Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Civil War’ Category

MARCH 4TH 2021: BIDEN REVEALED AS CHINESE CLONE, TRUMP REINAUGERATED AS THOUSANDS OF SPACE FORCE SHOCK TROOPS DESCEND ON WASHINGTON. HUNDREDS ARRESTED, AOC, HARRIS, AND HILLARY FLEE ON AIRFORCE TWO TO CUBA

leave a comment »

“Washington is calm tonight as Space Force Shock Troops backed by thousands of QAnon and related militia forces swept into Washington, with Trump revealing in a press conference damning evidence of high crimes by the Democratic Washington establishment; shortly afterwards he was reinaugurated as the US president. The carefully planned and executed “Operation Storm” caught various Democratic criminals in the act, many confessing and providing evidence to avoid summary execution. Across America millions came to the streets to peacefully celebrate a return to justice and democracy, and the fitting end to one of the most demonic conspiracies ever.”

Well, that was fun. Once again QAnon’s hopes for their Messiah being magically reinstated have failed to materialize. And messiah it is, Trump’s popularity isn’t based on any reality based examination of his life and accomplishments, except in a few exceedingly narrow categories. Interesting times indeed. I’m frightened of Trump supporters now, there’s been a lot of crazy talk. In Texas in particular there’s talk of secession and kicking Democrats out of the state. Yeah, extremists for now, but scary times.

We are seeing the GOP doubling down on voter suppression efforts in states they control. Another beauty of Trump’s truthless claims of massive voter fraud. Healthy democracies make it easy to vote, because it’s not that hard to prevent voter fraud in the computer era. The US is not a healthy democracy, with GOP gerrymandering and voter suppression making it less so on a regular basis. The truth is most Americans are reasonably liberal and open minded, and not interested in living in a “Christian Nation” defined by an old testament Evangelical worldview.

Frankly at this point, give the GOP Texas and the south. I sometimes think the North should have just let the South go its own way in 1860. Slavery was already an athema to the rest of the developed world. The CSA would have been the Saudi Arabia of the world, without the oil. They would have been a friendless pariah state, with an economy increasingly lagging in a growing industrial world. Slave plantations could not compete with factories and mechanization. IE the South was a freaking lost cause in 1860, and is even more so now.

So give Texas, Florida, and a half dozen southern states to the Trump supporters and let them create their deregulated Christian utopia. Then the rest of us can rejoin the modern world and get on with an inclusive democratic America based on what works best for the common good. No ideology necessary. Things like single payer healthcare, a minimum wage, etc help everyone. The rich are slightly less rich, they’ll survive. Works just fine in the rest of the developed world, why the richest nation the world has ever known can’t provide a fair distribution of wealth to its citizens isn’t because of shortage, it’s because of greed.

So, two other items in the news. The people who have the rights to the Dr Seuss books announced that they would cease publishing six of his more obscure books because they contained offensive racist stereotype images. And the right wing “cancel culture” outrage machine went into full ballistic mode, claiming censorship, Biden did this, etc. Sigh. Times change people, and often for the better. Recognizing that dated racist stereotypes aren’t really a good thing to distribute is a perfectly reasonable and commendable business decision. If people just need to have one of these books, they will be on Ebay forever. And boy, it was a brilliant marketing move, sales of Dr Suess books have gone through the roof.

In a similar vein, Mr Potato head, a toy from my freaking childhood, rebranded their product to be more inclusive. They made it so kids could make Mr and Mr Potato head, etc, if they wanted. Again, the right wing outrage machine went nuts. What can I say, if your worldview is so fragile that even acknowledging that other views are possible … you’re a fucking Nazi and a disgrace to Christ. Let me be clear, I don’t have a problem with Trump supporters. I have a problem with them thinking their way is the only way and everyone who doesn’t think their way is the enemy.

Basically at this point Trump is the Messiah to his followers. We’re far beyond politics, debate, or compromise. Historically messiahs make terrible heads of state, Trump certainly filled those shoes nicely; but to his followers, he was the best president ever! And still is to many of them, I came across this today:

“Wow. Just wow.

I went to a friends house tonight to say goodbye to her mom who is moving back to Alabama. I’ve seen these people all along, and we’ve been careful, but their politics are opposite of mine. We normally just don’t discuss it, but tonight I walked into it.

They honestly believe:

Biden is not actually president, Trump is.

Hillary is in jail.

A secret inauguration happened today.

They had a lot of reasons to back up their claims.

They spent much of the evening showing each other pictures from right wing social media “proving” their theories.

Crazy is real, peeps.”

OK then. I wish we could just shuffle Trump supporters off into a private holodeck universe where they could live out their lives in some fantasy Trumptopia. No such luck. Have a great weekend everyone. Sorry I haven’t been blogging as much, processing my dad’s death is harder than I expected. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(image: Public domain Snappygoat image.)

Written by unitedcats

March 5, 2021 at 8:56 pm

HISTORY QUIZ!

leave a comment »

As per a commenter’s suggestion, a history quiz. No particular topic but since my main interest is military history, that will be the lion’s share of the questions. Ten questions, some trivia, some obscure, most because I thought they were interesting in some ways. (Basically this is just an excuse for me to tell stories about history. People do the most amazing sheet.) Pencil and paper required if one wants to be serious I suppose. Answers at bottom.Good luck, enjoy!

  1. How many times was Greenland colonised? Including successful and unsuccessful attempts. By human beings, just to be clear. The 47 failed penguin colonies don’t count.
  2. What exotic animal did Roman Emperor Commodus publicly slay in the colosseum to demonstrate his godhood? (No, I’m not making these up, people do weird sheet.)
  3. Who was Gil-Galad’s standard bearer at the siege of Barad Dur?
  4. How many tanks did Germany build in World War One? (World War One, not World War Two, where they built thousands.)
  5. What was the only daylight surface battle between battleships in World War Two?
  6. Everyone (well, primarily Americans I expect) knows about the first battle between ironclad warships, the Monitor vs the Merrimac during the American Civil War. What was the only battle ever fought between two fleets of ironclad warships? (Hint, no, it wasn’t during the American Civil War.)
  7. What weapon did a fully armored knight typically carry into battle during the late Middle Ages?
  8. When the British attacked the City of Buenos Aires during the 2nd Battle of Buenos Aires, how many directions did they attack from?
  9. What was the greatest defeat of an American army by native warriors during America’s conquest of the western Americas?
  10. When was the only time an entire American army surrendered to an enemy army?

ANSWERS:

  1. Greenland was colonized at least five times, only twice successfully. Pretty good for a remote barely inhabitable island. There were at least two failed North American native colonizations before the Vikings arrived in 980. The Viking settlement failed due to being cut off from Europe by the Little Ice Age. While the Vikings were there, the Inuit settled in Northern Greenland, the first successful colonization of Greenland. The Viking colony died out, but they returned some centuries later in the second successful colonization of Greenland.
  2. Emperor Commodus went nuts in his later years, deciding he was Hercules reborn, naming Rome after himself and other nonsense. He “fought” many gladiators in the Colosseum, though none actually fought him, they were all wise enough to know that submitting right away was their only chance of living to sundown. And Commodus was still sane enough to know that killing men who submitted to him in public wasn’t wise. (He had no such qualms about killing men in gladiator practice. Gladiators were slaves by the way.) This was all considered outrageous by the Romans, as if the US President decided to take up WWE wrestling. The animal he killed to prove his godhood? A giraffe. While very few Romans had ever seen a giraffe, they could tell it was just a helpless terrified exotic animal, the killing impressed no one. Though it further cemented opinion that the Emperor was losing it.
  3. Elrond! What, fantasy history is history, right? (Recounted in the Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien.)
  4. Germany ordered only a 100 A7V tanks (see image)  during the course of World War One. The Allies built thousands. And only 15-20 of the German tanks were completed in time to see action. They didn’t change the course of the war of course, but they did get to be part of the world’s first tank battle.
  5. The Battle of the Denmark Strait. Two British battleships vs the Nazi battleship Bismark and cruiser Prinz Eugen. This is the one where the Bismark sunk the Hood with one shot, the flagship of the British fleet. One of the flashes in this film (taken from the Prinz Eugen during the battle blew up the Hood killing 1500 Brits. Three Brits survived.
  6. The Battle of Lissa, 1866, between Italy and Austria. A brilliantly led Austrian fleet defeated a much larger but incompetently led Italian fleet. IThe battle basically accomplished nothing except humiliating the Italians: The Italian fleet got home, its admiral declared he’d won a great victory even though two of Italy’s finest warships had gone down, and he was the toast of the town. He probably got laid, but that’s just historical conjecture. By the next day word got to Italy that no Austrian ships had been sunk, and the admiral’s partying days limply ended.
  7. A sword! No, of course not, what good would a sword do against a guy wearing steel armor? A hammer of some sort was their primary weapon, designed specifically to damage armor. The sword though was already steeped in mythology, and certainly was still widely in use, just not against guys wearing armor.
  8. 12. That’s right, they attacked a hostile city from twelve different directions. In 1808. This was part of one of Britain’s tragicomedy attempts to conquer Spanish colonies in South America. Britain made a number of attempts to seize the supposedly weak colonies from Spain’s decaying and definitely weak empire, all ended badly. In this case the British commander apparently thought the tiny number of Spanish troops in the city would be quickly located and defeated. And if the residents of the city had stood meekly by and watched, great plan. No, the residents, including quite a few actual militias (no bison horns, Chewbacca robes, or silly flags) didn’t particularly want to be part of the Spanish Empire (Argentina would be independent within a decade;) but the definitely didn’t want to be conquered and ruled by Britain. It ended badly for Britain, thousands dead all told and a humiliating surrender.
  9. No, it wasn’t Little Big Horn, that was just the most famous native defeat of American forces. It was in 1791, The Battle of the Thousand Slain, or as the less imaginative Americans called it, The Battle of the Wabash. Basically a poorly planned, poorly equipped, poorly supplied, poorly manned, and most especially poorly led American army marched into what was then the wilderness of Ohio to teach the natives a lesson for defeating an American army the previous year! Even the not particularly astute reader can guess how this turned out. 24 Americans out of about 1,000 made it back safely.
  10. The Siege of Detroit, during the War of 1812, America’s misbegotten attempt to make Canada the “14th colony” of the United States. Basically a brilliant British general psyched out the American commander, and tricked him into surrendering to a much smaller British/native army.

That’s that, some of this was from memory, if I made any egregious mistakes please excoriate me in a comment. I write history posts provoke thought and curiosity, not to recount history for academic purposes.  Don’t worry, more Trump antics soon enough. What a time to be alive. Future blog suggestions welcome. I hope everyone had a safe and warm weekend. I’m ready for spring. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Captured world War One German tank “Mephisto.” Australians captured it, hauled it back to Australia, where it’s in a war museum and is indeed the only German World War One tank still in existence. Photo taken in 1918 and is Public Domain under applicable copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

January 24, 2021 at 8:10 pm

THE SHEETSHOW CHRONICLES CONTINUE

leave a comment »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

January 14, 2021 at 10:36 pm

NIXON RISES FROM THE GRAVE TO CONDEMN TRUMP

with one comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

January 13, 2021 at 9:23 pm

MADNESS WALKS THE LAND

leave a comment »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Public domain Snappygoat image.)

Written by unitedcats

January 12, 2021 at 9:50 pm

IT’S NOT OVER YET BY A LONG SHOT

leave a comment »

Yesterday a mob incited by Trump’s lies about the election stormed the Capitol Building in Washington. Only one death directly related to the riot, a woman shot inside the building. A second death pending, apparently an injured cop is brain dead. Three others died of unrelated causes during the excitement. The rioters were trying to disrupt the official counting of the electoral votes that would be the last step in certifying Biden’s electoral victory. A number of members of congress were planning to protest this  event, defending Trump’s unsupported fantasies about the election being stolen from him by massive fraud. After the protesters were cleared out, congress resumed its deliberations and completed the certification. And in fact a number of members who had been planning to object, changed their tune and voted to accept the results of November’s election. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are now officially the president and vice president elect, and will be sworn into office on January 20th.

Upon reflection, what do I think? I think people need to choose. They can choose to support America or they can choose to support Trump. They can’t do both, they are mutually exclusive at this point. Trump’s lies and exhortations caused this insurrection and attempt to subvert democracy in America. He is no longer fit to be president of the United States and should be removed from office under the auspices of the 25th amendment, and be impeached so that he can never hold office in the United States again. There is talk of same, but at this point I still don’t see either happening. Time will tell.

The reaction on the right, sadly pretty predictable. About half of registered Republican voters supported what the mob did. Along with a whole coterie of rationalizations and weirdness. It wasn’t Trump supporters, no, it was Antifa supporters disguised as Trump supporters! Or a false flag operation by the Democrats! Or the Lizard People! OK, I haven’t actually heard the last one anywhere, but I’m sure there’s some out there. It’s fascinating to me that Trumpers can simultaneously support what happened, but somehow deflect blame onto their supposed enemies. Some have even called it an attempted coup by the Democrats! The mind reels at the mental gyrations behind all this. And for the record, numerous mob members have been identified so far, and every single one is a proud white nationalist Trump supporting QAnon following enthusiast.

Even after watching this trend grow for decades, it’s still amazing to me that people have gotten themselves into a headspace where their perception of every facet of reality is twisted to match their ideological beliefs. Global warming is a hoax, Obama was born in Kenya, Covid-19 is a hoax, Trump won the election, etc. The whole world of non Trump supporters is somehow this giant conspiracy against them to take away their freedoms and impose atheist gun banned socialism on them. (Paranoid details will vary depending on the Trumper in question.) The problem of course is that people who create their own reality (or follow those who do so for them) are capable of anything, except being reasoned with. Wednesday may have been our century’s Fort Sumter, time will tell.

I am torn up by these events. And Covid continues to rage, 4,000 a day dying in America now. If 4,000 Americans a day were dying on Obama’s watch, Trump and his followers would be apoplectic with rage. Trump’s watch, they don’t even notice. And lastly I’m torn up because a person I had become very fond of as late vanished Tuesday night, and no one knows what happened. Torn up doesn’t really cover it, I woke up this morning hearing her call my name. I can only pray that she’s OK. I love you Erika. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #ImpeachTrump

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Inside the Capitol yesterday. An image that should never have happened, the people protecting Congress failed. Jesus Christ, one cop even posed for a selfie with a rioter. When was the last time a cop posed for a selfie with a bank robber? Disgusting beyond belief. Image attribution unknown, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. If it’s not an historically important image, I don’t know what is. Lastly, a slightly different perspective on the riot: Capitol Incident a Dress Rehearsal.)

Written by unitedcats

January 7, 2021 at 8:18 pm

2 MORE DAYS TILL THE SHEET HITS THE FAN

with one comment

I really enjoyed writing yesterday’s post. I loved the comment one reader left about Lincoln and his decision to commute the death sentences of hundreds of natives:

“I agree with your assessment of Lincoln’s role as one of the better people during an ugly time. One remark I recall: when he was told that commuting many of the death sentences of Sioux warriors would cost him votes, he said “I can’t hang men for votes.””

Lincoln really had a way of seeing things from a different and wiser perspective. When asked if he prayed that God was on the Union’s side, he replied “No, I pray that  the Union is on God’s side.” So yes, going to try to have one current events post followed by a history or science post. More fun for me to write, hopefully more fun for my readers, and easier to achieve my goal of posting every day. Hope to do so for the next 30 plus years, especially now due to recent developments in my life, but the future is known to no one.

Speaking of which, the above meme. I do agree, the chances that the Democratic controlled Congress will overturn Biden’s election is effectively zero. Reminds me of the Dem’s impeachment proceedings against Trump last year, there was zero chance the Republican controlled Senate would vote to impeach Trump. So what, exactly, is the purpose of these sorts of sheet shows? Governing signaling, IE to fire up their base and make them think the party of their choice has their back. Political theatre basically, to distract people from the fact that neither party is interested in the welfare of poor and working class Americans, it’s all about shovelling money into the coffers of the corporate rich and the imperial war machine that have run Washington for decades. Yeah, I’m cynical about all American politicians. They are welcome to convince me otherwise.

So, Trump has called for protests in Washington on Wednesday when Congress is set to formally certify Biden’s electoral victory. And some of his followers have been making threats: Far-right group Proud Boys claim they will attend January 6 DC rally ‘incognito’ and wear all-black to blend in with antifa protesters and Trump supporters are threatening violence at Wednesday’s march on DC — and he’s egging them on. The Georgia run-off elections are Tuesday, and if the Democrats win it will add gasoline to the fire. Fun times.

And, breaking news! US election: Trump tells Georgia election official to ‘find’ votes to overturn Biden win. In a nutshell, Trump phoned the Georgia secretary of state and basically pressured and threatened him to change the outcome of the presidential election in Georgia. It’s all on tape, and apparently it’s likely criminal action: Trump’s pressure on Georgia election officials raises legal questions. And it gets better! Trump to sue Georgia secretary of state for recording a call where he demanded a crime be committed: report. In Georgia as long as one party to the call knows it’s being recorded, it’s legal to record a phone call.

Well, this Tuesday and Wednesday are likely to be interesting. Wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Trump made more criminal phone calls and dug himself in deeper. He really does believe he won the election and it was somehow magically stolen from him. Magical thinking has been one of his hallmarks forever. Sadly if so many high ranking members of the GOP weren’t backing this fantasy, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. Trump may actually believe his fantasies, tens of millions of his followers do. The fact that every Republican judge and election official that looked at Trump’s election fraud allegations deemed them baseless pretty much means most of the GOP congressmen and senators who are backing them also understand they are baseless. Trump doesn’t actually think he’s committing a crime trying to overturn the election results, I don’t think the congressional leaders backing him have the same excuse.

Crazy times, but a golden age for memes. This one cracked me up. I no longer give a crap about treating Trump with any sort of respect, the death and chaos his fantasies and failures of leadership have caused makes him fair game for criticism. Stay safe, sane, and warm everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Images: Top image, attribution in image. Bottom image, attribution unknown. Both claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

January 3, 2021 at 6:50 pm

WAS LINCOLN A MONSTER? THE DAKOTA WAR AND AMERICA’S LARGEST MASS HANGING.

with one comment

Today a trip down history lane, Lincoln and the largest mass hanging in US history. On 26 December 1862 38 Indians were hung by the US Army in Mankato, Minnesota. I’ve seen a number of memes and discussions on Facebook about this event, and frankly I’m usually horrified by how it’s portrayed and discussed. Mostly discussion involves just what a farce their trials were, and they weren’t even up to the standards of the day; plus throwing in Lincoln as the bad guy in all of this. Lately I’ve seen a number of memes etc. to the effect that Lincoln was some sort of racist monster. I hate black and white depictions of complex historical events and people, they usually leave a lot out.

In any event, The Dakota War, the event that led to this mass execution. Minnesota was a frontier state at the time, it had only been a state for four years. Yes, natives were treated badly by America pretty much from the get go, privately genocide was the often path taken by whites. Cultural genocide was the national policy. There’d been a lot of conflict as settlers moved onto land basically just stolen from the people living there. Thus a lot of resentment on the natives part. And one day a native hunting party massacred a settler family, and that instigated a general uprising.

Numerous bands and tribes began to kill settlers in a bid to convince Americans to flee the region. Between 500 and 800 settlers were killed, often in truly heinous ways. Several small towns were completely destroyed, all their inhabitants killed or taken prisoner. Initially there was little resistance because this was the height of the Civil War and there were no federal troops in Minnesota at all. It should be pointed out that not all the native bands and tribes in the region participated, a number of chiefs refused to participate, one even ordered his warriors to protect the American settlers living nearby.

Within months though a combination of hastily organized militias and federal troops fought and won a number of battles with the Dakota,  put down the uprising, and imprisoned hundreds of natives. The army tried over 300 of them for war crimes and sentenced them all to hang, 303 death sentences to be exact. And for the most part, Americans were just fine with this. The governor of Minnesota even warned that if they weren’t all hung, private citizens would enact their own retribution on whatever natives they could. We are talking about hundreds of settler families murdered, many memorials to those killed remain today.

And this is where Lincoln’s involvement comes in. He was, shall we say, kinda busy during this time. The Civil War was raging. He worked from before dawn to just before bed most days, his wife said she was lucky if she got 15 minutes of his company before he fell asleep at night. So he didn’t need to get involved at all, he could have just let the army hang all 303 prisoners, and that would have been that. That wasn’t Lincoln though, he personally reviewed every federal death sentence handed down during the Civil War, and he made no exception here. He had the trial transcripts, such as they were, sent to Washington, and over a month reviewed them all. And he commuted the death sentences of all but 39 of them, later commuting one more when a general wired him that new information cast doubt on one indian’s guilt.

And by every accounting, Lincoln was horrified by the corrupt and unjust way natives were treated, saying “If we get through this war, and I live, this Indian system shall be reformed.” He also said something to the effect that “You can’t hang an Indian just because he joined an uprising at his chief’s command.” Lincoln grew up on the frontier, and knew in fact how badly natives were treated. During the Blackhawk war he prevented his own men from murdering a native that wandered into their camp. Maybe if the Civil war hadn’t intervened he could have started reforms and maybe the whole damn uprising never would have happened.

So yeah, a shameful chapter in American history. As is almost all of America’s history with the natives, and it’s still not exactly something to be proud of today. When Reagan visited the Soviet Union and pressed them on their human rights record, the Russian premier brought up America’s treatment of its natives. Reagan said “Why, we treat them fine. I’ll meet with Indians any day to discuss their concerns!” When he got back to Washington, a delegation of native leaders was literally waiting in front of the White House to meet with him. He refused.

All that being said, I don’t see how Lincoln comes off as the bad guy in this. It seems popular these days to portray Lincoln as a racist, but the cherry picked quotes I have seen don’t support that. Yes, he did regard whites as the “superior” race, that was kind of the scientific view at the time. However, and it’s a huge however, Lincoln thought that meant it was more important than ever to treat them with the exact same dignity and justice as anyone else. This was a man who his whole life was concerned with justice and fairness. He wasn’t popular among his fellow lawyers for example because he charged people what they could afford, and wouldn’t take on unjust cases.

And I’m no fan of Lincoln. As I have said before “Lincoln didn’t free the slaves, he enslaved the rest of us.” Lincoln was the one that laid the groundwork for the enormously expanded bloated monstrosity the federal government is today. Maybe if he had lived to finish his work, the country might be a better place today. In any event, even allowing the “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart…’ I think that whatever the result, Lincoln was an honorable man trying to leave the world a better place than he found it. Something I would say of very few other presidents.

Tomorrow, more covid horror and Trump’s fantasy about winning the election gets ever weirder. Stay safe, warm, and sane everyone.  #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: “Attack on New Ulm” Oil on canvas, 1904, Anton Gag. Public Domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

January 2, 2021 at 6:41 pm