Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 24, 2021

Open Thread 2021-024

News & views ...

Posted by b on March 24, 2021 at 16:39 UTC | Permalink

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https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

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Temporary Blog Closure
March 24, 2021 in Uncategorized by craig

In view of our understanding that the High Court has found some articles on this blog to be in contempt of court, and in view of the fact that the Crown Office had sought to censor such a large range of articles, this blog has no choice but to go dark from 15.00 today until some time after tomorrow’s court hearing, when it will be specified to us precisely how much of the truth we have to expunge before we can bring the blog back up.

This is a dark day for the entire team here. We will be looking to appeal this to the Supreme Court and if required (though we very much doubt it will be) to the European Court of Human Rights.

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Mar 24 2021 16:46 utc | 1

@1 ... boo

Posted by: ptb | Mar 24 2021 16:56 utc | 2

Very important article. Recommend reading it fully:

Biden tests the limits of America’s Asian bankers: US gamble on $30 trillion national debt raises a T-bill demand problem investors have feared for over a decade

The USA's PMI continues to ride high, at 59 this month. The numbers show mixed signs, and the jury is still out on the Dollar Standard.

By the way, the author of the article wonders why hasn't the USG been using these trillions of debt to infrastructure (as Biden allegedly pretends to do now). He doesn't provide the answer because he doesn't know the answer. Fortunately, we have an economist who knows it: Karl Marx demonstrated (Capital) that the social profit rate tends to fall in capitalism. Trump tried to channel those extra debt to the "1%" because, otherwise, the USA's social profit rate would plummet. That's also why the effort of imports substitution from some Third World countries during the post-war period also failed, while countries like the USSR managed to become a superpower in 29 years from a much worse situation.

--//--

European Parliament cancels CAI meeting, threatens deal signing delay

It's funny: the more the EU tries to act like an independent power, the more it acts like an American province. It almost looks like European politicians constantly lie...

--//--

Capitalism and greed behind UK's vaccine success? UK PM says 'yes'

"The reason we have the vaccine success is because of capitalism, because of greed my friends," The Sun newspaper quoted Johnson as telling Conservative lawmakers on a Zoom meeting on Tuesday evening.

--//--

Trivia of the Day:

The total spending on the F-35 is greater than the total spending by China on the entire Belt and Road Initiative

--//--

Two darlings of capitalism being put to their knees by the SARS-CoV-2:

Calls for Merkel to face vote of no confidence after embarrassing U-turn on Covid-19 Easter lockdown

India’s Stock Markets Nosedive as Investors Take Fright At Double Mutant Variant Coronavirus

--//--

Marxist concept of freedom being applied to China:

Health is primary indicator of people's happy life: Xi

Marx's concept of freedom is completely different from the liberal or pre-liberal concepts of freedom. For Marx, freedom is material: a human being must be free from material privation, here and now, in life (and not in the mythical afterlife of reincarnation) in order to be really free. In other words, freedom from need is true freedom.

Human beings can only be materially free. Don't fall for the moral victories of liberalism, the snake oil salesmen's promise of a spot in Paradise from the Abrahamics or the nihilist bullshittery from the Buddhists et al.

Posted by: vk | Mar 24 2021 17:07 utc | 3

I don't know how important or reliable this is, but Pfizer does have an impressive rap sheet as a corporate criminal, Netanyahu, well...

https://www.unz.com/gatzmon/the-probe-into-the-israeli-vaccine-policy-and-its-outcome-is-beyond-damning/

"In the document the CP (Civilian Probe) points at a government attempt to conceal its dealing with Pfizer. The document states that “the Pfizer-Israel agreement is suffocated with redacted segments, consequently, it is not possible to analyze it legally and/or fully grasp Its implications as far as public health is concerned… This concealment casts a heavy shadow over anyone who took part in the (Israeli/Pfizer) negotiations…”.
...
“On the one hand, the state did not inform the citizens that Pfizer’s vaccine is in experimental stages that have not yet been completed, and that at this stage they are actually taking part in the experiment. On the other hand, the state did not maintain transparent and open control and monitoring systems for the public. As a result, there is a serious concern that this critical and negligent omission stems from: (a) the fear that such disclosure could interfere with the fulfilment of the objectives that may be implied by the Israel-Pfizer agreement or (b) the fear of diminishing demand for the exceptional number of vaccines that were purchased by Israel in advance, and/or (c) the fear of revealing unflattering results of the ‘experiment’ being carried out in Israel.”
...
every world citizen who is concerned about the future of humanity should be alarmed by the CP’s findings and particularly by the desperate and relentless attempts to suppress free academic, scientific and ethical discussion about Covid, the so-called ‘vaccines’ or anything else."


Posted by: Bluedotterel | Mar 24 2021 17:32 utc | 4

Through The Quantum Looking Glass or: Buckle your seatbelt Dorothy, ’cause Kansas is going bye-bye

"High-profile proponents of what’s known as the “simulation hypothesis” include SpaceX chief Elon Musk, who recently expounded on the idea during an interview for a popular podcast.

"If you assume any rate of improvement at all, games will eventually be indistinguishable from reality,” Musk said before concluding, “We’re most likely in a simulation.”

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson agrees, giving “better than 50–50 odds” that the simulation hypothesis is correct. “ I wish I could summon a strong argument against it, but I can find none.”

Posted by: maahaa | Mar 24 2021 17:46 utc | 5

vk @3

Excellent point by vk here. Despite sometimes pretending to myself that I am a Buddhist (I am really good at meditating!), real freedom is being free from need. Abstract and metaphysical "freedoms" are luxuries of the wealthy that few under the thumb of the empire can afford.

I have been surprised by the explosion in the numbers of people locally living in cars and vans lately. I guess from my Buddhist perspective they have been freed from the attachment to a residence. Who could have guessed that capitalism would be such a good teacher of the path to enlightenment?

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 24 2021 17:47 utc | 6

maahaa @5

I guess that is one way for Musk to avoid the guilt over those people his coup in Bolivia killed. They didn't really die because it is all just make-believe; a simulation.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 24 2021 17:53 utc | 7


The US army now teaches social media trolling:

ssi_tunnicliffe-tatham_170421.pdf

Posted by: Paul | Mar 24 2021 17:56 utc | 8

In the interest of American literature I'd previously mentioned a PBS documentary on Flannery O'Connor, which aired last night. Unfortunately the program was a disappointment - the only fair comments it seemed to me were from Tommy Lee Jones - the rest was caricature. The issue of race, which indeed is an important part of her writing, was made into a distortion, as was her religion. It was, in fact, very hard to recognize how good her writing really is, since not so subtle references to her personal life overshadowed the qualities of the writing. And no, it is not a tribute to superimpose questionable cartoon images on one's experience of the short stories as they were crafted.

I watched to the end, because I wanted to see her later work referenced. The shallow tone simply repeated earlier commentary; I'd have been better off rereading the works themselves. Pretty sure she'd agree. But thank you, Tommy Lee Jones.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 24 2021 17:56 utc | 9

Posted by: maahaa | Mar 24 2021 17:46 utc | 5:

“ I wish I could summon a strong argument against it, but I can find none.”

It is natural for bullshitters to think the world runs on bullshit. In a away, that capsulizes the entire problem that the US' establishment is having now. They have been relying on bullshit for so long that they think that's all there is.

The truth is we have no way to know what underlies our "reality", if anything. We don't have the tools, the senses, yet. At the limits everything dissolves into probability mush, or the lack of time for anything to get from there to here at the speed of light, or complexity we have no way to impose order on.

If they want to go live in the computer, I say good riddance.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 24 2021 17:58 utc | 10

Posted by: vk | Mar 24 2021 17:07 utc | 3

This is the second time today that I read/hear that definition of freedom. The first one was part of a speech by the late Spanish politician Julio Anguita that has become viral due to the ultra right slogan for the coming elections in Madrid, leveling nazism with communism and offering "freedom". The liberals too are happily equating nazis and communists, bad conscience and a fig leaf.

I assume you understand Spanish, give it a try.

Julio Anguita Libertad

And to round it up, a song by Serrat with lyrics by the great communist poet Miguel Hernández.

Para la Libertad

Posted by: Paco | Mar 24 2021 18:02 utc | 11

"Posted by: Bluedotterel | Mar 24 2021 16:46 utc | 1" - About Ceaig Murray

And blogger Alexei Navalny continues to blog even if he is in prison.

Why is Julian Assange not allowed to blog?

Posted by: Trond | Mar 24 2021 18:05 utc | 12

@maahaa 5: “ I wish I could summon a strong argument against it, but I can find none.”

I've seen a decent argument against it. Daniel Dennett, Consciousness Explained. In the first couple of pages, I believe.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Mar 24 2021 18:18 utc | 13

@vk
I've lost most of my savings in last month on stock market. in the back of my mind I thought the volatility from interest rate fears had something to do with the impossible bind the Fed and US govt are in.
but only with the asiatimes article did it connect the dots for me. china especially is not buying US bonds anymore.hence low demand for it , causing the yields to ride to attract buyers.

worth mentioning also that china goalpost for GDP is unusually conservative this year. one might even say low. lower than countries doing much worse now. it is bracing for headwinds which I thought were mostly domestic. but if it's not buying bonds as before then it knows the global financial turbulence will be enormous

the fed can't raise int interest rates or it will tank the stock market. but inflation is real and two more trillion in debt will only expedite it. there is too much US money floating around, too much speculation, volatility, and none of it is going into actual infrastructure and substantive real investment. chickens are coming home to roost. this is decades in the making. this can't end well.

with all that said I fail to be rationale and pull all my money out. cuz I will never make it back, even at risk of losing more.

Posted by: mastameta | Mar 24 2021 18:18 utc | 14

vk @ 3 stated in part; " In other words, freedom from need is true freedom."

Well said vk, and very true for all of humanity....

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 24 2021 18:19 utc | 15

Hegemon's gonna hegemon and now it's cornered and desperate:
1) They kill as many as it takes...they've proven it over and over again...atomic bombs, chemical, biological, 911, and endless lies lies lies...
2) Desperate times call for desperate measures...the ace in the hole: mRNA technology. An "operating system" to wreak havoc on the hegemon's enemies domestic and non-domestic. The gift that keeps on giving...forever and ever and ever...
3) It looks like the vaccinated will be the petri dishes from which the variants arise, but the unvaccinated who will be vilified...sadistically genius...that's how hegemon rolls

I'm opting out of this sick game myself as long as possible.

Posted by: DaveNItUp | Mar 24 2021 18:21 utc | 16

I wonder if people still believe the same shit about covid?

Of protests and resistance can change Merkel's mind about lockdowns what does this say about the motives for the whole sharade?

Who still thinks this is fact and science based?

Posted by: Idiocrates | Mar 24 2021 18:21 utc | 17

re that header:Proposals Seek Time To Allow U.S. Face Saving Exit...

Just appeal for human kindness and understanding...to undermine having been caught--out
creating tome to enable more evil intentions to get into play....recall the Geneva "Accords" of 1954 to allow for the next phase of war in Vietnam...the finally ended foreign occupation in 1975.

The reader can recall other instances when that evil use of "kindness and understandtng" led to further ruin and death.

Posted by: chu teh | Mar 24 2021 18:38 utc | 18

""Canada stands with the people of Russia in their quest to exercise their rights to freely express themselves and to gather peacefully without fearing reprisals. "

Canada slaps sanctions on nine Russian officials over Navalny

Posted by: arby | Mar 24 2021 18:39 utc | 19

@Idiocrates | Mar 24 2021 18:21 utc | 17

Who still thinks this is fact and science based?

A majority of the commenters on this blog say they do. I called it out as insane a year ago and I have seen no evidence to change that conclusion.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 24 2021 18:41 utc | 20

17 asked; "I wonder if people still believe the same shit about covid?"

Who knows, reality will be the final decider. Speaking only about here in the U$A, Americans don't handle reality well, if at all...

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 24 2021 18:42 utc | 21

China's human rights report on the US:

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1219304.shtml

Posted by: Prof | Mar 24 2021 18:46 utc | 22

vk | Mar 24 2021 17:07 utc | 3

re Trivia of the Day: The total spending on the F-35 is greater than the total spending by China on the entire Belt and Road Initiative...

Mighty chunk of perspective!

Posted by: chu teh | Mar 24 2021 18:50 utc | 23

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 24 2021 17:58 utc | 10

Sensible.

--

Why is Julian Assange not allowed to blog?

Posted by: Trond | Mar 24 2021 18:05 utc | 12

different channel, different show.

--

Who still thinks this is fact and science based?

Posted by: Idiocrates | Mar 24 2021 18:21 utc | 17

Who still thinks people ever cared for fact and science? People conform, want to conform, and want to belong. Power du jour throws them rags and bones to cover the nakedness of their submission.

Midnight Express, Turkish prison, a man going clockwise disturbing those who go counter clockwise who try to make him change direction.

That is all you need to know. PTB have known this at least since the advent of mass communication.

Posted by: a-non | Mar 24 2021 18:52 utc | 24

@vk 3
Thanks for the links. On the subject of reduced demand for all but the short-duration US Treasuries and money-market type assets... No surprises, right? The FED has been the guarantor of US solvency for a while now. Big buyers are the currently absurdly-profitable US-based multinationals, both within the US and those whose accounts sit in tax havens. As before, the scheme can go on for quite a while until something breaks.

Posted by: ptb | Mar 24 2021 18:53 utc | 25

@25 everything always makes sense in retrospect. esp since it's a structural problem that is longstanding. what's hard is knowing the timing. as is oft said bankruptcy happens slowly until it is sudden. I still can't believe or fathom collapse is imminent even tho I know it's inevitable within next decade timeframe.

Posted by: mastameta | Mar 24 2021 19:02 utc | 26

maahaa | Mar 24 2021 17:46 utc | 5

re “We’re most likely in a simulation.”...

It is called Artificial Intelligence. Makes for a very fine trap. Can anyone think of a better one?

It accounts for the conundrum that humanity's scientisys are debarred from investigation of "mind" and "intelligence" and "spirit" and "death".

Any such foray guaranteed to end prematurely in confusion/pain/distraction and, you guessed it, death.

Posted by: chu teh | Mar 24 2021 19:07 utc | 27

The vast majority of humans are completely delusional due to their irrational, laughably idiotic belief in magic sky people and post-death fantasies.

Every Christian, Jew, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Hindu, and yes Buddhist is a fucking moron. And any pontificating they do about "conspiracy theories" or "disinformation" should be ignored, of if not ignored--instead heavily mocked.

Why should any rational person pay any attention to theists--who are clinically insane? Hearing opinions of theists is little different than hearing opinions of the local homeless schizophrenic with his tin-foil hat. No relation to reality.

Posted by: Hippo Dave | Mar 24 2021 19:19 utc | 28

@Mao Cheng Ji #13

Dennett's argument, as I understand it, is that it's too difficult to fool a disembodied "brain in a vat" with known (or even significantly more advanced) technology.

I don't find that argument persuasive. The observable universe is finite, and the resolution with which we can ever observe it is finite (quantum mechanics) so a finite computer could simulate all of what we (as bits in a program or whatever) could possibly observe or experience. It would be even easier to simulate portions that are observable just by all humans, but even if there are perfectly simulated life forms on billions of planets, it's still a finite computer.

Posted by: bill baly | Mar 24 2021 19:26 utc | 29

"How thoughtless of me. I should have remembered that when one is going to lead an entirely new life, one requires regular and wholesome meals." -Cecily, the importance of being earnest.

of course a pinko commie irish pervert would say stuff like that, wouldn't he?
-----
in light of the coming post-oil apocalypse, i'm getting a donkey. carries all your stuff, not bothered by the rain, eats the grass, when you become homeless you can tie a tarp up against it to protect yourself from the rain, and if the s really hits the fan, you can eat it, and say, "sorry pal. you made a great donkey, but you made an even better burrito."

---------
who was it said "California is the end of the world?" for a nation of exterminators of all that is wild and native, indeed. full of high rhetoric, like this gem from the Declaration of white propertied male independence: "He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions." yes, colonial genocide was Britain's fault.

someone please unplug Uncle Sam's projector.

Posted by: jason | Mar 24 2021 19:36 utc | 30

#3: "freedom from need is true freedom ... Human beings can only be materially free."

Would it not be great to be "free from need" indeed? Wouldn't it be great to be told exactly what one's needs are and to have them met through forced collective effort? Of course, some learned group of bureaucrats need to be empowered and entrusted with the important task of "need" determination; but we can surely trust them to do what's best for all impartially and not ever abuse their positions of ultimate power needlessly. A Lada in every car port and weekly chicken in every pot: that's what we have determined you need, citizen. But, hey, everyone gets the same, so no need for envy ...

And of course, the only freedom mattering being material, none of this namby-pamby freedom of thought and speech of liberalism, amiright? After all, the empowered bureaucrats can surely review all thoughts and speech and only allow the approved ones, with the recalcitrant few, who are surely the enemy of the masses, sent for "treatment" as needed? They will surely learn the error of their ways in due time and, if not, "disappear".

I mean, every place where this has been tried, from the eastern European republics and the SU itself to China, Cuba, Cambodia, and the rest you have had sustained and uniform popular happiness and never ever a desire for change or a fleeing of the local populations to the uncertain "freedoms" of liberalism at any opportunity, right??

Posted by: Caliman | Mar 24 2021 19:38 utc | 31

@13/@29

It is clear to me, we are all a simulation running on an iPhone 2001 in some galactic garbage heap. Alien toddler got bored... the end is when that battery runs out.

Posted by: MapleLeaf | Mar 24 2021 19:38 utc | 32

This book (and review) is really worth reading. There are a few more titles reviewed in the last 3 months that might interest readers here.

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 24 2021 19:41 utc | 33

small sample but... evidence that people still get infected after 2nd jab (14 days+)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Mc3PCKyHe8&ab_channel=IHUM%C3%A9diterran%C3%A9e-Infection

Posted by: Mina | Mar 24 2021 19:43 utc | 34

State Duma passes law allowing Putin to run for president again

"It makes Putin eligible for two more presidential terms"

Posted by: arby | Mar 24 2021 19:44 utc | 35

MapleLeaf @32

I always knew there was something fundamentally wrong with the world.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 24 2021 19:57 utc | 36

Just listen to this doctor's testimony in the Texas legislature on TREATMENT of Covid-19:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/peter-mccullough-md-testifies-texas-senate-hhs-committee/5740758

Just one quote: "COVID - 19 has always been a treatable sickness"

Posted by: JB | Mar 24 2021 20:03 utc | 37

Mr. JB

How do you account for the dead all over the world?

Posted by: fyi | Mar 24 2021 20:15 utc | 38

The only way the simulation theory can barely make any sense is if it was just our planet and its lifeforms who were simulated, to test stuff with one sentient species. If you want to simulate the whole universe into its ultimate details, you need a computer as massive as a small universe and as complex as ours, so there'd be no point in it. But then if you want to study a sentient species and you can build such a huge computer that you can model an entire planet, you'd also have the means of actually studying a real genuine emerging sentient species on its own planet, without having to build an AI version.
There are other possible options if scientists find some dubious things when studying the universe - including the key question of its ultimate fate, big crunch, forever expansion, or other.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Mar 24 2021 20:47 utc | 39

About Category Management

@ fyi
In response to your post of March 24, 2021.

I am forced to note your voluntary intellectual limitation. In French we say that
"vous avez choisi vos œillères" you have chosen your blinkers.

Good luck and good health. But don't try to force us to reduce our own vision. We want to be human beans not draught horses.

Not all Palestinians are Muslims and even the Jews who were present before 1918 suffered from Zionism. Not all those who support the European colonization of Palestine are Judeo-Christian. Most of them are rather atheistic. But some are also Muslims!

By the way, this "Judeo-Christian category" does not exist, just a fig leaf sometimes useful for non-semitic Zionists. And to fuel back wars on People.

You should go and pray in Al-Quds/Jerusalem. You will have an incredible choice of mosques, churches and synagogues to suit you. And you will come across human beings of almost all your categories.

Some are angels, others demons.

The worst of them are not even really Zionists and certainly not even believers, just double or triple nationality dominants who come to relieve their arrogance and aggression on the dominated.

Those who manipulate our emotions and instinctive reactions to provoke more aggression and direct it towards targeted populations are among the most dangerous demons.

Professor Laborit has explained these behaviours very well in a film that I recommend to everyone. Really a GREAT film everyone MUST see and have.


Laborit expose his ideas on four main types of animal behaviour, grounded respectively in consumption, escape, struggle, and inhibition. The lives of the three fictional characters intersect at various points (Jean in an affair with Janine, René negotiating with Janine about the future of his job) and each of them faces moments of critical life-changing decision. At these moments they are seen as self-identifying with the image of a popular star in French cinema (Jean with Danielle Darrieux, Janine with Jean Marais, and René with Jean Gabin).

Laborit comments on the conflicts arising from pursuit of dominance among individuals and defensive reactions to it, and reflects on the need for better understanding of the human brain.


https://www.amazon.com/American-Uncle-DVD-Alain-Resnais/dp/B000S6UZTC?ref_=d6k_applink_bb_marketplace

https://www.netflix.com/title/60002008?preventIntent=true&locale=en-FR

As a gift, a little bit more about Alain Resnais https://harvardfilmarchive.org/calendar/alain-resnais-short-films

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 24 2021 20:49 utc | 40

Hippo Dave | Mar 24 2021 19:19 utc | 28

It's wonderful to find someone who explains so clearly what I have been thinking for 40 years.


And then one day, you find yourself in Damascus, you visit the Souk Hamidieh, you go to the Great Mosque of the Umayyads and you cry. All these people who believe in something when you don't believe in anything anymore....

Be patient and let it go, I wish you the best.

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 24 2021 21:04 utc | 41

A much shorter comment here (the previous one was so long because it was about nonsense, which seems to take so much more time to talk about than sense.)

Another issue with the international program of cooperation by compromise and consensus is that the main proponents have ignored that consensus is not an effective means of governance. It is not stable, it is rigid, static, merely covers up underlying changes and breaks. That's why neither Putin nor Xi operates their own countries by the principles that are supposed to guide the world. A democratic and rational society operates by majority rule. How could the world order be any different. Historically the world of nations is anarchy, without any ruler of any kind save some temporary and local despotisms.

Further, like states' rights proponents in the US, how is it even a good thing in principle to claim that nations should have more rights than people?

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 24 2021 21:05 utc | 42

One of the fundamentals of capitalism was to deprive people of their ability to subsist. In England, for example, the enclosure of not only the pastures and arable land but also of "wastes" and common land was justified on the basis that it led to higher crop yields. Its real purpose was to turn the peasants into wage slaves, the basis of the propertyless proletariat.

So vk is doubly right: freedom rests upon the ability of everyone to take care of her basic needs while capitalism rests upon the principle, famously expressed by Arthur Young, that people need to be brought to starvation to make them work for employers.

It may be that socialist governmental experiments- invariably subjected to sanctions and sabotage by imperialism (cf the Chilean economy under Allende)- can fall short of their attempts to provide all with, at least, the basic needs of food, shelter, clothing. But capitalism never tries: it depends upon insecurity, fear and famine to intimidate people into allowing their pockets to be picked.

re Navalny: the Charite Hospital reports on his health confirmed what doctors in Omsk had discovered and b, indeed, had reported here: the man suffers from very serious health problems. It is a measure of the cynicism of the imperialist secret police that they have choreographed this soap opera to end up in Navalny's death in a Russian prison. Another Magnitsky for the Canadian House of Commons to fawn over as it licks Washington's ar boots.

JB@37
Does anyone doubt that proper medical attention, including drugs, nursing care and hospital access would have greatly reduced the number of deaths in the pandemic? The problem of the pandemic is firstly that it was allowed to rage out of control, providing the perfect conditions for increasingly dangerous variants to evolve and secondly that it imposes on societies the need to provide public health systems to ensure that the ability to pay doctors, rent beds and buy drugs is not needed to ensure treatment.
Capitalism is about making profits out of the desperation of humanity. It is already being reported that the drug companies intend to use their patents to make enormous profits, while refusing to make their formulae available so that generic vaccines can be supplied to the billions who cannot afford to buy them.
The irony that life has in store for capitalism's cheerleaders being the inevitability of future waves of Covid which will slay hundreds of millions- the direct result of a systemic choice.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 24 2021 21:09 utc | 43

vk @ 3

In other words, freedom from need is true freedom

Um, being free from need would mean being dead. Maybe you mean freedom from desire?

Like, nothing is all I want?

Or, can I at least keep my internet connection?

Posted by: John | Mar 24 2021 21:10 utc | 44

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 24 2021 17:47 utc | 6

Crooked Cucumber aka Shunryu Suzuki Roshi once said on this topic that we should "desire desirelessness until the desire for desirelessness becomes a desire and level off about there".

Posted by: Pat Boone's Farm | Mar 24 2021 21:11 utc | 45


The chinese get it
https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1219371.shtml

Lü Xiang, an expert on US politics and diplomacy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday that NATO is actually dominated by the US, so Stoltenberg could not be regarded as a representative of Europe, but an American proxy in Europe.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 24 2021 21:19 utc | 46

Mr. Pat Boone's Farm

Just like Japanese food, that looks much better than it tastes, there is less to Mr. Crooked Cucumber (a.k.a. Shunryu Suzuki Roshi) statement that one should expect - it is a clever infinite regress, amusing you have seen something like that for the first time.

On the topic of "Desire" - one could profitably consult the Persian mystical sages, specifically the late Khwajah Shams Al Din Mohammad (Hafiz).

It is in Persian poetry that one meets - and to my knowledge the only place in the world literature - the word "rend".

A "rend" is a human being that has encaged his "Desire" - he could then contemplate it in its cage, wonder at it, but never let it out.

That is, a "rend" is a man that is no longer mastered or driven by desire.

Becoming a "rend" is within our grasp - becoming Awake - as Buddha - not as much.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 24 2021 21:26 utc | 47

On the simulation scam, it is basically a secularized version of Berkeley, who posited the non-existence of matter, saying that God implanted the experience of the world directly into the soul. I think he got the idea from a remark of Descartes about a demon who deceived everyone about the existence of the world, sending them delusions. I suppose Berkeley "knew" that the devil couldn't be creative, that only God could make something as wonderful as Bishop Berkeley. Berkeley may have had the prophetic revelation direct from God (all believers in the end claim superior knowledge because they are holier, enlightened by God,) but to me it seems Berkerely ended up saying he was a figment of God's imagination. Solipsists who pretend to claim each one has imagined the world I think are actually saying they are figments of my imagination, which conveniently justifies ignoring solipsists, doesn't it?

Although the simulation idea may just be old wine in a new bottle, being old is not exactly a refutation. The first issues is, is there any reason to think so. It is amazing how often this is forgotten. It's Bertrand Russell's teapot. He pointed out as I understand it he could "hypothesize" a teapot orbiting Saturn. But this is not really a hypothesis because there's no reason to think such a thing. Having no reason is irrational, by definition. Amazingly enough, the irrationality of making things up without a reason is not admitted to be irrational. (No, fiction is rational because it's for entertainment, entertainment being so broad to incorporate edifying sermons and pornography. And another by the way, irrational hypotheses like ESP or astrology can be falsified, so any philosophy and practice of science pinned on falsification is ultimately wrong.)

Another aspect of this overlooked, is that an undefined hypothesis is not even an idea. (Descartes insistence on clear and distinct ideas was driving at this, I think.) Thus if you say, "simulation," you aren't really saying anything until you have details. There's the how, first of all. That's why people are so reluctant to admit "theories" that lack causes. At the very least, they insist on very detailed regularities in the seemingly uncaused events. Even quantum mechanics rests its claims on the math and the predictions of experimental outcomes. The simulation hypothesis has nothing but an undefined technology. There are perfectly determinate phenomena which cannot be predicted. No simulation can predict the weather. The famous butterfly effect shows that even though every single event in the formation of any given weather faithfully obeys natural laws, with every step in principle measurable, the consequences of the tiniest differences will prevent an accurate simulation. Any universal simulation that includes weather would have to have some sort of continual inputs to reset. Yes, simulating a hurricane would be like using a weather machine and other effects in a movie. But not even in principle is it possible to know which butterfly flapped its wings in Brazil. Yet the simulation hypothesis

How do you simulate the distribution of galaxies? For a start you would have to know all the laws of nature even to confront the problem of chaotic phenomena. We don't know for certain that it's possible to find them out. It is highly likely they have to be self-consistent, thus in principle amenable to reason. But the universe, the distribution of galaxies, isn't just a bunch of equations, it's a history. History does have unknowable things, because the evidence is gone. Indeed, being historical is a reason for doing simulations, like cosmologists modeling the formation of galaxies. Those who deny there is any science of man would have no problem in thinking an arbitrary program can write a history. But like it or not, the evidence shows that even history, humanity's existence, is a material phenomenon with its own dynamics. Not only are celestial dynamics still uncertain as dark matter, so are social dynamics. How do we know they can be sufficiently resolved to program a simulation?

Even more to the point, even if some hypothesized superior civilization had the laws of nature and society down, and had some sort of mechanism for resetting the simulation to allow for the accumulated errors of chaotic phenomena like weather, are the calculations computable? How long will they take? Is the data base, or parameters, or the input, small enough to be created and stored in computer memory?

Also, it is entirely unclear what it means to simulate dreams. This is a problem for all solipsistic theories or variations of them like Berekeley's. Or hallucinations from exhaustion or hunger or something neurological. Even worse, given the uncertainties of memory and the fallibility of the human mind, how do you simulate consciousness? Is the computer merely resetting us when we wake up? Is that why we sleep, to allow the computer to fix errors? The universe simulator would be like the computer in the Stargate SG-1 series episode "Revisions." We just think we remember but we just "remember" what they computer puts in our memory. Indeed, in what sense is the sense of self a true metaphysical entity. We don't remember being a baby. Some philosophers deny a true continuity to the ego (not so much in the European tradition but a strand in Asian philosophy.)

I don't think the simulation hypothesis is rational at all. The superficial appeal of doing away with supernaturally powered fake universe by vaguely invoking something seemingly natural, science-y rather than scientific, adds problems, rather than resolving any, making it even less likely, Namely, why are these people doing this? What do they have to gain? It's worse than Westworld!

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 24 2021 21:26 utc | 48

@arby

Yep, and not a word about Honduras, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Haiti ... Watched the documentary "Haiti Betrayed" about Canada's role in Haiti - much closer to the truth of my country's foreign policy than the friendly image it tries to project.

Posted by: Roger | Mar 24 2021 21:26 utc | 49

John @44--

It's freedom from Want. The Four Freedoms as articulated by FDR in 1941 were:

1.Freedom of speech
2.Freedom of worship
3.Freedom from want
4.Freedom from fear

Earlier this year on the 80th anniversary of FDR's speech, I wrote a series of comments on the topic. They remain the four main tasks needing to be accomplished for the Common Man to be genuinely free. At the time, they were to be the main goals of WW2; goals that were further articulated by Henry Wallace in 1942 & '43 in his speeches and writings. Currently, several nations have accomplished those four goals; none of them is a NATO/Neoliberal nation however.


Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 24 2021 21:30 utc | 50

John at 44

vk mean having basic needs met. Not having no needs at all.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Mar 24 2021 21:30 utc | 51

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 24 2021 21:26 utc | 48

Another thing - Say you've got someone telling you that human existence is a simulation. A simulation of what? If human existence is a (necessarily) imperfect simulation of actual human existence, then what's the perfect/real version? Would it be mankind before Adam took a bite from the apple?

BTW, "simulations" or models can predict the weather, just not always very accurately. As computing power increases and more variables are available to the equations/algorithms, especially real-time inputs, I think that simulating the weather will get a lot more accurate in the future.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 24 2021 21:45 utc | 52

América es sin duda la tierra prometida,
América la virgen del universo es.
¡Oh Libertad, quién sabe si para darte vida
La mano de Dios mismo no la formó después!
Al fin yo te contemplo sin miedo de perderte
¡Que adoran ya los Pueblos tu santa majestad!
Dejadme ver del Plata brotando,
Como la Diosa antigua, bellísima del mar.
Dejadme ver los tronos atónitos rodando,
Cuando al poner en tierra su pie, la hizo temblar.
¡Oh patria! si al amago de nueva tiranía
Sintiese mi entusiasmo, mi fe disminuir,
Presenta de tus hechos a la memoria mía
Tan solo ese gran paso que diste al porvenir.
Yo sé que vendrá un tiempo para la Patria mía
De paz y de ventura, de gloria y de hermandad.
Lo espero, sí, lo espero, yo sé que vendrá un día
Que alumbres todo el mundo brillante Libertad.


(my translation)

America is undoubtedly the promised land,
America is the virgin of the universe,
Oh liberty, who knew how to give you life?
The hand of God himself did not form it afterwards!
At last I contemplate you, without fear of losing you,
Which your holy majesty adores.
Let me see the silver sprouting,
Like the ancient goddess of the sea,
Let me see the stunned thrones rolling,
When you stamped your foot, and made them tremble.
Oh nation! If, in the new tyranny,
I feel my enthusiasm and my faith diminished,
Present your facts to my memory
of that great step you gave to the future.
I know that a time will come for my country
Of peace and happiness, of glory and brotherhood
I hope, yes I hope, I know, that one day will come,
that which lights up the whole world, bright Freedom.

Posted by: Guerrero | Mar 24 2021 21:53 utc | 53

@vk and al.
About freedom

In order to be "FREE" man need to be FREE from material need,
"c'est pas faux" / It's not wrong....

But "material" need is a little more than material. What's about psychologie [for exemple Maslow's hierarchy of needs as a simplified version]

I just post
Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 24 2021 20:49 utc | 40

The movie "mon oncle d'Amérique" is the best approach for me.


According to Laborit, behavior is regulated by four elements: consumption (drinking, eating and copulating), gratification, punishment (with the outcome of fighting or fleeing) and finally inhibition of action. He takes up Paul D. MacLean’s theory of the three levels of the brain (or “triunic brain”) :
a reptilian brain, common to the entire animal kingdom, which ensures our survival reflexes and directs our consumer behaviour;
a second “brain”, the limbic brain, common to all mammals, that of memory, which guides our rewarding behavior: it makes us flee the painful experiences we have known (Sorched cat fears cold water) and act to seek pleasure. If all exits are blocked, inhibition of action causes stress and causes disease;
our third “brain”, the neocortex, which is more developed in the human species, allows us to combine ideas from different, more abstract experiences.

Unfortunately, it often serves us only to make a speech that justifies our first two behaviours. The neocortex should allow us to understand that these first two brains only establish behaviours of domination between men.

Now man is made only by his contact with other men. Not being aware that we must at least channel the instincts of domination (since we cannot eliminate them) can only lead to individual and collective unhappiness.

Thus, according to Laborit, who concludes the film, knowing these mechanisms would certainly not eliminate them, but at least use them to do something else, just as the patient study of the laws of motion did not eliminate gravity at all, but nevertheless allowed us to go to the Moon!

Contrary to what is generally accepted: “the brain is not the centre of thought but the centre of action.”

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 24 2021 21:54 utc | 54

42

Posted by: librul | Mar 24 2021 22:08 utc | 55

The EUP is cutting its own throat trying to bully China. I see the move was made as soon as Blinken arrived and began spreading lies about both Russia and China. I know China and Russia would like these rogue nations to uphold their honor by obeying the UN Charter, but it seems too many have caught the Outlaw US Empire's disease and now want to return to their Colonial ways. If the EUP ends up trashing the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) with China, many individual European nations are going to be very angry. China won't mind if that's what the EUP does as is explained here:

"After China announced sanctions on 10 individuals and four entities from the EU as a countermove to EU's unilateral sanctions against China, some people from the EU reacted strongly, claiming China's countermeasures were "unacceptable." The European Parliament canceled a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) with China. Some members of the European Parliament warned that the lifting of Chinese sanctions should be a condition to promote talks on CAI. Voices that support to block the agreement in an attempt to punish China have been hyped by some anti-China forces.

"Yet those forces should be told that the CAI between China and the EU is mutually beneficial, rather than a gift from the EU to China. If the European Parliament wants to obstruct the deal, taking it as a bargaining chip in interactions with China, it should first reach a consensus among European countries. If they all agree, let's just take it as negotiations between China and the EU never took place last year. But don't blackmail China with the case. China despises such ugly deeds."

China's saying essentially that it will forego the benefits of trade if it isn't properly respected and doesn't care if the EU's dire economic condition worsens because it can't stand up for itself in the face of the world's #1 Bully, which is exactly the same line Russia has taken.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 24 2021 22:11 utc | 56

memory is constructive <=false narratives can be externally implanted and used to deny reality <=this is something everyone on this list needs to engage.
Its fascinating science and IMO explains the object of the MSM misinformation campaigns.

Several of my recent post have not reached the list. .. they identify copyright and patent laws to be essentially the same kind of private oligarch wealth creating devices that land grants were in the colonial era. Kings made land grants to large sections of land located in their foreign colonies (like the Virginia Colony) (Note; copyrights and patents are modern day land grants; the nation state (instead of the king) gives these grants to Oligarchs. Essentially they operate to transform public ownership into private ownership and to involve the state to enforce the private rights in the monopoly powers against all use or trespass by the external public. Such monopoly grants account for the highly disproportionate accumulation of wealth seen in today's fat cat oligarch controlled world (1% own as much wealth as the remaining 99%).

Several not seen posts identify the cause of WWI to be economic based on two books: Pan-Germanism by Roland Greene User, 1913; and "MyMemoirs" by none other than ex Kaiser Wilhelm ii, 1922.. I think the current historical narrative taught in schools is well described in the youtube link above. The reason for the war, the money behind it, and the Oligarch use of the nation state system, to arrange and to create for themselves global hot spots and conditions that forced WWI on humanity.

Posted by: snake | Mar 24 2021 22:22 utc | 57

@vk,bevin and al.
about simplified capitalism


One of the fundamentals of capitalism was to deprive people of their ability to subsiste, in order to make them work for a capitalist

But in order to make them work, you need.... workplace. And so, how does that begin? In fact, at the same time, agricultural and industrial technics improve. The agricultural production need less people, "don't pay anymore for a leaving" and some former farmer looking for their basics need (again), turn to industrial workers.


the enclosure of not only the pastures and arable land but also of "wastes" and common land was justified on the basis that it led to higher crop yields.

YES
Not a plot. Improvement.
As Ford made Ford T affordable.

As strong anticapitalists should we really fight for the return to the hoe, the scythe and the beater?

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 24 2021 22:30 utc | 58

I see the article about China's release of its annual US human rights situation report was linked @22 above but nothing's been said about it. Within its "seven major chapters, the 15,000-word report" observed "the most striking deterioration in the human rights situation amid COVID-19 in the US was due to a failure of governance....

"The epidemic went out of control and turned into a human tragedy due to the US government's reckless responses....

"China usually issues the annual report on the US human rights situation in response to the US' annual reports on human rights practices issued by the US Department of State every year. But this year, in an increasingly complex geopolitical environment, the Chinese government took the initiative in issuing its report first, given the increased human rights violations in the US due to chaotic pandemic control and prevention measures, the arrogance and irresponsibility of the country's leaders, growing political polarization, record-high levels of discrimination, hate crimes and gun violence, according to the experts who drafted the report." [My Emphasis]

The graphic provided within the article is very damning. Of its six categories, the second is telling: "American democracy disorder triggers political chaos" where "Elections are a "one man show" of the wealthy class." [Emphasis Original]

Given the genuine history and current standing of human rights within the Outlaw US Empire and the millions its killed and displaced globally since 1945, the Empire has no grounds to criticize other nations, and when it does, its behavior is fair game for other nations to criticize and sanction. Indeed, how would the Outlaw US Empire treat a nation with the following internal problem:

"More than 41,500 people died by gun violence ... an average of more than 110 a day, which is a record... [And] [t]here were 592 mass shootings nationwide, an average of more than 1.6 a day."

And during the course of the year, that same nation's public purchased 23 Million guns. It reminds me of a book title: Armed Madhouse.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 24 2021 22:49 utc | 59

@3 vk - - "the nihilist bullshittery from the Buddhists"

I enjoyed your whole post and especially the last part about Marx's idea of freedom as being measurable by freedom from material want - a huge concept, that I thank you for.

Your last paragraph was unfortunate, and I quoted above what I'm responding to. This comment of yours is actually a nihilistic view, your characteristic projected onto a thing as its nature, rather than truly describing the nature of that thing.

So I will tell you a thing, so that you will have the opportunity to hear it. What you do with that opportunity is your choice alone, and I have no wish or desire to hear any response from you on this one thing.

~~

Buddhism is very famously known as the "Middle Way". What then is it in the middle of?

Buddhism postulates two extremes of belief regarding the absolute nature of things: one is nihilism, the view that nothing exists beyond the universe, devoid of absolute meaning; the other extreme of view is eternalism (some might call it Creationism), which believes in an enduring force of volition that comprises the universe.

The view taught by Buddha is different from both these extremes. Unfortunately, I don't feel qualified to tell anyone what Buddhism is. But I do feel able to say what it is not, and it is not either of those extremes as I described them.

What lies in that middle ground, and constitutes the Middle Way, is a path that can be embarked upon, and experienced, and vetted by personal experience, each for oneself, to one's uttermost rigor, providing results promised by the teachings of the path, without fail.

~~

I offer this to you, just so you have an opportunity to know, in case you wish to explore.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 24 2021 22:53 utc | 60

karlof1 @Mar24 22:49 #59[China Human Rights Report:] "The epidemic went out of control and turned into a human tragedy due to the US government's reckless responses....
I've gone further and actually voiced my suspicion that US/Western response to the pandemic was deliberately wrong.

Just as the Obama Administration made a "wilful choice" to support the rise of ISIS, it appears to me that the Trump Administration made the wilful choice to allow the pandemic to spread.

Why would the do so?

  • Help to fund Trump's military build-up (by saving money on the care and upkeep of the elderly);
  • Incite anger toward China;
  • Test mRNA bio-warfare technology.

This is scary stuff with grave implications - but NO ONE appears willing to consider that EMPIRE priorities are driving policy.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 24 2021 23:32 utc | 61

karlof1 @Mar24 22:49 #59

[China Human Rights Report:] "The epidemic went out of control and turned into a human tragedy due to the US government's reckless responses....

I've gone further and actually voiced my suspicion that US/Western response to the pandemic was deliberately wrong.

Just as the Obama Administration made a "wilful choice" to support the rise of ISIS, we can surmise that the Trump Administration made the wilful choice to allow the pandemic to spread.

Why would the do so?

  • Help to fund Trump's military build-up (by saving money on the care and upkeep of the elderly);
  • Incite anger toward China;
  • Test mRNA bio-warfare technology.

This is scary stuff with grave implications - but NO ONE appears willing to consider that EMPIRE priorities are driving policy.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 24 2021 23:36 utc | 62

Mr. Guerrero

Freedom is the absence of fear.

Tell me please how to get there from here.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 24 2021 23:41 utc | 63

Reply to : fyi | Mar 24 2021 20:15 utc | 38

I am not a Mr. but a Miss. I am not a doctor. I urge you to watch the testimony I provided a link to, and to hear a doctor, who treats Covid-19 patients, explain why so many people died, unnecessarily. His testimony is clear on all points.

You do not need to be a doctor to ask yourself (for example I did, very early into the spread of the virus) why is there almost no mention of treatment.
There was more discussion in this group about possible treatment than in the public domain and all the corporate media put together. In fact, it was blocked, as the doctor states in his testimony. From May (2020)onwards vaccines were the only show in town.
Not being a doctor, just an ordinary human trying to use my brain for what it is for, I found that very odd.And here we are, staring into a potential catastrophe of enormous proprotions. Listen to the doctor, and to all those other doctors and scientists (even policemen, believe it or not) whose voices are being silenced and ignored.


Posted by: JB | Mar 24 2021 23:47 utc | 64

Thus if you say, "simulation," you aren't really saying anything until you have details.[..] No simulation can predict the weather. [..] How do you simulate the distribution of galaxies? [..]
I don't think the simulation hypothesis is rational at all.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 24 2021 21:26 utc

The universe is beyond the capacity of a computer that works inside the universe. But a simulation creates perceptions, not the world. Moreover, our minds have the capacity to add missing details to sensory perceptions, and that may decrease the burden on the simulator.

For example, Google has a simulator of "News". Many users are happy to get all the news they need in one source! I must admit that for a while I was a happy user. But now the simulation is quite decrepit when you stray away from the scenery selected by Google. Try Ukraine. Several Google-worthy items per week, in roughly equal parts from Atlantic Council, Radio FE/Sloboda and occasional items authored (I guess) in Ukraine. On April 11 there will be a runoff election in Ecuador, and no news at all for the last month!

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 24 2021 23:51 utc | 65

Being a simple bloke I see much of this thread as a panoply of different ways to make the same error, that despite the wide range of philosophies being espoused and attacked, all of them suffer from the same problem.

They all regard humans as being something special, unique. The carmaker dingbat convinced he is living in a computer simulation suffers from the same delusion as the ninnies who promote all the ancient 'god' superstitions. Why would some entity bother to create a simulation centred on humans, why would some omniscient, omnipotent being go to all the trouble of making a universe for humans, some even have the gall to claim this super being created humans in his/her image WTF! Basic anatomy tells us that a truly omnipotent being wouldn't require anything like a human body shape.

Humans are just one species of an infinite variety, out of a vast spectrum of sentient beings that probability informs us exist across this reality/universe - whatever people choose to see it as.

The notion that we humans, a badly evolved and self destructive species living in a tiny corner of a huge universe are somehow special is ludicrous - fucking laughable.

I get why so many of us spend their lives considering us, that's all we've got but to try and escalate human issues to being of some great importance for the entire universe is irrational & totally unsustainable.
Simulation garbage, like the silly belief that aliens would want to study us is just one more step in the ridiculous path of anthropocentrism that so many humans are indoctrinated into.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 24 2021 23:53 utc | 66

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 24 2021 23:32 utc | 61

There's little doubt that the response was deliberately wrong in Brazil and look at how they're faring. Exactly as Bolsonaro and his (mostly) elite and upper middle class backers hoped for, I'd guess.

https://english.elpais.com/americas/2021-01-29/study-finds-that-brazils-jair-bolsonaro-carried-out-an-institutional-strategy-to-spread-the-coronavirus.html

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/03/23/980391847/brazil-is-looking-like-the-worst-place-on-earth-for-covid-19

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 24 2021 23:53 utc | 67

Miss JB

The thesis implies that the approximately 65,000 dead Iranian are due to medical ignorance by Iranian medical staff.

Being familiar with the efforts of the medical personnel, and that they tried every thing and watching patients die, I do not consider your insinuations credible.

Iranian nurses and doctors did not drop the ball. I am not going to credit youtube videoes filled with assertions. The Dead have rebutted them.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 24 2021 23:58 utc | 68

Mr. Bernard F.

I have already responded to you in the original thread.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 25 2021 0:00 utc | 69

Piotr Berman@65 misunderstands the simulation claim, I think. The stance is that "we" are subroutines in the simulation, subroutines whose apparent consciousness is an illusion prompted by input from the parallel processing of the simulation of the natural world and of other subroutines simulating other beings. Or to put it another way, Elon Musk is claiming to be a figment of a computer's imagination. It is tempting to agree with him. Musk would be a better person if considered an "isomorph" from the movie Tron: Legacy, wouldn't he?

_K_C_@48 is correct on the first point for some versions of the simulation scheme. But in some versions "we" are the simulated outcomes of a model of the universe, carried on the basis of some unknown physical laws and unknown parameters put into the model, that simulated first the evolution of the physical universe and then the evolution of the planet Earth and then the evolution of life and then the evolution of humanity and then the simulated history of humanity. Simulating the development of the mind from infancy would be a breeze. But I don't think this kind of vague handwaving even constitutes a rational explanation.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 25 2021 0:22 utc | 70

Here is a thoughtful article, originally published in the Australian Financial Review:

https://johnmenadue.com/american-overreach-in-anchorage-points-to-conflict-with-china/

Posted by: Paul | Mar 25 2021 0:45 utc | 71

@Posted by: JB | Mar 24 2021 23:47 utc | 64

....why is there almost no mention of treatment.

There were mentions of treatments, just not in the US. I don't know about whether the same has been in Europe, but in China very early on during the pandemic, various treatments were tried and discussed. China drew on its experience of fighting SARS, and their findings were actually published, such as in Lancet. I believe Italy consequently made routine use of one of the method, that of serum from recovered patients (and later in the US too) on patients in critical care units, which was first tried and endorsed in China. Serum wasn't a panacea but in most cases found helpful. However, in China itself the popular treatment was a combination of traditional western medicine for pneumonia and traditional Chinese herbal medicine for respiratory ailments. The findings were conveyed to countries that China assisted early on, such as Italy and Serbia. Chinese herbal medicine was also included in aid packages that were sent oversea to stranded Chinese expats. China also discussed at length the use of remdesivir, and dismissed it as being ineffective.

Actually there were discussions of treatments in the US too, if you recall Ole Pres Trump urged the drinking of Dittol, Lysol, and other germ killers. I didn't recall him urging the use of injection method, but like always there are daredevils in the US that went that far :)

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Mar 25 2021 1:00 utc | 72

Jackrabbit @61--

You'll recall my calling out Trump for Treason due to his clear Do Nothing Policy vis Covid or any other malady given his dismantling of those agencies needed to provide a proper response. Do note that very few--even the rabid Trump haters--were willing to do so even though there was plenty of evidence to substantiate such a charge. You'll also have noted my changed classification of Neoliberal Parasites and their allies to being Anti-Human, especially once the particulars about the Neoliberal Great Reset became known. Then the overall Big Picture of Historical Context must be taken into account very seriously, which I've done, in order to come to the conclusion that at its base the ongoing Civilizational/Class War is between two main Blocs--Pro Humans or simply Humans versus Anti-Humans. I'm more than satisfied that I'm correct--but--a great many need convincing that lack the crucial prior knowledge to get them to escape their indoctrination. And that includes everyone currently dominated by Neoliberalism because they've all been subjected to a very similar narrative. And with all those gun deaths and mass shootings, it's very easy to hide political assassinations, which aren't always high profile.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 1:16 utc | 73

@Norwegian | Mar 24 2021 21:19 utc | 46

It is not just Jens Quisling, half (or more) of the European political elite are USA proxies.

Take for example the European green parties.

I am pretty sure that the Dutch green party is at its core a NATO/military intelligence operation. It was created as a merger of three parties, all of whom had a distinct pacifist and socialist signature. The new party, GroenLinks ("GreenLeft") has forgotten all of that and has limited itself to churning out Big Climate slogans. The party leader is an obviously hollow puppet in the image of Justin Trudeau. His opinions are handed to him by advisors in the shade.

A few years ago, an MP for GroenLinks, Mariko Peters was enthousiastically promoting more military missions in Afghanistan. She was also a board member of the "Atlantische Commissie", the local Dutch chapter of the Atlantic Treaty Organisation (the USA chapter is the more well-known Atlantic Council). If you study her antics and associations more closely, it is pretty obvious that there is nothing green or left about this lady and that she is an obvious atlanticist diplomat/spy type.

Currently, there are no political parties in the Netherlands that are critical of NATO. This used to be very different not even a very long time ago.

About the German green party I know a bit less, but I trust well-informed members of the CDU when they point out the NATO dirt on Die Grüne:
Green Party is an ‘arm of the US elites’ & doesn’t care about German interests – Merkel’s ally to RT

What the article does not mention is the association, reputedly for a six-figure salary) of former Grüne luminary Joschka Fisher to the Nabucco pipeline project (competing with ns2). Fischer is also a member of the council on foreign relations and a founding member even of the European chapter ECFR.

Posted by: Lurk | Mar 25 2021 1:33 utc | 74

This organization, Eventbrite, was responsible for co-arranging the Escobar-Hudson dialogues and has an interesting list of upcoming free events barflies might find interesting.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 1:37 utc | 75

karlof1 @Mar25 1:16 #73

My apologies.

I was painting with too broad a stroke when I said "NO ONE" was willing to consider that Empire priorities are driving policy. There are good people trying to make others aware so as to prevent disaster. You are one of them.

Sadly, there are still too many that accept media manipulation and too few that understand the danger of an Empire hell-bent on global domination.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 25 2021 1:54 utc | 76

librul #55

42

YES

and even that was an approximation conceived by an AI created algorithm and enunciated via a simulated voice in a an imagined world.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 25 2021 2:38 utc | 77

JB #37

Just listen to this doctor's testimony in the Texas legislature on TREATMENT of Covid-19:

See this link

Just one quote: "COVID - 19 has always been a treatable sickness"


Well said and thank you. My government posts a pathetic thing entitled "Covid 19 Vaccination and treatment" and there is ZERO information on early stage treatment. It is all vaccine, vaccine, vaccine.

When I next visit my GP I will ask her for details of her treatment regime should I ever receive a +ve test but I suspect what the answer will be.

Every disease is treatable to some extent. I have the Chinese Covid treatment manual of considerable volume, fully translated to english. Here is version 7 March 2020 and it is no doubt thoroughly revised since that date.

The almost total surrender of professionals in medical practice to self censorship and the brutal insistence on toeing the line to the official mantra is religious obscurantism of the worst order. It is the totalitarian stuff that led to the witch hunts and fatwas and the excommunications and now the cancel culture.

The advocates of this oppression of clinical practice are the enemies of humanity and the saboteurs of science.

That brief video is well worth considering as it demands an answer as to why this path of death causing ignorance was ever advocated let alone accepted. Let a thousand flowers bloom and a thousand ideas be considered.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 25 2021 2:58 utc | 78

Woke Supremacy - Way Worse than White Privilege and Systemic Racism
https://torrancestephensphd.substack.com/p/woke-supremacy-way-worse-than-white

Biden admin calls on SCOTUS to let police enter homes, confiscate guns without a warrant
https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicksibilla/2021/03/23/biden-administration-urges-supreme-court-to-let-cops-enter-homes-and-seize-guns-without-a-warrant/?sh=4e786df22829

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Mar 25 2021 3:47 utc | 79

Jackrabbit @ 62 opined;


"This is scary stuff with grave implications - but NO ONE appears willing to consider that EMPIRE priorities are driving policy."

On the contrary rabbit, many perceive it, but are unwilling to say it..

bevin @ 66 said; "The notion that we humans, a badly evolved and self destructive species living in a tiny corner of a huge universe are somehow special is ludicrous - fucking laughable."

Yep. But, just another page from the book of deception, that the U$A is the "exceptional" nation in the world...

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 25 2021 4:28 utc | 80

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 25 2021 2:58 utc | 78

Yes, Turkey got its original idea for using chloroquine in early treatment, as well as other treatments from China. I reported its success at the time here. Apparently, someone whispered the same in Trump's ear, but when it came out of his mouth, Trump Derangement Syndrome set in and the treatment was characteristically attacked.

Of course, this could also have been at the behest of the Big Pharma profit mongers who wanted no competition to alleviating the virus before they could get theirs.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 1:16 utc | 73

Without doubt this "pandemic" has been kept alive by US corporate and financial imperialists for the interests of those imperialists. The evidence is clear. Referring to the "Do Nothing Policy" as Trump's personal policy is misleading. Trump was merely used as the "bad cop" in a "good cop, bad cop" diversion that is ongoing even now. The policies of the oligarch run duopoly are essentially independent of whoever is president, as the Chinese have noted when stating "Elections are a one-man show of the wealthy class" in your posting of the Chinese Human Rights Report.

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Mar 25 2021 6:21 utc | 81

@Lurk | Mar 25 2021 1:33 utc | 74
Thank you for the information and links! I agree totally with your assessment. I believe that most of what is happening in western Europe must be understood in this context. The "green" parties and similar organisations represent disguised military operations directed at the peoples of Europe. Their goal is to impoverish the countries and extract their wealth, plus isolate them from powers like Russia and China. The EU and NATO are two sides of a coin working for the same masters. They must both be dissolved and the fake "green" policies must end. Of course the pandemic that isn't is another tool in the playbook that aims to take away our freedom and independence.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 25 2021 6:38 utc | 82

@uncle tungsten | Mar 25 2021 2:58 utc | 78

The almost total surrender of professionals in medical practice to self censorship and the brutal insistence on toeing the line to the official mantra is religious obscurantism of the worst order. It is the totalitarian stuff that led to the witch hunts and fatwas and the excommunications and now the cancel culture.

The advocates of this oppression of clinical practice are the enemies of humanity and the saboteurs of science.

I am posting this to express my thanks for your posts in general and for the above quote in particular. The scary thing is what is happening inside people's heads and what it leads to in society. We are witnessing a collapse of rational thought, and it is intentional.

The only thing to fear is fear itself.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 25 2021 6:44 utc | 83

Norwegian #83

Thank you.

I trust people will revive their awareness of the joy and permissive exuberance that comes with freedom. They have in the past. I never tire of saying to people "the land of your hatred is full of people like you and me and all we wish for is happiness and sufficiency" and I find that triggers a more gentle exploration of our dialogue.

I have heard it said that there are two 'types' of people in the world - the makers and builders vs the users and destroyers. I am not sure it is at all that simple and I find it really helpful to use the Fran Peavey method of 'strategic questioning' to assist the lost ones to explore their recovery or inspiration.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 25 2021 8:27 utc | 84

@ Posted by: JB | Mar 24 2021 20:03 utc | 37

Excellent link, thank you for posting!

Other's have expressed a similar attitude: we are being (or have been) led down the garden path to the dark ages of rationality.

It is sad, but I cannot shake the feeling that it is just a consequence of how we (humans of these generations) have totally fucked up on our watch.

I have allowed 'the mistakes' to go unchecked...shame on me! :-)

Posted by: Idiocrates | Mar 25 2021 8:27 utc | 85

Boulder shooter swore allegiance to ISIS, targeted 'Jewish store' Report: Boulder shooter swore allegiance to ISIS, targeted 'Jewish store'
https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/299160

Beer sample tests positive for COVID-19
https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=D61l_1616458185

Biden Appointee's Troubling Views On The First Amendment
https://taibbi.substack.com/p/a-biden-appointees-troubling-views

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Mar 25 2021 8:28 utc | 86

'Malicious and politically-driven': China bites at NZ after Uighur abuse condemnation
https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/malicious-and-politically-driven-china-bites-at-nz-after-uighur-abuse-condemnation/ar-BB1eVu6W?ocid=msedgdhp

The headline is a bit sensationalist - "sternly responds to" is more accurate than "bites"
Otherwise, the mainstream media article is quite objective and informative.

Posted by: tucenz | Mar 25 2021 8:34 utc | 87

Freedom is a beautiful thing, like belief and love. Totally excellent feelings, totally subjective and in my opinion totally exaggerated in relation to reality.

Sure, worth musing philosophically about, but even a (good) *definition* of freedom changes NOTHING in my opinion. The reason I think this is that a good definition must necessarily be VERY abstract and generic. Thus it loses its relation to reality...just my $.02.

Posted by: Idiocrates | Mar 25 2021 8:45 utc | 88

Otherwise, the mainstream media article is quite objective and informative.

Posted by: tucenz | Mar 25 2021 8:34 utc | 87


I reread the article and need to change that to
"Otherwise, the mainstream media article is quite objective and informative apart from a few words and sentences here and there."
Which of course is what the best propaganda does!

Posted by: tucenz | Mar 25 2021 8:49 utc | 89

You know the USA is in trouble when Rupert Murdoch is considered the last press baron between 'honest reporting' and the dictatorship of the Democrat press machinery. Strategic Culture reports from Robert Bridge "A prominent DC circuit judge has delivered a scathing attack on the Democratic Party’s “ideological control” of the U.S. media landscape. Yet who will heed the call if legacy and social media are empowered to suppress news and debate at will?"

“Two of the three most influential papers (at least historically), The New York Times and The Washington Post, are virtually Democratic Party broadsheets,” the right-leaning judge declared. “And the news section of The Wall Street Journal leans in the same direction. The orientation of these three papers is followed by The Associated Press and most large papers across the country (such as the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and Boston Globe).”

“Nearly all television—network and cable—is a Democratic Party trumpet,” he added.

Silberman then made passing reference to Rupert Murdoch, 90, who owns that boney strip of media byproduct that speaks on behalf of conservative values, namely Fox News, The New York Post and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. Amid ongoing efforts by the masters of the media universe to silence even this last bastion of Republican thought, the judge warned, “[I]t should be sobering for those concerned about news bias that these institutions are controlled by a single man and his son [James Murdoch]. Will a lone holdout remain in what is otherwise a frighteningly orthodox media culture?”

I can assure any one left in the bar that if Rupert Murdoch is the only person between you and press freedom then you can be sure he will sell the power of that position to the highest oligarch bidder as long as he can remain in that same place to sell it again a year or so later.

Rupert is that sort of guy. But he will run a few editorials to make you feel good about it.

Yet this is an interesting judgement as it flips an old form of immunity sheltering malfeasance in reporting: "Silberman took umbrage against the 1964 court case New York Times v. Sullivan, which made it incumbent upon those parties looking to sue media outlets to prove that the latter’s reporting was the result of “actual malice,” or a “reckless disregard for the truth.” That ruling, critics say, has made it exceedingly difficult to hold media outlets accountable for what Trump regularly denounced as “fake news.”

Yes, well there is fake news and limp, uninvestigated news and uncritically reported news and so on but this decision could awaken the kraken in the media pond.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 25 2021 9:21 utc | 90

Posted by: Lurk | Mar 25 2021 1:33 utc | 74

The German Green Party is basically a transfer picture of the Dutch Greens.
Originally, coming out of a pacifist and anti-nuclear movement it diversified into four different factions: 1)Realos/Spontis like Joshka Fisher or Daniel Cohn-Bendit, 2)Fundis, ie. radical Greenies, 3)ecological Socalists and 4)"Green Market Libertarians".

After German Reunification there was a large schism within the party with the careerist, opportunistic Realos coming out on top of it "purging" a large part of the anti-capitalist faction of the party.

Fast-forward nowadays the Green Party is basically a NATO-supporting, russophobic feel-good ("green Capitalism") proxy for US interests with a constituency consisting of young gullible people and urban middle class liberals.

A good overview of the history of the German Green Party can be read here.

Posted by: vato | Mar 25 2021 9:45 utc | 91

Did anyone mention Blinken in Brussels talking to Nato yesterday (against China... against Nord Stream...)? just a day before a EU summit, but it must be chance.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 25 2021 9:47 utc | 92

Biden admin calls on SCOTUS to let police enter homes, confiscate guns without a warrant


Dogon Priest | Mar 25 2021 3:47 utc | 79:


Community caretaking? Yeeeah, I can't see this being abused, ever. /s

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 25 2021 10:01 utc | 93

Posted by: Mina | Mar 25 2021 9:47 utc | 92

Blinken is smart enough to know he is not being received well. As an experienced career bureaucrat, I expect he will be very busy now, trying to recover.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 25 2021 10:35 utc | 94

Some of the recent posts are vomit worthy.
So many kiwis who like to imagine they just know what is what from their easy unthreatened positions tell us only one thing. That they have absolutely no idea how the world really works. Live & fight in one of the many stolen cultures that populate the pacific & perhaps you may understand that neolib pols in Aotearoa are just the same as their equivalent scumbags everywhere else. eg I've yet to hear jacinda offer any vaccines to PNG, which at worst would humiliate Oz into assisting a place their elites plus some kiwi, have been leeching off for more than 60 years.

IMO the reality is kiwi exceptionalism sucks worse than amerikan exceptionalism because it is even more of a fantasy based entirely on whitefella supremacy & those who believe the alternatives are only between england, australia & aotearoa reveal themselves to be as white supremacist as any arsehole ignorant amerikan imagines him/herself to be.

There are a host of great places across the pacific whose only hurdle is the patronising and greedy way anzus rip em, yet too many kiwis point the finger at everyone other than Aotearoa forgetting the rips thefts, rapes & murders kiwis have inflicted on the South Pacific. But hey a few words of te Reo, eg kia kaha shows we're all wonderful - not.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 25 2021 10:37 utc | 95

Mina #92

I would have thought Europe was heartily sick of the USA and its ridiculous posturing after all these years of being an occupied state. But then I guess the europeans are just as gullible and ill informed as the Usastan people are.

Blinken was the driving force behind Hillary and the debacle in Syria and Libya and I cannot see the european political structure taking him seriously. Sigh, I can only hope he vomits on Merkel or Micron or Ursula von de Leyen and they take it badly.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 25 2021 10:42 utc | 96

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 25 2021 10:42 utc | 96

Europe IS heartily sick of the USA but the politicians and bureaucrats are USA creatures, they've based their careers as loyal servants and they're too old to learn new tricks. Take for example what are considered "successful" Spanish politicians, Javier Solana who belonged to the PSOE or Spanish Workers Party, at some point in their history they adhered to Marxist principles, they campaigned initially to refuse entrance into OTAN, as soon as they got elected they applied and got into it, and then he went on to become NATO's secretary general during the bombing and destruction of Yugoslavia. Another one from the same litter, Josep Borrell, just like their bosses across the Atlantic he goes to Moscow and before saying hi, how are you Sergey¡ he's blabbing about Navalny and human rights. Well, if they synchronized with Blinken, Lavrov did it with Wang Yi and told them to stick their sanctions up their rear. Europe is captive of the empire and the people in charge are compromised, all they know how to do is to take orders from their bosses.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 25 2021 11:44 utc | 97

It does not seem to me they expressed any critic
https://www.dw.com/en/blinken-seeks-to-revitalize-nato-alliance/a-56957728
"Blinken is set to meet 29 foreign ministers from the NATO alliance countries during the two-day meeting as part of a European visit seeking to revamp trans-Atlantic relations under US President Joe Biden."

i.e. the Blinken meeting with all the NATO states foreign ministers took place just before the EU summit today.. enough for the respective FM to brief their associate lackeys in the various governments.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 25 2021 11:47 utc | 98

Paco #97

Where is a good Basque navigator these days? At least in the past they knew their way around the world. Have been drinking cool aid too?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 25 2021 11:47 utc | 99

Idiocrates. @ 17

Who still thinks this is fact and science based

The decumbent, those who are receptive to anecdotal evidence and superstition, those who believe that getting covid is riskier than climbing Mount Everest, those who don't know that goats and mangoes can test positive as well. Those who just can't seem to fathom that death by covid is insignificant next to the death and attrition caused by an inhuman response to it. Those who feel freedom by wearing a ridiculous piece of cloth over their blowholes, and who anticipate salvation from an inadequately tested gene therapy treatment whose prototypes killed its animal trial subjects.

Posted by: john | Mar 25 2021 11:52 utc | 100

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