Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

TREPPENWITZ, AND TRUMP’S WHITE HOUSE DIET COKE BUTTON

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Ah, treppenwitz. Or esprit de l’escalier, the wit of the stairway. When someone claimed that having tens of thousands of troops in Washington for the inauguration was like being in a third world country, I should have replied: “Like one of those countries where the president incites a mob to attack the capitol to overturn a free and fair election?” The same person would have been apoplectic if the mob had been a BLM/Antifa mob.  Of course they don’t think it was a fair election, because how could their anointed by God leader possibly lose an election? Especially if he insisted he’d been cheated? I and many others have said it before, Trump supporters are now living in an alternate reality. Here is a great example: Sen. Graham calls out Biden administration’s claims that ‘everything is in shambles’. No Mr Graham, this isn’t the Obama playbook, Trump wasn’t a particularly good president, and after the election he basically ignored the exploding pandemic and everything else to concentrate on his fantasy quest to overturn the election. And his administration’s essential refusal to coordinate with the incoming Biden administration was historically unprecedented in modern times.

To back my point up, here are three of Trump’s most unqualified and corrupt appointments, all fired by Biden on his first day in office. The information comes from Slate.com, but since it’s paywalled, I’m rephrasing it here:

Michael Pack. He was appointed in June to run the U.S. Agency for Global Media. The Voice of America international broadcaster. He tried to transform it into a propaganda outlet for Trump, despite a  mandate that prohibits such political interference. He purged the staff of the VOA and sister networks, replacing them with Trump loyalists, insisted on pro-Trump coverage, and unconstitutionally punished reporters who didn’t toe the pro-Trump line. He also illegally fired the board of the Open Technology Fund, which promotes international internet freedom, and replaced them with Republican activists. After whistleblower complaints, the U.S. Office of Special Counselfound it very likely that Pack had broken federal law. After being fired by Biden, he whined that his termination “was a partisan act,” talk about self-owning irony.

Kathleen Kraninger, confirmed as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2018. She had no previous experience in consumer protection. She scrapped a rule that restricted predatory payday lending, insisting that her staff downplay the harm to consumers. She refused to enforce a federal law that protected military personnel from predatory payday lending, basically allowing them to be defrauded by said lenders. She also approved a rule allowing debt collectors to harass Americans with limitless texts and emails. Charming, appointed to protect consumers, instead she protected predatory lenders.

Lastly, Peter Robb. Confirmed as the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel in 2017. The NLRB’s mandate is  to enforce federal laws that protect workers’ right to form unions and engage in collective bargaining. Mr Robb is brutally anti-union. He tried to limit employees’ free speech, gave employers more ability to practice wage theft, crippled unions’ ability to collect dues, and helped prevent employees from organizing unions. He also tried to seize total control of the agency by demoting regional directors and consolidating power in his office, giving him unheard of power to bust unions and prevent new ones from forming. Biden fired his sorry a** after he refused to resign.

I’d link to the original Slate article, but I’m going to try to avoid linking to all unreasonably paywalled articles, what’s the point? I doubt very many of my readers subscribe to Slate. By the same token I unsubscribed to the New York Times today. I love many of their guest editorials, but I can’t share them with my friends and readers, so what’s the point? And boy, they made me jump through hoops to unsubscribe, further increasing my antipathy towards them. I swear, a lot of modern marketing seems to have avoided, I dunno, actually asking real people what they thought?

In any event, these and so many other examples show Trump not only broke his promise to drain the swamp, he was possibly the worst president ever for appointing industry lobbyists and Trump loyalists to posts where they were supposed to regulate said industries in a non-partisan way. Sigh. Hey, Trump University, a scam to cheat poor people out of their life savings shows what Trump really thought about poor and working class Americans.

So far Biden is at least paying lip service to the idea he is serving all Americans. He cancelled the Keystone Pipeline, which was interesting. Basically the pipeline only benefited the rich, had very serious ecological concerns, defiled sacred native land, and would have only provided a trivial number of jobs. IDK, this certainly seems to indicate that Biden won’t completely be a slave to the oil lobby. He also is going to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, which despite its flaws, at least acknowledges that human caused global warming is real. Which it is, the scientific debate ended decades ago; there are certainly questions about how best to deal with global warming, but pretending it’s all a hoax and continuing to pump CO2 and methane into the atmosphere to protect fossil fuel profiteering isn’t one of them.

Predictably, Fox News and the rest are already screaming in outrage about Biden. Apparently condemning white supremacy is an insult to Trump voters: Fox News upset over Biden’s denouncement of white supremacy – because it might offend Trump voters. Frankly, anyone who is upset about Biden denouncing white supremacy can go jump in a lake. Or jump in a time machine and go live in Hitler’s Germany. Hell, a QAnon congresswoman is already filing articles of impeachment against Biden. Yeah, gonna be a fun four years.

Lastly, I just found out that Trump had a button on his oval office desk that when he pushed, a butler would bring him a Diet Coke. Really. To me, that’s kind of grotesque, especially on the taxpayer’s dime. I can’t imagine even having a butler, just have a freaking mini fridge in your office if you need Diet Coke available 24/7. I would have made a very poor lord I guess. The button is gone now, Biden had it removed.

Have a safe and warm weekend everyone. The above meme references the explosion of Bernie in mittens memes after the inauguration. All good fun, though I’m sure Trump supporters, wed to the idea that Sanders is Mao reborn, are horrified. Think of the Children! Or some such, idk. Trump has zero sense of humor, and apparently his followers don’t either. I’ll keep blogging as long as I can. Comments, suggestions, shares, and especially patrons appreciated. I’ll never paywall my blog, but donors are incredibly appreciated. Thanks in advance, thanks for reading in any case. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Meme found on Facebook, attribution in image, used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

January 22, 2021 at 9:00 pm

DON VOYAGE*, HELLO BIDEN, BUT WHAT ABOUT QANON?

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The people who spent years listening to Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh had their chance, four years of a president who ruled based on their “tell it like it is” black and white messaging. And it was, as anyone in touch with reality expected, a disaster. The economy is in free fall, a horrible pandemic is raging, our foreign policy in shambles … AND THEY THINK TRUMP DID A GREAT JOB! I got a text from my remaining Trumper friend warning about all the horrors Biden will unleash. Thank you Rush, Alex, Fox News, Q, and all the rest for turning tens of millions of American brains into porridge. Good luck Biden and Harris, you’re going to need it.

That was my morning’s Facebook post, though not with the flag, with a picture of a contemporary homeless encampment. I’m not one of the people claiming that anyone who supports Trump is an idiot, my friend is a smart guy. But boy, Trump supporters have fallen for a lot of, well, nonsense since the Trump era started. They may not be stupid, but if one falls for lies that fly in the face of all evidence and logic, one needs a refresher course in reason and spotting logical fallacies.

And speaking of the same, what about QAnon? All their confident predictions fell through. Trump didn’t unleash a wave of arrests and put Biden, Clinton, etc in jail, and has indeed slunk off to Florida. Some of them are understandably shocked, and their reactions are all over the map. ‘We Were Played’: QAnon’s Inauguration Day Meltdown, QAnon believers refuse to give up even after Trump leaves White House — here are their craziest theories  and ‘I’m the laughing stock of my family’: QAnon believers implode as they watch Biden getting sworn in. As for the last one, dude, your family was laughing at you long before today I am sure.

In today’s epiphany, all sorts of people believing the Q conspiracy theory isn’t really hard to understand. Humans have a long proud history of falling for end of the world prophecies where some great event is going to happen that will punish the wicked and exalt the faithful: A Brief History of the Apocalypse. My favorite:

“Drawing from theology and astrology, German prophet Johann Jacob Zimmerman determined that the world would end in the fall of 1694. Zimmerman gathered a group of pilgrims and made plans to go to America to welcome Jesus back to Earth. However, he died in February of that year, on the very day of departure. Johannes Kelpius took over leadership of the cult, which was known as Woman in the Wilderness, and they completed their journey to the New World. Fall came and went and, needless to say, the cultists were profoundly disappointed at having traveled all the way across the Atlantic just to be stood up by Jesus.”

So yes, QAnon’s popularity isn’t some big mystery. People have been falling for such things for all of human history.

That being said, I have some other speculation. Second codicil, the QAnon theory is, well, a hoax. Let me review. The basic theory is that the world is being secretly run by a cabal of Satan worshipping pedophiles, with Clinton especially being one of the ringleaders. And Trump is secretly fighting these people and will eventually “come out” so to speak and arrest them all. And this has all been secretly revealed by the mysterious Q, who is a high placed somebody in the US government. Whoever Q is, and they haven’t posted since December 8, has yet to be revealed publicly. It’s all nonsense though, no actual evidence has been provided, and there are all sorts of logical reasons to dismiss it as nonsense.

So yes, the whole Q thing is nonsense. My second codicil, the whole QAnon thing has clearly been terribly damaging to the republic.I can’t think of any American who has benefited from QAnon except the people cashing in on it selling T-shirts and such. It didn’t help Trump, if anything it hurt him. It didn’t help the Democrats, the QAnon people were already Trump supporters. The only people who might conceivably benefit from QAnon were people who wanted to see America more polarized, violent and ungovernable.

So if Q was some random loser fomenting chaos in the USA, or a foreign power doing the same, why wasn’t he shut down? This is what puzzles me. US counterintelligence is so dysfunctional that they couldn’t stop Q? Or so dysfunctional that they didn’t see the harm Q was causing? Neither is a happy thought. Q was one person, or one institution at least posing as a person, and no one in the US was able to effectively out them?

In conclusion, it appears to me that the only two possibilities are massive incompetence on the part of US counterintelligence, or worse, Q wildly outclasses US counterintelligence capabilities. IDK, maybe I’m reading too much into this, but two ugly speculations come to mind. Q is an AI, Roko’s Basilisk has already come true, an AI has “woke” so to speak and is already programming humans for its own purposes, impervious to human intervention at this point. Or Q is an alien entity, AI or not, but again so far ahead of us that we might as well be ants trying to stop it.

And if this is my last post and I suddenly stop posting, well, then I’m onto something, nu? Hey, dark speculation is what I do. Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

*Stephen Colbert I believe

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: QAnon flag. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. This image was originally posted to Flickr by Anthony Crider at https://flickr.com/photos/16086041@N00/49416341132 (archive). It was reviewed on 21 January 2020 by FlickreviewR 2 and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.)

Written by unitedcats

January 20, 2021 at 8:28 pm

Posted in 2021, aliens, Elections, QAnon, Trump

TRUMPARTURE EVE AND CRUSHED ANTS

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Four years of the Trump presidency ends tomorrow, today was his last full day in office. And what a ride it’s been, there’s been nothing like it in my lifetime, and pretty much in all of US history. History in the making, and soon to be history, period. His chances of getting reelected in 2024 seem remote, but that’s years from now anyhow. A lot is going to happen between now and then. Various thoughts, in whatever order I end up putting them in:

I could have written this post in advance, but decided to wait until this last evening just in case  there were any crazy new developments. None yet, though we’re not completely out of the woods. At least a dozen National Guard members have been removed from the capitol security detail for extremist ties, two for making threats to politicians. We’re talking right wing extremist ties, nice to see them finally being taken seriously.

Let’s see, just  to repeat stuff I’ve said before: Mea culpa. I was wrong. Trump ended up being worse than my worst fears. I even had some hope, a thin hope at that, that he might be an OK president. He did make a number of promises that would have made a huge difference to poor and working class Americans. Yeah, none of those materialized. I also initially held out the hope that he was smarter than he appeared, it didn’t take long for him to demonstrate the falsehood of that theory. Lastly, I wasn’t shocked by his election. His appeal to a certain demographic was obvious, and Trump’s always been a world class self promoter. Pretty much Trump’s only world class talent sadly. And Clinton’s missteps were painful to see, it was clear she thought she had the 2016 election in the bag. Pretty much every military disaster in history was preceded by the losing side wildly underestimating their enemy, that was Clinton’s 2016 campaign in a nutshell.

I digress, tonight is Trump’s last night. Him and Melania are likely hiding tuna fish in the White House’s curtain rods or such. He’s proven himself a vindictive petty man time and again. Some people see that as  a strength. I see it as proof of Sally Shlaer’s axiom: “There are no adults.” Living with an eight year old in a sixty year old man’s body housemate  has reinforced that, but I digress. I see that Mike Pence has risen to the occasion: Mike Pence posts farewell photos in good-bye message — but excludes any of Donald Trump. Apparently him and  Trump haven’t spoken since, well, Trump incited a mob to lynch Pence. Pence may be a fundamentalist monster, but unlike Trump, he’s not an idiot.

Trump’s star continues to fall: Petition circulates in Scotland to rename airport Trump uses to get to his golf course for Joe Biden. There will be a lot more things like this in the months to come. There’s good things too though: Tonight is the last night in US history where there’s never been a female vice president. Or a black vice president too for that matter I suppose. The end of Trump  is a sea change in US history.

400,000 dead of Covid today. That’s Trump’s legacy. I wonder how many gravestones will say “killed by Trump’s inability to fight a pandemic?” In some ways (all ways?) Trump’s response to Covid defines his presidency and his legacy. If he had just consulted the experts and gone with the plan Obama/Bush left him, he’d be getting ready to be inaugurated into his second term tomorrow. Instead he winged it, and when Covid didn’t magically disappear, he just moved on and ignored it. Smooth move exlax.

Trump is a man who his entire life ignored the law, contractual obligations, and reason. And he was protected by privilege, wealth, and finally the presidency. That ends tomorrow. Who knows what the future holds. Whatever happens, the Earth abides. In the  greater scheme of things, Trump’s accomplishments and transgressions are no more than crushed ants.

Deserts are the greatest testament to God’s beauty, barren and lifeless, in many ways they are the most living places on Earth. Does that make sense? Probably not. That’s why I write, trying to put such thoughts into words. Trump’s departure is a sea change in US history, but God and nature really don’t care. They are infinitely bigger  than Trump. See  above image, nature will persevere no matter what. Stay safe and warm everyone, who knows what Biden will bring. Blogging topics at least! #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Death Valley, Public Domain snappygoat image.)

Written by unitedcats

January 19, 2021 at 9:34 pm

NAZIS EVERYWHERE

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More and more major news sites are paywalled these days. I find it concerning, because basically it’s limiting poor and working class people’s access to online news. A dollar a week is often the going rate, with the implied or even stated “selling point” that that’s only the cost of a cup of coffee. Chump change really. Well, to people making six figure incomes, sure. Most Americans don’t make six figure incomes, or even close to it. A dollar a week is fifty dollars a year, the cost of a trip to the grocery store. That’s serious money to huge numbers of Americans, so it effectively limits their ability to access news online. I’m not sure what can be done about it in America, but it’s sad seeing yet another barrier being erected to keep poor people in their place. Because it’s more than news that’s being blocked: want ads, employment, etc. Oh well, end rant.

Yes, it’s official, Trump will not be getting a traditional military farewell ceremony: Pentagon confirms it will not hold traditional farewell ceremony for Trump as president vies for military-style parade: reports. Oddly enough, urging an insurrection mob to storm the capitol cost  Trump even more support among the professional military. And his flurry of Trump apparatchik appointments to the Pentagon couldn’t have helped either. Clinton’s insistence that Russian interference cost her the election was ridiculous on many levels, but she didn’t urge her supporters to storm the capitol in a bizarre attempt to overturn the election results.

Does look like Trump is leaving the White House post haste. There’s even rumors that he is going to leave the country. All wild speculation, I certainly got nothing. It is really nice not having him spread his lies on social media anymore. Still, his beliefs aren’t going away anytime soon: Why Beliefs of 2020 Election Fraud Could Last Well Past Trump. My best guess is we are in for years of something akin to “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland. Basically the war between the IRA and Britain, with a few other parties involved too. Much ugliness and terrorism, but only a few thousand dead all told. It did last 30 years though, one can hope ours will be over much sooner.

Interestingly there was a previous period of, well, out and out Nazism in the USA, from 1924 to 1941 or so. Their famous 1939 rally in New York is pictured above. They were a lot more ideologically united than the weird patchwork of Neo-Nazis parading around now and on display at the capitol riot. But all pretty much the same, ultra nationalist, white supremacy, with actual pure Nazism thrown in for good measure like the “Camp Auschwitz STAFF, work brings freedom” T-shirt guy. The 1939 rally was their high water mark, and it was surrounded by far more people opposed to them than attended. Only a massive police presence kept them apart. Afterwards it turned out the leader of the rally had absconded with a huge chunk of money made at the rally and spent it on his mistress and such, like $250,000 in today’s money. That was pretty much the last straw for the American Nazi party at the time, and Pearl Harbor and Germany declaring war on us in 1941 pretty much wrapped them up.

Sadly the current batch is far more numerous. And I don’t have any problem regarding hard core Trumpers as essentially Nazis. They share pretty much identical ideology. Both want their country returned to a nation where white Christian heteronormative people basically define society’s laws and values, with everyone else shoved back in the closet. That’s what “Make America Great Again” means, convince me otherwise.

Finally, what not to do about this mess. Rebecca Solnit: On Not Meeting Nazis Halfway. Great read, this isn’t a situation where dialog and compromise is going to help. In fact it’s essentially surrendering to the right, since they have zero interest in dialog or compromise. Read the article, I’m going to be really making more of an effort to link to articles that aren’t paywalled. It’s a shame, I like a lot of the guest editorials in the New York Times, but c’est la vie. Two days to go, Biden’s Wednesday inauguration is sure gonna be different than any previous inauguration, glad I’m not going to be there. Stay safe and stay warm everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula  #impeachtrump

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: 1939 Nazi Rally in NYC. Public Domain under US copyright law as it was taken by a US government employee in the course of  their duties.)

Written by unitedcats

January 18, 2021 at 9:08 pm

Posted in 2021, Biden, Elections, History, Trump

A MAZE OF DEATH*

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I’m really pessimistic today about what 2021 holds for America. I know that many people think that Trump leaving office is going to head us back towards pre-Trump normalcy. While people can be forgiven for thinking that, I think it’s wishful thinking at this point. A third of America is in revolt against reality itself. They actually believe that the Democrats stole the election and that Trump is somehow going to fix it; especially the people, millions of people, who have slid into the QAnon rathole and think there is some sort of Satanist Pedophile Jewish Democrat cabal running the world … that Trump is secretly fighting.

I don’t think much will happen between now and the inauguration, enormous numbers of troops have been deployed in Washington and state capitals. However, to people still somewhat tethered to reality, this is a sensible precaution after Trump supporters stormed the capitol building. To the tens of millions of Trump supporters who believe the election was stolen, this is further proof that the Democrats are secretly up to no good. That’s why I think there is no way out of this maze of death, everything is now simply further proof of the conspiracy. Motivated reasoning on steroids, if Jesus himself came back from the dead and denounced Trump, the Trumpers would think it was a Democrat hoax.

That’s one factor in my bleak analysis. Another is that despite getting modest press coverage due to the political sheetshow that is dominating the news cycle, America is reeling under the worst mass death crisis since 1918, and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. 100,000 Americans a month or more are dying of Covid, and with the new more contagious strain spreading, that won’t get better anytime soon. The vaccine rollout will mitigate it eventually, somewhat, maybe, we can hope. And adding a  terrible economy for the poor and working class just adds to the widespread social stress. Hard times have spawned horrible political crises throughout history, and there’s no reason to think America will be any better. Biden is no FDR, and even if he was, he’s facing a much worse situation than FDR faced. Hoover was merely incompetant, Trump in addition to incompetence is doing everything he can to sabotage the nation before he leaves the White House.

Lastly, America is freakishly violent for a developed country. We have a long proud (sadly) history of glorifying both external and internal violence. For many Americans violence is the first option, and always has been. Tens of millions of Americans glorify the Confederacy for God’s sake, a treasonous rebellion that killed a million Americans because the South wanted to keep human beings as property. Our genocidal and ethic cleansing policies towards natives. Over 5,000 lynchings in US history, how many in Canadian history? One. A mob of Americans crossed the border and lynched a man. And America’s homicide, mass murder, and violent crime rates are horrifying compared to the rest of the developed world. Violence has always been the first response of Americans to perceived social ills. Jesus wept.

The capitol riot was just the beginning. The right is already warping the riot to support their warped view of reality: How Republicans Are Warping Reality Around the Capitol Attack. There’s countless potential Lee Harvey Oswalds and Timothy McVeighs out there, and Trump and numerous others are encouraging them. Even if the show of force this week at the inauguration deters new outrages, the right’s imagined grievances aren’t going to go away, if anything they will get worse. I don’t see a peaceful resolution to this discord.

And worse (yes, Doug’s Darkworld, not Doug’s Puppyworld) I still think the rest of the country is wildly underestimating how bad this could get. Like people are all up in arms worrying that Trump is looting the White House on his way out. Frankly, who cares, the Republic is in one of the worst crises in its history, and people are upset that the Trumps might be stealing White House silverware? Not my worry. I freaking hope that before the Biden’s move in the White House gets a world class scouring for bombs, toxins, booby traps, and surveillance devices. It only takes one radicalized White House staffer to leave something that would change history. Anyone who doesn’t understand after the capitol riot that some of these QAnon people are capable of anything is living in a dream world.

Remember, if a time bomb went off in the White House, or a bunch of Biden people die of anthrax … that wasn’t done by a right wing extremist among Trump’s staff, oh no, the Democrats did that to make Trump look bad! Every act of violence here on out is going to make things worse, and it only takes a handful of people realizing that to act on it. This is why I took down my Biden sign and hung an American flag in my window. If in July 1914 someone said there would be a million war deaths by Christmas 1914, they would have been laughed at. I don’t know what’s going to happen in 2021 America, but I think there will be more blood than in anyone’s worst nightmares.

I hope and pray I’m wrong. Stay safe everyone. Comments, likes, shares, and especially patrons appreciated. If the gentle reader enjoys my writing, even a dollar a month makes a difference. God bless all. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Dead civilians in Belgium killed by Nazis in the winter of 1944. Credit: US government photographer, so Public Domain under US copyright law.)

*’A Maze of Death’ is a 1970 scifi novel by Philip K. Dick. Titles cannot be copyrighted, but I still wanted to credit one of my favorite authors.

Written by unitedcats

January 17, 2021 at 9:02 pm

FOUR MORE DAYS AND TRUMP’S REIGN OF LIES ENDS

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Watching Trump’s fall from grace is, well, pleasurable to me. I usually am empathetic to people’s losses, but he’s done so much harm that I find that hard to do. And even more, he did this to himself, eyes wide open. Trump is a man who’s spent his entire life trying to become one of “the beautiful people,” the upper crust, the rich and powerful, the exalted. And I’m sure he thought that being president would finally get him the keys to the kingdom so to speak. That was never going to happen. Why not? Because he’s a rich pig with zero class, zero style, zero wit. A man who thought marrying a hot stripper would earn him the envy of other men. He’s a little boy who never understood that trappings are meaningless, any schmuck can become filthy rich or get elected president. Being president meant the rich and powerful had to tolerate Trump at state functions, but he would never be one of them. And now that he’s destroyed what little class he had left with his cosplayer revolution, his powerful “friends” are dropping him like a hot potato. I’m a freaking unknown low class blogger, and I have more class than Trump ever will. Hell, a world leader contacted me for advice, I doubt any ever have or ever will contact Mr. Trump for the same.

Trump will probably just wander around the nation giving ever smaller rallies and whining about how badly he was treated. His creditors will repossess everything, Melania will leave him for an unemployed dolphin trainer. Modern high tech companies will prevent him from posting anything online anywhere, he will be reduced to putting flyers under car windshield wipers. Increasingly unhinged flyers, and no one will recognise him because without his two hour makeup sessions and hair dye he’ll just be a greying balding fat old man mumbling to himself. Youtube videos of him being arrested by black cops who refuse to believe who he is will rack up millions of views, his children will disown him and change their names, and only an obscure Russian publishing house will publish his last book: “Everybody’s Mean to Me.” Seven copies will be sold, because that’s all he could afford. Last seen publicly spare changing in front of the former Trump Tower, since renamed The Black Lives Matter Tower. He dies in obscurity, the only eulogy given at his funeral is by The Pillow Guy.

Yeah, probably not that extreme. Still, even some of Trump’s more rabid supporters are calling for his execution: Far-right extremists call for the execution of ‘coward’ Trump after he asks for calm following riot: report. As a friend said, there’s no pleasing these people. The rioters are being brought to justice one by one, Far-right activist ‘Baked Alaska’ is among the latest Capitol rioters to be arrested, so they won’t be back. Still, it’s not over yet: ‘This isn’t the final chapter’: Analyst warns, again, about rise of right-wing extremists. And in Washington: Washington: man arrested with fake inaugural ID and loaded gun.

Also in Washington, after Wednesday’s Capitol Police debacle, the authorities are taking no chances. Something like 25,000 armed National Guard troops have been deployed, all screened for extremist sympathies. A FOAF reported they had to go through three checkpoints to get even near the Capitol. I’m thinking Wednesday’s riot was our IRA bloodless terrorism moment. That was when the IRA set off two bombs in England, no deaths, billions of dollars in economic damage. And like magic, the British government’s promise to never negotiate with terrorists vanished, and they sat down with the IRA and negotiated a settlement. Because almost certainly the powers that be in England, IE the rich and powerful, said THIS HAS TO STOP NOW. Very likely the Capitol Riot had the same effect in America, the rich and powerful said ENOUGH OF TRUMP’S BS, THIS ENDS NOW.

We’ll see, there may still be violence. But cosplaying “revolutionaries” vs armed troops, it won’t last long. Fantasies tend to fare poorly when they run up against reality. I mean, some of the stuff that’s come out, these guys actually thought they were kicking off a new American revolution. I wonder how many of them will ever grasp that they were “revolting” against election fraud that didn’t happen, to prevent a non-existent Chinese communist plot to turn America into a socialist country, outlaw Christianity, and take their guns away. It would be funny except five people died, our nation’s reputation was besmirched, and most of them will serve time in federal prison.

Lastly, this interview with a police officer who was nearly killed by Trump’s insurrection mob is, well, moving: ‘Kill him with his own gun’: DC Metropolitan Police describe facing the mob at the Capitol. As he stated about the rioters, thanks for sparing his life, fuck them for being there in the first place.

Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #impeachtrump

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Found on Facebook, attribution unknown, used without permission. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

January 16, 2021 at 8:21 pm

THOUGHTS ON THE MADNESS, AND NO, THIS MEME IS WRONG

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I’m big on logic and reason, and a huge part of that is recognizing and rejecting arguments based on logical fallacies. If schools taught these from an early age, the world would likely be a better place. For some people at least. That they don’t is frankly a crime. Why not give children the ability to recognize logical fallacies? Because they are out there in spades, people use them all the time to make their case. Claiming that marriage equality will lead to people marrying their pets is a slippery slope argument for example. Claiming Biden is a China controlled leftist communist is a straw man argument. There’s dozens of them, and the reason they are so popular is that if someone comes across logical fallacies in support of a position they already believe, they are very appealing. I once read an article about “ten logical fallacies scientists are prone to,” and two of the fallacies were used in the conclusion of the argument.

So yeah, logical fallacies are easy to fall into. I know some have played a role in my thinking. I catch them when I can, but they can be seductive if they reinforce what one already believes. I used to claim that the GOP and the Dems were flip sides of the same coin, but I now realize that was a false equivalency, at least as far as the contemporary evangelical Trump GOP goes. They want the Dems eliminated, we want the Trumpers to get a living wage and universal health care. Not the same.

The meme above. It’s a “does not follow” argument. If someone gleefully watches their ex’s house burn down, it doesn’t mean they set it on fire. And if the Secret Service tried to hustle Trump to safety, he can order them to stand the eff down. So no, that he watched the riot unfold in glee from Washington proves nothing. And certainly doesn’t prove he launched and directed the attack. Granted I think his speech urging his supporters on convicts him of insurrection, but the fact that he watched the Capitol riot unfold in glee doesn’t prove he planned it.

More thought on unfolding events in no particular order: Nearly a dozen ex-military men have been arrested for participating in the Capitol riot: Nearly a dozen ex-military among those arrested in connection with Capitol riot. Shame on them. They took an oath to uphold the constitution and defend the Republic. They should be stripped of any military benefits, if not charged and given retroactive dishonorable discharges.

A good read, speaks for itself: We Mock the Rioters as Ignorant Buffoons at Our Peril. Or this one: I Was Raised On the Lie of the Reluctant, Rural Insurrection. This is good too: Christian Hate Is No Faith At All.

Trump’s former secretary of state gave an interesting interview: We’re in a Worse Place Today Than We Were Before He Came In’ From the interview: “I used to go into meetings [with Trump] with a list of four to five things I needed to talk to him about, and I quickly learned that if I got to three, it was a home run, and I realized getting two that were meaningful was probably the best objective.” I was struck by the contrast to what one of Bill Clinton’s aides said about him: “You could go into his office with a list of ten things you needed his feedback on, he would listen while continuing what he was doing, then when done, he would respond to all ten items in order.” Yeah, Trump isn’t the brightest candle on the cake.

Finally, and no, I don’t really want this. Trump has said he wants a military goodbye. I’m all in favor: “Ready, Aim, Fire.” Stay safe everyone, we’re not out of the woods yet by a long shot. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula  #impeachtrump

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: from Facebook, attribution in image, used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

January 15, 2021 at 9:22 pm

Posted in 2021, Elections, Politics, Trump

THE SHEETSHOW CHRONICLES CONTINUE

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I’m still amazed and astounded, I never expected to live through one of the great events of history, yet here I am. More to unpack every day, can’t even really keep up with it all. No new horrors the last day, but still lots of stuff to react to.

Like, what was Trump doing while the Capitol riot was going on? Watching it on TV with barely contained glee, while ignoring congressmen and others who were frantically phoning him to do something. Trump was watching TV while riots took place: Washington Post. This appears to be confirmed by numerous sources, Trump was apparently even puzzled that his aides didn’t share his glee. More proof (as if it was needed) that he lives in a fantasy world, he actually thought he was seeing the election results being overturned by Chewbacca Bikini guy and friends.

Or worse, Trump really is a sadistic fuck who is perfectly happy to see carnage and chaos if he’s not getting his way: How the media is making a big mistake on Trump’s role in the Capitol siege. Yeah, maybe this article is a bit over the top, but I sure see no evidence contradicting that the basic premise is sound. Trump is incapable of empathy, remorse, or adult responsibility. It’s all about Trump, if bad things happen, not his fault. The USA is the worst hit country by Covid, and yet he sees himself as blameless for that. Trump is a man incapable of empathy or introspection. Change my mind.

At this point my sympathy for people who still support Trump has reached new lows. Before Covid and the election, yeah, I understand how many people supported him. Maybe they were misguided, but people are social animals who generally go along with what their friends and family think, especially in the modern American world where one can watch the media outlet of one’s choice to reinforce their views. And working class and poor Americans have been screwed for decades, so it made sense for them to support a leader who claimed to feel their pain. Granted it only sort of made sense, since they were being screwed by the rich, not immigrants, blacks, antifa, or poor people.

IDK, anyone who claims to know what’s really going on is deluded or lying. It does seem the Capitol riot wasn’t just a spontaneous thing that happened out of nowhere: More Arrests Made Amid New Calls for Investigation of Capitol Attack. And many aspects of it were indeed hideous:

Arrested Capitol rioter claims he thought officer he beat with US flagpole was ‘antifa’: report. Right, a cop in a cop uniform was antifa? Jesus wept.

The last time Washington saw something like this was 1814, when a British force burned the White House etc. This time we did it too ourselves. Go figure. And the insanity continues, case in point: QAnon Congresswoman says she’ll impeach Joe Biden less than 24 hours after he takes office. Preemptive impeachment? Give me a break.

Just had to move my car in a snowstorm in the middle of the night after too many beers, mission accomplished. This post is a little unpolished, but posting because by tomorrow events may have overtaken it. Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #impeachtrump

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Found on Facebook, attribution in image, used without permission, claimed as fair use under US copyright law. Accuracy unknown, way too much misinformation floating around. Turns out no one tasered themselves to death during the riot for example.)

Written by unitedcats

January 14, 2021 at 10:36 pm

NIXON RISES FROM THE GRAVE TO CONDEMN TRUMP

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President Trump has been impeached … again. The first president in US history to be impeached twice. So much winning. He might break other records before or after leaving office too. Granted I doubt he will serve jail time, hell, I don’t want him to be jailed. Especially if he can run for president again. We all know what infamous German leader used his jail time after a failed coup to write his magnum opus. I’ve had enough Trump parallels with Hitler already thank you. I hope he flees to Russia to avoid his creditors, it would keep him out of trouble. (Putin knows how to deal with peeps who cause him trouble. Yeah, that’s heartless, but Trump’s a cop killer now, my sympathy for his fate is limited.)

I don’t think the impeachment will succeed, they still need a two thirds vote in the Senate. Still, anything is possible, it’s 2021! He did send one last message to try and head off the impeachment vote, he called on his supporters to avoid violence. That’s all he did though, he didn’t retract his lies about the election being stolen. And he still took no responsibility for inciting his crowd to violence. Too little too late.

Lot’s has come to light. One congresswoman is reporting that the panic buttons in her office had been torn out before the attack. It seems unlikely they had been removed for cleaning. If true, it certainly implies that there was inside help of some sort, IE someone knew the Capitol was going to be stormed. Some of the rioters were indeed carrying zip ties as are used to tie people up, and one Congresswoman tweeted that Pelosi had been removed from the chambers. She’s getting a lot of flak for that and other incendiary tweets, idk what to think about that.

This, if true, is scary: Neo-Nazis trying to recruit military servicemembers to assassinate elected officials: report. I’ve certainly been worried about this, it only takes one unstable  Trump sympathizing National Guardsman, Cop, or Secret Service agent to change history. Indira Gandhi and Anwar Sadat come to mind, and I am sure there are numerous other examples. Political assasination is a tradition in America, we are one violent nation.

Speaking of violence,  there’s been a lot of Trump inspired violence. All denied by so many rightists though. If there was violence, somehow the left inspired it! Like a friend I know, claimed that men were only violent if provoked by women. I shit the gentle reader not. His example, a guy he knew stabbed two people in a bar. Why? Because a woman slapped him in the face. Stuff like this is why I have my jaw taped to my head.

Lots of Capitol rioters have been arrested at this point. I don’t think Trump will pardon them, any more than he will refund all the people he cheated with Trump University or the contractors he’s stiffed. They FAILED, in his mind they are no doubt suckers and losers. Granted on some levels this was a keystone cops insurrection. How did some wag put it? “Revolutionaries have seized the Capitol building! Now they’re milling around in confusion.” I think Trump actually imagined that somehow the storming of the Capitol would result in the election being cancelled. Reports are that he watched it unfold in glee.

IDK though. This is one of those situations where all sorts of misinformation makes it into the airwaves. Nobody accidentally tasered himself to death for example, a falsehood I believed and shared. Oops. Bottom line, I still think there’s going to be more violence and craziness. Tens of millions of Americans think Trump is their savior and believe anything he says without credulity or evidence. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet by a long shot.

Stay frosty everyone, hell of a time. I started a neat science post about rats with toxic hairdos, but there’s so much unfolding in Washington and beyond I just had to cover it. America has a long proud history of toxic violence (see meme above) and it looks like there’s going to be a big spasm in the next week. The peeps who have been screaming that the tree of liberty needs to be watered in blood occasionally are likely going to rise to the occasion. Let’s hope it’s as comical and relatively bloodless as last week’s Capitol seizing farce. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #ImpeachTrump

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Found on Facebook, attribution in image, used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. And yes, the blog title is clickbait. Weird times to be sure.)

Written by unitedcats

January 13, 2021 at 9:23 pm

MADNESS WALKS THE LAND

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I’m at a loss. I’ve spent my whole life studying current events, human affairs, and history. And what’s going on in the United States now is so far off the rails that it’s almost incomprehensible to me. Trump and his supporters believe things that are so at odds with reality that they prevent any possibility of dialog or resolution. For example, I was reading some posts today to this effect:

“Trump has already secretly invoked the Insurrection Act, and Biden is no longer the president elect, the November election is null and void. Before the 20th (eight days from now) Biden and pretty much every Democrat legislator in America will be arrested. And in March the election will be held again.”

How does one respond to something like that? Millions, if not tens of millions, of Trump supporters actually believe that, or something very similar. That last fall’s election was some terrible left wing plot to impose communism on America, or even Chinese rule, and Trump’s going to fix it all and restore himself to the presidency. It’s like an onion, layers of fantasy atop each other, all the way down. And if last Wednesday’s assault on the capitol is any indication, much worse will happen in the next week as millions of Trump supporters take to the streets to bring their vision to fruition.

So I was wrong. I knew Trump wasn’t likely to be a very good president, though I harbored some thoughts that maybe he would follow through on some of his promises and muddle through his four years as a controversial figure without doing too much damage. Replacing the ACA with something that gave health care to all Americans would have been cool. Raising taxes on the rich, that is long overdue. Infrastructure spending, yeah, decades of deferred infrastructure spending has left the US a mess. None of that happened, just four years of Trump giving the rich and corporate America what they wanted, with a side order of destroying our relationships with our allies and incompetant governing to boot. I mean, there’s going to be at least a million Americans dead of Covid by the end of this year because Trump was unable to launch and coordinate a rational science based response to it.

The closest 20th century parallels would be Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. Dictators who imposed their own flawed (OK, crazy) vision of reality on their people to horrible effect. It has nothing to do with ideology, if a strong charismatic leader has reality testing issues, they infect the people under them. Humans are very atavistically tribal at the core, if their chief believes it, it’s true for them. And here we are, Trump’s fantasies about election fraud are believed by his followers, so they use motivated reasoning to confirm them. Example: Yes, Trump did encourage his followers to attack the capitol, but after his speech his followers all went home and antifa agents dressed as Trump followers attacked the Capitol!

So what happens now? We’re fucked. I don’t see any way forward for the US that’s not horrifically dystopian. Tens of millions of Americans think Trump is sent by God to destroy the Godless libtards who want to turn America into some sort of socialist hell. They are armed to the teeth, and think last week’s Capitol insurrection was the beginning of a second American revolution to save the country from being ruled by communist foreigners. There will be blood. I have no clue how it will all play out, anyone who says they know is a liar or a fool.

I’d say it’s safe to say that no, Trump isn’t going to reverse the results of the November election, but fuck if I know. Nothing lasts forever, maybe this is the end times for the Republic. It was a flawed experiment from the get go, chattel slavery was a dying archaaic institution even in Washington’s time, yet it was enshrined in the constitution. And the Nazi and racist regalia on display in last week’s insurrection shows it’s still with us. Trump’s supporters think they are God’s chosen people.

That type of thinking never ends well. 2021 in America is going to make 2020 look like a picnic in comparison. I’ll be so happy if I’m wrong. I may have met the love of my life in 2020, if things settle down maybe I won’t die a lonely old crank. In any case, I’ll keep blogging! I’ll never be as famous as “Davy CrockoShit” or “Dances-with-Karens” or whatever one calls the fur wearing “QAnon Shaman” who stormed the Capitol last week, but I can live with that.

Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #ImpeachTrump

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Public domain Snappygoat image.)

Written by unitedcats

January 12, 2021 at 9:50 pm