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

Open Thread

Yet another. If you wish to discuss off-topic issues or events, please do it here.


Trump’s Continued Collision with the Federal Reserve


Putin’s Control of Trump and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty


  1. Let’s talk about reincarnation, people are just dying to find out about it.

    No? Damn. How ’bout this: Texas Cowboy comes up to Eastern Oregon, gonna’ show us how it’s done. Stops in to the French Glen Hotel for a cold can of Oly, puffs himself up and sez “Boys, on my ranch in Texas I get up in the morning and get in my truck before the sun comes up and when the sun goes down I’m still on my ranch!”

    Old Eastern Oregon Buckaroo, Baccaro, as we have always been, honoring the Mexican Vaqueros who ran cattle throughout Eastern Oregon for two hundred years before the whites showed up, tips his chair back on to four legs, dropping his boots from the table to the floor, stretches, pushes his chapeau back across his balding pony-tail, takes a good long pull off of his high-quality, hand-crafted micro-brewed ale and sez …

    EYah, I used to have a truck like that.

    Read somewhere today sarcasm will help us live longer, which we (in the US) are not.

  2. Willy

    I invented the phrase “pitchforks and torches”. I first said used it at a company meeting to describe what we didn’t want the shop folks to be coming after us with. Was met with the sound of crickets, a few blank stares… (like many of my comments here).

    I had to explain: “Ya know, like the townspeople in those old Frankenstein movies. Now… why the hell did they always storm the castle with pitchforks and torches? You know damn well they had knives, axes, scythes… maybe a sword or two… way better weapons to kill the monster with. More crickets. Corporate life was too serious. I didn’t use that one again for a long while.

    But then years later I typed it again at a sports blog. Caught on. Olberman started using it and it’s appeared in movies and TV shows. I’ve been sayin it an sayin it. The PTB never invent their own stuff. They just borrow from us wee folks then claim it as their own. Just another one of my pet peeves.

  3. Herman

    Are people interested in New Age stuff anymore? I was thinking about this today. I used to know a lot of people who were interested in UFOs and Bigfoot and stuff like that. There are still TV shows like that on cable but they seem to be played for laughs now. In the past it seemed like people were more open to unusual ideas but not so much anymore. I can’t imagine a show like Leonard Nimoy’s “In Search of…” today. People would just laugh.

    Is it because of the ubiquity of smartphones and their cameras? People say that. Maybe people are too absorbed in tech now to have unusual experiences. I don’t buy every supernatural or odd idea but I do think that our spiritual senses have been blunted. At the very least the world is a lot less fun and interesting now.

  4. Tom W Harris

    I wasn’t into New Age in general, but I did like the music. For some reason public interest gradually died out. My favorite radio station slipped from New Age to Smooth Jazz to Light Jazz. Its artist list degenerated from Enya and Yanni to Whitney Houston and Tony Bennett. Sad!

  5. robotpliers

    Yesterday I read this great paper that examines the ellipticity vs angular momentum relation of several thousand massive galaxies, plus overlays information for stellar mass, morphology, kinematic type, etc.

  6. steeleweed

    @Herman “… our spiritual senses have been blunted”.
    Spiritual matters are no longer considered pertinent to modern life, discarded along with poetry, art, compassion and community.

    Joe Bageant once remarked that among all the proposed solutions to the world’s problems – government intervention, high-tech gadgets, better education, different economic programs – we overlook or discount the role of the human spirit. It’s the only thing that has ever or will ever effect meaningful change.

  7. jengel

    Ian has written a fair bit about the problem of climate change and the potential future impacts. After getting active trying to stop mining near a priceless wilderness locally my thinking turned to our attitudes towards resource use, then the larger issue of climate change, how to respond and finally full circle to Ian’s point of view about what the future holds. My personal slant on it is that (perhaps unwisely) contrary to Hanlon’s Razor the actions that the USA and other nations are taking in response to climate change is rational and possibly according to plan, in an effort to maximize their piece of the pie and to give advantage in the coming (or rather ongoing) conflict over the scraps.

    Not one to run a blog, I’ve written up the results of these thoughts at the below. If you feel like feeling hopeless, give it a read:
    Climate Fight Club

  8. Willy

    bruce wilder,
    I viewed the Self series. Without saying such, it’s a pretty damning indictment of evangelicals who proclaim the New Testament as their guiding philosophy, yet are obviously far more influenced in their daily lives by the secular self culture. I’m not a fan of the decline of religion in the west but I’d think that’d be a major cause. Younger generations aren’t all that impressed. It’s a shame.

    “Why didn’t the good things of the past continue so they can be available to me” seems to be a perennial source of anger that can be directed into dividing people who need to work together.

    Well I guess Robert Reich does have his little ‘how to reach the other side’ videos. Since the Self series suggests that citizens cannot ever beat big business, maybe together we all can invent consumables for a progressive tomorrow. Or climate disaster tomorrow, whichever comes first.

  9. Tom W Harris

    Music tends to reflect the prevailing mood. Back in the 60s people were not accepting of injustice:

    Volunteers by Jefferson Airplane

    Look what’s happening out in the streets
    Got a revolution (got to revolution)
    Hey, I’m dancing down the streets
    Got a revolution (got to revolution)
    Oh, ain’t it amazing all the people I meet?
    Got a revolution (got to revolution)

  10. Tom W Harris

    Nowadays it’s quite different. We beg for crumbs and wag our tails in gratitude:

    Keep on Tryin’ by Kamil Bednarek

    You know, now we have to keep on tryin’, yeah
    You know, now we have to keep movin’ on, keep movin’ on everyday
    You know, now we have to keep on tryin’, yeah
    You know, now we have to keep movin’ on, keep movin’ on
    Nobody can stop me and nobody’s gonna break me down
    Cause Imma keep on tryin’
    No matter where I’m coming from Imma keep moving on
    Cause Imma keep on tryin’
    No matter how many times I fail in this rat race
    I’ll be standing face to face with fear
    No matter what the fellas say envy makes the truth fade away
    Cause I keep on tryin’

  11. Hugh

    File under WTF were they thinking (yet still says so much about them): MBS, Khashoggi’s executioner, ordering his son to appear for a photo-op showing the son shaking the hand of his father’s murderer. You can not make this shit up.

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