Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Propaganda’ Category

LIFE HACK: BE EXTREMELY RICH AND HAVE AN ARMY OF LAWYERS. PLUS OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY.

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Well, no surprise here, it’s what the blog title references: Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Conviction Overturned By State Supreme Court. It was the correct legal decision, can’t fault the court. Just another example of how the legal system protects those with money and power. The evidence that Cosby is a sick fork who drugged and raped women is overwhelming, plus plenty of other testimony that he is a creepy control freak in general, for example: Reporter Who Interviewed Cosby in ’92: He Was ‘Intimidating and Menacing’ He’s the darling of racists though: The Pound Cake speech.

It’s been a strange few days. Here’s a good one: The ‘Biblical view’ that’s younger than the happy meal. Basically the idea that the Bible prohibits abortion and says life begins at conception dates from about 1980. Before then evangelicals felt the same as everyone else, it’s not a person until it’s born. And now that’s completely changed, largely driven by politics. People love to think they are making up their own minds about things, when in fact most of them are easily manipulated into believing all sorts of things. A problem that’s getting worse as the sciences of advertising and propaganda learn new ways to manipulate people constantly.

OK, a nice nature story. (Snort.) The ‘ecological hate speech’ developed around wildfire. Basically the logging industry and their subsidiary, the US Forest Service, have totally controlled the narrative about forest management. And lo and behold they’ve created a widely believed narrative which justifies maximum logging at terrible environmental cost. Greed is the most powerful force in the Universe. Read the article for the details, but it’s hella depressing. Especially how Trump fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

Speaking of politics: House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens to strip members of committee assignments if they join the Jan. 6 investigation, reports say. We can thank the Dems for weaponizing this, I predicted such after the Dems voted to deny MTG her committee appointments. Congress was already an ineffective partisan farce, now it’s sunk deeper into irrelevancy. Though to give them their props, sometimes they get things right: House Votes to Remove ‘Grotesque’ Confederate Statues from Display in U.S. Capitol. The Confederacy was the greatest crime in American history, their revolt cost a million freaking lives. And they revolted because they wanted to keep human beings as property because of the color of their skin! No sheet the leaders of this treason shouldn’t be on display in the U.S. Capitol.

And the National Guard is apparently now guns-for-hire, a junk-car billionaire is paying for the deployment of 50 National Guardsmen on the southern border: Willis Johnson, Junk-Car Billionaire, Bankrolls Kristi Noem’s Border Deployment. This might technically be legal, but it certainly shouldn’t be. I think it’s safe to say that the astute reader could see how having the military undertake missions at the behest of billionaires could lead to major problems. Usually slippery slope arguments are bogus, but in this case, no, I don’t want Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos deciding where the US military gets deployed. I don’t think anyone does.

Sigh. A few missed holidays. June 30th was Asteroid Day. A UN sponsored day to spread awareness of asteroids and the risks they pose. June 30th was chosen because the Tunguska Event occurred on June 30th, 1908. This was a ten to thirty megaton explosion in the sky over a remote part of Siberia. That’s like a really big nuclear explosion, vastly larger than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fortunately it was over such a remote area that maybe only three people were killed. And it was so remote that it wasn’t scientifically investigated for decades. And even when it was investigated, well, there had been a huge explosion, but no impact crater! What the hell?

It was quite the mystery. And in fact (no surprise here) lay speculation included aliens and other such nonsense. We now know that a rocky asteroid (or possibly a comet) about 100 yards in diameter heated up and exploded in the atmosphere before hitting the ground. Similar to the smaller Chelyabinsk meteor explosion in 2013. Here’s a good article about it: 1908 SIBERIA EXPLOSION: Reconstructing an Asteroid Impact from Eyewitness Accounts.

And other Holidays. July 1st was Canada Day, the Canadian parallel to America’s Independence Day. Celebrations were a bit muted because a third mass grave near a residential school was found: Nearly 200 unmarked graves found near Canada residential school. Hard to celebrate a nation that forcibly put children in essentially concentration camps for purely racist reasons. And the Brits are upset that some statues of British monarchs who were on board with this were toppled. Fork them.

Well, I hope all are doing well these strange and terrible days. Canada is burning. The ocean caught fire. Strange new forms of Covid are arising. The Pentagon says angels and demons “can’t be ruled out.” OK then. Stay safe, gentle reader.

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: View from Kirensk, two seconds before the explosion. (400km, 250 miles away.) Painting © William K. Hartmann. Used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

July 3, 2021 at 8:13 pm

HEAR THAT POPPING SOUND IN THE DISTANCE? THAT’S EVANGELICAL’S HEADS EXPLODING …

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Because: Nevada pageant winner to become 1st transgender Miss USA contestant Saw this posted on Facebook, the outrage in some comments was, sadly, predictable. Something that quite literally has zero effect on them or society is somehow personally enraging to them. The nation and world has all sorts of terrible ongoing problems that are most definitely impacting everyone’s lives in negative ways … but they are outraged because a Miss USA contestant was born with male genitals. Go figure.

Might have linked this before, but it’s worth another look: Why Biden’s American election meddling comments in Geneva were such a bad look Basically Biden lectured Putin on election interference, claiming it made Russia look bad. Apparently Biden was utterly oblivious to the fact that it’s the USA that is the world’s number one meddler in foreign elections. Pot calls kettle black in other words.

A good article about France hopefully coming to grips with sexual abuse and pedophilia: Omerta in France. France has a long proud history of romance and seduction, but a lot of it is actually pretty nasty.

Another one from the trending “I’m going to change the facts to fit my narrative” file: Horses in Pre-Columbian America. Horses became extinct in North America something like ten thousand years ago, and didn’t return until the European conquest began after 1492. However, three modern groups are disputing that. One is some native groups, basically based on oral traditions, and the fact that they aren’t comfortable with the idea that the horse, which was such a central part of plains indian culture, originated with the European invaders. Hey, I can understand that. Second, by wild horse aficionados who want wild horses to get protected status, which is only granted to native species, not invasive species. Their hearts are in a good place. Lastly, the LDS Church. Because … the Book of Mormon written in the 19th century clearly claims there were horses in the New World in Biblical times. And of course since they claim it was written by God or such, it must be true. Right.

They’re all wrong of course. Well, wrong so far as current science understands it. Scientists do make mistakes though, that’s why scientific research is ongoing: It’s OK to be Wrong | NeuroLogica Blog. There was some thinking in the mid 19th century that science was on the verge of discovering everything there was to know and soon humans would have God’s creation all figured out. Ah, the folly of youth. Interestingly enough science is now able to find DNA in soil layers and determine what animals were around when the soil was deposited: All the major players spent time in the Denisovan cave. This is actually going to revolutionize archeology and paleontology. Not to mention putting the final nail in the coffin of such imaginary animals as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.

Speaking of imaginary creatures, the much awaited Pentagon report of UFOs came out. Oh, wait, they’re UAPs now because UFOs have such a bad name. Of course the report contained absolutely nothing new, because UFOs are one big nothingburger. Great for scaring up defense dollars though: UFO Report Provides No New Information But Plenty Of Fodder For Cold Warrior Policymakers. I know some will say, but reliable people have seen them! Um, when someone sees something in the sky the human eye cannot determine how big it is, how far away it is, or how fast it is moving. Then there’s the fact that UFOs have only been reported in modern times in regions with a history of UFO sightings, no one has ever hit one, none have ever crashed, and no one has gotten a good picture of one.

When I was younger people would say, no one ever got a picture of a car crash either! Well, decades later, we have lots of car crash pictures, still no UFO, Bigfoot, or Nessie pics. And of course SETI has come up with absolutely nada, and they’ve tried a lot of promising approaches. If alien intelligent life is ever discovered, I will of course be thrilled, but right now the overwhelming evidence is that UFOs are mythological, sociological, and psychological constructs like ghosts and angels.

Getting more random here: ‘Dragon man’ claimed as new species of ancient human but doubts remain. Long story short, during WW2 Chinese laborers found a weird skull, didn’t want the Japanese occupiers to know about it, and it was hidden until just recently. And lo and behold it’s one of the most unusual ancient skulls ever found and some are claiming it’s a new human lineage like Denosovians or Neanderthals. Yeah, one skull, no context, no DNA. Let’s not get carried away, maybe it was a Denosovian Andre the Giant. Neat find, and our understanding of just how complicated the human lineage is grows all the time, but we are not going to be rewriting textbooks on the basis of one skull.

Well, a few more links, but tomorrow! Or whenever. Interesting time in my life indeed. So the pics above! Both were taken in the 1930s. The one on the left is a group of Soviet Young Pioneers. Kinda Stalin’s equivalent of Hitler Youth. On the right, a Mickey Mouse Club meeting. The similarities and differences are telling. Even by the thirties American youth were living in a fantasy world.

So final nice story and segue. During Kristallnacht, a Jewish family was in their home as a mob came up the street burning and looting Jewish homes. Just before it got there, their 17 year old neighbor ran into their house wearing his Hitler Youth uniform. When the mob arrived he yelled out of an upstairs window that the home had been sold to a good German family, and the Jews were gone. Saving their home and valuables, and ultimately saving their lives as it left them with the resources to flee Germany before the war.

Stay cool and safe everyone. #getvaccienatedcovid19 #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Described in text, both are Public Domain images to the best of my knowledge.)

Written by unitedcats

June 29, 2021 at 7:48 pm

MEMORIAL DAY

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wars. The US has been at war 222 out of 239 years. More than 92% of its existence. And even that’s an under count, there really was no peace during the 19th century because of ongoing efforts by individuals and state militias to exterminate the natives. And virtually none of the wars were just wars in any way, shape, or form. That has been especially true in the post World War Two era.

Memorial Day 2021. This is the day where Americans honor those who died fighting in America’s wars. Well, that’s the theory at least. Unfortunately the way many people are honoring our dead strikes me as the exact opposite of honor. The day has been turned into a propaganda fest in support of America’s endless wars. The US has been at war 222 out of 239 years. More than 92% of its existence. And even that’s an undercount, there really was no peace during the 19th century because of ongoing efforts by individuals and state militias to exterminate the natives. And virtually none of the wars were just wars in any way, shape, or form. That has been especially true in the post World War Two era.

And yet all over Facebook, and all over the country presumably, people are posting and talking about fallen heroes who died “defending our freedom.” This is obscene. Every war since 1945 has been about defending America’s global empire and its corporate interests. Every American who died in these wars was a life wasted in service of the empire. And the memory of those whose lives were tossed away on the altar of corporate and political greed has been turned into a celebration of death and empire.

I grieve for those lost in our wars. I will honor their loss by continuing to speak for peace. The greatest thing an American can do to honor the fallen is stop supporting further war. Stop sending our youth abroad to die and be maimed in the service of corporate greed. The US is the most powerful empire the world has ever seen, there are no threats to our freedom. Outside the US at least, certain parties are working hard to destroy our freedom from within.

But that’s tomorrow’s blog. I hope all have or had a good Memorial Day. God rest the souls of those who died in America’s uniform, grant peace to their friends and family. #getvaccienatedcovid19 #FelesRegula #dearMoonCrew

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

May 31, 2021 at 7:50 am

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Scary on the face of it, and scary because it certainly seems to imply to me that they see people practicing their 

Or, what’s the GOP up to now? For starters: Half a Year After Trump’s Defeat, Arizona Republicans Are Recounting the Vote. Yes, despite no evidence of the massive fraud that Trump claims, the GOP is still trying to overturn the election results. And the company in charge of the recounting … is headed by a big “Stop the Steal” proponent. Since Biden has already been sworn in, I can’t see any good coming of this. Just a continuation of the modern GOP’s program to reject the reality of anything they disapprove of. At least they’re consistent.

That’s when they’re not freaking out about about stuff that isn’t actually happening: Where’s The Beef? Republicans Outraged Over Biden Meat Policy…That Doesn’t Exist. Basically a satirical article in an English paper claimed that Biden’s Green New Deal would involve Americans massively cutting back on their beef consumption. And this wasn’t just passed on by people on the fringe; governors, politicians, and Fox News ran with it. No, Biden is not planning to nor has he proposed any changes in America’s dietary habits. Like Obama’s “death panels,” they are spreading outrage over something that isn’t real. Twilight Zone politics?

On the plus side, they are passing laws to protect people’s rights. The Right to Crash Cars Into People for example. Republicans are falling all over themselves passing laws that are essentially encouraging people to drive their cars into protestors. How is this helping? Isn’t driving a car into a crowd terrorism? Scary on the face of it, and scary because it certainly seems to imply to me that they see people practising their right to protest as somehow the enemy? As in the meme above states, make it make sense.

According to the good doctor Political Polarization is Exaggerated. I certainly can’t argue with him, most people are just people. And most people are pretty decent. I go by the 10-10 rule, I’ve also heard it as the 15-15 rule. Basically ten percent of people are really good people, the people that hid their Jewish neighbors during the holocaust good. Another ten percent are bad people, the people that helped round up and murder their Jewish neighbors. And 80% of people will pretty much go whichever way the wind blows. With good leaders they will be good people. With bad leaders, well, they will go along with bad things.

And right freaking now, the GOP’s leaders are scaring me. So I’ll keep blogging about them. The Biden administration is boring. “Watch me move the Dems even more to the right while pretending to be a progressive!” Who could possibly have predicted Obama’s VP would take the Dems to the right? Yes, that was indeed a rhetorical question.

Winter might finally be over in Iowa. Fingers crossed. In 1947 they got ten inches of snow in late May. In the late 1800s two Iowa counties got a hailstorm so bad drifts were six feet deep. All the birds and rabbits etc were killed. Sheesh. Well, as global warming continues (it’s no more a hoax than Covid is a hoax) we will get to see more extreme weather events. It’s not hopeless, but it’s now or never. As the article points out, the trope that green power will ruin the economy is what the old folks called a lie. Doing nothing about global warming willdevastate the economy, but hey, the most profitable industry the world has ever known will continue to profit! Well, it’s a tossup as to whether fossil fuels or war profiteering is the most profitable industry ever, but neither of them are helping.

And boy, dating sites in the US are really weird now. I’ve been investigating. A huge number of, well, sex workers. Cute young woman posting T&A shots with suggestive profiles. Whatevs. A lot of foreign women posting, I’m guessing they are looking for a ticket to America? (And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.) Then there’s the ones who are pretending to be Americans, but obviously aren’t. Obviously they aren’t because there’s mistakes in their profile, and more on point, their English is fractured. Fractured as in “No one whose first language was English would ever construct that sentence.” And they seem to really want to get cell numbers and emails. Neither has any beyond minuscule value, so I’m puzzled about what that’s about.

Have a great week everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #dearMoonCrew

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

April 26, 2021 at 8:25 pm

TRIBES

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Caitlyn is often annoying, but sometimes she is very on point. The idea that the west gives a flaming hoot about oppressed Muslim minorities doesn’t pass the laugh test, but here the US is, leading the sanction charge against China. I could provide examples, but those that see the point don’t need them … and those that don’t will rationalize them away. People are loyal to the world view of their choice, and will reject out of hand any facts that contradict it by one means or another. Is this what Colonel Kurtz meant when he said “Everyone is loyal to the nightmare of their choice?” Maybe. I’m pretty sure it’s what “The map is not the territory” alludes to.

So I want to write endlessly about what is going on in the world, but how do I do so without a 12 volume preamble explaining that everything most people know about the world is mass marketed crap designed to make them support the status quo and the powers that be? When Marx said “Religion is the opiate of the masses,” he kinda meant it literally.  The Trump/GOP cult is the current major local manifestation of this, but the Dems are not really better off, just different.

By about 1900, 1950 at latest, it was easily possible to provide everyone on Earth with food, shelter, education, health care. Modern machinery could do the work of countless humans, a steam shovel or tractor could do the work of dozens or hundreds of men and horses. And factories, oh my. Everyone on Earth could have their basic needs met, with plenty left over for those that wanted more. So why aren’t we doing this?

And that dear readers is why I blog, trying to figure out why when humans live in Eden, they create societies based on systematic inequality. I think it comes down to tribal thinking. Most on the left have no problem recognizing that there are “religious” leaders whose only goal is exploiting religious people’s faith to get rich. What they don’t understand is that for every faux religious leader cashing in on the credibility of their believers, there is a faux ecologist, faux animal right’s activist, faux liberal politician, etc. doing the same thing.

Once one has decided one’s tribe is the “good guys” and other tribes are “bad guys,” all possibility of a worldview based on reason and science ends. It’s the logical fallacy that is destroying our future. I don’t know what the answer is, but I think reason and science hold the key if there is such.

And on the basis of all that, my blog format is going to change. 3-5 nights a week I’m just going to pull the most interesting links/events out of the day’s news and comment upon. I just don’t have what it takes to make dedicated posts now. And the world we live in is in huge flux, despite the voices of normalization running amok. The world we all knew did die at the end of 2019, the new world is still unfolding. Better yet, thick and thin blogs are easy and fun to write. Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #dearMoonCrew

Copyright © 2021 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

March 27, 2021 at 8:30 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

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

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

LIES

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The Donald has decided that the best way to proceed after losing the election is spreading lies and Covid-19 as best he can. And frankly, he’s damn good at both.  Him and his family and supporters are spreading endless claims of voter fraud, all of which have been baseless or ridiculous. A Youtube video of someone burning ballots claiming they were Trump ballots, even the information visible on the video itself showed they were sample ballots, not actual ballots. In one of their court challenges to the election the only evidence they provided was a post-it note with hearsay on it. The post-it note claimed to have seen some ballots being mishandled, but the author of the post-it note wasn’t known. Yeah, the judge wasted no time dismissing that case.

And Trump is going to continue to hold his Covid spreading rallies, where he plans to display the obituaries of people he claimed voted for Biden. And basically carrying on as if he won, and somehow the election was stolen from him. Well, if that’s all it is, so far so good. IE so far just a lot of noise, sound, and fury signifying nothing. Biden launched his Covid-19 task force today, a bipartisan collection of experts. And made it very clear that Covid-19 will be his number one priority when he takes office. Gee, rational leadership, something Trump is incapable of. Whatever Biden’s neocon faults, it’s just refreshing to see basic competency returning to the White House.

So Pfizer announced a vaccine that early trials say is 90% effective at preventing infection. It’s a very good sign. Some have suggested they waited until after the election to announce it, to avoid giving Trump votes. Well, since Trump had nothing to do with this vaccine, Pfizer developed it with it’s own money, even if they did, good. Trump would have lied and tried to claim credit for it, so even if the company delayed the news, it was the responsible thing to do.

I suspect it’s unlikely though, like most (all?) conspiracy theories, it’s based on reinforcing prejudices, not actual facts. In any event, a vaccine is good news. An effective vaccine would be an incredibly valuable tool in the anti-Covid toolbox. It would make control and eradication of Covid-19 possible, and with the US rejoining WHO and the global struggle against Covid-19, that light at the end of the tunnel might be real. Covid-19 is not just another flu or cold, many countries have eliminated it, and like Smallpox, every effort should be made to eliminate it. Smallpox killed a million or more people a year, and crippled millions more, until a global vaccination campaign eliminated it. That was fifty years ago, there’s no reason it couldn’t be done today against Covid-19.

We’ll see. Despite all the good news, America is still a horribly fractured country. Two countries really, the GOP has created an alternate reality where everything is viewed through a warped political lens. Yes, every faction on Earth is propagandized to some extent, the Democrat left in the USA absolutely. However, sometimes a faction goes so far down its own rathole that they are detached from reality itself. How does one debate with people like that?

So yeah, a Trump supporting friend sent me this: Oakland: ‘Caravan of armed robbers’ target cannabis businesses on Election Night, leaving suspect dead. He gets very … excited … about stuff like this. He was the same fellow who predicted the left would set America aflame if Trump prevailed in the courts and ‘won’ the election. Where to start? The incident itself. An American mob engaged in criminal activity. OMG, it’s the end of the world and proof that libtards are going to kill us all if we let them run the country! No, it’s a microscopic event in America’s long sad history of mob violence.

I wish I knew the answer, but I do know that “All of society’s problems are caused by the Godless libtards” is not the answer. Convince me otherwise. Stay safe everyone, the near future is still a scary place. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: The best musical joke meme ever created. Enjoy.)

Written by unitedcats

November 9, 2020 at 8:39 pm

EXTREMISTS AND THEIR APOLOGISTS, THE TALIBAN ENDORSE TRUMP, AND OTHER ELECTION NEWS

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Pretty much. It’s even a bit weirder than that. A visitor from the Soviet Union in the eighties was astonished by American “news.” He was like “Wow, in the Soviet Union they have to shoot reporters to make sure the news toes the government line. The American news does it voluntarily!” Maybe it wasn’t always like that, but by the eighties the big corporations owned both the mainstream media and the government, so of course the mainstream media and the government have the same message. Everything’s great, the rich and the big corporations are getting ever richer, and for everyone else, if you’re worse off than your parents, it’s your fault, loser!

Well, militia thoughts and developments. Rick Wiles claimed that Governor Whitmer made those men want to kidnap her. You can’t make shit like this up. His logic, if one can call it that, is that she must have so abused her power that these “law abiding” men (Wiles’ term) felt compelled to take action. Apparently kidnapping and insurrection were better options than I dunno, working to get their preferred candidate elected? Basically Rick Wiles is using the logic that abusers have used forever, they made me do it! Read about this insanity here: Rick Wiles Blames Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for Making Those Men Want to Kidnap Her.

In the same vein, one of the arrested “law abiding” men shared a stage with an extremist sheriff: Man In Militia Plot To Kidnap Michigan Governor Shared Stage With Extremist Sheriff. Not really a fluke either, there’s an unholy concordance between right wing militias and the police. Here’s more discussion on same: Mapping Far-Right and Anti-Immigrant Movement Alignment with County Sheriffs. On the one hand this is creepy, on the other hand, these people are a distinct minority. Still, in the current climate where Trump is all but encouraging the Timothy McVeighs of the country, bad things could happen. Not all of these militia guys are as stupid as the recent plotters. I should know, I was a founder and second in command of a right wing militia once, and I’ve been accused of a lot of things in my time, but stupidity isn’t one of them.

As the election draws closer, always interesting news. Trump’s grip on the Republican party is slipping. Or more accurately, as his behaviour gets more outrageous and his reelection chances keep sliding, rats are deserting Trump’s sinking ship: Republicans are finally ready to diss Don. It has always been fascinating to see how Trump became the face of the GOP like no one since at least Reagan has. Reagan took decades to get there though, Trump’s rise to political godhood was far faster. One has to wonder if his descent will be just as fast. It seems clear to me that while Trump has a core of fanatic supporters, I don’t think most his fellow GOP leaders are anything other than fair weather friends. I don’t think Trump grasps that.

On the weird side, Trump has been endorsed  by … the Taliban! The Taliban on Trump: “We hope he will win the election” and withdraw U.S. troops. Well, ain’t that special? I doubt this will get mentioned on Fox News. I also don’t believe Trump will pull out of Afghanistan, the last president with the stones to pull the US out of a stupid and unpolular war was … Reagan. Trump is no Reagan. I mean, he didn’t co-star with a chimp on The Apprentice, right? I should point out the hideous colonial mindset in discussions about Afghanistan. IE, we should stay there just to make sure Al Qaeda doesn’t get a base of operations established. The idea that Afghanistan is a sovereign and independent country apparently not figuring into the calculations.

An interesting article: Are These the Last 25 Days of American Democracy? I can’t argue with the premise of the article, it certainly makes good points. Democracy in America has been losing ground for decades. Does that mean it’s about to collapse, will Trump by hook or by crook get himself “reelected,” and continue to dismantle democracy? Beats me, my crystal ball burst into flame months ago. I’ve always felt that Trump couldn’t plot his way out of a paper bag, let alone plot a coup. Here’s a counterpoint article: There Will Be No Trump Coup. Doesn’t mean horrible things can’t happen though.

In conclusion, Covid-19 isn’t a freaking cold or flu. Anyone who says so is lying or misinformed. Hell of an election night coming up. Stay frosty everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

October 10, 2020 at 7:52 pm