Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Biden’ Category

THE CRAZINESS CONTINUES: THE STURGIS COVID-19 FESTIVAL

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The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. August 7-16. 250,000 people gathering for a week of music, motorcycles, dancing, sex, and sharing Covid-19. The mind, formerly boggled, reels uncontrollably. See previous post about large segments of the population still not understanding that Covid-19 has changed everything. They do have a link to a Covid tracker on their page, but that seems like the only concession they made. Understandably a lot of people are concerned, this is going to be the largest public gathering anywhere in the country since the pandemic arrived. Only about half as many people as usual are expected, so not every biker etc is living in fantasy land. Safe bet though that the ones that are attending are the people least likely to practice proper social distancing when they get home. Or to put it it in simple terms:

In the same vein, the cruise line industry started re-opening. What could possibly go wrong with cramming a huge bunch of people in an enclosed ship where they all breathe the same air? As almost any epidemiologist (excluding any that Trump suggests) could have predicted: A Covid-19 outbreak. I could say “What were they thinking?” I won’t because I don’t think they were thinking at all. Go to a huge concert or what not, get a terrible disease to go with your T-shirt. The new normal for those still in denial about Covid-19.

But wait, aren’t vaccines being rushed out? Won’t that just fix everything? Yes, and almost certainly no. There are two problems. First, at this point vaccines are being rushed into use without adequate trials. Russia claims to be in the lead, but experts have doubts. The Russians haven’t released any data about their trials for example. It’s basically a Hail Mary pass. They are hoping it doesn’t turn out to have negative side effects. They are hoping it works. Both assumptions are questionable. If the Covid-19 pandemic was a Hollywood movie, sure, at the last minute brilliant scientists would develop a vaccine and millions of lives would be saved. Life isn’t a Hollywood movie, a point that shouldn’t have to be repeated. Hell, shouldn’t have to be made in the first place.

Just off the top of my head I can think of three other reasons not to get too excited about a Covid-19 vaccine yet. First off, if any problems do result, the anti-vaxxers and other conspiracy folks will go nuts. People like these are already causing enough problems in the fight against Covid-19, giving them more ammunition won’t help. Secondly, it will make people think everything is under control and thus neglect other anti-Covid-19 measures; we need more compliance with masking and social distancing, not less. Thirdly, related to that, a vaccine is only part of the strategy to fight a dangerous infectious disease. Rigorous testing/tracking and quarantine programs are still needed to stay on top of the disease. A step that the US especially is failing.

Sigh. Moving right along. Just occurred to me that this election is the first wartime election since the 1960s. Granted a pandemic and a war are two different things, but the base comparison is valid. In both cases an ongoing event is killing Americans, and the situation on the ground so to speak can change rapidly. Another reason not to get too worked up about the election, or make predictions. At this point either candidate could win. Trump’s base tends to vote in large numbers for their demographic, and Biden’s “vote for me because I’m not Trump” is hardly inspiring.

Which reminds me, I just had a long talk with my uncle in Canada. Always good to keep in touch with family. One of the things he said was a  heartfelt “How the hell did one of the great nations on Earth end up with an election between two doorknobs?” A lot of us are wondering that too Uncle L. And he mentioned that Americans are not welcome in Canada right now. They’ve had too many incidents where Americans said they would self-quarantine, then been spotting noshing at a local bar. On the plus side the Americans then find out what it’s like being in a country that expects people to act like adults. $1500 fine, kicked out of the country, and likely banned from entering again.

Someone left a comment on my last post. I only hastily reviewed it. Something about Trump will save us all when he gets reelected. I’ll take a closer look and deconstruct it tomorrow if it’s worth deconstructing. What a year. What an election. “I’m not Trump” vs “I’ll fix all the problems I caused!” You can’t make this shit up. You’re right Uncle L, doorknob vs doorknob. Hope everyone had a good Monday (it is Monday, right?) Stay safe; likes, shares, comments, and anatomically possible suggestions welcome. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

PS: The movie in the top meme; Arrival, 2016. Great intellectual scifi movie, as opposed to the usual monster and alien invasion fare.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Images publicly posted on Facebook of unknown genesis, used without permission. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

August 3, 2020 at 7:29 pm

93 DAYS. GIVE ME LIBERTY. AND DEATH.

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Posted this meme because this is entitlement illustrated. Granted I doubt the people that are entitled will see that, that’s how entitlement works, one thinks that society should make special exemptions for you. There’s no reason not to wear masks in public, there’s no reason why businesses should serve someone who isn’t wearing a mask. Businesses can refuse to serve people on any basis other than some fairly narrow (but extremely important) issues like race, religion, etc. This idea makes about as much sense as a “No traffic laws hour.” Hopefully at least some people can understand why that doesn’t make any sense … because it would endanger all sorts of other law abiding people.

The post title came from this editorial: Double, Double, “Trump’s Toil, Our Trouble.” I liked it, and it matches my thinking in a lot of ways. So I suppose confirmation bias is at play. Read it gentle reader and see I suppose. I’m more and more despairing of Trump and his followers ever seeing the light. Maybe if Rush Limbaugh or Trump dies of Covid-19. Herman Cain’s death doesn’t seem to have done the trick, though Trump’s support is continuing to shrink. 93 days until he is voted out of office. Or who knows. What a depressing frustrating time to be alive. Especially in America, a country that seems to have lost its way.

One of the things future historians are going to be most baffled by is Trump’s utter failure to fight Covid-19, it’s not like Trump couldn’t see it coming, and it wouldn’t have been hard to throw up some sort of plan to mitigate it. I’m baffled still. It was Trump’s chance to shine and be the hero and leader he claims he is. If Covid-19 deaths were under 50k and the economy was cautiously reopening, like every other freaking developed (and many undeveloped) countries, he’d be comfortably sailing towards reelection while Biden and the Dems floundered. Granted Biden and the Dems are still floundering, Clinton grasped defeat from the jaws of victory in 2016, I wouldn’t be shocked if Biden pulls the same hat trick in 2020.

Meanwhile, Trump is blaming his falling support on the idea that “nobody likes my personality.” No Mr Trump, your popularity is sinking because Covid-19 is out of control in the US, and you seem unable or unwilling to address it. All Trump seems to be doing these days is whining and trying Hail Mary strategies to save his reelection chances. Promoting quack doctors, quack cures, blaming China and everyone else for his failure to mount an effective Covid-19 strategy for America. One of his latest is to try and ban Tik-Tok. Irrelevant, makes zero sense, likely will cost him even more support, especially among young people.

Trump’s attempt to turn the Portland protests into some sort of rallying point seems to have failed. Yeah, there’re always a few jerks among protest movements, but the idea that the Portland protest is some sort of anarchist/terrorist driven plot to destroy America doesn’t seem to be gaining traction. The protests don’t seem to be accomplishing a whole lot either, here’s an interesting black perspective on the whole deal.

Oh, yeah, schools reopening. What horseshit. There’s this thing called reality. It doesn’t give a crap about us wanting to “get back to normal.” I’m changing my thinking about a lot of things as this global disaster unfolds, and one of my current thoughts is that people are far more out of touch with reality than in my worst nightmares. It’s no wonder that over 5,000 human civilizations have collapsed, my current thinking is that successful civilizations (and yeah, there’s many wonderful things about civilization) sooner or later get to the point where the “map” or philosophy or worldview of the civilization gets so incongruent with reality that the whole edifice rots and collapses.

The fantasies of the ultra rich and powerful in said civilization seem to contribute to the same. The rich and powerful in America have used Covid-19 to get even richer. Yes gentle reader, the upwards transfer of wealth in America has accelerated under Covid-19. This article is from May, but I can’t find anything that refutes it. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that if a civilization’s  rich see a global calamity as an opportunity to get richer, it’s not a sign of a healthy civilization.

Oh well, a golden age for bloggers and memes and billionaires. Well, not a golden age for me. Hell, Trump is trying to take away my health care. Because you know, depriving 20 plus million Americans of their health care in a global pandemic is going to be so good for the country. I’d say where’s Jesus when we need him, but even if he did come back now he’d go down in a hail of rubber bullets and tear gas. Or worse, crucifixes in the future would show Our Saviour covered with rubber bullet bruises, as a cop kneeled on his neck while pepper spraying him in the face.

Fun times. Stay safe everyone, Comments, shares, likes appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #BaghdadBurning

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image publicly posted on Facebook of unknown genesis, used without permission. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

August 1, 2020 at 8:03 pm

97 DAYS

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97 days to the weirdest election of my life. At least I hope there’s an election. Came across the above, basically true. Trump’s campaign platform is that he’s going to fix problems he created. Plus problems that don’t exist. Covid-19, oh yeah, he’ll have a vaccine by early next year and the army is on standby to deliver it! Woohoo, Covid-19 will all go away if Trump gets reelected, he promises! Right. It may not even be possible to develop a vaccine against Covid-19. Or it might be like the flu vaccine, helpful, but doesn’t eliminate the flu. Also, huge numbers of Americans won’t even wear a piece of cloth on their face, not to mention the USA is the world capital of anti-vaxxers. Safe to say that large numbers of Americans will resist getting a vaccine. And the bottom line is that even if we get a vaccine, it’s only one part of the sort of comprehensive test/trace/quarantine program required to get Covid-19 under control. A program which as yet Trump refuses to create. Then of course the idea that the guy whose incompetence made America the worst hit by Covid-19 nation is going to fix it, is, well, somewhere between pathetic and ludicrous.

And then there’s the “riots” and “cities under siege” Trump’s going to fix. He was even talking about sending 75,000 cops/troops into American cities. Where the hell these 75,000 cops are going to come from is anyone’s guess. I’d say something rude about where Trump’s going to pull them from, but I’ll leave it up to the gentle reader to imagine. And in any event the demonstrations (there was little to no rioting) were dying down until Trump sent in his DHS wannabe cops, who blew the situation up and triggered more protests.  Oh, yes, there’s been police riots, but Faux News doesn’t mention those.

I don’t even want to go into the idea that Biden is some sort of arch socialist who’s going to destroy America, or that the protestors are all arch anarchists trying to destroy America. It’s freaking ludicrous, but people believe it. Saw a Facebook meme today about hunting protesters for sport, and it was serious. Thanks Trump, you’ve done more to turn Americans against each other than any president in my lifetime.

Moving right along, here’s a good editorial: “What the coronavirus has revealed is the power of America’s cult of selfishness. And this cult is killing us.” Worth a read, though us old folks who have watched America turn into a land of selfish children the past few decades will no doubt be familiar with much of it.

An article by a reformed Covid-19 truther, a fellow who was adamant that Covid-19 was all just a Democratic hoax to make Trump look bad. And  he caught it himself, and infected a number of relatives, some of whom died. Yeah, a wake up call for him. I’ve mentioned this before, but most truthers of any ilk face essentially zero personnel consequences for their beliefs and actions. Sandy Hookers, 9/11 Truthers, Birthers, whatever. They can hold their beliefs and suffer nothing worse than occasional ridicule. Which if anything will reinforce their beliefs. Covid-19 Truthers, yeah, sooner or later there will almost certainly be serious consequences for their beliefs. Covid-19 doesn’t give a shit what you believe. Sadly though Covid-19 Truthers won’t read this article, and even if they did they would dismiss it as just fake news. Until Covid-19 kills someone they know there’s little likelihood of them coming around, especially with so many public figures still spewing “It’s only a cold!” and other such dogs*t.

Q-Anon. I’d heard of them, but was only vaguely familiar. In brief: “The world of QAnon is one in which Trump is a lone, heroic warrior, the only person strong enough to take a stand against a nebulous entity they call the “deep state”. The deep state is a secret shadow government, led by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, philanthropist George Soros, and others, existing to facilitate unspecified corruption and — hold onto your hats — their global pedophilia ring. In the QAnon world, the US Democratic party, the deep state, and pedophilia are essentially synonymous.” Yes, gentle readers, actual human beings actually believe this. Sigh. As the article says, sociologists will be studying this for decades, up there with the Tulip mania and other such mass delusions. Anyhow, a good article deconstructing the Q-anon phenomenon.

Lastly, several readers have asked if I want to reconsider my Trump isn’t  Hitler article of 2018. Honestly, yes and no. In many senses I stand by it, I think such comparisons can limit our thinking. On the other hand, not any question that whatever Trump is or isn’t, I am far more horrified by Trump now than I was then. I still think WW3 with millions of Americans sent to concentration camps is unlikely, but sure not going to bet on it. I will add that there is a parallel between the two I missed. Both men were absolutely convinced of what they believed and said. Self confidence at a level that, well, sane people in touch with reality can never achieve. Reality is way too complicated and nuanced for absolute assurance. This trait however is why both Trump and Hitler developed a cult like following, a lot of people just can’t resist a leader who exudes absolute confidence. Human nature I guess, another one for the sociologists, psychologists, and historians to ponder.

Lastly, there’s an increasing possibility, which I don’t see many people mentioning, that even if Trump doesn’t turn into Hitler, he may do such grave damage to the republic that someone far far worse than Trump could seize power.

Sleep tight gentle readers. Stay safe. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Random image publicly posted on Facebook of unknown genesis, used without permission.)

Written by unitedcats

July 28, 2020 at 7:45 pm

IT JUST GETS WEIRDER AND WEIRDER IN AMERICA

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Ok, so have come across Trump’s re-election platform. It was something along the lines of “Biden is a socialist who’s going to take your guns and impose liberal fascism on America, completely destroying it from within. Vote for Trump to save America!” Did I miss some subtle nuance? I don’t think so. That was from his latest speech, which was more unhinged than usual. I mean, this is the ultimate straw man campaign, Trump’s firing up his supporters to fight a Democratic platform that doesn’t exist. Biden is an utterly non-progressive centrist candidate who is going to make zero progressive change, a total tool of the pentagon and the rich, like every president since Reagan. I went to Youtube and a Trump ad wanted my input on a poll about socialism. WTF? The socialist party in the USA has been irrelevant since at least the forties, Biden isn’t a socialist by any stretch of the imagination. And no serious gun control measures have been proposed since Reagan was shot decades ago. The Supreme Court even ruled in 2008 that the right to bear arms was an individual right, there’s literally zero chance of mass gun confiscation in the US.

So context for readers from the future, Covid-19 is raging out of control in the US. Trump is insisting schools open normally in a few weeks. Rush Limbaugh, the spokesman and mentor for Trump, is now saying we should “just get used to” mass Covid-19 deaths, because the Donner Party didn’t complain about their predicament. No, not making this up. He’s basically claiming that things like wearing masks and social distancing are cowardly liberal surrender. No, they are rational attempts to deal with Covid-19. Which are working just fine in virtually every other developed country.

It’s beyond crazy. I can’t even think of an historical analogy. The president and his followers are utterly refusing to fight Covid-19 as the experts in the field are urging them to do, and their re-election campaign so distorts the Democratic platform that it’s essentially running against a fantasy candidate. Sort of how my brother relates to me, but I digress. Yeah, I know, the Dems have their own reality testing issues. Mostly related to pretending that somehow they aren’t serving the rich and the pentagon. Not in the same league as a POTUS pretending a global pandemic is some sort of hoax to make him look bad, or the same POTUS whose reelection campaign is directed against a non-existent Democratic platform.

***

Friday night. Another new record sent, 75,000 new cases. The madness continues. The mask wars continue. The one step we could take to dramatically slow the spread of Covid-19, but huge numbers of Americans are resisting. And the president is encouraging the resisters. I don’t know what to say about that. To people concerned about the safety of themselves and their loved ones, they should do everything they can to avoid catching/spreading Covid-19 until there is a cure or a proven safe vaccine. It’s basic game theory, one wants to minimize the chances of a catastrophic outcome. Anything less is playing Russian roulette with one’s life, we simply don’t know what the long term consequences of getting infected with this virus are.

It’s like, oh, it only kills the old! In other words, if one catches Covid-19, maybe one has no symptoms as a young healthy person, but it hides in their body and kills them when they hit their sixties. Viruses do stuff like this, infections are permanent, they hide in one’s body for life waiting for favorable conditions to explode. Only a fool would take the risk of catching an unknown virus that already has scary effects. Heart damage for example.  Oh, but, my freedoms! The economy! Yeah, when your leaders tell you to charge into machine gun fire, maybe they don’t have your best interests at heart? When leaders talk about “acceptable losses,” be very afraid.

Just realized that in some ways, Biden is the perfect foil for Trump. He’s white, he’s male, he’s Christian, there’s nothing progressive in his background at all. He’s not vulnerable to the coded racist and sexist attacks Trump uses against Hillary, Obama, etc. Trump is basically flinging mud wildly, because Trump has neither accomplishments or issues to run on at this point. I can see why Biden is mostly laying low.

I’ll end on some good news, Covid-19 might be the beginning of the end for the fossil fuel industry. Especially coal. They are both wildly subsidized industries, in that they are allowed to pass their terrifying environmental and health costs onto the public, not to even mention global warming. So good riddance. Well, good news for Europe at least, where no one is in power who believes in “clean coal” and thinks wind farms cause cancer: “The way Europe sees it, if every nation in the world is going to be in debt for at least the next decade, they might as well be paying for something that solves the biggest challenge of the 21st century.” Interesting read: FC100: 2020 Is The Worst Year Ever For Fossil Fuels

Hope everyone is having a safe and sane weekend. Sorry about the disjointed nature of this post, getting harder to concentrate as I watch the Trump virus rage out of control in America. I recommend getting Covid-19 health advice from the CDC and Dr Fauci, not the White House. What a country, where the president thinks he knows more than experts in the field. The mind, formerly reeling, boggles uncontrollably. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Random image publicly posted on Facebook of unknown genesis, used without permission.)

Written by unitedcats

July 18, 2020 at 8:53 am

BERNIE DROPS OUT, MASS GRAVES, AND SCIENCE DENIAL

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Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 American election campaign, paving the way for Joe Biden to face off against Trump in the November election for POTUS. Well, I thought the 2016 election had the most horrible choice of candidates ever. Cersei Lannister vs Ramsay Bolton. For the non ‘Game of Thrones’ folks, Clinton vs Trump was like choosing between hanging or firing squad. Some choice. Bye Bernie, a lot of my friends will be sad. This is an interesting and different take on Bernie and his candidacy, I wouldn’t say it’s wrong.

So yeah, Biden vs Trump in 2020. That’s in November, months away. A global pandemic and a global economic collapse are underway, a confluence of global events not seen since at least World War Two. Anything could happen between now and then, and almost certainly will. So I don’t see any reason to worry about the election yet. And come October there will be only two issues, Covid-19 and the economy. We’ll see what Trump and Biden have to say then.

There has been an explosion of vote-shaming memes on Facebook. Memes basically claiming that Biden isn’t as much a sh*t sandwich as Trump, so all Bernie supporters and such should vote for him if they have any brains. And I understand, I can’t fault the basic logic. Trump is a ghastly president, on track to be the worst POTUS ever, it’s kind of like a crime family has taken over the White House. I see why people would hold their nose and vote for Biden in the hopes that he would be better than Trump. That’s what voting is all about, vote for the candidate of your choice.

What I am having trouble with on several levels, is why people sharing such memes think they are helping? How, exactly, is telling people they are stupid if they disagree with you helping? Telling me I’m an idiot if I don’t buy a product certainly doesn’t inspire me to go buy it, It’s especially weird since this sort of vote shaming didn’t help Hillary’s campaign any in 2016. Telling Bernie supporters they were idiots didn’t get Hillary elected, how is telling Bernie supporters they are idiots going to get their votes for Biden? I generally don’t vote for people if their supporters call me an idiot. Thinking people who disagree with you are stupid is the problem, not the solution. There are very good reasons not to vote for Biden. In any event I’ll decide who to vote for in November 2020. It’s entirely possible I’ll vote for Biden. But it’s my vote and I will cast it as I will decide.

Scary days. Trump will handle a global depression as well as he handled Covid-19. He will react way too late, and not do what needs to be done to boot. There will be plenty of blog fodder no doubt, and social isolation means I have lots of time to write. And read obsessively online. In no particular order a few recent interesting links and developments:

Covid-19 is spreading in Singapore, which is scary, because Singapore initially had a truly robust approach and kept it shut down. Until now. The takeaway is that the more we are learning about Covid-19, the scarier it gets. It’s a scary contagious disease. It’s sickening to think of the havoc it is going to cause in the US because so many, including my freaking governor, still think it will all magically blow over or something. The US is going to end up being isolated from the rest of the world because Covid-19 will still be raging here as the rest of the developed world gets it under control. Darkly ironic considering the hostility so many in the US view foreigners with. Now they’ll build walls to keep us here.

Also in the US, Covid-19 is already proving to be far more deadly to blacks than whites. No surprise to people aware of the fact that blacks are routinely and institutionally treated as second class citizens in the USA. I’ve also heard some tribal lands are being hit hard, but didn’t want to read further because it’s so depressing. In any event, this article depressingly lays out that ‘No, the Coronavirus is not an Equalizer.

Lastly, boy, the role science denial has played in America’s patchwork and uncoordinated response to Covid-14 can’t be underestimated. Science denial has become institutionalized in America, and decades of Global Warming Denial really paved the way for an unscientific response to Covid-19. America has always had an underbelly of anti-intellectualism, as Isaac Azimov put it nicely in 1980:

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

And it’s gotten worse in recent decades, spreading like a cancer through society and government. I wish I knew the answer, but a pandemic requires a rational science based response, and huge numbers of Americans couldn’t think rationally and scientifically if their lives depended on it.

And now their lives do depend on it. Have a safe and sane weekend everyone. #staythefuckhome

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Mass graves in New York City. I have no words, never thought I’d see this in my lifetime. Credit: BBCNews, used without permission, but claiming Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s definitely an historical image. What a disaster.)

Written by unitedcats

April 10, 2020 at 12:07 pm

IN OTHER NEWS …

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Well, the Super Tuesday Primary is over, and the fawning corporate media is falling all over itself proclaiming Biden the victor. And I can only agree. It will be Biden vs Trump in the fall, and Biden will more than likely lose. It’s almost as if the establishment doesn’t give a rat’s ass about anything other than corporate profit. And the loss will be blamed on Russians and Bernie supporters, further dividing the party and making sure that true progressive issues never get off the ground. Baring some big change, that’s my prediction for the 2020 POTUS election. God help us all.

Trump and the Taliban signed a peace deal. On the one hand, anything that smacks of the US backing away from its colonial wars is a good thing. On the other hand, it’s hard for me to see this as anything but an election year stunt. The agreement was reached and signed without the participation of the Kabul government, America’s ostensible ally, even though they were required to abide by its provisions. So predictably enough, it’s already falling apart. Basically Trump can now say he tried to get the US out of Afghanistan, but the Taliban wouldn’t hold up their end of the deal! Right. Mr Trump, you can pull American troops out of Afghanistan any time you want, the Taliban’s permission is not required.

Scientists have spotted the remains of the largest explosion ever detected. The “crater” (a bubble really)  it left in space could fit fifteen of our own Milky Way galaxies. Ginormous doesn’t begin to cover it, this explosion could have destroyed our own galaxy. Fortunately it’s nearly 400 million light years away, so no worries. Best guess is that it was produced by a, well, ginormous black hole somehow. Matter falling into a black hole can get really hot as it spirals towards it, and if enough matter gets hot enough, kaboom. Still stay tuned, astronomers still have a lot to discover. The doctor has a good post discussing various aspects of this discovery.

And in India, pogroms! Yes, Muslims are being targeted and murdered by Hindi mobs. So Trump wasted no time praising Mr Modi, the man whose policies inspired the violence. Mr Modi basically is trying to legally turn India’s Muslims into second class citizens. Who would have thought that a national leader stripping a minority of their rights and demonizing them might lead to violence? Oh, right. Sadly, it’s not just academic, religious extremists are working hard to turn the United States into a “Christian” theocracy where non Christians are second class citizens. I find that a lot scarier and more likely than Trump turning into the next Hitler. And I say “Christian” theocracy because the idea that Jesus would have been down with this is questionable at best. Christ taught love and inclusion, not hatred and exclusion.

In another Trump fail (aren’t you glad this isn’t another Covid-19 post?) Trump said that wait staff making $2.13 an hour are overpaid! Trump has always claimed American workers are overpaid, claiming that somehow that hurts America’s international trade. It’s all a crock of bull of course, American workers have been getting it in the shorts for decades, while the rich grow ever richer. Despite Trump’s lies, the situation for American workers hasn’t improved at all under Trump, as this site chronicles. America, land of duelling fantasies.

Greta Thunberg is still in the news. You would think someone trying to rally the planet to deal with a freaking planetary emergency would be universally popular, but no. Sadly the fossil fuel industry, the most insanely profitable industry the world has ever seen (supertankers are the Spanish treasure galleons of our time) has the money to buy entire political parties and whole governments. So Greta gets lots of death threats, and such things as this lovely little incident where a Canadian oil company gave its workers stickers portraying Greta being raped. She points out that oil companies stooping so low is a sign of desperation. Well, when you’re destroying the planet to keep a tiny handful of people ever and ever richer, I guess desperate measures are all they have. The global warming deniers love to claim the issue of human caused global warming isn’t settled … so what. (It is settled.) There’s people claiming evolution or the age of the Earth aren’t settled, hell, the planet is filled with people denying various scientific issues. Again, the doctor has a good post on them.

In local news, it looks like winter is over in Iowa. Nothing but nice weather in the pipeline for the next few weeks. Woohoo! Of course I still can’t walk more than 20 feet without excruciating pain, but at least I can look out the window and not see a sub arctic wasteland. Hope everyone is having a good week, comments and shares appreciated.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Facebook meme. Credit: Unknown, used without permission. I will happily attribute or remove it should the copyright holder come to light.)

Written by unitedcats

March 4, 2020 at 8:30 pm

YOU’RE A LYING DOG-FACED PONY SOLDIER!

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“You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier!” Biden said that to a young constituent during a campaign event in New Hampshire. She had asked him after his dismal performance in Iowa’s caucuses, why should people think he could win the national election? He then asked her if she had ever been to a caucus. She answered in the affirmative, and his response was the pony soldier line. It’s a line Biden has used before, claiming it’s from a John Wayne movie. It’s not, no one has been able to find it in any movie, though it might be a mishmash half remembered line from some 1950 era western or westerns. Biden claimed it was a joke, idk, insulting people “jokingly” has never seemed particularly funny to me. If it was some sort of attempt to bond with younger people, looked like it failed from my perspective. The woman in question did not look amused.

And Biden is the best the Democrat establishment has to offer? Sheesh. The woman’s question was a good one, which Biden did at least acknowledge after his attempt at witty repartee. If only ten percent of your  party faithful caucus for you, looks grim to me. I don’t know anyone who is enthusiastic about Biden, and I know a lot of Democrats. He was Obama’s sidekick for eight years, and I can’t remember a single thing he did to stand out during that time. I actually wonder why he’s running, his chances of winning are low, and it’s a thankless high pressure job. Reading his bio though, he wanted to be president from an early age, and this would almost certainly be his last best shot.

Frankly I have no use for anyone who wants to be president, especially from a young age. I suspect the motives of anyone running for president, there might be people who have good motives for doing so, but Biden doesn’t strike me as one of those. Gotta wonder if his staff was pounding their heads in frustration too. I mean, surely since he’s used the line before someone told him there’s not ever going to be a good time and place to use it? And maybe avoid trying to be funny at all? It’s not his forte. And reminding people he was watching movies in the fifties, not a good look on you Joe.

This turned into a political post, so in for a penny, in for a pound. I also use old expressions that date me to the days when the Dead Sea was just getting sick, but I’m not running for office. Came across an article talking about how the left and right politically in the US now is a false dichotomy. Neither party really stands for much anymore, and their view of their opponents is a weird straw man fantasy. And this is how the powers that be want it, the people blaming the other party and exaggerated threats for their ills, instead of concentrating on the ills that are destroying America. In any event, I thought it was an interesting read.

In non political news today, the deaths from the Wuhan Coronavirus exceeded the death toll from the last big coronavirus outbreak in 2003, the SARS coronavirus. And yesterday was the worst daily death toll so far, 97 dead. Still primarily an outbreak in central China, no need to start wearing masks yet. There’s just all sorts of things scientists have not yet learned about the virus, so predictions are all educated guesswork at this point. Reality bats last as they say. Seems pretty clear it’s another case of a virus jumping from an animal host to humans, an all too common occurrence because humans freaking eat just about any animal they can arm wrestle down their throat .

Oh well. Science post and others in the pipeline. Have a great week everyone.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: poster for the 1952 movie ‘Pony Soldier.’ Credit: Unknown, the studio or distributor of the film? Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. Here’s a link to the movie.)

Written by unitedcats

February 10, 2020 at 7:34 am

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Adams_The_Tetons_and_the_Snake_River

For two reasons. First, except for time out during my health issues in January, I have been doing a good job of posting regularly. And yes, after tons of physical therapy and exercise under the bridge,  my left arm is starting to feel semi-normal again. I can hold a beer steady with my left hand now while I use the opener with my right hand, so even if I make no further progress, life is worth living again.

Secondly, and more importantly, I am going to be making some changes around here. To start with, my Patreon site is going to go to patron only. And I will be posting there once a week. So patrons will get exclusive content from now on. On my WordPress site I will be posting thrice weekly, those posts will be public. No more double posting, the free stuff, and most of my writing will remain free, will only be posted on my WordPress site.

I have excellent reasons for doing this. I don’t know exactly how long any posting hiatus may be, probably not long at all, there will certainly be some posts during the conversion. The goal is to have it all back on track by July 1st, sooner if I can manage it. Oh, and one final reason for taking a break … I’m going to snap my twigs if I don’t. No one wants that.

Business done, now a political rant for amusement. Presidential politics just gets weirder every year in America. I mean yes, Trump is a hard act to follow, but Joe Biden? A man who is mostly known for being a subject for funny memes during the Obama years. A man whose voting record and past statements make him an enemy of all that is progressive, and a complete betrayer of old school Democratic principles. And yet the mainstream media is serving him up as the anointed one. He’s getting all sorts of favorable coverage, while everyone else is already relegated to “also ran” status. Basically the political dynasties in the US control the press, and that’s that.

Things could change, but right now looking like a repeat of 2016. A Democratic candidate essentially forced on the Democrat base, with his main qualification being “He’s not Trump!” My freaking cat isn’t Trump either, but that doesn’t make him presidential material. Biden will run a lackluster uninspiring campaign,  huge numbers of Dems will stay home disgusted that their candidate didn’t even get a fair chance at the nomination. And then Biden will go on to lose to Trump, because the Dems seem determined to insult and piss off potential Trump voters, driving them to the polls in just enough numbers to eke out another Trump victory.

And if Biden loses, just like Clinton did last time, it will be everyone’s fault but his own. Especially the fault of the people who didn’t vote for him! I am still amazed by the idea that people are supposed to vote for the anointed candidate, and if somehow they didn’t in droves, well, it’s the non voters who are in the wrong, not the fault of the candidate who was supposedly working hard to inspire them to vote. The Seymour Skinner school of political thought. And even if Biden wins, he is 100% guaranteed to maintain the status quo. IE corporate America and the ultra rich continue running the country for their benefit, while infrastructure, education, and health care continue to decay.

This is why I like Stargate. There has to be a way off this planet! Have a great weekend everyone.

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: The Tetons and the Snake River (1942) Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Credit: Ansel Adams, Public Domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

June 14, 2019 at 4:12 am