Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Health’ Category


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It looks like the SCOTUS (Supreme Court) is going to overturn Roe vs Wade, the 1973 decision that made abortion a right. So many things are absurd about this, for starters the idea that abortion was banned by the Bible is only a few decades old: The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal. It gets worse,  the logic in the leaked SCOTUS draft is ridiculous. I guess when one doesn’t have logical reasons for stripping women of bodily autonomy, one has to get creative: The Supreme Court’s Leaked Draft Is Full Of Mystifying Arguments Against Abortion Rights. Or this: ‘Intellectually bankrupt’: Alito’s Roe v Wade opinion trashed by constitutional scholar.

If it comes to pass, and Roe vs Wade is struck down, what happens? I speculate:

Millions will celebrate that their fellow citizens are being deprived of their rights and bodily autonomy. The Evangelical Right especially will celebrate, being “pro-life” has been a huge part of their identity for decades. Sticking it to the Libs is a major motivator for them now. Anyway they can, including forcing gays back into the closet and women back into the kitchen. There will be demonstrations for sure, though not sure what that is supposed to accomplish. Pro-choice and anti-choice people will be hitting the streets. Plus stupid stunts such as this: ‘Pro-life Spiderman’: anti-abortion activist climbs San Francisco’s tallest building.

“Dems will send out fundraising emails.” And that’s about it. Since the Dems had nearly fifty years to pass a federal law mandating abortion rights, but somehow never got around to it, I don’t think they will suddenly do something now. Biden just said he won’t eliminate the filibuster to make such happen, so the Dems basically have already surrendered on the issue.

Other rights will get taken away. Normally slippery slope arguments are false arguments, but in this case, not so much. Contraception banned: Contraception could come under fire next if Roe v Wade is overturned. The Evangelical Right has stacked the Supreme Court in their favor, and they’d love to cancel marriage equality for starters. Laws against interracial marriage could become constitutional again. “No exception laws” are already being introduced: No-exception laws, once too harsh even for anti-abortion Republicans, gain traction across US

Lives ruined. Sure, the well off will still be able to get abortions, the poor and minors’ options will be severely reduced. Poor women will be killed and maimed by back alley abortions again. 13 year old rape victims will be forced to bear their rapist’s children. State border checkpoints, women’s’ bodies no longer their own. Some states are already talking about making it illegal for a woman to travel to get an abortion: US states could ban people from traveling for abortions, experts warn. An underground abortion railway will arise.

The thing that absolutely will not happen:

Fewer abortions being performed. Roe vs Wade didn’t increase the abortion rate, abortion prohibition is about as effective as alcohol prohibition was or the war on drugs is. A complete failure to to effect the stated cause of the prohibition, plus the creation of all sorts of other problems associated with the prohibition. That’s what happens when a social/medical issue is criminalized.

If people actually wanted to reduce the abortion rate, it’s quite doable. Comprehensive sex education starting in middle school, birth control and family planning on demand. Voila, very low abortion rates. It would be nice if the only abortions were for medical necessity or rape. One of the many horrible things the Evangelical Right believes, they think liberals celebrate abortion. Um, no, liberals would agree the fewer abortions the better.


Reversing Roe vs Wade is wrong on so many levels. Women can’t have their organs harvested when they’re dead without their permission, but a living woman will be forced by the state to continue a pregnancy that might kill her? And yes it will happen under fetal heartbeat laws: Death of Savita Halappanavar. Which is another false  argument the evangelical right uses, their ‘fetal heartbeat’ is just electrical activity: ‘Heartbeat’ Bills Get the Science of Fetal Heartbeats All Wrong. And on top of that, a heartbeat doesn’t mean someone is alive, plenty of brain dead people had a heartbeat. And the Bible says, very clearly, life begins when the first breath is drawn.

When it comes right down to it, the party that bills itself as the party of freedom, has now declared it will decide how women use their bodies. It has nothing to do with “saving babies,” it’s to force people to only have sex in married relationships for the purposes of procreation. If you’re not ready to have a baby, don’t have sex. Problem solved. People that think like that have no problem with outlawing abortion and birth control because by the way they think, anyone who is behaving ‘properly’ has no need for either.

The problem, and it’s a huge problem, is that the idea that only people who want to have children should have sex is a religious belief. Period. And religious beliefs are what a person uses to guide their own behavior, to make them the law of the land is tyranny. Sadly some faiths, fundamental Christianity and Islam in particular, feel it’s part of their faith to convert everyone else to their faith by any means necessary. It’s not about religion, it’s about making their religion the law of the land. This really has nothing to do with abortion, it’s about making America into a right wing evangelical theocracy. They are quite clear on that: Dominion Theology.


It’s been a few days since I wrote the above. Those who think, “phew, at least my state won’t ban abortion,” think again: Mitch McConnell floats federal abortion ban if right-wing Supreme Court overturns Roe. There’s been at least one unhinged reaction to the Supreme Court leak. “100000000 times more serious than the Capitol riot.” Hyperbole much? See: “An Actual Insurrection”: Conservatives Equate Supreme Court Roe v. Wade Leak to Literal Violence. Oh, and this, killing public education: Greg Abbott Reveals the GOP’s Plan After Killing Roe v. Wade: Killing Public Education.

Last but not least: The Long Hand of Slave Breeding, Redux. It’s a long read filled with history, but makes a good case that connects the people that want to overturn Roe vs Wade with people who bred slaves in the 19th century. There’s just a whole class of American men that want to control everything, including the bodies of women and blacks. And honestly I think  they’re about as powerful today as they ever were. Maybe more so.

I fear for my nation’s future.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7

Copyright © 2022 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Barricades were put up around the SCOTUS building after the Roe vs. Wade draft was leaked. Credit, unknown, found on twitter? That was the attribution where I found it. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)


Written by unitedcats

May 9, 2022 at 8:04 am


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Good news for starters: Georgia governor rejects Trump’s call to ‘overrule’ elections officials with emergency powers. The Republican governor of Georgia has decided not to secede from the Union. IE he refused to override his state’s electoral win for Biden, since there is no evidence of the massive voter fraud Trump claims. Yet Trump and his followers sure as shit believe there is. One takeaway for me is to question what I believe, do I have similar blind spots in my reality testing? Point them out in the comments please.

Some say Trump is losing it: Trump’s Final Days of Rage and Denial. Or this, not paywalled:

Donald Trump ‘facing a rapid decline’ as he wallows in ‘rage and denial’ over election loss: report. IDK, he’s certainly in a unique position, the first president in American history to refuse to concede a presidential election. Rock meet hard place. Like 9/11 Truthers and Birthers, show me the evidence. None yet. Russiagate too. I’m an iconoclast, limiting my readers but at least I can live with myself. Here, long speculative read: Opinion | Why Do So Many Americans Think the Election Was Stolen?

Meanwhile, Covid’s second wave, the Northern Hemisphere’s winter cold and flu season, is exploding pretty much everywhere. The places pretending Covid was a hoax are getting slammed really bad: Opinion | Covid-19 Came for the Dakotas. I’m not sorry, Covid is real, not a communist plot. A 9/11 a day in American deaths now, who knows how many more with long term or permanent health issues. What a freaking mess. Stay strong people.

So some great science news. And science IS making great progress with Covid. That’s tomorrow though. Calling it a night. In northern Iowa, no snow yet. Def unusual. Another layer of oddness in the hell year of my life. Most of which I’ve dodged by being socially isolated since March. Cue hysterical laughter. Good thing I don’t own a chainsaw. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #CabinFever

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: PSA. Trust your doctors people. Used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. God bless health care workers.)

Written by unitedcats

December 6, 2020 at 8:29 pm

” … yes, low brow but talented con artist who hit it big due to an unlikely set of circumstances.”

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Ah, Dr. Fauci weighs in. The Albert Speer of our time. One could write a book about him, people no doubt will. Glad I’m not in his shoes. So, once again, this is why we need to shut this disease down. Letting it run its course in America will have lasting negative impacts on millions of people. It’s not a flu, it’s not a cold, it isn’t something to be casual about getting if you’re young and healthy. Covid-19 doesn’t give a flying f*ck what you or anyone thinks, and we are paying a terrible price in America because of the infectious hubris of so many of our leaders: Dr. Fauci has some bad news for recovered coronavirus patients.

Trump is getting big laughs in New Zealand, maybe he should go into stand up comedy? Oh, wait, pretty sure that requires a mature sense of humor, which Trump manifestly does not possess. So Trump tried to deflect criticism of his defense against Covid-19 by saying “New Zealand had a big resurgence of Covid-19!” Even more bizarrely, he implied that they had done such a great job suppressing Covid-19 to make Trump look bad. The NZ Prime Minister laughed about it:

She laughed because New Zealand’s recent outbreak of 45 cases in no way, shape, or form compares to America’s near 50,000 new cases a day: Trump’s Claim Of A New Zealand Surge Is ‘Patently Wrong,’ Ardern Says.

Turns out Trump calling for a boycott of Goodyear was in response to a deliberately inaccurate and misleading tweet. Rather than spending 30 seconds fact checking, he decided to try to destroy Americans’ jobs and livelihoods in the midst of a pandemic and economic crisis virtually unrivaled in living memory. In a key election battleground state to boot. The mind reels. I just don’t even understand what’s happening any more. If we get through the election without major … problems … I’ll drink some lite beer. I dunno.

Today’s theory is that the only thing that will save America now is God, aliens, or AI. All are fairly unlikely. The only difference between the three is that if God or aliens exist, logically they’re already here. Give that some thought gentle reader. A human built AI, maybe not yet. Though it could already be here too. In any event, basic game theory says the strategy is to avoid major issues with them. If a benevolent God, aliens, or AI appear on the scene … best to be on good terms with them. Yes, Roko’s Basilisk. Or The Game, which I just lost. A metaphor for life.

I repeat stuff a lot in these posts lately. These posts get out to a random audience. And I’m blogging in the midst of  a great historical sea change. Covid-19 is going to change everything. The world we all grew up in has been dealt a mortal blow. Protect yourself and your loved ones, try to make the world a better place than you found it. That’s why I write.

Oh, I garden and build stuff too. Stay safe everyone, a new world awaits whatever happens in the next months in America. We’re all Alice now.  Share at will. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #MundiSolisOccasum

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Doctor Fauci. Credit: NIAID

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)

(Image 2: Used without permission. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

August 20, 2020 at 7:41 pm


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Another day, I can’t keep up with the weirdness. Trump did in fact suggest being added to Mount Rushmore. What can I say, he’s a legend in his own mind. And that of his followers, though what Trump has accomplished to be deserving of such an honor  is a mystery to me. I got nothing, he sailed on the coattails of the booming economy (such as it was) Obama left him, made the rich richer, added staggering amounts to the deficit, abrogated international treaties, and appointed lobbyists to power in great numbers. And broke all his promises to help Americans. This deserves a place on Mount Rushmore?  Oh well, Trump’s self image is like his priorities … interesting.

It’s more incomprehensible to me every day that America’s ruling class and many Americans have decided that Covid-19 will just go away if we all pretend it isn’t happening. Is that the plan? 1500 dying a day and the plan is to DO NOTHING? Today’s theory is that Americans suffer from mass learned helplessness. That’s where an organism has been so beaten down by bad events and helplessness in the face of them that they just give up. Granted that’s simplistic, but I’m just trying to understand why Covid-19 is wreaking historic carnage, and Americans aren’t demanding action be taken?

So this guy has an interesting take on how America got lost: Why Didn’t America Become Part of the Modern World? And by that I mean the yawning gap between America and the rest of the developed world. They enjoy vastly better working conditions, public education, universal health care, public transportation and pretty much everything else than Americans. It’s like they are wealthy modern nations, and everyone gets a fair share, what a concept? Not in America. I agree we have a huge problem, by all metrics we do, but I think his conclusion is simplistic. I think there’s a raft of factors that led the US down this dark path. Maybe a future blog.

I did come across a fellow defending America by claiming we have more freedom than all those socialist European countries! I’m going to be rude here. That’s fucking idiotic. People in Europe, Canada, Japan etc … IE the rest of the developed world  … enjoy the exact same freedoms Americans enjoy. They can travel freely, say what they want, join whatever religion they want, live their lives as they please. Freedom the likes of which the vast majority of humans never enjoyed. Yeah, they can’t run out and buy an AR-15. If your sense of freedom requires you to have a gun in your hands, grow the fuck up. The rest of the developed world has.

So part of Iowa got flattened. A derecho hit it. A what? A new one to me, basically a series of thunderstorms can create a windstorm the equivalent of a class two hurricane. 100 mph winds. Only 4 dead so far, but massive property damage. Missed us here, but 75 miles south, oh my. Nowhere on Earth is safe from natural disasters, a reminder to stay frosty.

I’m thinking maybe as people’s friends, family, and loved ones start to sicken and die from Covid-19, Americans will snap out of their shit. I’m losing people, but I knew Covid-19 was serious in March. That’s when I went to ground. I hope I’m not living in a failed state, but not reassured by what I see.

Oh well. Maybe Trump’s secret plan will fix it all. He does have a secret plan, right? Stay sane everyone, have a safe weekend. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: A meme found on Facebook. Yeah, no matter how bad the American government fails, the architects of the failure are never held to account. Go figure. Credit: It’s in the meme. Used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

August 14, 2020 at 7:48 pm


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Well, the nightmare explosion in Lebanon is much worse than I initially thought. The destruction and death toll is worse than I had initially assumed. Hundreds are likely dead, with thousands injured. Heard over 150 miles away on the island of Cyprus, the explosion registered as a 3-4 Richter magnitude earthquake. So far no definitive word on what happened, but apparently over 2,000 tons of ammonium nitrate  was stored next to stored fireworks. Welders apparently managed to set off the fireworks, resulting in an initial explosion and fire. Eight minutes later that explosion and fire set off the ammonium nitrate, that was the big one. Certainly seems consistent with the footage I’ve seen. Pretty sure Lebanon still has a free press. In any event the world is filled with explosion experts (go figure,) if there’s anything funky with that narrative, no doubt they will weigh in soon.

Aside from just the horrible carnage, there is going to be a horrible aftermath. Lebanon’s hospitals we’re already packed because of the pandemic, so likely this will be a horrible triage situation. Triage is where they divide the wounded into three groups. Those that will likely live without medical care. Those that will likely die even with medical care. And those who likely will be saved with medical care. Only the latter group gets medical care. And even then further cuts might have to be made if there aren’t enough facilities to handle that reduced load. I can’t imagine having to make those sorts of decisions. OK, I sort of can, it would haunt one.

It gets worse. Lebanon imports almost all of its food. Almost all of it through the port of Beirut. And the country’s main grain storage facility was destroyed in the blast. Bread is the staff of life for most Lebanese, so immediate and ongoing food shortages are almost certain. Basically looks like in the near future Lebanon is going to be worse off than even at the height of the bad times during Lebanon’s fifteen year civil war. Locals are using “doomed” and “hopeless” to describe the catastrophe. And did I mention that corruption and incompetence almost certainly caused this disaster? The welders were not using OSHA approved methods I’m sure, and why the hell were fireworks stored next to ammonium nitrate? Why was the ammonium nitrate even stored there in the first place? There were already big demonstrations against the government going on, so an explosion of anger is likely imminent.

That’s the gist of it. All from this article: Lebanon’s Mushroom Cloud of Incompetence. The author is Lebanese, and it seems objective enough. Oh, and just saw, some port officials have already been placed under house arrest. What a nightmare, and it will keep unfolding for who knows how long. Oh, and of course Trump came out and said the explosion was a “terrible attack.” Anonymous defense officials have already corrected him, there is literally zero reason to believe this was any sort of attack. No doubt Trump will double down on his claim, because admitting he was wrong appears to be beyond his capabilities. Stay tuned.

Speaking of Trump, he does appear to be getting less hinged as the election gets closer. 160,000 dead, the worst economic downturn since the great depression, not surprising. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have inspired him to actually do much about either. His Axios interview was telling. I’ve watched enough Trump this past few months to see what he does. He basically praises himself, pats himself on the back, and blames everyone else for the nation’s problems. And his aides provide him with talking points to toss out that superficially sound good, but fall apart upon analysis. Like his claim that a smaller percentage of Americans are dying of Covid-19 than was the case when it broke out. True, but so what? The world’s medical establishment has learned a lot about how to treat it in the past few months, basically a meaningless factoid. The shear numbers of Americans dying is damning.

And sadly after briefly appearing to take Covid-10 more seriously, Trump’s backtracked and is once again claiming “It’s just going to go away.” He’s still living in a fantasy world where Covid-19 will magically go away, the children will go back to school, the economy will recover, and he will be re-elected in the fall more popular than ever. Yeah, and Mussolini got an utterly unprepared Italy into World War Two because he fantasized about riding a white horse into Cairo at the head of his victorious legions. The war didn’t turn out well for him. In fact a lot on the right are going off the deep end, Alex Jones is claiming leftists are stockpiling explosives and weapons for some nefarious purposes, and rightists should strike first. If that’s not inciting violence, I don’t know what is. Oh well, read about that and other far right nonsense here. And here.

Did have a commenter here the other day who said he liked having Trump as his president. Well, what can I say, Trump still has his fans. Here’s a good article on doing one’s own research. I share as part of my ongoing efforts to encourage people to use reason and science to guide their lives, not emotion and religion. The latter hasn’t been working against Covid-19 as the friends, families, and loved ones of over 160,000 dead Americans can attest. I hope my Trump admiring reader doesn’t become one of them.

And here’s the funny meme for the day:

Stay safe everyone. My election vigil continues.  #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image of the explosion in Beirut. Credit and copyright: It’s a reduced size, grayscale copy of the original. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law due to that, it’s arguably an historically important image, central to the post, and no public domain image is yet available. The second image is a Facebook meme and claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law, if it even has a copyright.)

Written by unitedcats

August 5, 2020 at 8:04 pm


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

August 1, 2020 at 8:03 pm


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Yeah, I’m 63 years old today. How the hell did this happen? My plan to die young and be a horrible warning has gone tragically awry. And judging from the image above, I’m not even doing old age right. A Covid-safe birthday of course, cake for one. I’ll throw something at the cat maybe. I had the wrong birth date listed on Facebook out of excessive caution. In 1984 creepy as F fashion Facebook changed the date to the correct date. Oh well, at least all my Facebook friends sent me birthday greetings on the right day this year.

The election countdown continues. Trump suggested that the election might have to be postponed because of Covid-19. Outrage, justifiably enough, from many quarters. Trump doesn’t have the authority to change the election date, so just more of his nonsense. He’s running scared and grasping at straws. Like his endless complaining it’s going to be the most corrupt election in history. (Easy on the hyperbole sport, it’s getting old.) Safe bet that if he loses, he will claim the election was rigged. Not sure what he would be able to do about it though. His latest wall around the White House is 13 foot high. So it’s going to hurt when he gets tossed over it. (Since I wrote this even Republican leaders have said no way to his election delaying fantasy.)

And even if somehow the election is delayed, it’s not like Covid-19 is going to magically go away or the economy will magically recover. The economy is tanking at a frightening rate actually, no doubt Trump will claim this is fake news or a Democratic hoax. His fantasised ability to bend reality to his bidding doesn’t really work that way, neither problem (the economy or Covid-19) can be solved with a sharpie on a chart.

Came across the below meme about the doctor Trump was touting as support for his Covid-19 treatment:

I can’t make this shit up, living in a world where facts have left fiction in the dust. On the plus side, Trump doubling down on trying to appeal to his Evangelical, science denying, magical thinking base is a good thing. They are still a definite minority in America despite the best efforts of the quiverfull movement, alienating everyone else isn’t going to help him win in November.

Trump has decided to pull 12,000 troops from Germany. He’s punishing Germany for something or other is the claim. Screams of outrage from some quarters, far less understandable in this case. If the troops are actually coming home, great. Nato’s raison d’etre ceased to exist over 30 years ago, the more troops the US pulls from abroad the better, at this point as our economy is nose diving we really should consider cutting military spending, there are a few problems in America more pressing than defending against essentially non-existent overseas threats. Caitlin Johnston covers this tempest in a teapot nicely: The Exit of 12,000 US Troops is the Single Worst Event in German History. When Caitlin is on form, she’s on form.

A few quick notes. A double lung transplant saved a Covid-19 patient. When was the last time someone with a cold or flu needed a double lung transplant? Once again for those in the back, Covid-19 is a terrible disease, it’s not just a new cold or flu.

Turns out coating things with copper really helps stop the spread of infections in hospitals. Good news, though peak copper is a thing. Hospitals and doctor’s exam rooms are going to look a lot different in years to come as this is put into practice. Gonna drive up the price of copper though. Peak copper and copper theft are already issues. More incentive to develop asteroid mining I hope, there’s single asteroids out there that contain more of certain metals than exist in the entirety of Earth’s crust.

Lastly, still getting into debates with people who think Biden is as bad as Trump. On the one hand, can’t argue with them, Biden is a terrible choice on multiple levels. There’s nothing even slightly progressive about him, he’s an utter tool of big corporations, the rich, and the Pentagon. Point granted, he’s no better than Clinton in 2016. I loathe both parties, both of them have been selling out poor, working, and middle class Americans since at least 1980.

However, and it’s a huge giant in-your-face however, in 2016 Trump was just a scary candidate with numerous red flags. 2020, Trump is insane. He lives in a fantasy world where he is a genius and a great world leader. His utter inability to lead has resulted in an epic  economic and health catastrophe in America. One of these things is not like the other. I still and to my dying day encourage people to cast their vote as they prefer, that’s the whole idea of democracy. However, unlike 2016 where I didn’t bother to vote, this time I will indeed vote for anyone who I think might win over Trump.

IDK. My crystal ball burst into flames months ago. 95 days, anything could happen between now and the election. I don’t have a spear, but I do have a sword. The way things are going, might be my saving grace. Oh, my old friend did call me. Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

July 30, 2020 at 9:36 pm


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I was wrong, it’s not a figure of speech. I read something this morning that did in fact make my head hurt. Numb at times too, so mind numbing is also a thing. Yes, reading Trump’s latest pronouncement literally made my head hurt. I sure hope “that made my head explode” is a figure of speech, because we’re getting there.

Trump said that the malaria medication he has been touting to treat Covid-19 was only rejected as a treatment because he recommended it. Yes, he did say that. This means, correct me if I’m wrong gentle reader, Trump thinks the entire world’s medical establishment, millions of people, would see their patients, friends, and family die … and they would rather die themselves … rather than admit Trump was right. I pretty much went into shock, and yes, again,  it literally made my head hurt to think about.

And this made me realize I was wrong about Trump. I was wrong about a lot of things. It’s made me re-evaluate some deeply, almost unconsciously, held beliefs. I finally realise on a core level that Trump actually believes the things he says. He actually believes he is a combination of Christ and Julius Caesar, that he  is this super genius world leader. And the only reason things aren’t working out in his favor is that millions of people are conspiring against him to make him look bad. He actually fucking believes this. 

There certainly were plenty of signs of this earlier. Sharpiegate being maybe the most obvious. Or maybe his contention that Americans were wearing masks to make him look bad. (Does it even need to be said that Americans are wearing masks to avoid spreading a terrible disease?) This man actually believes that the stuff he says is true. He literally is living in a fantasy world of his own creation.

And worse, and this is where I was wrong about Trump and Hitler, his followers believe everything he believes too. Hitler was the same, he actually believed that the world’s Jews were all secretly conspiring to rule the world, and their secret machinations had caused Germany to lose World War One. A contention that utterly fails any logical rational analysis. Even Hitler’s allies like Finland and Japan realized it was nonsense. But millions of Germans believed it, and murdered millions of innocent men, women, and children in defence of this insanity.

I was wrong, on some level I’ve always assumed that except for the raving mad, most people understand that there is this thing called reality. And it is utterly indifferent to what people believe, it’s reality, the Universe we live in. The floor we are standing on is real. If we punch a wall and break a fist, it’s because the wall is real. I finally see that huge numbers of people don’t really understand this. If Trump says it, it’s real for them. No debate, no evidence, essentially nothing will change their minds. Trump’s the messiah for them, every word out of his mouth is God’s truth.

It was exactly the same for Hitler. Trump and Hitler both were/are so unalterably convinced of their rightness that their confidence sucked millions of people into their fantasy world. I guess humans are programmed, at least a lot of them, to follow messianistic leaders. I guess there’s evolutionary advantages to having a lot of tribal members unquestionably follow a confident tribal leader. Except of course we no longer live in tribal villages, and it’s not clear at all that this kind of devotion is a good thing anymore. Following Hitler killed a hundred plus million people and left Germany in ruins. Following Trump has killed over a hundred thousand Americans with no end in sight, not to mention devastating our economy and world standing.

But to Trump and his followers, no, whatever has resulted is because so many people want Trump to fail. No Trumper readers, us non Trumpers desperately want Trump to tackle Covid-19 using science, reason, consulting with experts; like pretty much every other developed country has done. Nope, to Trump and his ilk, anyone who doesn’t agree with him is the enemy who wants America to fail. Sigh. I’m fond of saying “we’re not really an intelligent species.” I was wrong. We’re not even a sane species. On the plus side, that we still exist is proof the aliens don’t exist. If they did, they’d have exterminated us long ago.

The pic above. Trump promoted a doctor whose medical beliefs come straight out of the Middle Ages. Health problems are caused by dream sex with demons and witches. No worries, his followers will believe her, that’s how the messiah thing works. Trump’s never wrong. Trump can’t be wrong, he’s the messiah.

I’m gonna post every day until the election. It’s the craziest time of my life, I do so to honor my current readers, and to provide a chronicle for future readers. Sorry if not as polished as most of my historical posts. 96 days now to the election? Trump continues to fortify the White House. I continue to evolve my thinking. Trump is the Hitler of our time. I can only hope he’s removed from power before he does as much damage as Hitler. Biden may be a horrible candidate on multiple levels, but pretty sure he doesn’t live in a fantasy world of his own creation.

What a time to be alive. Stay safe everyone. Comments and shares appreciated. Jesus H Christ. #StaytheFuckHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

July 29, 2020 at 8:38 pm


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Was Covid-19 designed to target the willfully ignorant? What do I mean by that. I mean that unlike most ongoing natural disasters, this one’s easy to mischaracterize. The lava is coming, the dam has broken, the earthquake is happening … everyone is pretty much going to agree what to do, even if it’s just screaming and running. To some extent all plagues are more deniable, but Covid-19 hits under the waterline in additional ways. It kills a lot of people, but not enough to really freak everyone out. If it killed 10% of it’s victims, everyone would be going nuts. Better yet, it mostly kills the old! Makes it easy to ignore all the healthy people it kills. And finally the frosting on the cake, and the full horror and diabolical extent of this is still being revealed, for every person it kills, dozens have long term or permanent health deficits from Covid-19.

In other words, Covid-19 was the perfect weapon to fire at groups of willfully ignorant people and governments. I don’t mean stupid people, I mean people who use religion, ideology, magical thinking to guide their life. As opposed to people who at least try to use reason and science. The former’s risk assessment skills are spotty at best. (“It’s just a cold folks!” “It will all be gone by Easter!”) The latter, well, Vietnam took Covid-19 seriously in January. No fatalities, a handful of cases. My freaking American rural county has fared worse than the entire nation of Vietnam. Jesus wept.

So yeah, Covid-19 is the perfect weapon to deploy against Trump and similar? Is it going to kill/maim far more Modi/Trump/Boris/Putin people than others? Sure looks like it. If this aspect of Covid-19 turns out to be real, what does it mean? Is it just a coincidence? Did some secret liberal/commie lab invent Covid-19? Satan? Aliens? Let’s speculate …

First of all, I think the evidence is overwhelming that Covid-19 is a natural or feral virus. The experts in the field, and viruses are a very well studied field, say it has all the earmarks of a naturally evolved virus. There’s no global dissenters, the entire virology/epidemiology  field agrees. If evidence to the contrary emerges, I’ll reassess, but for starters we can safely eliminate this possibility as unlikely.

Are there other possibilities? Well, aliens. Maybe. At least if we postulate they exist, they would have the technology to do so, unlike hypothetical human agents creating Covid-19. Still, it’s a magical possibility. Same category as “God did it!” Or “Satan did it!” Circular reasoning, special pleading, whatever. As with the comic book idea that a human lab created Covid-19, if evidence emerges supporting the above, I’ll reassess.

So was Covid-19 being the perfect weapon to defeat Trump just a coincidence? Yeah, probably. Occam’s Razor tells us that. It’s the possibility that requires the least number of assumptions. Doesn’t always turn out to be the case, but only because new evidence shows up. With the evidence we have, Covid-19 was a natural and utterly predictable event. Especially since experts in the field have been warning us about this possibility pretty much all our lives, especially since the 1990s. It’s the most likely explanation, people that can’t accept that as a starting point in a debate, well, be careful, they may not be taking proper Covid-19 preparations either.

So, moving on. One caveat. It’s important to understand there are two faces to  an event. What actually happened, and how people responded to it. And by that I mean that yes, Covid-19 was a naturally occurring event … but … in January 2020 the smart with-it generals and other experts tasked with protecting nations … or concentrations of wealth … started having meetings. Started sitting down and brainstorming “What does Covid-19 mean, what threats does it pose, and can we use it to our advantage?” Is any major power or player using Covid-19 as a weapon yet? Maybe, I don’t see any evidence of it, but something to watch out for.

The speculation I wanted to put forward based on all of the above is this, what if Covid-19 is evidence that Evolution works in ways we don’t yet understand? What if on some as yet scientifically unexplored level this virus evolved to target things like Trump rallies, Evangelical church services, and other gatherings of Covid-19 denying folk. The perfect storm nature of the Covid-19 sure makes me wonder.

And it all could have been different too. Trump could have lept into action in January 2020, closed the borders, and used the awesome resources at his disposal to set up a  huge national test and trace program to stop Covid-19 from getting a foothold in America. He would have been ridiculed for a few months … and he would be an American God by now. If he had pulled off a Vietnam type Covid-19 response, with only a handful of dead Americans while hundreds of thousands died world wide, pretty sure his reelection would be a shoe in.

So in other words, Vietnam defeated us in war, and now they’ve defeated us in peace. Johnson and Nixon get the blame for the former, Trump gets it for the latter. He missed the golden ring he’s always aspired to, and will now go down in history like Nero at best, Caligula at worst. He wanted to be a Caesar, instead he is a Didius Julianus. Or a Commodus. One of history’s great, if largely unknown, losers.

Covid-19 is basically a test to see how in touch with reality people are. Welcome to the Universe. Stay safe and have a good week everyone. Sanity is optional at this point. Next post, black Holes. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

July 21, 2020 at 9:02 am


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Election four months away. Anything could happen. Winter is coming. Trump and company are still basically trying to claim Covid-19 is no big deal, even going so far as to claim the CDC and everyone else is lying about it to make Trump look bad. No Mr Trump, they’re just trying to do their job. And an accusation like that could only have come from someone who habitually lies about everything. So far Trump’s lies about how great his fight against Covid-19 is going aren’t actually helping get Covid-19 under control, so he’s fallen back on claiming everyone who disagrees with his lies is lying. Disturbed preschooler crap basically. Granted Covidiocy is not limited to America. As I am increasingly fond of saying these days, humans aren’t really an intelligent species.

Trump did wear a mask for the first time in public. Good for him is my first reaction, this will encourage mask compliance, fewer people will die. Maybe he’s had an epiphany, and has realized if he listens to the experts he can still get the country, and his fortunes, out of the nosedive they are in. Snort. Don’t hold one’s breath gentle reader. I think the plan is to just throw waves of victims at Covid-19 until we win? First we sacrificed the elderly and the sick. Health care workers. Meat plant workers. Fast food workers. Now Trump’s plan is to send in children and teachers. OK then.

So some late breaking bad news. Basically looking like herd immunity isn’t very likely. Basically because looking like Covid-19 immunity doesn’t last very long. Herd immunity is something only achieved with a vaccine anyhow. Letting a disease spread through the  population to achieve herd immunity is like letting one’s house burn down to make it fireproof. That’s what we’re doing though. Crazy times.

Topic change. Let’s review the statues. (Are they even in the news anymore?) We have all sorts of statues glorifying, get this, Confederate personages. People who took up arms against the United States because they wanted to preserve the institution of chattel slavery. This is slavery where the slaves are the same as cattle, and bought and sold and bred as such. Where human beings are property because of the accident of their birth. This isn’t debatable, every single state when it seceded and joined the Confederacy stated that preserving the institution of slavery was why they were rebelling against America.

So wait, the Confederates were traitors? Yes. Criminals? Yes. Monsters? Some of them. The point is that their cause was not just, the Confederacy is one of the (if not the) greatest blemishes on the American ideal of one nation for all. There’s absolutely no reason their “heroes” should be accorded public monuments, it’s not only an affront to the people they killed and victimized, it’s an affront to the actual heroes who fought to put down their revolt. Flying a Confederate flag is no different than flying a Nazi flag. One is flying the flag of an enemy of the US, a defeated enemy at that. Convince me otherwise.

Moving along, the historical evidence is overwhelming. In any complex civilization the end finally comes when the ruling class due to corruption and human cognitive failings becomes detached from reality. While climate change and ecocide were sure to kill us, Covid-19 has compressed the timeline so to speak. America is collapsing because our leaders live in a fantasy world, will America’s failing bring the world down with it? Damned if I know, but the world Americans grew up in is dead. I’m all for tearing down statues of traitors and moving forward, can’t hurt.

And last a bit of context. Some morbid calculations. In absolute numbers Covid-19 is the 4th worst mass death event in US history, surpassed only by WW2, the Civil War, and the 1918 pandemic. In relative numbers, Covid-19 is probably tied for fourth with Korea and Vietnam, but pulling away. So to get to number three, topping 675,000 would be the absolute number. In relative numbers it would have to top 2 million. Let’s hope it’s not as bad as the 1918 flu.138,000 and counting as I write.

So yeah, been preparing myself mentally for something like Covid-19 all my life. As my friend Steve said to me once, “You freak out about the world ending every spring Doug.” He was more or less right. This time, not freaking out, the world I grew up in is dying. I just never expected that the US government and a third of Americans  would pretend it was all a hoax and try to BS their way out of it.

Stay safe and stay sane everyone. I did get started on the book today. My swan song. Comments, likes, shares appreciate. #StaytheFHome

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: A cat with a mouse in its jaws, a public domain Snappygoat pic. I thought about making a meme of it. Trump is the mouse, the cat is Covid-19. Maybe I will. OK. I did. Oddly enough, now that Trump has tens of thousands of preventable deaths on his hands, I see no reason to respect him no matter his office.)

Written by unitedcats

July 13, 2020 at 8:21 pm