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

Open Thread

Use the comment section to talk amongst yourselves, should you so desire.


Trump Is the Next Stage of the Disease


Merry Christmas


  1. markfromireland

    Happy Christmas to you and yours Ian.

  2. If you’re of the opinion that Trump and his band are preparing to launch an unrestrained heist (I do.), what do you think we should be doing to limit the damage? Or should we all just hunker down and do whatever we can to protect those who are most vulnerable?
    Also, I assume he won’t be impeached as long as he advances Republican interests, so if folks want him out can anything be done to run a person out of office who appears to be fully shameless?

  3. Tom

    Lockheed Martin like Boeing just got bitchslapped in line. Both had cost plus contracts to make planes for the Government and now have been told no more.

    If Trump can bring the wild and inflating costs of weapons down, then good for him, he can then cut the defense budget down. Still needs to fire 2/3s of the Officers and cut pay for troops in half as they are getting paid twice the going rate in the private sector.

  4. Jeff Wegerson

    The only reason GOP lost NC governorship is district remapping software wouldn’t allow inclusion of GOP counties in VA, SC & TN.

  5. realitychecker

    Well, any Christmas spirit I might have every had was completely extinguished this morning by seeing video of the dog meat industry in Vietnam. This accursed industry is also thriving in China, the Koreas, who knows where else.

    Dogs crammed into cages like chickens, literally on top of one another, watching their comrades being cooked within inches of their own cages.

    I am a confessed dog fanatic, and proud of it, and when I think of these wonderful, intelligent, sensitive creatures being treated this way, I am filled with a rage that borders on the murderous.

    I am against everyone and everything that causes unnecessary pain and degradation to living things, and I know there are many other issues where savagery must be fought against, and I support all of those causes, but this is one issue that is getting no attention, while we are supporting these countries and helping their economies boom.

    I urge anybody who loves and appreciates the wonderfulness of dogs to boycott these fucking dogeaters to the greatest extent possible.

  6. Peter

    Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo!

    I declare a Christmas truce.

  7. Charlie

    I am a new reader here but my partner has been reading for a long time and proudly donates. I appreciate Ian’s efforts to explain things to those in a liberal bubble, things like why Trump was elected and how some of the people who voted for Trump feel about things. Hailing from Boulder, I’m definitely in a liberal bubble and appreciate Ian’s perspective. Also, my father is from rural Oklahoma, so Ian’s explanations are helping me to understand those people better.

    I know that Ian has said before to expatriate if you can. I personally had always wanted to expatriate after studying abroad several times in countries that had more substantial social programs than the US. I got the chance to see what a society is like that has guaranteed retirement for everyone, universal and relatively cheap healthcare, affordable yet still high-quality college, extensive public transportation, et cetera. I’ve wanted to expat ever since living in those countries, because if I am there I can actually afford to adopt children and have a family. Here in the US, even though I have an okay job, any health crisis is a financial crisis, retirement is not guaranteed, college is a huge burden, and I would be forced to cart my children around everywhere instead of putting them on a train and heading off to work. My partner and I are currently job searching abroad with the goal of moving in 2017.

    Thanks to Ian for your perspectives and reality checks.


  8. XFR

    What if the Green Lantern Corps worked like the Democratic Party?

    (Warning–Iffy site. Proceed at your discretion, but you’re probably fine if you’re using an adblocker.)

  9. GrimJim

    Anyone know if any bookies in Vegas are taking over-unders on Trump events and dated out from the Inauguration?

    Inauguration January 20th

    18 Days — Expands Drone Assassination Program to US Citizens on US Soil

    28 Days — “The Capitol Attack,” in which “Some Random Muslim” is officially blamed for destroying the Capitol building with an explosive device

    29 Days — “Government Security Decree” grants Trump extraordinary powers, civil rights suspended, Muslim Registry becomes law

    51 Days — First Muslim Internment Camp opens

    53 Days — “Emergency Powers Act” gives Trump power to bypass Congress and the Constitution

    67 Days — Muslim and Hispanic workers purged from Federal Government service and most Red State government services

    86 Days — Secret Service, CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, and other security agencies are all folded together and purged, reformed as the Federal Police Department under the direct supervision of Vice President Pence

    92 Days — All Unions are banned

    155 Days — All parties other than the Republican Party are banned

  10. anonymous coward

    Some people say we need to get over the election and just move on. Some say Hillary needs to go to jail for corruption and obstruction of justice. I say it’s not over until Donald Trump shaves Hillary Clinton’s head.
    He’s letting her off too lightly. Recent precedent (V. McMahon) not being followed. Why one standard for McMahon and another standard just for Hillary? Not cool!

  11. realitychecker

    @ GrimJim

    Too grim, Jim, unless the date for Trump making the first lampshade out of human skin is later than 200 days./s

  12. Popeye


    Have a great holiday! This should be an interesting year and I am glad I stocked up on popcorn to enjoy it with. Now out to get something to drink to go with it. Maybe some arsenic. LOL When you have time let’s talk.

  13. realitychecker

    @ Popeye

    How nice to see your handle, buddy. I wish you and your family a wonderful and loving holiday season, as well as everyone else here.

    I know I owe you a phone call, and confess I have been a poor correspondent with many dear people this year, it’s just been a blizzard of events around here. I promise I will catch up eventually, but feel free to email me at any time, I’ll respond immediately.

    Hugs to you, my friend.

  14. marku52

    My best guess is that the gormless Dems continue to deny reality and virtually disapear as a political force. The interesting (scary) thing about this is that after the Dems lose a few more state houses, the Repubs would be able to open a constitutional convention and pass any amendment on a straight party basis.

    What would they do? I suppose nullifying the 1 st amendment would be obvious, making Christianity the state religion another possibility (although which version has possible religious war overtones) and certainly something about abortion. Maybe returning it to the states, or perhaps as radical as Life begins at Conception. Which would start filling the prisons with women who misccarry.

    I can’t expatriate, my wife won’t go, and I’m really too old. Canada is too cold, Mexico is a soon to be failed state. We already live in blue OR, so if the country separates (as I anticipate in one way or another) , that might not be too bad. Possibly the best option might be Hawaii. Perhaps no one would notice if it quietly leaves during the civil war.

  15. Hugh

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

  16. different clue


    If America delaminates under your scenario, Hawaii might be a very exciting place to be . . . if you like excitement. As a fading Hegemon America loses Hawaii, rising Hegemons ( maybe a New Fascist Japan, maybe China) might want to pick it up.

    I think I will just stay in Michigan. Hopefully we will be forgotten about and not-interfered-with as we settle quietly into our gray crumbling-concrete Moldovakrainian poverty future.

  17. Webstir

    Thought this might interest some people. The KKK types are starting to get bold again up in my neck of the woods (N.W. Montana & N. Idaho).

    Hopefully, if this sees enough light these troglodytes will crawl back into their hole.

  18. Webstir


    Cascadia finally has a chance! In that vein, ever read Ecotopia by Earnest Callenbach?

  19. MojaveWolf

    A Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!

  20. V. Arnold

    Bah, humbug!

  21. MojaveWolf

    Just want to say again I appreciate all of you. Including Mr. Humbug. =)

    I agree w/RC on most issues (I think) but I really enjoy reading VArnold’s comments as well. (speaking of, that last comment thread shoulda been in the kindness post comments. Where’s y’alls sense of irony?)

    Speaking of agreeing w/RC, right there w/ya on animals in general and dogs in particular. I remember being on one side of a huge argument back about a decade ago when one side accused the other of caring more about dogs than humans. My retort was that this was not the issue, and probably not true of a whole bunch of people on my side, but however irrelevant it may have been, in my case, YES! If I see you (whoever the hypothetical “you” may be) and a stray dog both about to get run over by a car, and I can only save one of you, unless you are one of my very best friends, I’m saving the dog. Deal with it. =)

    A blessed season to you all. May the next year be shockingly better than expected.

  22. V. Arnold

    Thanks MW; ditto your posts.

  23. V. Arnold

    A very interesting 4 part article by Federico Pieraccini at Zero Hedge. Its three theories about foreign policy, by 3 different scholars; geographer Sir Halford Mackinder in 1904; Nicholas Spykman in 1930; and US Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan in the late 1800’s.

    About a year ago I read about Makinder’s “Heartland” (and his Heartland map) theory, but I had never heard of Spykman or Mahan.
    George Orwell’s map of his world in 1984 was very obviously heavily influenced by Spykman’s “Rimland” map.
    The second of the 4 part series was just released today.
    It is a riveting read and lays out exactly, the U.S.’s world hegemon strategy and clears up, once and for all, the pivot to the South China sea; total control of commerce by sea (Mahan’s theory).
    Reading this is like buying a play book of the game.
    China knows full well what’s going on and this may make the South China Sea the trigger for a greater conflict.
    We’ll see…

  24. realitychecker

    @ MojaveWolf

    And I love wolves, too. 🙂

    All the voices here serve a good purpose. I haven’t found a better place to engage with thoughtful people who are trying to get it right.

  25. different clue

    China also has a short-term resource-survival interest in the South China Sea. China wants to strip all the fish from out of the China Sea, strip-pump all the oil and gas out from under it, etc.; to feed China’s ecocidal terracidal growth-path a little longer. Resource-stripping will be more important to China than Hegemonostalgia will be to the DC FedRegime.

    In the long run, we will see which side the American division of the OverClass is on by whether they try pushing to build a road/railroad under the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska. If the American OverClass supports such an under-the-Strait road/railroad, that means that the American Overclass has decided it will make its big future money facilitating China’s Tibetanization of MexAmeriCanada.

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