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

Open Thread

Use the comments to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


Do Adults Really Not Remember School Sucked?


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – February 14, 2021


  1. Willy

    In high school I knew a guy who was just like Spicoli. I bet he enjoyed public education since he was stoned all the time. He got a job as a garbage truck driver. I saw him ten years later working as a cola drink delivery driver/salesman for supermarkets. He seemed straight and told me he’d bought a house and gotten married with a family on the way.

    It’s been a couple decades since. Today I can’t imagine a guy like that in my city not winding up living in a homeless tent community, or moving far away to affordability, or having not died from meth addiction.

    I helped a friend get his small business relocated four years ago. He was never college material, but still grew his business up to 15 employees and can now retire well by selling it. But he has to move again. The business his street is on is near a freeway exit, and was once used for free overnight parking by occasional campers and RVs. 4 years later (after Trump’s greatest economy ever) that situation has transmogrified into a homeless encampment with wall-to-wall ramshackle RVs and crap all over the street with nowhere for his customers can park. Plus the landlord (a software guy) is raising the rent by 30%. But I know the real reason my friend is moving. His own son, daughter-in-law, and baby weren’t college material either, and currently live out of their van. It’d be a drag to come to work every day with all that daily-reminder of how different things are today for the not-college-material types.

    More on the positive, Biden’s first time approval was the highest since Clinton during the tech boom years. And his covid plan also has high approval ratings. Maybe Bernie really is having an influence. Maybe lazy Joe is starting to listen. Or maybe not.

  2. someofparts

    It made a big impression on me when Yves Smith closed comments at NC and some of those people wandered over to this site.

    Since then I’ve checked the rules for commenters over there. It was a little depressing to realize I have routinely broken some of those rules myself, like the rule against threadjacking.

    I have decided to upgrade my behavior at this website out of respect for Ian. Going forward I will be holding myself to the same commenting standards here that are required at NC.

  3. edmondo

    It made a big impression on me when Yves Smith closed comments at NC and some of those people wandered over to this site.

    We had no choice. Who wants to comment on a site that has all the fragility of the Catholic Church and just as few followers? Her love affair with Leon Black at Apollo was the tripping point for me. I guess you can defend friends of child molesters but don’t expect me to help finance it.

  4. Plague Species

    Yves and Lambert Strether are pathetic Trump apologists as is Greenwald and therefore as much fascist enablers as are the Dems. Yes, McDonald Trump is a symptom of a much larger problem, but he’s a pernicious malignant symptom that cannot be and shouldn’t be ignored. The root of the problem and the malignant symptom must be addressed concomitantly. Yves and Lambert focus on the root or what they delusionally believe is the root and ignore the malignant symptom whereas the Dems focus on the malignant symptom and ignore the root.

  5. bruce wilder

    Yves Smith in her own commenting does not observe her own standards.

  6. Eric Anderson

    Interestingly enough, NC let me back in the comments.
    But it’s still a pain due to the lag time for comment approval. Basically, you have to be on your RSS all day to have any meaningful dialogue.
    Which it seems, like Atrios’s blog, is the case with the bulk of the followers.

    Do these people work?
    Honestly, how many of the regular commentariat here have jobs?

  7. Stirling S Newberry

    There are two sources of revenue – one that delivers goods to people the other that must pay to get in on the game. This is well known and well studied. The key point is that after the bicycle, real motion is conserved. Basically, we get more power and applied to our motion. All motion conserves power, with the sole exception of using a bicycle.

    The difference between what we pay versus how much it really costs can be reduced to a number. That is, we can computed how much we pay by delivering goods of greater value versus how much we steal by location. A coal miner does not have a choice except to move out and that price is stolen from him.

  8. Stirling S Newberry

    “Honestly, how many of the regular commentariat here have jobs?”

    I am in school, that is it is a job in one way and not a job in others.

  9. Hugh

    McC0nnell says he will vote to acquit Trump. McConnell is, was, and always will be a snake. So this was completely expectable. I guess the only response is to say, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”

  10. bruce wilder

    Caitlin Johnstone has written a hopeful narrative of the potential for mass liberation from the power of narrative at Medium:
    The Real World And The Narrative World
    It follows the Matrix analogy of a red pill — though it does not explicitly invoke that notion in this iteration of her message. Enlightenment about the distinction between the real world and the narrative world holds a promise of liberation from cynical manipulation and therefore political progress toward more effective cooperation in responding to the mounting crises of the real world (e.g. ecological collapse from excessive economic growth driven in part by propaganda and the mass delusions it creates).

    The not-subtle contradiction of a narrative aiming to persuade people to free their minds from the power of narrative evokes no meta-observations from Johnstone. But, it does raise the question: is it right to imagine that there can be an alternative categorical to narrative in social organizing of humans?

    Storytelling is what humans have. Enlightenment, it seems to me is not the overthrow of storytelling, but rather the introduction of critical philosophy as an antidote that importantly asks of story: “is this story true?” and, by extension of philosophy into science, and application of critical method, “what is objectively fact as opposed to what is value and perspective?”

    People sometimes think they can escape narrative altogether by adopting an anti-narrative realism, which quickly becomes another smothering narrative. When atheism becomes a religion, for example.

    The technology of communication — undergoing transformation and expansion — has something to do with the challenge we face from virulent propaganda and the urgency of developing resistance to this disease of the intellect. People seem to enjoy their high-pressure echo chambers of aligned voices too much though.

  11. Earlier this week you wrote an article critical of cryptocurrencies.

    You skewered those who were first to buy cryptos – and missed the entire merit of how being first in cryptos was a good thing.

    Succinctly, anyone with a thousand dollars could make themselves financially comfortable by following the herd by buying 3 to 5 cryptos “early” – and it is STILL. early.

    Further, what you missed about crypto “firsters” is there are no gatekeepers – no JP Morgans, Goldman Sachs, etc. – preventing them from buying early.

    No offense, but you need to delve deeper into cryptos before positing forth positions that have not been intellectually fleshed out before penning missives decrying this evolving market.

  12. Mr Jones

    The tight distinction between “work” and “play” is an interesting phenomenon of many backward societies.

  13. bruce wilder

    I used to think the sheer saturation with narrative would induce resistance. Like watching too much teevee drama or too many movies makes the scripts way too predictable and the viewer begins to notice the common tropes, the mcguffins, the tell-tale mistakes that violate some contextual pretence of time, place or sequence.

    But, somehow people seem to be losing that standard of “reasonableness” that was the great gift of the 18th century Enlightenment. I refer to the standard of reason that made the excesses of religious imagination and conviction no longer plausible. Miracles became a metaphor; no one could be tried and executed for witchcraft or blasphemy.

    I realize that superstition never lost its grip entirely, and subcultural milieus continued for a long time to the present day. Many people condemned homosexuality as fervently as witchcraft within my lifetime. People swear by crystals and watch documentaries about aliens building the Pyramids alongside documentaries on the actual Pyramids of ancient Egypt.

    But maybe something changed? Whitewater, WMD, Birtherism, Russiagate, Greenwashing, . . .

    Is it the sheer volume of disinformation and bull excretions — people just cannot spare the attention to think critically? Or, there are too few, authentic and reliable sources of reasoned analysis to model? And those that exist are too boring?

  14. Eric F

    @Bruce Wilder:
    Yes, I find Caitlin Johnstone’s ability to find optimism truly inspiring.

    And I agree with her tale of narrative reality. I have personally experienced the world making a dramatic shift when I have managed to change my narrative posture.
    Narrative is what we humans do. I believe that is as real as it gets for us. So to ask: “is this story true?” is easy. Yes, it is a story that someone believed enough to repeat. Will it eventually crash into the limits of physical reality? We might have to wait and see.

    I am not a solipsist. I believe in external reality. But I also believe that is quite clear that we humans don’t have any direct contact with any fundamental reality. All we get has been filtered. And even if we manage the occasional altered state that gives a brief glimpse of what is really ‘real’ it can only be a tiny fragment, because we don’t have much capacity.

    So stories are the best we can do. And they can be very good and satisfying, and produce good results in the larger world where there is some consensus about reality.
    Not only that, but each of us can change our own narrative with almost no expenditure of energy. How heavy is a thought? How many molecules must we move to change one? Almost zero. I’ve changed my mind 4 times just in the ten minutes that I have been writing this comment, so it is easy.

    Of course the trouble is that is easy to change our own minds (once we learn how) but each of us has only one vote in the consensus reality, and there are large forces pushing other narratives.

    Fortunately, the objectively real forces in the world cannot be ignored forever. Eventually false stories fail.


  15. Ren Decart

    The “Enlightenment” (what an audacious moniker) epitomizes the excessively rational.

  16. bruce wilder

    “True story” is itself a narrative trope and so is “freedom”: “you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free” wrote the apostle.

    Consensus reality has many elements that are shards of hope and faith and meaning. We tell stories to reveal, discover or impose meaning, and underneath or beside meaning we somehow discover function, how things work in a mechanical as well as or quite apart from a social sense.

    Sometimes, quite often in today’s political realm, people grab a meaning, an opinion they like and exclude all critical reason. Prudence, sense, humane good will go out the window.

    I struggle unsuccessfully to understand the political passions of some frequent commenters here. I watch uncomprehending the expression of really stupid ideas and ignorance of the recent past across the political spectrum in media and meatspace.

  17. bruce wilder

    People who cling too hard to meaning to admit curiousity about physical or social mechanisms and their essential functions are building a world to fail.

  18. edmondo

    McC0nnell says he will vote to acquit Trump. McConnell is, was, and always will be a snake. So this was completely expectable.

    You do realize that when a snake changes skin, it’s really the same thing only bigger. McConnell will vote to acquit just in case Donald in case in wins in 2024 and Mrs. McConnell needs to update all the maps of American infrastructure she already sent to China

  19. Willy

    According to Wikipedia, famed father of propaganda Edward Bernays got meaning in his life by seeing the masses as irrational and subject to herd instinct and outlining how skilled practitioners can use crowd psychology and psychoanalysis to control them in desirable ways. That would explain the popularity of mullets, fros, and ugly tattoos on girls.

    As for political passions, I don’t think that most people here are “the irrational masses” based on the kinds of debates seen, so maybe there are limits to what Bernays said. Some people are resistant. But I do see a lot of people projecting whatever it is that works for them (or doesn’t work for them) out onto the general population at large.

    What if that viewpoint became a political passion?

  20. S Brennan

    Biden surged armored troops into Syria the day after his coronation. Now, “fight’n Joe” has turned our nation’s lonely eyes towards reigniting the US led Ukraine war.

    Trump was hated for not wanting to start/continue wars by the neocolonialists in the ENGLISH speaking world, the US’s National Security State, it’s Ministry of Enlightenment [aka Media], the neoD’s, the rumpR’s and that legion of phony “liberals”, “lefties” & “pregressives” that have replaced genuine FDRist. I am sure most of them are overjoyed to see Trump’s anti-colonial views are being overturned at breakneck speed…to see that SARS II [aka Covid-19] are no longer one of the USA’s priorities, the nation has voted and it clearly voted for war with “fight’n Joe”.

    “The US-led NATO military alliance is moving ever closer to accepting Ukraine as a new member…an incredibly incendiary step towards war.

    This week NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg hosted Ukrainian prime minister. At a joint press conference, both were upbeat about Ukraine joining NATO. Stoltenberg admitted that Ukraine has been eyed for membership of the alliance since 2008. He confirmed that NATO forces are building up their presence in the Black Sea.

    Senior members of the Biden administration have publicly stated their willingness to increase military support for the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. [Their] envoys at the UN Security Council reiterated strident accusations against Russia claiming that Moscow was responsible for the conflict in Ukraine…In 30 years since the Soviet Union’s demise NATO has doubled its membership from 16 to the present 30 constituent nations. This was in spite of earlier vows by American leaders that they would not permit…NATO’s relentless expansion towards Russia’s borders, which would pose an existential threat to Russian security…NATO’s own rules forbid the organization from admitting countries which are involved in internal conflicts. That should forbid Ukraine from NATO membership [but], the US/NATO is turning a blind eye to its own rules, distorting its interventions in these countries as actions of defense against “Russian aggression”.


    Of course, the news isn’t all bad, our resident neocolonialists will get a big thrill should WW III start where the Nazis initiated their invasion of Russia in Operation Barbarossa…isn’t that ironic..yeah, I really do think.

    In other news…worth repeating:

    “Yves Smith in her own commenting does not observe her own standards.” – Bruce Wilder

    Yves wanted an echo chamber, not a discussion. But in fairness to Yves, [not that she was as considerate to those other than herself], the real problem started when she brought Lambert over to her site. Lambert brought all his hatred from his failed website Currante. Currante failed, in large part, because of Lambert’s pettiness, plus he wanted others to write his thoughts.

  21. someofparts

    Our ideas about the power of media to manufacture consent presume comfortable material circumstances – enough food, housing, healthcare. Tens of millions lack those things and their numbers are growing exponentially.

    It is depressing how many people who have advantages choose to be clueless. I just think that while we are wondering why those people are so detached it would be good to remember the substantial number of people who are not in the public conversation because they are too destitute to take part in any kind of civic activity.

  22. Joan

    Has anyone heard about Biden canceling Trump’s executive order that kept the price of insulin and epipens low? Now the prices are skyrocketing. But when I look around for more information, all I get is sources I don’t trust.

  23. S Brennan

    SOP, I am not discounting your premise:

    “…it would be good to remember the substantial number of people who are not in the public conversation because they are too destitute to take part in any kind of civic activity.”

    Based on my life experience, I think your point is valid but…the numbers from the 2020 election, if they are to be believed, tell a different story.

    It was the most destitute districts that showed over, in places, 96% turnout with well over 95% voting for Biden. This is astounding as these districts haven’t shown participation rates over 60% before and their splits were, at best, 72% Obama to 28% for other/none. Now granted, this only happened in poor districts located in crucial swing states but, it does show that the very poorest people of PA, MI, WI were, by far and away, the greatest voting participants in the country.

    Now why Biden’s policies resonated so strongly as to reach unheard of numbers is a mystery to me but, it should be a wake-up call to those leftish of center still inside the neoD party.

    Clearly, the poorist D voters are attracted to the most right-wing elements in the party. Biden has a long well-known record of being for an intrusive Security-State, pro-war, pro-Wall-Street, pro-Big-Pharma, anti-Social-Security and a host of other right-wing causes. The voting patterns, if they are to be believed, [and every Bernie/Biden/Cheney/Romney voter agrees that this was the cleanest election in US history], suggest that the neoD party needs to move further to the right to capture the destitute who are willing to participate at unheard of levels.

    As I say, this sounds unbelievable to me but, the only other explanation would indicate voter fraud and I think we all agree, election fraud is impossible. With that acknoledged, the 2020 election numbers prove once and for all that the Bernie/Cortez wing of the party should continue to be ignored, their leftish policies simply can not generate the type of numbers amonst the poor that the right-wing policies of Biden achieved…again, if the numbers from the 2020 election are to be believed.

  24. Hugh

    Trump’ impeachment lawyers admitted today there was a Capitol Hill riot, but they blamed it on the Democrats. Theirs really is the whiny baby defense.

  25. TheGatewayPundit is carrying a story

    Michigan State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey was caught on camera telling officials from the Hillsdale County Republican Party that the Capitol takeover was “staged” and a “hoax.”
    “It was all staged,” Shirkey says during the secretly recorded lunch meeting on Feb. 3.

    In the footage, which is over an hour long, Shirkey also says that Mitch McConnell “was part of it… They wanted to have a mess” so that they could impeach Donald Trump.

    My own theory is that Pelosi and McConnell were in on it. So, now the Democrats are folding on calling witnesses, and McConnell says he will vote to acquit.

    I predict Trump will NOT loudly object, so as to get at the truth. He’s more interested in playing golf, and probably recouping some of the reported 2 billion $$ he lost while a President. If some of his followers (not the false flaggers) see jail time, well, that’s no skin off his back, now, is it?

  26. Eric F

    @S Brennan:
    Last I heard, the truly destitute don’t vote.
    You can’t even register if you don’t have a mailing address.

    I’m going to agree with someofparts.
    The “mainstream” is on its way to becoming a minority.

  27. edmondo


    I hate to break it to you but nobody gives a flying fuck about Trump’s impeachment. It’s like digging up the body of an ex=Pope and putting it on trial. And just as amusing when you consider the Democrats convince more than their own voters to convict. If nothing else, the Democrats continue to entertain while the economy burns.

  28. different clue


    Yes, lets most of us try and follow some rules of decent procedure here. The trolls and nasty people who don’t will stand out by contrast, and can be scrolled-by even faster. And some of the people here might even try going over to NC and see if they can function within the rules. As to Yves Smith not following her own rules . . . . . the House gets to break all the House Rules it wants. That’s true in many Houses.

    @Eric Anderson,

    Yes, I have a 40-hour-per-week job at a Mighty Midwestern Fortress of Academic Medicine. What I don’t have is much of a life outside of work.


    I think part of the Ian Welsh article on cryptocurrencies was addressing the basic immorality of cryptocurrencies quite apart from mechanistic analysis of their “material success” for certain
    lucky-ducky ” first movers”.

    The no-crypto pledge remains: I will not use cryptocurrency and I will not tolerate those who do.

  29. Hugh

    edmondo, we have a crappy system because there is no accountability. Your argument that there should be no accountability simply ensures that the system won’t change. But maybe that’s what you want.

  30. Ché Pasa

    As the Senate slouched toward another acquittal of a president for high crimes and misdemeanors, it’s time for Americans to accept the fact that impeachment doesn’t work to remove a president or prevent a president from acquiring and using political power in the future. At best it’s a useless artifact of an antiquated system of rule, at worst it’s a pathetic resort to narrative and theater to substitute for necessary action.

  31. Hugh

    The Senate impeachment vote: 57-43. So not the 67 threshold. He is acquitted. It illustrates the absolute cowardice of the Senate. It’s not like this wasn’t expected. However worthless the Democrats are, the Republicans are the American fascist party, and there were always enough Republicans/fascists in the Senate to block conviction. But it is still important to know who is who and what is what and that at least the impeachment gave us.

    The US has a fascist problem. They mean it. So should we.

  32. Zachary Smith

    The site owner at Naked Capitalism routinely posts things about “Energy” which are unbelievably bad. The joint is still at the top of my bookmarks in the “Politics” folder, but it is definitely a place the reader needs to be very watchful

  33. S Brennan


    There are indications that the riot/impeachment was a bipartisan extortion scheme to keep Trump from pardoning Assange and Kiriakou. Both of whom were on Trump’s pardon list in early December and removed, reportedly at McConnel’s threat to vote with Pelosi/Schumer if he went through with the pardon.

    Eric F,

    If you read my comment thru, you will see that, personally, I agree with you but, the election numbers indicate the complete opposite, indeed they indicate the greatest sea change since Reagan.

    If the election numbers are truthful, [and every Bernie/Biden/Cheney/Romney voter agrees that this was the cleanest election in US history] the poorest in the land voted in unprecedented numbers for Biden’s “long well-known record of being for an intrusive Security-State, pro-war, pro-Wall-Street, pro-Big-Pharma, anti-Social-Security and a host of other right-wing causes.” over Bernie/Cortez wing of the party. The destitute were willing to participate at unheard of levels and showing the greatest pro-neoD partisanship in the US history of certain select districts. A tiny number of districts but, the most critical districts.

    This suggests that the DLCed DNC are correct, neoD party needs to move even further to the right to energize the destitute. That’s just what the voting results show and nobody, of any stature in the neoD party, thinks that the 2020 election results should be questioned in any way. Which in itself is remarkable, never have I seen neoD’s, rumpR’s, The Ministry of Enlightenment [aka media] and the National Security State in such complete lockstep support of a candidate…but…there you are. To argue against moving the country further right is to enter the “tin foil hat zone” of thinking the election had the slightest taint to it and all serious people know better don’t we?

    Objectively, you would think the nation showing an overwhelming and marked preference for Biden’s well-known right-wing policies would cause consternation here, but, I find it isn’t so; “liberals”, “lefties” & “pregressives” are the most adamant of all in support of Biden and by inference, his intrusive Security-State, pro-war, pro-Wall-Street, pro-Big-Pharma, anti-Social-Security policies. Biden’s policies have clearly healed the decades long split in the neoD party, the FDRists have been vanquished by the poll numbers…God help those who want government to help the downtrodden. No, after this election we now know that government help should be reserved for those elites who have earned the right to government largess.

    So yeah Eric F, I agree with you, but, you can’t argue with the results at the polls…the destitute have been holding back their vote, awaiting a true right-winger neoD like Biden. Do I support Biden’s rightward march that most here have been advocating for? No, but it’s indisputable, the poorest, but most critical districts have been waiting a long time for man like Biden to come along.

  34. Stirling S Newberry

    “Robert Altman, Video Game Mogul Who Survived Scandal, Dies at 73.”

  35. arknard

    Does Buddhist practice offer the tools to escape and avoid narratives? I have always favored the Kalama Sutta as a tool.

  36. Ché Pasa

    Dems as co-dependents, enablers, battered wives, sufferers of Stockholm Syndrome, etc., has been an ongoing trope since Reagan, and it continues on basically no matter what they do or don’t do, so I don’t worry a whole lot about today’s narrative drama. It does give everyone a break, and that might be a good thing, as I can’t imagine having Trump front and center again for an extended period is good for anyone — apart from ratings and advertising sales of course.

    Meanwhile, Joan’s question about Biden’s EO “raising” insulin and epi-pen prices is interesting. As far as I know, the story mostly bunk. Biden paused Trump’s late term EOs from going into effect, he didn’t raise (or lower) insulin/epi-pen prices. The Trump EO which he paused doesn’t, either. So in the end, it appears to be a wash. It’s a loud talking point, not a fact.

    On the other hand, the actions of some of the pharma companies in raising the prices of life-saving medications like insulin and epi-pens is completely unconscionable, shameful, and ought to be illegal.

  37. @S Brennan

    “There are indications that the riot/impeachment was a bipartisan extortion scheme to keep Trump from pardoning Assange and Kiriakou. Both of whom were on Trump’s pardon list in early December and removed, reportedly at McConnel’s threat to vote with Pelosi/Schumer if he went through with the pardon.”

    Assange and Kiriakou seem like small potatoes, compared to a Trump 2024 candidacy, and the MAGA movement, in the eyes of McConnell, Pelosi, and their overlapping donor bases. In any case, Trump cutting deals that screw his followers (not to mention himself), with lowlifes like Pelosi and McConnell, speaks ill of Trump, regardless of the motivations of the people on the other side of that deal.

    IMNSHO, Trump has forfeited any legitimacy to lead a national populist (“MAGA”) movement. He really betrayed his base, early on, as described by Bannon years ago, in the deals they cut with the Republican establishment. So, right out of the gate, Trump has betrayed. “The original sin” of the Trump administration, Bannon has called it.

    Even so, we could have forgiven a guy who didn’t expect to win, and was unprepared, if he had recovered and then actually looked to “drain the swamp”. Instead, we witnessed years of ‘incompetence’, whether real, feigned, or just due to fecklessnes. That last weeks of his Presidency, when he could have delivered a quantum leap to the very real issue of election fraud, was also forfeit by Trump. (see expose by Patrick Byrne, at, though Byrne is kinder to Trump than I am).

    And now, even after his politically incompetent, and mostly insincere Presidency is over, he finds yet additional ways to screw over his base, and honest Americans of all political persuasions, who want their votes to count, and not that of fraudsters. Progressives who want their votes for a future, more genuine Bernie Sanders also needed Trump to come through, even if they hate Trump.

    I’m having trouble not feeling contempt for the man.

  38. S Brennan


    If I get your drift, seeking the pardons of Assange and Kiriakou due to their wrongful incarcerations is contrary to your “contempt” of Trump. Fine, you know best.

    I have always tried to be an honest broker in spite of your haughty arrogance.

    I see using impeachment to insure continual punishment innocent men wrong, but you, see it as justified by your “contempt” of Trump…fair enough, be on your way. I will comment as I see fit.

  39. Z

    Our rulers’ clown economists now claim to possess such a precise degree of quantitative understanding of our economy that they can predict that a hundred million people getting $1400 checks will overheat our economy. How preposterous. And many of these same professional liars also say that they never saw the great financial crisis coming in 2008. Not that I believe them.

    Fears of inflation, it’s the new austerity; different branding, same aim. It’s really just our rulers creating a new justification to punish their subjects in order to keep the dollar strong.

    Of course the dollar’s strength is ultra-important to them because it allows them to maintain control of the world’s financial markets through the limitless leverage they receive from their paper boys at the Fed.


  40. Joe

    Saying this, maybe just because i must. Anger sometimes is the appropriate emotion. The trial was disgusting absurd theater impossible to observe a real stinking horror show. Congress has lost any semblance of credibility. Dems and pukes members of the same cringeworthy theater company. The orange child should be flayed what reason would anyone think he was on some crusade he was and is on his own Trumpian crusade. The man is nothing but pure bile why can anyone not see this. The proper response. Flay him in the streets Mussolini fashion. Let the street dogs eat his guts. Guantanamo is too good for him. The real message is let them eat cake.
    Inequality will blossom.The homeless camps will grow the complaint will hide. US has a Facist problem is correct. The worst it’s yet to come.

  41. @S Brenna

    Your interpretation of my comment is sheer looney tunes. You seriously think I see the impeachment as ‘justified’, do you? You obviously haven’t read my previous comments on the subject, on this blog; but even based just on comments for the current post, your lack of comprehension is astounding.

    I feel contempt for Trump because he has betrayed his base YET AGAIN, he has betrayed his office YET AGAIN, he has wasted a major opportunity YET AGAIN. In the case of the wasted opportunity of a spirited defense during the sham impeachment, which was offered to him by none other than Matt Gaetz (who offered to resign his Congressional seat due to ethics concerns), Trump failed to employ a defense that would have educated the American public about massive electoral fraud, AND made the heavy boot of DOJ against Trump supporters who got caught up in the Capitol invasion get lighter (presumably). Obviously, anybody committing violence or property destruction should not skate, but what about people who just went along with the crowd, not realizing what a set up it was? I.e., trespassers, who threatened nobody? Trump’s obviously not concerned about their fate, at least not compared to whatever comfortable arrangement he’s seeking for his next act. It’s my understanding that Trump’s ‘defense’ also failed to shed light on who made for a lowering of security arrangements, instead of a tightening, of same. That would have shone the light on McConnell’s and Pelosi’s treachery, if not treason, I believe. Oh, but Trump can’t be bothered with justice, either. If he was still on Twitter, he’d be whining away, but he’s not exactly a man of competent action, even relieved of his Twitter obsession.

    And this comes on the heels of Trump’s botched handling of the election fraud. It was clearly laid out for Trump how to proceed, and what a hard-drinking incompetent Giuliani was, by Powell, Flynn and Byrne, but Trump couldn’t muster the wherewithal to successfully change direction, in this situation, either.

    Of course he should have pardoned Kiriakou and Assange. In fact, it’s beyond me how Assange could even be in legal jeopardy wrt the US, to begin with, as he’s not a US citizen. But these count as just 2 of his many failures, and are less contemptible, as they weren’t, in any sense, followers of Trump, who responded to his call to come to the Capitol. What does the fate of Assange and Kiriakou have to do with Trump’s throwing his own base under the bus???

    Perhaps you’d get it if Trump snuck up behind YOU, and planted a knife in YOUR back – whether or not he hugs a flag immediately thereafter – but I’m skeptical. You’re too eager to pass up an opportunity to make looney tunes interpretations and accusations.

  42. different clue

    Trump never did consider his supporters to be anything other than ” coal or overburden”.
    Or maybe “pets or meat” if one would rather take a phrase from Michael Moore.

    The only reason I voted for Trump the first time is that the Democrats were running Clinton.
    And I felt that Clinton could never ever under any circumstances be permitted to be president.
    And I was not wrong and I am not sorry.

  43. different clue

    Here is a delightful summing-up post about the Trump Presidency by Steve Ludlum of Economic Undertow. It is almost Mencken-like in its brutal sarcasm. ( By the way, Steve Ludlum was banned from Naked Capitalism some years ago).

    Here is the link.

  44. someofparts

    Must admit I wasn’t paying attention to Hillary before 2016. What I’ve seen since then has run me all the way out of the party.

  45. someofparts

    When I made my post about using the rules from NC as a template for my own behavior here, I wasn’t thinking about NC much at all. My priority, clearly stated but overlooked, is that I will be holding myself to high standards out of respect for Ian. Let me say it again to see if I can hoist it above the noise this time. I want to practice the best standards for my behavior at this site because Ian deserves all the respect we can find it in our gnarly hearts to show him.

    I understand the criticisms of the moderation at NC. My response to that is the only response I have to any of it. Finding important, trustworthy posting/publishing is a constant struggle. It’s a lot like fighting to find healthy food hidden among the toxins at the supermarket, annoying but unavoidable. And the struggle to find and sustain contact with important sources is getting much harder even as we speak.

    As of yesterday, I seem to be off of Twitter. Really. So far the Tor browser is saving me when Firefox has cut me off from RT and now Twitter. I hope it will keep working. Anyone who has advice about other workarounds please share any tips you’ve got.

  46. someofparts

    It’s Sunday morning. Time for some church music.

  47. someofparts

    diff clue: Thanks for the link to Steve Ludlum’s website.

  48. Ché Pasa

    But this time around, the majority of elected Rs are showing just how co-dependent and battered they are in the orbit of Trump and his “army” of fans. Dems have been giving the big ol’ FU to the lot of them. For once. Not that it will do them much good in the short term.

    They’ve plainly said that what happened January 6 is going to happen again because of the co-dependence of the elected Rs in the House and Senate (and all the state houses around this land.) They see clearly — for once — where this is headed, and their warnings will go unheeded once again.

    Someone mentioned Buddhism up above. Yes. Inner peace in the midst of chaos is central to so much of Buddhist thought and practice. The chaos is always there, the narratives and desire driving the chaos keep being created and recreated. And it’s all an illusion. Isn’t it?

    Caitlin Johnstone seems to believe there is a reality apart from the illusion. She may need to engage in a bit more study…

  49. Didn’t listen to it, but will, later on. “Where Are the Witnesses? Ralph Nader Says Democrats’ Impeachment Case Is “Prescription for Defeat”” on youtube.

    I did listen to “Ingraham: Trump impeachment attorneys turn tables on House managers”, also on youtube.

    The attorneys showed that many prominent Democrats used the term “fight like hell”, while not accusing themselves of “insurrection”. Oh, those Dems are such hypocrites!


    At least in this short segment, Ingraham fails to notice that Trump’s ‘defence’ says nothing detailed about the election steal. (I’m frankly not 100% certain this is the case, but I’m inferring such from the headlines of right-wing websites.) At least in this short segment, Ingraham fails to say anything about the need to call both McConnell and Pelosi as witnesses regarding the lack of security. Especially the Capitol police, as they are appointed by Congress.

    Don’t even get me started on the false flag evidence.

    So, at least if this segment is characteristic of Ingraham’s coverage, we see main stream media lying by omission, and creating a “view of the word”, to use Chomsky-ish language, that is stunted and deceptive. In Ingraham’s narrative, the real sin is that the Democrats act like hypocritical political animals, and Trump’s lawyers are skillful. Trump, the poor victim, is not throwing his followers under the bus, and abdicating morally required efforts to expose the sham election system.

  50. Noam Chomsky, from “What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream”

    Academic social science and political science comes out of the same thing. The founder of what’s called communications and academic political science is Harold Glasswell. His main achievement was a book, a study of propaganda. He says, very frankly, the things I was quoting before—those things about not succumbing to democratic dogmatism, that comes from academic political science (Lasswell and others). Again, drawing the lessons from the war time experience, political parties drew the same lessons, especially the conservative party in England. Their early documents, just being released, show they also recognized the achievements of the British Ministry of Information. They recognized that the country was getting more democratized and it wouldn’t be a private men’s club. So the conclusion was, as they put it, politics has to become political warfare, applying the mechanisms of propaganda that worked so brilliantly during the first World War towards controlling people’s thoughts.

    That’s the doctrinal side and it coincides with the institutional structure. It strengthens the predictions about the way the thing should work. And the predictions are well confirmed. But these conclusions, also, are not allowed to be discussed. This is all now part of mainstream literature but it is only for people on the inside. When you go to college, you don’t read the classics about how to control peoples minds.

    Just like you don’t read what James Madison said during the constitutional convention about how the main goal of the new system has to be “to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority,” and has to be designed so that it achieves that end. This is the founding of the constitutional system, so nobody studies it. You can’t even find it in the academic scholarship unless you really look hard.

    (emphasis mine)

  51. bruce wilder

    Willy: I do see a lot of people projecting whatever it is that works for them (or doesn’t work for them) out onto the general population at large.

    I have made the observation many times here that the talking/opinionating/attitudinizing part of democratic politics is a manifestation of human ambivalence: any one of us feels and reacts to events and conditions in a panoply of contradictory impulses and “takes”. Our inner life experiences tend to be comprehensive and chaotic. In a social interaction, a division of labor of sorts takes place as we choose a role to play in the emergent drama. You say, potato, I say, potato and Babel is off and running. The most natural thing in the world in conversation is to either say, “I agree with you completely, but . . .” or simply, “but . . .”. And, that is all before differing self-interest associated with economic commitments come into it.

    The grand hope of deliberation and structured process in a constitutional, representative democracy is that properly channeled people can reach a prudent, reality-based consensus on to act collectively. If a professional judge and twelve ordinary jurors are shown the evidence and hear contested narratives interpreting the evidence, they can reach the facts and do justice in accordance with a priori principles embodied in law.

    If forced by an institutionalized system of distributed authority (checks and balances) and structured process, a mob can be transformed into a legislature and a domineering, charismatic leader can be distilled into a magistrate or executive. Rationalization of impulsive choices can be refined from a cacophony of petty disputes into reasoned, sensible rationales that guide consistent policy.

    Historically, attempts to make institutions that can make “democracy” or more realistically, broad and open bourgeois oligarchy work well as government have fallen afoul of many hazards. These include sometimes paralyzing proliferation of doctrines, dogmas and ideologies amidst people unable to agree to disagree and get on with what can and should be done. Sometimes, unable to make deliberation of representatives work, polities turn to a dictator or a monarch; how to keep corruption from running rampant or idealism from making the machinery seize from the absence of lubricant are familiar problems to the history of politics.

    I see the prolonged conflicts of the British Civil Wars and the late Restoration and the prolonged French Revolution as due to the difficulty of making government by deliberation perform. The British turned to Cromwell and the French to Napoleon, though at differing points in the sequence, to escape parliamentary paralysis, just as each turned from Royal Absolutism as a font of failed executive governance.

    U.S. political institutions are failing manifestly and from many diseases at once. Commentary here is all about differing diagnoses, prognoses. Some think some kind of collapse is in the offing. A few commenters latch onto an historical analogy and adopt its vocabulary without much intelligence — Hugh crying, “fascist” every few minutes, punctuated by Trump=Hitler can serve as an example.

    I think almost no one has a good enough grasp of the complexity of political economy to do much more than recognize that political malfunction has become the norm and, maybe, point their fingers of blame in one of several right directions. Several commenters could use a rethink on their choice of direction for finger-pointing.

    Personally, I recommend detachment, Buddhist or otherwise. Do not be eager to participate in the erection of an oppressive surveillance state that may well “succeed”. Nor am I inclined to become a prepper, though I continue to hope for some shock to the system to make possible some better course than the one we are on.

  52. Mr Jones

    Several commenters could use a rethink on their choice of direction for finger-pointing.

    But not Bruce. There’s not three fingers pointing back at him right now.

    Personally, I recommend detachment, Buddhist or otherwise.

    Because Bruce, by virtue of being here practically everyday opining on the same things ad nauseum, is obviously a good example of detachment and transcendence and spirituality and all that good stuff.

  53. bruce wilder

    Not everyday. I have a job.

    I am a political news junkie from way back and I do not really understand any of it.

  54. NR

    The reason that Trump’s lawyers didn’t mention the election “steal” is because there was no election steal. In fact, Trump’s own lawyers admitted he lost the election fair and square, because that is what actually happened.

    Of course, that won’t stop right-wingers from continuing to lie about it.

  55. Mr Jones

    I’m just trying to understand too.

    My reaction to Bruce speaks volumes about me. Time to reflect.

  56. S Brennan

    File Under; The Inability to Muster Introspection:

    “Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La. — one of seven Republicans who voted to convict former President Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol siege — on Sunday said there should be a “complete investigation” of the insurrection”

    Let me see if I have this straight, you want an investigation AFTER the trial? You want an investigation AFTER everybody who will be “investigating” the incident is on record as to who is at fault?

    No Sen. Cassidy, you want an “investigation” to do what the trial did not…justify your guilty verdict. Fact is Sen. Cassidy, I am sure you will get your ex post facto “investigation” and you’ll make sure that, in contravention to US law, that the defendant never gets his day in court to confront your “evidence”. Given the feeble mental state of TDS sufferers, this abrogation of US law will be popular…as Niemöller once said:

    First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – I was not a socialist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Meanwhile, while Hugh, Willey, NR [and now Metamars] insist that Trump is responsible directly for every single SARS II [aka Covid] death.

    Cuomo Avoids Reporters – Coverup claims engulf Cuomo as as Nursing Home Scandal Grows

    I don’t see how Gov Cuomo can be blamed for any deaths, everybody with TDS knows that Trump and only Trump is responsible for every single SARS II [aka Covid] death.

    Meanwhile…as I related two threads ago, WHO reverses it’s earlier claim:

    “WHO Backs Away From Outright Rejection of Virus Lab-Leak”

    “The comments appear to pull back on the investigating team’s remarks earlier this week..where the lab-leak theory was discounted and required no further study. [WHO had claimed last week] that the coronavirus most likely jumped to humans through fresh/frozen wildlife products and that possibility should continue to be exclusively probed.”

    Is that science? Starting with a conviction, investigating through exclusion, to arrive at the predetermined conclusion? I guess that’s what passes for the liberal mind these days?

    And speaking of Niemöller, Black Shirt, Brown Shirt and now, neoD Shirts…

    “Trump’s lawyer van der Veen house attacked, he’s faced death threats

    According to the Associated Press, the West Whiteland Township Police Department said graffiti was found at van der Veen’s home at around 8 p.m. on Friday. van der Veen detailed the damage done to his home during the proceedings. “My home was attacked — windows broken, spray paint, really bad words spray painted everywhere. And the thing is, you guys don’t know me, I’m not a controversial guy. I’m not politically minded so to speak,” he said.” Detective Scott Pezick said on Saturday that no arrests have been made yet in relation to the incident.”

    It’s okay though..’cause like if the guy doesn’t agree with your politics…he’s got it coming…should’ve voted straight neoD ticket without thinking about it. Let’s get it straight, political violence supported by neoD’s-NSS-Ministry of Enlightenment is a good thing, all other is a bad thing, a very bad thing, an insurection.

  57. S Brennan

    Here, Mr Jones tries his hand at censorship:

    “Because Bruce, by virtue of being here practically everyday opining on the same things ad nauseum, is obviously…” – Mr Jones

    Those that do not parrot the neoD Party line must be silenced, neoliberal/neocolonial doctrine must not face any questioning or scrutiny, there must be only one narrative!

    Mr Jones technique is to pretend to be a superior intellect, above the fray while singling out only those that don’t toe the party line to the exclusion of all others who do. This sophomoric technique is often used by frat boys, preppies, hipsters and other social leeches.

  58. Willy

    bruce: Personally, I recommend detachment, Buddhist or otherwise. Do not be eager to participate in the erection of an oppressive surveillance state that may well “succeed”.

    I had two engineering gigs in a row where I wound up impulsively warning others that an office psychopath had penetrated our once cautiously rational familial (and for our company profitable) sanctum, and that nothing good would come from it. After being ignored I was later proven correct. Maybe I was ‘doing a Hugh’? So had I played a good Buddhist and simply rolled with any punches I would still be employed there? Many others did do exactly that and they still have their careers.

    But then if we were all like that, maybe Queen Elizabeth would now be ruling America with such an iron fist that the only legal dog would be the Welsh Corgi. And we’d have a surveillance state so she could check, anyways.

  59. bruce wilder

    Willy, I do not gainsay your experiences with a destructive personality.

    As Ian has sometimes observed, hierarchical societies have pathologies built in, just as our starchy diets nurture toothdecay. If only the ancestors had the sense to stick to hunting and gathering with occasional clan gatherings to get sexy and gifts. Our societies opted for authority as an organizing gambit and power has corrupted ever since.

    I do not know why most people seem passively ok with sabotage or corruption by sociopaths. I also cannot fathom the hostility to the righteous whistleblower or why Cassandra’s truths fall on deaf ears.

    My own profession (economics) has been deeply corrupted by the perceived need to rationalize the depradations of the bosses and the rich as a public good. That is just incentives, though. Why people so often express hostility to the Serpicos and Assanges I do not understand.

    My father was a whistleblower who successfully brought down everyone above him in the Michigan State Police, save the Chief. He kept his job but was never promoted in 35 years of exemplary service. (The reform Governor elected in the wake of the scandal died in a plane crash.)

    It makes me a bit pessimistic about the ol’ crooked timber.

  60. “The SCOTUS is now scheduled to consider the voter fraud cases for Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia on February 19, 2021.Justices will hear the cases that allege widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Among those to be heard are Republican Rep. Mike Kelly’s Pennsylvania election case, pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell’s Michigan election case, and attorney Lin Wood’s Georgia election case.”

    OK, I’m officially confused. My (anemic) understanding of the law is that the Supreme Court can only handle constitutional cases, and never deal with evidentiary matters. Since the lower courts almost completely punted, what, exactly, is the Supreme Court going to rule on?

    The only thing I can think of is that the methodology deciding how the lower courts dealt (or, actually, didn’t deal) with evidentiary matters rises to the level of unconstitutional.

  61. Mr Jones

    Those that do not parrot the neoD Party line must be silenced, neoliberal/neocolonial doctrine must not face any questioning or scrutiny, there must be only one narrative!

    I’ve noticed in my brief time here that the S Brennan character talks to himself a lot. The “neoD Party line” isn’t something that anyone with even a cursory knowledge of my worldview would associate with me.

    I haven’t voted for a Democrat in years. Republican either. Come to think of it, I guess I’m actually somewhat sane. Thank God. And S Brennan.

  62. (sorry, posted the following to the wrong post; should have been this one)

    Trump’s legal team had a list of over 300 witnesses, including Pelosi, Schumer and Harris.

    Trump’s legal team, basically selected by Trump back-stabber Lindsey Graham (source: Robert Barnes), did the MAGA movement no favor by agreeing not to have any witnesses. If Trump actually cared about the MAGA movement, then it would immediately follow that Trump’s legal team did Trump no favor by agreeing not to have any witnesses. Well, now, that doesn’t seem too likely, does it?

    At the Duran, they’ve expressed the view that McConnell definitely did want impeachment, and had a secret deal with Pelosi and Schumer. McConnell broke the deal because of the blowback by the Republican base. The CNN reporter didn’t mention McConnell as on the Trump team witness list, which is interesting. I have previously expressed the view that I’m not sure whether Graham’s witness threat was directed at McConnell and Pelosi; or primarily at the Democrats.

    It now looks like it was directed primarily at the Democrats, but that still doesn’t mean that Graham and McConnell were on the same page. In Trump’s eyes, it must look like McConnell is the bad cop, and Graham the good (if back-stabbing) cop.

  63. Mr Jones

    Adding, my college experience amounted to academically failing out of middling Susquehanna University with 3 F’s and a C and then a few years at the local community college changing majors, trying to find something remotely interesting. My academic identity in our godforsaken society is “some college.” My economic identity, never having made much more than $30,000 in any given year, is also a joke by societal standards.

    I’m closing in on fifty and I have nothing to show for it that this society values. But I think my Mom still loves me, and I’m generally a kind person when I’m out and about. May the god I don’t believe in have mercy on me.

  64. Z


    If your experience is anything like my calamitous reentry into the tech world, the psychopaths who you were dealing with were actually folks on high doses of amphetamines.

    I had all sorts of problems with these people until I started attacking them, trying to get them fired, instead of attempting to find some sort of peace with them. Once this happened they backed off in a hurry and they’ve stayed off.

    My experiences with these folks, and let me be clear here that I’m not talking about every person who takes amphetamines, is that they live on the trigger edge of fear and euphoria. The “juice” facilitates the speed and magnitude of these two switch positions. Once you feed them some fear and give them a good taste of it, they stay clear of you. They want the euphoria and you’re bringing them down so they avoid you and conflicts with you whereas before, when they had no fear of me, they got off on covertly bullying me around.

    You’ll find that folks on amphetamines tend to hang around each other. People with like energy levels tend to gravitate towards each other, especially in the work place, where these conniving mfers try to create alliances to bully their way into power. The thing is though is that they can go on offense very easily, where their aggression is an asset, but they are almost defenseless when you go after them because then they are being forced into deeper thinking and the speediness from the amphetamines makes that difficult on them and most importantly takes them away from that dopamine ping they’re jonesing for.

    In my experience, there are no resolutions to be had with these heavy amphetamine users. You’ll think you’ve found peace with them because they’ll back off, but it’s only temporary. They are sensitive in some respects and they seem emotionally affected and you’ll believe that you got through to them this time and that it’s finally over. But then the next day they’ll pop their pill and it starts all over again. It never changes until you force feed them fear and stay diligent and aggressive towards them. Of course, you have to be willing to be fired to fully deploy this strategy.

    Trump is a good example of this fear-euphoria dynamic in heavy amphetamine users. He’d get off by probably doing a line of Adderall and then start tweeting sh*t about how he was going to go after the Deep State. But then what happened afterwards? Nothing. He didn’t do one damn thing to rein them in because once he came down, and possibly was told of the personal repercussions, the fear of the consequences set in.


  65. StewartM

    Interesting article on a big problem with our current “throwaway” capitalist culture, which lets businesses escape many of the real costs of their profiteering and what people are doing about it

  66. Willy

    bruce, In both of my toxic environments the stress of offshoring helped create a Lord of The Flies mentality, which I now just see as animalistic behavior. The group minded civility more prevalent during conditions of plenty gave way to the bigger, stronger, more cunning asshole rule. In such an environment all successful psychopaths need to do (while obviously able to blend in more easily) is gain the paranoid unethical boss’s ear and do his bidding. In one of my situations, since boss was a good guy, he was removed by his Number 2 with some machination advise from the psychopath. But yeah, after that unit collapsed nobody openly apologized let along made any amends.

    The hard part is trying to understand why so many seem so oblivious or susceptible and become enablers. Fear of tribal banishment? Boiled frogs? A feature of the Guardian temperament as described by Keirsey? I’d add brainwashing, most of it ruthlessly strategic. And there’s a sucker born every minute. My own wife still mostly judges people based on how nice they are to her face, after all my stories. Sometimes innate temperaments are hard to overcome.

    My psychopaths painted me with lies and used ample subterfuge, the latter to get the strategic jump on me. Wannabes could see the way the tribal power winds were blowing and leaned in that direction – better me than they. I’d catch the looks of guilt from well-educated ethicals who didn’t want to get involved.

    On several occasions I’ve had haters suddenly become sycophants when the tribal winds shifted. My typical first thought: So I’m still the same guy and we’ve had no change in our interactions yet now you’ve gone from dissing me to kissing my ass? Very odd to me how they never found that behavior embarrassing or shameful. I think there’s a lot of those out there.

    Bigger picture, I know the GOP branded itself as the party of macho-manly All-American self-reliance, while “The Other” were whiny losers needing handouts. When that wasn’t entirely successful they added the pro-life and moral Christian value crowd. The good kind of conservatism, not the sociopathic satanic kind. And now they look like fools. Maybe Frank Schaeffer has ideas about that works.

    I think this stuff is scaleable. So what doesn’t work in the macro, might be useful wisdom worth persuing for ones own micro.

  67. Willy

    Mr. Jones, neoD is meant as an insult. In reality “neoD” = moderate conservatism as it was a couple decades ago. Obama’s definition not mine. It’s a moderate Republican with strong neocon leanings.

    The 10-20% of conservatives left today, like Lincoln Project types, still embrace “free trade”. The rest have gone completely batshit and stand for little of anything except for singing patriotic songs and “Get antifa!”.

  68. Willy

    I dunno Z, I’ve known meth addicts. Their bad complexions, teeth, odd physical gestures and eventually paranoia makes them pretty obvious. A psychopath is very different: born, not made.
    The ones I knew were always the calmest in the crowd when all hell was breaking loose and everybody else was panicking. It’s hard to imagine somebody on amphetamines being like that.

    I’m only concerned with psychopaths because unlike other anomalous genetic extremes, like autistics or (some) agoraphobics, they’re very good at winning power and control games. I can’t imagine an autistic or agoraphobic taking control of an entire nation, to then create chaos and ruin for their own amusement.

    Psychopaths feel little anxiety and little drive towards completion (acquiring actual expertise in anything technical – it’s mostly bullshit). They feel zero empathy. This means they can do whatever they want and feel nothing in any consequence except for the rush that comes from exercising power. This makes them notoriously incorrigible. Since the dumber ones get filtered out of the system by getting jailed, maimed or dead, the ones office workers have to deal with are usually the smarter ones who’ve made it through that filter. They’re good liars with expert social skills and very good at getting themselves out of trouble. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

  69. Z


    Maybe they were on what Obama and Young Republican Pete are very likely on: Modafinil.


  70. S Brennan

    “Mr. Jones, neoD is meant as an insult” – Willy

    Actually the moniker is meant to be a “truth in labeling” effort, it’s literal meaning is New-Democratic-Person/Party and it’s for…

    …those that don’t know Al From and don’t know of Al From’s take-over of the, then Democratic Party during the 80’s in which FDRist were systematically expunged from the Party by R’s who had switched parties because they thought they could climb faster in the, then Democratic party than waiting their turn in the R party…and they wanted Republican Party economic policies, without the rejection of their particular sexual peccadilloes. As we now know, a great number of these R2D people enjoy/enjoyed the sexual abuse of minors.

  71. mago

    So I’m reading Che Pasa’s comments and thinking not for the first time that there’s some delusional thinking going on here, and then I get to the end and do a wtf? This guy’s got Mahayana/Madhyamika training? No lo focking creo.

  72. Z


    Anyway, my advice wouldn’t hold for Modafinil users. They’re harder to get to because they’re more calculating than aggressive. Modafinil is not an amphetamine either.

    My advice holds for amphetamine users.


  73. Ian Welsh

    Lot of different types of Buddhism. You can take someone down and be nice and detached about it. Guy I first learned from said that an enlightened sage had to one-third Saint, one-third Robinhood and one-third mob boss. (Chan Buddhist.)

  74. has an “exclusive” on the memorial of Ashli Babbitt, that appeared yesterday. Searching via google and duckduckgo, there is no mainstream media mention of this, on the first page of search results.

    I wrote a somewhat longish comment to another comment that expressed skepticism. It has gone into “pending” status, which means that it will likely never appear. Here it is:

    I’m still not convinced, either. The family allows the author of this article – a so-called journalist – to hang with them, but he either doesn’t bother asking for a copy of the death certificate, or he does, and they won’t provide it. With these many friends, you’d think there’d more than a few who would post on their social media about Ashli, previously; and about the reported memorial, after and even during.

    Also, how many memorial services do you know where they march down a public street, but the memorial has no public notice??

    There were obviously false flag elements to the Capitol Hill “insurrection”, the ridiculous situation at the scene of the barricaded door, where Ashli was ‘shot’, and extremely suspicious handling of Ashli after the ‘shooting’. Speaking of which, why did the author not ask the family about their feelings about whether their daughter was unjustly killed? About their feeling about the ubiquitous evidence of a false flag? Does the family even know that the Capitol police were UNDER manned that day, instead of having been increased in number? If not, why not? If so, are they planning a wrongful death lawsuit?

    Who is this Tayler Hansen guy, anyway? His name links, indirectly, to a twitter account and an anti-abortion website. I don’t see any bio information about him. He’s (apparently) about as researchable as Ashli Babbitt’s autopsy, and her friends. Did he go to college? Which one? Given his apparent young age, it’s kind of strange he doesn’t have a facebook page.

    BTW, being involved in intelligence or otherwise classified work tends to run in families. You can search for articles (if you can; some available @, for by Mike Ruppert, where he describes his family situation, but I’m not sure if I simply heard him say this during a lecture or interview. Also, Wayne Madsen has written about Obama’s family CIA background, on his website.

    What I’m getting at is: do we know anything about Babbitt’s parents, aside from them marching down a public street during a memorial service for their daughter, of which – as far as I know – there was no public notice, no social media sharing by Ashli’s apparently large number of friends, and the only outsider, Tayler Hansen, invited, happens to write for the Gateway Pundit?

  75. Ché Pasa

    For anyone who may be interested:

    SESSHIN: Genjokoan (Part 3 of 4)

    “To carry the self forward and illuminate myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and illuminate the self is awakening.” – Dogen

    What would it be like to cease our desires? In this third talk of our SESSHIN: Genjokoan, Matthew Kozan Palevsky, and Kigaku Noah Rossetter talk about our desire for comfort and our propensity of trying to find enlightenment outside of ourselves.

    They ask for your email to listen to the podcast and for voluntary donations if you wish. No pressure.

  76. mago

    Yes. Most unskillful and unkind comment on my part. Apologies to CP and Ian.

  77. different clue

    @ Bruce Wilder,

    I once read an Afghan saying offered by Colonel Lang at his Sic Semper Tyrannis blog.

    ” True happiness it is to behold the lifeless body of one’s enemy float downstream as one sits by the bank of the river.”

    Your father got to behold the bodies of many enemies float by. One hopes that gave him some happiness in recompense for his non-promotion.

  78. different clue

    I am not a Buddhist. Or even a Buddhismist. Not even amateur.

    So the following paradox merely confuses me: if Buddhism somehow involves the successful development of non-attachment and non-desire, and the Buddhist desires the state of enlightenment and is attached to the goal of attaining it . . . . doesn’t enlightenment itself become an always-retreating never-attained goal? Doesn’t the quest for it self-cancel the attainment of it?

  79. Ché Pasa


    If you have time (~37 min), listen to the Genjokoan podcast. The point is addressed if not answered. Or maybe it is answered.

  80. different clue

    @Ché Pasa,

    Interesting. I may well do that. Is there a clickable link?

  81. Ché Pasa

    This link takes you to the webpage:

    You will be asked to submit an email address and then be taken to the podcast page.

    This is the link I use for the podcast, but I don’t think it will work unless you’ve submitted an email address.

  82. different clue

    @Ché Pasa,

    Thank you for the link. Because I don’t like giving out my email, I may first try using a fake name and email. If that doesn’t work, I may well give my real one.

    I gather that Buddhism and the subject matter of Carlos Castaneda’s ” Don Juan” books are way totally completely different and not related at all. But I wonder if some of the same people were interested in both anyway.

    After having read a few of the “Don Juan” books, I stumbled upon a book of various critical essays about and against this series of Castaneda’s books. I found it interesting when I read it a couple decades ago and I still have it somewhere in my bookpile. And I regarded the case of ” it’s a hoax” or ” its a fable” or its “fictional wisdom literature” to be pretty well settled.

    But then I stumbled upon another article which gave one pause to consider the possibility that ” Don Juan” himself might NOT be a hoax. If I can find it after a brute-force search, I will bring the link here.

  83. different clue

    Here is about the first purely cheerfully uplifting wholesome post and thread I have seen on reddit. There are so few, I thought I would bring it here.

  84. different clue

    @Ché Pasa ,

    Here is the blogpost about Carlos Castaneda/ ” Don Juan Matus”. And I didn’t have to do a brute force search. I just retraced my memory-steps and the trail still exists. It goes to show what is findable by randomly Yahoo-assembling the images on any interesting topic and then randomly image-wormhole searching any seemingly-interesting URL.

    So I decided to click on ” Vine Deloria jr. images” and got this:;_ylt=AwrJ7JwUaStgoDsAwApXNyoA;_ylu=Y29sbwNiZjEEcG9zAzIEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Nj?p=vine+deloria+jr.+images&fr=sfp

    Starting from the topmost leftmost image, I clicked one by one for 6 images and image number 6 had this URL:

    So I clicked on that and saw in the “popular controversial topics” listing going vertically down the right hand side of the screen, a topic titled “Carlos Castaneda” . I clicked it and got this:

    And that’s the blogpost which offers some interesting new thoughts about Carlos Castaneda/ “Don Juan Matus”.

    And one would never ever find that by using any search engine the conventional way.

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