Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Impeachment’ Category

TODAY IS THE DAY THE GOP DIED

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I wasn’t going to blog today, but the news was so good I just have to! Trump was acquitted at his Senate impeachment trial! This is a fantastic outcome, the best possible outcome! Wait, what? Did Doug suddenly turn into a Trump supporter? Was Doug’s Darkworld hacked? Hear me out dear readers, today marked the end of the GOP and the beginning of the Trump Party. This is great for the Democrats on so many levels. I hardly know where to start. So I will start with, what would have happened if he was convicted? Trump would have been a martyr, his base would have rabidly supported him, there’s nothing Trump supporters like better than being aggrieved. They would have turned on the Dems with renewed vengeance, and polarization in the country, and very possibly political violence, would have gotten worse. And with Trump out of the running in 2024, someone a lot smarter and more dangerous might well have taken up his mantle.

Now, Trump’s the winner! And boy, the very first thing him and most of the GOP will do is turn on the “traitors” in their ranks with a vengeance. The GOP is now the de facto Trump party, and he will waste no time getting rid of anyone who isn’t blindly loyal to him. Um, do they not remember just how badly run the Trump administration was? The White House churn rate (employee turnover) hit spectacular new heights. His administration accomplished essentially nothing outside of executive orders and cancelling diplomatic agreements. And building a monument to stupidity and Trump’s ego on the border with Mexico. They think he’s going to do a better job running the GOP? Fat chance.

Trump is incapable of planning, management,  and leadership. Every business he ever started failed, spectacularly in most cases. When he won in 2016 he was riding on the coattails of a reasonably functioning Republican party. He’s going to have four years now to purge it of anyone rational, competent, etc. I mean his 2020 reelection bid was a string of mismanaged rallies completely devoid of any platform, policies; pretty much his whole campaign was based on fear mongering.

I think when the Dems get over their outrage, they will see this as an opportunity, not a fail. It’s not like they really expected the GOP to convict, did they? This was not exactly an unpredictable outcome. And now it’s time to give Trump all the rope he wants. He will run the Trump Party (Formerly the GOP) with the same skill, leadership, planning, and organizational skills he showed during every business he ever destroyed and his failed presidential administration. Today is the day the GOP died, I for one am rejoicing.

Trump’s day is done. He’s a one trick pony. Yes, in any functional democracy he would have been convicted of treason and would now be in jail or facing a firing squad. He refused to accept the results of a free and fair election and tried to have the election results overturned by force. Fortunately his coup attempt was as well planned, organised, and led as his failed businesses and failed presidency. He’s not capable of learning from his mistakes, he’s not capable of growth, he’s not capable of modifying his strategy as the situation evolves.

I don’t know what’s going to happen from here on out. No one does. I just don’t think four more years of Trump holding the same rallies he’s been holding since 2016 is a danger to the republic. Even Hitler stopped holding giant rallies and moved on, Trump isn’t capable of that. Granted the Dems ability to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory might hand Trump another term in the Oval Office, I just think that’s damn unlikely. But I plan on being here to blog about it if they do.

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

PS: Yes, on top of his flaming incompetence, Trump may well now wither under a barrage of criminal charges and bankruptcies. More the reason to be optimistic this day.

PPS: It’s even possible that this outcome is exactly what the people who started impeachment proceedings wanted, but that might be giving them too much credit.

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Public Domain Pixabay image, no attribution required. I would have photoshopped in Mitch McConnell’s face, but that’s beyond my skill set.)

Written by unitedcats

February 13, 2021 at 8:38 pm

TRUMP WON’T BE CONVICTED, WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

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I think the chances of Trump being convicted by the Senate are essentially zero. The vote may happen as early as Saturday. I haven’t been following the impeachment much, because what’s the point? There’s really no question of Trump’s guilt, but the GOP Senators either don’t care, completely live in a fantasy world where the Capitol Insurrection Riot was somehow a Libtard False Flag attempt to make Trump look bad, or worse, think it was justified. Trump himself once said: “I Could Stand In the Middle Of Fifth Avenue And Shoot Somebody And I Wouldn’t Lose Any Voters.” He might as well have said “I could stand on the National Mall and incite a mob to storm the Capitol and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” His defense team is playing to their choir, not making any actual attempt to defend him. Trump encouraging his followers to storm the capitol to prevent Biden being certified as president is indefensible in any real world sense. The GOP is now a personality cult no longer living in the real world, so they, and their followers, see nothing to defend.

I have no idea what happens next, but I can speculate. Trump will likely run again in 2024, there doesn’t appear to be any way to prevent that unless he is convicted at his impeachment trial. I expect the GOP and Trump will spend the next four years doing everything in their considerable power to sabotage the Biden administration. They live in a world where they are God’s favorites, and Biden is evil incarnate. The few republicans who have stayed on the side of sanity in all this will be shown the door and replaced with Marjorie Taylor Greene clones. I think Roe vs Wade will effectively be gutted, if not overturned entirely. The only way Biden could really fight all this would be to pass the sorts of progressive legislation that most Americans crave, and would dramatically improve the lives of Americans. Medicare for all and raising the minimum wage back to a living wage alone would do it. I doubt that’s going to happen, the bottom line is that the Dems serve the same corporate masters that the GOP does, neither party represents the average working class American anymore.

The country will become more polarised than ever, and political violence is certainly a strong possibility. The police will continue to kill people with impunity, the rich will get ever richer, Covid will continue to inflict a terrible toll. And Biden has already made it perfectly clear that our imperial wars will continue unabated. The nation’s infrastructure, schools, and health care system will continue to decline. Crime rates, especially violent crime, have been trending up the past year and I can’t see that changing anytime soon. The most powerful country and empire the world has ever known is ruled by a fantasy/religious driven personality cult and a political party that is corruption personified. Rome never did particularly well under co-emperors, and I can’t see the US doing so either.

So yeah, the glass is half empty and the other half is full of shit. This is America. On the plus side, all sorts of exciting stuff is likely to happen, and we can look forward to endless outrage from all quarters. And it’s a golden age for bloggers! Even though we are kind of old hat now. Writing is what I do, and I will continue to do.

Today was going to be miscellaneous links that I didn’t get around to this week, but alas, couldn’t help ranting about the impeachment and the sad state of the republic. I have a few though to round out the week with. There’s this for starters: Psychoanalyst Justin Frank: Capitol riot was a source of incredible pleasure’ for Trump. At least Trump’s state of mind is endlessly fascinating in a morbid sort of way. This analyst thinks that Trump does indeed believe he won the election. And since Trump is a Covid survivor, this is more important than ever: Post COVID-19 brain-related symptoms may be common, study indicates. There’s still people out there who think Covid is a hoax. America, land of the deluded.

It’s been a hard week for me, thus the image of a tired cat. And at least one more week of near or below zero temperatures here in Northern Iowa. A few years back the snow was gone and the lake unfroze by late February. Not this year. Stay safe and warm everyone. Double masking is now recommended, I wear a really tight mask with an extra filter inside. Why the hell would I want to risk getting a disease that infects my brain for God’s sake? Oh, have a great weekend everyone, I will resume blogging on Monday. Likes, shares, comments all appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image. Tired cat. Credit: Public Domain Snappygoat image.)

Written by unitedcats

February 12, 2021 at 7:32 pm

WHATEVER WEDNESDAY, TRUMP’S DEFENSE BLOWS UP AND OTHER ODDMENTS INCLUDING GUY FAWKES

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Well, looks like Trump’s trial in the Senate is going forward. The defense put up by his lawyers in the pretrial was pretty feeble by all accounts, not surprising, it’s not exactly the A team. Or even the B team. So yes, the senate voted that it is indeed constitutional to impeach a president after he is out of office. Cynical Doug says, “Great, so the next time the GOP controls congress they’ll impeach Obama.” I probably shouldn’t even joke about that, considering how weird politics has gotten in America. I’ll follow the trial’s developments, but this still seems like political theatre to me, I doubt Trump will face any serious consequences. The Dems are kinda like the fake opposition party, though granted they’re better than the GOP now.

Speaking of the Capitol Insurrection (GOPers are calling it a riot to deny Trump had any culpability, so insurrection it is if we’re gonna play word games,) here’s a fun take on it: Michigan’s Top Republican Falsely Calls U.S. Capitol Attack A ‘Hoax’. Yeah, really put it all in perspective for me. Basically a quarter or more of Americans live in a world where if something happens that challenges their world view, it didn’t really happen. School shootings, well, can’t possibly be that easy access to military grade weapons is a problem, so they were faked. A MAGA crowd stormed the Capitol with intent to kill, nope, Trump supporters only protest peacefully, so it was faked. Biden lost the election, nope, couldn’t have happened, so Trump was somehow cheated out of the victory. With codicil of course being all these things that were faked, why it was the libtards and their plot to turn America into a socialist welfare state where white Christians are second class citizens.

Trump’s genius, though more instinct than genius, was understanding that with these people, all one had to do was tell them what they want to hear, and deride anything that contradicts that as fake news, and they’ll eat out of your hand. Though at this point it’s getting increasingly bizarre as they try to reconcile the reality of President Biden with their fantasy world: ‘Hold the Line’: QAnon Adherents Claim Trump Will Become President Again on March 4. Or this: Fact check: Debunking claims that Biden’s Oval Office is a fake movie set. It never ends: ‘Prophetess’ Amanda Grace Says Trump’s Impeachment Trial Is Proof He’s Still President. ‘Obama wasn’t born in America’ on steroids.

Oddly enough I realized there’s a few (a fun few) parallels between the Capitol Insurrection and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. The timing was about the same, the plot was revealed in early November, and ended with multiple executions at the end of January. Basically Catholics were being officially persecuted in England, and the plotters planned to blow up parliament and the king, start a revolution, and install a catholic Queen. They got as far as stashing 36 barrels of gunpowder under the parliament chambers. However, the authorities were alerted by an anonymous letter, the writer of which is unknown to this day. And in a search of the building, one Guy Fawkes was found guarding the gunpowder.

He was taken into custody, tortured terribly, and the other plotters chased down and rounded up, most were taken alive. They too were all tortured. Torture was on the way out at the time, but was still used for special occasions. And after their trials, they were all hung, drawn, and quartered. A particularly gruesome form of execution which involves hanging and then burning parts of their anatomy in front of them while still alive. I’ll leave further details to the gentle readers’ imaginations or Google skills. Guy though outwitted them at the end, he leapt off the gallows breaking his neck, thus avoiding the unpleasantness about to ensue.

So it was a plot to overthrow a government and install what the plotters thought of as the legitimate government. It went badly. And one person, Guy Fawkes, came to be emblematic of the whole mess, he was indeed the Qbacca of his day. Guy Fawkes Night is still celebrated on November 5, the day Fawkes was caught. And indeed he still has a certain amount of sympathy, I know I’ve had English friends who sympathized with his desire to blow up Parliament for a just cause. At the time though most everyone was quite releived the plot had failed, the plotters got little to no sympathy or support in their flight, and even had they succeeded, it’s unlikely their plot would have succeeded. More than likely it would have precipitated a wholesale massacre of English Catholics, and as it was all it succeeded in doing was invoking even further persecution of same.

The above photo was a careful reproduction of the 1605 parliament building exploded with the equivalent of 36 barrels of gunpowder. The inset is a contemporary drawing of Guy Fawkes. He was a handsome man by all accounts. The explosion showed that if the gunpowder had been in good condition, it would indeed have killed everyone in the building. Only a portion of the head of the dummy representing the king was found afterwards. It was done for a TV show in 2005. Millenia from now when our times are only fragmentarily known, will the two plots be confused and conflated, with Qbacca Fawkes forever known as the man who stormed and blew up parliament? We can only hope so. Frankly Trump’s insurrection mob storming the capitol only to write graffiti on the walls with their shit doesn’t have a lot of poetic appeal.

Stay safe and warm everyone. Our tap water was at 29 degrees fahrenheit this AM, which while nice if one wants ice water on tap, necessitated frantic measures to get it safely above 40 again. A burst pipe can do a lot of damage to a house, been there, seen that. Comments, likes, shares, donations as always appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Explained in text. Credit: Mike Slee This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Used legally. It has been modified with the Guy Fawkes image insert.)

Written by unitedcats

February 10, 2021 at 7:45 pm

THROUGH THICK AND THIN

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There will be a Borders III post, but it’s going to have to wait a bit. And boy, turns out there’s a lot of people on Facebook who claim to be the Messiah. I’ll get a post out of that someday too. I know someone who lost their wife and kids to a cult once, self styled messiahs have an unholy attraction for some people. Today, I’m going to be all over the place. Or more so than usual I suppose. My staff consists of one useless cat at the moment. Working on a partnership though, she’s already been far more helpful than the cat.

Moving right along, January 31 was a big day in history. I mean, every day has all sorts of historical events on it. (Except June 31, nothing ever happened on June 31, no one knows why.) However, January 31, a big day as in important well remembered events. This was the day in 1943 where German Field Marshal Paulus surrendered to the encircling Russians at Stalingrad, thus ending the greatest battle in history. Hitler had promoted Paulus to Field Marshal because no German field marshal had ever surrendered. Have I ever mentioned that Hitler was prone to magical thinking? Stalingrad was Hitler’s Pickett’s Charge, the war would only go downhill for Hitler from there.

On January 31 the VietCong launched simultaneous surprise attacks on every provincial capitol in South Vietnam, and even breached the American embassy’s grounds in Saigon. It caught America and South Vietnam by complete surprise, but it didn’t trigger the general uprising the VietCong had been counting on, and the Tet Offensive as it was called, was a tactical and strategic disaster, one from which the VietCong would never recover from. And in the USA, it was a political death blow for president Johnson, and significantly eroded American support for the war. That’s because some months earlier Johnson had announced … victory! The VietCong had been beaten, the war was all but over, the US could start pulling out. So yeah, a massive nationwide VietCong surprise attack pretty much destroyed Johnson’s credibility, and was in fact the beginning of the end for America’s misbegotten involvement in southeast Asia.

Well, those were the big two events, enough for January 31. Although in another historical footnote: Meet Eunice Foote, The Mother Of Climate Science Whose Work Was Ignored Because Of Her Sex. She was the first person to discover the role that CO2 plays in changing the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. The greenhouse effect as it is called. Since she was a woman though, she wasn’t allowed to present her findings at the 1856 American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. A man got the honor and the credit 3 years later. Sigh. It would be over 100 years before she was recognized for her groundbreaking discovery.

In a medical breakthrough: Two more coma patients’ brains jump-started with ultrasound. Waycool. People sometimes come out of comas after years or even decades. The brain’s ability to heal itself is quite amazing. We are talking comas though, this would not have helped the sadly famous Terri Schiavo, she was in what is known as a persistent vegetative state. PVS is a horrible condition, the patient has normal sleep and awake cycles. They may laugh, they may cry, they may appear to be looking around. So it’s easy to see why friends and loved ones would very much cling to the belief that they are still alive and may recover. Alas, what PVS sufferers don’t do is communicate in any way, there is literally no one home. And while a few people who were misdiagnosed as being in a PVS have recovered, they were all showing signs of improvement after a few months. No one has ever recovered from an actual PVS diagnosis, the part of the brain that makes us who we are is irreparably damaged.

Moving from inner space to outer space (lame segue I know) here’s an interview with the professor who thinks Oumuamua was alien technology of some sort: Professor Avi Loeb: ‘It would be arrogant to think we’re alone in the universe’. On the one hand, he’s plugging his new book on the topic. On the other hand he does have a point regarding how the scientific community can be hostile and non supportive of anything related to aliens. A situation that’s unlikely to change until we actually find actual evidence for them, it’s way too easy for politicians to ridicule SETI, why attract attention from them?

And another scientist has come up with an explanation for the Wow! Signal. The Wow! Signal was detected in 1977 and has never been explained. Here’s another try though: Was the Wow! Signal Due to Power Beaming Leakage? Basically humans are starting to experiment with beamed power to launch spacecraft and such, and the Wow! Signal might well be “leakage” from aliens doing the same. It’s an interesting idea, and suggests we might want to observe that part of the sky continuously to see if it ever repeats.

Lastly, back on Earth. I, for one, look forward to Qbacca testifying at Trump’s impeachment trial: ‘Complete circus’: Lindsey Graham fears ‘QAnon Shaman’ testimony at Trump’s impeachment trial. All of Trump’s lawyers have quit at this point, it’s not clear who will represent him at his trial in just over a week. Apparently all he wants to talk about at the trial is his fantasies about election fraud. It’s gonna be interesting, if not a total circus. I don’t think Trump’s ever faced anything like it, this isn’t going to be a press conference where he can ignore questions, hurl abuse at the questioner, and storm out if he doesn’t like how things are going. He might try though, boy, won’t that be fun.

Stay safe and warm everyone. Just maybe things will settle down now and the Capitol Riot was peak insanity over Trump’s election fraud charade. A man can hope. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Field Marshal Paulus surrendering at Stalingrad. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license.

Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-F0316-0204-005 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

No changes were made in the image. Paulus actually survived being a Russian prisoner. Most of the nearly 300,000 men who surrendered with him didn’t. Stalin had in fact promised that Paulus’ men would be well treated, and did order so. Yeah, by this point the Germans had done terrible things in Russia, so Stalin’s orders were for the most part ignored. Paulus lived until 1957.)

Written by unitedcats

January 31, 2021 at 8:30 pm

TREPPENWITZ, AND TRUMP’S WHITE HOUSE DIET COKE BUTTON

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Ah, treppenwitz. Or esprit de l’escalier, the wit of the stairway. When someone claimed that having tens of thousands of troops in Washington for the inauguration was like being in a third world country, I should have replied: “Like one of those countries where the president incites a mob to attack the capitol to overturn a free and fair election?” The same person would have been apoplectic if the mob had been a BLM/Antifa mob.  Of course they don’t think it was a fair election, because how could their anointed by God leader possibly lose an election? Especially if he insisted he’d been cheated? I and many others have said it before, Trump supporters are now living in an alternate reality. Here is a great example: Sen. Graham calls out Biden administration’s claims that ‘everything is in shambles’. No Mr Graham, this isn’t the Obama playbook, Trump wasn’t a particularly good president, and after the election he basically ignored the exploding pandemic and everything else to concentrate on his fantasy quest to overturn the election. And his administration’s essential refusal to coordinate with the incoming Biden administration was historically unprecedented in modern times.

To back my point up, here are three of Trump’s most unqualified and corrupt appointments, all fired by Biden on his first day in office. The information comes from Slate.com, but since it’s paywalled, I’m rephrasing it here:

Michael Pack. He was appointed in June to run the U.S. Agency for Global Media. The Voice of America international broadcaster. He tried to transform it into a propaganda outlet for Trump, despite a  mandate that prohibits such political interference. He purged the staff of the VOA and sister networks, replacing them with Trump loyalists, insisted on pro-Trump coverage, and unconstitutionally punished reporters who didn’t toe the pro-Trump line. He also illegally fired the board of the Open Technology Fund, which promotes international internet freedom, and replaced them with Republican activists. After whistleblower complaints, the U.S. Office of Special Counselfound it very likely that Pack had broken federal law. After being fired by Biden, he whined that his termination “was a partisan act,” talk about self-owning irony.

Kathleen Kraninger, confirmed as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2018. She had no previous experience in consumer protection. She scrapped a rule that restricted predatory payday lending, insisting that her staff downplay the harm to consumers. She refused to enforce a federal law that protected military personnel from predatory payday lending, basically allowing them to be defrauded by said lenders. She also approved a rule allowing debt collectors to harass Americans with limitless texts and emails. Charming, appointed to protect consumers, instead she protected predatory lenders.

Lastly, Peter Robb. Confirmed as the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel in 2017. The NLRB’s mandate is  to enforce federal laws that protect workers’ right to form unions and engage in collective bargaining. Mr Robb is brutally anti-union. He tried to limit employees’ free speech, gave employers more ability to practice wage theft, crippled unions’ ability to collect dues, and helped prevent employees from organizing unions. He also tried to seize total control of the agency by demoting regional directors and consolidating power in his office, giving him unheard of power to bust unions and prevent new ones from forming. Biden fired his sorry a** after he refused to resign.

I’d link to the original Slate article, but I’m going to try to avoid linking to all unreasonably paywalled articles, what’s the point? I doubt very many of my readers subscribe to Slate. By the same token I unsubscribed to the New York Times today. I love many of their guest editorials, but I can’t share them with my friends and readers, so what’s the point? And boy, they made me jump through hoops to unsubscribe, further increasing my antipathy towards them. I swear, a lot of modern marketing seems to have avoided, I dunno, actually asking real people what they thought?

In any event, these and so many other examples show Trump not only broke his promise to drain the swamp, he was possibly the worst president ever for appointing industry lobbyists and Trump loyalists to posts where they were supposed to regulate said industries in a non-partisan way. Sigh. Hey, Trump University, a scam to cheat poor people out of their life savings shows what Trump really thought about poor and working class Americans.

So far Biden is at least paying lip service to the idea he is serving all Americans. He cancelled the Keystone Pipeline, which was interesting. Basically the pipeline only benefited the rich, had very serious ecological concerns, defiled sacred native land, and would have only provided a trivial number of jobs. IDK, this certainly seems to indicate that Biden won’t completely be a slave to the oil lobby. He also is going to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, which despite its flaws, at least acknowledges that human caused global warming is real. Which it is, the scientific debate ended decades ago; there are certainly questions about how best to deal with global warming, but pretending it’s all a hoax and continuing to pump CO2 and methane into the atmosphere to protect fossil fuel profiteering isn’t one of them.

Predictably, Fox News and the rest are already screaming in outrage about Biden. Apparently condemning white supremacy is an insult to Trump voters: Fox News upset over Biden’s denouncement of white supremacy – because it might offend Trump voters. Frankly, anyone who is upset about Biden denouncing white supremacy can go jump in a lake. Or jump in a time machine and go live in Hitler’s Germany. Hell, a QAnon congresswoman is already filing articles of impeachment against Biden. Yeah, gonna be a fun four years.

Lastly, I just found out that Trump had a button on his oval office desk that when he pushed, a butler would bring him a Diet Coke. Really. To me, that’s kind of grotesque, especially on the taxpayer’s dime. I can’t imagine even having a butler, just have a freaking mini fridge in your office if you need Diet Coke available 24/7. I would have made a very poor lord I guess. The button is gone now, Biden had it removed.

Have a safe and warm weekend everyone. The above meme references the explosion of Bernie in mittens memes after the inauguration. All good fun, though I’m sure Trump supporters, wed to the idea that Sanders is Mao reborn, are horrified. Think of the Children! Or some such, idk. Trump has zero sense of humor, and apparently his followers don’t either. I’ll keep blogging as long as I can. Comments, suggestions, shares, and especially patrons appreciated. I’ll never paywall my blog, but donors are incredibly appreciated. Thanks in advance, thanks for reading in any case. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

January 22, 2021 at 9:00 pm

NIXON RISES FROM THE GRAVE TO CONDEMN TRUMP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

January 13, 2021 at 9:23 pm

MADNESS WALKS THE LAND

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Public domain Snappygoat image.)

Written by unitedcats

January 12, 2021 at 9:50 pm

11 MORE DAYS

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I am not sure what anything means any more. I sometimes think life is just learning that there is always something that hurts more and every day brings a greater understanding of how little it is possible to ever really understand anything. So yeah, I  didn’t post last night. I lost something, and I’m so tired of loss. So tired of seeing a glitter in the mud only to grasp it and just mud. Mud and ashes. In short, it was a terrible week for me and it ended badly.

So, enough about me. 11 more days until Biden is sworn in as the new president. Maybe. I sure hope his Secret Service agents are well vetted. I think Wednesday’s insurrection was just a dress rehearsal and the worst is yet to come. So much to unpack, so much going on. Trump has been banned from Twitter and other platforms for inciting violence. No, this isn’t censorship or loss of freedom. He’s free to say what he wants, and individual people and businesses are free to repeat it, or not.

Five dead now in Wednesday’s riot? A woman shot in the face while leading a charge into the Capitol. A looter managed to fall and taze himself to death. A woman trampled to death while waving a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. Sometimes I think dark irony is the purpose of the Universe. A guy died of a heart attack from the excitement of it all. Yes, trashing over 200 years of democracy must have been pretty exciting. And a policeman beaten to death. All for what? Damned if I or anyone knows. It was fascism though, inciting a mob to overturn an election is about as fascist as it gets.

Some have suggested those defending congress stepped down because they were in collusion with Trump or at least in sympathy. Some have suggested they were deliberately ordered to stand down to avoid a bloodbath that would give Trump cause to declare martial law. Frankly I think incompetence and racism were the biggest factors. There’s no such thing as right wing violence is practically a mantra on the right. Conservatives Blame Everyone but Trump Supporters for Capitol Attack. And if there is right wing violence, why, somehow the left caused it.

The logic of wife beaters throughout history.

The Dems are going to start impeachment proceedings against President Trump on Monday. I don’t blame them, though I see it neither succeeding nor doing any good. I do think it should be done, even if just on the chance it will succeed. I will feel safer if Mr Trump is forever barred from public office in the USA again. His mismanagement and fantasies have left the country in a sorry, and possibly ungovernable state. While a lot of Trump’s support has melted away, the fantasy world created by him and so many others isn’t going anywhere soon. Theirs was a lost cause one hot sunny day in July of 1863, yet here we are.

How do you get people to see reason and facts when they make up their own facts and use motivated reasoning to make the world fit their narrative? It’s a hell of a thing: The Wages of Motivated Reasoning | NeuroLogica Blog. And frankly most working Americans are fucked at birth, and as long as that’s the case the Trumps and Rush Limbaughs of the nation will find fertile fields for their brand of manure. And it’s not like the Dems are going to fix the horrible systematic inequalities that have allowed the rich to get ever richer for decades while the poor and working class share of the nation’s wealth shrank. And the idea of national health care will of course be unfulfilled, there’s way too much corporate profit to be made from sick people.

Gonna be a hell of a year if what has already transpired is any indication. Stay safe everyone. If the gentle reader knows me on Facebook, I may not be back there for a while. It’s ashes and poison to me now. Shares there are appreciated though. Hell, shares anywhere are appreciated. Likes, comments too. Patrons especially appreciated, even a dollar a month helps. Click here. And no matter what, like so many sites are going these days, Doug’s Darkworld will never be paywalled. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #ImpeachTrump

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

January 9, 2021 at 3:51 pm

IT’S NOT OVER YET BY A LONG SHOT

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

January 7, 2021 at 8:18 pm

TRUMP’S SOTU 2020: “EVERYTHING’S GREAT! YAY ME!” ETC

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Well, the post title is Trump’s 2020 State of the Union Address in a nutshell. He made really expansive claims about jobs and the economy and other stuff, most of which was overblown or misleading. I’m going to avoid all that, the details aren’t really important, nor am I qualified to discuss most of them. And hey, pretty sure all presidents exaggerate their record, it’s only human. In any event, no, America is not in some sort of magical economic boom because of Trump. There’s been some improvement, but almost all were trending up before he took office.

It was more Trump’s background assumptions that bothered me. In semi random order, a few highlights of what Trump said … and didn’t say.  His obsession with Obama was once again evident. First president in my life fixated on comparing himself with and putting down his predecessor. It’s weird on two levels. First, the problems he blames Obama for were basically Fox New fantasies; Obama did an OK job running the country, and even managed to put some restraint on federal spending. Obama didn’t create any big problems, unlike his predecessor, who gifted Obama with the biggest economic crash since the great depression in the thirties. So Trump’s fixation on Obama is childish and petulant.

The deficit is something Trump didn’t talk about. It’s exploded under Trump. Gotta love how the GOP is all about fiscal responsibility when the Dems are overspending, but whistle and shuffle away when their guy is saddling our grandchildren with debt. And sadly the exploding deficit will almost certainly be used as an excuse to cut social programs, not military spending …

Yes, Trump bragged about military spending, which was even higher under Obama. It saddens me now that both parties claim that ‘all guns/no butter’ is all about ‘protecting our freedom.’ Our freedom is not in any danger from overseas, the US military has enough firepower to destroy the planet many times over. No nation is going to attack us, we’d turn them into a parking lot. And yet with all this military spending, we still can’t beat the Taliban? We’re both giving tons of money to war profiteers, and not even getting anything for it. There’s nothing to brag about here, just another president who promised less war and broke his promise.

Trump made a comment about ending “job killing” regulations. Sigh. Anytime someone claims regulations are killing jobs, it’s just corporate propaganda for “these regulations prevent us from passing environmental and health costs onto the public.” Corporations being prevented from poisoning the planet and killing people is a good thing. And the kind of regulations Trump has been getting rid of all fall into this category I am afraid.

And lastly, the presidential Medal of Freedom for Rush Limbaugh. He’s a very popular entertainer … among some Americans. Rush is also a hate monger who has devoted his career to denigrating huge numbers of Americans. How does a guy whose career is based on driving Americans apart and encouraging them to hate other Americans qualify for a Medal of Freedom? I’ve listened to Rush too, endless strings of false arguments and lies. No pandering to Trump’s base here, nope. LOL.

People believe the lies though. People like Trump apparently. Trump claimed to be inclusive, yet gives a medal to a guy who is the nation’s foremost promoter of the opposite? Granted the MSNBC/CNN/BBC view of reality is skewed and limited, but so is Fox News reality. I think Obama, for all his faults, understood that. I’m not sure Trump does. This is what scares me about Trump, I think he actually believed what he was saying. The alternative, he really is just a con-artist cashing in on the biggest con of his life, is worse.

In any event, Trump got acquitted by the Senate today in his impeachment ‘trial.’ No surprise, like the still unsettled Iowa caucus, another gift to Trump from the Dems. A Hail Mary attempt to impeach the man, which only helped his chances for reelection. I don’t understand it. Got hints though, found a you-tube video that explains why Trump is still popular despite his broken promises. A future blog. Fun times.

Post on the Battle of Stalingrad still in the works. Another case of a national leader insisting “Everything is fine!” when it definitely wasn’t. Sigh. So, to end on a good note, on February 5th 1985 the Third Punic War officially ended. After 2,131 years, the longest war in human history was finally over. Yeah, world peace is possible! I’m celebrating the anniversary, skol!

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: ‘The Catapult’ Edward Poynter 1868. Roman soldiers manning a catapult during the siege of Carthage in 146BC. Credit: Edward Poynter. Public domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

February 5, 2020 at 10:36 pm