Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘QAnon’ Category

TRUMP’S EASTER CRAZINESS, AT LEAST HE AND HIS FOLLOWERS ARE CONSISTENT

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The above was Trump’s pre Easter message. Let’s see, where to start? Um, over 60 lawsuits filed by Trump etc contesting the election got exactly nowhere in court, including plenty ruled on by Trump appointed (!) judges. So the idea (fantasy really) that the election was rigged causing Trump to lose is, well, not true. What the old folks call a lie. Pretty sure Trump believes it, what is it called when someone believes their own lie? Starts with ‘D.’ Doesn’t matter how many people believe it or are angry about a lie, it’s still a lie. I’m assuming he is referring to the Democrats as “radical left crazies.” No Mr Trump, the vast majority of them are about as radical left as Eisenhower or Nixon. And they’re no more crazy than Trump’s followers. As for facts coming out, none so far, but I will be happy to revisit the issue if they ever do. I won’t be holding my breath though.

He reiterated it on Easter: “Happy Easter to ALL,” Trump said, “including the Radical Left CRAZIES who rigged our Presidential Election, and want to destroy our Country!”  Well, at least he wished the Democrats a Happy Easter. He added that the Democrats desire to destroy the country. I know of no Democrat who wants to destroy the country. Oh well, when you have no ideas, no policies, no philosophy; name calling and fear mongering  is all that’s left.

Trump isn’t alone in his delusion, the Pillow Guy is confident his documentary and lawsuit will do the trick: Right Wing Watch on Twitter: “”That miracle is coming,” declares Mike Lindell, confident that his new documentary and lawsuit will overturn the 2020 election and have Trump back in the White House by August. Just goes to show that being rich and being smart are not necessarily correlated, for those that missed the fact that Trump does not appear to be the brightest candle on the cake either. Sticking to one’s guns is one thing, but this ship has already sunk.

Some of Trump’s followers don’t think a lawsuit and documentary are going to do the trick. Nope, gonna be a military coup that returns Trump to power: When Will the Military Intervene? Basically this guy’s theory is based on a series of dreams he had. Yes, his invisible superfriend visited him in his sleep and told him that the military will return Trump to power. Snort. The Pentagon just loves a draft evading coward who refers to veterans as suckers and losers. I wonder if he was using one of the Pillow Guy’s pillows? Maybe everyone who sleeps on one gets weird dreams and delusions?

Turns out Texas’s power problems weren’t caused by green energy after all. OK, only uncritical Fox News viewers thought that, the cause was unregulated power companies not wanting to spend a dime on being prepared for bad weather. Deregulation in other words. That doesn’t work for QAnon theorists though. Oh no. It was Biden and China, the Chinese paid him billions of dollars to test their “new weather weapons” on Texas. Whatever’s in those pillows, it’s getting stronger apparently.

Apparently a number of Christian prophets predicted Trump would win reelection. And for some, that’s all the proof they need that the election was stolen. That’s right gentle reader, since people claiming to speak for an invisible superfriend in the sky all said Trump was going to win, why God’s will was thwarted. Does Trump really understand just how bat shit crazy many of his followers are? That was a rhetorical question of course, Trump’s right there with them.

In today’s ‘cancel culture’ news it turns out that Georgia passing a horrifying voter suppression law has consequences. Major League Baseball is pulling their All Star game out of Atlanta. Predictably enough: Republican threatens MLB after Trump Jr goes nuts about the All-Star Game and Laura Ingraham and National Review’s Pathetic Defenses of Georgia’s Voter-Suppression Law. Basically Georgia is disenfranchising huge numbers of voters to prevent microscopic amounts of voter fraud. As I said before, making it harder for people to vote isn’t fighting voter fraud, it’s making it harder for people to vote. Why would the Republicans do that? (Another rhetorical question.)

Lastly, this article nicely covers the absurdity of the Republican claims about ‘cancel culture’: Cancel culture isn’t about denying freedom of speech, it’s about consequences. Basically white Christian America spent hundreds of years cancelling (often violently) anyone who didn’t meekly mimic their Christofascist world view, and those times are changing. It’s not ‘cancel culture’ it’s a nation growing up. Some of us at least. The ones still worshiping their old testament invisible superfriend, not so much.

Stay safe everyone. Tomorrow I’ll pick on Democrats and liberals, I wouldn’t want to be accused of bias.  #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #dearMoonCrew

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Trump’s public statements are Public Domain under US copyright law. At least as far as quoting them goes.)

Written by unitedcats

April 5, 2021 at 6:38 pm

DEBATE IS A LOST ART, DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME, AND MASS SHOOTER MADNESS

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Debate? A dying art at least. I’ve more or less pulled out of Facebook. Partly because of an embarrassing romantic disaster. When it comes to those, I’m a Viking. It’s a gift apparently. They aren’t even interesting to write about. Self deprecation I can enjoy, but when it comes to dating fiascos, about as much fun to write about as to endure.

Moving right along, I realized there just isn’t debate anymore on Facebook. One can agree with what people post, and beyond that it’s a waste of time. As I predate the internet I think I can safely say there’s been a subtle (OK, not that subtle) change in people over the past few decades. Most of them have become utterly sure of themselves. And it’s all over the map. Try to debate with an anti-Vaxxer? No point. Or someone who hates GMOs and glyphosate? The same. Or just about anything, people can’t even accept the idea that they might be mistaken in whatever it is they know.

It used to be that this kind of certainty was limited to know-it-alls and evangelicals. Now it seems that “Evidence, schmevidence, I know I’m right” is infecting all sorts of people and infiltrating the mainstream. Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s latest conspiracy theory sort of ties it all up. She’s convinced all sorts of Democrats will be arrested and the GOP will get control of both houses of Congress before the 2022 elections even. I’d say it’s bonkers as well, but tens of millions of people believe QAnon’s ever changing predictions. She’s not alone. What’s going to happen when everyone in America just makes up their reality as they go along?

Who knows, but there will be lots to blog about I suppose. Moving right along, I got my clocks all changed finally. Yes, the biannual blood sacrifice to time zones. Why do we change our clocks twice a year? It’s like the old joke: Q: “How many men does it take to put a new roll of toilet paper on the dispenser?” A: “No one knows.” Basically only golf courses really benefit from daylight saving time. And I mean blood sacrifice literally. After the time change there’s an uptick in strokes, heart attacks, car accidents, and workplace accidents. People die. If that’s not a good reason to scrap the whole thing, I don’t know what is. The golf courses will survive.

I guess illogical stuff is the theme for the day. So how about the guy who shot eight people to death because of his “sex addiction?” Worst mass shooting in two years. Woohoo! No worries though, the US is still the developed world’s mass shooter winner. Hell, everything shooter winner. So yeah, white guy goes nuts and shoots a bunch of Asian women working in spas. He apparently thought they were prostitutes tempting men? He’d been to an Evangelical “Clinic” to be treated for “sex addiction.” In other words he was a guy confused about his sexuality, and he went to religious quacks for “treatment.” Didn’t end well. Oh, yeah, the sheriff said “He was having a bad day.” Yeah, pretty sure his day was nowhere near as bad as the friends and loved ones of the people he killed. America, where punching down is manly. Got Trump elected, and re-elected if one buys the “Stop the Steal” nonsense. Snort.

I have applied to be the first blogger to circle the Moon. Fingers crossed. Tomorrow’s post. Stay safe gentle reader. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #dearMoonCrew

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Meme found online. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. The link in the meme is a dead link, so attribution unknown.)

Written by unitedcats

March 20, 2021 at 7:45 pm

LIFE IS ABOUT FINDING A SAFE PLACE TO REST

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Life is about finding a safe place to rest. Working is easy, for most of us. Finding a safe place to rest, trickier. Nowhere is every really fully safe of course, cosmic debris can get one anytime, anywhere. Still, most of us in the west have it pretty good. However, even if one finds a safe spot from outer demons, the inner ones remain. Maslow didn’t account for them. Kafka tried.

I notice a lot of people are writing “One Year of Covid” posts. True enough I suppose. I wondered when I first began to be alarmed, and I’m pleased to say that by late February 2020 I was already very concerned about Covid and blogging about it regularly. Maybe pleased isn’t quite the right word, relieved? I was right! (“Extremists are only valuable to have around when they are right.” — Anonymous.) I’m an extremist in the global disaster sense, I knew early on that Covid was a big deal, that every precaution to avoid getting it should be taken, and I urged others to do the same.

A year later, what’s the deal? About 750,000 Americans have died of Covid, about ten million have long term health deficits from Covid. Yeah, the official death toll is just over 500,000, but the excess deaths, deaths above the normal death rate, are about 50% higher. And Covid is the only thing that accounts for it. 3rd or 4th worst mass death event in US history, and it’s still not over yet. And not likely to be anytime soon, Covid is mutating rapidly and it’s already clear that vaccines will need constant updates. The flu from hell is here to stay.

Amazingly enough, people have normalized Covid in many ways. It’s not like a war. October 1918 was the deadliest month in US history, dwarfing all else. Yet few Americans know that, forgotten in history, because they died of the flu. The same now, just under one in every four hundred Americans dead, vastly worse than 9/11 (250 times worse) … and Covid is just background noise in the media. Life goes on I guess. Some people still think Covid is a hoax or exaggerated. It’s their social knowledge. Social knowledge is a powerful thing. Rules us all really. This is important to let me clarify. Social knowledge is what one’s tribe believes to be true about the world.

And until the Age of Science, social knowledge was all people had outside of their own limited experience. And we’re a tribal animal, it’s very important that the tribe members all live in the same reality. So it’s not surprising that people are prone to adapting the shared world view (another term for social knowledge) of their friends, family, and community. And since we all have a need to understand the world, or make sense of it at least, people who claim to explain the world can become very popular. Messiah’s are common, and some do indeed change the world.

Christ, Buddha, Muhammad come to mind. Trump is another, though who knows how long term his effect will be. Q as well. The popularity of both is perfectly normal human behaviour. Will they be temporary disturbances in the force, or will they ripple down through history? Will there be a church of Trump or Q? Damned if I know. I’d give both at least a 1% chance of seeding something long term. Today’s theory is that Q is an AI or an alien (or an alien AI,) experimenting on the human race. Might be benevolent, benign, or malignant. Ancient aliens theory is quaint compared to my suspicions about aliens, nu?

Here in northern Iowa, winter came back, but it’s rapidly leaving again. I’m going to plant flowers, and when I get my second Covid shot, I’m leaving too! I’m going to drive around the country, see stuff, take pictures, and blog. And since there are people out there, even if it violates the introverts’ code, I will sometimes talk to them. Shudder. Hopefully they will say something worth blogging about. And with any luck I will find nice spots to rest in briefly while I am at it. A man can dream.

Stay safe everyone. As always, comments, likes, patrons appreciated.   #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved. Picture I took of the frozen lake and seawall just before winter ended the first. I photoshopped out a second ice fishing hut, and I’m pleased with the image I created. It was a magical sunset.)

Written by unitedcats

March 18, 2021 at 7:27 pm

MARCH 4TH 2021: BIDEN REVEALED AS CHINESE CLONE, TRUMP REINAUGERATED AS THOUSANDS OF SPACE FORCE SHOCK TROOPS DESCEND ON WASHINGTON. HUNDREDS ARRESTED, AOC, HARRIS, AND HILLARY FLEE ON AIRFORCE TWO TO CUBA

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“Washington is calm tonight as Space Force Shock Troops backed by thousands of QAnon and related militia forces swept into Washington, with Trump revealing in a press conference damning evidence of high crimes by the Democratic Washington establishment; shortly afterwards he was reinaugurated as the US president. The carefully planned and executed “Operation Storm” caught various Democratic criminals in the act, many confessing and providing evidence to avoid summary execution. Across America millions came to the streets to peacefully celebrate a return to justice and democracy, and the fitting end to one of the most demonic conspiracies ever.”

Well, that was fun. Once again QAnon’s hopes for their Messiah being magically reinstated have failed to materialize. And messiah it is, Trump’s popularity isn’t based on any reality based examination of his life and accomplishments, except in a few exceedingly narrow categories. Interesting times indeed. I’m frightened of Trump supporters now, there’s been a lot of crazy talk. In Texas in particular there’s talk of secession and kicking Democrats out of the state. Yeah, extremists for now, but scary times.

We are seeing the GOP doubling down on voter suppression efforts in states they control. Another beauty of Trump’s truthless claims of massive voter fraud. Healthy democracies make it easy to vote, because it’s not that hard to prevent voter fraud in the computer era. The US is not a healthy democracy, with GOP gerrymandering and voter suppression making it less so on a regular basis. The truth is most Americans are reasonably liberal and open minded, and not interested in living in a “Christian Nation” defined by an old testament Evangelical worldview.

Frankly at this point, give the GOP Texas and the south. I sometimes think the North should have just let the South go its own way in 1860. Slavery was already an athema to the rest of the developed world. The CSA would have been the Saudi Arabia of the world, without the oil. They would have been a friendless pariah state, with an economy increasingly lagging in a growing industrial world. Slave plantations could not compete with factories and mechanization. IE the South was a freaking lost cause in 1860, and is even more so now.

So give Texas, Florida, and a half dozen southern states to the Trump supporters and let them create their deregulated Christian utopia. Then the rest of us can rejoin the modern world and get on with an inclusive democratic America based on what works best for the common good. No ideology necessary. Things like single payer healthcare, a minimum wage, etc help everyone. The rich are slightly less rich, they’ll survive. Works just fine in the rest of the developed world, why the richest nation the world has ever known can’t provide a fair distribution of wealth to its citizens isn’t because of shortage, it’s because of greed.

So, two other items in the news. The people who have the rights to the Dr Seuss books announced that they would cease publishing six of his more obscure books because they contained offensive racist stereotype images. And the right wing “cancel culture” outrage machine went into full ballistic mode, claiming censorship, Biden did this, etc. Sigh. Times change people, and often for the better. Recognizing that dated racist stereotypes aren’t really a good thing to distribute is a perfectly reasonable and commendable business decision. If people just need to have one of these books, they will be on Ebay forever. And boy, it was a brilliant marketing move, sales of Dr Suess books have gone through the roof.

In a similar vein, Mr Potato head, a toy from my freaking childhood, rebranded their product to be more inclusive. They made it so kids could make Mr and Mr Potato head, etc, if they wanted. Again, the right wing outrage machine went nuts. What can I say, if your worldview is so fragile that even acknowledging that other views are possible … you’re a fucking Nazi and a disgrace to Christ. Let me be clear, I don’t have a problem with Trump supporters. I have a problem with them thinking their way is the only way and everyone who doesn’t think their way is the enemy.

Basically at this point Trump is the Messiah to his followers. We’re far beyond politics, debate, or compromise. Historically messiahs make terrible heads of state, Trump certainly filled those shoes nicely; but to his followers, he was the best president ever! And still is to many of them, I came across this today:

“Wow. Just wow.

I went to a friends house tonight to say goodbye to her mom who is moving back to Alabama. I’ve seen these people all along, and we’ve been careful, but their politics are opposite of mine. We normally just don’t discuss it, but tonight I walked into it.

They honestly believe:

Biden is not actually president, Trump is.

Hillary is in jail.

A secret inauguration happened today.

They had a lot of reasons to back up their claims.

They spent much of the evening showing each other pictures from right wing social media “proving” their theories.

Crazy is real, peeps.”

OK then. I wish we could just shuffle Trump supporters off into a private holodeck universe where they could live out their lives in some fantasy Trumptopia. No such luck. Have a great weekend everyone. Sorry I haven’t been blogging as much, processing my dad’s death is harder than I expected. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(image: Public domain Snappygoat image.)

Written by unitedcats

March 5, 2021 at 8:56 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

Written by unitedcats

February 10, 2021 at 7:45 pm

WELL, I CERTAINLY GOT SOME PUSHBACK ON YESTERDAY’S BLOG ABOUT MARJORIE TAYLOR GREEN. AND OH, TRUMP IS HANGING PEOPLE ON THE WHITE HOUSE LAWN? WTF?

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Yesterday’s blog about Marjorie Taylor Greene got some pushback, always gratifying. If people take the trouble to disagree with me, then I’m doing something right. Preaching to the converted has never appealed to me. I mostly write to encourage thought and to get my own thoughts in order. My views will likely change until the day I die, and maybe after. Well, for sure after, since if there is an after, my views about there likely not being an after would clearly need to be modified. So in that vein, I thought I’d take a look at a select few comments and see how they changed my thinking:

I dunno, MTG is obviously very stupid, ignorant and gullible, and that type of person just should not be on an education committee. So while I agree that the Dem’s motivation was wrong, I think they stumbled their way into doing the right thing.

Also I think after Trump the “shine a light on the craziness” thing can’t be relied on. He said and did so so many stupid things that just increased his popularity with his base. I think MTG’s views might be more mainstream than you think.   — S.

He has a point, Trump being a crazy bad president if anything empowered his base. Giving MTG free rein in congress might just make the situation worse.

If it was purely partisan I might agree with Doug, but it wasn’t. 11 republicans also voted to remove Ms. Greene from her assignments, one more than voted to impeach Trump for insurrection (the most bipartisan impeachment in history). Someone who publicly ridicules parents of kids who were murdered at Sandy Hook probably isn’t qualified to be on an education committee. And if one thinks Jewish space lasers are behind the world’s problems it’s probably past time to see a psychiatrist, not sit on a budget committee. You have freedom to say what you want, but it comes with consequences. Ms. Greene can have her seat she rightfully won, but she is not entitled to committee work when she has demonstrated over and over she is mentally unhinged and potentially violent.   — J.V.

Well, 11 out of like 200 GOP congressmen is a pretty low bar for “bipartisan,” but it’s better than none I suppose. Can’t argue the logic after that though. Still, I agree that MTG is unsuited for congress, let alone sitting on committees. Just not sure this was the best way to handle it.

I think you may be wrong here. We’re all in need of a signal, which this is, that crazy theories in the public sphere won’t be tolerated. We’ve waited long enough. And it’s not as if 75% or more of the Rep. politicians tolerate it either, despite still voting on party lines, being cowardly hypocrites for the most part.   — M.T.

Oh, absolutely. I’m certainly less sure of my opinion than when I wrote the previous blog post. And yes, MTG crosses a line is a good point. I would certainly agree there is a point where a candidate is so unsuitable and unqualified that this action would be the only sensible recourse.

That’s putting it nicely. It’s gonna take a lot of bipartisan effort to get these people off their Q horse so to speak.

So I do think this censure is sorta worth it. Innocent people could be harmed if she continues to run her mouth off accusing people who are just run of the mill citizens of being baby eaters or something.   — E.K.

Yes, this comment definitely made me think, I hadn’t really considered that MTG could do (or encourage) actual real world harm the more latitude she is given in congress. People like her were the heart and soul of the Capitol Riot, so it’s a point I can’t refute.

Since this line is drawn, we can now expect Republicans to remove all Democrats from every committee in either chamber they control.

They will cast any prior statement (e.g. stated support for BLM or suggestion that Trump did anything wrong after this election) as being as bad or worse than the statements made by Greene.

I have already seen demands made that Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and Rashida Talib be removed from all committee assignments due to their supposed racist statements and incitement of violence.   — C.P.H

Well, at least one person agrees with me. I guess all things considered, it kind of comes down to how much harm could Ms Green do given full leeway in congress vs how much this action could come back to haunt the Democrats later? And as I don’t have a crystal ball, damned if I know. I did come on too strong yesterday though, for that, well, mea culpa. I’m always trying to find that sweet spot where people that disagree with me want to engage. And it seems to have worked this time. Thanks always for those who shared their thoughts!

I mean, it is frelking nuts. Ms Green might as well be a flat earther who thinks Earth is run by lizard people, QAnon really is, well, delusional. At odds with reality. Unsustainable logically. Nuts. All of the above. She did recant all her past views in congress, so she’s smart enough to lay low or she really is menatally … inconsistent? Boy, trying to avoid using ableist language is quite a challenge sometimes.

And what do QAnon believers think now? See the above image. Yes, that’s a gallows set up on the White House lawn. Wait, what? Wouldn’t this be on the news? Muhahaha, of course not. The fake news about Biden being president is all part of Trump’s plan. He’s actually still president, and since Biden’s inauguration he has been carrying out his plan, publicly hanging the enemies of democracy. It will no doubt all be revealed soon, and won’t that own the libtards! I wish I was making this up. Barring that, I wish the person making this up made it up. I don’t hardly know anymore: These QAnon followers believe Trump is still secretly president — and has been carrying out public executions at the White House.

Yes, dear foreigners, future readers, aliens, and time travellers; it is indeed mind blowing to live in an era where tens of millions of Americans live in a fantasy alternate reality.  If any reader wanders by the White House and takes pictures of whatever is going on, I’ll gladly post them. Oh well. In actual Northern Iowa reality we had the first big snowstorm of winter and are in single digit temps now. I stay inside a lot. I don’t think the parsley is going to survive this, but next year’s garden is already taking shape in my dreams.  Comments, shares, and especially patrons are appreciated. Subscribe to the WaPo or the NYT for a dollar a week, and they won’t even know you exist, gentle reader. Subscribe to my blog for a dollar a month, and I’ll write posts on topics you suggest! Subscribe for more and I will be eternally grateful. (That means I’ll buy you a drink if you’re ever out this way, eternal gratitude from mortals has its limits.) Stay safe and warm everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Photoshopped image of gallows on the White House lawn. Credit: Some person on QAnon, found on the Rawstory QAnon link above, attribution unknown, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

February 5, 2021 at 8:30 pm

I WASN’T GOING TO BLOG TONIGHT, BUT THEN THE DEMS DID SOMETHING MONUMENTALLY STUPID

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Yes, Trump and company aren’t the only ones who do stupid things. Hell, everyone does something stupid now and then. This is what I am talking about: House votes to remove Republican extremist Marjorie Taylor Greene from committee roles. The honorable Ms Greene is in fact the author of the above tweet. I’ll go into that in a bit. For now, she’s gotten a lot of flak for some of her past social media posts. Yes, she is the “Jewish space lasers” gal. And a major proponent of Qanon “theories.” (I’m being polite by not calling it a hoax, or worse.) Hell, here’s a rundown of some of her posts, including essentially threats to Democratic leaders. Marjorie Taylor Greene removes social media posts amid scrutiny of past controversial comments. Yerp, she went from Trump’s  “Lock her up!” to “Hang her!” Well, it was a logical extension of Trump’s views I suppose.

So no, I’m not a fan of Ms Greene. Her views are ridiculous too offensive, sometimes both. And she’s not the brightest candle on the cake as the above twitter exchange shows. I mean, one is a public figure but can’t be bothered to check one’s spelling? Also, as my brilliant potential assistant pointed out, she’s a blonde or a blond woman, but “blonde woman” makes no sense in American English. Blonde is a noun for females, blond is the adjective. And the idea that AOC is stupid, boy, amazing how the right has conflated “they’re liberal” with “they’re stupid.” I guess it plays to the base, but boy, they sure sound stupid when they trot it out. AOC whatever one thinks of her views, like Obama, is pretty smart. That’s a fact. Sadly it appears facts no longer matter, or even intrude, on people like Ms Greene’s world view now.

Ok, so why do I think removing her from her congressional committee assignments was one giant mistake? First off, let’s be perfectly clear. The House didn’t vote to strip Ms Greene of her committee assignments, the Democrats did. The vote was essentially on partisan lines, so this is the Democrats punishing Ms Greene for her “extremist” views. Views held by tens of millions of Americans. And how will they view this? As proof of “cancel culture” and a liberal conspiracy to shut down the Evangelical Right. It makes Ms Greene a martyr to her cause. And what a precedent to set, now the next time the GOP has a majority in either house, they can do the same to kick Dems out of committees. The committee system is horrible and undemocratic, now it’s partisan. Great.

I don’t think giving the opposition what they want is shrewd politics. This was the Dems pandering to their base with no thought to the political consequences. What the Dems should have done, is stand back and let Ms Greene shine her crazy lamp through. It’s not like she was going to do any harm on committees, instead she would have made a fool of herself and the nonsense she espouces. So the Dems accomplished nothing by doing this except pleasing their base and giving GOP extremists a new cause. And denying Ms Greene the opportunity to make a fool of herself. How, exactly, is that helping?

Call me a cynic, but I see two possibilities here. The Dems are lost in space, and not able to produce a rational political response to a clear opportunity to have the QAnon evangelicals for breakfast; or worse, they don’t care and are just continuing to play good cop/bad cop where the Dems are the “good” cop. I just don’t see any benefits for actual progressive politics in the Dems decision to punish Ms Greene for exercising her freedom of speech. Her employer can punish her for what she says, her constituents can punish her for what she says; the Democrats are neither and their action in this regard is the opposite of the democracy they ostensibly serve.

Convince me otherwise. Stay safe and warm everyone.#StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: A twitter exchange between Ms Greene and AOC. Likely Public Domain under US copyright law, claimed as Fair Use under same.)

Written by unitedcats

February 4, 2021 at 9:37 pm

THROUGH THICK AND THIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

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

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

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

Written by unitedcats

January 31, 2021 at 8:30 pm

GIANT SPACE LASERS FOR THE WIN

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That’s right: QAnon congresswoman believed California wildfires were started by a giant space laser. And she was elected. It’s sheet like this that makes the aliens fly right by, locking their doors as they do so. Let’s just say that the story falls apart (explodes violently really) upon even modest examination. There are vastly easier and cheaper ways to start fires. The technology to start fires using lasers from orbit doesn’t exist. Something like this would flag all sorts of detectors and sensors, humans do monitor Earth and near Earth in countless ways. And there’s no coherent reason for anyone to do this. However, as I am grasping more clearly every day, the far right political beliefs have morphed into a cult. And once one is in a cult, one simply interprets reality in whatever way fits the facts. As an extreme example, the Earth is only 6,000 years old, but Satan planted fossils to trick us into believing the Earth was older! Right.  OK, compared to space laser frisbees, maybe not that extreme.

In financial news, some people figured out a way to beat the casino for the rich that is the modern stock market. Good for them, though they were quickly shut down, can’t have regular people manipulating stock market prices: GameStop: Anger as trading in GameStop shares is restricted. Once upon a time companies sold stock to the public to raise money and all was good. If the company prospered, the stock went up in value, and everyone won. If the company floundered or went under, the stock became less valuable or worthless. A nice system that let companies raise money without risk, and allowed the people who gave them that money to prosper as well. Everybody shares the risks and gains. Those truly were the days when the stock market reflected the wealth of the country. Now, it would take a book to describe the giant rigged casino for the rich the stock market is. Day trading alone shows Wall Street is just a casino.

In political news, Mike Pence is homeless. Literally, unlike most of Washington’s glitterati, the Pences maintained no home away from their government provided residences the past decade or so. Homeless as in couch surfing at friend’s homes. Last I heard he still hadn’t talked to Trump since Trump sent a mob into the Capitol attempting to arrest and/or lynch him. That would put a strain on any friendship I would think. Trump has more or less denounced Pence as a traitor, so presumably he’s watching his back. I wonder what’s in store for him now, hell, he probably wonders. And whatever else one may think about the man, unlike so many other traitorous Republicans, Pence chose to stand with the Republic, not Trump’s stolen election fantasies. In some ways he was the rock that Trump’s insurrection wave broke on. Ultimately that may be the one thing he is remembered for in history. Good for him.

More Capitol Riot fallout: Second police officer dies by suicide after Capitol attack. What a horrible mess. One suicide is a horrible coincidence, two, a tragedy unfolding. These cops were attacked by what essentially was a “Blue Lives Matter” mob. In addition to the cop who died in the attack, over 50 were assaulted, one is going to lose an eye, some have brain injuries, one was

stabbed with a fence pole. Capitol Police union rebukes top brass after officers at riot sustain brain injuries, one will lose eye. No wonder so many on the right are into mass denial mode, a mob of right wing Trump supporters attacking police, couldn’t happen! Only leftists engage in political violence! Yeah, the cognitive dissonance among the right wing police that were assaulted must be pretty painful now.

Turns out veterans and active duty military made up a disproportionate percentage of the Capitol Rioters. As a veteran, this shames me. A veteran takes an oath to defend the Republic and the Constitution. Participating in this riot is pretty much the opposite of their sworn oath, fantasies about a stolen election notwithstanding. Many people weren’t surprised though, far right extremism has been an issue in the military for quite some time: Black Vets Weren’t Surprised Military Members Stormed the Capitol. Now They Want the Department of Defense to Root Out Far-Right Extremism in Its Ranks. Will the riot lead to change? Hell if I know, but the Civil War ultimately didn’t, so not holding my breath.

Lastly, just came across a great article re Gamestop etc.: Suck It, Wall Street. Highly recommended. Yeah, the rich in America are richer than they’ve ever been, and determined to get richer. I can’t see it ending well for them in the long run, but we’ll see. Maybe in 2100 Elon Musk will possess every dollar in existence, and then he’ll fix everything. It’s been a strange week for me, but I will carry on blogging for the people blocked by paywalls. Shares, comments, likes appreciated. Stay safe and warm everyone.#StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image Aftermath of the 1920 Wall Street Bombing. The bombing was never solved. Now we know why. Alien space lasers did it. Credit: Unknown, Public Domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

January 28, 2021 at 8:50 pm

THROUGH THICK AND THIN

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Woohoo! Two new patrons today, so much appreciated. I’ve been socially isolated since March and don’t dare work since at any age, mine especially, Covid just isn’t something to get. This is a disease that we still don’t even begin to fully understand, and a large percentage of people who get it will have long term effects. Covid really is a game changer, it’s not The Stand or Earth Abides (both highly recommended by the way,) but it’s the worst thing to come down the pike in a century at least. The 1918 flu was deadlier, but it had nothing like the long term effects Covid has, a disease that once one gets, it keeps on giving.

I digress. So my blog is really all that’s keeping me safe, and every patron helps. And as always, I’m happy to write blog posts on topics suggested by patrons. Science, history, politics, and cats for the most part. I suppose I could try other topics, but my knowledge of things like sportsball, fashion, and popular entertainment is limited in the extreme. When my parents got excited about the Beatles coming to America, I was like, what’s the big deal about some beetles from England? Granted I was 7 at the time. My knowledge base hasn’t expanded much since, aside from seeing every movie Arnold Schwarzenegger ever made. (I lost a bet, yes, that explains it, quick thinking Doug.)

So, The Donald (note I have not sunk to the name calling du jour which seems to have infected every aspect of American politics these days, though I sure am tempted to refer to him as the Velveeta Voldemort, that cracked me up.) The Donald is thinking of starting his own political party. Go for it Mr Trump. Seeing the GOP split in half is fine by me. It means the Dems will get even more a lock on power, and I can only hope that it inspires them to make some actual positive changes in the country. Things like Medicare-for-all and a real living wage would do wonders for both Americans and the economy. Digressing all over the place today.

Yes, the Donald’s ability to manage a political party will be on par with how he managed Covid, the United States Football League, and his numerous failed business ventures. IE the man is a brilliant self promoter and grifter; actual management ability, he’s a multiple failure. He got through the first three years of the presidency because the inertia of the gigantic byzantine most bloated bureaucracy that ever existed is such that a gerbil could be president and pull it off. Until of course something happens that actually requires a competent leader at the helm. And that would be Covid, actual leadership was required; we got pandemic signalling, blame shifting, and the My Pillow guy. It’s darkly ironic that if it hadn’t been for Covid, Trump would almost certainly have been reelected.

Hopefully Trump will be dropping out of the news cycle soon and I can get back to blogging about science and the ongoing catastrophe that is the American Empire. I’d say that the Atlantic Empire is not going away any time soon, but we’re kinda through the historical looking glass here. And empires based almost entirely on military might tend to be very fragile if my understanding of history is any guide. Oh, history posts, yes, all sorts of those on the back burner.

So one last Trump outrage, the very last thing he did on inauguration day was fire the head usher at the White House and sent the staff home. That way there was no one to open the door at the White House when the Bidens arrived. Awkward: Trump fired chief usher right before leaving White House – TheGrio and  Bidens were left stuck outside White House on Inauguration Day after ‘petty’ final Trump act. IDK, conflicting reports on this one. Still, Trump and infantile pettiness are pretty much synonyms, so sounds believable to me. This is a guy who so far as I can tell spent his presidency undoing anything Obama did because Obama roasted him at a White House House Correspondents Dinner. People that have no sense of humor are even more humorless when the joke is on them. And Trump’s lack of even a shred of humor is the stuff of legend.

Lastly, I see that a famous blogger plagiarized me! OK, that’s almost certainly not true, it’s more a matter of GMTA I suspect. (I always have to explain that that means “Great Minds Think Alike” since for some reason most people are unfamiliar with an acronym that was popular on AOL for a few days in 1998.) The good Doctor Novella  had observations about QAnon today parallelling my observations yesterday. Not really a stretch, Qanon is pretty much a classic “End Times” cult, lots of people have no doubt made that observation. (Excluding QAnon believers of course.)

Petco actually did blatantly plagiarize a website I ran in the late 90s, but what’s done is done. The site is still up, but I lost the password long ago so it’s just a weird fossil site on the interwebs. (And looking at it, at least one link is now flagged by Avast, be careful.) Whoever hosts it is likely still getting revenue from my writing, c’est la vie. I write because it is my purpose, not to make money. Still, money keeps me alive to write, new patrons are always more than welcome, sign up here. I’ll never paywall this site, but I do live on the generosity of readers.

Freezing weather here in Iowa. Maybe I should do another history quiz post, open to suggestions. (Yes, digressing again.) Stay safe and warm everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2021 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: An upbeat image today, might as well be happy before I become completely disillusioned with the Biden administration. A cheery Sisley painting: The Bridge at Villeneuve-la-Garenne. 1872. Public domain of course. Alfred Sisley.)

Written by unitedcats

January 23, 2021 at 8:59 pm