Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Biden’ Category

CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT BIDEN?

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So what happens now? We’ll see. Emboldened by GOP success in the congressional elections, the GOP might go no holds barred to keep Trump in office, or at least prevent Biden’s legitimacy by any means fair or foul. The president’s cabinet for example … is confirmed by the Senate. McConnell could

This morning pretty much every media outlet said Biden had won the election, even Fox News came around. Lots of people were really happy, there was dancing in the streets in many cities. Biden’s win looks really solid, this isn’t like 2000 where it all hinged on one state. Trump would have to somehow flip a number of states back to Trump to win, I haven’t read any analysis that thought that was anything but extremely unlikely. So as of Saturday 7 November 2020, looks like Biden is the president elect of the United States. Right?

So now Trump gracefully concedes the election and for two and a half months the incoming and outgoing administration will organize a peaceful coordinated transfer of power. Snort. No, that seems unlikely. Trump, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh and others are leading a great hue and cry of “Stop the Steal!” What evidence have they provided for this widespread election fraud? None! So while cooler Republican heads are saying it’s time to concede, Trump swears he’ll have to be dragged out of the White House.

One has to remember that in his mind, Trump won. The only possible way he could have lost was some massive conspiracy against him. And if it’s true for Trump, it’s true as far as his supporters are concerned. Gotta remember a lot of Trump supporters are running scared. One texted me today to the effect that when the courts give the election to Trump, leftists were going to set the country ablaze. I think that’s unlikely, but yeah, if somehow Trump became the president elect, there would be huge demonstrations. And there would be violence, a long tradition in the US. The right claiming a fine share thank you. I don’t think the country would be set ablaze though, hasn’t come close yet.

Reality is what people believe it is, and they will  act on it. Unfortunately this new normal “The election was rigged!” card was played by the Democrats relentlessly after Clinton’s embarrassing 2016 loss to Trump. Granted not in the same league as “It’s all voter fraud!” or “He was born in Kenya!”, but still, not helping. In five of the last six elections the loser has made claims of funny business after the election, only one of which had any legs. Not a healthy trend for a democracy.

So what happens now? We’ll see. Emboldened by GOP success in the congressional elections, the GOP might go no holds barred to keep Trump in office, or at least prevent Biden’s legitimacy by any means fair or foul. The president’s cabinet for example … is confirmed by the Senate. McConnel could literally prevent Biden from appointing a cabinet. Trump could just declare the election null and void, and if the Senate and the Supreme Court backed him, who knows what the hell would happen. We could see like the ultimate weirdness, two presidents sworn in, both claiming the other wasn’t legitimate.

Couldn’t happen? Anything could happen, that’s how reality works, we ain’t out of the woods yet. Trump and the GOP tossed the Constitution out the window long ago. My friends who think it’s all going to be fine now, pretty optimistic I’d say. Kind of in the same class as people who think we’re gonna get control of Covid-19 and things will get back to normal. I hope I’m wrong, it would be really nice if cooler heads prevailed, times are difficult enough. I hope that Trump and Biden supporters try to work together to make America a better place. A man can dream. A man does dream. It’s why I write.

Yes, Covid-19. It’s exploding in the USA, elsewhere too, but nothing like in America. Record numbers of new cases, over a thousand dead a day, and no end in sight. And while we are sciencing the shit out of Covid-19 and learning more all the time, bad things are still being discovered: Covid in Scotland: Denmark visitors banned over mink fears. Basically not only can mink easily get Covid-19 and spread it among themselves, it can easily mutate and jump back into humans. I think the plan is to kill all the farmed mink in Denmark, and no doubt elsewhere. The scary part here though, likely there are other animals Covid-19 can jump in and out of. More opportunities for mutation, and the more variants of Covid-19 there are, the more problematic a vaccine becomes.

So in conclusion, in two major ways reality has changed. Covid-19 is with us for the foreseeable future, and it’s going to kill hundreds of thousands more Americans with all the collateral economic damage that will do; and our system of government is sitting on the edge. Maybe Trump will stand down, but wishful thinking isn’t going to make it happen. The Biden bus incident, if those guys had started shooting with their arsenal of military grade rifles, how many Secret Service agents guard Biden? The sixties was less polarized than now, and it saw some nasty business.

Cautiously optimistic but still scared. I’m not sure if I promised to blog daily until the election, though that was for sure the minimum goal. I think I promised to blog daily until Trump was no longer president. So I will keep it up until then, it’s good to have a goal in life. Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: A beautiful vista. California? Just trying to think there’s good ways things can go from here. Public Domain image from Snappygoat.)

Written by unitedcats

November 7, 2020 at 8:23 pm

“AT THE WHITE HOUSE, MR. TRUMP MADE A BRIEF STATEMENT FILLED WITH FALSEHOODS ABOUT THE ELECTION PROCESS. HERE’S THE LATEST.”

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Friday, November sixth, 2020. Three days after the election and no declared winner yet, though Biden appears to be edging upwards. A few outlets have called it for him, but no major ones. Frack if I know who is going to come out on top, but barring some unexpected twist, Biden should win it soon. Trump is doing his best to complicate things though. He gave a brief press conference yesterday where he made wild accusations of voter fraud, without a scintilla of evidence. The blog headline above was my favorite, it’s like it’s the new normal. Here’s fairly neutral BBC coverage: Donald Trump’s speech fact-checked. This one’s more fun: In Torrent of Falsehoods, Trump Claims Election Is Being Stolen.

Do I think the election is being stolen? No evidence has been presented, our electoral system is pretty transparent, and huge numbers of people running the election, including plenty of Republican state officials, say no, fraud is not an issue. Facts don’t matter though, millions of Trump supporters believe Obama was born in Kenya and was a secret Muslim, not to even mention QAnon weirdness. And Trump has been explicit that he won’t concede: Trump has told people he has no plans to concede even if his path to victory is blocked. I thought Biden’s response was pretty classy. He just said the government is perfectly able to remove trespassers from the White House.

Still, tensions are running high. Steve Bannon lost it, saying Dr Fauci and the head of the FBI should be beheaded: Steve Bannon Condemned, Banned From Twitter After Suggesting Violence As ‘A Warning To Federal Bureaucrats’ That’s certainly beyond the pale Mr Bannon. And in Philadelphia: 2 Heavily Armed Va. Men Found Outside Convention Center Charged As Philly Police Investigate Threat Of Attack. Still, three days of uncertainty and nothing truly horrifying has happened yet. Knock on wood.

Nothing horrifying aside from the Covid-19 pandemic, which has surged to record levels in the US and elsewhere. What can I say, 2020 has been a huge lesson in the power of mass delusion. Most people do live in a fog of their own choosing. Historians will always wonder, America had the means to shut down Covid-19, but instead the ruling party pretended it was no big deal and did nothing. I still have trouble grasping it, the aliens invaded, and Trump and his followers are pretending it’s a hoax. OK then.

Could I be wrong? Could Trump really be this fantastic leader of the common American beset by some horrible leftist conspiracy to destroy America? I guess I’ll have to think about that, it would require some strong evidence. So in theory yes. One of my axioms of life is that anyone who can’t admit they could be wrong, has confused their map for the territory.

So just checked, no election result yet. It’s odd writing a blog post knowing it could all be irrelevant at a moment’s notice. At least far more so than in other years. Enthusiastic Biden supporters, yes, they exist, are getting ready to party. I’m gonna crash here in rural Iowa this late howling windy Friday election week night; if Trump wins I’m sure my housemate’s screaming will awaken me. Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

PS Random thoughts as I monitor the news. The election is kinda like the evacuation at Dunkirk, hundreds of thousands of lives hang in the balance. Trump wants to leave them to the German’s mercy, Biden wants to rescue them. It’s why I voted for Biden.

PS2 1200 plus dead from Covid-19 yesterday in America. This is making America great again? The mind reels.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Tweet found on Facebook, attribution in image. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

November 6, 2020 at 7:37 pm

NO WINNER YET

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No winner yet. Definitely trending towards Biden, he’s certainly doing better than Clinton did in 2016. Likely it will be settled tonight, in which case I’ll add that later.

The big problem is that Trump, Fox News, and Trump supporters at this point are absolutely convinced that the Democrats cheated wildly and if Biden wins, the election was stolen. Trump has already filed a flurry of lawsuits alleging this, that, and the other thing. So far the evidence of any voter fraud is non-existent, but it’s modern America, evidence, schmevidence. Non Trumpers have to understand that Trump only speaks the truth as far as Trumpers are concerned, if Trump said it, it must be true.

And an example from the same. A friend’s Trump supporting relative posted this on Facebook, reposted with permission. It’s in bold, my comments are in italics:

Ok all you Biden supporters. If he gets elected…Whatever comes next is on YOU. You HATED Trump so much that you sacrificed America?

That’s a ‘does not follow’ argument if I ever heard one. Not sure how exercising one’s right to participate in an election is ‘sacrificing America,’ but we’ll just go on and see where this is going …

Biden plans to make a vaccine mandatory! It won’t matter if you don’t want it, you WILL get it or go to jail.

The president can’t make a vaccine mandatory, and in any event no, Biden hasn’t said anything about mandatory vaccines. So, basically this is a lie.

Our gas is guaranteed to be over $4 a gallon. All YOUR fault. So when you are out of gas on the side of the road, call ole Joe to bring you some.

Again, what? The president has little control over the price of gas, and since the market is glutted with no end in sight, there’s zero reason to think gas prices will spiral upwards. This is ignorant fear mongering basically.

He supports murdering babies up to FULL TERM in the name of convenience.

So that 26 week preemie that is now 21 could have been aborted!!! That baby that was born today could have been aborted yesterday!! MURDER!

I presume the writer supports sex education, family planning, and birth control on demand, the only things that prevent abortions? Snort. And once again, the president has little power to do anything about abortion.

He plans to take away ALL gun rights! We will have no way to protect ourselves.

No one has proposed any federal gun control in decades, so again, ignorant fear mongering. And DC vs Heller confirmed the individual right to bear arms, so it’s not like Biden could take away guns even if he wanted to, which he doesn’t.

He plans to defund the police. Meaning the police WILL NOT be able to come to your side when you need them. And I assure you that YOU will be needing to dial 911 cause we will have a civil war! Crime will run rampant.

Since Biden has repeatedly and explicitly said he will not defund the police, this one is a lie. And in any event, the freaking president has no control over how local jurisdictions police themselves, so it’s another ignorant lie.

Biden will do away with Bonding companies. So if you go to jail, you will not have the luxury of calling a bondsman. You will sit until you have money to get out.

While Biden has called for reform of the bail system, again, it’s not something the president has power over on a state  and local level.  And Biden’s call for bail reform doesn’t include locking accused criminals up, which we don’t have the prison capacity for anyhow. It’s Trump who calls for locking people up, not Biden.

Biden voters, do you realize this is the America you chose. This is what YOU voted for and how you chose to allow our wonderful country to become a socialist country.

That Biden is going to usher in a socialist America is so divorced from reality that one must doubt the sanity of anyone espousing it. It would be as ridiculous as claiming Biden is a secret Muslim who wasn’t really born in America.

I hope y’all are prepared for what will happen if he does win. But sadly the majority of you don’t even know any of this because you only voted for him over your hatred for Trump.

No, most Biden voters don’t “know” any of this because they don’t watch Fox News, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh and the other right wing “news” sources peddling these lies. What they do know is that by almost any metric Trump hasn’t been a particularly good president, and by the ‘fighting Covid-19’ metric, Trump’s been a disaster. That Trump and his supporters spread nonsense like the above instead of running on his accomplishments pretty much speaks for itself.

Well, at least the writer of this screed is sincere and inspired to make themselves heard. But really, how can one even have a discussion with someone whose understanding of the facts is at such variance with, well, reality? It wasn’t always this way, in the early 90s I engaged in spirited debate with conservatives about many things, and the war in Iraq in particular. Haven’t debated a conservative in a dog’s age, they don’t even comment on my blog anymore.

It’s not that there’s necessarily going to be a Civil War, but Trump and his followers, at least the ones who believe the above, have already seceded from the Union. The world this person lives in isn’t America. And I loathe Biden, he’s one of the founders of the modern American state, which is a mess because both parties sold out to corporate America decades ago. Trumpian alternate reality partisanship goes beyond politics though.

I can’t think of another way to put it, this screed is a religious polemic, it’s not debate. The country is already torn in two, this election pretty much put the nail in that coffin. I guess at this point, you know what, let’s split the country in two. Partition it so to speak. Or more than two countries. I’ll make a map. I’ve said for decades that balkanization was inevitable for America, maybe we’re here.

So the election hasn’t been called yet, Thursday November 5. Trump is claiming he won and proceeding accordingly. Wild claims from the Trump supporters, but only minor weirdness yet: Nevada man interrupts press conference, claiming Biden is trying to steal the election. Calm before the storm? IDK. Crazy times. This made me laugh and good night:

#StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: From the movie Groundhog Day. Used without permission, but since I’ve promoted this wonderful movie tirelessly, I hope I can be forgiven. Image 2: Attribution in the image, found on Facebook. Both images are claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

November 5, 2020 at 7:52 pm

I CALLED IT. WE’RE STILL ON TENTERHOOKS THOUGH. ELECTION 2020, THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING.

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The vote counting has continued, it’s too close to call yet. So far my prediction about the election has been on the money. I predicted Trump would declare he won, and use the Supreme Court to install himself for a second term. And that’s precisely what he has done and is trying to do. My friends have assured me the Supreme Court would do no such thing. My friends forget 2000 when the Supreme Court did exactly that. And today’s Supreme Court is far more packed with GOP loyalists than in 2000.

So we’re not out of the woods yet. Even if Biden squeaks by with a narrow victory, Trump will do everything in his power to contest the results. If Trump wins, let me guess, the Dems will simply roll over pretty much like they have been since Trump got elected in the first place. Well, Biden did promise there would be “no fundamental changes.”

***

That was this morning, early evening now. Looks like it’s going to go to Biden, he’s flipped a few states that went to Trump in 2016, and looking good in a few more. Trump is already filing lawsuits. And there’s certainly going to be recounts. So 2000 all over again, but with more than just one state in play.

In retrospect, I suppose it’s good it was close. If Trump had clearly lost, he would almost certainly already be wreaking what vengeance he could on a country that failed him. Vindictive is one of his middle names. The longer the counting drags out, I think the more likely cooler heads will prevail. If Trump does manage to pull off a Bush 2000 result, not sure what could be done about it. The Occupy Wall Street protests pretty much showed how futile protesting is in contemporary America.

The real question, I guess the heart of the matter, how did we get to such a point where American reality is a farce? The electoral college and other weird invented election systems were well intentioned, but thoroughly gamed by the early nineteenth century. Other countries make it easy to vote, even require it. Voter suppression is the norm in the USA. Gerrymandering is rampant in the US. Not so much elsewhere. Etc.

I digress. Sort of. I’m sorry, I’m talking about how the hell did we get to a point where the choice for the leadership of the ‘free world’ came down to an old neocon party apparatchik who explicitly promised nothing vs a reality TV star, failed businessman, con artist, and failed president? And Americans in record numbers voted for one of these two options? Worse, at least in my view, they are encouraged to identify as one of these two factions?

OK, epiphany time here. Or something I hadn’t grokked until now. (Yes, grok is a perfectly cromulent word.) Trump supporters make a huge deal about publicly identifying themselves as Trump supporters. It’s like a shared identity, I don’t recall any other politician in my life that has inspired that kind of, what, devotion? It’s like people who are so into their preferred sport’s team that they costume themselves to attend games? Political cosplay?

I guess Trumpism has become a tribal identity. Obviously that’s a huge deal to a lot of people. Ideology and religion, people are fervent about both. When I was young, I ascribed to such. Now, I dunno, couldn’t we just go with what works? If any particular ideology or religion was the answer, we’d know it by now. The state of our world says none of them are the answer.

I think science and reason are the answer. There’s codicils of course, but any answer that ignores science and reason is ultimately a fail. I am very happy that so far the election has been peaceful. If things really settle down, science blogs! Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Found on Facebook, attribution unknown, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

November 4, 2020 at 8:41 pm

DEBATE NIGHT

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OK, debate night. At least it’s on so far. First though, a correction. Turns out the Ratcliffe FBI stuff yesterday was team Trump nonsense, trying to once again cast doubt on the integrity of the upcoming election. My bad. Like I said, the crap is flying so fast now I can’t keep up. And internationally too. Protestors shot in Nigeria, not looking good. The fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh continues, thousands dead. Covid is making a big comeback in Europe. 2020 is not going out with a whisper, that’s for sure.

Still seeing people online who aren’t really getting how terrible the pandemic is, either out of simple denial, or a more complicated effort to rationalize away Trump’s failure to fight Covid-19 effectively. Met a guy who thinks Covid-19 will all go away after the election, because it’s mostly liberal media hype just to make Trump look bad. I really don’t even know what to say to such people anymore, I’m with Bill Murray. For the people that can read, this is one of the best overviews of the whole pandemic I’ve seen yet: America and the Virus: ‘A Colossal Failure of Leadership’

A brief summary for those who can’t get past the paywall. It’s a sad and infuriating story. Before Trump America was the best prepared nation on Earth for a pandemic. Started with Bush 42 actually. He read a book about the 1918 flu pandemic, was alarmed, called together some experts and asked how prepared America was? Not very was the answer. So he set up a pandemic response team and crafted a pandemic response plan. Obama expanded on it. And Trump dismantled it over three years, and when the pandemic hit, he threw the plan out the window in favor of winging it.

To be fair the article goes into the failures of China and other players, and the scientific missteps made along the way. Science is self-correcting though, realizing they were wrong and issuing new guidelines shows that science works. Since Trump can never admit he was wrong, his response to Covid-19 is still basically just winging it. The article also mentions that if the US had handled Covid as well as most other developed countries, only about 50,000 people would be dead. Trump’s claim he prevented millions of deaths is, well, bullshit. The last point, the point that isn’t being talked about at all as people envision it’s all going to go away when we get a vaccine. Right now the economic price tag is about 16 trillion dollars. That’s about 125 thousand for every household in America. Not the flu morans.

So covid-19 is as serious as a heart attack. And I guess it won’t be covered in the debate tonight. (I was wrong.)  I’m about to watch it. I’ll post some impressions tonight, more tomorrow if it ends up being something to blog about. I’m betting Trump has a fit and storms off the stage at some point.

And Biden has walked into a trap. Normalizing the idea that Russian can influence the election is playing right into Trump’s hand.

Screaming.

Biden’s doing OK, but I want to see Trump staked in the heart.

I just wish Biden was a great debater, a Lincoln or Roosevelt or even Obama would have eviscerated Trump.

“The preexisting condition plan at the same time we get the infrastructure plan.” Point for Biden.

Surreal.

Trump is a master of the gish-gallop argument. Except he believes what he is saying.

Had to mute Trump as he went into a horrific racist victim blaming rant about illegal immigrants.

I know a DACA kid. She came into the country at 2 years old in the trunk of a car. She’s a fantastic American.

Possible exception of Abraham Lincoln! No Mr Trump, just no.

“All talk, no action!” That’s Olympic class rich coming from Trump.

OK, I watched almost all of the debate. Trump is brilliant at what he does, he didn’t lose. That most of what he said was irrelevant (cherry picked) or untrue will be lost on a huge number of Americans. He didn’t storm off the stage, I lost a bet. Biden, well, he could have done worse. I’ll call it a draw at this point.

Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

October 22, 2020 at 7:56 pm

BURIED TREASURE FOUND, AND THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN SHOW CONTINUES

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In local news, this is what I found while treasure hunting (metal detecting) yesterday. A US penny, 1853. About the size of a modern quarter, pure copper. 1853, whole different world. My state, Iowa, had only been formed seven years earlier, the county I live in only two years earlier. No planes or cars then of course, if one went anywhere, one walked or rode a horse. Though train and steamboat travel was getting popular. Photographs had been around for about a decade, so was the telegraph, the first long distance electronic communication system. The country had become a much smaller place, news could travel across the nation instantly, when previously it would take weeks. And plans were afloat to lay the first transAtlantic telegraph cable. The stirrings of the modern world were starting.

And America was in the death spiral leading to the Civil War seven years later. Since before 1820 there were slave states and free states, and by 1853 it was really starting to heat up. Especially in Kansas as free state and slave state vigilantes wreaked violence, around 200 people would die in “Bleeding Kansas,” as this prelude to the Civil War would be called. Here, Clear Lake Iowa was literally just being founded, the first settlers arriving two years before. So if my coin was dropped in 1853, it was dropped by one of the very first settlers. Though it’s also possible it was lost by a Winnebego Indian, Clear Lake was a popular summer home for them.

And here’s a positive local story about same. One of the very earliest settlers was some fellow who claimed he was a notorious Indian fighter. Well, one night some local Winnebagos had a little too much to drink, and a party of them set out to pay him a visit and see this guy for themselves. Well, word got to him before they arrived … and he fled with the clothes on his back, never to return. Be careful what one brags about I would say.

So it was a good way to end the treasure hunting season. Will inspire me to do more next year. Alas the US has no treasure trove laws, so I have to be careful to only search private property with an agreement with the landowner. Europe would be so much better, far more treasure to be found, and treasure trove laws mean if you find real treasure, the government will pay you a fair market price for it. Everyone wins, treasure hunters get the reward for their finds, priceless historical artifacts become public property for science and show. Here in the US, no treasure trove laws, so looting is the order of the day. Another aspect of “modern” America that doesn’t reflect us in a good light.

Like, say, the current election. Both sides are frantically slinging mud and hoping it sticks to the wall. Far more so than in any previous election I recall, I mean really, life was boring before 2020. I can’t keep up with them all. There was something about Hunter Biden’s emails, that Trump claimed was the political crime of the century. Is there a word for when one’s hyperbole has been hyperbolized? Then Trump claimed the media was deliberately ignoring the Hunter Biden story to make him look bad. No Mr Trump and Trump followers, they ignored it because the Hunter Biden story stank. And at this point appears to be a whole lot of nothing.

By the same token the FBI came out with some stuff about Russia, Iran, and the election, which has also been immediately blown out of anything resembling proportion. FBI director Ratcliffe said Russia and Iran had obtained US voter information, no hacking involved. And why would there be, it’s publicly available information for the most part? And apparently some Iranian servers have used this information to stir up trouble, but  Ratcliffe was again specific, the Russians haven’t done so. In other words, Russia obtained some public information about US voters … and this is being breathlessly touted as “Proof of Russian election interference!” and “Why is Trump not doing anything about it!” Give me a break.

And frankly the idea that some foreign power is causing dissent in the US now is like saying a guy running around in a hurricane with a squirtgun is a public menace. We’re doing just fine on our own with an out of control pandemic and an out of control POTUS. This was a good one: Trump’s campaign is laser-focused on appealing to Donald Trump. After 2016 no one wants to predict the election result, but Jesus, is Trump’s campaign run by squirrels wearing a human suit? There’s this, Tiffany Trump tried to hold an LGBTQ pride campaign event, it didn’t go well: Tiffany Trump burned over disastrous LGBTQ pride campaign event: ‘Beyond pathetic’. Or this mind numbing image:

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here to point out that this says far more about whoever created, vetted, and approved this image than anything about Biden. And yes, it’s real. And once again with feeling, screw the people that mainstreamed name-calling as acceptable political discourse. It’s like living in a country run by preschoolers.

Tomorrow, the last Biden/Trump debate! My only prediction … it won’t turn out the way anyone predicted. Might well be a shitshow like the last debate, but doesn’t take a crystal ball to “predict” that. Maybe something really fun will happen, Biden’s human mask falls off and reveals a reptoid. Trump pulls out handcuffs and tries to citizen’s arrest Biden. It’s 2020 right? As my ancient nemesis Missy would say “Not bored yet.” #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Coin photo: Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved. Billboard image: Pittsburgh City Paper. Used without permission, but claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. I’m promoting and linking to their article.)

Written by unitedcats

October 21, 2020 at 7:22 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

BIDEN VS TRUMP DEBATE (AND BOY WAS I WRONG)

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45 minutes until the debate. One of the more anticipated debates of the past decade at least. I expect it’s going to be pretty dull, the debates tend to be. Both trying to score points for their base, off each other, not as much. I’ll make some running notes, then sum it up when it’s over. Fun times. Beer will be involved.

Wow, what a flaming shitshow. A clusterfuck? I was wrong, this is unlike any previous presidential I have ever seen. Trump is simply fantasizing aloud, the moderator can’t seem to keep it under control. And Biden keeps missing opportunities to skewer Trump, and letting Trump control the narrative.

OK, that was my one in progress comment. Oh my, I was sure wrong. The debate was a much bigger free for all than I expected. Never been a debate like this in my life. The moderator was, well, inconsistent? Certainly wasn’t the boring debate I expected. In hindsight not surprising. Trump lives in a fantasy world, with near four years of “proof” to support him. Biden tried to keep the debate reality oriented, and scored points with his base no doubt. Both sides will claim they won. In random order, a few in-debate observations.

No, the pre-Covid economy was not “The greatest in history.” Trump’s response to Covid-19 didn’t save millions of lives, it was one of the least effective responses on the planet leading to 200,000 and rising dead Americans. The “radical left” in America is miniscule, in no way shape or form are Democrats and Biden supporters “radical leftists.” Antifa is an idea, not an organisation. 

So yeah, I don’t think either side won. I think Biden could have done a better job, but he got his licks in. A shitshow debate for a shitshow election in a shitshow year. And two more to follow, three if we count Harris/Pence. I guess I’ll watch em all. 

Oh, bonus points for me, Iowa was mentioned in the debate! Stay safe everyone, longer post tomorrow I hope.#StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

September 29, 2020 at 8:39 pm

ANTIFA WEAPONS CACHE EXPLODES ON STREET KILLING SEVEN

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A quote on yesterday’s post about Trump: “Walter Mitty handed absolute authority.” Yeah, that certainly sums Trump up. Walter Mitty is a fictional character who lives a very meek life but is consumed by heroic fantasies where he is the star. Trump is a Walter Mitty who has sucked millions of people into his fantasy world … where he’s the greatest president ever, yadda yadda yadda.

Also came across this quote by the guy who ghost wrote “The Art of the Deal” for Trump: 

“Lying is second nature to him,” Schwartz said. “More than anyone else I have ever met, Trump has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at any given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true.”

Got it from this Snopes article, a curious read in itself: Donald Trump Gave His 2nd Grade Music Teacher a Black Eye. (No, he didn’t.) In any event my remote assessment of Trump is pretty much the same as a guy who interviewed him on numerous occasions. Confirmation bias, I know. Haven’t really come across anyone talking about what a brilliant articulate guy Trump is though. Aside from Trump himself I suppose. (That doesn’t count.) 

Trump has named his Supreme Court pick. Might be a fun ride ahead. We could see abortion recriminalized, half a million marriages dissolved, 20 million people losing their health care, and discrimination of many types made perfectly legal again. I’m a little unclear on how trying to reset the national calendar to 1950 is going to help, but we may well find out.

A story about another police shooting in America. Sigh. No, BLM is not a terrorist organization, nor are they anti-police. And in any event, the basic core problem, the reason there is a BLM and why there are calls to reform the police, is because American police shoot way too many people under circumstances where if a civilian did the shooting, the shooter would be arrested and go on trial. And that that almost never happens in the USA is the problem. And here’s a case where the victim was white; while the police disproportionately shoot blacks, innocent white people get shot too: FBI probes police killing of boy on family’s drive.

To summarize for those who didn’t have time to read, the police went to do a health and welfare check on a teenage boy whose Facebook posts had prompted a call to the police by concerned friends. Upon arriving, the kid backed his car out of the garage “aggressively,” and was shot dead, more than ten shots were fired. (That’s called a fusillade by the way.) Well, he was OK until the cops arrived, phew, does that count?. The justification for shooting him? The cop was afraid. I’m sorry, aren’t cops trained to keep a level head in scary situations? That’s their job, right? Cops are called to deal with scary situations

Hey, and if “I’m scared” is such a great excuse for cops killing people, then no problem letting a jury decide? And that’s the goddamn effing problem. Cops shoot people under circumstances where I or the gentle reader would be on trial for murder, and rarely are they tried or seriously called to account for their actions. No other civilized country lets their cops get away with this, and shootings by police are trivial in other countries compared to the US. Even if one wants to ignore the racial disparity in these shootings, it still needs to change. 

Moving right along, the post image: Fact-check: Are Protesters Throwing Cans of Soup and Tuna, As Trump Claims? Short and long answer, no. Trump has recently touted some fantasies about how anti-police protestors are bringing bags of canned food to protests to throw at the police, so they can claim they were “just carrying groceries” if caught. This is what I was talking about when I said Trump was like the grade school kid we all knew who made up wild stories. This tin can story comes out of Trump’s imagination, there’s zero evidence for it. And it makes no sense to begin with. 

I had some sciency stuff about supercats, but this turned into another Trump and Covid-19 post. It is what it is. Oh, my Biden sign arrived today, I have yet to deploy it. Looking forward to debating with my neighbors. Let me be clear, I don’t expect anyone to vote for anyone, vote for whoever one pleases. I’m voting a straight Democratic ticket though, the first time I’ve voted in a POTUS election in decades. And I urge other people to do so, Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic can’t be allowed to continue or hundreds of thousands more will die. It’s that simple.

Plus Trump doesn’t have a cat or a dog. That’s, just, un-American. Hope everyone is having a good weekend. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Found on Facebook, no known attribution, used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

September 26, 2020 at 7:37 pm