Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Iowa’ Category

WE AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET

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Known world wide Covid-19 infections hit 200,000 cases today. It took nearly four months to hit 100,000 cases, and less than two weeks to hit 200,000. And the rate of expansion is even faster in the US. This is it folks, the Titanic is going down, the dam has broken, the, the enemy is at the gates. America is about to be overwhelmed (Well, pretty much every region on Earth, but I’m writing this specifically from my local perspective, the base reasoning is sound wherever) with huge numbers of sick people, far more than we have hospital beds for. So a lot of them will die. And on top of that the economy will tank as businesses are forced to close. It’s here folks, the global health and economic crisis of our lives. The Martians have landed, they’re real this time, and they’re winning.

What should have happened is that sometime in January our president would have assembled a crack team of pandemic experts, gotten their recommendations, and given them a blank check to put them into action. Instead, first he claimed Covid-19 was a hoax, then wildly downplayed it for weeks, since then was all over the place, and still hasn’t taken any coordinated meaningful action. The man isn’t capable of leadership, he’s a know-it-all who surrounds himself with sycophants and yes men, whose primary goal seems to be his image and propping up the stock market. His response so far has been confused and ineffectual, it’s up to states, counties, and cities to do what they can to save as many of their residents’ lives as possible.

So with no further ado, my thoughts on what states/cities/counties should be doing. If anything in here is contradicted by expert opinion, please let me know:

  1. Education, education, education: Every source I can find by pandemic experts, not to mention historians, is that clear and accurate public information is what people need. They need to know what’s happening, what’s being done about it, and what they can do about it. They need accurate scientific information untainted by religion, politics, or blame shifting. Most of America failed this test in 1918, it’s not too late yet for this crisis.
  2. And the very first thing to educate people about is social distancing. The most critical time to slow down Covid-19’s spread was weeks ago. No time machine exists yet, so now is the time for everyone to avoid social interactions and do whatever they can to both prevent catching and spreading the disease. We can’t stop the pandemic, but the more we flatten the curve now, the fewer people will die as the pandemic peaks in the weeks and months ahead. This is absolutely the number one life saving action we can take now to save the lives of friends and neighbors.
  3. Do everything possible free up/create hospital beds. This would definitely include turning things like sports and other arenas into temporary quarantine centers where the medical staff wear hazmat suits. There’s going to be a huge demand for hospital beds in the weeks to come, the more we can get sick people into them where they can’t infect others and can be treated, the more lives will be saved. People are dying untreated in hospital hallways all over the globe now, and will be soon in the US. The more beds we have, the fewer will die.
  4. A huge “meals on wheels” program to provide the elderly, the immunocompromised, and health care providers and their families  with what they need. The former because they need to be kept isolated as much as possible, the later because these people are going to be the 24/7 front line soldiers against Covid-19 and they will need all the support we can give them. Everyone, every government agency, needs to do what they can to support their local health care providers. I can’t emphasize this too much, this is an alien invasion, and our front line troops are our last best hope.
  5. Ramp up production/acquisition of the ventilator units that will be so vital at keeping people alive in the coming wave of sick people. The same for other required equipment, like masks and hazmat suits.
  6. Strict restrictions on how much vital product people can buy. And do everything we can to encourage hoarders to share their supplies with their fellows.
  7. Don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world. It’s just the first time in most Americans’ lives where we are facing a national emergency. World War Two was the last, and 1918 the last one anything like this one. Life in America is never gonna be the same again, but if we pull together we can come out of this as a better nation on the other side.

A tremendous amount of the national response seems misguided to me. Yeah, everyone is going to need money soon, a check would help. However, checks aren’t going to save lives. A check isn’t going to put food on store shelves. A check isn’t going to magically create hospitals and medical staff. A check isn’t going to help granny if she’s dead. We need to be doing things to save lives now, not worrying about “the economy,” whatever that even means in times like these. Ideology, religion, politics are all freaking irrelevant now.

Lastly, since faith is big in America, hell, I’m an ignostic Episcopalian myself, it’s time tp “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.” Prayers are no more going to stop Covid-19 than they stopped bombs raining down on Pearl Harbor. It’s time for people of faith to come together with everyone and do what has to be done, the few lost pastors telling their flocks to depend on faith to protect them are liars or lunatics. If God sent this plague to test us, it’s to tell us to use our God given brains and take care of each other. That’s God’s work now.

God bless, everyone have a safe and sane week. One last big shout out and thanks to our front line defenders, and all the people out there supporting them and trying to keep society running. If this was a Hollywood movie, in the credits scene we’d find out that real aliens in giant spaceships were about to invade

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved. Permission is given to copy and share for educational purposes if properly attributed.

(Image: The Plague at Ashdod, 1631, painting.  Credit: Niccolò Possino 19594-1665. Public domain under most if not all Copyright Laws as the author has been dead for centuries.)

Written by unitedcats

March 18, 2020 at 1:38 pm

CORRECTIONS

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tornado

OK, the Democrats have opened an impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s purported action in Ukraine. Big news, sort of. I doubt I can get a whole post out of it, so just a few quick thoughts. Keep in mind that I am deeply committed to my cynicism about the circus that is now the American political system. So my first thought was, what is this supposed to distract us from? Then of course I realised, the usual. That our laws and regulations are written at the behest of big money, and both parties are in on the farce. The farce being that the government is supposed to rule for the best for everyone, not just the people at the top. They still pretend to do so, and people keep voting for them, so their act is working.

Anyhow, back to Trump’s impeachment. The purported case is that while talking to the president of Ukraine, Trump threatened to cut off some US aid to Ukraine unless they launched some sort of criminal investigation into Joe Biden’s son’s business in Ukraine. Trump and his supporters deny it, and make counter claims about Biden when he was vice president. If the allegations against Trump are true, yeah, probably violates all sorts of laws, and could easily fall under the rubric of treason. Who knows, I’ll wait and see what sort of evidence comes to light. Not that evidence means anything these post fact days. And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming …

Normally when one sees a post titled “Corrections” one would be safe to assume the author is correcting mistakes made in previous posts. Those would be other authors, since the only time I was ever wrong was once I thought I was wrong, but it turned out later I was right. (And did my august father realize that every dad joke he told me as a kid would be remembered and recycled by me forever?) No, we are talking about corrections to reality. Came across several cases recently where scientists said “Oops, we got that one wrong.” That’s the beauty of science, unlike ideology, it evolves and gets more accurate.

Firstly, turns out we may have free will after all. I never had any doubt, but philosophical issues aside, some years back a famous experiment seemed to show that our brain waves change before we make a conscious choice. Thus indicating that we actually weren’t making conscious choices. This experiment got great street cred so to speak, and it is not unusual to hear people say “science has proved there is no such thing as free will.” Referring to this experiment, even if that was all they knew. A recent paper was published that made a good claim that the original experiment was flawed, and it proved nothing of the kind about free will. I don’t see any point in going into details I would have to research to even get started, so read about it here if one wants the nitty gritty.

In the “well, this is embarrassing” file, turns out the “sonic attacks” on the US embassy in Cuba were, drum roll, mosquito spray. Sigh. One could write a book about the times America has invented or wildly exaggerated the threats it’s faced. Reminds me of the commie “nerve gas attacks” in Cambodia that turned out to be bee poop. The paranoid empire. Keeps people scared of course, and were long past having a mainstream media where obvious questions like “What possible reason could Cuba have for doing this? They want better relations with the US, not worse.” We’ll see, the sonic weapons thing never made any sense, but in the manufactured Cold War narrative that infects Washington, the world is filled with people plotting evil against us. And if we can just embargo and bomb them enough, they’ll stop! I claim T-shirt rights on that one.

OK, enough of that. Some good news! An extinct cat may not be extinct after all. There appear to be credible sightings of the Formosan Clouded Leopard. Woohoo! Read about it here. That would be great. Note I said would. I try to be precise with language. I suspect it won’t pan out. A really heavy duty trap cam program failed to find a single one. So my guess it is indeed extinct until we get pics or other evidence. Witnesses just aren’t reliable, period.

Here in Iowa, tornado watch. Keep my shoes on, window open to hear the town alarm. We have a basement. Tornado country, different than earthquake country. There you made what preparations you could, and there were quite a few, but there were never scientific warnings as such about impending earthquakes. Here, there’s bad weather or a tornado watch, one keeps an eye peeled. Next blog, more bad news!

So wait, if I just recorded my blog, it would be a podcast?

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: A tornado. Credit: Snappygoat.)

Written by unitedcats

September 25, 2019 at 4:03 am

Posted in Impeachment, Iowa, Science, Trump