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

No Kool aid at all, they have their own small turf and know how to keep their traditions and independence, if not formally independent in fact they really are, controlling their institutions, economy, education, health care and tax collection with the best levels of social development in all of Spain. If you ever have the chance to visit go to Getaria home of Juan Sebastian Elkano who was the first to do a circumnavigation even though it is credited to Magallanes, but Magallanes perished in the Philippines and Elkano completed the voyage, go to Getaria and have some Pintxos and their local wine Txakoli, few places I've visited where gastronomy and good eats have reached that level of artistry.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 25 2021 12:01 utc | 101

Best of all, two french ministers are/were in hospital this week with covid but the governemnt does not want to legalize auto-tests (the same autotests that can be bought in supermarkets in Germany and are received for free by Austrians). It seems they opted for a collective suicide as a punishment for heir hubris.
They first announced 2 weeks ago that it would be available ASAP but are now reluctant of letting them sold in supermarkets because they would lose some votes from the pharmacy-owners.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 25 2021 12:01 utc | 102

They should better call it a EU/US summit,
firs, briefed by Blinken, and then, ending with a visioconference with Biden... So that the US make very clear to all of them who is the boss.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/03/23/president-biden-to-meet-virtually-with-eu-leaders-at-european-council-summit/
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/23/joe-biden-attend-eu-virtual-summit-this-week

Posted by: Mina | Mar 25 2021 12:05 utc | 103

31 Reasons Why I Won’t Take the Vaccine
by Chananya Weissman

31-reasons-why-i-wont-take-the-vaccine/

A good read, title self explanatory.

Posted by: Fíréan | Mar 25 2021 12:25 utc | 104

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

Re.: "freedom from need" -
Perfect Animal Farm citation.

@Posted by: maahaa | Mar 24 2021 17:46 utc | 5
Re.: Musk said before concluding, “We’re most likely in a simulation.”
There has long been a term for people unable to distinguish.
The argument is facile, there are smart, bearded people who think about this stuff, but as a beginning I think it is common understanding that there may be a reality, all we have is perception of reality. But when reality is blurred, shoot for the one in the middle (is my advice).

Posted by: jared | Mar 25 2021 12:35 utc | 105

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

Smells of desperation.
Or is that rotting corpse?

Posted by: jared | Mar 25 2021 12:41 utc | 106

Idiocrates | Mar 25 2021 8:45 utc | 88

was curious about your nick, just spent a bit of time browsing a site called uncyclopedia. good stuff. totally unexpected. thanks for that.

https://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/Idiocrates

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 25 2021 12:45 utc | 107

another request I will ask of respected barflies: can you give a brief description of "The Economist"? I admit i'm too lazy to do the research outside the unusable search tools and figured many of you could make a quick summary. A couple of friends depend on it and I am trying to figure out a way to question that dependence but I know it's a pretty strong bond.

thanks in advance.

Posted by: migueljose | Mar 25 2021 12:45 utc | 108

Arguments against the idea we are a simulation.

1. The Universe is not simulatable. https://motls.blogspot.com/2013/03/we-dont-live-in-simulation.html
(I don't agree with this but it could be true).

2. Why are we in a simulation? It would be silly to simulate a whole planet etc at huge cost. It
would take a whole planet of computers to simulate us. You could argue that the real Universe has
different physics but then we are really saying, "We don't know".

3. Who cares? If the universe can be simulated exactly then we can never disprove it. If you think and feel,
why does it matter? The more interesting point is if we can simulate the Universe we can recreate it ourselves. Holodecks
here we come. Though this means deepfakes can be as good as the real thing too.

4. The argument that we must be in a simulation because there are more simulated worlds than Universes is just a pure guess. To
perfectly simulate a helium atom in this Universe you need a helium atom. Now a simulation could optimise by only simulating the things it needs to calculate but why then is it calculating your consciousness all the time?


Posted by: Mighty Druken | Mar 25 2021 12:49 utc | 109

Answer to: Fíréan | Mar 25 2021 12:25 utc | 104

Second sentence of your "good read":

" it merely reduces the chance of getting a severe case of a virus if one catches it"

Alright, if you don't even understand the difference between a virus (SARS-CoV-2) and a disease (Covid-19), then maybe one should keep the mouth shut and the fingers still.

“Severe case of virus…” lol

And, by the way, all vaccinations applied to date protect you from a severe course of disease by 100 %.

So, I stopped reading already after reason No. 1, thanks for the recommendation.

Posted by: Cemi | Mar 25 2021 12:50 utc | 110

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...Don't fall for the nihilist bullshittery from the Buddhists et al.

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

Dear oh dear, you are so completely wrong, but how to prove an intellectual and spiritual journey to a materialist incapable of even perceiving the path. Maybe in your next life...

Posted by: Gravel Rash | Mar 25 2021 12:54 utc | 111

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

You got it in one! :-)

I think we will soon learn (as in empirically) how it was when The Inquisition was running wild in search of witches and blasphemers. The scope of this silly 'religion' is now so much greater and so is the potential for evil:

Have you had your COVID shot yet?
Lets see your passport sir?
Oh, you are not vaccinated? Please step this way...

Posted by: Idiocrates | Mar 25 2021 13:01 utc | 112

@ dan of steele | Mar 25 2021 12:45 utc | 107

Hahaha :-) I was not aware of that Idiocrates (from the uncyclopedia). Thank you for this! Nice one...

FYI: the nick came to me as an association with the film Idiocracy.

We are headed there, no doubt in my mind...some are perhaps already there :-)

Posted by: Idiocrates | Mar 25 2021 13:10 utc | 113

Posted by: Cemi | Mar 25 2021 12:50 utc | 110


The content was not written by me, if you have any problems with the content that's between you and the Rabbi who authored the content.
Whether one agrees with the content or not it's a good read, though i understand from your response that you chose to read no further than the first of thirty one points, as is your right. Thank you for your response to the post.

Posted by: Fíréan | Mar 25 2021 13:11 utc | 114

@migueljose | Mar 25 2021 12:45 utc | 108

The Economist is often summarily described as "Rothschild's rag", search for that. I'm surprized that you hadn't found it by yourself, as it is common knowledge and squarely inside the Overton window. But anyway, now you know where to start looking for further answers.

Posted by: Lurk | Mar 25 2021 13:13 utc | 115

Blinken told the NATO summit that Russia is spreading "disinformation" to erode trust in vaccines.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 25 2021 13:14 utc | 116

I just felt like it was time for me to make a comment. But I just remembered that words don't really mean anything anymore.

Posted by: blues | Mar 25 2021 13:14 utc | 117

We are not facing socialism or communism, we are facing totalitarianism, if it is not already here.
Under totalitarianism, all zones of autonomy are treated as criminality and all forms of independent thought are treated as a threat to society.
Those who are unaware of this, and are still caught in the dichotomy trap, thinking they are fighting supermacists and white nazis, are brainwashed soldiers and agents of the totalitarian system which they can neither understand or call by name, as the inner party masks it's nature from the public. The public officials we know and their agents in the military and police state, comprise the outer party, and are complicit to varying degrees whether by coercion or maybe simple fear of being on the receiving end of system now that they know the true evil of its inner workings.
Those pushing this agenda are not clowns, they know exactly what they are doing and they are executing a plan they have been working on for very long time.
If we have learned anything in the last year, it is not chaotic although the appearance of chaos serves them well. Each step from the implementation of department of homeland security and fusion center nationalized apparatuses, to the corporate requirement of face masking, to the implementation of a lawless business operated voting system ominously called "dominion", has been imposed upon us in a way that can only be described as precisely coordinated, only distracted momentarily by citizen revolts, which have all been methodically handled in backchannels and even more ominously quiet visits from agents of the thought police, which are uniformly ignored by the media agents of the totalitarian system.
Dissidents have left the country, Glenn Greenwald, Barrett Brown, and they struggled to establish any media platform that will not be censored or otherwise comprimised. Others like Craig Murray face the now surprisingly draconian censorship measures, while others slowly wake up to realize that the entire online mass media marketplace belongs to a foreign country who only needs our soldiers to die on land mines in syria for a century long aggressive war for an ethnostate you are not allowed to mention without being criminalized.
First agenda of the new sleepy green screen administration, endless foreign war without benefit to the home population and removal of personal arms.
The nexus of these impositions, the WEF, council on "foreign relations", and other councils of the unaccountable epstein class, is obfuscated from us, we cannot call Bill Gates or George Soros to account, directly question them, know their wearabouts, or mock them without risk of reprisal from privatized goons.
The military was required to retake their oath, but the organization known as the Oath Keepers is considered an extremist organization and a cartoon frog was banned with prejudice like a historic committer of atrocity.
This is an upside down world, and it will not right itself without action.
This is Tyranny writ large.
TYRANNY
Make your plans to be enslaved, or.....
When, not if, they imprison me, remember that I wrote these words, and please rescue me from the coming gulag which at this point I foresee is unavoidable. Those of us who stand in the public light have no choice but to demonstrate the evil with our lives.
Remember, if a writer takes risk to post his words, they have 10x as much merit as those words written for profit or to slide important topics, of which there are both on this page.
How sad it is to see the United States fall this way, but how easy to foresee it was. What Eisenhower and Kennedy warned about became the cancer that killed the entire idea.
What cicero did too, no nation can survive treachery from within.
If you intend not to be a slave this and my link will be useful to you.
Library Genesis:
Mental Self Defense
god bless america
but at the moment, god would have nothing to do with this government.

Posted by: J. Michael Hudson | Mar 25 2021 13:29 utc | 118

@ Posted by: J. Michael Hudson | Mar 25 2021 13:29 utc | 118

Excellent, Thanks for making that valuable point.
In some ways, words are our enemy - things are labeled in ways that have conotations that place would areas of discussion in simplistic buckets that we can support or attack. Funny, we are having same discussion at Z/H at this moment - reduce the discussion to a binary (ideally) then stir-up an argument.

This issue is not the economic theorys (which only model reality), the issue is to create a society which engages all in a positive way so that that society can flourish and acheive great things.

Posted by: jared | Mar 25 2021 13:39 utc | 119

According to NASA's Earth Observatory, Annapurna I — the 10th-highest mountain — is the most dangerous to climb, with a fatality rate of 32% as of 2012. K2, second-highest peak, is almost as dangerous, with a fatality rate of 29%. Everest, by contrast, has a 4% fatality rate.
-------
Is Covid-19 infection as dangerous? In early months of the epidemic, infected people sent to facilities caring got the disabled aged could be as well sent to climb Annapurna (of course, logistics made it impossible). Now it seems to be between 1 and 3%, which seems higher than the public is comfortable with.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 25 2021 13:56 utc | 120

Posted by: Mina | Mar 25 2021 12:01 utc | 102

You can have a test for free in the pharmacy; I don't have any problem there.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 25 2021 13:58 utc | 121

got the disabled aged --> for the disabled aged people

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 25 2021 13:58 utc | 122

Seems more and more that Trump was a circus distraction (willingly) for the masses, while the grown ups were obviously working very diligently behind closed doors on this new normal. I think TPTB were expecting more people to be turned off as Trump kept increasing the unsavory behavior and rhetoric, but many just cheered louder. Oh well, as unsavory as it is to the immaculately groomed...sticks instead of carrots it will have to be.

Posted by: DaveNItUp | Mar 25 2021 14:00 utc | 123

J. Michael Hudson @Mar25 13:29 #118

Excellent comment.

Pages could be written about the slow but deliberate decent into tyranny. To some degree this has been helped by technological advances. But those that see the extraordinary media manipulation know that tech was not the only factor and probably not even the major factor.

PS I met Michael Hudson at a nakedcapitalism.com event.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 25 2021 14:01 utc | 124

"Aug 26, 2020 — However, the death rate for climbers [of Mt Everest] has hovered unchanged at around 1% since 1990. "

I take my words back. Covid-19 is more dangerous. Of course, climbers have a better health profile than average. I am trying to emulate them with gentle hikes.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 25 2021 14:02 utc | 125

Posted by: migueljose | Mar 25 2021 12:45 utc | 108 who ask for a description of The Economist

I'll just quote Wladimir Iljitsch Lenin:

"[The Economist] is a journal which speaks for British millionaires."

Posted by: vato | Mar 25 2021 14:03 utc | 126

So that the US make very clear to all of them who is the boss.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 25 2021 12:05 utc | 103

US would like to think that, but they're having difficulty keeping up the facade.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 25 2021 14:06 utc | 127

No Laguerre, that was the announcement, but they U-turned (lots of U-turn last week, isn't it? what a coincidence)
https://www.ledauphine.com/sante/2021/03/25/autotests-pourquoi-le-gouvernement-recule-a-nouveau

Posted by: Mina | Mar 25 2021 14:16 utc | 128

bevin and norweigan

thank you

Posted by: migueljose | Mar 25 2021 14:23 utc | 129

@ J. Michael Hudson | Mar 25 2021 13:29 utc | 118

Thank you for that. Your post got me thinking along the lines of:

Have we actually ever known anything other than tyranny? I think it could easily be argued that the answer is NEVER. Obviously, it depends on the definition, but perhaps the 'acceleration' we see now is either an illusion of change or it is something other than slippage into full blown tyranny...maybe its a fight between tyrannies?

Perhaps one tyranny has decided its now or bust (i.e. US etc). Maybe its the other way around: if one tyranny is not capable of lording over them all, then this fight of tyrannies will lead us out of the deep dark hole and we can be feree...

oooh shit, I think I must have eaten too much of that cheese I found under the cooker!

Posted by: Idiocrates | Mar 25 2021 14:23 utc | 130

@ Posted by: J. Michael Hudson | Mar 25 2021 13:29 utc | 118

There is overwhelming evidence the concept of "Totalitarianism" is a pseudo-scientific propaganda device developed by the Western center-left in the aftermath of WWII to fight the Soviets in the ideological war.

The origin of the term itself is obscure, though. The Mensheviks who immigrated to the USA in the 1920s after losing the Civil War claim to have popularized it. Either way, the term caught up so well during the Cold War in the West that, by the late 1950s at least, there already was an academic field called "Studies of Totalitarianism" in France, even though it was probably invented in the USA.

Posted by: vk | Mar 25 2021 14:26 utc | 131

@john | Mar 25 2021 11:52 utc | 100

Thank you for posting that, much appreciated! It gives me hope that the insanity will end eventually.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 25 2021 14:31 utc | 132

"We" (my wife is actually carrying the ball on this) are having a wicked hard time
getting the vaccine of our choice. (We choose the J&J vaccine.)

Biden, you are full of promises ("politic promises"), but this vaccine distribution is fu'ed, in our humble opinion.
[side note: When Bernie Sanders supporters, who had contributed to the DNC, sued the DNC because the DNC broke it's
own charter which stated it would treat candidates equally, the DNC argued in court that that was a "political promise"
and that they, the DNC, could do basically whatever it (and the most $influential$) wanted]


If you go to the CDC website to try to locate a vaccine they send you to VaccineFinder.org.

Maybe, if you live in a specific state, it might be easier.
But here is the current pop-up you receive at VaccineFinder.org:

States reporting data to VaccineFinder

This website includes the latest information on COVID-19 vaccine availability at certain providers and pharmacies in
Alaska, Tennessee, Indiana, Iowa, Oklahoma, Utah, and New York State (excluding NYC).

In other states, information may be limited while more providers and pharmacies are added in the coming weeks.

It is the CDC which recommends and links you to VaccineFinder.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/How-Do-I-Get-a-COVID-19-Vaccine.html

So, VaccineFinder, in our state, tells us something is available at a very specific pharmacy.
You check with that pharmacy and they say, "sorry".

When you do find a vaccine available they can't (or do not want to) tell you what particular vaccine they have in stock.
You have to show up to find out (maybe find out, I haven't experienced it, but I am not expecting much from them).
Then if they don't have your choice of vaccine and you refuse what they offer you go back to the end of the waiting list.

Can the CDC answer a straightforward question?

In their FAQ section for coronavirus vaccines (they have 10 of them):

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html

Can I choose which COVID-19 vaccine I get?

Here is the answer, which basically says "we don't want to tell you":


You should get any COVID-19 vaccine that is available when you are eligible.
Do not wait for a specific brand. All currently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective,
and CDC does not recommend one vaccine over another.

Learn more (link)about your COVID-19 vaccination(link), including how to find a vaccination location,
what to expect at your appointment, and more.

ps, did you get the part where the CDC is saying these vaccines, which used "emergency" shortcuts instead of comprehensive
testing, are "safe". Think I will archive that CDC page.

Also, I just now came across the ingredients for the J&J vaccine (if what is published *then* is what they are *now):

https://www.fda.gov/media/146305/download
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS IN THE JANSSEN COVID-19 VACCINE?The Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine includes the following ingredients:recombinant, replication-incompetentadenovirus type 26expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, citric acid monohydrate, trisodium citrate dihydrate, ethanol, 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBCD), polysorbate-80, sodium chloride.

Posted by: librul | Mar 25 2021 14:39 utc | 133

snake @ 57

WWI as economically determined is old and established. Was the dominant and default position when I was at university in 70s. The side theory was general cultural failure, allowing crude economism to take charge. Basically competition for markets. WWII presented as continuation of what was not settled the first time

On the American History side of the department absolutely nothing but hagiography. As there were no saints in evidence WWI was reduced to them Yooropeens am some strange dudes.

The Great Men Theory advocates sat out the entire episode as there were no great men in sight.

Main lesson from those years of study was question all your sources. Don’t believe anything. First hand reports usually aren’t. If the informant was really there he is still the creature of his pre-existing bias. Over on American side none of that happened, only Hollywood was real.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 25 2021 14:46 utc | 134

Bemildred 94

Are you sure he is so smart that he can recover? DC insiders are masters at domestic cheating and lying. Besides power, their express goal is entrance to some gov-industrial complex for untold riches. They seem clueless when someone is in the position to say no to them. They think bombs and taxpayer money is all they need to get everyone to bow to their whim. Perhaps the response to the "not really an insurrection" was remotely justified to get the MAGA crowd, but to anyone with a brain it appeared cowardly. The empire finally appeared buck naked on an international stage.

But hey we now have a transgender child psychologist, who played head doc in PA while removing Mom from a nursing home before packing covid patients into them, now in the administration. What else really matters in the (neo)lib's clown world? Your litmus tests only work where you control the cops and judges. Hating over half your population for their skin pale peach color doesn't play well on an international stage after decades of screeching about human rights. Don't delude yourself into thinking that doesn't play a part in Blinken's problems either.

Posted by: Old and Grumpy | Mar 25 2021 14:54 utc | 135

Suez Canal...

Cui Bono anyone?

Posted by: Et Tu | Mar 25 2021 14:56 utc | 136

Posted by: librul | Mar 25 2021 14:39 utc | 133
Hey lib here's an update on our J&J from my wife and I.
We got the J&J vaccine two weeks ago yesterday. Overall, no significant reactions. Again, we're 70, healthy, she has #2 diabetes (I sort of question that but i'm more wacko than she is)she's pretty sedentary but eats good, does get outside, I'm active,outside a lot and we live rural. Hard to figure out with all the variables but so far I would say the J&J has not visibly affected us but i'm uncertain and while I am very much against the MRNA's I'm not real positive about J&J, Russian, Sino etc either. I'm mostly a believer and practitioner of social distance/isolation, being outside, exercise/moving (not in gyms)eat as wild as possible, mushroom tea daily.
Regarding how we got the J&J, we have a pharmacist friend who is more mainstream but a good soul, he's been pushing us to get vaccinated, called in Jan and offered Moderna because they had extras from "no shows" and called us because we're friends. We said "no". 2+ weeks ago, same thing with J&J. According to him it's happening a lot. They get a big lot and then scramble at the end to find bodies.
Bottom line-- if you know someone who's giving vaccines ask them to give you a call. Best of luck to you and your family Lib.

Posted by: migueljose | Mar 25 2021 14:57 utc | 137

Mass murdering corporate shrills GW Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama urge Americans to get vaccinated.

What they won't tell you: mRNA tech was funded by US military.

=

(ht twitter.com/GeromanAT)

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 25 2021 15:08 utc | 138

https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2021/03/22/joe-biden-is-senile-russia-delivers-its-verdict-on-national-television/

Russians are the experts on having senile, elderly leadership and knowing it. Amazing that almost no one sees the contrast between Xi/Putin and Biden as to capable leadership.

Posted by: Eighthman | Mar 25 2021 15:15 utc | 139

@Posted by: migueljose | Mar 25 2021 14:57 utc | 137

Appreciate the updates, THX. Keep them coming.

An addition to my post @133. My wife is pulling her hair out
dealing with the run around. She also goes to goodrx.com to locate a vaccine.
That site lists organizations and their websites that supposedly have vaccine.
I just tested it myself. Went to one of their referenced websites and it, after some poking around,
sends you to an entirely different organization. Circles and more circles.

Will take your lead and see if we can use a connection and a side door like you did to get the J&J.

Posted by: librul | Mar 25 2021 15:23 utc | 140

Posted by: Old and Grumpy | Mar 25 2021 14:54 utc | 135

I think Blinken looks like a deer in the headlights, way over his head, but it is useful to understand why he does what he does. Sometimes these clowns inadvertently cause wars, and with Blinken it is not even inadvertent.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 25 2021 15:27 utc | 141

How many guinea pigs does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Only one but a billion others must be vaccinated with experimental vaccines due to the risk of Covid on the surface of the light bulb.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 25 2021 15:32 utc | 142

With sub-notification, Brazil is hiding 100,000+ deaths from COVID-19:

Sem subnotificação, mortes por Covid-19 no Brasil teriam superado 400 mil

Not only COVID-19 isn't a hoax, it is much worse than what the official numbers the governments of the non-socialist countries (China, Vietnam, Cuba) are reporting. The sub-notification problem is probably much worse in the Third World countries, where there's no incentive for the central governments to try to contain the pandemic (because they can afford to let people die on the streets or in the waiting lines for treatment).

Posted by: vk | Mar 25 2021 15:46 utc | 143

to Miss JB - I'm coming into the discussion a bit late - but yes, thanks for the recommendation of the Dr McCullough video on the often useful Globalresearch.ca site. I too have been asking myself and others for a very very long time - more than one year, why there is very little talk about treatment. One can find here and there work done by individual doctors treating their patients with various of the mentioned options: ivermectin/HQC/zinc/vitaD/monoclonal antibodies/etc etc etc. The work of these brave people has mostly been ignored or suppressed, although they all claim to have obtained good results. All these MDs stress that it important to begin treatment early but this is still not done. It is tragic and horrifying to consider how many lives have been lost or destroyed... One key I think is a detail which Dr. McCullough glossed over, which is that all reporting on possible treatments stopped in May of last year when the possibility of "vaccines" was announced. Of course, given that none of these "vaccines" had actually undergone true cliinical trials (which take years) the ONLY way they could be approved for "emergency" use was if there was no treatment available.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Mar 25 2021 15:51 utc | 144

Hello Uncle Tungsten...

Unfortunately, our political class in Europe is largely prostituted.

And when the pimp arrives in the neighborhood, everyone hastens above all just to be attractive.

You must definitely see this front page of the big German newspaper "die Zeit" right after the American election. HOFFNUNG = HOPE and the picture, more Kamalou than Bidounet

https://www.meine-zeitschrift.de/die-zeit-47-2020.html

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 25 2021 15:52 utc | 145

@145 Bernard f

I notice that Europeans prefer to refer to their politicians as prostitutes of...who? American elites? It is preferable to the ghastly reality that Europe is in lockstep with the Americans and that you Euros are just as responsible for global disorder and chaos, our globalist reality.

Wasn’t it the French who profitted mostly from the Libyan shakedown? Ahhh...but we can dismiss this fact by referring to ourselves as “Prostitutes” and put the blame squarely on Uncle Sambo’s shoulders.

Who profits from this tactic you employ? And that many employ here when pointing the finger at the American Golem? The globalists, surely. Who are the (((globalists)))? They are the ones prostituting America and Europe together.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 25 2021 16:08 utc | 146

@136 et tu

Indeed. Before this incident, supply chains were already disrupted to an unprecedented degree here in the states, due to covid, etc.

Fishiness abounds.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 25 2021 16:11 utc | 147

@ Posted by: vk | Mar 25 2021 15:46 utc | 143

Errr, so one set of lying governments is lying by covering up the extent of COVID and another set is lying about vaccines, and another is lying about xyz..

Now you can choose which set of liars you want to believe, but based on what?

Disclaimer: I do not believe anything any government or media say about COVID. There's been too much lying already.

This makes my life a little difficult in terms of finding information (I need to triangulate more) but boy does it feel liberating...as in freer.

Freedom from lies? Is that even a concept anymore?

Posted by: Idiocrates | Mar 25 2021 16:35 utc | 148

A supercontainer ship EverGreen running aground in the southern part of the Suez Canal - photo taken by the 'Canopus B' satellite of the Roscosmos orbital group.

Posted by: alaff | Mar 25 2021 16:40 utc | 149

@131 vk - I am curious. Is the dictatorship of the proletariat not a dictatorship? Is a dictatorship totalitarian? I am not trying to be a smartass. I am just curious to know your opinion. As well as all the other commenters here who are much more educated than myself.

Posted by: lex talionis | Mar 25 2021 16:59 utc | 150

the economist rag - i liked @ 126 vato response... makes sense and fits with my read...

@ j michael hudson.. nice post... your book looks interesting too.. thanks.

@ suez canal issue.. i find it fascinating myself.... a boat with the name 'evergreen' in big letters stuck in a narrow man made channel of sand.... if that is not a metaphor for today with the conflict of economy trumping environment in spite of all the worlds concern or lack of concern for climate change and etc. etc. - i don't know what is... it is like planet earth sending a message to the inhabitants, but i suspect no one is listening in the corridors of empire building, or endless subservience to the religion of consumerism as the case may be... it seems something more radical has to happen for anything to change here... people and especially those in positions of power - refuse to alter there course.. the planet is headed towards a sandbar of epic proportions... the water will probably be missing in all of it too... my rosy scenario for today!

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2021 17:04 utc | 151

Fun eight minutes regarding US foreign policy
It's not new.

George Carlin
https://youtu.be/ZivTgCJ8hRI

Posted by: jared | Mar 25 2021 17:05 utc | 152

I cannot believe the paranoia and control fever, reading Rozhin's blog there is a set of four sentences to translate in "google translate" and find for yourselves the gross manipulation taken to stupidity limits:

copy paste this lines of text and translate them to Russian, since many won't understand the result just do the inverse, translate the result from Russian to English and you will see up to what point their bloody paranoia is boiling:

Putin changed for bad
Biden changed for bad
Trump changed for bad
Obama changed for bad

The result:

Путин изменился в худшую сторону
Байден изменился к лучшему
Трамп изменился в худшую сторону
Обама изменился к лучшему

Now translate that back into English.

I cannot believe how petty the "do no evil" gang is.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 25 2021 17:21 utc | 153

Paco @153

Google has removed all of the "Do no evil" motivational posters from all of their offices. I guess that company slogan was making it a hostile workplace! How could they require their employees be evil with those posters all over the place?

Still, that crap with Google Translate is crazy evil even by Google standards.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 25 2021 17:38 utc | 154

J. Michael Hudson @118--

Nice comment. Friendly Fascism was published in 1980--before Reagan/Bush were elected. I bought my copy not long afterwards. But the most important information for the public to gain isn't censored or hidden; rather, it's mostly been forgotten, moved aside as "ancient history" when its controlling aspects and Class are still very much alive and present today. It was once called Classical Studies--the histories of Greece and Rome--and was still taught to my parents's generation prior to WW2. The hardest part about becoming educated is learning what you're not being taught, then discovering why that's so along with learning that history.

Although he hasn't emphasized the fact that his research and book establishes the 4,000+ yearlong Class War's origins, that's what Hudson's ... and forgive them their debts does very soundly. It also links rather well with his books detailing the rise and affects of Neoliberalism--which is the preferred form of tyranny/totalitarianism employed today. You see how it works internationally where all are demanded to follow the "rules based system" determined by the Outlaw US and UK Empires instead of the international consensus codified as the UN Charter that doesn't legitimize or allow any form of unilateralism, which is a euphemism for totalitarianism. Fortunately, resistance has always existed and it's easy to see which nations are in that vanguard via the direction the attacks by the Outlaw US Empire are made. Those nations's policies support human development that favors everyone and exclude no one and have systems of governance that are democratic yet also meritocratic such that a rich person can't just purchase power. What Hudson and many prior historians proved regarding Rome and Greece was that they were Oligarchies at best run by the very rich where murder was an accepted form of "electioneering," since we just passed the anniversary of one of the most known such events yet so few know it's actual meaning--Caesar was assassinated by the Roman Senate but why was he killed? He was killed to keep intact the totalitarian system of Oligarch control, which even Gibbon acknowledged. And Gibbon's work is what the Founders read. And we can read it too for free--provided internet access and a computer or even an ebook reader--and don't even need to travel to a library by going here, enrolling for no cost, and discovering the vast amount of information available to you. Here's an essential book I've linked to often that details the Class War before and during the Colonial Era and shows the basis for the Anti-Human policies as well as that of the Exceptionalism of the West's elites.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 17:46 utc | 155

Paco @153--

I just did that using Yandex. The English translates thusly:

Путин изменился к худшему
Байден изменился к худшему
Трамп изменился к худшему
Обама изменился к худшему

And Google Translate came out:

Путин изменился в худшую сторону
Байден изменился к лучшему
Трамп изменился в худшую сторону
Обама изменился к лучшему

I used Yandex to translate back to English:

Putin has changed for the worse
Biden has changed for the better
Trump has changed for the worse
Obama has changed for the better

That's one of many reasons I quit using Google when I discovered Yandex 4 or so years ago. I use the machine translator within Microsoft Edge that so far seems to be credible since it works on entire pages.

Thanks very much for this most important tip!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 18:02 utc | 156

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

Agreed!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Mar 25 2021 18:04 utc | 157

@Posted by: migueljose | Mar 25 2021 12:45 utc | 108

can you give a brief description of "The Economist"?

Another one of those ideologue entities working for the Deep State. Just my two cents' worth.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Mar 25 2021 18:23 utc | 158

lex talionis @150--

The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, IMO simply means all offices of governance are controlled by the Proles and no longer by the Capitalist Elite via the institution of democracy. Recall Marx saw the workplace being democratized by workers who would then claim the business for themselves in a manner that would become a wave--a revolution--in the workplace in which all workers would now become owners, the previous owners would thus become workers and genuine equality would finally be established.

Now compare that hypothetical with how the US federal government was initially arranged atop a very limited franchise that overwhelmingly favored the upper classes and gave them such an immense head start that by the time all men were legally allowed to vote, most wealth and power was already held in their hands. The 4,000+ yearlong Class War has always been a war against genuine democracy gaining the upper hand. What happened in both the USSR and post-1949 China was the rise of a Political Class that took the roll of the Upper Class within those societies. That's what killed the USSR and almost killed the PRC. What saved the latter is its very long historical tradition of what defines good governance, which is how they were able to lift 800+ Millions out of poverty and establish the cutting edge nation-state that is today's China. In Russia, Putin represents an enlightened patriarchy along the traditional lines of the Tsars where they are the Father of All Russians, and that aspect of his persona is what will eventually make the leadership transition difficult. That both Russia and China prioritize the development of the individual and thus the nation's Human Capital in a way where any person can become the best they're capable of is probably the closest any nation will get to attaining what Marx theorized as Communism.

My reply should also be read in concert with 155.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 18:27 utc | 159

@Posted by: Old and Grumpy | Mar 25 2021 14:54 utc | 135

DC insiders are masters at domestic cheating and lying. Besides power, their express goal is entrance to some gov-industrial complex for untold riches.

Change 'DC' to 'Government'. These days such critters are in every state and local government, at least in the USA that is.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Mar 25 2021 18:38 utc | 161

Ancient Athens was not an oligarchy, or, if it was an oligarchy, was a very broad-based oligarchy that gave real power to all adult male citizens. The whole point of the Athenian democratic system was to limit the power of the rich, most of whom hated the democratic system.

Athens's system of choosing representatives and officials by lot from the whole body of male adult citizens is the best system so far devised to bypass Robert Michels's Iron Law of Oligarchy, according to which, whatever the ostensible form of a political system, real power rests with a small group of people who constitute the oligarchs in the system. Michels was thinking of the leadership of the German Social Democratic Party.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 25 2021 18:52 utc | 162

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 18:02 utc | 156

I use Yandex as well, translator, maps and mail. It might be a user programmed prank since I've tried different constructions and it seems to work OK. The funny thing is that it gives the same results using Maduro, Guaido, Macron, Merkel and Boris Johnson.

Any comments on Biden's first press conference?

Posted by: Paco | Mar 25 2021 18:53 utc | 163

Anyone watch Biden's press conference? OMG!

He gets lost in the middle of sentences. And this Administration wants to fight with Russia/China and bully the rest?

Checked Yahoo and Drudge. Nothing to say about this halting performance.

Posted by: Eighthman | Mar 25 2021 18:59 utc | 164

Posted by: Eighthman | Mar 25 2021 18:59 utc | 164

Biden is no Demosthenes but he managed to perform reasonably well, at least there was no major snag. He "expects" to run again in 2024.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 25 2021 19:08 utc | 165

@Posted by: Paco | Mar 25 2021 17:21 utc | 153

I just tried it (Google Translate within Firefox) and it did not give the results you experienced.

Not sure why.

Posted by: librul | Mar 25 2021 19:18 utc | 166

Paco @163--

I posted a comment at Escobar's FB prior to its occurrence, and have busied myself with reading and scribbling since. I just went and found Sputnik published a recap that had this quote relative to China:

"They have an overall goal to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world and the most powerful country in the world. That's not going to happen on my watch."

Sorry Mr. Biden, they already were those things prior to your becoming POTUS. It isn't the number of nukes that makes a nation powerful; it's the ability of its Human Capital to improve itself and its nation to provide for one and all of its citizens such that nobody gets left behind or doesn't have the opportunity to make the most of their life, which is a Human Right completely forgotten by the Neoliberal dominated West where only the 1% see any gains. And the only way the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals are going to ever come close to becoming a peer with China or Russia is for them to utterly reverse their direction and cease uplifting the 1% at the 99%'s expense.

Unfortunately, that recap didn't do much differentiation between what Biden said in prepared remarks versus the few questions he was asked. A Putin-type presser it most certainly wasn't!

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 19:19 utc | 167

at jared | Mar 25 2021 12:35 utc | 105

It seems to me that Elon Musk in his hubris has licked some (or overheard some) ideas about Plato´s cave and Heisenberg´s uncertainty principles and is trying to be the big sage....(Is he that rich, or is he only simulating? Maybe someone is doing it for him, after he got his riches out of S. Africa, as many others, like the secretive guy from a small town in Switzerland)

Posted by: bystander04 | Mar 25 2021 19:20 utc | 168

vk | Mar 25 2021 14:26 utc | 131

You say:

There is overwhelming evidence the concept of "Totalitarianism" is a pseudo-scientific propaganda device developed by the Western center-left in the aftermath of WWII to fight the Soviets in the ideological war.

But it is well known that the term was coined by Mussolini. The book review below is from 1998.

Mussolini," by Jasper Ridley. St. Martin's Press. 448 pages. $27.50.

Shortly after he assumed power in Italy in 1922, Benito Mussolini invented the word "totalitarian" to describe the state under his fascist government. Mussolini intended it to have a positive connotation: the totalitarian state demanded total commitment and devotion of all its citizens who would, in turn, reap the benefits of a strong regime.

Inescapably, however, it also meant the supremacy of the state, the use of brutal force as the means of exacting social obedience, and an unquenchable thirst for policies of conquest, oppression and annihilation.

Mussolini, inventor of totalitarianism


Posted by: john brewster | Mar 25 2021 19:50 utc | 169

The very good financial reason for Governments to have done what they did.

In the UK there are around 127,000 'Covid' deaths. For mathematical simplicity assume that 100,000 are over state pension age 66 ish. Also assume that our State pension is £170 per week. So, 100,000 X 172 X 52 = £8.9B

Once other benefits are included, this means that the UK Government will be reducing its Social Security bills by around £10B per year in cash payments alone, a gradually reducing saving for each of the next 15 or so years. Then add the background savings of fewer old people demanding expensive services like hospitals.

Now try and persuade me that Governments around the World, heavy in debt and with an increasingly adverse pensioner/worker ratio, have not done this simplistic cost benefit analysis.

There will be insurance companies who are suddenly paying out on fewer annuities as well, so expect juicy profits next year.

This was/is an opportunity far too good to miss.

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 25 2021 20:31 utc | 170

@162 Lysias

Very true.

The only fault of such a system where the people were able to very often vote to ostracize those who had developed a reputation prone to slander or had become “too big for their britches,” was that when listening to oral arguments, they could be swayed by those clever enough with the tongue to embark on dangerous endeavors.

Indeed, Thucydides recounts that this is what doomed the Athenian empire during the war with Sparta: Alcibiades was able to convince the people, against the ability of Nicias, who was well-loved, to subdue the Sicilians. Nicias tried using intelligent irony to prove the idea was bad, but he ended up making the case for the conquest even more in his listeners’ eyes.

The expedition doomed the Athenians. It killed Nicias. Alcibiades was deservedly voted away from Athens. All because the people were given the choice of listening and responding to oration.

But still a good system for ousting Tyrants, I agree.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 25 2021 20:35 utc | 171

@ Posted by: lex talionis | Mar 25 2021 16:59 utc | 150

No. I've already posted about that many times here before, but, long story short, we have basically two concepts of Totalitarianism used today (both being invented in the post-war USA):

1) Totalitarianism basically as a single-party system (non-totalitarianism being pluri-partisanship + multiculturalism). This is the concept systematized by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. in his famous book The Vital Center: Politics of Freedom (1947), and he basically states that a free society is a society with a "vital center", i.e. a system where multiple parties, representing multiple ideologies, and their parapolitical institutions (Church, lobby groups, grassroots movements etc. etc.) freely compete against each other for supremacy in the the Central Government in periodical elections. There's an exception to this rule: "totalitarian" ideologies should not have the right to freely compete, being readily exterminated, by whatever means necessary, from such free society (hence the term "vital center", i.e. a centrist society, without the "far-right"/"far-left"). Totalitarian societies don't have this free competition of ideologies, even though they do have elections - the difference being you only vote for the members of one single party;

2) Totalitarianism as a single-narrative system. This concept was popularized (or invented?) by Hannah Arendt, in her book Origins of Totalitarianism (1951). For Arendt, a totalitarian society is any society that guides itself by a single great narrative (meta-narrative). She classified Nazi Germany as totalitarian because it followed the single narrative of the history of the races, while the USSR was included in the concept because it followed the single narrative of class struggle. A non-totalitarian system would be the bourgeois democracy, because greed and the blind pursuit of individual happiness didn't configure a meta-narrative, but simply the natural (according to her) instincts of the human species. Notice that, in Arendt's concept, democracy is irrelevant, although you could infer it would be an important element (because it could denote the anarchism of individuals fighting for their personal well-beings over the others').

What is common between both is the fact that, deep down, they perceived capitalism as the end of history, the system that transcended the concept of system. Put in other words, they believed capitalism wasn't even a system at all, but just the a-historical, natural state of humanity.

But you have to pay attention to one thing: those were all in what we nowadays call the "center-left". They were, most and foremost, impressed with the post-war miracle and the advent of social-democracy in the North Atlantic. Schlesinger even observed that the bourgeoisie was not a dominant class like the others before her because it could bend its own interests and give the working classes whatever it wanted if it asked them. This is a generation of leftist thinkers starstruck by FDR's New Deal and Clement Attlee's social-democracy and impressed with the quick gains of the Japanese and Western European peoples.

Most important, they were not as dominant as the Communists in the USSR: they had to, at the same time, create an ideology that was capable of, at the same time, legitimate them as the true socialists and explain to their followers why they were not so dominant as the CPSU was in their own countries (indeed, outside the cultural front, the center-left was always the recessive ideology in the West even in the post-war miracle). On the other side of the political spectrum, there were the nascent neoconservatives, who were flat out calling everybody "communists" and growing in popularity with their polarizing discourse and thus putting pressure on all leftists (not just the Communists).

The Center-Left had a short life: after a brief period of weak and waning power, they degenerated until their final collapse in 1968. Some of its thinkers had already thrown themselves in the mud by supporting Israel against Palestine (Horkheimer went to the point of openly advocating for the extermination of the Palestinians), but the drop that broke the camel's back was the Vietnam War, which they all supported - both because it was a war ramped up by a leftists POTUS (Kennedy, continued by Johnson up to that point) and because it was against a truly Red party (the Communist Party of Vietnam). The Center-Left then became a headless ideology (i.e. an ideology without its thinkers) and dragged on until the final blow: 1974-5, the oil crisis. After the Oil Crisis of 1974-5, even the crude economic argument for a social-democratic government was over (Stagflation debate). With the Stagflation crisis of 1975, Keynesianism died, ending the last significant academic outpost of the Center-Left: the era of the Neoconservatives (Neoliberals) would begin.

Posted by: vk | Mar 25 2021 20:49 utc | 172

A year ago, the Europeans discovered there was no common health policies at the EU level.
https://europa.eu/european-union/topics/health_en

At the same time, anyone in the EU had witnessed the dismantling of the health system, allowing for private companies to take over hospitals and health insurances.
Then came the supposedly altruistic idea of having the EU buy the vaccines for the 27 member States, so that small countries do not get disadvantaged in comparison to bigger ones.
https://www.euractiv.com/section/health-consumers/news/eu-wants-to-buy-covid-19-vaccines-up-front-unless-theyre-made-in-america/
https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/coronavirus-response/public-health/eu-vaccines-strategy_en
but but but....
somehow the responsibility ended up in the hands of the commissioner for Internal Market.. because you know, health is a product according to the EU
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Commissioner_for_Internal_Market
https://ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2019-2024/breton_en
https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-digest-eu-commissioner-says-herd-immunity-by-summer-is-possible/a-56936285
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-eu-vaccines/eus-breton-eu-has-absolutely-no-need-for-sputnik-v-vaccine-idUSKBN2BD0QI
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/25/eu-leaders-push-back-against-blocs-plans-to-halt-covid-vaccine-export

Posted by: Mina | Mar 25 2021 20:51 utc | 173

if you put a carriage return after every line of the russian text google translate returns the proper english translation.

those are odd phrases to translate from English as they really don't make sense. nice try though.

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 25 2021 20:55 utc | 174

Hah! Google figured out that we caught on to their bullshit and "fixed" their translation, because, you know, obviously it was just a "mistake"!

What nasty scum.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 25 2021 21:10 utc | 175

Athens stopped using ostracism after the Peloponnesian War. It was a dead letter.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 25 2021 21:46 utc | 176

@ Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 25 2021 20:31 utc | 169

Brave computing. I wondered when this calculation would be made. In my limited universe, yours is the first.

Here in USA an estimated 81% of Covid-2 deaths are attributable to persons over the age of 65, most of whom would have been receiving social security pensions although some wait until age 70 for distributions. Also, many USAn people with co-morbitities may have been on Medicare supplement coverage for the poor, and are now dead from Covid, so more beneficiaries dead with payoutsl going to neoliberal so-called health corporation, Those who hold illicit power over commoners will not retreat without being driven out with fire, fury and righteousness by pitch-fork Johns and
Sallys.


Posted by: suzan | Mar 25 2021 22:10 utc | 177

JohninMK @Mar25 20:31 #169

It's not just pensions. Healthcare costs in the last years of life and for certain conditions like cancer are very high. Those receiving cancer care, for example could easily cost $100,000+ PER YEAR.

Then consider the military build-up that is under way. How do our cash-strapped governments pay that - a cost that our "leaders" and their military advisors minders deem to be highly important?

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 25 2021 22:26 utc | 178

Curious article posing as op/ed, "Unable to win on battlefield, West is now waging ‘mental war’ against Russian civilization, Moscow’s Ministry of Defense claims." It cites an interview given by Andrei Ilnitsky, an adviser at the country’s Ministry of Defense, with the Armory of the Fatherland magazine. He elaborates on Hybrid warfare of the sort we're now experiencing, but speculates there's a next stage or level being aimed at:

"Now, though, he warned that a new type of warfare has been developed, and its 'goal is to destroy self-consciousness, changing the mental – civilizational – basis of the enemy's society. I would call this a mental war,' said Ilnitsky.

"Whereas lost lives and damaged property can be replenished over time, losing your sense of who you are as a country does lasting damage, the adviser said. According to him, the consequences of this kind of assault 'do not appear immediately, but only after a generation, by which time it is impossible to do anything.'" [My Emphasis]

I pondered what was said in the second paragraph over lunch and some additional comments because that's exactly what's been done here in the USA and elsewhere, EU mainly. Do think about this US-based barflies. A generation ago (a generation is 20 years), the USA attacked itself on 911 in order to blatantly launch wars of aggression--the ultimate crime against humanity--which goes completely against the ethos engrained in all US citizens via their socialization/indoctrination; thus the need for an extremely powerful excuse to engage in very un-American actions. Also note as I've harped on that the #1 policy goal of the Outlaw US Empire that was publicly produced in 1996 and updated in 2000--to attain Full Spectrum Dominance--was never uttered/announced as such publicly despite the open publication of that policy that promotes another Anti-American doctrine: subserviance versus free will. People globally are to be controlled--dominated--for the benefit of the 1%--the Rentier Class and its allies. There's an ongoing discourse about totalitarianism on this thread wherein total domination--the Hitlerian goal of global domination-- certainly qualifies. Now we're subjected to Woke and Cancel Culture--forms of intolerance that traditional liberalism & conservatism would never accept.

So, was the euphemistic Neoliberal "Third Way" championed by Clinton and Blair aimed at deploying the concept of "mental war" on the home front while embarking on the process of global domination so that by now a very different paradigm would reign? Do review the last 30 years of history very closely while thinking about this and recall the mindset of Europhile elites with their superiority and exceptionalism, and perhaps most importantly their impunity for all their previous crimes. Look at the current propaganda and associated narrative, which IMO is very revealing--particularly the Projection.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 22:27 utc | 179

@ Posted by: lysias | Mar 25 2021 21:46 utc | 175

Prison systems like we know today are a very modern invention. They're too expensive to build and maintain.

There was no prison system per se in Antiquity. They usually executed or exiled (or turned into a slave) the condemned, as it was much cheaper.

Ancient Rome had some prison cells, in caves that existed in the heart of the system. But they were reserved only for the most illustrious and politically dangerous of criminals, not for your average Joe.

Posted by: vk | Mar 25 2021 22:43 utc | 180

karlof1 @ 155 - Forgive me, but you cannot just generalize that Greece and Rome were oligarchies without saying when they were such. Nations move in and out of the various forms of government - we see it today with how Russia has in our lifetimes changed as a prime example. When I went to college, what we did was read various writings from many places, then discuss those writings in seminars. At that level we were not taught, per se, but came to the sources from the times in a generally historical fashion reading and discussing the thought periods of the times as they happened. We didn't study historians; we tried to assess what people of the times were saying about life in general.

I don't know if even Prof. Hudson would say there has been a 4,000 year class struggle -- perhaps you are correct, and he would do so. But while I agree with his economic assessments, it seems to me we cycle in and out of times good and bad, leadership also, in unpredictable ways, as we see in our own brief lifetimes. I could not have supposed I would see the USSR come to such a rapid end, or that someone like Putin would take charge in Russia. And I cannot see a progression according to class stratification as the ultimate underlying identity of our changing times; sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. I'm an optimist; good times are simply a matter of good people doing their best to make the changes we need. That can happen at any point in history. It has; it will.

These are dark times. At the same moment, though, people are asking questions, and that's a very good thing. It should always be that way. And if someone seems to have all the answers; that's a good sign that they really don't.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 25 2021 22:44 utc | 181

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 22:27 utc | 178

Not impressed with the adviser's claim. The Soviet Union also wasn't defeated militarily.

Posted by: vk | Mar 25 2021 22:46 utc | 182

I'd like to add to karlof1's assessment of Putin's position in leadership in Russia @ 159 that I see a much more positive flow of leadership at least being possible there, in the references he makes to the Russian federation as 'the motherland'. His historic sense is thus including a great variety of moments in Russia's past, as he recently did for Crimea, which historical memory does not dwell on savage times, on brutal events, except as they contribute to the general suffering that helps bring wisdom and unity.

One could say that about any country -- Germany is another from our recent past that has learned from terrible mistakes, as a people. That is a positive approach to what needs to be done next, as both Russia and China in different ways are working hard to make life better for their people. That is not an unclear path to follow - it is laid out for whomever comes after, and it will most certainly be his task to bring forward the ones who merit such selection, who are being groomed for that even now. I would say this is not tsarism; this is much more flexible than the tsarist hierarchical autocracy had been. It will be up to those who follow him to carry it on when needed. That is why the educational elements karlof1 has been bringing us are so important. Continuation must involve the youngest citizens -- and does.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 25 2021 23:07 utc | 183

George Szamuely writes an op/ed: "The ideological basis of the new Cold War is clear, and this time the Western powers look set to be on the losing side."

Most of what he reviews was covered here at the bar, although it's uncertain how many actually read the comments to get the information they're not provided by most media. At the top he sets up the ideological divide:

"The meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels and of China and Russia’s foreign ministers in Guilin brought into stark relief the ideological differences that divide the leading protagonists of the new Cold War.

"The first Cold War divided the sides on issues concerning the social and economic organization of societies. One side insisted the most effective system for producing goods and delivering human happiness was free-market capitalism, the other side insisted it was state socialism. One side touted political freedom as its greatest achievement, the other side touted economic security.

"The ideological divisions of today involve the organization of the international system of states. One side, led by the United States and including the United Kingdom and most member states of the EU and NATO, subscribes to something it calls the 'rules-based international order.'

"The other side, led by Russia and China, subscribes to 'international law,' which it identifies as the principles that govern the international system of states that emerged from the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years’ War. According to the Westphalian system, every state – no matter how large or small – has exclusive sovereignty over its own territory, and no state may threaten the sovereignty of any other. The principles of this system are set out in the United Nations Charter."

But there's a political-economy side to this that is omitted and that's the attempt by Neoliberals to capture the overall financial interests of all nations so they can be controlled and tributes provided to the 1% instead of democratically spread across the populous. Under the Neoliberals, China's impoverished would still be and would forever remain impoverished. Plus there's the associated ideology that defines the goal of development as Putin articulated in his Davos Telespeech which boils down to People Before Profit. Do note that the Neoliberals cannot ever utter their actual motives as they'd rapidly lose control, nor can they allow the peoples they control to learn Russia's and China's human-centered goals.

IMO, the Anti-Human aspects of the Neoliberal/Outlaw US Empire must be trumpeted again and again to overcome the false narrative the Empire pushes through its propaganda system. Many within the Empire know some of the truth but have yet to figure it all out. The Neoliberal's domestic tactics are to try and win over as many of those who supported Trump as they can while trying to keep those D-Party members who are People-First under control.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 23:21 utc | 184

Fíréan @ 104

Point #11 includes the assertion that Bill Gates has not been vaccinated. According to an online post, Gates was vaccinated in January 2021. But then, there was a controversy as to whether Gates - or an actor instead - was actually jabbed. Who knows? Reuters Crack Fact Checkers TM opined as follows (not that it really matters):

VERDICT

False. There is no evidence that the image does not show Bill Gates, nor that he did not receive the vaccine.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

Posted by: spudski | Mar 25 2021 23:28 utc | 185

Busted! Joe Biden Had A Cheat Sheet Of All The Reporters (With Their Pictures) With Numbered Circles By The Ones He Was Supposed To Call On.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Brick_Suit/status/1375210277327622147

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Mar 25 2021 23:31 utc | 186

uncle tungsten @ 84 :

"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 no comment. I just wanted to repeat your lovely paragraph here again. Thank you!

Posted by: juliania | Mar 25 2021 23:37 utc | 187

vk @181--

The USSR wasn't even mentioned in that article.

////

julianai @180--

After Solon's reforms of @594BC, Athens slowly reverted to the oligarchy it was previously. IMO, Athens was never a democracy as it vastly restricted the franchise and freedom, especially for women. In Rome, the last Roman King was removed in 509BC and Rome became in Oligarchy. In both cases, reforms favoring common people were the driving force to oust such popular leaders. Solon went into self-exile after his term as Archon presumably because he feared for his life. Hudson states that landed gentry began challenging the King/Temple power nexus @ 4,000 years ago, with see-saw battles for control between those two groupings becoming one of the main historical features of Bronze Age life.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 23:42 utc | 188

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 23:42 utc | 187

That's what I found funny. The adviser said we're into a new Cold War without saying it.

Posted by: vk | Mar 25 2021 23:48 utc | 189

Dogon Priest @185--

Thanks for sharing that excellent bit of detective work. I went and shared it with Escobar's 55,000+ followers.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 23:52 utc | 190

Yes Suzan, I have not seen it mentioned elsewhere either, its a bit of a taboo subject, for many obvious reasons. I have posted it in a ZH thread.

Another thought after my post 169 above.

Here in the UK we have an Inheritance Tax or I suppose a Death Tax. It is levied at 40% but there are a ream of exclusions. One of them is that you can give it all away and if you live 7 years (sliding scale applies) it attracts no tax.

I wonder how many UK families have now been caught with their tax planning in tatters and a heavy bill? When family members died way ahead of schedule and, with no visitors allowed, were helpless to change things once in hospital.

It is probably similar elsewhere.

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 26 2021 0:10 utc | 191

spudski | Mar 25 2021 23:28 utc | 184...

thanks for that! appreciated...

Dogon Priest | Mar 25 2021 23:31 utc | 185

thanks... that is mildly entertaining.. reminds me of a racing track forum, lol...

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2021 0:12 utc | 192

Today was Culture Workers Day, which Putin termed a "professional holiday ... probably relatable to every person in its own way."

Putin addressed the winners of the 2019–2020 Presidential Prize for Young Culture Professionals and the 2019–2020 Presidential Prize for Writing and Art for Children and Young People and apologized for the lack of the traditional formal awards format. As usual, the entire discussion isn't provided, which I find lamentable. But what follows provides further insight into Putin's personality and what I see as his patriarchal assets:

"Today, I would like to discuss topics that are of particular interest to us. I always appreciate the opportunity to exchange opinions with people who can appreciate the value of the written and spoken word and understand the importance of our native language and our outstanding national culture for Russia’s present and future. Without a doubt, you are certainly among these people.

"Each one of you, excellent teachers, actors, artists and writers, has made a valuable personal contribution to promoting culture and education, and establishing values ​​and traditions that unite generations and help educate the young citizens of Russia using the best examples of creativity, teaching them to be proud of their country, and realise the size and importance of our people’s contribution to global culture and the global cultural development.

"Goethe once said: 'Even though the world is progressing, young people have to start over every time.' This is true in many respects, but I will also quote Russian classic writer Leo Tolstoy, who told young people: 'Take what is available and move forward. This is what makes humankind strong.' This is also true. Anyway, culture and art are exceptionally important. Often, they make it possible for the younger generations to see, understand and appreciate their predecessors’ achievements and realise that innovation is not about rejecting the past, but about building on it. [My Emphasis]

So take that Woke and Cancel; Russia rejects your aims as being некультурный.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 26 2021 0:14 utc | 193

@ JohninMK | Mar 25 2021 20:31 utc | 169 and @ suzan posts forward on this.. interesting topic indeed... regarding any tax - i thought the city of london was designed for the wealthy to hide it all in trusts, never to be touched by gov't tax? i know that is only for rich people.. us peons have to live a different reality... thanks for your posts john... i have appreciated your analysis and insights on the topic of syria and etc. on a few other threads... thanks..

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2021 0:16 utc | 194

I guess no one is interested in my post at #9 about Flannery O'Connor's writing, but I'll just add some other thoughts to this open thread as I did go back and read both her first published short story "The Geranium" and the last,"Judgment Day" as well as comments by one of her editors, Mr. Giroux.

The subtleties of O'Connor's writings are that she takes very unlikeable types from the Southern population of her time and treats them with great respect. It struck me in reading these tales again, that her treatment of all her characters draws out this common human trait, an evident non-type-cast 'dear' human quality even as they misunderstand and face the misunderstandings of others.

I think this must have originated in her because her father, whom she loved and was loved by as a similar soul, died when she was younger, and she lived from then on with her mother, not nearly as close in character and ideas - and so one would think, well, that was a tragedy, and tragically she like her father caught the terrible illness, lupus, so also died too young.

And her writing, reading it now, is of the time, accurately portraying how people thought and went about their lives while supposedly, even to themselves, hating and denigrating others. They didn't have to think; it was born to them. It seems to me that even in this 'modern' age, we are in danger of the same kinds of categorizations. Especially just knowing folk as we know them these days, on forums such as these. Fragmentedly.

You know, I first was commenting on Bill Moyers' NOW site long ago, and that petered out as folk got tired of it, went their ways. I was still there, but amazingly the other folk who still were there were the ones we'd all thought of as the 'trolls' - the worst folk, seeming to have it in for the rest of us. I found myself having conversations with them as the only resort, after having judged them not worthy of such previously when there were folk who thought the way I did to converse with. And then the site went offline.

O'Connor's stories deal with perceptions like that. About a South that is traumatically changing, not just for the civil rights folk, who suffered and died for their cause, but for those ordinary Southerners who had accepted differences between themselves and others as a form of living, who had lived those restrictions. And that these ordinary Southerners we might condemn as 'racist', 'bigoted', 'non human', had substituted sometimes unrecognized intimate connections in warm internal ways not dependent on civil rights. It's how she herself, maybe, saw her mother, the complexity of her mother's different Southern attitude. Impossible to change, because inborn. But it had to change with the times. And being forced out of that was really a hardship for both 'classes' because they had, down through a generation or two, made the substitutions for class that enabled friendships and intimacies to exist. They'd become dependent on those; they needed them. And the change new times brought was a violence for them that wasn't being commonly recognized, not only for the negroes but also the whites. Her stories, I think, are about that impasse. I would apply it now to the chasm between rich and poor, I think. Haven't seen an exact match yet, but I think it's there.

Well, that's my rant for today. I hope others may have a look at her stories. They are really, really fine.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 26 2021 0:32 utc | 195

Athens became much more democratic in the generations after Solon. Probably the biggest step towards democracy was the reforms of Cleisthenes in 508 BC, which among other things instituted the system of sortition (choice by lot) for representatives and officials. But in the succeeding generations, the system became more and more democratic: all offices became open to even the lowest class of citizen, the aristocratic council of the Areopagus lost virtually all power, pay was instituted for holding office, serving on the council of the Boule, serving on juries, and attending the Assembly, so that even the poorest citizens could do these things (and they did do them -- see Aristophanes). Athens was never more democratic than it was right before Macedon defeated Athens in the Lamian War in 322 BC and temporarily ended Athenian democracy.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 26 2021 0:32 utc | 196

Eigthman #164

I watched as much as I could stomach on Katie Halper 'useful idiots' and she made it tolerable. Otherwise it was 70's crap revisited.

What a tragedy for usastan.

Useful Idiots has exited the Rolling Stone Sh!t show and is now on substack. Rolling Stone was shilling for Hilary and Biden. It's a rag.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 26 2021 1:06 utc | 197

@ 194 juliania... thanks... fascinating lady by the sounds of it... i was reading on her on wikipedia at your encouragement.. here are a few quotes

She said: "When I was six I had a chicken that walked backward and was in the Pathé News. I was in it too with the chicken. I was just there to assist the chicken but it was the high point in my life. Everything since has been an anticlimax."

In high school, when the girls were required to sew Sunday dresses for themselves, O'Connor sewed a full outfit of underwear and clothes to fit her pet duck and brought the duck to school to model it."

she sounds a bit eccentric! i have too many books on the go at present, but thanks for the overview...

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2021 1:11 utc | 198

Catching up on this thread I notice a couple of comments asking why treatments for Covid have been so invisible in media.

In the US, the FDA as we know has not "approved" any vaccine. But it has issued EUA - emergency use authorization - for the the big pharma products. It can only issue an EUA when no existing treatment exists for a disease.

Thus, from big pharma's point of view, it is crucial that no existing treatment exist.

Credit to the original commenter who made that point - sorry I forget who. It might have been foolisholdman or old hippie, or another, but it strikes me as the key dynamic to the media silence and the medical suppression of treatments.

It's a point worth remembering when thinking about the lack of publicity for treatments of the disease. We in the west are living in a capitalist profit-squeezing machine, as both consumers and raw materials. And as JohninMK and others discuss above in a related equation, we have a useful shelf life for that machine also, and will be discarded when past that useful life as either consumer or producer.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 26 2021 1:52 utc | 199

I stumbled across the ZH link below and it prompted me to think about the implications of real aliens from other planets making contact with us not so homo sapiens

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/former-trump-intel-chief-reveals-quite-few-more-ufos-detected-public-knows

What would happen if some aliens arrived and the monotheistic sorts here went up to them and asked, Hey, have you seen my buddy Jesus/Mohammed/Yahweh?

Maybe humanity could finally evolve through the Enlightenment period and get on with learning to live in awe of our smallness.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 26 2021 3:17 utc | 200

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