Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

December 22, 2020 at 8:45 pm

TRUMP SUPPORTERS CALLING FOR INSURRECTION WHILE THE COVID CATASTROPHE CONTINUES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

December 17, 2020 at 8:13 pm

THE VIOLENCE BEGINS?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

December 13, 2020 at 8:03 pm

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

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Well, Trump and company’s reaction to the Supreme Court turning down Texas’s effort to overturn the election in four states was predictable. They went ballistic. Or more ballistic I suppose, this has been over the top since election day. The heart of darkness or whatever one wants to call it in all this is so weird. Trump actually believes he won the election. In a sane world Trump would have finally conceded the election, since all his legal efforts have come to naught. Even the three Supreme Court justices he appointed voted to dismiss Texas’s motion. For the simple reason it was utterly without merit, Texas doesn’t have the right to contest other state’s elections.

It’s hard to get one’s head around, the president and many of his supporters have seceded from reality. They are absolutely convinced the election was stolen from Trump, and I don’t think there’s any chance they will come around. As has become horrifically clear to me over the past year, Trump isn’t a liar. He’s insane, he lives in a delusional fantasy world where he’s this great leader fighting against some sort of global communist pedophile conspiracy. And he has a raft of people in it with him now. He’s always lived in a fantasy world, but his wealth and sycophants have always insulated him from any consequences from his failures. And they’re trying to do it again, bending reality to their will. Fortunately America’s democratic institutions have withstood the assault … so far.

The cries of outrage on the right were over the top. There’s open talk of secession: ‘#Texit’: A Texas state lawmaker says he will propose a referendum on seceding from the US because the ‘federal government is out of control’. (I loved how one of the points he made is Federal spending being out of control; whose watch did he think that occurred on?) Secession is of course not permitted under the US constitution. That was settled in Texas vs White in 1869. It was also settled in a little scuffle called the Civil War, under the aegis of one Abraham Lincoln, whom the GOP has tried to co-opt as one of their own. The ironic disconnects in modern GOP thinking can be breathtaking.

Trump is also calling for a Justice Department special counsel to probe the allegedly fraudulent election, and Hunter Biden just for good measure: Trump reportedly wants special counsel to probe election, Hunter Biden. Well, the GOP certainly has a solid history of investigating things that didn’t happen, how many years and millions did they spend on Benghazi? NewsMax had meltdowns too, claiming the election is not over: ‘It’s not over’: NewsMax has a  bizarre response to SCOTUS rejecting Texas’ election lawsuit. NewsMax like Fox News, but without their commitment to fair and balanced reporting. @@

No, it’s not over. Trump is not going to retreat into obscurity, paint puppies, build houses for habitat for humanity, or any of the other things former presidents do. He’s going to continue to lead a once great political party that now seems to be based entirely on imaginary grievances and owning libtards: Hatred of liberals is all that’s left of conservatism. And henceforth will be devoted to overturning the election and sabotaging the Biden administration in any way they can. And God only knows what his more unstable followers will do, there’s a lot of potential John Wilkes Booths out there sharpening their AR-15s and fantasizing about wreaking vengeance on the libtards who stole the election.

So I will be reading the morning news with trepidation for the near future at least. And I will continue to try and make sense out of, well, the mass insanity that has gripped half the nation. The GOP spent decades cultivating hatred, science denial, and irrational thinking in their base. It’s come home to roost with a vengeance.

And of course Covid is still raging out of control in the US, the worst is yet to come. I see Charlie Pride just died of complications from Covid. God rest his soul. Covid has now killed more Americans than died fighting Hitler. If Trump had put the effort he put trying to overturn the election towards fighting Covid maybe things wouldn’t be so grim. That was never going to happen though. Stay safe and sane everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: A Nazi buzz bomb falling onto London in 1944 or 1945. I thought it captured the sense of impending doom I’m feeling these days. Credit: USAF, which makes no sense to me since the USAF didn’t exist then. Still, if produced by the US government, it’s public domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

December 12, 2020 at 8:00 pm

THE SCOTUS RULES AGAINST TEXAS! THE WEEKEND, AS WELL AS THE UNION, IS SAVED!

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Once again my incipiant blog post is overtaken by breaking news. The Supreme Court has rejected the Texas lawsuit and refused to hear the case. Basically the case was just a rehash of various unsubstantiated allegations of fraud that have repeatedly been shot down in state courts. And it got even weirder before it was rejected, states that don’t exist filed briefs in support of Texas: The Texas lawsuit to overturn the election has grown so absurd that fake states are now signing on. That’s right, people claiming to represent “New California” and “New Nevada” weighed in, claiming their state governments were behaving so unconstitutionally that they were no longer lawful state governments. OK then.

Essentially almost every legal expert concurred that the Texas lawsuit was constitutionally absurd, and the SCOTUS was absolutely correct in refusing to even give it a hearing. So why did so many people sign onto it, including like ¼ of Congress? I think it’s fairly obvious, an attempt to appease and curry favor with Trump. He’s still the leader of the GOP base, for good or for ill. Trump is absolutely convinced he won the election, but it was fraudulently stolen by Biden. (More on that below.) As Mary Trump recently said, Donald is the only person she ever met who could gaslight themselves. Yeah, she never met any 9/11 Truthers I guess.

So Trump’s legal Hail Mary efforts to overturn the election have come to naught. If the SCOTUS was going to give the election to Trump, they would have done so. Now what? Damned if I know. Trump is not going to suddenly concede the election, he can’t, he lives in a fantasy world. My big fear now is that there are a million potential John Wilkes Booth out there who will now be “activated” by Trump’s continuing insistence that he won the election. I mean, America is two nations now, both think they won the election.

Could I be wrong? Was there massive fraud to give the election to Biden? Well, one friend thinks so. He sent me this link.: THE GEORGIA BALLOT UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. My friend is a proponent of the idea that the election was indeed stolen from Trump and that there was no way Biden could have won as reported. He sent me another link too that I might deconstruct if I have the time and inclination, but we’ll start with the above link. I’m willing to look at the evidence and hear the arguments. What’s going on in this ballot counting room?

Easy, hell if I know. This article is a classic gish gallop argument. That’s where so much information is tossed out that the time to understand it, let alone refute it, is overwhelming. I know exactly nothing about how ballots are counted, a trait I likely share with 99.99% of Americans. For me to understand what’s going on in the analyzed video footage would take hours of my life, more than likely days. It may be a perfectly normal ballot count, there may be felonious skulduggery. I’m simply not qualified to even give an amateur’s opinion on this, let alone expert opinion.

Does this mean we’re done here? Nope. That’s the beauty of logic and reason, they can still be applied. There are essentially two possibilities in the video. Nothing untoward is going on in which case this article can be safely disregarded. However, let’s assume it does actually show a major ballot counting fraud being committed, as the author of the article seems sure of. I mean this video is out there, wouldn’t people have seen it?

Yes, turns out they have. Trump himself retweeted part of this video recently in support of his claim: Analysis | Trump touts misleading video as ‘proof’ of Georgia voter fraud. Um, long story short, virtually no one with any knowledge of how votes are counted found anything criminal in this video. So basically to grant that this video is evidence of voter fraud means that countless thousands of experts in the field, including numerous Republicans, are in on the fraud. Yeah, that seems unlikely.

Lastly, even if this is some proof of election fraud, it’s one county in Georgia, not evidence of a national stolen election. Multiple layers of special pleading are needed to make this video proof of something. This whole “The election was stolen” thing is so similar to the 9/11 Truthers it’s fascinating. People convince themselves that something couldn’t have happened the way it happened, and assiduously scour public information for “evidence” that supports their alternate reality. And since the human brain is wired for pattern recognition, not logic, they find it! And post it on youtube!

What a time to be alive. The future is always uncertain, but Trump and Covid have erased the world we all grew up in. In America we face a bleak Covid and economically ravaged winter, who knows what spring 2021 will herald. Stay safe and sane everyone, have a great weekend. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

December 11, 2020 at 8:51 pm

TRUMP SELF-OWNS, AND THEN IT GETS MUCH WORSE. 17 STATES SIGNALED THEIR INTENT TO SECEDE, 24 STATES OPPOSED, IT WILL BE DECIDED THIS WEEKEND.

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I was going to skip Trump today, but like a cankerous boil, he outdid himself with a classic self-own. To wit, in yesterday’s rant about how a vast conspiracy cheated him out of being re-elected, he called America a third world country. Yes he did: Trump calls US ‘third world country’ in latest attack on election results. Well Mr Trump, whatever the US was when you took the helm, and it had its share of problems, I don’t think anyone thought it was a third world nation. If it’s a third world nation now, it somehow happened on Trump’s watch. In other words, epic self own Mr Trump, your administration has indeed demonstrated classic stereotypical third world nation incompetence. Nepotism and personal loyalty litmus tests do not a first world national government make.

And then, after writing this, my brain exploded. Some would say it exploded decades ago, who knows, I digress. I realized this latest Hail Mary pass by Trump is much scarier than I grokked (do people still use that word?): Texas and 16 plus states have formally asked the Supreme Court to overturn the 2020 POTUS election. At this juncture at least 24 states have filed motions opposing Texas’s motion. The electors vote Monday, so this is a last ditch attempt to rewrite the election results.

This weekend is it in other words. The SCOTUS, packed by GOP loyalists in recent years, effectively has an opportunity to, well, seize control of US national elections. Basically five people could decide this weekend to overrule the election and make Trump POTUS. This is a real possibility, gentle reader, no matter what anyone says.

So, what would be the result? Well, the people who were shocked when Trump won in 2016 heads’ would explode. Tens of millions of Americans would be outraged, there would certainly be mass protests, and the attendant problems that always arise from that. After that it’s anyone’s bet, but I don’t think Trump would be magnanimous in victory. Not in any universe. He will fan the flames, not reunite the country.

Wow, boy, I’d sure have tons to blog about then. Not that there’s any shortage this year. Hopefully the SCOTUS will ignore it or shoot it down, and things will be so calm by Monday I can blog about the Mexican whale hoax or some such. I’ll be here to blog on it no matter what; Doug, freaking out since 1957. It’s what I do. Stay safe and stay sane everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Public Domain. The battle of Fort Sumter, the start of the Civil War. I couldn’t think of a better analogy, Trump is claiming he’s still president, some states may go along with him. Fun times.)

Written by unitedcats

December 10, 2020 at 7:46 pm

BOTH SIDES THINK THEY WON THE ELECTION, WHERE DOES IT GO FROM HERE?

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Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later. The Republican Party has been pedaling falsehoods as gospel for decades, it was inevitable that they’d cut to the chase so to speak and decide not to believe the results of an election. We’re talking about people who have no trouble denying the overwhelming evidence for human caused global warming, who even think human caused global warming is a hoax created by a conspiracy of global scientists. People who thought a global pandemic, the worst global health crisis in a century, is some sort of hoax. So yeah, not really a stretch for them to think Biden winning the election is a hoax. This fellow goes into this line of thinking in more detail: Opinion | Republicans Can’t Handle the Truth.

That’s the falsehood part. Then the fear part. So so many things they are afraid of, one hardly knows where to start. Immigrants, protesters, communists, socialists. Marriage equality, Muslims, atheists, and kneeling people. The GOP has turned into a party that defines anything but Evangelical Trumpism as some sort of dire threat to them. It’s not a new phenomena, scaremongering has been a solid part of the right wing identity for a century or more, with periodic waves of paranoia.

Now though, that seems to be all they are. TheGOP used to be a party with a platform, this is from the GOP’s 1956 platform:

“We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs—expansion of social security—broadened coverage in unemployment insurance —improved housing—and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people.”

Yeah, not in the current GOP’s platform. Hell all Trump did was spend four years dismantling whatever he could of Obama’s legacy and enriching his rich “friends.” I say “friends” because I think the chances the upper crust of society will ever consider Trump one of their own is zero. Hell though, what do I know, he’s certainly made them richer.

And Trump was the perfect person to capitalize on the base the GOP created. He validated their fears to the hilt, by reinforcing “everything was great in America until the libtards, blacks, socialists, feminazis and their ilk hollowed America out from inside!” Trump was a man of no compromise, he was on their side and he was going to fix America! Easy enough to believe if you’ve been raised on a diet of GOP paranoia and fantasy fears. Better yet, talking heads like Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh have so mainstreamed logical fallacies instead of reasoned debate, that it’s easy to reinforce people’s deep seated fantasy grievances.

So most Republicans believe Trump was cheated out of victory. And today the Supreme Court shut down what was pretty much Trump’s last gasp effort to overturn the results of the election in the courts: Supreme Court rejects Pennsylvania Republicans’ attempt to block Biden victory. On top of that today is the safe harbor deadline, a day set by federal law by which the states have to certify their elections by. All but Wisconsin made the deadline, so the election results are legally finalized at this point and can no longer be challenged by Congress or in court.

So who the hell knows what happens now. Crazy times. OK, my internet was just down for hours. I don’t know how long it will last. In the interests of continuing my unbroken string of daily blogs, I’m just going to give this a quick review and post. Stay safe and sane everyone. Tomorrow, 40,000 year old frozen birds for a change of pace. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Communist fear mongering from 1947. Credit: “Catechetical Guild Educational Society” in St. Paul, MN. To the best of my knowledge public domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

December 8, 2020 at 9:40 pm

Posted in 2020, Elections, Politics, Trump

TRUMP PROMISES ‘BIG THINGS’ WILL OVERTURN ELECTION JUST DAYS BEFORE ELECTORAL COLLEGE MEETS, PLUS GIANT ROCKS IN THE SKY

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Yes, yes he did: Trump promises ‘big things’ will overturn election just days before Electoral College meets. He didn’t say what they were, and frankly I’m not too worried. For those who haven’t been paying attention the past four years, empty promises are one of Trump’s mainstays. I don’t think there’s any real chance he could overturn the election, his efforts to do so have been farcical failures so far. He’s also expanded his claims, he’s now claiming that all sorts of elections were rigged, not just the election for POTUS. No evidence for this of course, but all based on his belief that Trump supporters are in the majority in America. No, no they aren’t. Most Americans are actually fairly tolerant and live and let live types, not MAGA evangelicals living in fear of libtards and mythical communists conspiracies.

Covid is ripping right along. 9 out of the top 10 world Covid hotspots are US states. Mind numbing, nu? This is a foreign article about how America turned into an ungovernable mess, makes some good points: Why Freedom Became Free-Dumb in America | by umair haque | Nov, 2020. Depressing as hell. Then this, basically claiming McConnell is going to do whatever he can to kneecap the Biden administration. Mitch McConnell’s dark pivot: Wreck the economy — and sabotage Biden’s presidency. We’ll see, unfortunately the election plotters somehow forgot to steal McConnel’s Senate seat. This also has an interesting take on the mess: Opinion | How the ‘stolen election’ myth will swallow the GOP.

Well, some science for a bit. The Japanese probe Hayabusa2 has returned a sample of an asteroid safely back to Earth.  The second time ever this has been done, the first Hayabusa mission brought back the first sample from a different asteroid. When I was a kid all the sci fi stories and movies were about sending astronauts everywhere. Nope, as dead as flying cars. Robots will explore the Universe, not people.

Speaking about our universe: Here’s what an astronomer who believes aliens may be out there thinks about UFOs. Not much, in fact he points out a really amazing thing about UFOs which I had never known. The vast majority of global UFO sightings … are in America. Frankly more proof that our whole freaking country has gone insane, but I digress. The article has some good learned speculation on aliens, the Fermi paradox, etc. Fun read for those so inclined.

Moving right along: An Astronomer Has Searched The Universe For a Potential Message From Its Creator. No, not a joke post. Can’t hurt I suppose, looking to see if there’s any messages from a creator somehow woven into the fabric of reality. Spoiler alert: He hasn’t found any yet. The big question I have about something like this is, if he finds something, does it mean the Universe was created by a creator? Couldn’t it also mean we are living in a simulated universe? Or that advanced aliens are screwing with him? I just don’t see what it would prove. On the plus side, he does find the old testament woven into the background of the Universe, fun blog posts.

Still no snow in northern Iowa. I am going to have to put metal plating on the new kitchen door to prevent the cat from destroying it. One of those sentences I thought I would never write. My fault though, if I’d known I was going to survive cancer surgery I would have slipped the cat sitter an extra $20 to arrange an “accident” while we were gone. Missed opportunities, the story of my life.

Stay safe and sane everyone, only three more weeks of 2020  to go. Looking forward to 2021 saying, “You thought 2020 was bad? Hold my beer!” #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #spaceexploration

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Near Earth Asteroid 162173 Ryugu, whence the samples returned from. Well under a mile wide, it has a surface area smaller than New York’s Central Park, only about 600 acres. A person walking on the surface would weigh less than a penny. In other words, one could commit slow suicide anywhere on 162173 Ryugu simply by jumping upwards vigorously and sailing away into space.)

Written by unitedcats

December 7, 2020 at 5:16 pm

TIMES CHANGE

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2020 was the first time in decades I voted in the presidential election. Pretty safe bet there are millions of others like me. Covid continues to rage out of control, as does the concurrent stupidity epidemic. Saw a meme today that said Covid was no more dangerous than driving to work. I stand corrected, there is a stupider Covid comparison than “It’s just a cold folks!” Science is making great strides on the Covid pandemic, the stupidity pandemic, not so much. Today’s blog, random links!

Trump supporter who gave $2.5m to fight election fraud wants money back. Well, good luck with that, I’m betting the fine print pretty much rules it out. Trump’s doing pretty well at getting donations: Trump raises $200m for post-election legal battles.  Yeah, grifting is what the man does best. I wonder how much my old middle school friend gave him.

Moving right along, I’ve always lived a life of voluntary simplicity. IE in America it’s possible to pile up enormous amounts of stuff without half trying. At least twice in my life I pretty much abandoned everything, and during much of my life my possessions would fit in a car. So I thought this link was interesting: Pathological Consumption Has Become So Normalised That We Scarcely Notice It. Frankly there’s a lot of pathological parts of our culture that have become normalized. I digress. I’ve known a few hoarders, it’s a horrible disability.

I saw this on the BBC, and I’m like, really? China is greatest threat to freedom – US intelligence chief. Weird article. Basically boils down to “China’s acting like a western power, OMG, they’re an existential threat to the west!” Turgid neocom propaganda, just the contemporary iteration of “The White Man’s Burden.”

I’m really starting to see how the whole neocon, right wing, and by extension Trumpian world view is to regard pretty much anything that contradicts the world view as an existential threat. Gets the base riled up and in line, and justifies anything that gets done. And that’s how the US turned into a global military empire kids. First justified by containing those damn commies who want to enslave us all. And then by fear of terrorists who wanted to kill us all. Now we’re just conflating them all together, the left are Commie Terrorists!

In that vein, Trump has ordered US troops out of Somalia. He’s the C in C of the US military, if he orders them to pull out, they have to pull out. Perfectly legal and constitutional order. Any roadblocks Congress or the Pentagon throws up are indeed unconstitutional, the POTUS is the supreme commander of the US military. Is Trump testing the fealty of his generals? One of Trump’s few silver linings is he didn’t buy into the neocon world view, his reasoning may have been suspect, but “Why the fuck are we still in Afghanistan?” doesn’t actually have a good answer. Even Trump figured that one out.

I suspect it’s a semi-random effort to leave a mess for Biden and lock in whatever Trump perceives to be his legacy. It’s also interesting because of the historical links. The US first got involved in Somalia in a big way under another GOP lame duck president. Bush senior intervened there just before Clinton took office. Left Clinton with an ugly mess, culminating in the “Black Hawk Down” incident. Where Somalians demonstrated they hated Americans so much they would take huge casualties to kill them. Of course America had given them good reason to hate us, murdering all their leaders on live Somalian TV. The western media missed that part somehow.

So now a lame duck president is pulling out of Somalia to leave his Democrat successor a mess. Times change, but some things stay the same. American partisan politics may yet be the death of us all. Future historians may never understand how crazy it’s gotten. Stay safe and sane everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #Somalia

PS: Still tripping Heidi! Trump will be talked about for centuries. Fucking weird isn’t it? He’s the Hitler/Napoleon/Nero of our time. Or Mussolini/Anthony/Custer. We are witnessing one of the great times in American history folks, books will be written, movies will be made, pay attention!

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

December 4, 2020 at 9:35 pm

COVID-19 KILLED MORE PEOPLE YESTERDAY THAN DIED ON 9/11, D-DAY, OR AT PEARL HARBOR

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Yesterday more Americans died of Covid-19 than died on 9/11, D-Day, or at Pearl Harbor. And it’s just going to keep getting worse for months. It’s a fucking nightmare, I sometimes want to go scream in the streets. Because THIS DIDN’T NEED TO HAPPEN. If Trump, Rush, and the like had done what pretty much every other leader on the planet did in March: Shut the country down, national mask mandate, national test/trace/quarantine program … hundreds of thousands of lives would have been saved. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS HAVE DIED NEEDLESSLY.

This isn’t politics, there are no partisan issues here, no one’s rights or freedoms were threatened, it’s a PANDEMIC. A brand new highly contagious disease is sweeping the world, one that really early on we knew wasn’t no goddamn flu. Reality changed, and Trump and his ilk have so retreated into a world where everything is partisan politics, most of them still can’t see that Covid-19 is real. In my state, our governor, Covid Kimmy, did almost nothing. The bill is coming due: Iowa Is What Happens When Government Does Nothing.

Americans spent TRILLIONS of dollars after 9/11, and wildly expanded the government to prevent a repeat, we literally changed our very lives. And now something a hundred times worse is happening, and Trump and most of the GOP leadership are MIA when it comes to fighting it. WHY AREN’T PEOPLE SCREAMING FOR ACTION? Biden is at least promising to take action when he gets into the Oval Office.

Which office Trump has yet to admit won’t be his much longer. His legal options at overturning the 2020 election, slim to none at best, have all failed. Now his followers are calling for suspending the Constitution, citing Lincoln’s admittedly regrettable seizure of unconstitutional power after the South seceded: Trump backers, including Flynn, edge toward a call to ‘suspend’ Constitution to head off Biden taking office. Sigh. It’s kinda scary, they are claiming some worldwide leftist communist conspiracy cheated on Biden’s behalf, and in reality Trump was reelected. This is, um, nonsense? And Lincoln did what he did because the South seceded, not because he lost an election.

So the next few months are going to be horrible. One out of every 1000 Americans is already dead of Covid-19, it’s easily the third or fourth mass death event in US history, AND THE WORST IS YET TO COME! The American end times are here gentle reader, Covid-19 has us surrounded at Stalingrad, and our leaders still don’t see we’re at war. We’re being slaughtered.

We’ll see what happens the next few months. What a mess. What do you get in the greatest Empire the world has ever known, when you cross an out of control pandemic with a delusional lame duck president? Stay tuned. Stay safe and sane everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

Written by unitedcats

December 3, 2020 at 8:35 pm