Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘colonialism’ Category

“NEVER LESS ALONE THAN WHEN ALONE.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

September 19, 2020 at 7:20 pm

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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January first, New Year’s Day. Oddly enough starting the year on January 1st is a relatively new thing. In much of Europe it wasn’t until after 1500. In the Ottoman Empire it wasn’t until 1918. And in Thailand not until 1941! Yes, there are Thai people alive today who remember when New Year’s Day wasn’t January 1st. Before then it was April 1st. So that means there must have been an extra long year or an extra short year when they made the switch.  Must of been a huge hassle with contracts, birthdays, and such. The legal equivalent of when Sweden switched to driving on the right.

So, any interesting history on January 1st? A little, there’s always something. The Chenogne massacre in 1945, where American troops in retaliation for the Malmedy massacre killed a like number of German POWs. I’m of a mind that events like this should be taught in school. On the same day the Luftwaffe launched its last air offensive, Operation Bodenplatte, an attempt to destroy a crippling number of Allied aircraft on the ground in Belgium and France, giving the Germans control of the skies over the then raging Battle of the Bulge. It was a catastrophic fail, destroying easily replaced Allied aircraft and losing many irreplaceable trained and experienced German pilots. So it was the Luftwaffe’s last gasp as an organized force, and through the end of the war the Allies completely controlled the skies over Europe.

In 1947 Canadian citizens became Canadian citizens instead of British citizens. I didn’t know that, but it was more a formality and legal nicety than any big change. Going back further, in 1804 “Haiti becomes the first black-majority republic and second independent country in North America after the United States.” That’s from Wikipedia. I guess the hundreds of Indian nations in the Americas didn’t count as independent countries? In 1801 Ceres was discovered, the first and largest asteroid discovered. It was considered a planet for some time, then an asteroid, and now a dwarf planet. Science marches on, if confusingly sometimes.

Back in the here and now 2020 rolls in with a new crisis. Iraqi protesters swarmed the US embassy in Baghdad, causing damage, but no deaths or hostages yet. My first thought on hearing the news was, wait, what, isn’t the US embassy inside the Green Zone, the huge fortified crusader complex the US built in Baghdad? How did protesters even get to the US embassy? Turns out the Iraqi government let them in. Sigh, what a mess. Trump publicly blamed Iran, claiming they orchestrated the attack somehow. At least he’s mastered that aspect of Neocon World Middle East, if anything we don’t like happens, it must be Iran’s fault! That the US airstrikes against Iraqi militia forces killed dozens of people and just might have enraged Iraqis, nope, not relevant, it’s Iran! 

Even if Iran did have a hand in this, it’s just another indication of how America’s hard line policy towards Iran is failing. And he’s threatening Iran that they are going to pay “a very big price.” It’s not like he can sanction them further, so I’m not exactly sure what he means. He’s going to bomb Iraq some more? And no, our embassy wasn’t attacked because Trump has made people around the world not respect us. Good chance most of the protesters don’t even know who Trump is, but they do know America has brought nothing but suffering and death to Iraq for decades.

That’s one of the most frustrating things about Americans, most of them are now oblivious to the carnage and subsequent ill feelings our endless wars in the Middle East are causing. Somehow they are all habituated to it, like it’s normal to be dropping bombs on poor people on the other side of the planet. If some other country routinely bombed the USA Americans would most definitely be attacking their embassy, Americans would be outraged.  Do as we say, not as we do, the imperial disease illustrated.

In any event here’s hoping cool heads prevail, the last thing Trump or the nation needs is another war. Even watching the impeachment show is preferable to seeing another war on TV. Speaking of which, I did see a great movie recently, ‘Long Shot’ with Seth Rogan and Charlize Theron. It was as funny as ‘The Hangover’ and ‘Game Night,’ to give the gentle reader an idea of what movies I find funny. And now I will never hear the word ‘cracker’ again without giggling. I hope everyone had a safe New Year’s Eve, welcome to 2020.

Comments and shares appreciated.

(Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Haitian revolution: The Battle of Palm Tree Hill   Credit: January Suchodolski 1897-1875. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1924.)

Written by unitedcats

January 1, 2020 at 5:41 pm

SAD DAYS IN HISTORY: THE FALL OF TENOCHTITLÁN, AND SYMBOLICALLY DEFACING THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

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Tenochtitlán

Yesterday was the 498th anniversary of the fall of Tenochtitlán to Spanish barbarians. Tenochtitlán was the capital of the Aztec Empire, a marvel of engineering being built on a lake, and the largest city in North America. The European conquest of the world, euphemistically called “The Age of Discovery,” was the greatest crime in world history, and the destruction of civilizations in the New World was possibly its ugliest chapter. The natives weren’t Christians though, so it was all OK. Snort. Pretty sure Christ would have disagreed, the only good thing is that at least some of the Christians of the day were horror struck and did their best to stop the genocide and horror.

It’s interesting to speculate what the world would be like if any of the Native American states had been able to resist conquest, but there really wasn’t much chance of that. Within two generations of the Spanish arrival, the Aztec population crashed from about 20 million to less than a million. Smallpox being the primary culprit. No nation can resist conquest with that kind of population loss.

I wasn’t even going to write about the fall of Tenochtitlán, because, well, my capacity for horror and sad is being tested these days. Then the same day I met a nice person who had posted about the founding of Tenochtitlán on her Facebook page. So I thought, well, if people are still celebrating the founding of Tenochtitlán, I can honor the memory of all those who died defending their homes and in the horrors that followed the city’s fall. I used to wonder why we have so many movies about aliens invading Earth for purely malicious reasons. Once one studies some world history, it becomes painfully obvious why the senseless invasion by barbarian aliens is such a well worn trope. It’s what humans have been doing to each other since we invented “civilisation,” and probably before.

The thing that temporarily overloaded my empathy and compassion yesterday was the Trump administration symbolically changing the inscription on the Statue of Liberty. Most have heard it before:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

While announcing changes to immigration policy a Trump official was asked if the quote still applies. Instead of responding “of course” or “no comment,” he said a line should be added that basically says “but no freeloaders.” This is wrong for a number of reasons. And its racist as hell, though racism deniers, and there are a lot of those in America, will sputter and spit and claim they are just speaking the truth. The ugliest lies often hide under the rubric of truth.

It’s wrong because it’s reinforcing the whole racist anti-immigrant trope that the Trump administration has been fomenting. The idea that immigrants are flooding into the country to get on welfare and vote for Democrats. And the idea that only white people are “real” Americans. This sort of horrid crap led to the El Paso shooting, where the shooter claimed he was deliberately shooting Mexicans. Which of course is ridiculous, he was targeting Latinos because he assumed Latino=Mexican. In reality he mostly killed Americans.

In real life, the vast majority of immigrants from south of the border are poor people seeking a better life. Many of them fleeing poverty and violence that most Americans can’t even imagine. Even worse, a lot of that poverty and violence is a direct result of Washington’s foreign policy in the region. And by and large immigrants are more law abiding than the average American citizen, and they contribute more to society than they cost.

In modern America though, fiction replaced fact in public discourse long ago. And the people at the top who have been robbing the poor and working class for decades work very hard to convince people that people on welfare and immigrants are the problem. (The unspoken assumption being these are mostly non-white people.) And Trump is the apogee of that type of thinking, we now have a president who not only reinforces racist and destructive tropes, he actually believes them. Jesus wept.

And regarding yesterday’s tweet, turns out I did have the words.

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: The Fall of Tenochtitlán, late 17th century. Credit: unknown, Public Domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

August 14, 2019 at 8:27 am