Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

2 MORE DAYS TILL THE SHEET HITS THE FAN

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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

THE LAME DUCK SHEET SHOW ROLLS ON

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As I stated in the prior post, three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse are raging in America. And with our luck, number four will arrive on Friday. Granted the parallels aren’t perfect, but we can call Covid plague, the collapsing economy is famine, and Trump is the sword. The fourth is the beast, so I guess snake wolves arrive on Friday? One can make a case that Trump is the antichrist, but not going there. Not sure what he is, but he’s conquered the heart and souls of tens of millions of Americans, trapping them in his fantasy world.

Let’s see, in another lovely downside to Trump and company’s Covid denial, it’s made life so unpleasant for health care professionals in rural red areas, that they are fleeing: ‘Toxic Individualism’: Pandemic Politics Driving Health Care Workers From Small Towns. At this point, I’m not ashamed to admit a bit of schadenfreude. Turns out there’s a downside when “Make America great Again” translates to “We hate and fear medical experts.” Talk about shooting your own community in the face. One has to wonder what other types of experts will flee red areas, and will the people living there ever understand that Rush Trumpian BS is not actually a workable substitute for reason and science, who knew?

The vaccine rollout in the US is, as might have been expected, turning into a complete clusterduck: Medical expert details why the vaccine rollout is a mess: ‘They are again setting states up to fail’ Basically the Federal Government simply hasn’t stepped up to the plate to coordinate and support the vaccine rollout, in the exact same way it didn’t step up to the plate to coordinate and lead the fight against Covid. Basically the states are having to fend for themselves. This is why the Confederacy lost the Civil War, and why Covid is kicking America’s teeth in.

But hey, Trump says he’s doing a great job, and that’s all it takes for his supporters. It’s like some great experiment in mass psychology. As if God was bored one day and said “I wonder how long a political movement will last if the followers believe everything their leader says, even though it’s all self aggrandizing lies while him and his buddies loot the country for the rich instead of governing it for the people?” Going on four years now, no end in sight, even as the country crashes and burns.

For more fun, Trump is promising a ‘wild’ time on January 6th. Trump is summoning supporters for a ‘wild’ time on the day the electoral vote will be finalized. That’s the day the election is finalized in the Senate. It’s essentially a formality, there doesn’t seem to be any way Trump could actually change the outcome of the Senate vote, but Trump is the guy who thought he could wish away Covid 19 and a lost election, so who knows what fantasies are floating through his mind. Trump’s summoned supporters from all over the country, though I think it’s a safe bet the turnout will be minimal. At that point too, I think the potential for right wing violence will start to ramp up.

Right wingers have been stockpiling weapons and infiltrating the police and military for a long time now. This story is from Germany, they have the same problem: A Far-Right Terrorism Suspect With a Refugee Disguise: The Tale of Franco A. Basically an officer in the German army disguised himself as a Syrian refugee and created a fake identity. Then he was planning on committing political assassinations and acts of violence, so that they would be blamed on a fictitious Syrian refugee. The idea was to create enough unrest to bring down the government. Yeah, a totally whacked plan, as dumb as the Michigan yahoos who were going to kidnap and try their governor. We’ll see, it’s only going to take one Lee Maga Oswald to change the world though, it’s not something I want to blog about.

Even better, if right wing whack jobs do commit terrible crimes, if they do so before Trump leaves office, he can pardon them! Dark sarcasm. Pardoning murderers is what Trump does. I’d say the recent Blackwater pardons shocked me, but no, they don’t. They murdered Iraqi civilians, which is simply the modern day version of “nits make lice.” I don’t think most Americans, even many on the right, understand how deeply ingrained America’s genocidal impulses towards non whites really is. Trump is the voice of intolerance and hatred, we can only count our blessings that he has inspired very little of it so far.

In many ways, despite the very real damage Trump is doing and may do to the country, he really is a clown in many ways. Hitler was a bonafide war hero from a very humble background. Trump is a spoilt rich brat who used his wealth to shelter himself from reality his whole life. As Mary Trump said, no one has ever said no to Trump, which is why he is freaking out about losing the election. He simply can’t grasp nor accept that the majority of American’s finally said :No!: to him.

Suddenly dawns on me, what if Trump turns out to be one of the small number of Covid survivors who develops a severe psychosis? And if he does, how will we tell? Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(image: Found on Facebook, attribution in image. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. I do fear the twenties are going to be a rough decade.)

Written by unitedcats

December 29, 2020 at 7:36 pm

2020 ON THE WAY OUT, ITS LEGACY: A TRIFECTA OF AWFUL STILL GOING STRONG

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Monday evening. Survived Christmas, such as it was. Christmas dinner arrived frozen, sent from distant lands. A storm blew through, but no biggie, the brunt of it was north. I’m going to resume blogging five nights a week at least. The solid human waste matter is still intercepting the rotating turbine blades, but people are getting used to it. Or are in denial. I guess a lot of people’s identities are so wrapped up in who they see, where they go, etc., that Covid restrictions are harder for them. Random thought for the hour.

I have been collecting links for days while cogitating what my next post would be about. And it always comes back to, OMG, is this real? Half the country and the president think the election was stolen from him? They actually effing believe this. Despite the fact that there is no actual evidence supporting this contention, nor anything about the election that appears particularly untoward. Trump was a terribly polarizing president, wildly popular with his supporters, wildly unpopular with everyone else. Who indeed outvoted his supporters.

Could I be wrong? I guess intellectual honesty requires I at least entertain the idea. If it’s true, I’m either delusionally insane or incapable of rational reality testing. Idk, if such was the case, wouldn’t one of my friends or family try to bring it to my attention? Not yet. I think it’s safe to say, show me actual evidence of massive voter fraud and I’ll reevaluate my position. Oddly enough, I doubt Trump or any of his followers would say that about their belief. The human ability to self gaslight may well be the death of us all. It’s killed hundreds of thousands of Americans so far this year.

So freaking weird times continue. Since 9-11, America has been the “evidence, schmevidance” country. Saddam had WMDs! No, no evidence was ever found for that, the opposite in fact. Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii! Um, no, no evidence supporting that was ever found. Nor evidence that the twin Towers were brought down by anything other than airliner impacts. Covid 19 is real and terrible, Biden won the election. It is what it is.

I guess believing these things puts me in a minority. So yes, three really big things are happening simultaneously. Trump and company’s belief the election was stolen. A terrible pandemic. And a devastated US economy. I don’t think any of these are debatable. The US and world economy has done what it was designed to do the past year, siphon money upwards. Covid has made the poor poorer and the rich richer both internationally and intranationally. Especially in the US, where government relief has been paltry towards the poor and working class, while the people and companies at the top got enormous handouts of public money in the name of relief.

The 600 richest Americans are a trillion dollars richer now than they were at the beginning of the pandemic. What, they got 600 great paying part time jobs? Snort.  None of this seems like it will end well. We’re going into 2021 with three huge problems that if anything are getting worse. Has Trump really thought this through, if he somehow snatches the presidency from Biden, he’s going to inherit a country reeling under a devastating pandemic, and a collapsed economy, both once in a century bad events, and the worst partisan political crisis since 1860. There’s never been a trifecta like this in my life.

And plenty of other stuff going on too. A big, but at least bloodless, suicide bombing in Nashville. Fortunately QAnon has figured it out, it was a Chinese missile strike attempting to  destroy voting machines before Trump supporters could seize them as evidence. I wish I was making this up:

‘It was a missile strike’: Trump fans go nuts claiming Nashville bomb was Chinese plot to steal election. See, when one’s view of reality becomes adrift from reality itself, any belief becomes plausible.

Good news, science has saved us again. Turns out we needn’t fear alien invasion! Nope, it would simply be too damn expensive for them to invade Earth: The Cost of Visiting Earth May Be Too Astronomical For Aliens. Phew. One less thing to worry about. Stay safe and warm and sane everyone. Oh, right, Covid apparently does drive some people insane: Small Number of Covid Patients Develop Severe Psychotic Symptoms. Covid is the gift that keeps giving. Happy holidays. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

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. Made me laugh. I need help, but so many of us do these days. :) )

Written by unitedcats

December 28, 2020 at 7:10 pm

WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN THE LAST DOLLAR IN AMERICA IS DEPOSITED IN AN OFFSHORE ACCOUNT?

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Yeah, $600. Tens of millions of people are unemployed and/or in horrific arrears on their rent, more than 8 million have slipped below the poverty line. There’s basically pain all over: Tracking the COVID-19 Recession’s Effects on Food, Housing, and Employment Hardships. The first stimulus was based on the fantasy that everything would be fine by summer. This one’s based on the idea that if they just throw crumbs at the poor they’ll make it through the winter? I’m not actually sure what it’s based on, $600 isn’t much money for most people and while welcome, I can’t really see it helping all that much. Many local governments, school districts, etc. are also hurting, and there’s damn little in it for them. It’s basically symbolic in my read, this way Congress can claim they are doing their job.

Meanwhile, in the Batcave or wherever billionaires hang out these days, things are just jim dandy: NET WORTH OF U.S. BILLIONAIRES HAS SOARED BY $1 TRILLION—TO TOTAL OF $4 TRILLION—SINCE PANDEMIC BEGAN. That money wasn’t sent from Mars, it’s a pretty safe bet that the economy didn’t somehow magically generate an extra trillion dollars. Basically while tens of millions of Americans got poorer, about 600 people got 1.6 billion dollars each richer. Pretty much means the rich got richer at the expense of the poor. I love how so many on the right scream about “redistribution of wealth!” when taxing the rich is brought up, but when the rich have the entire economy designed to redistribute wealth upwards, why that’s OK.

So yeah, trickle down isn’t working, nor has it ever worked. When rich people get richer, they squirrel it away. When poor people get richer, they spend it. Pretty sure that consumer spending is what drives the economy, yet somehow half of Americans have been  sold on the welfare queen myth and the idea that there’s only so much money to go around so that raising wages would mean lost jobs. It’s actually pretty brilliant in a way, the rich must laugh all the way to the bank at the idea that tens of millions of Americans are convinced that the rich getting ever richer while poor and working class Americans struggle … builds character or some shit? I really don’t get it, but I don’t get my world view from the lamestream media. And what happens when 600 Americans have all the money? At this rate we’ll know soon enough I suppose.

Meanwhile Trump’s quixotic attempt to overturn the election results continues apace. The various legal challenges have all fallen through, many long term Trump allies are saying “Dude, it’s over, give it up.” Seeing Republicans turn on each other is grimly satisfying, for once it’s not the Democrats forming up the circular firing squad. Plenty are still urging Trump to declare Martial Law, invoke the Insurrection Act, etc. I guess the next plan is to try and overturn the election in Congress when it gets back into session in January. Not quite sure how that’s supposed to work, some complicated shit with the Electoral college and a couple of amendments to the Constitution. The details are in this article: Here’s how the rest of Trump’s desperate effort to stay in power will play out. Again, we’ll see. 2021 will be starting off with lots of fun as the Trump administration winds down, blows up, or something.

Anything is possible now that Trump really is the heart and soul of the GOP. I didn’t know this, but the GOP didn’t even have a party platform for the 2020 election. First time ever. It really was Trump just claiming he did a great job and should get four more without specifying anything. Oh well, interesting article: Opinion | Is Trump Really All That Holds the G.O.P. Together? And in late breaking news, even Trump thought $600 was too paltry for words, threatening to not sign the stimulus bill. Well, good for him, though a day late and a dollar short, pretty sure it passed with a very veto proof majority. He had a number of problems with the budget part of the bill apparently (the stimulus was only part of the spending bill just passed,)  though it should be pointed out he had four years to address these issues: Trump tells Congress to rework COVID-19 relief package for $2K stimulus checks, hints he won’t sign. Always something new with Trump.

And ending on a science news note: The world’s oldest story? Astronomers say global myths about ‘seven sisters’ stars may reach back 100,000 years. It’s certainly an interesting idea. The idea is that the Pleiades, the constellation known as “The Seven Sisters” worldwide in numerous cultures, used to have seven stars 100,000 years ago. Honestly, I think it’s a stretch. So much “ancient aboriginal knowledge” is highly suspect, IE cultural contamination has been going on for thousands of years. Don’t even get me started on the nonsense about the tribe in Africa “remembering” visits from aliens from Sirius.

Windy day today, I thought the neighbor’s tree was slapping against the roof. Went out to inspect, phew, no tree. Just shingles flapping and blowing away in the wind. 2020, one damn thing after another. Stay safe, sane, and warm everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

December 22, 2020 at 8:45 pm

SOWING THE WIND

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I had to take a break. Covid and Trump’s antics were beating me down. And I feared my posts were blurring into each other. I was blurring into something. Moving on … So, less than a week from Christmas 2020. Donner Party winter coming up looks like: Opinion | Lewis and Clark’s Long, Dark Winter. And Ours. One out of a thousand Americans is already dead of Covid, should hit one out of five hundred by spring. Vaccines are being deployed, but in the US, and I’m being diplomatic here, the mixed compliance with science and reason based public health measures; means there’s still going to be mass death before we achieve herd immunity through vaccination. If we ever do.

I’m an independent voter. Both parties are slaves of the 1%, the corporations and rich that rule us. Then Trump came along, and stole the GOP base right out from under them, the establishment GOP right career politicians. Trump is like Nixon or Reagan on steroids. The GOP is still sticking to Trump’s “The election was stolen!” line. A shame. If Trump actually reached across the aisle with some humility, he could still come out of this a national hero like DeGaulle or Nasser. Fat chance.

And the Dems are playing the Russia card again. Yes, Russia has engaged in some massive cyberattack on the US just when the Dems need it most! Perfect! Yeah, the Cold War never made much sense to begin with, now it’s like a bad Get Smart episode. Yes, Putin is a ruthless SOB like 90% of human leaders ever, including plenty of US allies; but the idea he is trying to destroy the west is ludicrous. NATO has been the aggressor since its inception. I’m not the only one dubious of this all too convenient alleged Russian hack:  A Pandemic of Russian Hacking. Change my mind.

So two items of current news tonight. A new form of Covid seems to have appeared and been spreading in England: New coronavirus variant: What do we know? It appears to be even more contagious than the earlier strains, which is alarming and causing some economic disruption as countries close their borders to England. It long ago escaped England though, and has been detected elsewhere. It doesn’t appear to be any more dangerous than other versions of Covid. And viruses mutate constantly, it’s one of their things. The new vaccines will work on it, but it’s just another reminder that Covid is likely to be with us for a while, if not permanently. A new wrinkle, but most of the world will cope. America, not as much. We can’t even get people to wear masks, let alone get vaccinated.

The other item is Trump and martial law. Trump, who frankly seems increasingly unhinged these days, has apparently been talking about declaring martial law and seizing voting machines etc in key states to prove his massive voter fraud … fantasy. So far cooler heads have prevailed. This isn’t something that can be fixed with a sharpie. I don’t know what would happen if Trump declared martial law, and I don’t want to find out. I’m heartened that our electoral and judicial institutions withstood Trump’s fantasy legal assault, I can only hope the military will similarly say “We’ve sworn not to obey unconstitutional orders, we’re standing down.”

So we end up with Proud Boys trying to seize voting machines and records, and governors calling up their National Guards to resist. Hope not, but we’re in a tumultuous period of both global and American history, anything can happen. I plan to keep blogging through it, I’ve been trying to make sense of the world since preschool, and if anything am more determined than ever to do so. The Trump era, what a time to be alive.

That being said, help is appreciated. Even 1$ a month patrons add up, and a few 10$ a month patrons help appreciably. Support an old veteran who has been trying to make the world a better place using reason and science since the 60s: Patrons. Patrons get my undying gratitude, and I’ll write posts about topics they suggest. For some reason one of my Facebook groups, Glitches in the Matrix, recently exploded. Exploded as in new members flooding in. If any of them finds their way here and wants me to write about my glitch experiences here, now’s your chance.

That being said, I saw the Jupiter/Saturn “Christmas Star” conjunction tonight. Image above. It was easier to see last time, no city lights. Stay sane, warm, and safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.)

Written by unitedcats

December 21, 2020 at 8:40 pm

STALIN WOULD HAVE TRUMP FOR BREAKFAST

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. The odds are overwhelming the Sun will come up tomorrow. Still, the Earth or the Sun could be struck by a black hole traveling at relativistic speeds, poof, no sunrise. That being said, many things are so unlikely we can discount them, thus the map. Thus at some point no further scientific debate is warranted. Science is as yet the most accurate map we have.

“The map is not the territory.” Alfred Korzybski. At 63 spins around the Sun old, I still think that’s the number one rule to understanding the world we find ourselves in. No matter how accurate our understanding of reality, it’s just a map, it’s not reality itself. And the two aren’t actually linked in any way. Ever. The world we see around us and understand, is a construct on every level, at no point does it actually connect with reality itself. Doesn’t mean it’s a bad map, it can be remarkably accurate on many levels, that’s why we’re able to walk around and do things like shop or catch balls or write blogs.

But no matter how accurate the map, it’s still just a map. Applied to science this means that science can only predict probabilities, not certainties. The odds are overwhelming the Sun will come up tomorrow. Still, the Earth or the Sun could be struck by a black hole travelling at relativistic speeds, poof, no sunrise. That being said, many things are so unlikely we can discount them, thus the map. Thus at some point no further scientific debate is warranted. Science is as yet the most accurate map we have.

And then there’s religion in general, and Trump supporters in particular. Some religions, I’m looking at you fundamentalists, especially Evangelicals, claim their map is the most accurate. Hell, they claim it’s congruent with reality, it’s God’s word. Yeah, even if their old testament map seemed remarkably accurate, it would still be a map. And it’s not terribly accurate by any objective standard, but it serves its purpose. People who want certainty instead of a map, it’s perfect. Trump and supporters are the same, he thinks his map is perfect, and countless supporters so want an accurate map they follow him. Trump is indeed a Messiah.

Been trying to refine my map since I was four and determined by observation that clouds were just above houses and trees because they never obscured same. No Civil War yet, but not like high ranking people aren’t calling for it: MAGA leaders call for the troops to keep Trump in office. Who knows what the hell would happen if Trump issued … unusual … orders. My take is that Trump is unable to grasp that if he wants the Pentagon’s support, he needs to cut a deal with same, or engage in a Stalinesque purge. Stalin would have Trump for breakfast.

And hell, the reverse could happen. Trump and followers claim that there was massive fraud. Only in states they lost  though. What if there was indeed massive fraud, but on the GOP side: BUSTED? Why the numbers behind Mitch McConnell’s re-election don’t add up. I mean, I do recall the news that Trump did better than polling predicted? Maybe the polling was in error … maybe the GOP cheated? The GOP has had no problem with voter suppression. Trump cheats at golf, I can’t imagine him having a problem with election cheating. I mean, if you’re right, you’re just reinforcing what’s right, right?

I’ll wait till further evidence is produced though. What a time to be alive. I’ve dodged three fatal bullets in the last two years … so I can live through one of the top three mass death and political crises of American history. And no matter what happens, I can’t imagine major battles in Iowa. Snort. The first battle of Bull Run (The first big battle of the Civil War) was fought with a family’s farm in the middle. After that they said “Eff this Sh*t” and bought a farm in rural Virginia. Near the small town of Appomattox. Yerp, Grant used their house as his headquarters when Lee surrendered. So the family could say that the Civil War started in their front yard, and ended in their living room. Nowhere is safe.

Stay safe, sane, and warm everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Facebook meme, attribution unknown. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. I think it’s funny on multiple levels. Um, any Star Trek fan knows … Trump would not impress the Klingon High Council. There’s a great short film in there.)

Written by unitedcats

December 18, 2020 at 9:02 pm

TRUMP SUPPORTERS CALLING FOR INSURRECTION WHILE THE COVID CATASTROPHE CONTINUES

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A Trump supporting friend sent me this article: Year Zero | ZeroHedge. Fortunately it’s mostly satire. Mostly. Imagine being so paranoid that one thinks governments trying to save their citizen’s lives is some sort of plot to deprive citizens of their rights? Sigh. Well, lots of Americans do. What a weird paranoid world Evangelical conservatives live in. Gay marriage is a threat to their marriage. Someone saying “Happy Holidays” is a “War on Christmas.”  Not letting public schools hold religious services is somehow “banning God from school.” And of course the transcendent absurdity of thinking that they need to carry a gun around to be safe.

And then there’s this, well, whack job: Right-wing militant leader pledges violent support for Trump dictatorship. He thinks Biden’s election was some sort of Chinese communist plot:

“Anti-government extremist Stewart Rhodes again called on President Donald Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act and deploy the U.S. military against his domestic opponents.

TheOath Keepers leader posted an open letter Monday urging the president to order “trusted military units” to “seize” the databases of CIA, DNI, FBI, NSA and state election systems and administrators to expose an alleged conspiracy between U.S. “elites” and the Chinese government to hand the election to Joe Biden…”

I did mention that these people are no longer living in the real world? It was bad enough when they thought Obama was a secret Muslim born in Kenya, now they think a guy who is about as communist as Hitler is some sort of Chinese plant? Thinking Putin got Trump elected was pretty silly, but this is over the top.

Fortunately I can’t really imagine Trump doing something like that, at heart he’s a coward and a little boy trying to prove he’s a man, opening that can of worms would put him in danger. Yes, President Bone Spurs isn’t about to take that kind of risk. And considering how zero GOP judges and election officials bought into Trump’s stolen election fantasies, I think it’s safe to say that the military would be, um, no. And if illegal right wing militants did try to seize government buildings and what not, I’m pretty sure they would be no match for helicopter gunships and cruise missiles. Sure would be exciting though, think of the memes!

Not just random militants, some GOP leaders are also blatantly pushing the “Biden is a Chinese puppet” theme: ‘Prepare for war’: GOP state rep pushes dangerous pro-Trump conspiracy theory over Biden win. So I dunno. Still scary times.

And in Covid news, a new record yesterday, over 3600 dead: U.S. Surpasses 3,600 Daily Coronavirus Deaths, Breaks Prior Hospitalization Record. God rest their souls, God grant peace and comfort to their loved ones. At least a vaccine is being distributed, and another is almost ready for rollout. The science behind the new vaccines is actually quite remarkable: It Took Two Days to Develop Moderna’s Vaccine. So there’s every reason to believe that future outbreaks of novel diseases will see vaccines post haste.

Still, the author thinks things will get back to “normal” within 18 months or so. I hope not. One of the things Covid has shown is just how vulnerable the world is to novel diseases. Normal wasn’t working. Diseases far worse than Covid are not only entirely possible, they are inevitable. And diseases for which no vaccine is possible are also possible. In some ways we really dodged a bullet with Covid, though granted we’re not out of the woods yet. The world needs vastly better global health planning, and every effort should be made to end the sorts of bushmeat trade that brought us Covid (and AIDs) in the first place.  Thinking that new vaccine technology will fix this problem we brought on ourselves is, well, wishful thinking in my opinion.

And then there’s global warming, which still isn’t really being very well addressed. Bottom line, a world run by the rich for the rich really isn’t such a hot idea. And the upwards transfer of wealth is only going to get worse. I just read that American billionaires could give everyone in America $3000 … and they would still be richer than they were before Covid. If that’s not obscene, I don’t know what is.

Stay safe, sane, and warm everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Images: Top image, gleaned from Facebook, attribution unknown, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. Bottom image: Attribution in image, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. Yes, tweets can be copyrighted: Can a tweet be protected by copyright? If so, who owns the copyright?)

Written by unitedcats

December 17, 2020 at 8:13 pm

MAYBE TRUMP WILL JUST PRETEND HE’S PRESIDENT? THAT WOULD MAKE FOR AN INTERESTING 2021.

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Even Mitch McConnel has acknowledged that Biden won the 2020 election, so at this point it’s looking increasingly unlikely that Trump will pull off some procedural coup and get the results overturned. Not that Trump isn’t still trying, but his hand picked judges, including those on the Supreme Court, have all gone with the facts, rather than with Mr trump’s fantasy that the election was stolen from him. Wishful thinking only goes so far, and Trump’s had a world class run.

In any event it’s nice to think everything is going to settle down now with the vaccines in and Trump on his way out of the White House. Any number of possibilities though, reality is like that, sometimes more than other times. One of the possibilities, which I mentioned a while back, is that Trump will just continue to act as if he is president. He’ll have his own inauguration, hold press conferences, the whole works from his capital in waiting, Mara logo. Then I ran into this article, which discusses the very same possibility. How Trump is laying the groundwork for a shadow presidency. I mean, we’re also talking about the loyal Trump media reporting as if he is still president. Secession without any violence or even an actual secession, just Trump and his base pretending he’s the legitimate president. Could be a lot worse, will generate endless amusing memes, and presumably the farcical nature of it will eventually deflate the whole thing. And certainly beats a Civil War.

That would be nice. Alas, despite the current calm (granted I haven’t checked the news in a few hours,) anything is still possible at this point. Well, Trump conceding the election and acting like a normal ex-president seems extremely unlikely. However, experts on the topic are still quite concerned: Right-Wing Embrace Of Conspiracy Is ‘Mass Radicalization,’ Experts Warn. The country is still horribly polarized, and for decades the right has been promoting the idea that basically anyone who isn’t a conservative, is a freaking dangerous enemy of the state. There are lots of people out there primed to take action against “the libtards.” We’ll see, my crystal ball blew up last spring and there’s still a shortage due to the pandemic.

Speaking of right wing militias, turns out armed militias are illegal in the United States: Armed Right-Wing Groups Aren’t ‘Militias’—We Need to Stop Calling Them That. Interesting article. Legal or not, there are an awful lot of them out there now. Frankly I think grown men who parade around in soldier gear psyching themselves up for fighting imaginary enemies are essentially little boys who never grew up. I actually take a dim view of the actual maturity of a lot of Americans these days, huge numbers of Americans act like spoilt children. With all too much encouragement from certain quarters.

I’m not in a good mood tonight, does it show? So I’ll call it here. Still no snow, but it’s gotten damn cold. I was able to get a nice pic over the frozen lake at sunset (above.) The neighbors probably thought I was losing my mind as I danced around in freezing weather trying to photograph geese. Philistines. Oh, right, bad mood. Stay safe and sane everyone. We’re gonna have two presidents, how cool is that? #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Geese over Clear Lake at sunset. Credit and Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.)

Written by unitedcats

December 15, 2020 at 8:43 pm

Posted in 2020, Elections, Personal, Trump

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR A CHANGE: BIDEN IS OFFICIALLY THE PRESIDENT ELECT AND COVID VACCINATIONS BEGIN

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Some good news for a change. The electoral college voted today, exactly as they were expected to, and Joe Biden is president elect of the United States. Trump’s quixotic delusional attempt to overturn the election results through legal means has come to naught. There’s been some Trump rallies and demonstrations, but no serious violence today. And honestly, the number of Trump supporters taking to the streets has been minimal. The Million Man MAGA Rally in Washington Sunday drew … thousands. A huge percentage of Republicans may believe the election was stolen, but apparently very few of them care enough to actually take to the streets. Good for them.

Still it’s not over yet, Trump is going to continue to claim Biden isn’t the legitimate president, gotta remember Trump was the biggest pusher of the birther nonsense during the Obama years, another evidence-free conspiracy theory. And unfortunately Trump is going to do everything in his power to cripple the Biden administration both before and after he leaves the White house. And with the GOP mostly falling in line behind him, especially congress, this could do serious damage. Well see, if the Dems can win the two runoff Senate seats in Georgia, the GOP will lose control of the Senate and their ability to hamstring Biden will be considerably diminished. January 5th, save the date.

The first Covid vaccines inoculations started today, more good news. It’s too late to prevent the upcoming winter Covid catastrophe, but at least health care providers and such will be much better protected. Unfortunately vaccine resistance is very high in the US, so any chance of eliminating Covid seems remote, but at least most of the damage will be limited to vaccine refusers. I mean tens of millions of Americans are still mask resisters, so there’s limits to what science and modern medicine can do.

In more good news (I’m on a roll here,) New Zealand declared itself Covid-free today, and lifted all restrictions. Back to normal life. Wow, that must feel so good. Foreigners are banned for the foreseeable future, and New Zealand citizens have to spend fourteen days in a government quarantine facility upon their return. That’s likely how it’s going to be in a lot of countries when they get this under control, at least until science gets us to the point where people can be instantly and accurately screened for Covid infection upon arrival. And that could happen, when money gets thrown at science, it can make amazing progress. The vaccines are proof of that.

I guess if there’s a day for good news, Monday is the day. The department of Transportation finally took action against emotional support animals: Why the Emotional Support Dog Ban Is Good for Everyone. Or to be more accurate, they took action against the huge and rising number of, well, assholes; who were bringing their pets pretty much everywhere claiming they were “emotional support animals.” The “emotional support peacock” being a great example of how absurd it had gotten. Understand, I have no problem with legitimate emotional support animals, and these changes shouldn’t cause any problems for them, it’s just for the people who apparently conflate freedom with privilege and entitlement. People who think freedom means they can do whatever they want. No, that’s anarchism, not freedom.

Well, a bunch more links, but none of them really qualify as good news, so I’ll leave them for another day. Ending on a high note so to speak. No worries regular readers, I’m sure there will be reams of bad news to blog about tomorrow. For tonight, I will celebrate, Trump’s departure and the vaccine’s arrival. No snow yet here in Iowa, but getting a bit chilly. The lake is refreezing, it’s been an unusual winter to be sure. Stay safe and sane 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. It made me laugh, heck, I sprayed coffee like this guy.)

Written by unitedcats

December 14, 2020 at 7:43 pm

THE VIOLENCE BEGINS?

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Not that there hasn’t been political violence during Trump’s tenure as president, but now the violence directly related to Trump’s inability to accept he lost the election has started, with a number of stabbings and shootings in 3 cities. No deaths so far, knock on wood. I like how the Washington Post put it:

“Thousands of maskless rallygoers who refuse to accept the results of the election turned downtown Washington into a falsehood-filled spectacle Saturday, two days before the electoral college will make the president’s loss official,”

Falsehood filled spectacle. Would that this be a difference of opinion or politics, but no, not really. Biden clearly won the election, Trump clearly lost, this wasn’t a close one. There was no vast conspiracy to defraud Trump of his win. He thinks he won, his followers believe him, his legal attempts to overturn the election results have been, well, groundless. And all quickly tossed out of court. A Wisconsin judge just ruled against him, the last state to clear the path for the electors to do their thing Monday. A judge Trump appointed, tossed out his case “with prejudice.” Trump loses election challenge lawsuit in Wisconsin, further cementing Biden win in presidential race

That’s lawyer talk for “This case is fatally flawed legally and thus can be dismissed without further consideration.”

Numerous Republican Trump appointed judges and officials have made similar rulings, the system works. Doesn’t matter though. We’re talking tens of millions of people who for decades have listened to Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones and believed all too much of it. Trump’s great insight was he realized a politician could play the same game and get a vast following. Now as always Trump has a great gift for inspiring  white Evangelical working class America like no one ever has.

And sadly he’s decided to use his awesome power to tear the country apart. Though I don’t think it’s deliberate, Trump actually believes he won the election. Yes future and foreign readers, in 2016 America elected a man who lives in his own delusional world where he’s the greatest at everything. He loved it, his fans loved it, everyone else was horror stuck to bemused. But reality finally clashed with Trump’s fantasy world in a way that no sharpie could ever fix. He got a double whammy, Covid, that no amount of lies and pandemic signalling was going to fix; and then losing the election.

Frankly it seems clear to me that if Covid hadn’t hit, Melania would be building a victory penthouse on top of the White House after Donald’s resounding reelection.. But Covid did appear, and Trump lost to Biden, and no amount of, well, typical Trump BS is going to change that. Any more than his promise that Covid would just magically go away by Easter made it go away.

What the hell happens now is anyone’s guess. There’s open talk in Congress of denying Biden the presidency: Republicans plotting attempt to deny presidency to Biden on floor of the House if Trump gives the word: report. This and congressmen signing onto the just failed Texas SCOTUS case are pretty close to sedition, if not well over the line. We are very parallel in some ways to the Civil War runup. In fact in some ways this is incredibly infuriating because it’s basically the same freaking people rebelling over the same freaking thing. The South refusing to accept the results of a presidential election. Though at least the Confederates had the stones to admit they were rebelling over white supremacy, not spewing fantasies about stolen elections.

In some ways I think a case can be made that this is a repeat of the start of the Civil War, because many of the fails of both government and society that led to that calamity were never really addressed, and some are festering to this day. As someone who spent some time as a white supremist in the 70s, the Proud Boys and their ilk don’t regard blacks as human beings. It’s a problem.

And now they and Trump think the presidency was stolen from them. I see no peaceful resolution at this point. The 20s are going to be a very hard decade for America. The good times are over. Here’s a good article for those interested in America’s long history of sordid politics: Minority Rule Cannot Last in America. It’s never been pretty, we seem to have trouble pulling together. And of course the coming winter is almost certainly going to be one of the worst mass death events in US history. Woohoo, free euthenasia coaster rides: This Is the Test of Our Lifetimes.

New personal goal, I think I will continue daily blogging through the winter and the coming pandemic. Greatest events of my lifetimes, and writing about it gives me a measure of sanity in a nation tearing itself apart amidst the worst plague in a century. Didn’t Stephen King warn us about this? If not, he should have. Hell, he gets credit for trying. Him and the Simpsons.

Hope all had a good weekend and Monday brings us good news. Stay safe and sane. As always, feedback is appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Capture of Ricketts’ Battery, the First Battle of Bull Run. It was the first big battle of the US Civil War. nearly 1,000 dead; 9,000 in comparison to today’s population. Let’s hope it doesn’t get to this level. Still, if you told some in 1860 that in 5 years a million Americans would be dead, they would have told you it couldn’t happen. The future is known to know one.  Credit: Sidney E. King 1906-2002 Public Domain.)

Written by unitedcats

December 13, 2020 at 8:03 pm