Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

STAN STYCH: “BE NICE TO EACH OTHER.”

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“Be nice to each other.” That was my father’s last message to me. He passed earlier this afternoon. 22 February 2021. He died of Covid, and a broken heart. I’m at sea, my father and I weren’t close, in many ways we never understood each other, but he was a good man, and he tried. Now all is gone. He was a kid in the 30s, a teenager during the war. In Canada. Went on to college and became an engineer. Got into sales and management, then to CEO. Had many insights on that. And he raised four kids, all of whom are good people. Loved two women, both of whom preceded him in passing. He loved to fish. He loved photography. He skied.

I guess you’d call my father one of the depression generation, before people stated this whole stupid gen whatever crap. He grew up on a Ontario family farm in the depression: They plowed using horses, heated their house with coal stoves, had an outhouse, and the only running water was a hand pump well in the back kitchen. A radio was it for entertainment. A different world from the one most people alive in the west grew up in.

Stan Stych. He lived through the 1930s depression (he only survived childhood because of penicillin,) World War Two, the Cold War*, the Sixties, and all that followed. All history now, part of the lost country. He’ll live on in my heart and my dreams so long as I live. That’s him on the left above, San Francisco behind, taken from Alcatraz. Circa 2009. My father was a complicated man, we had a complicated relationship. Life’s like that. The world is a complicated place.

I’m doing what the Stych tradition dictates, carrying the soul of the dearly departed to the next life on a sea of alcohol. A tradition that has no doubt been practised by so many families for countless generations. My father made the world a better place, I can only hope to do the same. I love you dad, I’ll miss you.

Five hundred thousand dead of Covid in the USA, I thought my dad was safe in Canada. No one is safe from Covid. It is a nightmare disease. I may take a break from blogging for a few days. Stay safe gentle reader.

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved. (Text and image.)

Written by unitedcats

February 22, 2021 at 9:55 pm

BORDERS II

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Well, I got a few testy comments about yesterday’s map. People took umbrage to how it was divided up, or to the idea the US would ever break up. All of which kind of proved my point, we are taught that borders are sacrosanct, and they sure are for a lot of people. In actuality borders are just lines drawn on a map by very powerful people, and often reflect nothing more than those people’s desires. Not that I have a problem with borders, they just need to represent  actual peoples, not made up peoples. And just in case it wasn’t clear, I’m presenting alternate maps to provoke thought and discussion, I’m not actually espousing these exact maps.

The map above was what started me thinking along these lines so many years ago. The Middle East is truly a disaster when it comes to borders. In fact reading my old article linked just now, this map got me some nasty comments too. People really get the existing borders into their identity I guess, so proposed changes are a personal affront. I guess similar to how people get their idea of sexuality and gender so much a part of their identity, that acknowledging that others don’t agree is a threat to their identity.

Did that make sense? It does to me, but trying to explain these things is a challenge. So moving right along, Biden shut down construction on Trump’s border wall. This is because he wants hordes of brown people to pour into America and destroy the white race, turning America into a liberal run socialist nightmare. And if anyone actually believes that, they have sheet for brains. (I’m getting less diplomatic on my old age.) Trump’s border wall was stupid and counterproductive, that’s why it was shut down. Stupid because it won’t work and may just make the problem worse, exactly what happened when Bush 43 tightened up the border, traffickers just moved to other parts of the border and more people got across. And since the border was now harder to cross illegally, people who used to go back and forth seasonally to work decided to stay and send for their families.

All of which was missed by Trump supporters, since Fox News never mentioned it. The border wall is counterproductive on multiple levels as well. It encourages simplistic answers to complex issues. It reinforces the racist ultranationalist trope that people coming over the border illegally are some sort of threat to us. It implies that illegal immigration is some sort of crisis that needs to be solved. No, illegal immigration is like people speeding when they drive, just something that the government has to regulate as best they can.

All kinda leads back to “The map is not the territory.” This is why I reject all dogmatic ideology and religion, it’s painfully clear by now that there are no ideological/religious solutions to humanities’ challenges. Or to be fair, none that have been discovered yet. I think it’s time to try, idk, science and reason? I think they are the best bet at deciding how to move forward. Is there some problem with solutions that are reasonable and science based? And no, science is not a religion or a cult, it’s just a way of looking at the world. An algorithm if one wills.

And finally this link: Viral Lies. Basically pointing out that our media and social platforms are doing a terrible job of preventing the spread of illogical, science denying, harmful misinformation. Having an immunologist debate an anti-vaxxer isn’t balanced reporting, it’s giving a dangerous crank a platform and credibility they don’t deserve. Granted I made that particular example up, but the point is valid. Read the article at the link. I think the internet and social media sites should be run as public utilities with equal access for all, but that’s looking less likely every day as the rich consolidate their hold on the Internet.

In local news, I tried to walk to the store, got four feet before realizing every outdoor surface was covered with 1 mm of ice. Yeah, deathwalk city. I didn’t want to add a few mm of frozen blood to the equation, so I wisely drove my car to the store. By the way, until just last year, why ice was slippery was a scientific mystery. Now we think we know why: Why Is Ice Slippery?

Stay safe and warm everyone. StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: New Middle East map. Credit: Ralph Peters/Chris Broz. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

January 30, 2021 at 8:19 pm

BORDERS

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OK, off we go. News? I used to get a lot of news from the Wapo and the NYT, not anymore for reasons I explained at length in recent blogs. Now my top two news sites are the BBC and The Guardian. Plus other sites too, one should get their news from a wide variety of sources, international ones for sure. Haaretz and Al Jazeera are good for example. They all have their biases, blind spots, propaganda. This is what God gave us brains for, to separate the wheat from the chaff. I’ve never seen any major fact checking errors on Snopes for example, the truth is out there. In fact how people react to Snopes pretty much tells one if they are connected to reality or live in a fantasy world. I often hear a nice selection of false arguments from Snopes deniers. “They’re not professional fact checkers!” is my favorite. Um, so what? Show me a topic where Snope’s is factually in error. I’ll wait. And then Wikipedia is a great source for non controversial topics. A topic that corporate America or the US government wants to control the narrative on, skip Wikipedia entirely. What’s there may not be wrong, but it certainly won’t represent reality.

So, back to news, China threatens war if Taiwan declares independence.* Taiwan is a small island off the coast of China, a little bit bigger than Maryland, a little bit smaller than the Netherlands. It’s yet another relic of the Cold War. When Mao and his communists won the Chinese Civil War after World War Two, the US backed side fled to the island of Taiwan, and protected by the United States, there they remained. If the US hadn’t protected them, Taiwan would just be another province in China that no one outside of China had ever heard of.

And as I understand it, most people in China are adamant that Taiwan is indeed part of China, no discussion allowed. And this, in a nutshell, is why nationalism sucks sheet. The idea of a nation is great from many perspectives, but when that idea runs roughshod over self determination, it’s simply tyranny. When the United States declared independence from Britain, its revolution was based ostensibly on the ideals of self determination, not to mention inalienable human rights.  Yes, the founding fathers were hideous hypocrites who completely dishonored these ideals in the breach, founding a nation based on slavery and propertied white male supremacy, but the concepts are stll valid.

Alas, the world’s governments only apply them when it is in their interest to do so. America’s hypocrisy on this level is mind numbing, but of course completely normalized by the western press. To the point that many (most?) Americans are all for Taiwan being independent, but Crimea wanting to be part of Russia, that’s a terrible crime! The borders of the world were drawn up by the European colonial powers for their own exploitive ends, there’s nothing “normal” about them, but they are treated as such by the western press. A huge percentage of the world’s people, it must be in the 100s of millions, would rather be independent or part of another country than the one they are in.

Countless examples. The Kurds, 30 million of them, Kurdistan should have been a country after World War One. Kashmir, if they ever got to vote, would almost certainly want to be part of Pakistan. Large parts of Pakistan would rather be part of Pashtun Afghanistan. Tibet was once an independent country. I wouldn’t even know where to start in Africa, it’s a nightmare of colonial boundaries. And then countless indigenous people around the world would rather be their own country as much as possible. Why not, there’s at least 5000 ethnic groups on the planet, why should there be only 300 countries? Andorra, a nation the size of Peoria Illinois, has been independent for over 500 years. It can be done. And there are many others.

This, at the core of it, is why the aliens fly right by us. About 300 armed gangs control Earth for the benefit of a tiny number of people already so rich they could live a thousand lifetimes and not spend it all. Any sane species would long ago have fixed this. Give people self determination, and the border problems sort themselves out. And put mechanisms in place to make sure everyone benefits from the world’s wealth, it is a collective effort. Make it so businesses can’t pass health and environmental costs onto the public, the free market will indeed fix things like global warming. No ideology or religion need apply. They are the problem, not the solution. Granted some are worse problems than others. Anti-vaxxers. White Supremacists. Nazis. Yeah, I’m still anti-Nazi. Convince me otherwise. Though I do accept and try to understand the appeal. Germany was a modern educated land.

The above map is a preliminary speculation about a balkanized America. The native peoples especially should be scattered about in ancestral lands, but it’s a start. I don’t think the world colonial government is going to collapse anytime soon, but many people were surprised by the fall of Rome and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Times change, I plan to blog about it as long as I can. The Earth Burning blog. Stay safe gentle readers. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

*China tends to be more forthwith than doublespeak western diplomacy, this is likely a promise, not a threat.

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Map by blog author: Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.)

Written by unitedcats

January 29, 2021 at 9:36 pm

STALIN WOULD HAVE TRUMP FOR BREAKFAST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

December 18, 2020 at 9:02 pm

MASS COVID MURDER IN FLORIDA, TINY DESKS, AND OTHER WEIRDNESS

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The governor of Florida, in an act that is both mind numbingly stupid and utterly horrifying in its consequences, has extended an order that bans localities in Florida from issuing mask mandates. One couldn’t make this shit up. We are in the midst of a terrible pandemic, and the governor of a state outlaws the best known method to slow the spread of Covid-19. Some of the things people did to try and fight off the Black death seem pretty crazy from a modern viewpoint, but they at least have the excuse they didn’t know any better. The governor of Florida has no such excuse, he’s living in a fantasy world

So I’m back to being worried again. More worried still? Trump has convinced about 3/4s of Republicans that the election was fishy. I’ve talked to some of them now. Their belief is like people who believed in birtherism and 9/11 trutherism. No evidence required, they just cite youtube videos and such of various people claiming to have seen voter fraud, but no corroborating evidence was provided. Theories that are promoted without evidence can be dismissed without prejudice, and so far the courts have done just that regarding the dozens of lawsuits Trump has filed contesting the election.

So I hope the Biden transition continues and this all turns out to have been much ado about nothing. Trump’s last gasps, and then something like normalcy will resume. It’s a comforting thought. I’m not terribly comforted. We’re not out of the woods yet. After Trump’s latest case in Pennsylvania failed, apparently the plan is to take it to the Supreme Court. I think that’s been the plan all along, if even one of Trump’s lawsuits challenging the election gets to the SCOTUS, we might see a repeat of 2000. An utterly unconstitutional ruling that puts Trump back in the White House.

The shitsh*w continues. Trump gave a press conference at a tiny desk. (image above) He continues to claim he won the election. People had all sorts of fun with the image of him at a tiny desk, the Twitter hashtag #diaperdon trended for a while. Trump had a conniption fit over that too. This, this is what presidential politics in America has sunk to. The man who has no problem calling his political opponents names is mortally offended that people are calling him names. Go figure. And frankly, it was an odd choice of desks to give a presidential press conference from.

I guess it’s just amazing to me that in this day and age, when science and reason have given us a clearer picture of reality than at any time in human history, half of my country has retreated into a fantasy reality. Yeah, the rest of the country has their delusions too, but they understand that Covid-19 and Global Warming are real, and that Trump lost the election. Basically the people that never really accepted that the South lost the Civil War have seceded again.

I just have no idea how this is going to turn out. That’s technically always the case, but never in my life has the future been so uncertain. Except for me posting every day until the Trump era is over. That’s a certainty. If I stop posting, the deep state got me. Avenge my passing! Comments, shares, donations are also appreciated. Have a great weekend everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Trump at his tiny desk. Attribution unknown, used without permission. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

November 27, 2020 at 9:53 pm

SPREAD THE PLAGUE FOR CHRIST!

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behavior

Well, we’re one big step further towards living in an Evangelical Christian Theocracy. The new SCOTUS struck down Covid-19 restrictions on religious gatherings. It’s claimed as a blow for religious freedom. It’s nothing of the kind. The Constitution protects one’s right to believe as one wants, the government can’t outlaw certain religions. It has nothing to do with people’s behaviour. One can’t act any way one wants, then claim it’s a religious practice. If that was the case sacrificing one’s neighbors to the Gods would be protected. And that’s pretty much what the SCOTUS just did, it said holding Covid-19 superspreader events in the midst of a pandemic was protected as a religious activity.

OK then. Many many people will die because of this ruling, it goes without saying. Sadly many of them won’t even be the people choosing to attend these “Spread the plague in the name of Christ!” events. People will get infected at these events and spread it among the community. All because an organized religion wants to control America. The Evangelicals are not shy about their desire to turn America into a “Christian Nation,” where their interpretation of the bible is the law of the land for all, Evangelical Christian or not. This isn’t religion, this is organized religion; organized religion has a history drenched in blood, and our nation’s founders very much wanted to prevent that here, a nation where government wasn’t in any way run by organized religion. They are spinning in their graves at SCOTUS rulings like this.

Speaking of spreading the plague, today is Thanksgiving in America! Wait, what does that have to do with plague? I’ll get there. I’ve had increasingly mixed feelings about Thanksgiving over the past few years. On the one hand, a fall gathering of loved ones to be thankful for the good fortunes of the summer, sure. People have been holding holidays like that forever. It’s the attachment to the Pilgrims that is problematic. The Pilgrims’ relationship with the natives was hardly as portrayed in the usual Thanksgiving narrative. Moreover the original Thanksgiving Holiday was explicitly celebrating a giant massacre of natives. Yikes. Only in the last century or so was the “feel good” version of Pilgrims and natives promulgated. Read about it all here.

So I’m not celebrating that. I am thankful for my good health, friends, and family. And skol to all celebrating with me in this regard. As for plague connections, two. First off, the arrival of Europeans unleashed terrible epidemics into the new world, tens of millions died, entire native nations were essentially wiped out. And while there is no evidence for Europeans deliberately spreading disease, nonetheless when one’s uninvited “guests” arrive with horrible contagious diseases, it’s nothing to celebrate.

And in contemporary America, where the Covid-19 pandemic is at its worst level ever, an American dying every 37 seconds now, over 2,000 a day … people getting together for Thanksgiving is going to just add gasoline to the fire. Way too many Americans still don’t understand how serious Covid-19 is, thanks to all the leaders and influencers spreading misinformation about it, so as I am typing this a nationwide superspreader event is underway. Jesus wept.

I’m still baffled daily about how we got here, a nation not divided by two ideologies, no, a nation where half of the nation has their own (imaginary) reality. Global warming is real, and caused by human activity. Covid-19 is real, and the worst new infectious disease to come along in a century, if not a millennia. And Donald Trump soundly lost the election. These aren’t debatablebateable, they are established facts. Yet Trump and his followers reject all three and insist their imagined reality is true, despite all evidence to the contrary. A mystery for the ages, here is an interesting take on it: The Rotting of the Republican Mind. I think it’s a combination of a lot of things, but at its core, propaganda and advertising are sciences now, and daily more effective as a result.

Science, the thing mostly responsible for all the marvels of the modern world, is powering forces that may well destroy it. It’s one of the lines of argument that makes me wonder if ultimately intelligence such as ours is an evolutionary dead end. I always like ending on a bleak note. Stay safe everyone, comments, likes, shares appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

November 26, 2020 at 9:19 pm

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE

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The blog title is a truism that was popular in 78 or so, stuck up for inspiration in offices everywhere. The seventies was an odd decade. Aren’t they all I suppose? Truism or no, got through the reconstructive surgery today with no complications so far, and after recuperation, boy, do indeed have a lot of possibilities. First though, thank God for modern medicine. That’s a figure of speech. Many thanks to the hard working dedicated people who practice medicine in the US, especially during these trying times.

And they are trying times: Health-care workers are desperate for Americans to listen: ‘We didn’t go to nursing school to be martyrs’. And this: Covid-19 Live Updates: The Virus Has Now Killed 250,000 People in the U.S. 250,000 dead, the worst case scenario Dr Fauci suggestested last March. One American out of every 1300 dead. And no end in sight. Someone asked me what my plans are now that I seem to have beaten cancer? I plan to live through the coming winter from Covid hell, then I’ll reassess.

And keep blogging. While the country continues to self immolate. Self immolate as in the GOP spent decades promoting science denial and false arguments in defence of political positions. Though generally special interests disguised as political positions. With stunning success, half of the freaking country now understands neither science nor logic. And what happens when those people confront something like Covid-19 which absolutely requires a rational science based response? That was a rhetorical question.

Anyhow, now I am thankful to still be writing. Thankful to the readers who have expressed support. Looking forward to new things, like the cat above. But mostly just exhausted from two surgeries in three days. Planning to sleep soundly. Take care everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Public domain under US copyright law from Snappygoat.)

Written by unitedcats

November 18, 2020 at 6:37 pm

THE TRUMP PLAN FOR MASS DEATH IS UNFOLDING IN FRONT OF OUR EYES

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And away we go, the gentle reader thought Covid-19 was bad this spring, they ain’t seen nothing yet. Trump has pretty much abdicated from actually running the country, and completely abdicated on doing anything about the pandemic. Most state governors are doing very little as well. So basically America has resigned itself to hundreds of thousands of additional deaths and millions more Americans with long term or permanent health problems … because it’s too much hassle to do anything about it? I mean, hell if I know. The world, the future, many Americans look on with astonishment and horror as the world’s last superpower allows a pandemic to spread unchecked through its population.

Amazing what one can get used to I guess. America has been lost in space for decades really, it’s not like our attachment with reality was terribly strong to begin with. Maybe it began with the Moon Landing Hoax. The idea that possibly the most well documented event in human history was somehow a hoax. I sometimes think that was the moment the “I believe something that wouldn’t even make a believable science fiction movie” virus got hold. Comic book thinking I call it. That’s about the level of it. Grown ups unable to see that certain ideas are both logically absurd, have zero evidence in support of them, and a mountain of evidence against them.

Things like holocaust denial, flat earthers, anti-vaxxers, etc. I used to debate people like that, now they’ve retreated into their own online realities. At least people are trying. Hell, I’m trying, it’s why I write. I’ve been fascinated by the amazing universe we live in since forever, and never stopped trying to figure it out. And the secret of the universe: It’s easy to get people to believe BS. And here America is, steeped in BS while awash in the wonders of actual science. Go figure. Hell, science has made it even easier to get people to believe in BS. Advertising and propaganda are sciences now, and quite effective ones thank you.

A moment here to thank the church for laying the groundwork for America’s disenfranchisement from reality. By church, I mean fundamentalists and biblical literalists of all stripes. By 1830  science knew that the Earth was at least millions of years old and there was never a global flood. By 1870 the scientific debate over evolution was over. But to this day tens of millions of Americans teach their children that Genesis was literally true. This is why the aliens lock their doors and fly right by.

And now into this mix, throw Trump. He really is a figure of incredible historical prominence. Obama, Palin, Biden will all be historical footnotes someday, Trump will be a Caesar, Napoleon, or Hitler. People will remember him. There really hasn’t been any American in my life like him, able to get blind devotion and support from tens of millions of Americans, he’s their messiah. Trump’s a brilliant self-promoter, one of the best in history. He’s parlayed it into a fortune, world wide name recognition, and the presidency of the United States.

I’d say I’d love to meet Trump, like I’d love to meet Obama or Caesar or Lincoln, but no. I don’t think there’s really anyone there there. He hasn’t grasped Covid-19 is real just for starters. In any event, the chances I will interview Trump for my blog are minimal. Still, it’s 2020, anything is possible. Stay safe everyone, Dr, Fauci hasn’t given up hope: U.S. reports record 153,400 new Covid cases as Dr. Fauci urges Americans to be careful: ‘It is not futile’. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Found on Facebook, attribution unknown, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

November 14, 2020 at 8:24 pm

STAY HOME THIS WINTER, LIVES DEPEND ON IT

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I spent a lot of time today trying to decide what to write about. Mortality, amazing thing. I might be blogging for decades. These might be my last few blogs. Actually, life’s always like that, but we pretend otherwise because it’s far more bearable.

So, after much thought. Lily ponds. A lesson in math, one lost on most people. Say one has a lily pond. Day one, one lily pad. Day thirty, completely covered with lily pads. The lily pads double every day, on what day do they cover half of the pond?

On day 29 of course. And that’s kinda where we are in America with Covid-19. It’s exploding, it’s worse than it’s ever been. Our only hope to stave off a Covid-19 death winter, is to go into lockdown mode over the winter far more seriously than we did last spring. Ain’t gonna happen, so we’re hosed.

It’s so freaking weird. Trump and tens of millions of his followers are still living in an alternate universe where the election was stolen from him in some grand conspiracy. It’s like the president thinks the Moon landings were a hoax or the Earth is flat, and his supporters believe him.

And people wonder why I sometimes think the Earth is just some alien reality show?

So what do I write about in the next few blogs? Trump? Covid-19? The contemporary Roman Empire? Aliens? Magick? Dead turtles?

I should do a youtube showing how cats are really snakes in cat suits.

OK, what I know:

Avoid activities where a minor problem means a fatal fall.

Always keep one hand behind one’s back when working with live power.

Anyone can be cool for an hour.

“The map is not the territory.”

It’s hotter in the city than it is in the summer.

I guess that’s all I got tonight. Shortest damn blog post since the one where I wondered if anyone else noticed that Aslan looked like a talking rug in the first “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” movie. Have a great weekend everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

November 13, 2020 at 8:38 pm

I CALLED IT. WE’RE STILL ON TENTERHOOKS THOUGH. ELECTION 2020, THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING.

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The vote counting has continued, it’s too close to call yet. So far my prediction about the election has been on the money. I predicted Trump would declare he won, and use the Supreme Court to install himself for a second term. And that’s precisely what he has done and is trying to do. My friends have assured me the Supreme Court would do no such thing. My friends forget 2000 when the Supreme Court did exactly that. And today’s Supreme Court is far more packed with GOP loyalists than in 2000.

So we’re not out of the woods yet. Even if Biden squeaks by with a narrow victory, Trump will do everything in his power to contest the results. If Trump wins, let me guess, the Dems will simply roll over pretty much like they have been since Trump got elected in the first place. Well, Biden did promise there would be “no fundamental changes.”

***

That was this morning, early evening now. Looks like it’s going to go to Biden, he’s flipped a few states that went to Trump in 2016, and looking good in a few more. Trump is already filing lawsuits. And there’s certainly going to be recounts. So 2000 all over again, but with more than just one state in play.

In retrospect, I suppose it’s good it was close. If Trump had clearly lost, he would almost certainly already be wreaking what vengeance he could on a country that failed him. Vindictive is one of his middle names. The longer the counting drags out, I think the more likely cooler heads will prevail. If Trump does manage to pull off a Bush 2000 result, not sure what could be done about it. The Occupy Wall Street protests pretty much showed how futile protesting is in contemporary America.

The real question, I guess the heart of the matter, how did we get to such a point where American reality is a farce? The electoral college and other weird invented election systems were well intentioned, but thoroughly gamed by the early nineteenth century. Other countries make it easy to vote, even require it. Voter suppression is the norm in the USA. Gerrymandering is rampant in the US. Not so much elsewhere. Etc.

I digress. Sort of. I’m sorry, I’m talking about how the hell did we get to a point where the choice for the leadership of the ‘free world’ came down to an old neocon party apparatchik who explicitly promised nothing vs a reality TV star, failed businessman, con artist, and failed president? And Americans in record numbers voted for one of these two options? Worse, at least in my view, they are encouraged to identify as one of these two factions?

OK, epiphany time here. Or something I hadn’t grokked until now. (Yes, grok is a perfectly cromulent word.) Trump supporters make a huge deal about publicly identifying themselves as Trump supporters. It’s like a shared identity, I don’t recall any other politician in my life that has inspired that kind of, what, devotion? It’s like people who are so into their preferred sport’s team that they costume themselves to attend games? Political cosplay?

I guess Trumpism has become a tribal identity. Obviously that’s a huge deal to a lot of people. Ideology and religion, people are fervent about both. When I was young, I ascribed to such. Now, I dunno, couldn’t we just go with what works? If any particular ideology or religion was the answer, we’d know it by now. The state of our world says none of them are the answer.

I think science and reason are the answer. There’s codicils of course, but any answer that ignores science and reason is ultimately a fail. I am very happy that so far the election has been peaceful. If things really settle down, science blogs! Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Found on Facebook, attribution unknown, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

November 4, 2020 at 8:41 pm