Debt Rattle February 9 2024


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    Edward Hopper Gloucester Beach, Bass Rocks 1924   • Tucker Carlson: The Putin Interview (ZH) • Tucker Carlson’s Moscow Tour Sparked Major Buzz in
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle February 9 2024]

    V. Arnold

    Saving the Elk herd is awesome…….


    ‘Asylum seekers’ appear to think they will be voting in the 2024 election and say Joe Biden has their vote.

    I hope so, the sooner the USA goes round the U-bend the better life will be for the rest of us. It will also help Europe to recover, ridding themselves of their current corrupt politicians and reestablishing true politics where the people in parliament are answering to the people rather than to global interests.



    Why beer? Why not Pepsi, Coke or any of the other drinks consumed by many more people? I am surprised by the beer result, given that I have absolutely no idea how making beer could introduce microplastics, given that beer is water, malt, sometimes rice, and yeast. Cleaning of brewery equipment cannot introduce microplastics, so where does it come from, given that most beer is in glass bottles, then we have tin cans, then we have stainless-steel kegs. So where is beer getting these micro-plastics? I make beer and I do not use any plastics in making the beer, i use stanless steel. The only time I use plastics is in the tubing used to deliver the beer to the tap, but this does not apply to glass bottles and cans.

    I call bullshit on this data.


    The main thing I get from reading the reactions to the Tucker/Putin thing -I read many- is how polarized our world has become. We think we know that, but we don’t really, it’s always more the next day. Carlson only spreads lies and conspiracy theories, and Putin is only a blood thirsty war criminal. There is no grey area anywhere in sight. How we are ever going to breach the divide, you tell me.

    In the light of how the other side of the divide ignores, and instantly pardons, anything Biden does or says, it is pretty insane how two intelligent men are so lightly pushed aside.


    When an entire herd of elk fell through thin ice, these brave people raced to save them all. It happened in Wyoming.

    Great job. Now will they rescue their country?

    Dr. D

    “These people know no shame & their lies no limits.”

    Yes, don’t stop protesting and removing them until every single one of them is a janitor.

    “Julius Malema has repeatedly called for the genocide of the 4 million Whites living in South Africa.”

    I’d say “Yes, but that’s because they’re white” but that seems over the top.

    “• Tucker Carlson: The Putin Interview (ZH)

    So I guess the reverse leaked transcript was fake? I mean quite possibly those tings were said, but not in the Tucker interview? Yes and as they say, the Right are bunch of children wet behind the ears and naively believed it ‘cause it existed. Confirmation bias.

    Meme going around:

    Barbara Walters + Putin = Hero
    Stephanopolis + Putin = Hero
    Mike Wallace + Putin = Hero
    Larry King + Putin = Hero
    Matt Lauer + Putin = Hero
    Megan Kelly + Putin = Hero
    Tucker Carlson + Putin = Treason

    Some exceptions are more exceptional than others. Trouble with no “Objective reality” but that all things are now “Have Context”. Perhaps as God, we should evaluate all context, measure each grain of sand. But we can’t. This is what happens the minute we start with context and leave “objective” facts.

    ““..The only way to secure peace and prevent World War III may lie in electing, or reelecting, a president unbeholden to the US’ political and foreign policy establishment…”

    Running down today’s news, Nikki Hillary just lost to “None of the Above” in Nevada. Suuuuuuuure she was the #2 candidate everywhere else. I am a coincidence theorist and that is not suspicious at all. She herself just said the election(primary) was rigged! I’m only agreeing with her.

    “• Hillary Clinton Kicked Off Years of Anti-Russia Hysteria (Miles)

    Who? The only person Americans hate more than Nikki. She never told the truth since Watergate, which is WHY everyone hated her in all 50 states. Because she is the nation’s foremost election denier, ever, and we don’t do that. Yet the Media were all totally fooled. Uh, maybe not.

    Hillary clip: ” Tucker has been fired so many times.” Jimmy Fallon: “Tucker is unemployed, ha ha…”

    Tucker makes 250 million views. He is most probably a billionaire now, like Joe Rogan. But the POINT is, these minions cannot CONCEIVE of doing your JOB, instead of WHAT YOU ARE TOLD, by a Multi-national corporation of Insider Billionaires. #Resist! ONLY the approval of others, and not just ANY other, but specific AUTHORITY, has value. Without their corporate support, you are nothing. Now “Do What You’re Told”. “Yes, Master.”

    Hillary clip: again, Tucker’s X, Putin’s lies, Republicans throw in their lot. Okay, do you have any specific names, events, or examples? No. It’s all in a big wash, an aggregate of “We all know.” HOW do you know, if there are no specific events? If there were events, name them. Then of course, the projection of how she thinks they want to be unbound by laws, that must be it.

    “as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

    This is also fabricated, as the removal of documents and the mishandling stretches back to his Senate days. But we all knew that. I know there are better videos out there, but since we all deal with it hourly, narcissistic sociopaths, it crosses the feed over and over again.

    “You have to explain why lying is lying. In a three step process: 1. Fake Ignorance 2. Use dummy rhetoric and circle talk 3. Self victimize.”

    Exhausting. And really stupid and childish. You think I don’t know who ate the cake? You think if you use words I’ll somehow forget? Like I don’t know who I am? Like I don’t know what just happened? What are you, FIVE? I’m the one who just brought it up TO YOU, so you KNOW I know what happened.

    That leaves only one thing: the consequences are not NEARLY high enough. No one likes to lay down consequences, punish, harm, and/or impoverish people, send them to jail, lose their jobs, whatever, but what choice do you have? I can’t have you out here profiting from 900,000 serial felonies like you’re Wells Fargo or something. That would be ridiculous and it doesn’t work.

    There’s a reason there’s 3x punitive damages, all the way back to the Bible. It’s because that’s the level at which you think it overcomes the lower risk of getting caught. Americans are infants. But we’re not the only ones. Everyone outside of BRIICS behave this way. It’s coming to attention which is a good start, but it’s still getting worse in practice. You slow. Then you stop. Then you reverse.

    “The mumbling continued as opened up the press conference to questions”

    Yes, it’s like Trump and the White Hats are running the country. What’s happening?

    We’re getting kicked out of the Middle East. We may be voluntarily leaving Syria, etc (Too much risk for bombing Iran).
    The last Blue holdouts have flipped because I THINK we’re wildly overcounting the immigration instead of undercounting it all these years.
    We are not sending weapons to Ukraine.
    There are no longer any weapons for us to die on behalf of London and do empire, even if we wanted.
    The WEF is exposing itself.
    Jamie Dimon and Wall Street are helping, not only by exposing the WEF/Davos and telling them to knock it off, but by refusing to help with anything.
    All the lawsuits a child would know can’t work, brought by people so illegally that a child would know they can’t succeed, are more than failing, they are exposing these people, judges, and methods to the public eye.
    Every case that’s important wins.
    Every case that would continue it in the news cycle loses so it can be headlines tomorrow, most often with amazing personal connections and quotes.
    Every case brought is a parallel to something happening with the Democrat elite.
    Biden and the Democrats are destroying the economy on their watch, against their base, in order to spend on Empire, and have lost all support even among young people, perhaps forever.
    Biden specifically makes mistakes each day, and whatever mistake gets in the news, he repeats until the news gets bored with it. Tripping. Missing names. Whatever.
    Everyone know Biden isn’t running anything, so real worker bees like Nuland and Blinken are exposed.
    “while actively fighting Texas over keeping the border open is not a good look…”
    Biden faces growing political backlash, some of it from members of his own party, over his handling of the border”
    • EU Fears Trade War With Trump But Biden Wrecked Its Economy (Sp.) That is, Biden has also destroyed our main competition, the EU.

    And Trump himself? The DoJ just arrested a huge but relatively low-level mass bribery scheme otherwise known as “Business as usual” for the “Moral sort” there. Where? NYC? In what category? Real Estate construction. His smallest level personal pet peeve.

    It’s okay if you don’t think so, but I find it hard to add anything to my wish list here.

    We already TRIED just telling them like normal people. For 50 years. That didn’t work. Yet just a few years of this seems to be working great, such that even college kids – the world’s dumbest cadre – are waking up and flipping on them. And everyone is like “Stop!!! This is bad!!!” HOW is it bad??? Don’t stop: keep going.

    “• Zaluzhny Removed as Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief (Sp.)

    I think Syrsky was the one the troops all hated because he’s a bastard. Have to follow this story, but great for morale. Not only DID change horses in a disaster, not only DID get rid of a general we all loved, but ALSO put in the guy we hate most.

    “Ukrainian troops are experiencing an acute shortage of infantry, the military is physically exhausted, and its morale is falling, US newspaper The Washington Post reported,”

    Why am I reading this? You never told the truth before, why start today?

    “that the Biden administration is now considering taking executive action to deter illegal immigration across the southern border.”

    What the h—l are you talking about? What the actual h—l does that sentence even mean? Even to the writer?

    “The Biden Administration”...but not Biden?
    “He’s now considering” …but he never considered before? What changed?
    “Taking executive action …Newsflash: EVERY action by Biden is an “executive” action. You morons.
    I think they are implying – without either asking, knowing, or saying – an “executive ORDER” …which also has no basis, merit or difference. Biden’s “Executive order” is that “Employees should enforce the law”??
    “To deter” …To Deter? That means, “Convince others not to start and try it.” We’re not “Deterring” we are ARRESTING felonies as established by the U.S. Congress by passing a 100 year law. We are “enforcing”.
    So you’re vowing here NOT to arrest felons, even if you DO take “Executive action”, which no one is suggesting you will?

    And you wonder why I hate the media and call them crayon-munchers. You’re fired! Fired, Fired, Fired! I’d fire everyone in your department, everyone in your college, all your Deans, every Professor, right back to your Mom and Dad in the night in that dive bar in Hoboken if I could.

    For the love of GOD and Jesus, learn to write a sentence like a 4th grader. I’d say “words exist” but you see when words don’t exist, THOUGHTS don’t exist, and these people have become a-Rational. Like babies going “Goo goo ga ga.” WHAT DO YOU MEAN???

    Wray + Sheriff Wray is saying this is a direct, high level national security event, leading to widespread terrorism, so he is applying exactly ZERO agents in stopping it. Maybe by sending them to the border? That’s what the FBI does. That’s their mandate: HELP crimes, ESPECIALLY Federal and national security ones. CAUSE terrorism. Make it up and pay people to do it if necessary, like Michigan.

    “The US is purposely blocking a Yemen peace deal that was negotiated between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia,
    Which leads to “The Houthis are now targeting American and British commercial shipping, and there’s no sign they will back down.”

    #Winning. Peace is breaking out all over and must be stopped!

    “But in California, home of global green dreams, sales have also declined,”

    Was that when California said you’re not allowed to charge your cars? Especially in wildfire/escape situations?

    Speaking of: Global Warming says CA will be a desert; it will never rain again. How’s that working out for you? What? More rain than ever? So much you could drink for 20 years? And you’re STILL complaining? 1) All the water you prayed for today 2) Global Warming isn’t real, or doesn’t cause deserts so you’re saved forever. Can’t please some people.

    “The European Union has lost its central function”, and “historically, it has failed as a peace project.”

    Hmmm. Good point. And the other lists are just “Collateral”. The EU needs collateral. And WHY do they need collateral? The only people that need that are 1) over indebted. 2) About to collapse 3) Totally broke 4) have no other options, like e.g. “Work”. You could still “Do work” and “Have voluntary exchange.” I’m not making this up, that’s possible. But you’d have to “Buy with cash”, from the “Work” you “sold.” Does not compute I know, but there are books on it to help.

    “Ishchenko understands how “this is a civilizational catastrophe”

    Yes, and they keep going, voluntarily, harder and harder every day. Against all their own people who would happily do all that “work” for them. Still make them money while they party in Monaco. No. They will DEI on this hill!!!!

    “$390 billion Build Back Better ‘green’ subsidies package,

    Yes, and we know since the US has bought more Russian oil than ever, and Exxon is a top ESG company, that the “Green” they mean is all the Green they give billionaires in free taxpayer money. Like Walmart, Amazon, GE do. Taking money directly from taxpayers and giving directly to corporations and bonuses? That’s “Capitalism”! We cut out the middle man! You don’t even have to create a product nor hire people. It’s almost like the corporations and government are one entity!

    “Trump Pleased after SCOTUS Ballot-Ban Hearing Ends (ZH)

    This was absolutely savage in so many ways. They can’t even get an illiterate communist like Katanji on board. Here’s just one, and bear with me as every single level of this is insane: Colorado’s lawyer argues, that it is, and has to be, that the INSTANT President “Commits an insurrection” he is disbarred. That’s because otherwise you’ve have to “Convict” him, or at least um, “Charge” him? With anything? No. So at 3:01pm January 6, the President is no longer the President.

    Supreme Court: So, um, I’m wondering, what happens to all the officials below him? Are they supposed to follow the President’s orders then? If they do, are they ALSO insurrectionists? How do they know any of this even happened, since there was no impeachment? If they follow his orders, then WHICH orders? If they follow them, are they also instantly disbarred from office without process? Which ones?

    Yes, um, so the instant ANYONE – at all, in their little heads – at any time, for any reason just “SUPPOSES” the President MIGHT have done something illegal…they have to stop obeying all orders that very minute, forever. Of course the guy NEXT to him will disagree and KEEP following orders…Like a d—n insurrectionist!!! — and you have to grab your sidearm and shoot him right there in the 3rd cafeteria in Ft. Leonard Wood, right next to the dishwasher and the potato peeler. Because OF COURSE you would. That’s #Logic.

    Go on…the Supreme Court says…tell me, describe how this legally works in great excruciating detail….

    And oh no sir…that wasn’t either the WORST argument, nor the stupidist. They spend all day covering maybe 10% of how incredibly un-legal, a-Logical, ethically impossible, and practically unworkable, each and every word of every sentence is. Right back to the day you were sadly born.

    This is why I love the Supreme Court, although I have to disagree with how they “Just Make S—t Up” all the time, ‘cause they wanted, for no reason: They deal with the high-level intellectual theory stuff that’s interesting to me, and are allowed to just follow it out instead of “Jack” gets/does not get “This bag of beans”. And the other stuff is “not my problem.”

    “Every Child Is A Whole Universe (CD)

    Yes, and the children of America too. Abused every day for being born here.

    How any elk survive being so stupid is beyond me. I’ve seen this in deer too. But they do their thing and are still here! Must work for them somehow. The men as well, in a t-shirt and I’m sure they know ice, but being busy get 4 men AND an elk on the same 6foot section? Well, they were right: it didn’t collapse. And the humans would just go back to the truck and warm up, but really…


    Raúl Ilargi Meijer said

    There is no grey area anywhere in sight. How we are ever going to breach the divide, you tell me.

    You are not. There is no rescuing the USA. It will descend, it will be nothing for 100 years, then it will start to come back. When I say it will be nothing, I mean it will be like Canada, for 100 years, all the clever people will leave, then there will be a commodity gold-rush and people will start searching the USA for commodities, then it will start to come back, something like the gold-rush days.

    The problem with the USA is that it is a jungle, it is a fuck-you society, where the well-to-do don’t give a shit about the poor, the reason being that there are loads of poor people. As a result the people do not unite to fight the government, instead they write comments on the internet.

    Without something to unite the people and motivate them to action, there is no saving the country.

    V. Arnold

    Great job. Now will they rescue their country?

    …on a not small scale, they did rescue a very important part of our country…


    Although Putin was definitely the star of the interview, Tucker Carlson should be credited with both providing the opportunity for the rest of us to see Putin’s viewpoint, but also for letting Putin talk. The whole show would have been impossible with any mainstream interviewer, that Tucker was willing to let Putin speak without, for the most part, any interuption, is to his credit. He did not insist that his ego get satiated on stupid shite, he let us see what Putin wanted to give.

    That is the sign of a good journalist; he pushed Putin just enough to get the real stories and opinions out of him. Any more would have been too much, any less would have been boring. So Putin was the star, but TC was definitely the enabler. Well done to both.


    V. Arnold said

    …on a not small scale, they did rescue a very important part of our country…

    I am an animal lover and would have been out there helping them. But this is a political blog, so pulling it back to the subjects on which we tend to focus. But understand your feelings on this, it was a good thing that they did, too few do such acts these days.


    Dr D said

    Americans are infants. But we’re not the only ones. Everyone outside of BRIICS behave this way.

    They are like devices in an electronic circuit, releasing energy at the wrong time. I will stop there with the electrical analogy, but is is as if they are living in a time lag, as if they are living using past rules without realising that those rules have since changed. It is a kind of “out-of-sync” problem. What can you do; their egos tie them to the past, they want a job where they are all powerful, but those days are gone and they are still waiting to discover that the world has changed.


    Vote rigging, ballot stuffing

    The RINOS haven’t done a goddamn thing about the built in fraud in the ‘election system’ from 2020

    A extra heaping helping in 2024

    “Asylum seekers’ appear to think they will be voting in the 2024 election and say Joe Biden has their vote”





    Limeyland, they’ve really losttheirshit, like Big Time

    Full Orwell



    As the World Turns

    Horror of Horrors

    Madison High School students in Houston protest cellphone ban Monday morning

    ‘Treating us like prisoners’: Students at Madison High School protest against new cellphone ban policy

    It’s worse than being a student in Gaza


    D Benton Smith

    [picking up from the close of yesterday]


    “My main take from the Putin interview is that he loves his country, is immensely proud of his country, its history and culture and is both proud and determined to move his country forward to be a winning player in the world. Quite a refreshing performance given the hatred that spews forth from western politicians lost in their own minds, not having any direction or meaning to their lives..”

    I fully agree with your take on the Putin interview, especially your first paragraph. Tucker did a good job, asking the hard questions forthrightly, and Putin was as brilliant as usual (and expected) in answering forthrightly as well. I think everyone knows that the West has not just lost it’s demented and senseless war, but has lost its way altogether, and Putin was both sympathetic and yet unflinchingly firm in answering that the West is responsible for finding its own way back if it can. Russia stands ready to cooperate, within the boundaries of its peoples’ legitimate interests, but it is up to the West to come to its own senses.

    It was a great interview, truly great, and there is much more to be read into it and gleaned from it. I think it will be turned to as a source of information about the real current world situation many many times by many many many people, as we continue in our attempt to stumble through the dark toward a better (or at least survivable) near and distant future. We’re going to need some help.

    Dr. D

    Aspnaz: well, you’ve got an aggregate. It’s very hard, or you can’t predict the individuals from that end. Worse, “America” is “whatever is on TV” which every man here agrees is a lie. So we’re resuming how each individual will respond, based on a data set of lies? You see why we’re not getting anywhere.

    It’s hard enough here as when speaking to individuals, you find they are “Getting along” testing out whoever they are talking to and matching up with them like a chameleon, no backbone. But they ARE both 1) Care 2) avoid a fight 3) test the waters. Second, we have people who say “This s–t is f—-d”, great, but don’t know what to do about it, where it came from, why it exists, what we should do. This is the intent and these are the people they are going to pitch for their Hegelean “Solution”. It’s not working.

    Third, what is now a minority of reality-deniers, who cannot tolerate or absorb any thing that is said by anyone. Often even their own people, as they purity spiral into smaller and smaller fits of insanity. They seek longingly to identify the highest “Authority” — that is, whoever is MOST likely to club them senseless — and AVOID them, obey them, not to get hit. This is learned behavior of a lifetime of ceaseless, irrational abuse by violent narcissistic sociopaths, as enshrined in Schools, particularly, but everywhere else too, and especially, perhaps overwhelmingly for girls, whose reality is popularity, and whose “in group” is now “whoever is online”.

    This is why they haunt the world like a lion, roaming to and fro looking for that very, very rare type: heartless, female sociopaths who love violence. The few they can discover are sent right to the top, like Nikki Hillary. But it’s to sell to these women and girls, half the voting block, more obedient, loving abuse, defending their abusers, which generally men won’t.

    BUT: look at the basis of their power and control over the reality-deniers, who not just being pejorative, are demographically IN FACT women, and white, affluent liberal women almost exclusively, ’cause if you think you’re snowing poor back church-going women or newly-immigrated Catholic Hispanic, mother-of four women, you’re mistaken.

    What runs their power? Past abuse. Yes. But 1) Popularity. And 2) Power. Whatever is popular, and whoever won’t BEAT me, is who’s in charge. And? Does that not seem pretty easy to overcome to you?

    Right now they are discovering they are less and less popular. Their star is falling each and every day. Disney. Trans. Bud. Movies. Facebook. They are very, very sensitive to this, as their power but also their whole IDENTITY is founded on popularity. Of course having support and popularity matter for men too, but it’s like a 90/10 split. 90% of “Womaning” is being popular, that is, supported and included by other women, so no question they have to be sensitive to it. And they know their popularity is fading everywhere, they look stupid, but they don’t know where to monkey-branch next yet. And when they do it will be “Everybody knows” and “Of course no one ever believed in Eugenics/continental drift/creationism” although of course they all did. Fine.

    The other part is even easier. Right now they’re all just ADVERTISING. Exposing. If Congress gains POWER, and Americans gain social POWER they will instantly, instinctively obey and become that. Obviously, that’s just “societies”. But let’s take the craziest example: suppose the military just stood up, arrested Milley, Austin, and Biden, tossed out half of Congress, and ran martial law during new, actually real, elections. What would happen, what would they do?

    They would f-ing OBEY. Because THAT’S WHO THEY ARE. They OBEY authority. Minions. They follow whoever beats them LEAST, like all abused children of adult alcoholics. That’s ALL OF AMERICA, although a lot of us have different reactions to Daddy always beating the s–t out of us, every day in a new gaslighting way. Some 1/3rd of us tell him to go f himself and we’ll take the consequences unto death. …But some don’t, and I understand that. Some navigate and negotiate, and some just Stockholm. We’re talking about this third, remaining category, mostly women. …And again, statistically, I’m not trying to be pejorative or slanderous here. Many women ALSO tell them off and hit back, but overwhelmingly most don’t.

    So we only have two steps remaining to winning, and therefore winning the feminized, and/or ACTUALLY female PMC’s AWFL class: one, popularity, which is eroding hourly. Two: the minute “MAGA” as it were, but “Rule of law” in fact, claims POWER, every PMC and Middle Manager will snap to like the useless, spineless, brown-circle licking, twat weasels they are. And does Congress look like they’re turnign the bend on that?

    We’ve marched through all these months, 6, 10 years, and now no Mitch McConnel, no McCarthy, No Schumer, no – no one can get through the usual Uniparty “compromise” written by DEI foreign corporations against the interests of the United States. Like I said, you have to SLOW. THEN you stop. THEN you reverse. We slowed, and we may not have stopped but we’re close.

    When they CLAIM power — which they can do today, but every day we’re winning, exposing Biden, why bother? — then this 20% AUTHORITY holdouts will flip overnight. Or 80% will. That leaves like 5% that the PMCs will THEMSELVES attack. Because they can NOT tolerate the slightest diversity. ALL PMCs have to be lock-step. They key is to flip the maximum PMCs that day. The 5% PMCs then will be “Oh so last week” Ugh! They’re still wearing belly shirts with the FLOWER appliques on them. Everybody knows it’s gypsy-skirts this year. Boom, gone.

    But you’re watching this right in front of you, progressing year after year, yet have no faith anything’s happening? Under Clinton, he could bomb 3 countries, do coke, run drugs, pay cartels, attack Russia, kill unions, hand our entire Defense R&D to China, screw students, fly on Lolita monthly, pay Wall St, and everyone hadn’t the slightest THOUGHT that THIS WAS EVEN WRONG??? That’s power. We’re a long way from those days and it took a lot of work to get here.

    But now that DAILY, everything Clinton took for granted is exposed, front page, in the light, and rejected, people fighting and not following orders, somehow this is WORSE? Somehow having totally exposed the whole enemy forces, who are now sniped daily, we’re weaker and reclaiming our country LESS? That can’t be.

    Now, as expected, it sucks, it took forever, and even 10+ years longer than we thought, but we’re revealing, exposing, winning more each day. Like Russia in Avdiivka, so long as we’re taking new meters each day, why change? It’s working, hold your horses and work the plan. We’ve only got one chance at this.

    Back to the individuals, down here, each individual is no longer obeying. They are discarding parties and trying to apply to practicalities: what’s going to give them stability with whoever. Chickens, perhaps. Music. Leave politics out of it, although that’s slow and still at the 90% rate. People are cautious and trying to speak by saying solutions what we can agree on. That will work no matter how it goes, but it would re-form the atomized individual level. The same thing is occurring in families, dating, companies, etc. So broad as possible but very, very tiny and very chaotic. Nevertheless that has to be the high water mark, by definition. At maximum atomization, by definition you then have to and must re-form into structures and groups again. And the Communist Revolution handbook was to PICK WHICH structures, and pick WHICH people (i.e violent psychopaths). But they missed the window. They are NOT controlling the re-forming of matter from social plasma. Sorry that’s not fast enough for you and there are no Headlines for “Library Reading Group Calls Truce and Starts Meeting Again.” But it is. It took 10-20 years to breed this Millennial generation to get here and it’ll take 10-20 years to get them back out.

    But they missed it. They lost. And right now we’re confirming they’ve lost even down at the individual level. Should any of us live that long.


    D Benton Smith said

    We’re going to need some help.

    I am very glad to see that there is something that we can agree on; it was a brilliant interview, both parties played their roles excellently. I am sorry that you didn’t get the “come to Jesus” moment that you were hoping for – nothing wrong with hoping – but I was always doubtful about that, given that Putin is a rock, he does not appear to me to do anything exciting, yet that aspect of him is in itself quite exciting.

    I was blown away at his memory of history, as an old geezer I cannot remember anything, so it is good to see that I am inferior to my peers; always good to be shown up.

    Dr. D

    America is not a Fuck you society. It’s just so large you can only care about very specific people close to you. We care about the people further away, but it’s instantly hard or impossible to do anything about it. And those #Helping “those others” far away have historically been the worst of all, for all 250 years. That’s true of the money too, as we are by MULTIPLES the most generous nation on earth, and our wealthy the most generous of all. There are endless Asian billionaires yet America was the top donator to Boxing Day tsunami. It was ASIA who said “Fuck you”. As the caring comes back at the atom level it also reforms to the aggregate as well, but these things take time.

    America is incredibly large, incredibly diverse, and incredibly small and local. It’s extremely hard to aggregate and discuss these things even with good intent, and headlines are by definition the opposite of that. I’m down here, and it’s happening.


    Apple Pro Vision Goggles

    The Mark of the Beast

    “Only the rich will travel and the poor will use VR headsets”

    As if the Sheeple weren’t already disoriented enough

    Gasoline on the BarBq

    It’s a Kult


    Apple Pro Vision Goggles


    “Never Be Here Now”

    Clueless Honky

    “They were getting along fine. But Hillary needed someone to blame her loss on.”

    As if that was all that there was to it.

    Let’s not forget Hillary’s answer to the question asked during one of only three nationally televised debates between her and Trump. The question was “what is the first thing you would do in office?”

    Here answer: “I would declare a No-Fly Zone over Syria”.

    Really? Each candidate probably only got ~45 minutes of straight prime-time speaking directly-to-the-people in these 3 debates, and to the specific question of what is most important to her, Hillary answered, in effect, I want to immediately start a hot war with Russia .

    Numerous generals were interviewed on record admitting that yes, declaring a No-Fly Zone over Syria would be tantamount to declaring an active, hot war with Russia.

    Russia has one naval base outside of former Warsaw Pact countries. It is in Syria. There was no way Russia was going to let the US continue it’s lineage of Regime Change operations by adding Syria to the list.

    To pretend that war with Russia hasn’t been baked into the cake of US Foreign Policy would be being blind to one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle of our modern world.

    Hillary didn’t blame Russia because she was desperate for an excuse for losing to Trump. She blamed Russia so that Trump would be forced to continue escalating tensions with Russia, for fear of being seen as “Putin’s bitch”, or some-such. That was the narrative, right?

    Remember, Trump’s first impeachment was for “bribing” Zelensky for dirt on Burisma and the Bidens, by threatening to delay shipments of arms to Ukraine – arms which Obama had refused to deliver to Ukraine for fear of being too much of a provocation against Russia.

    Oh. The irony in it all.


    Are there a news media doing honest reporting of Tucker’s interview with Putin?
    Yes. A transcript without opinions.

    Tucker’s interview transcript.
    ……. READ IT. ….

    Tucker: Thank you, Mr. President.

    Posted by: Surferket | Feb 9 2024 7:27 utc | 319




    @ ASPNAZ

    I, too, thought it odd that soda was not included in the micro plastics list, considering that it is sold in plastic bottles and cans. However, as to the beer question, I can point you in what I believe is the right direction.

    Aluminum beverage cans are not just aluminum. Carbonated beverages are weakly acidic — they contain carbonic acid. Also, pure aluminum reacts with water: “ Aluminum metal rapidly develops a thin layer of aluminum oxide of a few millimeters that prevents the metal from reacting with water. When this layer is corroded a reaction develops, releasing highly flammable hydrogen gas.” Read more:

    Of course, aluminum cans are less than 1 mm thick.

    Both beverage cans and the steel cans used for canned food are lined with plastic resins to prevent the food/beverage from coming into contact with the metal. Several years back, there was a big hubbub about BPA (bisphenol-A)— and folks found out that the resins in canned foods contained BPA. The can manufacturers reformulated their plastic resins to not include BPA, instead using substances with near-identical properties that were lightly tested so that these was no official evidence that the new substances behaved in the human body in a near identical fashion to BPA. (The new resins likely are just as detrimental as BPA, which is why I see the label “BPA-Free” as a crock.).

    One of these days I’m going to have to get back into the habit of making beer, so that I can enjoy one in the evening without the micro plastics, etc. A stainless steel keg would be a good way to avoid the most tedious and time intensive part — bottling.

    Food stored in glass bottles will contain fewer micro plastics, but the lids of the bottles are still lined with plastic resins — whether they are beer bottles or pasta sauce jars. (Unless they use French canning jars.). Personally, I’ve been using Tattler canning lids for nearly 20 years now. They are reusable, made of plastic #5. Perhaps, I will collect French canning jars from thrift stores and try that some time — then there would be no plastics in the process.


    @ oroboros
    Madison High School students in Houston protest cellphone ban Monday morning
    That is HILARIOUS!

    It is the fault of the adults who have allowed the teens to be deluded up into believing that a smartphone connection is a “human right.”

    I hear regularly from my teens that their peers are often surreptitiously phone-scrolling in class when they should be doing schoolwork. One of my teens does not have a smartphone because I recognize that he does not have the self-discipline to put it away when it is not time for it to be out, and I suspect that he might not graduate from high school if he had his own smartphone. (He believes that this is highly unjust. I plan to give him a smartphone for his 18th birthday, one week before high school graduation.) At the same time, the high school district is in love with QR codes, and has partnered with Canadian firm GoFan, insisting that all high school ticketed events must be sold through GoFan (no more paper tickets, no cash at the door, GoFan receives $1 for EVERY ticket sold,) and all who attend these events must present a smartphone as their “ticket.” There are no provisions made for students (or others, such as grandparents,) who do not possess smartphones, nor for folks who do not have bank accounts linked to online payment apps, or do not have credit cards. I guess they figure anyone can purchase, at the very least, a prepaid Visa card — even high school students?


    Posted for information and educational purpose as defined under Fair Use




    One more time.
    Putin-Carlson interview: Full transcript

    FEB 8, 2024

    Hello friends,

    Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin went live about an hour ago. You can watch the full thing on Tucker’s website.

    Your correspondent will share his thoughts on this discussion later. Maybe on Saturday. Until then, here is the transcript (the real one, not the fake one that was floating around). Share your impressions in the comments section. Please be nice to each other, though! Okay that’s all for now more later have a nice day. — Riley



    Nope. Copy and paste from MOA to Word print as pdf should you prefer text to video. PDF would be 173 KB +-. Include Fair Use language should you send it across the inner tube.

    D Benton Smith

    Putin said something that was very very profound and at the same time crucially practical, but to get it you have to stand back and look at the entire interview as a whole, because he didn’t just enunciate the whole like some sort of pedantic pronouncement of wisdom. Instead he demonstrated the wisdom (and advice) over and over and over again in the way he provided information and the way he conducted himself during the talk. HE WALKED THE WALK as a demonstration of the core message that he wanted to impart

    First of all, note that Putin established from the very beginning (insistently, like he wanted an honest answer), whether or Tucker was there for a serious conversation or was the interview was just something that Tucker was producing for consumption by a video audience back in America.

    Also recall what Putin did whenever Tucker pressed him about what other world leaders had said in various private and public meetings in their important geopolitical conversations with him in the past. In every case Putin answered that he could only speak for himself, as a party to the conversation in question, but as for what the OTHER party had said (or meant, or intended, or believed) that Putin considered it to be entirely inappropriate for him, Putin, to speak for them. If Tucker wanted to know what they said or meant then he should go talk to them and let them speak for themselves. That was essential. If you need to know what someone really thinks or wants then you must talk to THEM, directly.

    The advice on how to get that information from that other party was explicit. His advice was to go ask them and persuade them to tell you. You must engage and exchange information with them. When people have issues with each other then they must communicate, negotiate, TALK with each other until that issue is satisfactorily resolved.

    And always know that all issue always get resolved, one way or another. If one party to the conflict refuses to negotiate, or even talk, then they will be left behind and the issue will be resolved by others, if they can and as best they can. Maybe they will fail and maybe they will succeed, but in either case they will be doing it solo, on their own, because the other side refuses to honestly negotiate any other possible course of action.

    In this specific case, in the Russia vs Collective West War for axample, the issue has been resolved distinctly in Russia’s favor, and the West is the one being left behind. Although Russia remains ready and willing to talk if and when some trustworthy representative of the West is willing to come to the table and start talking, it’s up to the West alone whether or not to engage in dialogue.

    I believe that Tucker interviewing Putin is the official opening round of that dialogue.

    AND BY THE WAY! Isn’t it fascinating that Tucker has been “outed” as an asset of at least a “faction” of the Central Intelligence Agency? Wowser! Putin called him out on it, and Tucker confirmed the accusation by strongly and insistently pleading the case for that New York Times Reporter that Russia just arrested for being a CIA spy (caught red handed receiving classified Russian defense information).

    Tucker HAD to have know that he was blowing his own cover, and thereby throwing away an enormous reputation that he had spent a lifetime building (and worth uncountable millions of dollars) as a fully disclosed and trustworthy free agent who was neither beholding to nor taking orders from any institution or undisclosed special interest. Poof! Gone. No more Mr. Nice Guy Who Doesn’t Lie. Well, Tucker old son, withholding from your audience that you are a CIA asset is a lie. Revealing that lie voluntarily strikes me as a VERY high price to pay, yet he paid it willingly. VERY interesting.

    Hence forward we must regard Tucker Carlson not as a mere star reporter, but as a PLAYER. Will he be a trustworthy one, like Putin has been? Well, so far so good, mostly. I don’t have TOO much to complain about how he has done up to this point because I know that it is a tough game that he has chosen to play. Us too. Just as with Vladimir Putin, Tucker is what he is and it is now up to us to TALK WITH HIM to find out exactly what that is.



    Glad to bring you a laugh, as an old geezer present day youth ‘kulture’ might as well be from another galaxy from my day.

    Next level in school will be the mandatory Apple 3-D Vision Goggles to completely unanchor them from Reality



    Old School Virtual Reality a la Escher


    D Benton Smith

    It must be nigh on to impossible for foreigners to assess the character of Americans. All that they’re got to go on is movies (flattering fake), news (even more fake) and the Internet (fakest of all.)

    Yeah, we are a nation of ignorant gullible fools, but we’re also a nation wherein those ignorant gullible fools will rush to the aid of anyone needing help. On FOUR occasions, many years apart, I have been life threateningly injured and awakened to find total strangers doing their best to save my life. I’ve paid it forward on several occasions too. So have most Americans. Good people, for the most part. Just like you.


    From Larry Johnson

    Tucker – Putin interview


    Just some general comments

    “Now we saw and heard the real deal. This was no AI fake. It was pure Carlson and Putin. Let me offer a couple of observations (but I’m more interested in what you think). First, Putin came across as relaxed, likable and extremely competent. He spoke for two hours giving out substantive details without having to look at a note. Can you imagine Biden or Kamala Harris being able to pull that off? I can’t.

    Second, Putin’s body language was open and accepting. He did not cross his arms or legs. He mirrored Tucker’s body language, which is an intelligence trade craft in talking with people. Third, Putin showed emotion at appropriate times and did an effective job of laying out Russia’s red lines.

    He effectively made the point that Russia is open for negotiations but that Ukraine’s Zelensky has banned anyone from his side entertaining talks.”


    A comment from Larry’s blog on Tucker-Putin interview

    13 minutes ago

    “Overall, what stands out from what Putin said is his comprehensive approach to world affairs, in contrast to the reductionist, myopic perception of issues practiced by the vast majority in the West. I’ve read that Kissinger once asked some Chinese official what he thought of the French Revolution. “Too early to tell,” was the answer. The way Putin approaches issues is similar. There was a clear disconnect between the sort of talk Tucker expected and what Putin delivered.

    This was particularly obvious in Putin’s remarks about the changes in the world, the rising economic power of places like India, Indonesia. Regardless of whether one agrees with him, his approach seems way more profound, judicious, and visionary than the disjoint way of thinking we see from occidental leaders and their sycophants.

    What’s becoming increasingly clear is that our biggest enemy is ourselves, our atrophied intellectual abilities, hubristic conviction of western exceptionalism and the ensuing entitlement to rule the world, and in many cases plain stupidity.”


    Robin Hood – steals from the rich, gives to the poor. Hated by Ayn Rand. The darling of communists, inversionists, revolutionaries, deconstructionists, postmodernists?

    You would think so. He “inverts the pyramid,” does he not?

    But Robin Hood is aristocracy – but also the lowest-low-level aristocracy. The type that knows the name of every individual, the names of their children, under his protection and rule. The sort of low level English lord that gets his own hands dirty, plows his own lands, fights his own fights if there is a disagreement. He’s naturally a force of tradition and moderation, the connective tissue between leadership and the people – the one with his finger on the pulse of common life.

    FIRST, the natural and right order is usurped, overthrown, inverted. Wrongness becomes the “rules based order” of the land. There is no way for Robin to integrate his duties, his identity with this wrongness. What-should-be has been flipped on its head. Inside of kingship sits the opposite of everything it means. Monarchy has been skinned and evil John has donned it as a meatsuit saying “I’m that thing you love”

    Robin Hood is incredibly instructive — how does a decent man do right, with meaning, in an inverted world? Human beings are cooperative – practically everything of value we might do, we do with other people, but when “other people” gets inverted, there’s nowhere to plug in, nowhere to interface. You’ve got a 110 power plug on all your power tools, you’re ready to fix things, build things, and there’s nothing but damn euro outlets everywhere. Fuck you, competency. Fuck you, decency. Fuck you and your integration, congruency. Stand there in the middle of the room, power cord in hand, like a useless asshole. Nowhere to go, nothing to do.

    Is this not our story today? How many decent men and women, unplugged for how long? Not purely economically. Culturally. And to be Lord Robin of Loxley WAS to be deeply congruent, integrated, roots deep in the earth RIGHT in one’s existence.

    Any person of wealth or power, forced to run, their wealth and lands taken from them, homeless, would usually be a tale of woe. Misery. Scenes of the formerly rich person cowering in a makeshift hut in the woods in winter. Certainly modern re-imaginings have sometimes tried a dark, edgy, miserable Robin Hood, but this is NOT Robin Hood, is it?

    Robin Hood IS inversion after all. The world has barrel-rolled 180 degrees, and then within the barrel, Robin smirks and rotates ANOTHER 180 degrees.

    THEY have inverted everything by putting on the skin of the thing, insisting on all the same names while doing and constituting their opposite. Robin becomes “Outlaw” but does his own 180 degrees rotation inside this skin as well. This is the only way for him to stand right side up inside his inverted world.

    The Errol Flynn Robin Hood is to this day the best version, because Errol Flynn really GETS it. Integral to the nature of Robin Hood is an over-the-top joy, enjoyment, merriment, humor. Robin Hood’s acts of resistance are often material and practical – he DOES give significant riches back to the poor. But he always finds ways to do it as a joke, as deflating merriment against phonies. Almost always with extreme and humiliating levels of competence – his swordplay, his archery, his clever stratagems. Merriment and competence.

    One gets the sense he would have never been such a joker, never performed at such levels, were it not for his world being turned upside down. Becoming Robin Hood means unleashing a kind of savagery, but a savagely amped-up humor and competency. He does not, like a WW2 Yugoslavian resistance fighter, ambush and massacre occupation soldiers in hopes of provoking harsh reprisals against the populace, to further their cause. He surely COULD. He demonstrates his ability to come and go almost at will, showing up where he should not, close to whoever he wishes, able to escape against all odds.

    Part of the Robin Hood mythos is that he does occasionally get too puffed-up himself and gets deflated. Humiliated. How does he triumph after this happens? He does triumph in these scenarios. He pulls himself together and then… wins AS A JOKER. As he does this, he makes fun of, deflates his opponents perhaps, but seems only to have this ability when he willingly deflates himself, makes himself a figure of fun as well. As if he’s powered by mirth and loses power whenever he approaches serious self-righteousness.

    What is The King’s Forest? Consider on a symbolic basis:

    It’s where Robin Hood goes to live – with his merry men. Moreover, it is where he lives MERRILY while being uncatchable.

    It’s out of bounds – anyone who hunts there, depending on the story, is subject to death or perhaps having your hand chopped off.

    The local Miller gets caught by the Sherriff emerging from The King’s Forest with a brace of rabbits. Off with your hand it shall be.

    “But sheriff sir, my family was starving” Don’t care
    “But sheriff sir, this sort of thing was allowed to our fathers” Don’t care
    “But Sherriff sir, the King’s Forest is to preserve the big game for the King for when he wants to have a hunt, but I’m catching rabbits” Don’t care.
    “But Sherriff sir, how can I be a productive Miller for the village with one arm?” Don’t care
    “But Sherriff sir, my children – if they don’t starve – would be the millers for the next generation. And my grandkids after that. Been Millers for our lord and village for generations, we have” Don’t care

    Don’t worry, Robin Hood has an incredibly clever plan to save the Miller, who will go on to be a Merry Man in The Forest. The miller will transform from a miserable oppressed man on the verge of having his hand chopped off to a merry man, feasting in the forest, playing elaborate, clever jokes on evil men.

    Perhaps during swordplay, the Sherriff and Robin Hood are able to discuss.

    “Robin, why all this trouble for a damn miller. he’s nothing. What the hell man?”
    “He’s my sworn man.”
    “but he’s nothing. I don’t get it”
    “he is MY SWORN MAN, man. We swore OATHS to each other” (picture unshakeable, totally immutable things. The Moon. Mountain Ranges. Major rivers. The changes of the seasons. etc)
    Sherrif: does not compute.
    Don’t worry man, you won’t NEED to compute. You’ll just be tricked, humiliated, shown to be less competent, and be part of a really great joke.

    The forest is forbidden on pain of death or incapacitation. The forest is where men go to be free and merry.

    (while the world is 180 degrees inverted, the forest is an additional 180 degrees inverted – not a miserable wilderness, but pure awesomeness) And where they cannot be caught. And from where they spring their jokes, their raids. It is where others must pass through, sticking to cleared trails, but cannot seem to avoid having a toll taken.

    Isn’t it interesting that when Robin overcomes the oppressive powerful, the phonies, the rich, he makes them go with him to his merry banquet IN the forest? They are not tortured, executed, ejected, tied up… no, they are forced to join him in merriment! Made to partake of the forest. (It was so awful!!! Right?)

    This is all centered around things having been made deeply wrong through a usurper. Things are made right by the true and right King returning. This is a common tale – the most universally known version today being Lord of the Rings. Something is so deeply integral in rightness/wrongness with this usurper/true king trope.

    There are some dumb Hollywood versions that try to make Robin Hood integral to bringing the King back or overthrowing Prince John or what have you – try to somehow make ROBIN the point of everything. Some sort of big pivotal moment like every recent Hollywood superhero movie – big portal, giant light pillar going up into the sky, boy this could be the end of the city/country/world/solar system/universe/multiverse. It’s Eeeeeeeverything and then we close the portal or whatever. Yawn.

    But no. Robin Hood falters whenever he gets too puffed up and serious. He is not the CAUSE of the change in his world. Robin Hood has all sorts of varied humorous adventures, he re-distributes what he can back to the poor, just keeps doing his thing, and then one day, suddenly, Richard III The Lionheart is there. Flings back his cloak, his knights fling back their cloaks to see the 3 golden lions, the Crusader’s tabards. Robin – thief, anarchist, inverter, jokester, revolutionary, instantly kneels. All of his gang instantly kneel. In reverence. The Return Of The King is not the return of a man, a preferred leader, let’s spend 5 bil and “glue this thing together” etc. It is the return of rightness, of connectedness, congruence. The moment of revealed glory, the moment of reverence, and the moment of re-integration are one.

    John Day

    Thousand Year Gaze

    The Carlson-Putin interview, a little over 2 hours, is here, and was watched over 60 million times in the first 6 hours or so.
    ​Carlson, sitting in the Kremlin, then in his hotel room, reflects on the interview for 9 minutes here:

    ​Post-filtering of the content for American consumption does not reflect what I saw and heard, not at all, but has some factoids:
    Tucker Carlson’s Putin interview: 9 takeaways​ , POLITICO watched the 2-hour love-in with the Russian president so you don’t have to.
    ​ If I might make the suggestion, I will say that the only independent action is to watch the 2 hour+ interview yourself. Hit the pause button. Have dinner. Come back to it when you can. The pace is different from American media, which is a big part of the message.
    Vladimir Putin begins with a 30 minute explanation of Russian history, beginning with the Baptism of Prince Vladimir in 988, which was followed by the baptism of his noble-class and the people of Rus. This is the context within which Vladimir Putin sees Russia and his own place in ongoing Russian history. Russia is a “Civilizational State”, as is China, as is Iran. This does not directly translate to the 5-year-plan mentality of western financial capitalism, a contextual framework which Putin would not engage, to the recurring frustration of Carlson. Putin returned repeatedly to the spiritual ties which compose Russian society, the respect for Islamic and Buddhist cultures within Russia, and he closed on a note of spiritual healing between Russia and what is currently “Ukraine”. This reflects a patience spanning generations, a very long view, a politely diplomatic view.
    ​ Putin left numerous things politely unsaid. He would not make any potentially fractious assertions, which could be used as political ammunition against Russia.
    ​ From my own perspective, the “problems” in Ukraine/Galicia began when Germany carved that area out to provide coal and grain to Germany during WW-1, after defeating Russian/Bolshevik forces, continued during WW-2, including the Holodomor, when Stalin sold the food grain to (necessarily) build Russian war industry, starving Ukrainians to death​. This tribal animosity was ​further cultivated by the CIA after WW-2​, through activation of Galician sleeper-​cells, left over ​Galician Nazis, who were ​deployed in an insurgency against the USSR in the 1950s. Many of them died and some ​were brought to to the US and Canada. The 2008 Ukrainian ​failed-coup, and the 2014 ​successful coup, were part of a long, ongoing plan to divide ancient Russia against itself.
    ​ That is my baseline read, from which I hear and interpret Putin’s history lesson.
    ​ The other thing Putin left politely unsaid​, though repeatedly asked “why” by Carlson, was that neoliberal financial capitalism needs to consume Ukraine and Russia or collapse into itself, because it is an expansionist financial structure which consumes “assets” like Ukrainian farmland, mines and industry, having already consumed those in the US and EU.
    ​ Putin spoke repeatedly of “objective changes” in the world, which he sees being opposed in a futile way by western political structures, which are neocolonial, though he does not say that. He does point repeatedly to the destruction of long term western “interests”, such as the weaponization of the $US against Russia for a short term gain, which was actually a short term loss for the US, and for Europe, and has begun to loss of global reserve currency status for the $US, now in progress.
    The “objective changes” taking place are those of cooperation between countries, rather than colonial extraction of natural resources from colonized peoples. Putin points out that this model has progressed already to consuming the industrial bases of the US and UK, and is destroying European industrial profitability through cutting off inexpensive natural gas, forcing Europe to pay 7 times as much for liquified natural gas, largely from the US. This is self-consuming short-termism. He points out that several pipelines through Ukraine and Poland could be opened, and that one of 4 Nordstream pipelines could also be opened again.

    John Day

    The Triumph and Terror of Wang Huning​ , One man’s thought has become pivotal in China’s new political and cultural crackdowns. That man is not Xi Jinping.
    This article by N.S. Lyons was originally published on Palladium Magazine on October 11, 2021.
    ​ One day in August 2021, Zhao Wei disappeared. For one of China’s best-known actresses to physically vanish from public view would have been enough to cause a stir on its own. But Zhao’s disappearing act was far more thorough: overnight, she was erased from the internet. Her Weibo social media page, with its 86 million followers, went offline, as did fan sites dedicated to her. Searches for her many films and television shows returned no results on streaming sites. Zhao’s name was scrubbed from the credits of projects she had appeared in or directed, replaced with a blank space. Online discussions uttering her name were censored. Suddenly, little trace remained that the 45-year-old celebrity had ever existed.​
    ​ She wasn’t alone. Other Chinese entertainers also began to vanish as Chinese government regulators announced a “heightened crackdown” intended to dispense with “vulgar internet celebrities” promoting lascivious lifestyles and to “resolve the problem of chaos” created by online fandom culture. Those imitating the effeminate or androgynous aesthetics of Korean boyband stars—colorfully referred to as “xiao xian rou,” or “little fresh meat”—were next to go, with the government vowing to “resolutely put an end to sissy men” appearing on the screens of China’s impressionable youth.​..
    ​..Officially referred to as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “Common Prosperity” campaign, this transformation is proceeding along two parallel lines: a vast regulatory crackdown roiling the private sector economy and a broader moralistic effort to reengineer Chinese culture from the top down.
    ​ But why is this “profound transformation” happening? And why now? Most analysis has focused on one man: Xi and his seemingly endless personal obsession with political control. The overlooked answer, however, is that this is indeed the culmination of decades of thinking and planning by a very powerful man—but that man is not Xi Jinping.​ Wang Huning much prefers the shadows to the limelight. An insomniac and workaholic, former friends and colleagues describe the bespectacled, soft-spoken political theorist as introverted and obsessively discreet. It took former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin’s repeated entreaties to convince the brilliant then-young academic—who spoke wistfully of following the traditional path of a Confucian scholar, aloof from politics—to give up academia in the early 1990s and join the Chinese Communist Party regime​…
    ​..Wang Huning is arguably the single most influential “public intellectual” alive today.​ A member of the CCP’s seven-man Politburo Standing Committee, he is China’s top ideological theorist, quietly credited as being the “ideas man” behind each of Xi’s signature political concepts, including the “China Dream,” the anti-corruption campaign, the Belt and Road Initiative, a more assertive foreign policy, and even “Xi Jinping Thought.”​…
    ​..A position referred to in Chinese literature as dishi: “Emperor’s Teacher.” Such a figure is just as readily recognizable in the West as an éminence grise (“grey eminence”), in the tradition of Tremblay, Talleyrand, Metternich, Kissinger, or Vladimir Putin adviser Vladislav Surkov.
    ​ But what is singularly remarkable about Wang is that he’s managed to serve in this role of court philosopher to not just one, but all three of China’s previous top leaders, including as the pen behind Jiang Zemin’s signature “Three Represents” policy and Hu Jintao’s “Harmonious Society.”​ In the brutally cutthroat world of CCP factional politics, this is an unprecedented feat.​..
    ​..While it’s hard to be certain what Wang really believes today inside his black box, he was once an immensely prolific author, publishing nearly 20 books along with numerous essays.​..
    ​..While other Chinese teenagers spent the tumultuous years of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) “sent down to the countryside” to dig ditches and work on farms, Wang Huning studied French at an elite foreign-language training school near his hometown of Shanghai, spending his days reading banned foreign literary classics secured for him by his teachers. Born in 1955 to a revolutionary family from Shandong, he was a sickly, bookish youth; this, along with his family’s connections, seems to have secured him a pass from hard labor.
    ​ When China’s shuttered universities reopened in 1978, following the commencement of “reform and opening” by Mao’s successor Deng Xiaoping, Wang was among the first to take the restored national university entrance exam, competing with millions for a chance to return to higher learning. He passed so spectacularly that Shanghai’s Fudan University, one of China’s top institutions, admitted him into its prestigious international politics master’s program despite having never completed a bachelor’s degree.​
    ​ The thesis work he completed at Fudan, which would become his first book, traced the development of the Western concept of national sovereignty from antiquity to the present day—including from Gilgamesh through Socrates, Aristotle, Augustine, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Hegel, and Marx—and contrasted it with Chinese conceptions of the idea.​..
    ​..But Wang was also beginning to pick up the strands of what would become another core thread of his life’s work: the necessary centrality of culture, tradition, and value structures to political stability.
    ​ Wang elaborated on these ideas in a 1988 essay, “The Structure of China’s Changing Political Culture,” which would become one of his most cited works. In it, he argued that the CCP must urgently consider how society’s “software” (culture, values, attitudes) shapes political destiny as much as its “hardware” (economics, systems, institutions). While seemingly a straightforward idea, this was notably a daring break from the materialism of orthodox Marxism.​..
    ​..Meanwhile, he believed that the modernization of “Socialism with Chinese characteristics” was effectively leaving China without any real cultural direction at all. “There are no core values in China’s most recent structure,” he warned. This could serve only to dissolve societal and political cohesion.
    ​ That, he said, was untenable. Warning that “the components of the political culture shaped by the Cultural Revolution came to be divorced from the source that gave birth to this culture, as well as from social demands, social values, and social relations”—and thus “the results of the adoption of Marxism were not always positive”—he argued that, “Since 1949, we have criticized the core values of the classical and modern structures, but have not paid enough attention to shaping our own core values.” Therefore: “we must create core values.” Ideally, he concluded, “We must combine the flexibility of [China’s] traditional values with the modern spirit [both Western and Marxist].”​ …
    ​..Also in 1988, Wang—having risen with unprecedented speed to become Fudan’s youngest full professor at age 30—won a coveted scholarship (facilitated by the American Political Science Association) to spend six months in the United States as a visiting scholar. Profoundly curious about America, Wang took full advantage, wandering about the country like a sort of latter-day Chinese Alexis de Tocqueville, visiting more than 30 cities and nearly 20 universities.
    ​ What he found deeply disturbed him, permanently shifting his view of the West and the consequences of its ideas.
    ​ Wang recorded his observations in a memoir that would become his most famous work: the 1991 book America Against America. In it, he marvels at homeless encampments in the streets of Washington DC, out-of-control drug crime in poor black neighborhoods in New York and San Francisco, and corporations that seemed to have fused themselves to and taken over responsibilities of government. Eventually, he concludes that America faces an “unstoppable undercurrent of crisis” produced by its societal contradictions, including between rich and poor, white and black, democratic and oligarchic power, egalitarianism and class privilege, individual rights and collective responsibilities, cultural traditions and the solvent of liquid modernity.
    ​ But while Americans can, he says, perceive that they are faced with “intricate social and cultural problems,” they “tend to think of them as scientific and technological problems” to be solved separately. This gets them nowhere, he argues, because their problems are in fact all inextricably interlinked and have the same root cause: a radical, nihilistic individualism at the heart of modern American liberalism.
    ​ “The real cell of society in the United States is the individual,” he finds. This is so because the cell most foundational (per Aristotle) to society, “the family, has disintegrated.” Meanwhile, in the American system, “everything has a dual nature, and the glamour of high commodification abounds. Human flesh, sex, knowledge, politics, power, and law can all become the target of commodification.” This “commodification, in many ways, corrupts society and leads to a number of serious social problems.” In the end, “the American economic system has created human loneliness” as its foremost product, along with spectacular inequality.​..
    ​..Ultimately, he argues, when faced with critical social issues like drug addiction, America’s atomized, deracinated, and dispirited society has found itself with “an insurmountable problem” because it no longer has any coherent conceptual grounds from which to mount any resistance.
    ​ Once idealistic about America, at the start of 1989 the young Wang returned to China and, promoted to Dean of Fudan’s International Politics Department, became a leading opponent of liberalization.
    ​ He began to argue that China had to resist global liberal influence and become a culturally unified and self-confident nation governed by a strong, centralized party-state.​..
    ​..This reflected his desire to blend Marxist socialism with traditional Chinese Confucian values and Legalist political thought, maximalist Western ideas of state sovereignty and power, and nationalism in order to synthesize a new basis for long-term stability and growth immune to Western liberalism.​..
    ​..China’s own emerging contradictions exploded into view in the form of student protests in Tiananmen Square. After PLA tanks crushed the dreams of liberal democracy sprouting in China, CCP leadership began searching desperately for a new political model on which to secure the regime. They soon turned to Wang Huning.​..
    ​..Jiang plucked him from the university and, at the age of 40, he was granted a leadership position in the CCP’s secretive Central Policy Research Office, putting him on an inside track into the highest echelons of power.​..
    ​..But Wang is unlikely to be savoring the acclaim, because his worst fear has become reality: the “unstoppable undercurrent of crisis” he identified in America seems to have successfully jumped the Pacific. Despite all his and Xi’s success in draconian suppression of political liberalism, many of the same problems Wang observed in America have nonetheless emerged to ravage China over the last decade as the country progressively embraced a more neoliberal capitalist economic model.
    “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” has rapidly transformed China into one of the most economically unequal societies on earth.​..
    ​..Most people in China remain relatively poor: some 600 million still subsist on a monthly income of less than 1,000 yuan ($155) a month.​ Meanwhile, Chinese tech giants have established monopoly positions even more robust than their U.S. counterparts, often with market shares nearing 90%. Corporate employment frequently features an exhausting “996” (9am to 9pm, 6 days a week) schedule. Others labor among struggling legions trapped by up-front debts in the vast system of modern-day indentured servitude that is the Chinese “gig economy.”
    ​ The job market for China’s ever-expanding pool of university graduates is so competitive that “graduation equals unemployment” is a societal meme​…
    ​..As young people have flocked to urban metropoles to search for employment, rural regions have been drained and left to decay, while centuries of communal extended family life have been upended in a generation, leaving the elderly to rely on the state for marginal care. In the cities, young people have been priced out of the property market​…
    ​..Feeling alone and unable to get ahead in a ruthlessly consumerist society, Chinese youth increasingly describe existing in a state of nihilistic despair encapsulated by the online slang term neijuan (“involution”), which describes a “turning inward” by individuals and society due to a prevalent sense of being stuck in a draining rat race where everyone inevitably loses. This despair has manifested itself in a movement known as tangping, or “lying flat.”​…
    ​..In this environment, China’s fertility rate has collapsed to 1.3 children per woman as of 2020—below Japan and above only South Korea as the lowest in the world—plunging its economic future into crisis.​.. “Do they not yet know that most young people are exhausted just supporting themselves?” asked one typically viral post on social media.​..
    ..They ​would identify liberalism’s essential telos as being the liberation of the individual from all limiting ties of place, tradition, religion, associations, and relationships, along with all the material limits of nature, in pursuit of the radical autonomy of the modern “consumer.”
    ​ From this perspective, China has been thoroughly liberalized, and the picture of what’s happening to Chinese society begins to look far more like Wang’s nightmare of a liberal culture consumed by nihilistic individualism and commodification.
    ​ It is in this context that Wang Huning appears to have won a long-running debate within the Chinese system about what’s now required for the People’s Republic of China to endure. The era of tolerance for unfettered economic and cultural liberalism in China is over.
    ​ According to a leaked account by one of his old friends, Xi has found himself, like Wang, “repulsed by the all-encompassing commercialization of Chinese society, with its attendant nouveaux riches, official corruption, loss of values, dignity, and self-respect, and such ‘moral evils’ as drugs and prostitution.”​ Wang has now seemingly convinced Xi that they have no choice but to take drastic action to head off existential threats to social order being generated by Western-style economic and cultural liberal-capitalism—threats nearly identical to those that scourge the U.S.
    ​ This intervention has taken the form of the Common Prosperity campaign, with Xi declaring in January that “We absolutely must not allow the gap between rich and poor to get wider,” and warning that “achieving common prosperity is not only an economic issue, but also a major political issue related to the party’s governing foundations.”​ … It’s why record-breaking IPOs have been put on hold and corporations ordered to improve labor conditions, with “996” overtime requirements made illegal and pay raised for gig workers.​ It’s why the government killed off the private tutoring sector overnight and capped property rental price increases. It’s why the government has announced “excessively high incomes” are to be “adjusted.”
    ​ And it’s why celebrities like Zhao Wei have been disappearing, why Chinese minors have been banned from playing the “spiritual opium” of video games for more than three hours per week, why LGBT groups have been scrubbed from the internet, and why abortion restrictions have been significantly tightened.​..
    ..Our world is witnessing a grand experiment that’s now underway: China and the West, facing very similar societal problems, have now, thanks to Wang Huning, embarked on radically different approaches to addressing them.​ [Russia and Iran are each differently-different.]

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