone.

    Anyone who was around Daily Kos in the early days, for example (my UID is 500-something) may have welcomed the trenchant analysis of the political world of the day, and particularly of the Bush regime and its bloodlust, but it was clear, or should have been, even then that many of those most active and involved were careerists, looking for their opening as political/campaign consultants (which several achieved) or by-lined journalists (that too.) Markos himself was clearly out for influence and… ta-da, money. He hit the jackpot, too.

    So did Arianna, you may recall. Remember Young Ezra? Well, there you go.

    Interestingly, quite a few of the supposed most progressive A-list bloggers were ex-Republicans. Like Markos, like Arianna, like Aravosis, and on and on.

    Digby’s Hullabaloo went from trenchant well-written political and social analysis to essentially nothing more than Democratic Party spin. The Davids, Atkins and Dayen, at Digby’s place were angling for their own positions in the Democratic Party or as by lined journalists. And when Digby started getting push back on her transformation as it were, she cheerfully shadow banned dissenters, then shut off commentary altogether.

    Greenwald has a checkered history at best, but he seems to have settled into a curmudgeonly libertarian-ish contrarianism along with Taibbi and Maté and Johnstone, as a brand, and it certainly serves a segment of the marketplace of idears, so that’s good. Pierre apparently tired of the Intercept and abandoned the First Look Media project, so there is somewhat less there than was promised, occasional good work notwithstanding.

    When Big Money came into the blogosphere, as was inevitable, the independence of many of its leading lights was compromised (to say the least) and ultimately, the Big Media swamped what used to be. That — what used to be — isn’t coming back.

    But those who are hanging on — like Ian and others — contribute something important through their honesty of insight and analysis, untethered from loyalty to overseers and an overclass.

    That independence is crucial today, more so than back in the Old Days.

    Once he got his PhD, Duncan Black (Atrios) pretty much stopped having much to say on his own account. Can’t say things that will get you in trouble in the groves of Academe, no?

    Who remembers Bartcop and Media Whores Online (The Horse?) Who remembers what Tim Russert was really like on the air? (Hint: nothing like his hagiography)

  37. nihil obstet

    I am so grateful to the early blogosphere for providing alternative views from the mainstream media. Over time I felt devastatingly alone and wondered if I was crazy in my view of the political narrative. Then the Horse came galloping in and Bob Somersby, and it was like stumbling on an oasis in the desert.

    Along with the very bad things that have happened with the internet, it does continue to provide reassurance, “No, you’re not crazy.”

    Which is its own problem given some of those it reassures, who are in fact crazy.

  38. Hugh

    Back in the anti-Bush days of blogging, there was a lot of overlap between Democrats, (neo)liberals, and progressives. However, even then there were tensions between progressives and the others. The Obama 2008 campaign accentuated these with its TINA, our way or the highway attitude toward progressives. Blogs and bloggers mostly dutifully lined up. Some, like kos, had always been primarily Democratic outlets. Others, like FDL and Greenwald, went the more and better Democrats route. The progressive blogosphere pretty much evaporated under Obama.

    A few progressive sites like ian’s remain, but other sites like Naked Capitalism which still does good work on a few issues became increasingly goofy on others (MMT, Russia, etc.). And none of them focused on movement building. I often wonder what might have been if progressives had started organizing and putting together a clear coherent vision for the country –12 to 14 years ago.

  39. Don\'t Forget

    @Ché Pasa

    Anyone who was around Daily Kos in the early days, for example (my UID is 500-something) may have welcomed the trenchant analysis of the political world of the day, and particularly of the Bush regime and its bloodlust, but it was clear, or should have been, even then that many of those most active and involved were careerists, looking for their opening as political/campaign consultants (which several achieved) or by-lined journalists (that too.) Markos himself was clearly out for influence and… ta-da, money. He hit the jackpot, too.

    Yep, and speaking of Moulitsas’ Daily Kos, don’t forget Matthew Stoller’s huge part in that:

    Meet the New Bosses -After crashing the gate of the political establishment, bloggers are looking more like the next gatekeepers.

    Moulitsas has been on paternity leave and didn’t respond to interview requests. When I emailed Townhouse list owner Matt Stoller to talk about this story, Stoller replied tersely: “Google ‘blogger ethics panel.\’” (A running blogosphere joke, the query brings up various tales of mainstream media hypocrisy.) Then he posted my email on MyDD as the inaugural message in a series he calls, simply, “Annoying Email.”

    Frankly, if he was that virtuous, astute and honest, Stoller wouldn’t be pointing at boomers™ so much (many of whom are increasingly sleeping unsheltered on cement in Blue Metro areas, something his privileged and Democratic Careerist background will likely always prevent him from) as a main cause of the ever increasing hellscape. Also, he would have been shouting about Google et al’s Monopolies over a decade ago, instead of drowning the voices of those who saw the Technocracy violently approaching while he was sending private missives to Markos in the early 2000’s.

    For those who don’t require their information to come from a well known Liberal ™Publication, this is the best take I can find on Matthew Stoller’s exclusive Town House List:

    By catnip That Super-Duper Secret Townhouse List

  40. S Brennan

    Here is an article that addresses firearm homicides…not gun deaths. The article doesn’t use the idiotic blue/red state canard popular with WaPo/NYTimes editors, no it’s done by zip code and it clearly shows it to be an urban problem. It also shows that gun control/firearm-ownership has no relationship to firearm homicides; which explains Mexico and Brazil’s insanely high firearm homicides in spite of a much lower firearm ownership and some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world.

    WARNING: This article contains representations of reality which may offend younger or more sensitive “vote blue…no matter who” commenters.


    “Want to fix gun violence in America? Go local”

  41. someofparts

    Che – Thanks for that history. It fills in a lot of gaps for somebody like me who arrived in the middle of the movie. I remember when Digby closed comments. She mutated the way Maddow did. I appreciate being alerted to the careerism of so many of those early bloggers. It explains a lot.

    That applies to Rising too. K&S do seem careerist, but they are having conversations that help me right now, so I plan to keep watching in a ‘trust but verify’ frame of mind.

    “Over time I felt devastatingly alone and wondered if I was crazy in my view of the political narrative.”

    me too

    “I often wonder what might have been if progressives had started organizing and putting together a clear coherent vision for the country –12 to 14 years ago.”

    I think looking for any sign that it may be finally happening is why I’m following such an odd mishmash of blogs, podcasts and Twitter accounts these days.

    Speaking of voices in the wilderness, I’ve been wanting to share a link to this new (to me) blogger that I like –

    Also, this from Taibbi’s Substack –

    “Republicans were once despised because they were anti-intellectuals and hopeless neurotics. Trained to disbelieve in peaceful coexistence with the liberal enemy, the average Rush Limbaugh fan couldn’t make it through a dinner without interrogating you about your political inclinations.

    If you tried to laugh it off, that didn’t work; if you tried to engage, what came back was a list of talking points. When all else failed and you offered what you thought would be an olive branch of blunt truth, i.e. “Honestly, I just don’t give that much of a shit,” that was the worst insult of all, because they thought you were being condescending. (You were, but that’s beside the point). The defining quality of this personality was the inability to let things go. Families broke apart over these situations. It was a serious and tragic thing.

    Now that same inconsolable paranoiac comes at you with left politics, and isn’t content with ruining the odd holiday dinner, blind date, or shared cab. He or she does this infuriating interrogating at the office, in school, and in government agencies, in places where you can’t fake a headache and quietly leave the table.

    This is all taking place at a time when the only organized opposition to such thinking also supports federal troops rounding up protesters for open-ended detention, going maskless to own the libs, and other equivalent madnesses. If you’re not a Trump fan and can’t reason with the other thing either, what’s left?

    Ambrose Bierce once wrote there were “two instruments worse than a clarinet — two clarinets.” What would he say about authoritarian movements? “

  42. Sweden suffered one covid19 death in August. (source: youtuber Kim Iverson, “Media Falsely Claims Lockdown Protestors Are “Right Wing”)

    If only Sweden had locked down, and made facemasks mandatory. If only they had stricter social distancing, and not allowed kids under 16 to go to school.

    If only. What sadder words can a human utter? I mean, of course, a human with a heart.

    It’s too late for that Swede who “took one for the herd”. BUT IT’S NOT TOO LATE FOR THE SURVIVORS, DAMMIT!

    Sweden should lock down NOW, and make every Swede over the age of 2 wear a facemask. They should fine facemask violators as much as Germany does. Times 10, to make up for their public health sins.

    Only then, should they be allowed back into the good graces of international civil society.

    Well, when the “new normal” is a thing of the past.

  43. Ian Welsh

    Link to catnip article on Townhouse doesn’t work Forget.

    I was on it till near the end. Both more and less than people think it was. Mother Jones is essentially center-right wing neoliberal (look at who they chose as their house blogger), though they occasionally do good work.

    The Netroots is dead because it failed. Some of that failure was careerism and selling-out, most of the failure was very similar to what happened when Obama pulled the Democratic party together to have everyone almost simultaneously act against Bernie during the most recent presidential primary. (And it was, actually, mostly Obama operations that killed the Netroots, not Clintonites. Well, that and Google/Facebook killing ad revenue.)

    Stoller has his flaws (who doesn’t?), we don’t always agree (duh), and I believe he comes from privilege (in the old sense) but he’s not a sell-out, even though he works in the system right now. He would have have done much better for himself if he was a sell-out. He’s genuinely trying to fix a problem he sees and as best I can tell, not primarily for himself.

    Kos… well, he was the first person to really understand the power of the diary system. He crashed the gates (for himself) and as best I can tell that’s all he really wanted. But when he cooperated w/destroying the Netroots he turned himself into a minor player, albeit one who is comfortable.

    I met him and got a strong impression of him in 2005, and his actions since then are what I would expect based on that impression.

    The Netroots is a footnote now. When I talk to activists today most of them don’t even know what it was. It does offer some lessons for those willing to learn from them, but mostly it was people who believed doing what they could, with some careerists floating along. The sell-outs mostly came in the failure stage and are more forgiveable, really, than I thought at the time.

    And the person who stuck a stake thru its heart (its idealistic heart) was Obama, aided by many very stupid people who thought he was good guy but should have known better.

  44. Don't Forget

    Sorry, here’s the corrected link, I accidentally doubled it up:

    I certainly agree about Mother Jones, which is why I provided the other link. We can agree to disagree about Stoller, I have no energy at all to argue the point beyond saying many quite powerful voices on smaller blogs are now long gone due to such incidents; but thank you for posting my comment.

  45. Ian Welsh

    If there was ever a subscription fee, no one told me and I don’t remember any blast email going out in 2007 (I was very active at the time, I don’t see how I could have missed it since there would have been quite the reaction.)

    Some coordination took place on Townhouse, but not a lot. It amounted, in most cases, to someone saying “this is an important issue, I think we should cover it and here’s the take I like.” Most real coordination (like for primaries) was done by smaller groups. If it was “skull and bones”, it was complete shit at it.

    Mostly it was a place you could talk about stuff related to the Netroots movement, and yeah, it’s helpful to have a backstage for public facing people.

    This wasn’t that large a movement in the core people. I knew everyone or was one person removed. I knew MSOC, for example. (Liked her personally.)

    Townhouse was sorta important, I guess. But mostly that it was a place we talked to each other backstage. There was no vast conspiracy, alas, bloggers were rather open about what we were trying to do (more and better Democrats, primary the worst of them, defeat Republicans.)

  46. Ché Pasa

    Remember Young Ezra’s JournoList? That didn’t exist? Until it was revealed it did. And then it didn’t. Because it was no longer “secret.” So Ezra said, “Poof! Gone!”

    The back channel communications in the ‘osphere were extensive and ultimately very classist. If you weren’t part of the club, invited to join, you might feel something had to be going on behind the scenes, because there was so much conformity of thought and presentation among the A-Listers. But you didn’t know what it was until some of the back channels were exposed. And then of course disbanded only to re-form even further from the view of the unwashed — who even then were little more than “product” being sold to advertisers and pols.

    Obama’s scattergun and plug-pulling approach to the ‘osphere, and the whole notion of grass-net roots organizing and a genuinely national Democratic Party did indeed have a deleterious effect on what had been a very promising alternative media. We should probe deeper into why. Why was the ‘osphere so vulnerable? Why was it so important to Obama and his owners that this nascent alternative media be de-balled and dispersed into the ether? Why was it so important to these same interests that Dems lose and keep right on losing through almost all of Obama’s 8 years?

    When Markos lost influence in the Dem Party, he shifted the emphasis of his outlet to Republicans, (I liked to call DKos “the More and Better Republicans site”) which I’ve always assumed was a strategic move to keep his outlet alive. Dems almost ceased to exist at Markos’s site. Curious that.

    As for Mary Scott O’Connor, she always reminded me of Martha Mitchell. Telling the truth as she knew it, but so far outside the accepted parameters of “Truth” (Troof?) that she was rarely believed even when she was right. When Ian wrote about the Q-Thing, I was reminded of the same sorts of belief/non-belief around MSOC’s rants. People (readers) knew something was wrong, didn’t know quite what, and Mary Scott was trying to make sense of it and tell the world. Fat lot of good it did her.

    Idealism always competes with ambition, no? It’s natural to want a better future and to believe that someone or oneself can point the way and do what’s necessary to create that better future, for oneself, certainly, and hopefully for everyone. But we’ve seen over the last few decades, people with other ideas about the future are more than willing to intervene, disrupt and if necessary destroy the visions of those they fear. Or just don’t like.

    We’re seeing something like that play out on the streets where idealists/protesters are being stomped on and run over by those (cops/white rightists) who loathe and fear the ascendancy of people not like them in every way.

    Once this sort of thing starts in earnest it’s very hard to stop. Maybe that’s why #GiantAsteroid2020 is trending.

  47. KT Chong

    Yes, the anniversary of 9/11 is coming, which reminds me of American hypocrisy.

    Google “terrorism in China”, and check the “chronology of major terrorist attacks” in China. There are plenty of articles and sites that you can look into on the subject. Between 2008 and 2015, China was hit by about twenty major terrorist attacks PLUS dozens minors attacks, in Xinjiang and all over China. Every single one of those terrorist attacks were committed by… you guess it even though the Western media has ignored it (because thousands of dead Chinese do not mean much to the West)… UYGHURS.

    When the US was hit by a terrorist attack ONE TIME on 9/11/2001, America went ape shit, invaded and waged crusades on the Middle East that are still going on TODAY. So, how many civilians in the Middle East have the US killed? How many villages, mothers and children have the US bombed, droned and “double dipped” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries since the US started its “war on terrorism” two decades ago?

    If the US has the right to defend itself from Islamic terrorism by taking drastic actions, invading foreign countries and waging never-ending wars in the Middle East, then China very well have the same right to self-defend, to re-educate, re-brainwash, de-program, de-radicalize or do whatever to Uyghurs, who had committed DOZENS of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang and all over China between 2008 and 2015.

    China did not just suddenly one day decide to detain Ugyhurs and sent them to re-education camps for fun. The re-education camps were a response AND solution to the dozens of terrorists attacks committed by Ugyhurs, multiple times every year, between 2008 and 2015, (which has since stopped after China started the re-education camps.) At least China is not bombing, droning and killing Uyghurs like what the US has been doing in the Middle East for over two decades. (Is what the US has been doing in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East after 9/11 “(cultural) genocides”?) And, I would say re-educating Ugyhurs is certainly more humane than bombing, droning and killing them.

  48. Hugh

    China, the compassionate totalitarian state. How wonderfully Orwellian.

  49. Willy

    I’ve sometimes pondered what the US government would have done had 911 been perpetrated by Hawaiians. Or seniors from a survivalist retirement home in Arizona. Had they been Marxists from Florida, would the USA have used that as a reason to invade Cuba?

    Do these Ugyhurs have oil? Would the invasion of Ugyhuristan have provided the Chinese military-government complex a plausible public deviation away from some selfish business opportunities or hobby of some kind? There is much to speculate.

  50. KT Chong

    Actually, Xinjiang (where Ugyhurs are) DOES have oil and gas, but it’s not like China is some third-world country that the US can just invade to grab its oil and gas. Russia has lots of oil and gas too, and Russia has nukes and is fully capable of defending itself from the US.

  51. KT Chong

    China does not have to be “compassionate”, but it does have to deal with the Uyghur terrorism problem in Xinjiang that had been going on for years.

    I have posted this before, but the terrorism situations in Xinjiang between 2008-2015 were CIA jobs. CIA — and Turkey — were recruiting Uyghurs to join the jihad fight in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria; arming and training them, and then sending them back into China to destabilize China and kill Chinese between 2008 and 2015.

    Then, when China started to crack down on Ugyhurs and CIA-sponsored terrrorism in China, the US turned around and cried foul. The game plan is: the US wants China to continue to let Ugyhurs to committing terrorist attacks and killing Chinese in China. It is basically the multi-prong plans to create chaos in China. That is just how evil the US is.

  52. bruce wilder

    meanwhile . . . I just glanced at

    It parodies itself! (shrugs)

  53. Keith in Modesto

    metamars wrote:

    “Sweden suffered one covid19 death in August.”

    Here is a link to the Worldometer page on Covid-19 in Sweden:

    According to the “Daily Deaths” chart towards the middle of the page, the number of deaths in Sweden from Covid-19 did go down dramatically by August, but it was still higher than just one death for the entire month.

    Fact checking this was not hard. Why make such an easily avoided mistake?

  54. @Keith in Modesto

    You are correct. I count 27 covid deaths from Aug 1 to Aug 11. So, I guesstimate about 80 deaths in all of August. That’s .0008% of a population of 10,000,000. So the larger point remains.

    “Fact checking this was not hard. Why make such an easily avoided mistake?” Fair question. Laziness, I suppose. I stopped delving deeply into this stuff about 2 months, ago. Also, am trying to dedicate a few hours outside work to “deep work”, every day, on a software project. Even time for minimalist exercize has been scarce. I did start doing 5 pullups every morning, though.

    Regarding covid-19, I have a very good idea of who the biggest liars and/or delusionals are…. I didn’t (and still don’t) count Kim Iversen among them, though I will remember this, going forward, in considering her claims. Having said that, I’ve only heard about 7 of her programs, I’ll guess, so my view of her credibility is still a work in progress.

  55. @KT Chong
    “I have posted this before, but the terrorism situations in Xinjiang between 2008-2015 were CIA jobs. ”

    I vaguely recall such claims, and don’t put it past the CIA. If they’re true, and I was either in the Chinese government, or a Chinese citizen, then I’d be furious.

    Which raises the question: if they’re true, why has not the Chinese government made an issue of it, including making it well known to the Chinese people? I think it was Deng Xiaoping who said of the US attacking Iraq that it was like a big bully attacking a smaller bully. Maybe the Chinese are so jaded by our promotion of violence, that even when it affects them, directly, they can’t get too worked up.

  56. S Brennan


    Saw a video last night on a small study that shows administration of D3’s final liver/kidney decomposition, 25-hydroxyvitamin D upon hospitalization SIGNIFICANTLY reduces IC admissions and deaths [by whole factors].



    The vitamin D endocrine system may have a variety of actions on cells and tissues involved in COVID-19 progression especially by decreasing the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Calcifediol can rapidly increase serum 25OHD concentration. We therefore evaluated the effect of calcifediol treatment, on Intensive Care Unit Admission and Mortality rate among Spanish patients hospitalized for COVID-19.


    parallel pilot randomized open label, double-masked clinical trial.


    university hospital setting (Reina Sofia University Hospital, Córdoba Spain.)


    76 consecutive patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection, clinical picture of acute respiratory infection, confirmed by a radiographic pattern of viral pneumonia and by a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR with CURB65 severity scale (recommending hospital admission in case of total score > 1).


    All hospitalized patients received as best available therapy the same standard care, (per hospital protocol), of a combination of hydroxychloroquine (400 mg every 12 hours on the first day, and 200 mg every 12 hours for the following 5 days), azithromycin (500 mg orally for 5 days. Eligible patients were allocated at a 2 calcifediol:1 no calcifediol ratio through electronic randomization on the day of admission to take oral calcifediol (0.532 mg), or not. Patients in the calcifediol treatment group continued with oral calcifediol (0.266 mg) on day 3 and 7, and then weekly until discharge or ICU admission. Outcomes of effectiveness included rate of ICU admission and deaths.


    Of 50 patients treated with calcifediol, one required admission to the ICU (2%), while of 26 untreated patients, 13 required admission (50%) p value X2 Fischer test p < 0.001. Univariate Risk Estimate Odds Ratio for ICU in patients with Calcifediol treatment versus without Calcifediol treatment: 0.02 (95%CI 0.002-0.17). Multivariate Risk Estimate Odds Ratio for ICU in patients with Calcifediol treatment vs Without Calcifediol treatment ICU (adjusting by Hypertension and T2DM): 0.03 (95%CI: 0.003-0.25). Of the patients treated with calcifediol, none died, and all were discharged, without complications. The 13 patients not treated with calcifediol, who were not admitted to the ICU, were discharged. Of the 13 patients admitted to the ICU, two died and the remaining 11 were discharged.


    Our pilot study demonstrated that administration of a high dose of Calcifediol or 25-hydroxyvitamin D, a main metabolite of vitamin D endocrine system, significantly reduced the need for ICU treatment of patients requiring hospitalization due to proven COVID-19. Calcifediol seems to be able to reduce severity of the disease, but larger trials with groups properly matched will be required to show a definitive answer.

  57. Willy

    Norway has half Swedens population, but only 1/8 the CV cases. Finland is similar. Sup wit dat?

  58. Hugh

    So the Chinese are running a racist repression of the Uighurs complete with concentration camps but somehow it’s not their fault. It’s the CIA’s according to you with no evidence. KT, do you ever consider how whack your justifications of China’s dictatorship are?

  59. Thanks. I’m guessing you saw a youtube by Dr. John Campbell, who’s pretty good, overall, though he ‘s not as astute as Chris Martenson. Saw 7 minutes of Campbell’s latest video, then bookmarked it. Kudos to Campbell for spanking WHO, for not sponsoring the RCT’s for vitamin D prophylaxis.

    Well, the summer has gone by, and, AFAIK, nobody has made a significant dent in raising awareness of Vitamin D insufficiency.

    OTOH, I just saw a youtube advertisement for something called Charity: Water. I usually click right through advertisements, but this one was compelling. This guy has set up a charity, 100% of public donations of which go to helping people (overhead is handled through a private donor network), which constructs accountable clean water projects in dirt poor areas that desperately need them. It’s very gratifying to see happy villagers splashing about with crystal clear water, after seeing them drink out of swamps, e.g.

    I’d like to throw an idea out to you, and anybody else who reads this: Why not try something similar with Vitamin D tests, plus, say, a year’s supply of this relatively inexpensive supplement, for people who are economically challenged? Especially older folks with darker skins, who aren’t going to be making a lot from the sun, in general? A lot of kids, as well as older folks, donated their birthdays to raise money for this charity.

    You’ll never get gratifying visuals of people who avoided the flu, compared to, well, what? Them dying from the flu? However, people who discover they’re greatly at risk, and then correct that risk factor, can still create somewhat gratifying visuals that will continue to inspire givers.

    A grander idea is to take medically ‘hopeless’ people, fly them out to some country where a Medical Mafia doesn’t hold sway*, and then reverse their condition. Gary Null’s been doing “studies” with people in the US reversing various, serious conditions (and non-serious conditions, like baldness), for decades, but he’s not particularly good (IMO) at making videos promoting his protocols**; and, as far as I know, he’s never even attempted to set up a self-sustaining charity that could deliver holistic and alternative therapies.

    I had brainstormed a sort of tweener idea, in recent years, inspired by my very sick brother. He’s essentially medically incapacitated. The idea is to take basket cases, like him, reverse their conditions, get them back to work, and them have them pay forward to the next guy who is a basket case.

    * if necessary. I think more often than not, adequate therapies are available and legal in the US, but people just CAN’T AFFORD THEM. Between the suppression of cheap and effective therapies, which would hurt the Medical Mafia’s bottom line; and available, not-so-cheap but effective therapies that aren’t covered by insurance, and people just can’t afford, we doubtless have millions of people falling through the cracks.

    ** that might shock him, because he’s won many awards for his videos. But they don’t seem to compare to, say, a PBS documentary; or to the brief, easy to research Charity: water video.

  60. different clue

    @nihil obstet,

    There is also a growing belief in gun rights to set against your growing belief in gun control . . . if there even is any such growing belief.

    I read recently that half the new guns being sold are being sold to American Black Americans. If that is correct, that is a new rising constituency for gun rights. And that would mean that “gun control” will mean “gun control” against black gun owners. That would bring “gun control” back to its original White Suprematist Racist roots of ” no guns for black people”. And if that is what happens, then black people will come to hate, revile and resist the Liberal Fascist Pig gun control movement. Including with guns.

    Here is an interesting website in that vein.

    In case any friends of ” Black Guns Matter” are reading this comment, I offer for-free another possible name for an organized group under an organized name. And that would be . . .
    Black Gun Rights Matter. I give that away from free to anyone who wants to use it. But if anyone DOES want to use it, they better grab it fast before the Liberal Fascist Pig gun control movement pre-empts it to keep legitimate users from legitimately using it.

  61. nihil obstet

    Ronald Reagan embraced gun control as governor of California when the Black Panthers armed. He didn’t as president, when he himself was shot. There’s some heavy duty, blinding ideology going on there.

    We are much more likely to get sane gun laws if blacks arm, but it’s an unreasonable expectation, given the last several years when an accepted justification for extrajudicial execution by police has been that the victim might have been armed.

  62. @different clue

    “I read recently that half the new guns being sold are being sold to American Black Americans. ”

    I’ve long wondered why the NRA didn’t target blacks for gun ownership. Hmm, maybe “target” is not the right verb. 🙂

    The reason that a black person is more likely to need a gun than a white person is the same reason why he or she is more likely to need MORE police. (Obviously, not police thugs who use lethal force when they shouldn’t.) A black person is more likely to be poor, and is more likely to live in a high crime area. So, they have less police resources, per capita, and more need for same.

    Of course, encouraging black gun ownership would also help expose the smear merchants that want to reduce every other ideological conflict to “racism”. As is hopefully assumed by readers, I’m talking about legal gun ownership by non-criminals. Criminals have no need of legal guns….

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