Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘aliens’ Category

2020 ON THE WAY OUT, ITS LEGACY: A TRIFECTA OF AWFUL STILL GOING STRONG

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Monday evening. Survived Christmas, such as it was. Christmas dinner arrived frozen, sent from distant lands. A storm blew through, but no biggie, the brunt of it was north. I’m going to resume blogging five nights a week at least. The solid human waste matter is still intercepting the rotating turbine blades, but people are getting used to it. Or are in denial. I guess a lot of people’s identities are so wrapped up in who they see, where they go, etc., that Covid restrictions are harder for them. Random thought for the hour.

I have been collecting links for days while cogitating what my next post would be about. And it always comes back to, OMG, is this real? Half the country and the president think the election was stolen from him? They actually effing believe this. Despite the fact that there is no actual evidence supporting this contention, nor anything about the election that appears particularly untoward. Trump was a terribly polarizing president, wildly popular with his supporters, wildly unpopular with everyone else. Who indeed outvoted his supporters.

Could I be wrong? I guess intellectual honesty requires I at least entertain the idea. If it’s true, I’m either delusionally insane or incapable of rational reality testing. Idk, if such was the case, wouldn’t one of my friends or family try to bring it to my attention? Not yet. I think it’s safe to say, show me actual evidence of massive voter fraud and I’ll reevaluate my position. Oddly enough, I doubt Trump or any of his followers would say that about their belief. The human ability to self gaslight may well be the death of us all. It’s killed hundreds of thousands of Americans so far this year.

So freaking weird times continue. Since 9-11, America has been the “evidence, schmevidance” country. Saddam had WMDs! No, no evidence was ever found for that, the opposite in fact. Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii! Um, no, no evidence supporting that was ever found. Nor evidence that the twin Towers were brought down by anything other than airliner impacts. Covid 19 is real and terrible, Biden won the election. It is what it is.

I guess believing these things puts me in a minority. So yes, three really big things are happening simultaneously. Trump and company’s belief the election was stolen. A terrible pandemic. And a devastated US economy. I don’t think any of these are debatable. The US and world economy has done what it was designed to do the past year, siphon money upwards. Covid has made the poor poorer and the rich richer both internationally and intranationally. Especially in the US, where government relief has been paltry towards the poor and working class, while the people and companies at the top got enormous handouts of public money in the name of relief.

The 600 richest Americans are a trillion dollars richer now than they were at the beginning of the pandemic. What, they got 600 great paying part time jobs? Snort.  None of this seems like it will end well. We’re going into 2021 with three huge problems that if anything are getting worse. Has Trump really thought this through, if he somehow snatches the presidency from Biden, he’s going to inherit a country reeling under a devastating pandemic, and a collapsed economy, both once in a century bad events, and the worst partisan political crisis since 1860. There’s never been a trifecta like this in my life.

And plenty of other stuff going on too. A big, but at least bloodless, suicide bombing in Nashville. Fortunately QAnon has figured it out, it was a Chinese missile strike attempting to  destroy voting machines before Trump supporters could seize them as evidence. I wish I was making this up:

‘It was a missile strike’: Trump fans go nuts claiming Nashville bomb was Chinese plot to steal election. See, when one’s view of reality becomes adrift from reality itself, any belief becomes plausible.

Good news, science has saved us again. Turns out we needn’t fear alien invasion! Nope, it would simply be too damn expensive for them to invade Earth: The Cost of Visiting Earth May Be Too Astronomical For Aliens. Phew. One less thing to worry about. Stay safe and warm and sane everyone. Oh, right, Covid apparently does drive some people insane: Small Number of Covid Patients Develop Severe Psychotic Symptoms. Covid is the gift that keeps giving. Happy holidays. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

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. Made me laugh. I need help, but so many of us do these days. :) )

Written by unitedcats

December 28, 2020 at 7:10 pm

WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN THE LAST DOLLAR IN AMERICA IS DEPOSITED IN AN OFFSHORE ACCOUNT?

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Yeah, $600. Tens of millions of people are unemployed and/or in horrific arrears on their rent, more than 8 million have slipped below the poverty line. There’s basically pain all over: Tracking the COVID-19 Recession’s Effects on Food, Housing, and Employment Hardships. The first stimulus was based on the fantasy that everything would be fine by summer. This one’s based on the idea that if they just throw crumbs at the poor they’ll make it through the winter? I’m not actually sure what it’s based on, $600 isn’t much money for most people and while welcome, I can’t really see it helping all that much. Many local governments, school districts, etc. are also hurting, and there’s damn little in it for them. It’s basically symbolic in my read, this way Congress can claim they are doing their job.

Meanwhile, in the Batcave or wherever billionaires hang out these days, things are just jim dandy: NET WORTH OF U.S. BILLIONAIRES HAS SOARED BY $1 TRILLION—TO TOTAL OF $4 TRILLION—SINCE PANDEMIC BEGAN. That money wasn’t sent from Mars, it’s a pretty safe bet that the economy didn’t somehow magically generate an extra trillion dollars. Basically while tens of millions of Americans got poorer, about 600 people got 1.6 billion dollars each richer. Pretty much means the rich got richer at the expense of the poor. I love how so many on the right scream about “redistribution of wealth!” when taxing the rich is brought up, but when the rich have the entire economy designed to redistribute wealth upwards, why that’s OK.

So yeah, trickle down isn’t working, nor has it ever worked. When rich people get richer, they squirrel it away. When poor people get richer, they spend it. Pretty sure that consumer spending is what drives the economy, yet somehow half of Americans have been  sold on the welfare queen myth and the idea that there’s only so much money to go around so that raising wages would mean lost jobs. It’s actually pretty brilliant in a way, the rich must laugh all the way to the bank at the idea that tens of millions of Americans are convinced that the rich getting ever richer while poor and working class Americans struggle … builds character or some shit? I really don’t get it, but I don’t get my world view from the lamestream media. And what happens when 600 Americans have all the money? At this rate we’ll know soon enough I suppose.

Meanwhile Trump’s quixotic attempt to overturn the election results continues apace. The various legal challenges have all fallen through, many long term Trump allies are saying “Dude, it’s over, give it up.” Seeing Republicans turn on each other is grimly satisfying, for once it’s not the Democrats forming up the circular firing squad. Plenty are still urging Trump to declare Martial Law, invoke the Insurrection Act, etc. I guess the next plan is to try and overturn the election in Congress when it gets back into session in January. Not quite sure how that’s supposed to work, some complicated shit with the Electoral college and a couple of amendments to the Constitution. The details are in this article: Here’s how the rest of Trump’s desperate effort to stay in power will play out. Again, we’ll see. 2021 will be starting off with lots of fun as the Trump administration winds down, blows up, or something.

Anything is possible now that Trump really is the heart and soul of the GOP. I didn’t know this, but the GOP didn’t even have a party platform for the 2020 election. First time ever. It really was Trump just claiming he did a great job and should get four more without specifying anything. Oh well, interesting article: Opinion | Is Trump Really All That Holds the G.O.P. Together? And in late breaking news, even Trump thought $600 was too paltry for words, threatening to not sign the stimulus bill. Well, good for him, though a day late and a dollar short, pretty sure it passed with a very veto proof majority. He had a number of problems with the budget part of the bill apparently (the stimulus was only part of the spending bill just passed,)  though it should be pointed out he had four years to address these issues: Trump tells Congress to rework COVID-19 relief package for $2K stimulus checks, hints he won’t sign. Always something new with Trump.

And ending on a science news note: The world’s oldest story? Astronomers say global myths about ‘seven sisters’ stars may reach back 100,000 years. It’s certainly an interesting idea. The idea is that the Pleiades, the constellation known as “The Seven Sisters” worldwide in numerous cultures, used to have seven stars 100,000 years ago. Honestly, I think it’s a stretch. So much “ancient aboriginal knowledge” is highly suspect, IE cultural contamination has been going on for thousands of years. Don’t even get me started on the nonsense about the tribe in Africa “remembering” visits from aliens from Sirius.

Windy day today, I thought the neighbor’s tree was slapping against the roof. Went out to inspect, phew, no tree. Just shingles flapping and blowing away in the wind. 2020, one damn thing after another. Stay safe, sane, and warm everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

December 22, 2020 at 8:45 pm

BIDEN WON BY A LANDSLIDE, THE WOW SIGNAL, AND OTHER RANDOM NEWS OF THE DAY

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Well, when all is said and done, Biden won by a landslide. The only winner this century with a higher margin was Obama’s win in 2008. Biden easily won by a much higher margin than Trump won by in 2016. And Trump had no problem claiming his 2016 win was a landslide, so he’s hoist by his own petard. Granted many of his followers think Trump was cheated out of the election, frankly though, being that out of touch with reality must be a crippling condition. I almost feel sorry for them. Almost.

In other news, Trump gave a bizarre 63 second(!) press conference where he appeared to take credit for a record high stock market. Since he had predicted the stock market would tank if Biden was elected, it’s certainly odd. I actually find the whole stock market thing infuriating. A record high stock market means the upward transfer of wealth is reaching record highs. IE great news for the rich, not so great for the rest of us. In point of fact the poverty rate has been spiking while the rich are wallowing in ever more wealth. It’s also a sign (along with almost fawning mainstream coverage of Biden) that the rich and corporate America are thrilled with Biden.

There was a time when what was good for GM was good for America. Back when the minimum wage was a living wage, and good union jobs were plentiful. Those days are long gone, and until there’s a revolution, I can’t see them coming back. Greedy rich people control America now, and have created a horrible culture. The story of the 737 Max is a fantastic example of this, well, sickness. Where everything, including human life, is sacrificed in pursuit of higher stock prices and executive bonuses: Boeing’s 737 Max Is a Saga of Capitalism Gone Awry.

In other parts of our galaxy, a candidate source for the “Wow!” signal has been proposed. The “Wow!” signal was a brief but strong repeating radio signal picked up by a radio telescope in 1977. They were in fact scanning for alien radio transmissions. It was a strong signal, a scientist examining the computer printout circled it and wrote “Wow!” next to it. It never repeated, and no source for it was ever identified. Well, that was 1977, we have much better star maps now. A scientist realized this, took a new more accurate look in the direction the signal came from, and found a star very similar to the Sun: Sun-Like Star Identified As the Potential Source of the Wow! Signal

Yeah, kind of a long shot, we have no reason to believe there’s anything special about the Sun. Nonetheless, can’t hurt to take a much closer look at this star. We can listen for transmissions on many levels, and search for planets. It’s only 1800 light years away, that’s next door astronomically speaking. Hypothetically, if it was aliens, they sent the signal 1800 years ago, and their knowledge of Earth was as it was 3600 years ago. And, well, humans were building cities by then, great agricultural civilizations had arisen. From 1800 light years away, the changes that made in Earth’s atmosphere might well have been detectable.

And if they are watching us still, they’re seeing Earth as it was around the year 200. Septimus Severas was Caesar of Rome, I’m sure I’ve written about him before. An amazing character and life. Leading armies until his sixties, when bad English food and weather killed him. The Mayan Civilization was just beginning. Japan, China, India were all broken up into warring states. Hell, there were thousands of nations around the world, the Roman Empire was a complete anomaly at the time.

Back on Earth today: Evangelical Doctors’ Group Pleads With Churches To Stay Home. Not quite sure when evangelicals went off the deep end, the ones I knew in the 70s were cool. Good to see some of them still are rooted in reality. God would no more want his followers to hold services in an open field during a lightning storm than he wants them to gather in groups during a plague. God made reality for us to live in, and he wants us to follow its rules. Don’t play in traffic, don’t swim in shark infested mustard, don’t gather in groups during a pandemic. Same thing applies to Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving leftovers won’t taste as good if you’re on a ventilator,’ health department warns.

At least there’s some promising vaccine news: We Have Several Vaccines for COVID – Now What? With an incoming president who is actually going to fight Covid-19, by late 2021 things should be looking up. Knock on wood. Stay safe everyone. Comments, questions, likes, shares appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: A scan of a color copy of the original 1977 computer printout. Credit: Credit: Big Ear Radio Observatory and North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO). Copyright: This image is ineligible for copyright! The first time ever I came across an image like that, learn something new every day.)

Written by unitedcats

November 24, 2020 at 8:24 pm

48 HOURS FROM NOW ALL HELL WILL BE BREAKING LOOSE

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Two days away from the most important election of my lifetime. An election that transcends politics, it’s basically a referendum on reality itself. Yeah, Biden is a corrupt Washington insider who will represent the bankers, the pentagon, and big corporations, like every president since Reagan. (And that most certainly includes Trump, he’s been a wonderful friend to the rich.) Biden however, understands that Covid-19 is real, Trump is still operating under the bat shit crazy idea that it’s some sort of Democratic hoax. Yes Mr Trump, the entire world is staging a hoax just to make you look bad.

As one might expect, lot’s of crazy stuff is going on. Dr Fauci is under fire from the White House for being honest about just what a disaster Trump’s response to Covid-19 has been. Trump has repeatedly quoted Dr Fauci out of context or otherwise tried to claim that Fauci approved of Trump’s utterly unscientific approach to fighting Covid-19. Pretending that science supports an unscientific approach is about as playing politics as it gets. Trump’s response to Covid-19 was not in any way shape or form based on science. Playing politics with Covid-19 has been Trump’s playbook from the beginning. Over 200,000 Americans are dead and the pandemic is roaring out of control as a result.

Trump is out of control too, running around holding huge indoor rallies that are basically superspreader events. A study out of Stanford says Trump’s rallies have spread about 30,000 cases and killed about 700 people. Essentially Trump is deliberately spreading Covid-19 among his dedicated fan base. While really upping his quota of lies. Claiming doctors are making money by claiming Covid deaths when they aren’t Covid deaths. Transcendental nonsense according to the AMA, and like Trump has  been from the beginning, horribly insulting to the medical community.

Trump pretty much has nothing good to say about people who don’t support him. Not terribly presidential in my book, but the people steeped in “the libtards are what’s wrong with America” mentality eat it up. Who wouldn’t want to be one of the good guys, heroically vanquishing America’s internal enemies, the Democrats? The majority of Americans apparently. That’s one of the aspects of modern America that gets ignored by the right. Progressives or whatever one wants to call them have outnumbered the people who identify as Christian white Americans for decades. Obama got elected twice. Gore and Clinton both won the popular vote. It is what it is.

I’m still betting Trump will just declare victory on election night. In his mind, he’s the greatest and most popular president ever. He actually believes this, and surrounds himself with people who tell him “You’re right again boss!” What will happen after that is anyone’s guess, but I don’t think ballots matter. What is America going to do when Trump says “I won the election!” and nothing will sway him from that conviction? What am I going to do? Keep blogging!

A little part of me says, great, I hope Trump does win the election. Another four years of Trump will leave America as a basket case, and maybe then we’ll get a real revolution. Stay safe everyone, this was the last normal weekend for awhile. Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

PS:

From the files of:

*everyday anxiety

*covid anxiety

*election anxiety

I once thought that if the world was attacked/threatened by alien invaders from another universe, we, as the human race, would rise together, work together, and overcome our differences for the sake of humanity and the continuation of life on this planet.

But we are not that. We are so flawed, this beautifully tragic chaos that is human condition.

You do understand, I think, that when the alien arrives amongst us, they will be so advanced, so utterly foreign, that we will not be capable of understanding what is happening, incomprehensible to our eye, they will be rendered invisible.

The alien is among us. It is invisible. The scope of destruction is incomprehensible. It uses our bodies to live, it migrates between us when we get too close. It has not only physically weakened us as a species, but has entered our minds, insidious, we are falling into deep depressions, acting out against each other when we are no longer allowed to sing, dance, or celebrate together.

The enemy is here.

But we cannot get past our petty differences and feelings of invincibility. The human in us cripples us in a way that only helps the alien replicate. We supply the living cells for the enemy to thrive.

There is no soul. There is no thought. This is the invasion.

—anonymous

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: From 2014 is all I could find, it’s all over the interwebs. Used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law, will gladly attribute properly if so informed.)

Written by unitedcats

November 1, 2020 at 8:13 pm

SCIENCE! MOSTLY. EVOLVING CRABOIDS, ELECTRIC MUD, HUMAN ALIEN HYBRIDS, UNCRUSHABLE BEETLES AND WHO’S WATCHING US?

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One trump note to start, then on to science. At least it was a far more substantive debate than the previous yelling match. That’s about all that can be said about it. Trump reached dizzying new heights on the BS meter, almost everything he said was what the old folks called lying. Back when America was great, presidents didn’t lie through their teeth quite so constantly.  Just saying. Doesn’t matter, if Trump said it, it must be true. Trump has truly turned the GOP, or his core at least, into something pretty much indistinguishable from a religion. If Trump said or promised it, they believe. Like Trump’s health care plan to replace Obamacare, promised it during his 2016 again, now he’s promising it again. Or Trump’s Covid-19 plan. Lies and empty promises, well, it worked in 2016. Even using the same promises. Sigh.

Moving right along, a whole concept I’d never heard of before. Carcinization. This is when an arthropod evolves into something like a crab. It’s happened no less than five times. Yes, parallel evolution is a thing, but five different times, that’s special. God likes crabs? No, it’s obviously a highly effective animal design in certain habitats, so it’s evolved repeatedly. It’s proved to be a great way to study evolution. Yeah, probably only of interest to the biology nerds: Animals Keep Evolving Into Crabs, Which Is Somewhat Disturbing. I just think it’s neat that there’s a specific word for it. Carcinization, going to be a challenge to fit into daily conversation.

And in more biology, electric mud! News to me, I can’t keep up with everything. Hell, so much new is being discovered these days, that no matter how much one tries, there’s more to learn every day. Anyhow, about ten years ago, in a freak experimental discovery scientists found out there are bacteria that form electrical circuits so to speak. Allowing them to perform biological functions over a distance. It was so weird it was disbelieved at first, but now two species have been discovered and it’s definitely real. I mention it because it’s interesting, and a wonderful example of how science is self correcting. This discovery will require rethinking a lot of things about, well, mud. Here’s the article for the suitably nerdish: ‘Electric mud’ teems with new, mysterious bacteria.

It’s more or less common knowledge now that while Neanderthals have been extinct for some 30,000 years, a lot of their DNA (possibly as much as 20% of it) remains mixed into human DNA, because humans and Neaderthals cross bred. Slightly less known, the Denisovans, another recently discovered extinct human ancestor that cross bred with humans, thus some of their DNA also survives in human populations as well. Well, studying modern human DNA scientists have discovered DNA that’s neither human, Neanderthal, or Denosivian. They don’t actually know what it’s from, Homo erectus is the best guess so far. Pfft, sometimes scientists have no imagination. It’s clearly alien DNA, I mean they had to be doing something with those probes:  Mystery ancestor mated with ancient humans. And its ‘nested’ DNA was just found. Helpful illustration above. People just love to have sex. And not even necessarily with other people.

Speaking of aliens, ever look up at the sky and wonder if anyone was looking back? Well, scientists wondered if aliens using the same technology we use to discover exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars) would be able to see Earth? They found about sixty nearby G-type stars that could conceivably detect Earth, and in fact they could likely tell a fair amount about Earth. I wonder if the SETI people will give them a good look, if they can see us it stands to reason they might try to contact us. Or worse: Aliens From These Worlds Could Be Watching Us Right Now

In more news to me, there’s a type of beetle that can survive getting run over by a car. It’s called a diabolical ironclad beetle. That’s a pretty neat trick, normally cars running over bugs is a quick trip to that great windshield in the sky, or wherever bugs go after they die: The diabolical ironclad beetle can survive getting run over by a car. Here’s how. Obviously this might well have practical applications, keeping things from getting crushed is always a good thing.

Lastly, in the “humans have issues” file, I found out what happens to items returned to Amazon. I would have just guessed they were returned to inventory and sold to someone else. Nope, for the most part they get trashed: Hidden cameras and secret trackers reveal where Amazon returns end up. It bugged me, seems like such a waste. Certainly another indication of how inherently worthless most things are in the modern world. I realized what bugs me though. If they are just going to throw it out because it’s cheaper than restocking it, why not just cut the cost further and have the consumer toss it? Wouldn’t that be the greener and cheaper solution?

And once again I wish my friend Peter was still alive to ask him of this, he was a world class economist. What a strange world we live in. Even before  Trump and Covid-19 it was weird, now, well, that’s why I blog every day. 2020 America, books will be written. Stay safe and have a great weekend everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Best free image I could find of a Neanderthal. I wonder what they would have to say about the times. Lost forever I guess. Credit: Stefan Scheer Used legally, the various legal stuff here.)

Written by unitedcats

October 23, 2020 at 7:43 pm

TRUMP’S LATEST ATTACK ON BIDEN … BIDEN CAN’T BE TRUSTED, HE’LL LISTEN TO SCIENTISTS!

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The strange index for this election just keeps going up. Yes, Trump is trying to inspire, scare, something his supporters by claiming that Biden is going to do exactly what Biden promises to do listen to scientists! It’s hard for me to get my head around. While I understand that there are many people who actually think science is all made up shit or whatever, most people understand when one has a science based problem, time to talk to the scientists. It’s up there with “Listen to your doctor, lawyer, or car mechanic.” Granted there’s crooks and charlatans in all fields of endeavor, but a crooked car mechanic doesn’t mean all car mechanics are crooked.

It’s a fascinating election, two weeks to go. In 2016 the mainstream Dem consensus was “Trump is a dangerous joke, but Clinton’s a shoe in.” This time, a lot less complacency. Looking good for Biden, but the country is so volatile and times are so uncertain, best not to make assumptions. Trump though, boy. He isn’t making any attempt to appeal to people outside his base. It’s always been his way, but recently, he’s like doubling down on it. He’s a one trick pony. He seems almost manically determined to alienate anyone outside his core followers. This is beyond politics even, it’s cult recruitment in a way.

Another and final Trump/Biden debate event is going to happen. My prediction: Eff if I know. A steaming shitshow of some kind seems certain, will certainly be wildly watched after the last … whatever it was. More to blog about, not that there’s ever a shortage. Covid-19 is resurging in Europe, the dread second wave. Third wave ramping up nicely in America.

So, checking the news. These are the topics for the upcoming debate: “American families, race in America, climate change, national security and leadership.” Yeah, this would be like a debate in 1944 that didn’t include the war. I’m sorry, but the only thing to debate right now is “What are you going to do about Covid-19?” It’s in the top four mass death events in US history, and no end in sight. If that question isn’t included, the debate is more or less farcical.

The photo above is a few miles from my home. I went on a photoshoot mini road trip, and it was pretty much a fail. The first place I stopped, nothing, not a single thing inspired a photo. Then a long period of driving around and finding nothing. My second stop, looked promising, hiked a ways … camera batteries dead. Garment rending time. On a lark stopped at a third spot. Had promise, but the light was wrong, and there was a car parked ruining an interesting view. Walked around and took a pile of shots, digital cameras have sure made that easy. Hoped maybe one or two would be OK.

And this picture above pleases me. It’s OK. And boy, talk about living in a bubble of privilege I drove a car around for hours, to take pictures. A luxury most of the people in the world, past and present, would never experience.

Oh well, it is what it is. Even more random train of thought blogs are coming. Got a month of good health left, what to do? Write about anything I want to! Next blog, my explanation for the Fermi Paradox. Unless some new 2020 event blows up. Aliens use Ouija Boards to open a portal for their invasion fleet? Pence divorces his wife to marry his pool boy? Turns out Biden was just a bunch of squirrels in a suit?

Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(image: Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.)

Written by unitedcats

October 19, 2020 at 7:46 pm

DEBATE HANGOVER, COPYCATS, WINDY APPLES, AND CANCER

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Debate hangover. It really was a mess. As the Babylon Bee put it: Broadcast Signal Accidentally Picks Up Two Old Men Yelling At Each Other Instead Of Presidential Debate. Some wag tweeted: “I thought this debate was going to be moderated?” I can see Trump’s visceral appeal though, and he got in some licks. The problem is that much of what he said simply wasn’t true. The insulin is as cheap as water for example. Trump Took Credit for Making Insulin “So Cheap It’s Like Water.” Tell That to People Paying for It. His point blank refusal to denounce white supremacy didn’t go over well, apparently Trump did a bit of backpedaling on that today. 

His claim he’s doing a great job on Covid is so false it’s one for the textbooks. No, he didn’t save millions of Lives, his Covid-19 gestures and promises did essentially nothing, 200,000 dead with no end in sight. He’s like a broken record,Trump just keeps claiming Covid-19 is going to magically go away, and handling the crisis of our lifetimes as if it’s some minor politicised event that we just need to get over. No one Trump knows has died, guessing him and Herman Cain weren’t good buddies. While we’re on the topic, herd immunity ain’t happening soon: COVID – Not Close to Herd Immunity. I think Biden could of done a lot better job hammering  Trump on this point.

Oh, yes, they managed to talk about Trump getting his SCOTUS justice seated right away … without mentioning that four years ago the GOP had high and mightily refused to seat a new Justice until “the people spoke” in the upcoming election. I was surprised Biden let this go by unremarked.

So, I could add more about debate, taxes, etc. I don’t think I have any trenchant commentary though, and there’s plenty out there to choose from. So, some science fun. Cats. Cat cognition even: Kitty see, kitty do: cat imitates human, in first scientific demonstration of behavior. Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that a cat can imitate what a human does. I’m sure plenty of cat owners are quite sure cats can imitate people, but anecdotes aren’t science. 

Fascinating because cats don’t pass the mirror test, they don’t possess “theory of mind.” So they aren’t consciously imitating humans. If true means their mirror neurons come into play with humans, which was already pretty clear I guess. I’ve heard it stated that cats don’t think they’re people, they think we are big cats. A lot of fascinating work has been done on animal cognition in recent decades, animal consciousness is far more complex than was once thought. And yet still, no matter how sophisticated and clever animals are, they can’t put their thoughts into words. Communicate, yes, speak, no. 

Probably for the best. I’m pretty sure sharks would have something to say about this: Coronavirus Vaccine Could Result in 500,000 Shark Deaths. Though I suppose they could communicate their displeasure without words. Basically one of the most promising vaccines requires a substance harvested from sharks. Humans are a freakishly ghoulish species when it comes right down to it; again, not surprised the aliens won’t have truck with us. 

On a personal note, I’m in a fancy hotel enjoying room service for the first time in my life. And it wasn’t even on my bucket list. Is this how the 1% live, they can have beer and burgers sent to their room at any time of the day or night? Maybe I should reconsider my vow of poverty. Anyhow, I’m far from home in ‘The Windy Apple,’ visiting Iowa’s answer to the Mayo Clinic. I get to see the Dr House of cancer tomorrow. Woohoo, I might get a new cancer named after me! Hell, there’s even possible immortality options here

Oh, the meme above made me laugh, it’s multilayered. And the implied reason for posting it is the fact that dinosaurs aren’t the only parties getting credit for administrative skills they don’t possess. And maybe come November said parties will be on their way to extinction and we’ll shortly get people who can administrate. I agree that was a tortured thought train.  I know my writing isn’t for everyone, but I also know I have my fans. It’s why I’m not sleeping in my car tonight, they are appreciated.

Stay safe everyone, shares, comments, likes appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

September 30, 2020 at 7:58 pm

WE ALREADY KNEW TRUMP WAS A DRAFT EVADER, TAX AVOIDER IS NO SURPRISE

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The assassination of Julius Caesar, painted by William Holmes Sullivan, c. 1888

The big news of the day is Trump’s taxes. IDK, not really my area of expertise. They’re saying he’s a wheeler dealer who avoided paying a lot of taxes. So he’s a typical corporate American businessman?  I don’t see anything at first pass that’s going to make a difference, so seems like just a distraction to me. A lot of my Democrat and progressive friends are excited about this, so maybe I’m wrong. We’ll see, maybe something more will come of it. Or something else will happen. . 

This here I think is far more important. All sorts of people who worked for or with Trump are coming out and claiming he’s incompetant at best. This is just the most recent: ‘I can be silent no longer’: former intel official denounces Trump. I only remember back to Nixon, but still, in my lifetime there’s never been anything like this, where a current president’s former staff, many lifelong Republicans, are saying “Yeah, I worked for this guy, he’s a terrible president, don’t reelect him.” And I don’t think historically there’s ever been anything like it before either. 

This is one of those things, like sharpiegate, that I simply can’t come up with a charitable interpretation. A few sour apples sure, but this is unprecedented. Like the stunning turnover rate in the Trump administration, it sure seems like a poor reflection on Trump’s management abilities. Maybe he has trouble hiring loyal people, but even then, that’s a deal-breaking flaw in a POTUS. Shouldn’t the POTUS be someone capable of putting together a competent loyal team? So yeah, not a good sign that Trump’s former team members are turning on him.

And on a second round of thoughts about Trump’s taxes, I guess they show he really is just a flim-flam man. He’s certainly not been investing in things that create good American jobs. I guess job creation is something for other rich people to do? He mostly invested in golf courses, yeah those employ all sorts of people. So I dunno, spun right, I guess this really might be made to make Trump look like the snobbish elitist he is. Spun right. Sigh.

That’s the problem of course. The non Fox News media will play this story in the best possible light to excite Democrat readers. They’re already voting against Trump, so that’s not helping. How could they spin this story to help? Beats me, I’m usually just trying to define the problem, difficult enough in these times. But, yes, segue here, I guess there are those calling for real-time fact checkers at the debate? Not a good idea if they want to make Trump look bad. Paradoxically enough trying to refute falsehood by confronting people with facts can make them double down on their beliefs. 

Someone suggested that Trump will come up with some excuse not to debate Biden. Didn’t occur to me, but maybe? Trump prefers adoring crowds, not pointed questions. Well, actually, they’ll likely be softball questions, but coming up with coherent responses to questions is not Trump’s strong point. Except in his own mind. I can’t imagine anything other than the tepid joint press conferences the “debates’ have been the past few decades, but it’s 2020 folks, all bets are off. 

Someone asked if this was an epoch changing time in history? Who knows, too soon to tell for sure. Decent chance though, Covid-19 and the fail of the American republic both are looking like game changers. Will history repeat itself? Will a mob of Senators attack Trump as he enters the debate, stabbing him to death on life TV? Led by Pence? Trump’s last words being “You too Pence?” 

I survived the weekend. Now a crazy week, especially with debates and all. Have a great week everyone. No word from aliens or time travellers yet, but I remain ever ready to spread whatever wisdom they might want to share. (“Don’t sweat the little things, and there are no big things.” as my mentor Wayne used to say.) Comments, likes, shares appreciated as always. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: see image caption, Public Domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

September 27, 2020 at 7:08 pm

“NEVER LESS ALONE THAN WHEN ALONE.”

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Some celebrated Ginsburg’s death. Mitch McConnell didn’t even wait for her body to cool before announcing the Senate would vote on appointing a Trump appointee to the Supreme Court. The very same guy who when a justice died eight months before the last election … blocked any new appointment until after the election. Hypocrisy runs deep in current American politics. If this shitshow can even be called politics. 

The Supreme Court thing is a horrible distraction from the much more pressing issues at hand, like Covid-19 and the economy. And Trump seems determined to ratchet up pressure on Iran and the whole mess in the Middle East just for snids and giggles. Trump is still promising a return to normal in the near future, and lots of people still think it’s going to. I think they’re fooling themselves, but what do I know? Well, more than many I think. 

The USA went off the rails in 1980, and the debacle that is 2020 is the bill coming due. See above image. Another good look at the corrupt core of the problem here:  The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90%—And That’s Made the U.S. Less Secure. And then for fun QAnon is taking on a life of its own: Friends And Family Members Of QAnon Believers Are Going Through A “Surreal Goddamn Nightmare” 

Speaking of nightmares, more cases of Covid-2 reinfection reported: Catalonia reports four cases of Covid-19 reinfection, with one patient in intensive care. Scattered reports world-wide, still not enough data to come to any conclusions. Not a good sign though. The Cold from Hell is what I dubbed Covid-19 early on, and as accurate as ever. Speaking of surreal, we’re reinforcing our uninvited and illegal forces in Syria, because of “Russian aggression.” Except the Russian troops are in Syria at the express invite of the Syrian government, while America is an illegal invading force. 

As an old acquaintance once said, “America is a land where right is wrong, and wrong is right.” I wonder what they think of today. Just in review, and for new readers, my theory is that the world we all grew up in took a mortal blow in December 2019. Covid-19 was the perfect bullet to crumble the house of cards that the neocolonial exploitation of the world was, especially in America, a land buried in corruption, evangelism, and science denial. The corpse is still stumbling forward but it’s dead; science denial and reality denial only work for so long. The horsemen are arriving, deal with it. Don’t worry, Trump  has a plan, teach America’s children to be good little Trumpsters: Trump calls for ‘patriotic education. That how malignant narcissism works, why, the problem is … they’re not thinking like me! 

Just in, Trump says the SCOTUS nominee will be a woman! Brilliant! Insane! Sexist as hell! Why, as long as the nominee has female genitals, the liberals should be happy! Not the point of feminism, but explaining that to the Rush Limbaugh crowd, well, I’ll keep trying. Here’s hoping it’s Sarah Palin. 

The weird alien sitcom reality show that 2020 Trump’s America is … continues  unabated. Have a safe and sane weekend everyone. I have gone into retreat for a bit, but should be able to keep blogging. God, we’re gonna see some crazy shit between now and January. Pull up a chair, I’ll comment as I am able. Share at will. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Tweet attributed to Kane Wishart. Used without permission but legally. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

September 19, 2020 at 7:20 pm

2020 CONTINUES

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A commenter accused me of playing down how awful things were in yesterday’s post. Well, that’s a new one. Heaven forfend!  So to be clear, 2020 is one awful year with multiple terrible things simultaneously going on. Many of them things that in simpler times (say, 2019) would have dominated the news for weeks. Now they are often relegated to the back pages. So let’s review…

The Covid-19 pandemic continues. The first wave never really ended in the US, and now Europe is experiencing a second wave. No vaccine yet, though at least we have learned a lot about how to treat severe cases, so fewer people are dying. Trump promised a vaccine just before the election. Yeah, if one believes that I have some property in Florida they might want to buy. There will be no such vaccine, because Trump will promise whatever it takes to motivate his base. And when there isn’t a vaccine, he’ll blame Biden, China, Antifa, or whoever is on the Trump shit list of the day.

Fires still burning wildly in the American west. It’s just the start of the fire season, so no relief in sight yet. The economic damage from this in both direct and indirect effects will be staggering. The hurricane season is off to a great start with more to come. Both of these are made much worse by poor human actions and global warming. By poor human actions, I mean inadequate building codes and poor zoning. Developers rule, IE the profit motive trumps public safety, the story of America in six words. 

While we are on global warming, the news is worse than ever. Greenland’s ice sheet has melted to a point of no return, according to new study. Pretty much means a 20 foot (6 meter) rise in sea level is inevitable. That’s going to cost a pretty penny. One of the horrifying things about global warming is that feedback will almost certainly speed it up in ways we have yet to anticipate. The good doctor covers some of this nicely in a recent blog: Ice Age Bear Found in Melting Permafrost

And the global and American economy are, well, not great. I’m seeing a lot of empty store shelves, this didn’t used to happen in America. Still, I always knew I lived in an unprecedented bubble of prosperity in America. That’s all going away. As an avid amateur historian, there’s no real exact precedents for now. Best is sort of like America in 1941 or 1860. In 1941 most Americans were still hoping to stay out of World War Two. And in 1860, few (if any?) guessed that Lincoln’s election would tear the nation apart. 

So yeah, things still suck on September 17, 2020. I figure at this rate alien invasion, civil war, or World War Three are all on the table before year’s end. I hope I’m wrong. Hell, I probably will be, the final development will likely be worse than any of those possible futures. Scary times. 47 days to the election. An election where both parties are setting it up to claim “foul” if their candidate loses. One can only hope that no matter what happens, it inspires America to go in a more democratic direction. The electoral college is literally bat shit crazy at this point, Trump doesn’t need to appeal to all Americans, he just needs to get his base out in a handful of battleground states. When an election for the leader of a nation of 300 million can essentially ignore the vast majority of the country, not democracy.

There’s been more weirdness. I can’t write anymore tonight. I’ll cover it tomorrow. Trump claims education is child abuse, the mind numbing crimes of the 1%, and the “Covid-19 is Chinese biological warfare” doctor. No shortage of blog topics these days. Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Facebook meme of unknown genesis, used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. Cow deaths happen.)

Written by unitedcats

September 17, 2020 at 8:12 pm