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

Truly, Truly Good News as Americans Get Serious

The first really good news of the uprising was the burning of an entire police station.

This is the second really good news:

Now this has been done, fairly often, in other countries, but to see Americans do it? This is all good. This shows people getting serious, “We don’t want cops and we will keep them out.”

The assholes who like driving cars into protestors (which Republican lawmakers want to make legal) are partially responsible, but this is a big deal because it shows planning, and forethought, and a rejection of police legitimacy.

One main piece of why cops have been rioting is that they believe that because they are guys who “protect” everyone else, and because they feel the job is dangerous (it’s less dangerous than many other jobs, but that’s now how they feel), that they have the right to go anywhere, tell anyone what to do, and be obeyed, and to hurt or kill anyone at their discretion.

They feel they’re the people doing the hard work, the “sheepdogs,” and that the sheep just don’t understand. They make the hard decisions, and the sheep should just obey.

And most of American discourse around cops is, “Don’t resist, obey any order, and pray they don’t hurt you too bad.”  That’s reasonable when it’s just you and a bunch of cops, but it’s not reasonable as a group, or a society.

So giving cops the finger, saying, “We don’t need you, or want you, and we are going to keep you out,” is a psychological break.

I’m very pleased to see this. For decades, I’ve wondered if Americans would just take anything, no matter what, lying down. The last couple weeks have begun an answer in the negative.

Keep it up. You don’t need cops who run like the ones you have.

And, the next step? You don’t need politicians or executives like the ones you have now, either.

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Power Concedes Nothing Without a Credible Threat: Riots Work Edition


The Cycle of Civilization and the Twilight of Neoliberalism


  1. Eric Erickson

    This is a conspicuous display of out-group homogeneity bias by someone who should know better. The logically flawed sweeping generalization that all police are racist and unnecessary.

    If you don\’t believe that rule of law and hence law enforcement are a good thing then please take a trip to Mexico where the Cartels have tamed (if not outright assimilated) the police.

    As Eric Hoffer will tell you, dreams of worker revolutions are all fine and well, until the revolution ends and the practical men like Stalin and Mao take over. Then the real blood bath begins…

  2. Ian Welsh

    Oh yes, these people are the equivalent of drug cartels. Yup.

    You’re reading in, also, since I said nothing about racism (though most of them act racist.)

    You’re pearl clutching, anyway. This is mild compared to what unions routinely did right up into the 30s. That’s one reason they got FDR.

    The French and Americans both seem pleased by the results of their revolutions and the Chinese are doing fine these days. Russians died like flies when they ended their revolution, and a plurality to majority of Russians now wish the USSR had never fallen.

    America’s entire founding myth is about how revolution is often justified, and yet conservatives never actually want one. It’s strange.

  3. Zachary Smith

    Guess what – the Police are getting serious too.

    Minnesota State Troopers and deputies from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office thought it was a good idea to slash tires of unoccupied parked cars during a protest in Minneapolis.

    Since I doubt having a 2-digit IQ is an actual requirement for Minnesota Police, this is a deliberate middle finger these barbaric vandals are giving to everyone.

    I seriously doubt those dozens of vehicles were a threat to anyone – they were parked! But supposing a Judge had decided they were, the Blue Vandals could have nipped off the ends of the tire valves. Betcha they didn’t bother with a Judge, either.

    One more time Barbaric Vandals in Blue Uniforms.

  4. Eric Erickson

    China is doing fine? Really? REALLY?!!

    China is a flat-out Orwellian police state with all the trimmings, where people have zero freedom and zero political power and zero civil liberties. Pollution is unspeakable and no policeman will ever suffer consequences like that ex-policeman in Minneapolis.

    Someone is showing their colors. Ungood double plus.

    Yes, the playbook for operators is very fairly consistent: find an aggrieved segment of the population, fan the flames. Offer resources, and guidance, and logistical support.

  5. Ian Welsh


    even if you add all the Uighurs in camps to their prison population China has less people locked up than the US per capita.

    China has the pollution the US had before it was exported to China, that is all.

    You should do a bit more research. Out of all the cop-killing in the past 10 years, what percentage have led to a prison sentence?

    Now, a little more research: how many foreigners has China killed in the last 40 years? How many foreigners has America killed?

    China’s an evil authoritarian state in many ways, but there’s no particular reason to believe that the majority of Chinese don’t think the government has done a good job over the last 40 years.

    So yea, China’s doing well. They’ve lifted over half of their population out of poverty, by some measures have the largest economy in the world, and definitely have the most industrial production.

    Mao hasn’t been in charge there for well over 40 years, so squealing about him is meaningless.

    But all of this is beyond stupid, because only a retard thinks that the US is going to have a communist revolution like those of the Russians and Chinese. (For enough reasons one could write a book about it.)

    Revolutions are sometimes good, sometimes bad. Change often happens when people are willing to riot and that change is often good, though not always. Elites who are not scared of their populations treat their populations abysmally, something that America’s founders understood.

    And most changes in governance fall short of full revolution: FDR was an astounding change in America. So was Reagan.

    I’m genuinely tired of the hysterics who come out screaming Mao/Stalin, as if they were the only historical events ever, or as if capitalists didn’t kill their hundreds of millions and genocide entire cultures.

  6. S Brennan

    For cry’n out load Ian et al;

    These protest will either fade when President[D] gets elected or, be crushed when President[D] takes office…just like they were in 2009.

    This is more shit to keep Al From’s DNCers in power; simple as that, nothing more, nothing less. The only part missing is who gets to play the blogger turned “journalist”, the EZ-rah Klein of this generation, the one that will write a WaPo column that says, [I am paraphrasing from memory], “crushing a movement is actually empowering to such movements”. Tee..hee..that was a real kneel slapper.

    Today’s [D]-only-voter doesn’t know enough history to even fill an empty vessel with hope.

    Oh, BTW children, some of the “protest leaders” will be getting names and faces so you can be blackballed and forced to work shit jobs for the rest of your life. Inside every “protest movement” there are infiltrators and their sole purpose is to collect info, you’ll never know who they are, trust no one. It’s the shits to have been bamboozled into thinking a political operation is legit and then to find out that not only were you made a fool of but, your life is ruined by those who conned you.

  7. GrimJim

    Ian, please do not call Eric and others of his ilk “retarded,” as the proper term is “person with cognitive disabilities,” and even a person with cognitive disabilities knows there won’t be a Marxist/Communist revolution in the US.

    Conflating purposefully ignorant people with people with cognitive disabilities is an insult to those with cognitive disabilities.

  8. Stirling S Newberry


    Outsider House
    Fourth term
    Coke-bottle glasses
    establishment, but not of it
    progressive democratic socialist
    frustrations successes
    quixotic weakest planet reëlected
    United States senator Chomsky.


    bloom majesty eternal
    Bees stamens nectar pistil
    fertilized maturity
    Malus domestica
    speckled Winesap
    muscular Gravenstein
    calculated Honeycrisp
    astonishing Pearl
    ripening warts
    cultivars innumerable varieties
    gonzo blight necrosis
    Demise invader

  9. Z

    We got a federal government that doesn’t represent the best interests of the vast majority of this country. Instead it serves as a legislative obstacle course that is booby-trapped with legally bribed (maybe not so legally in some cases) and possibly blackmailed politicians (see Epstein, Jeffrey) who continually engage in clownish kabuki theater to prevent the public from getting legislation approved that the majority of the public desires and direly needs while Wall Street has a drive-up window at the Fed for essentially whatever amount of funds is required, almost no questions asked, to rescue and boost the markets and hence protect and enhance the wealth of the already rich, which include the majority of Congress and their big-money sponsors.

    Because of the actions of the Federal Reserve these rich sponsors and their politicians themselves have been insulated from the the nuts-and-bolts, bread-and-butter economy that we struggle within and the Fed has severed the connection between the interests of the working class and the rich by this backstopping of the markets in which most of the rich and Congress have the majority of their wealth parked. Shoot, why wouldn’t the rich store much of their money in the markets when the Fed has made the markets a wealth multiplier?

    While the working class has suffered during this crisis from stress and financial uncertainty that has led to food insecurity and housing insecurity, among other affordability concerns, we are witnessing the absurdity of the NASDAQ reaching new highs due to the Federal Reserve’s support of the markets while are in the middle of a pandemic with GDP plummeting by over 50%. The markets obviously are completely disconnected from the real economy, one going heavily in one direction and the other heavily in the opposite. Our society is being torn apart by this dynamic.

    The Federal Reserve, an unelected body that has the magic power to create money out of thin air, provides what is basically free liquidity to Wall Street and has invented many ways and instruments to expand upon their mandate to include rescuing the markets and hence the rich. They did it in 2008 while much of the country got stomped on by the banks and they’re doing it again now while they claim that supporting the public is outside their mandate. This one way street of essentially free money to Wall Street has created massive amounts of inequality in our society where wage earners are lucky to get a couple percent annual raise while the Dow has averaged an almost 12% annual return since 2009.

    There is one potential solution to this vicious, immoral mess that we’re trapped in, in the middle of a pandemic mind you, that our political system has shown itself to be completely incapable of handling: March to the Federal Reserve branches by the tens of thousands all over the country and ask, “What about us? Where’s our bailout?” and demand that the Fed invest in the citizens of this country for once instead of just the rich. One could say that they owe us since we are the ones who pay for their actions in many many ways.

    We can call this fund the U.S. Citizen Public Investment Bank and demand that the Fed grants enough money into the fund to cover Bernie’s proposal of $2000 per person per month until the end of January 2021 plus medicare-for-all during this pandemic ( as well as a complete wipe-out of all student debt and medical debt so that our citizens, and particularly our younger generations, can get out from under the burdens of debt and better be able to have a future in this economy rather than being chewed up by it. This should also be coupled with rent/mortgage measures and price controls from the Federal government IMO.

    There’s no reason why the Fed can’t expand their mandate in our direction for once, instead of expanding it against us, to save the real economy and the citizens of this country. They’ve been plenty creative in finding ways to serve the markets and the rich.

    Let’s force this national debate, it’s one that’s well overdue, because if their mandate can’t be expanded to support the overall societal and economic stability of our country, then what exactly is their overall function besides funding the exact opposite?


  10. Erik Erickson

    @Ian Welsh

    People who compare President Xi to Winnie the Pooh have been known to \”vanish.\” Snatched by police who have zero accountability. The same President Xi who is now a \”leader for life.\”

    You\’ve obviously never lived in a police state. Civil liberties are priceless. In China there are zero… and its foolhardy to trade freedom for an alleged middle class life in a prison.

  11. Dan

    “They’ve lifted over half of their population out of poverty, by some measures have the largest economy in the world, and definitely have the most industrial production.”

    I’m surprised. If you’re concerned about global warming, why would you celebrate a growing industrial economy?

    The British “lifted their population out of poverty” by forcing self-sufficient people off the land and closing the commons. The elite got the leaders to do this because the people had no intention of abandoning their lives to work in the elite’s factories for shit wages, all so the elite could “have the largest economy in the world, and definitely have the most industrial production.”

  12. Z

    shorter version

    March to the Fed branches next. All over the country, by the tens of thousands. That’s where the power to make money resides. Due to Congress playing their games and turning their backs on the citizenry, the Fed is the only entity who can right this mess and they owe it to the public IMO because they’re the ones most responsible for the tears to our social fabric. They have funded inequality by hooking up their magical money making machine straight into Wall Street.

    Have them invest in a U.S. Citizen Public Investment Bank and demand that the Fed grants enough money into the fund to cover Bernie’s proposal of $2000 per person per month until the end of January 2021 plus medicare-for-all during this pandemic ( as well as a complete wipe-out of all student debt and medical debt so that our citizens, and particularly our younger generations, can get out from under the burdens of debt and better be able to have a future in this economy rather than being chewed up by it. This should also be coupled with rent/mortgage measures and price controls from the Federal government IMO.

    There’s no reason why the Fed can’t expand their mandate in our direction for once, instead of expanding it against us, to save the real economy and the citizens of this country. They’ve been plenty creative in finding ways to serve the markets and the rich.

    Let’s force this national debate, it’s one that’s well overdue, because if their mandate can’t be expanded to support the overall societal and economic stability of our country, then what exactly is their overall function besides funding the exact opposite?


  13. nihil obstet

    Further reading in capitalism’s human cost: Late Victorian Holocausts by Mike Davis.

  14. Ian Welsh

    I’m always amused at Americans who think that most Americans have civil rights. You have exactly the civil rights you can afford a lawyer to enforce for you, and often not even those.

    Which president was it who assassinated an American citizen?

    But none of this is in the least relevant: the people who are rebelling right now are rebelling to have more civil rights, and anyone who doesn’t get that is living in lalaland.

  15. Ian Welsh

    Blacks and poor people want to not be subject to police violence.

    Right wing troll, “let’s pretend that makes them Stalin or Mao!”

  16. Eric Erickson

    @Ian Welsh

    In China everyone is equal: no one has any rights at all.

    In the United States there is a significant likelihood of being able to assert those rights or at least fight for them. Hello? MLK?

    In China, you have zero likelihood of asserting rights, and even less of an opportunity to fight for them. That;s why they call it a police state, Ian.

    Zero chance versus non-zero chance. Basic math favors the United States. That explains why all those Chinese citizens would like to move to the United States.

    I\’m amused by Canadians who can\’t handle this…

  17. S Brennan

    No Ian,

    I am not living in lalaland. And while I think you wrong, I mean no disrespect by it but…as I said above:

    “These protest will either fade when President[D] gets elected or, be crushed when President[D] takes office…just like they were in 2009. This is more shit to keep Al From’s DNCers in power; simple as that, nothing more, nothing less.”

  18. Dan

    The United States is utterly depraved. Indeed, civil rights are a function of how much money one has.

  19. Dan

    It doesn’t make sense to be (rightfully) horrified at global warming while simultaneously praising the industrial and economic growth of a nation-state, any nation-state. Something is amiss.

  20. Dan

    Continuing, it also doesn’t make sense to treat China differently than any other center of power. As I said earlier, the mantra of “lifting people out of poverty” has been used before, as we all know. China initially “lifted people out of poverty” by forcing people to abandon their self-sufficient lives in the country in order to work in factories making crap – sometimes very good crap, but crap nonetheless – at the behest of U.S. corporations. As Ian likes to say, Chinese leaders didn’t have to do this. It was a choice they made. The choice was made in the interest of powerful people in China, not the Chinese masses.

    Today, many people in China are indeed being “lifted out of poverty” as measured by the World Bank. But remember how they got there in the first place. The pattern is the same everywhere, and has been as long as nation-states have been swallowing first nations. And of course, China and its partisans will gladly emphasize the people being lifted up, since China is in that phase of its “development” now, while neglecting to mention the permanent underclass that all these hierarchical systems maintain. Par for the course.

  21. NR

    Eric Erickson:

    It’s not a contest. The U.S. and China are both awful.

  22. Dan

    This has been going on right from the beginning in Minneapolis, and probably some other cities. I have relatives there and their stories and much of it is recorded on Instagram. Powderhorn and the other neighborhoods near Cup Foods stepped up as autonomous zones to protect themselves from suburban white youth arsonists, white supremacists, and the police who shot at them, gassed them, and ignored fires like when residents were left to fight a blaze at a gas station by themselves. (The FD would not come in without the PD “securing” the area, and the PD’s idea of “securing” is the violent oppression that was rejected.) There has been open community discussion and sharing all through this.

  23. nihil obstet

    I grew up believing as I was taught — people in Russia and China have no rights, but Americans have virtually total freedom. It has been a total re-education to see how little freedom we do have — as my mother used to say, “You can have anything you want as long as you want the right thing.” That’s true in every country, including Stalinist Russia and 20th c. America. Our whole educational, media, economic, and political system is aimed at making us want the right thing. So what we really want is an election between Trump and Biden. We’re so free!

    One big difference between the socialist and capitalist countries which horrifies the capitalist populations is that the socialist penal system abused what would be middle and upper class persons, while the capitalist penal system abuses the poor. In each case, the system works in a way that draws at least implicit support from a large sector of the population. When I was growing up, a middle class American found the arrests of what would be middle class Russians evidence of lack of freedom, of human rights violations. That same American was quite comfortable with a large American prison system filled with the poor and minorities, and in fact wanted a larger prison system.

  24. Ché Pasa

    Depolicing isn’t particularly radical or new. Our betters have largely lived without “police” as the rest of us know them for many years. I think of a posh neighborhood in Santa Fe that has numerous gated sections and which is patrolled by private security whose main job is to keep outsiders out.

    Residents and guards know one another by car, sight and by name so there is no question about who “belongs” and who doesn’t. When someone has a mental health issue, or somehow gets hurt gardening or falling and breaking their hips, a private ambulance is called, a concierge doctor might arrive, and patients are transported to private rooms. The few commercial areas are also patrolled by private security, and “police” as we know them only arrive under the most extreme circumstances.

    Many sections of many other cities are effectively de-policed the same way. Part of the Capital Hill section of Seattle has liberated itself from the police, and section by section Minneapolis is doing so as part of the current uprising.

    The freakouts are almost entirely among those who profit from or rely on overpolicing of the underclass. Notice where resistance to “defunding” police is strongest and you’ll see a lot of outright corruption and dependence (social, financial, and emotional) on police keeping “those people” down. They will forgive any outrage against “those people” so long as those relying on overpolicing are or feel they are “safe.”

    I hope that those involved in the current uprising don’t buy that crap — again — and continue to state and restate their demands, and where they’re able to, institute their own versions of depolicing.

    Banning chokeholds seems to be authority’s response to the outrage over George Floyd’s murder. Only recall that chokeholds were already banned in New York when Eric Garner was killed by a chokehold that was ruled not a chokehold, and a knee to the neck can be argued as “not-a-chokehold” so what’s the point? Well of course, to tame the ire of the rabble without really changing anything at all.

    Those who are depolicing instead are doing the right thing. Won’t be easy, tho.

  25. Hugh

    It is good that police rule is being challenged and questioned. And naturally there will be pushback and attempts to smother and sweep under the rug any real change. The difference this time is that the protests are showing real resiliency and are spreading into all kinds of unexpected quarters.

    It is a standard tactic of trolls to constantly move the goal posts. Most Chinese are doing lights years better than their parents. Is China still a dictatorship? Does it suck for Tibetans and Uighurs? Does China contribute a lot to global warming? Yes. I can keep all these thoughts in my head at the same time.

    But the US in offshoring much of its manufacturing to China exported its pollution and greenhouse gases along with it. I have no problem criticizing China for being a big polluter, or the US for abetting it.

    The idea that China has done very well by some metrics and terribly by others is just recognition of the real, complicated world we live in. I think Americans would be much better positioned on their high horses to look down on China, or anywhere else, if they didn’t have a corrupt, anti-democratic political system run by the unbelievably, extravagantly, beyond parody awfulness of Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Nancy Pelosi.

    And seriously? fundamental, from the ground up reconstituting of a failed police system equals criminals running wild in the streets? Grow up. I don’t want criminals running wild in the streets. Nor do I want police running wild in the streets either.

  26. Zachary Smith

    Widespread mask-wearing could prevent COVID-19 second waves, study shows

    Well, duh! I don’t see this happening in the US of A. Libertarians and other loons refuse to be bossed around. It’s their RIGHT to do as they damned well please. Don’t want to wear a seat belt or motorcycle helmet! It’s their right. Want to tote their .223 schlong extenders into the big box store and frighten everybody in sight? It’s their right. Want to fix up their trucks so as to do the Middle Finger to the eco-freaks? It’s their right!

    Conservatives Are Purposely Making Their Cars Spew Black Smoke To Protest Obama And Environmentalists

    Pickup trucks customized to spew black smoke into the air are quickly becoming the newest weapon in the culture wars. “Coal Rollers” are diesel trucks modified with chimneys and equipment that can force extra fuel into the engine causing dark black smoke to pour out of the chimney stacks.

    Once upon at time Indiana had vehicle inspections for both safety and to reduce air pollution. These days vehicles without useful mufflers are in abundance, and I’ve seen one of the “customized” trucks throwing out enormous clouds of black smoke with my very own eyes.

    Are the Libertarian dips and assorted Trump worshipers going to wear their masks in public places? Not bloody likely. If somebody else gets very sick or dies on account of their ******* behavior, That’s Just The Price Of Freedom.

  27. capelin

    I think the lockdown is getting to someone … Americans haven’t much footing to criticize, well, anyone, imho.

    Regarding “are all cops bad”, nooo. And it would be far more productive to use this as a wedge – “You’re with Us or against Us”; bringing attention to and creating a social opening and mechanism for jumping.

    In addition to it sowing division withing the ranks, and just being a generally cool thing as it happened, there will be a need for trustable insider knowledge during policing transition; you’re not going to want it from up the ladder, and jump/not jump is a pretty good first filter.

    Probably a whole body of work out there regarding effective takeover and assimilation of existing bureaucracies by incoming forces, throughout the ages.

  28. capelin

    .. existing bureaucracies, and infrastructure.

  29. capelin

    America being recently built on 100% stolen genocide land, for starters. Canada as well.

  30. bruce wilder

    “100% stolen genocide land” ?!

    what is the political function of such a slogan?

  31. Ché Pasa

    Poorly worded version of the Indigenous Land Acknowledgement statements that are becoming widespread in order to officially or informally recognize that in almost every location in the Americas and beyond the land “we” live on was stolen from Indigenous peoples through violence, genocide and chicanery, “legal” or no.

    Politically, it serves many functions. Primarily as a starting point. Origins matter.

  32. GlassHammer

    On China, I don’t find the narrative of “lifting their people out of poverty” to be all that different from the “land of upward mobility” slogan that the western world used for more than half a century. Both slogans are only true to an extent. A more interesting discussion would be how and why these slogans attracted foreign labor to each country.

    On the disenfranchised taking power, don’t assume the powerless will act like saints/saviors once they have power. Some may be benevolent and some may not. Humans are a mixed bag. If there is one narrative that needs to be tossed into the garbage bin of history it’s the idea that “suffering people become benevolent leaders because they know how painful it is to suffer”. My American ancestors are Scotts/Irish and centuries of being England’s cannon fodder did not make them more benevolent once they reached the states and even with more than a century of power plenty of them are brutish.

  33. GlassHammer

    On the subject of masks during the pandemic, we haven’t discussed this much but going from a no mask society (because even though the flu is deadly we never dawned masks on a seasonal basis) to one where masks are the norm requires you to accept a few uncomfortable things. Here are just a few.

    1. Our society is so dysfunctional that disease containment and prevention is now best addressed at the individual level. Like infrastructure, transportation, and Healthcare it is yet another item for which there is no national response.

    2. Americans in American cities and towns will wear masks just like the foreign nations we felt superior to.

    3. The slogan of “clean american living in clean american cities and towns” just can’t be squared with the need to dawn masks to prevent the spread of disease.

  34. Dan

    “100% stolen genocide land” ?!

    “what is the political function of such a slogan?”

    It’s not a slogan Bruce, it’s a statement of fact. It is interesting to note your use of language in this instance, denigrating the statement as a “slogan.”

    If your politics don’t allow for the facts, you need a new a politics.

  35. scarnoc

    Imagine living in the American police state and worrying that anti-authoritarian protests will lead to a police state lmfao.

  36. Dan

    An excellent introduction to indigenous ways as seen through the lens of a modern economist can be found in “Limited Wants, Unlimited Means – A Reader on Hunter-Gatherer Economics and the Environoment” edited by John Gowdy, professor and chair of economics at Rensselaer Polytech University. Highly recommended to understand where some of us are coming from, for those who are so inclined.

    I also recommend “What is Sustainable” by Richard Adrian Reese and “In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations” by Jerry Mander. Reese was a computer programmer and Mander was an advertising executive.

    One of my favorites is a slim volume called “Original Wisdom – Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing” by Robert Wolff. From the description:

    Deep in the mountainous jungle of Malaysia the aboriginal Sng’oi exist on the edge of extinction, though their way of living may ultimately be the kind of existence that will allow us all to survive. The Sng’oi–pre-industrial, pre-agricultural, semi-nomadic–live without cars or cell phones, without clocks or schedules in a lush green place where worry and hurry, competition and suspicion are not known. Yet these indigenous people–as do many other aboriginal groups–possess an acute and uncanny sense of the energies, emotions, and intentions of their place and the living beings who populate it, and trustingly follow this intuition, using it to make decisions about their actions each day.

    Psychologist Robert Wolff lived with the Sng’oi, learned their language, shared their food, slept in their huts, and came to love and admire these people who respect silence, trust time to reveal and heal, and live entirely in the present with a sense of joy. Even more, he came to recognize the depth of our alienation from these basic qualities of life. Much more than a document of a disappearing people, Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing holds a mirror to our own existence, allowing us to see how far we have wandered from the ways of the intuitive and trusting Sng’oi, and challenges us, in our fragmented world, to rediscover this humanity within ourselves.

  37. GlassHammer


    When you speak of indigenous ways I immediately think of kin in Appalachia.
    They are without many modern conveniences but are not mystical.
    They would not quiet your mind or heal your soul.

    Americans adopting less modern ways might not look all that appealing in practice.

  38. Dan


    I wouldn’t look to your kin to quiet my own mind. It’s not a matter of people immediately adopting “indigenous ways” (a clumsy term I used for lack of a better descriptor). I don’t think “mystical” is an appropriate word to use either. Our own language, in terms of this subject, is very limiting. I’m currently reading “We Have the Right to Exist – A Translation of Aboriginal Indigenous Thought” by WUB-E-KE-NIEW, who presents an Ahnishinahbaeo jibway perspective. I wrote that out intentionally because it’s long. And it was shortened by the colonial leaders, much as our language today is being intentionally dumbed down, and history vanished, in order that people are unable to make necessary connections.

    It’s a conversation, in order to learn.

  39. bruce wilder

    It’s not a slogan Bruce, it’s a statement of fact.

    No, sorry. The broken syntax is one clear indication that it is a slogan. Another is the use of highly emotive and pejorative terms. “genocide land”? “100% stolen”!?

    A statement of fact is typically making an observation about a measured or measurable phenomenon, something “objective” that is independent of personal, subjective appreciation. “The temperature outside today reached 104 degrees F.” has the form of a factual statement; different people could agree that the implied measurement by instrument was reasonably accurate or not. ” It’s too darn hot! ” is an expression of experience and evaluation; others may agree or disagree, but even if a degree of social consensus is achieved, and it may be fact that people agree with the sentiment, it never itself becomes a fact.

    ” . . . in almost every location in the Americas and beyond the land ‘we’ live on was stolen from Indigenous peoples through violence, genocide and chicanery, “legal” or no ” is a narrative, a story that gives meaning to past events. Narratives are not usually especially concerned with facts. There are good arguments for why journalists, lawyers and scientists ought to feel ethically constrained to and by objective facts in constructing narratives, but good stories are good for dramatic reasons, because their job is to give meaning. Factual accuracy is often nothing more than hiding the mcguffin in plain sight.

    Ché Pasa’s version of this narrative is designed to disarm preemptively any possible facts that might be introduced as contrary to the narrative. If a legal transaction transferred property rights in land, it was still “stolen” because chicanery. If it was contested in war and conquered, well that is violence after all. If the land was depopulated beyond the point of practical abandonment, it was still stolen because genocide.

    The meaning insisted upon preaches a sermon, but to what end?

  40. Z

    Mnuchin was concerned today about “creating incentives to get jobless workers rehired.”

    Yeah, I’d bet …


  41. Dan

    “If a legal transaction transferred property rights in land, it was still “stolen” because chicanery.”

    Yes, those “legal transactions” are neat devices. Are you a lawyer Bruce?

    “If it was contested in war and conquered, well that is violence after all.”

    Yes it is.

    “If the land was depopulated beyond the point of practical abandonment, it was still stolen because genocide.”

    Bruce, you wordsmith you. “…depopulated beyond the point of practical abandonment…” Brilliant.

    Bruce accuses those of us interested in a true account of history of constructing a “narrative” when in fact it’s he who is using narrative to discredit facts he can’t deal with because they don’t fit his existing worldview (the narrative in his head). It’s fascinating to behold.

  42. S Brennan

    In other news; Yale has determined that the Trump deranged [Vote-D-no-matter-what-crowd] has/have once again bamboozled themselves. Just like RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA the idiocy continues until the TDS-crowd finds another shiny object in the road. I copy a comment from MOA in it’s entirety:


    “Yale has published research that shows HCH + AZ has 50-fold benefits and insignificant risks

    Using Hydroxychloroquine and Other Drugs to Fight Pandemic

    Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk Covid-19 Patients that Should be
    Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis

    In the author’s words:

    COVID-19 is really two different diseases. In the first few days, it is like a very bad cold. In some people, it then morphs into pneumonia which can be life-threatening. What I found is that treatments for the cold don’t work well for the pneumonia, and vice versa. Most of the published studies have looked at treatments for the cold but used for the pneumonia. I just looked at how well the treatments for the cold worked for the cold. There are five studies done this way, four of hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin and one with hydroxychloroquine plus doxycycline, and they all show that treating the cold part of COVID-19—the early part—works very well.

    The article completely decimates the arguments against using HCQ + AZ or HCQ + doxycycline, specifically in early outpatient use.

    Posted by: BM | Jun 10 2020 18:11 utc | 5”

  43. Buzzard

    If the commenter at the top of this thread is the same person as the blogger for a well-known right-wing site, I am just shaking my head at how embarrassingly juvenile and simplistic his arguments are. Seriously, this “we are the land of the free and we’re better than everybody else” schtick is the kind of shallow treacle you get fed in second grade, but I somehow thought that the leading right-wing bloggers didn’t actually BELIEVE that stuff quite so literally (even if their readers do). And of course, he conveniently ignores that the president he presumably supports PRAISED the Chinese government for its Tiananmen Square massacre.

  44. Dan

    Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders isn’t onboard with de-funding the police. It sounds like he doesn’t even know what de-fund the police means. He wants to pay cops more, implying that cops are more violent because they’re not paid enough. Like those violent fast-food workers. What a joke he is.

  45. bruce wilder

    Dan, you are projecting.

  46. Dan

    Bruce, I am indeed. I’ve got a couple things lined up for the backyard. I want to mulch under the rosebushes, and I’d like to try my hand at constructing a birdhouse or two with some local materials.

    You did mean in that sense, right Bruce? I can’t imagine you were trying to pigeonhole me with psychological jargon.

    Bruce, you are constricting.

  47. Dan

    I do hope people study the history of what Bruce casually dismisses as “chicanery.”

    It’s not stolen, remember. Stay away from that loaded word.

    Oh, and it doesn’t continue to be stolen. I mean, come on.

    Anyway, we can all hold a few thoughts in our head, and hey, China’s doing pretty well, I mean, a little global warming, few skirmishes, but what the heck, gotta pull for someone…

    Most people will readily agree with the statement “we can’t understand WWII without understanding WWI.” A bit simplistic perhaps, but it well illustrates the larger point here. Any one of us can decide “how far we want to go back” in order to see the larger picture, as it were.

    Of course, this linear conception of time may be our gravest error of all.

  48. Dan

    My only saving grace at this point would be to read some verse from Stirling S Newberry.

    Stirling, where are you?

  49. Dan

    S Brennan, you left out the most important part of the Yale study you posted:

    “Hydroxychloroquine alone is not the whole story. It needs to be combined with azithromycin or doxycycline and probably with zinc to make it most effective.”

    Now I’m just a silly layperson who never finished college, but it’s my understanding that zinc is an integral part of the all-important (in our covid-drenched lives) ACE-2 receptor.

    It’s all viral immunity my friends. Zinc supplementation may be an important component of your overall program of viral immunity, but it begins and ends with a stress-free, healthy lifestyle, achieved in an overall healthy environment.

    Best bet, move to China. But zinc-up for the plane ride there. Ciao.

  50. S Brennan


    Had you bothered to read up on this blog a priori to your tedious sequential comments you’d have known I had pointed out Zinc dozens of times..even my enemies here would grant me that…I think.

  51. Dan

    S Brennan, people make enemies here? Surprising.

    Not sure why you didn\’t mention it this time. For the life of me I can\’t put you and zinc together. I guess my mind isn\’t what it used to be. Or your comments aren\’t particularly memorable.

    \”tedious sequential comments\”


  52. Dan

    The Narwhal just published a relevant piece. This concerns the Wetʼsuwetʼen, who live on the Bulkley River. From the article:

    A new study published by Laruen Eckert, Raincoast Conservation Fellow and PhD student at University of Victoria, Chief Claxton and co-authors found Indigenous knowledge has largely been left out of decision-making processes, even after the controversial Impact Assessment Act was passed by the Liberal government in 2019.

    The authors analyzed the bill and related literature to see how it engages with Indigenous knowledge. Eckert said the law does mandate the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge but offered “few progressive changes” in how to execute that shift.

    The paper concludes “top-down colonial environmental assessment processes” are “inherently at odds with equitable knowledge sharing.”

    Eckert said while procedural changes, such as better funding and training opportunities for Indigenous participation in the assessment process, are within reach, the fundamental obstacles of shifting government to treat Indigenous knowledge as equal remains a daunting task.

    “The deep-seated stuff is going to take a ton of political will and profound systemic change,” Eckert said.

    The nation-state that calls itself Canada supposedly has one of the better governments when it comes to “dealing” with “indigenous issues.” And this is what they do.

  53. capelin

    @ bruce wilder – the function, political and otherwise, was to be succinct and to the point.

    This here article is about National Guard not the police, but still speaks to the idea of allies within the drab cloth and kevlar.

    POLITICO spoke to 10 National Guardsmen who have taken part in the protest response across the country since the killing of George Floyd while in police custody.
    National guard at protests

    One Guardsman told her, “‘I never thought I’d get a bottle thrown at me and be told I should die and I should kill myself,’” Osterholm said. “There’s not enough Kevlar to protect you from those kinds of statements spoken in your own language.”

    “This generation doesn’t know what that feels like. This generation knows ‘thank you for your service,’ this generation knows that they can go to Lowe’s and Home Depot and they can get 10 percent off,” Osterholm said. “A lot of us are still in denial of the intensity and the traumatic impact this has had for everyone.”

    “As a military officer, what I saw was more or less really f—ed up,” said one D.C. Guardsman who was deployed to Lafayette Square last Monday and who, like some others, spoke on condition of anonymity to speak freely. The official line from the White House that the protesters had turned violent, he said, is false.

    “The crowd was loud but peaceful, and at no point did I feel in danger, and I was standing right there in the front of the line,” he said. “A lot of us are still struggling to process this, but in a lot of ways, I believe I saw civil rights being violated in order for a photo op.

    “I’m here to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and what I just saw goes against my oath and to see everyone try to cover up what really happened,” the Guardsman continued. “What I saw was just absolutely wrong.”

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