Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Anti-vaxxers’ Category

AMERICA, TRUMP, AND CORONAVIRUS … THIS IS NOT GOING TO END WELL

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Looks like Coronavirus is on its way to America, according to the CDC. Pondering this eventuality, I realize America in many ways is completely unprepared for a pandemic. Here are ten ways America is punching itself in the face when it comes to effectively responding to Coronavirus:

  1. Lack of access to health care. In the rest of the developed world, people that think they might have or might have been exposed to the Coronavirus have every incentive to seek health care immediately. Tens of millions of Americans have no access to health care except through emergency rooms, and even then it’s iffy. So simply not having access, and then fear of the costs incurred, will keep people from seeking treatment until it’s too late, or never. Works for all infectious diseases actually, why Americans want to share their public places with untreated sick people is a mystery to me.
  2. Demonizing law-abiding undocumented people. Guess what, the anti-immigrant hysteria Trump has engendered makes it far less likely that undocumented people will seek medical treatment. Treating law abiding undocumented people as criminal undesirables makes the illegal immigration problem much worse. Basically Trumo has turned undocumented people into a huge pool of potential Coronavirus spreaders.
  3. Sick leave policies. American companies have sick leave policies that are draconian compared to the rest of the civilized world, workers are often forced to work when sick, either by their management or they can’t afford unpaid sick leave. Not exactly conducive to fighting an epidemic.
  4. Codicil, businesses won’t want to close. Similar to number three, American corporations are going to be loathe to close factories and such, and they have the political pull to strongly resist such calls.
  5. Snake oil salesmen, legitimised! Not only is the so called ‘alternative medicine’ industry thriving in America, it’s made great strides in legitimizing itself. Sorry, snake oil is snake oil, drinking water (homeopathy) and sticking oneself with needles (acupuncture) won’t cure or treat Coronavirus. People will try though.
  6. Faith based medical deniers. Adults not seeking medical treatment is bad enough, but there are states where parents can legally deny their children medical treatment. And plenty of snake oil salesmen here too, Jim Bakker is already selling fake cures. Millions of Americans are likely to depend on God and prayers to fight Coronavirus. Didn’t work to fight the Black Death, won’t work now,
  7. Anti-vaxxers. Yes, the people who believe hand washing eliminated smallpox aren’t going to be cooperative in this epidemic. Even if a vaccine is developed in time, this is another huge pool of people who will avoid it. Hell, if anything they will have Coronavirus parties to deliberately expose their kids.
  8. Media as infotainment. The mainstream media in the USA is totally beholden to corporate  and political interests. These interests are going to protect themselves at all costs, public welfare be damned.
  9. No accountability. Washington is a bizarre city where no matter how badly people screw up, no one is accountable. The invasion of Iraq is the perfect example. An invasion that was supposed to prevent a WMD attack on the US, trigger a democratic revolution in the Middle East, and cost next to nothing in lives and treasure. Instead it proved to be a disaster of epic proportions … and the WMD threat turned out to be non-existent. Yet the architects of this catastrophe are still respected pundits and politicians. When a nation’s leaders aren’t accountable for failure, they have no incentive to not fail. Nor can they learn from their mistakes.
  10. Americans just don’t give a damn about the common good. Literally, a huge percentage of Americans see everything as a partisan battleground, and the losers are such because they subscribe to the wrong ideology. Horace Greely on steroids. Not a good mindset for dealing with a pandemic. Coronavirus is as likely to tear us apart as it is to unite us.

My first draft of this list was much simpler. 1. Trump is president. 2. Trump is president. Etc. Mr Trump and much of his base believe in simplistic solutions to complex problems. History has shown quite clearly the folly of this sort of thinking, if simple black and white solutions worked, Earth would be a paradise. There’s every reason to believe the Trump administration’s response to Coronavirus will be chaotic to incompetant. Hell, the man fired the national pandemic response team, hasn’t replaced them. And of writing this, hasn’t even appointed someone to coordinate America’s response to Coronavirus.

This is the first real domestic crisis Trump has faced, second if we count the hurricane that smashed Puerto Rico. Yeah, his response to that was less than stellar. I suspect he will spend his time trying to prop the stock market up and controlling the narrative. Alas, sharpies and lies aren’t going to cut it here Mr. Trump. I hope the virus is contained and we don’t have to deal with it in the US. That’s pretty unlikely at this point. If Coronavirus does hit us big time, I hope I’m wrong about Trump and this crisis brings him out as a national leader leading the country and all Americans through difficult times.

A man can dream. Please share.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: The Triumph of Death.  Credit: Pieter Bruegel the Elder  (1526/1530–1569) As the artist has been dead for centuries. The image is Public Domain under US and other copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

February 25, 2020 at 7:14 pm

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: 21 FEBRUARY

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When it rains, it pours? I hurt my hip and have been crippled with pain for days, although it is getting better. Probably my drunken late night snow shovelling. And one of my oldest best friends is fighting for his life in the ICU, which hasn’t helped my state of mind any. So physically and mentally I was a wreck this week. Which, oddly enough, interfered with my writing. I’d say some day I’ll get the hang of being human, but at this point, maybe not. At least I’m secure in the knowledge that pretty much everyone is faking it, and the more outwardly successful they are, likely correlates nicely with how fake they are. I hung out with hippies for awhile in the eighties, and eventually noticed that the guys with the most hippie Zen Buddha personas … were the ones that beat up their girlfriends or otherwise had rage attacks. Same deal.

So writing, I’ve got at least two almost done posts that I am pleased with, but trying to finish them in my muddled state of mind and body would not yield happy results. So here I am winging it with another random post. We’ll get Trump out of the way first. I’m pleased to see that at least some in Washington have realized that attacking Trump directly is a waste of time. Deflecting deserved criticism is what con artists do best, and he’s the ultimate grifter pulling the con of the century. No, what they are doing now is goading him to overreact and start firing his staff. The latest silliness about Russian interference in our elections being a case in point. The truth of it doesn’t matter, it’s Trump’s reaction that matters. The more he goes all apprentency with his “You’re fired!” schtick, the more his administration will collapse from within. Just too bad they waited till now. Still, pass the popcorn.

In world news, the madness continues on all fronts. Popcorn sales in our neck of the galaxy are no doubt at historic highs. A racist loser shot a bunch of people in Germany because they had skin darker than him. He was an incel to boot. No surprise, anyone whose thinking process goes “I can’t find a girlfriend, so all women are fucked up” probably has disordered thinking in a number of areas. In this case leading to mass murder. Sigh. God rest their souls. In another case of multiple murder, a guy set himself and his wife and kids on fire in Australia. And a detective investigating the case has been relieved for saying the killer was “being driven too far by issues that he’s suffered”. Yeah, no, not a smart thing to say. It’s called victim blaming, it’s what abusive men say to justify their violence against their families. Sadly western culture promotes the idea of “righteous rage,” we need to address that, not use it to excuse acts of horror. Again, God rest their souls.

The Coronavirus continues to spread, though the death toll remains modest. I kinda think it’s with us to stay at this point, and at some point the annual flu shot will include the latest Coronavirus vaccine as well. No doubt driving the anti-vaxxers to new heights of child killing. Anti-vaxxers are my least favourite type of science denier, though I suppose in the end it’s the climate change deniers who will get more people killed. There at least some people are promoting it to make piles of money, greed is a powerful motivator. I’m not quite sure what drives the anti-vaxxers, but I’m sure there is scientific speculation.

On February 21 in history, a few odds and ends. In 1885 the Washington Monument was finally completed, 37 years after construction began. It’s the world’s tallest predominantly stone structure, and for a few years was the world’s tallest structure. Predominantly stone …in other words, sooner or later there will be a modest earthquake in Washington, and down it will come. So if you’re ever in the vicinity of the Washington Monument and an earthquake starts, run away! You want to be the person taking the video of it falling, not the people being crushed in the video. Another helpful safety tip from Doug’s Darkworld, I do what I can.

In 1918 the last Carolina Parakeet died in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo, 4 years after the last Passenger Pigeon died there.  I could probably make some morbid joke about the connection, but I’ll leave that to my regular readers. We killed them of course. There’s at least a possibility it could be brought back existence, there must be similar birds that could bear their eggs. And there’s still wild habitat, it was a very widespread bird. Since it’s flesh was often poisonous, cats would die after eating one, I’m surprised the cat haters haven’t started a gofundme. Or maybe they have, the idea of reviving them has been thought about.

I guess that’s another safety tip, if the gentle reader takes their cat time travelling, don’t let it eat any Carolina Parakeets. As for future historians and time travellers wondering what was up with us wiping out entire species, my bad, we’re really sorry. Have a great weekend everyone, please share.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Baltic Sea at Kolka Cape Credit: Italas at Lithuanian Wikipedia. Released into the public domain by same. The image came up when I searched  <rage> on Snappygoat, it just looked so nice compared to the Arctic wasteland outside my windows I thought I’d share.)

Written by unitedcats

February 21, 2020 at 9:33 am

WUT R WERDS

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In other words, the post I was working on isn’t finished yet, so I’m going to wing it this morning. There’s always something to write about, old or new. I’m watching an old movie for example, ‘Dances with Wolves.’ I tried to watch it when it came out, and couldn’t plod through it all. Not enough explosions for my younger self maybe? Halfway through now, and plodding definitely covers it. Plus somehow Kevin Kostner makes my skin crawl now, that’s a new experience. I will finish and report on by Monday. Two other famous (in their time at least) movies I couldn’t get through were ‘Gandhi’ and ‘Amadeus.’ I don’t believe I will be reattempting them, unless I lose a bet I suppose.

In India four men were accused of raping and murdering a woman. Made the news big time. Then the police took them to the scene of the crime for some reason, where they attempted to escape and were all shot and killed by the police. Rejoicing and celebration in the streets. That’s at least the gist of it from what I can tell. Well, they won’t be raping anyone else. Not sure really what to think of it all. Sort of sounds like an extrajudicial execution, I mean really, all four? I hope they were guilty, sort of, what an odd thing to hope for. Violence against women does appear to be a major problem in India, although it’s pretty much a problem everywhere. My only cogent thought on this is that I simply don’t know enough about India to have cogent thoughts about this. Other than rape is one of the ultimate evils, and it’s often treated far too lightly in the west. The story just got me, and a lot of people I suppose.

In other unfinished business I really tried to get through the Longmire books. I really liked the show. I liked the characters in the books too, but every book introduced a new cast of secondary characters. Worse, each book, at least the last two, used a narrative style where the damn book was half flashback. Two stories intermingled into one, sometimes each with its own cast of secondary characters. I finally gave up, I couldn’t keep  track of who was who when and where and what now. And wasn’t that a tortured turn of phrase, but it expresses how I feel. The dent in the wall where I threw the last book also expresses it.

An anti-vaxxer has been arrested for mass murder in Samoa. I wish. No, but he was arrested for ‘incitement against a government order.’ Samoa is in the midst of a measles epidemic that has killed 63 so far. Samoa has a population of about 200,000, about the size of Salt Lake City, so 63 deaths is a big deal. And anti-vaxxers spreading lies about vaccines are playing a huge negative role. This guy was telling people that vaccines are dangerous, and measles can be cured with vitamin C and papaya leaf extract. Right.

Worse, the anti-vaccine movement is getting more militant and effective in their global campaign to bring back deadly diseases humanity vanquished long ago.  Here’s the whole Samoa story in great detail, it’s freaking infuriating. I’m starting to wonder if the anti-vax movement is secretly run by extraterrestrials seeking to quietly depopulate the Earth. Probably a science fiction B film in there somewhere. More likely though it’s what most human failings can be attributed to. We’re not really an intelligent species.

And since its Friday, I’ll end on a positive note. A cute animated story about a little girl who writes a letter to Santa. Aw. But misspelled it ‘Satan.’ Uhoh. It goes downhill from there. Enjoy it here.

As always, remarks, queries, and, well, thesaurus.com couldn’t come up with a good synonym for shares. All still enjoyed and acknowledged. Enough lame thesaurus jokes.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: A tweet. Credit: Tweeter or Tumblr thescalexwrites? Maybe this fellow? Used without permission, but since it’s floating around Facebook I hope I can be forgiven.)

Written by unitedcats

December 6, 2019 at 9:42 am