Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Trump’ Category

TRUMP’S TAXES, THE ONGOING NATIONAL CATASTROPHE, AND PRE DEBATE JITTERS

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Image first. I do change my format as feedback comes in. Yes, I do read comments, and sometimes they make me think. And sometimes when I think, I realize my thinking has been wrong, and I think differently henceforth. And writing a blog is tricky to begin with, and I try to write each post so that it’s equally accessible to first time readers and long time readers. And people across various spectra. Moving right along, above image first. It took me a moment to get, but it refers to the recent Trump tax return excitement, referencing the infamous Sharpiegate incident. I loved it on multiple levels once I got it.

It also made me rethink Sharpiegate. Sharpiegate was a year or so back when Trump claimed that a certain state was in the path of a hurricane. It was quickly pointed out that no, no weather service report put this state in danger. A small understandable mistake, we all make them from time to time. Ooops, sorry, move on. Not Trump. He insisted he was right, and even showed on TV an officially produced chart crudely modified with a sharpie to bolster his claim. Surreal, nu?

(By US government – This file was derived from:  President Trump Receives a Hurricane Dorian Update.webm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=91155937}

And thinking about it, I may have been wrong. I assumed he did it himself, or had an aide do it, and off he went. Problem solved. I realize this may be over generous. What if an aide did it, handed the chart to Trump saying: “You were right boss, here’s the proof!” And Trump accepted it without question as real?  I mean, this isn’t even a crude photoshop, this is well below that bar, a fake so bad even a lot of children would spot it. But maybe Trump is so out of touch with reality, so convinced that what he says ought to be true, that his ability to discern between what is real and what isn’t is broken?

So yeah, Sharpiegate is where I started to think Trump wasn’t just a con artist, there was something not right with his reality testing. He certainly appears to surround himself with people who tell him what he wants to hear. Possibly even to the point of handing him crude fakes to support his view. I mean a true evil genius would have laughed at the Sharpiegate chart, fired (or worse) the minion who came up with it, and gotten a good fake chart made. I digress.

So … Trump has found a doctor willing to hand Trump Covid-19 Sharpiegate style stuff, and the CDC director is not happy: CDC Director Says Trump Adviser Is Wrong About Everything. My comment upon reading the article: “Who would have thought that a chief executive who surrounded himself with ass kissers and yes men would be counterproductive in dealing with a global pandemic? @@”

Came across this article: I Lived Through Collapse. America Is Already There. Interesting read. One person commented:

” …  I use history as my guide. The States have been through troubling periods before, and we’ll get through this one too!” 

My reply:

This isn’t a “troubling period” though. This is the 2nd or 4th worst mass death event in US history, the worst economic slump since the great depression … and the federal government is in disarray with no reason to believe it’s going to deal effectively with the pandemic or the economy in the near future at least, and it may well get much worse before it gets better. Our international standing has also plummeted the past three years as we’ve started trade wars and walked away from long term agreements and treaties. This isn’t just a little bump in the road no matter how ordinary one’s own life may seem. This is a thousand people dying a day; call it collapse, catastrophe, whatever evil, but it’s here NOW, and most people are more or less pretending it’s not happening. 

We’ll see. Or some of us will, another cancer procedure Thursday, at my state’s Mayo Clinic equivalent. 

Two last links I’m sharing because tomorrow’s the debate and they will have receded into the past afterwards: Here’s How the Pandemic Finally Ends. And Forget “The Apprentice” — Trump’s taxes show he was really “The Biggest Loser”. And finally a quote by AOC about Trump’s tax revelation:

“He contributed less to funding our communities than waitresses & undocumented immigrants,”

Pretty much. Trump’s gonna go down in history though, that’s for sure. Have a safe week everyone. I plan to watch the debate tomorrow, take notes, and post as quickly as possible afterwards. Probably going to be boring, who knows. The debate, not my post, which will of course be as witty and incisive as ever.  #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Top image: Tweet found on Facebook, used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. Attribution in the image.)

Written by unitedcats

September 28, 2020 at 7:14 pm

WE ALREADY KNEW TRUMP WAS A DRAFT EVADER, TAX AVOIDER IS NO SURPRISE

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The assassination of Julius Caesar, painted by William Holmes Sullivan, c. 1888

The big news of the day is Trump’s taxes. IDK, not really my area of expertise. They’re saying he’s a wheeler dealer who avoided paying a lot of taxes. So he’s a typical corporate American businessman?  I don’t see anything at first pass that’s going to make a difference, so seems like just a distraction to me. A lot of my Democrat and progressive friends are excited about this, so maybe I’m wrong. We’ll see, maybe something more will come of it. Or something else will happen. . 

This here I think is far more important. All sorts of people who worked for or with Trump are coming out and claiming he’s incompetant at best. This is just the most recent: ‘I can be silent no longer’: former intel official denounces Trump. I only remember back to Nixon, but still, in my lifetime there’s never been anything like this, where a current president’s former staff, many lifelong Republicans, are saying “Yeah, I worked for this guy, he’s a terrible president, don’t reelect him.” And I don’t think historically there’s ever been anything like it before either. 

This is one of those things, like sharpiegate, that I simply can’t come up with a charitable interpretation. A few sour apples sure, but this is unprecedented. Like the stunning turnover rate in the Trump administration, it sure seems like a poor reflection on Trump’s management abilities. Maybe he has trouble hiring loyal people, but even then, that’s a deal-breaking flaw in a POTUS. Shouldn’t the POTUS be someone capable of putting together a competent loyal team? So yeah, not a good sign that Trump’s former team members are turning on him.

And on a second round of thoughts about Trump’s taxes, I guess they show he really is just a flim-flam man. He’s certainly not been investing in things that create good American jobs. I guess job creation is something for other rich people to do? He mostly invested in golf courses, yeah those employ all sorts of people. So I dunno, spun right, I guess this really might be made to make Trump look like the snobbish elitist he is. Spun right. Sigh.

That’s the problem of course. The non Fox News media will play this story in the best possible light to excite Democrat readers. They’re already voting against Trump, so that’s not helping. How could they spin this story to help? Beats me, I’m usually just trying to define the problem, difficult enough in these times. But, yes, segue here, I guess there are those calling for real-time fact checkers at the debate? Not a good idea if they want to make Trump look bad. Paradoxically enough trying to refute falsehood by confronting people with facts can make them double down on their beliefs. 

Someone suggested that Trump will come up with some excuse not to debate Biden. Didn’t occur to me, but maybe? Trump prefers adoring crowds, not pointed questions. Well, actually, they’ll likely be softball questions, but coming up with coherent responses to questions is not Trump’s strong point. Except in his own mind. I can’t imagine anything other than the tepid joint press conferences the “debates’ have been the past few decades, but it’s 2020 folks, all bets are off. 

Someone asked if this was an epoch changing time in history? Who knows, too soon to tell for sure. Decent chance though, Covid-19 and the fail of the American republic both are looking like game changers. Will history repeat itself? Will a mob of Senators attack Trump as he enters the debate, stabbing him to death on life TV? Led by Pence? Trump’s last words being “You too Pence?” 

I survived the weekend. Now a crazy week, especially with debates and all. Have a great week everyone. No word from aliens or time travellers yet, but I remain ever ready to spread whatever wisdom they might want to share. (“Don’t sweat the little things, and there are no big things.” as my mentor Wayne used to say.) Comments, likes, shares appreciated as always. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: see image caption, Public Domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

September 27, 2020 at 7:08 pm

ANTIFA WEAPONS CACHE EXPLODES ON STREET KILLING SEVEN

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A quote on yesterday’s post about Trump: “Walter Mitty handed absolute authority.” Yeah, that certainly sums Trump up. Walter Mitty is a fictional character who lives a very meek life but is consumed by heroic fantasies where he is the star. Trump is a Walter Mitty who has sucked millions of people into his fantasy world … where he’s the greatest president ever, yadda yadda yadda.

Also came across this quote by the guy who ghost wrote “The Art of the Deal” for Trump: 

“Lying is second nature to him,” Schwartz said. “More than anyone else I have ever met, Trump has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at any given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true.”

Got it from this Snopes article, a curious read in itself: Donald Trump Gave His 2nd Grade Music Teacher a Black Eye. (No, he didn’t.) In any event my remote assessment of Trump is pretty much the same as a guy who interviewed him on numerous occasions. Confirmation bias, I know. Haven’t really come across anyone talking about what a brilliant articulate guy Trump is though. Aside from Trump himself I suppose. (That doesn’t count.) 

Trump has named his Supreme Court pick. Might be a fun ride ahead. We could see abortion recriminalized, half a million marriages dissolved, 20 million people losing their health care, and discrimination of many types made perfectly legal again. I’m a little unclear on how trying to reset the national calendar to 1950 is going to help, but we may well find out.

A story about another police shooting in America. Sigh. No, BLM is not a terrorist organization, nor are they anti-police. And in any event, the basic core problem, the reason there is a BLM and why there are calls to reform the police, is because American police shoot way too many people under circumstances where if a civilian did the shooting, the shooter would be arrested and go on trial. And that that almost never happens in the USA is the problem. And here’s a case where the victim was white; while the police disproportionately shoot blacks, innocent white people get shot too: FBI probes police killing of boy on family’s drive.

To summarize for those who didn’t have time to read, the police went to do a health and welfare check on a teenage boy whose Facebook posts had prompted a call to the police by concerned friends. Upon arriving, the kid backed his car out of the garage “aggressively,” and was shot dead, more than ten shots were fired. (That’s called a fusillade by the way.) Well, he was OK until the cops arrived, phew, does that count?. The justification for shooting him? The cop was afraid. I’m sorry, aren’t cops trained to keep a level head in scary situations? That’s their job, right? Cops are called to deal with scary situations

Hey, and if “I’m scared” is such a great excuse for cops killing people, then no problem letting a jury decide? And that’s the goddamn effing problem. Cops shoot people under circumstances where I or the gentle reader would be on trial for murder, and rarely are they tried or seriously called to account for their actions. No other civilized country lets their cops get away with this, and shootings by police are trivial in other countries compared to the US. Even if one wants to ignore the racial disparity in these shootings, it still needs to change. 

Moving right along, the post image: Fact-check: Are Protesters Throwing Cans of Soup and Tuna, As Trump Claims? Short and long answer, no. Trump has recently touted some fantasies about how anti-police protestors are bringing bags of canned food to protests to throw at the police, so they can claim they were “just carrying groceries” if caught. This is what I was talking about when I said Trump was like the grade school kid we all knew who made up wild stories. This tin can story comes out of Trump’s imagination, there’s zero evidence for it. And it makes no sense to begin with. 

I had some sciency stuff about supercats, but this turned into another Trump and Covid-19 post. It is what it is. Oh, my Biden sign arrived today, I have yet to deploy it. Looking forward to debating with my neighbors. Let me be clear, I don’t expect anyone to vote for anyone, vote for whoever one pleases. I’m voting a straight Democratic ticket though, the first time I’ve voted in a POTUS election in decades. And I urge other people to do so, Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic can’t be allowed to continue or hundreds of thousands more will die. It’s that simple.

Plus Trump doesn’t have a cat or a dog. That’s, just, un-American. Hope everyone is having a good weekend. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Found on Facebook, no known attribution, used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

September 26, 2020 at 7:37 pm

NO, TRUMP IS NOT PLOTTING A COUP OR ATTEMPTING TO STEAL THE ELECTION. HE REALLY THINKS HE’S A GOD, SUCH IS NOT REQUIRED.

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Yes, there’s been a lot of concern about the upcoming election, and Trump isn’t helping by refusing to say he would go along with a peaceful transfer of power. Hell, Trump and company have done all sorts of things to cast doubt upon the electoral process. I can’t speak to the motives of those around him, but I think it’s safe to say Trump isn’t engaged in some sort of plot to steal the election. That’s because in Trump’s world, he’s going to win the election, just like he won the last election. In Trump’s world, he’s not lying, he believes what comes out of his mouth. He’s the greatest president ever, his adoring crowds prove that, so if on election night the media and such claim he lost, fake news. He’s like the kid everyone knew in grade school who would tell outrageous stories to get attention. And if impossibilities or contradictions were pointed out, they just add another layer of nonsense without skipping a beat.

So here’s my prediction. No matter what happens on election night, Trump is going to declare victory. Because in his world, that’s the only possibility, any other outcome has to be the result of fraud. Most functioning adults know the difference between truth and a lie. People’s propensity to lie varies, but there’s certainly plenty of people who lie wherever it’s in their interest to do so. There’s people that habitually lie even about stuff they have no reason to lie about, I’m sure most readers have been mystified by one of those passing through their life. And at the end of the scale are people who lie to themselves. I know it’s hard to get one’s head around, but psychologists have shown there are indeed people who lie to themselves.

So there’s no question what Trump’s going to do on election night, he’s going to declare victory. Because in his head, he will indeed have won the election. Gotta remember, this is one of the main reasons he is so fervently believed by his core, it’s because Trump believes in himself. It’s not an act, he really is the greatest president ever. That’s why I’ve compared him to Roman Emperor Commodus before, imaged above. And as in the bust, Commodus actually believed he was Hercules reborn. And plenty around him were happy to feed his delusions since they benefited from his rule. Granted in the end his wife and the pool boy strangled him in his bath … but I digress.

Knowing what Trump’s going to do on election night, the question is, what will everyone else do when he declares victory? Especially those he is sharing power with. I guess it depends on just what the election is looking like. If it’s an absolute Biden blowout, well, the people around him will likely read the writing on the wall and cooperate with a peaceful transfer of power. And despite Trump’s screaming tweets of outrage and fraud, he’ll be escorted out of the White House when the time comes. I just don’t think McConnel and such are foolish enough to think they can simply ignore the election results. While Trump’s supporters would be happy to see him made in Caesar, pretty sure the captains of industry and finance, not to mention the military, aren’t going to be on board with basically tossing the facade of democracy and constitutional government aside. Way too many people make way too much money working under the current scheme.

I’m not really expecting a Biden blowout, but the next 39 days could hold a lot of surprises. Anything could happen if 2020 to date is any indication. The debates are next Tuesday, that’s gonna be fun. How to Debate Someone Who Lies, Truth sandwiches, ridicule and other tactics for Joe Biden when he faces President Trump. I will report on them. It’s what I do. Aside from long weird rants like those above. Which are going to be more common as the election approaches.

More common because of the times. And I’m getting old and unlike the child in the White House, I don’t really care what people think of me. And well, I have a disease that starts with “C.” It’s not Covid-19 though! Woohoo! My plan to achieve immortality through not dying isn’t looking good, so I need to redouble my efforts to achieve immortality through my writing. And if I don’t make it to the election, I expect my loyal readers to each arm wrestle at least one Trump supporter into voting for Biden. Those three or four votes might make the difference.

Stay safe everyone, have a great weekend. As always, comments, shares, likes appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Bust of Commodus, excavated in Rome in 1874 in the Horti Lamiani. Credit: Found on Wikipedia, released into the public domain by the photographer.)

Written by unitedcats

September 25, 2020 at 6:58 pm

POLICE SEIZE 320,000 USED CONDOMS, 2020 JUST GETS WEIRDER

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This is going to be a really random post. It’s my blog and I will if I want to. I posted a picture of dead Russian soldiers in the Facebook group, one of which was a woman, and it certainly inspired discussion. Thought I hope too, certainly thought on my part. Got me thinking about shield maidens, women soldiers. I certainly think that if women want to join a war, all good. It’s actually fairly unusual historically for that not to be the case, but medieval European Christianity invented the idea that women were slaves just by virtue of being women, and many of them are still right at it. Reminds me of the thought “Feminism is about changing the rules, not letting women play the game.” War is NOT the natural state of mankind. I guess the idea that women that want to participate in it should be on equal status as men is a good thing, but that’s just attacking the symptom. Still, voting Biden is simply attacking the symptom (Trump) of the underlying problem, I guess sometimes that’s the best option, and hope that it leads to avenues to deeper change. Remind me to blog about Joan of Arc. 

I’m saying that women should fight in wars just like men, but that doesn’t magically make wars OK. Wars should be a last resort of national defense, and offensive wars are never justifiable. The above image was indeed a war of national defense. Those are some of the Night Witches and their bombers. They were an all woman bomber group during World War Two, Russians, who had a frightening reputation bombing German troops during the war. Invading German troops I should add. The Night Witches bombed at night using obsolete wooden biplanes, so they’d cut their engines in the final bomb approach so as not to give warning, and there would just be a whispering sound as they glided over the target as their bombs exploded below. Night witches on their broomsticks.

So yeah, police in Vietnam seized 320,000 used condoms that had been washed, reshaped,  and were being sold as new condoms. Vietnam police seize more than 320,000 used condoms. OK then. My first thought, how in the hell did someone gather up hundreds of thousands of used condoms? Are there like public condom recycling bins to steal them from? Industrial scale sex worker establishments? The article doesn’t say, I leave it to the intrigued reader to dig further if they want. My second thought was: Well, this makes every job I’ve ever had look good in comparison. “Used condom cleaner” just isn’t an attractive career path. 

In Covid-19 news, the party that promised in 2016 they wouldn’t try to seat a SCOTUS justice just before an election has promised there will be an orderly transfer of power no matter the election result. US election: McConnell promises an ‘orderly’ transition of power. We’ll see. I’m not reassured. “Extremists are only useful to have around when they are right.” 

This one speaks for itself: Here’s how utterly dumb the mask-wearing debate has become. It was and is an example of historic stupidity. There were never any reasons to object to wearing a mask, no more that there were reasons to be upset that businesses required customers to wear shirts and shoes. And while there was some initial scientific questioning about how well masks worked, that was long ago resolved. Public masking is the number one defense against spreading Covid-19, and anyone who doesn’t get that yet is living in a fantasy world. A Trump fantasy world that has killed tens of thousands of Americans with no end in sight.

Well, there is an end in sight. Only about 10% of Americans have been infected with Covid-19. So within a year or two we’ll start to hit numbers high enough that transmission will slow down: Coronavirus: 90% of Americans have not been exposed to Covid-19, CDC director warns. It will mean a few million dead Americans, millions more with long term or permanent health problems, but at least millions weren’t subjected to the trivial inconvenience of wearing a mask in public.

Stay safe gentle reader. Comments, likes, shares appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: public Domain image from World War Two.)

Written by unitedcats

September 24, 2020 at 7:26 pm

2020 CONTINUES – “AMERICAN REALITY IS BROKEN SO WE CAN TALK ABOUT ANYTHING”

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The above made me laugh, so I thought I’d share. Depressing day, but every day is depressing in America now. A commenter about yesterday’s post said they didn’t think some of the worst case outcomes were terribly likely. I certainly hope he’s right, I’ll be thrilled if the election happens, and the new (or reelected) POTUS gets sworn in next spring without undue violence or other extreme outcomes. People always hope for that, they pretty much never expect the kind of horrors that unfold regularly throughout history. And granted, no one has a crystal ball. That being said, the corruption, wealth inequality, and other failings in modern America were already at historic levels before Trump and Covid-19. And Trump has not only done nothing to fix them, his whole reelection campaign is based on stoking fear and hatred in his base. I think we’re beyond a peaceful resolution at this point. Wars etc. happen when leaders on all sides trap themselves into courses that can only lead to war. I think we’re there, I hope I’m wrong.

And this just in: US election: Trump won’t commit to peaceful transfer of power. So Trump simply is not going to accept that he lost the election, period. This is a guy who actually believes he’s popular with most Americans, and that the lopsided popular vote in 2016 was due to fraud perpetrated by the Democrats. So yeah, if he loses the election, Trump will claim it was a fraudulent result, and do everything in his power to “fix” it. I don’t see that ending well.

A few random links, in random order. In the “Life on Venus” front a new study is out: How Much Life Would Be Required to Create the Phosphine Signal on Venus? As informed readers know, the chemical phosphine has been detected in the atmosphere of Venus, and scientists are mystified, since biological processes are the only known way phosphine could be produced on Venus. The study shows that the amount of life required to produce that much phosphine is, well, trivial. Life even at vastly lower levels than the life found in Earth’s atmosphere could easily produce the phosphine detected. Not proof of life, but if huge amounts of life had been required then it would be a strong argument that some as yet unknown non-biological process was creating the phosphine. Safe to say Venus is going to get a lot more attention from scientists searching for extraterrestrial life.

In global warming news: The Richest One Percent Emits Twice as Much Carbon as Half the World. No surprise at all. Just another metric of extreme wealth inequality in the world today. Sure, lots of people used to be slaves and serfs. Thank goodness that’s no longer the case. But, what the fuck difference does that make if a huge percentage of the world’s population has essentially nothing, while a tiny percentage of the world’s population essentially owns everything? If capitalism was going to fix this it would be getting better. Wealth inequality is getting worse. Not sure what’s going to fix it, but the mythical free market that 1% apologists love to worship sure aint doing the trick.

Covid-19 isn’t wreaking as much havoc in Africa as was feared. Likely a number of reasons, but here’s one possibility: Exclusive: Study suggests dengue may provide some immunity against COVID-19. It would certainly be interesting if the poorest and most neglected parts of the world were somehow less susceptible to the ravages of Covid-19. Silver lining.

And lastly, not a huge fan of John Pavlovitz, but sometimes he is right on: The Weakness of MAGA Men. Can’t argue with him. Hatred, bigotry, and most of all an attitude of sophomoric certainty and moral superiority are the hallmarks of cowardice. Thinking your cult leader has all the answers and everyone who disagrees is wrong is the thinking of a scared child, a child afraid to admit the world and the people in it are complicated and require compromise, empathy, and introspection to understand. Alas, as I’ve said before, America is a country where right is wrong and wrong is right. 

In other words, if one thinks running around in public with an AR-15 makes them some sort of patriot, they’re a pathetic manbaby. What can I say, I’m getting less diplomatic as the Covid-19 death toll ratchets upwards while Trump and his followers imagine that flag waving and shooting libtards will fix what’s wrong with America. What a freaking time to be alive. Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved. 

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

Written by unitedcats

September 23, 2020 at 8:13 pm

200,000 DEAD, 7 MILLION CASES, BUT FORTUNATELY COVID-19 “AFFECTS VIRTUALLY NOBODY.”

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That’s where we are today, 200,000 Americans are dead of Covid-19. Hundreds of thousands more have long term or even permanent health deficits. It’s all OK though: Trump said coronavirus “affects virtually nobody,” as U.S. surpasses 200,000 deaths. He said this while holding one of his Covid-19 superspreader rallies. What does one call a POTUS who is not only doing essentially nothing to fight Covid-19, he’s holding big rallies where Covid-19 transmission is assured? Mass murderer comes to mind. Trump is not Putin’s bitch, he’s Covid-19’s bitch. 

I was thinking of running a really outré blog today, but decided against it. Still, gonna include the thought. I was mulling last night about how this could all work out, and had this vision of some huge conflict at the White House, Trump and hundreds of his followers besieged inside when the whole thing blows up and burns. The Branch Davidians, the Alamo, and 9-11 rolled into one. It would be epic, Trump instantly a martyr, numerous states promptly secede and form Trump’s Kingdom or whatever. Weeks of non-stop TV coverage as it all plays out, nothing in any of our American lives will have been like it before. Only six weeks away folks, people should be making trailers. 

With these both disturbing and satisfying thoughts running through my head, I ran across this article: “A wargame designer defines our four possible civil wars.” Being a wargame designer myself, I was intrigued. And I was pleased. His analysis of the election comes up with four big possible scenarios: One similar to the US election of 1860 and the outbreak of the Civil War. Something akin to the Russian revolution. The Irish War of Independence. And last but not least, the Rwandan Civil War. 

Not a happy range of possibilities. One of the four above is a Biden blowout, one a Trump blowout. The Biden blowout he considers to be the US Civil War one. The main similarity being that yes, Lincoln did indeed clearly win the election, so the Federal government sided with him in the ensuing mess. And Lincoln still ended up with the worst mass death event in US history. And Biden’s no Lincoln. Not reassuring.

Oddly enough, the scariest one was a Trump blowout, that was the one the author compared to the Rwandan Civil War. Yes, the war that included the Rwanda Genocide, up to a million murdered in a few months. Seems extreme, but Trump is one vindictive fellow and many, including him, might see an election blowout as a mandate to remake America as the Christian Nation they envision. Abortion criminalized, half a million marriages dissolved, civil rights losses for huge numbers of minorities … and anyone that gets in the way gets hurt. Trump has done everything he can to portray Democrats and liberals as un-American enemies of the state. Is it beyond the realm to imagine that given the power to “lock them up!” at will, Trump might? 

Anyhow, read the article and see what the gentle reader thinks: A wargame designer defines our four possible civil wars. And the elephant in the room of course is Covid-19. No matter what happens election wise, the economic and social costs of Covid-19 will continue to mount in the US until something is done, coupled with global issues around same. Not to mention that since global warming and its climate downsides are actually real, just the background the US election 2020 is playing out on is quicksand. Or a minefield with quicksand. 

Once again, a bunch of links but no time to write about them. The news is cycling quickly these days, what would a year ago be big news for a week is now old hat in a day. Tomorrow is a busy personal day for me, so maybe I will just go back and post all the links that still are relevant. Despite the ongoing crisis, the world does go on. Stay safe everyone.#StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved. 

(Image: Public domain Snappygoat image is the base. Haiku: Copyright © 2020 Yula Flournoy. All rights reserved. The meme above, unaltered, may be freely shared for legal non-commercial use.)

Written by unitedcats

September 22, 2020 at 7:12 pm

TRUMP GIVES HIMSELF AN A+, 2020 CRAZINESS CONTINUES

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Yesterday 4 Canadians died of COVID, 7 Italians, 9 Germans and 1263 Americans. Trump just just rated his Covid-19 response as A+. If this is A+ results, wow, just wow. He grades himself A+ on everything though, and his core believes him. I think Trump believes whatever comes out of his mouth. Imagine though these numbers were during Clinton or Obama’s term …the GOP’s outrage would be audible around the globe. Now, crickets, when they’re not singing Trump’s praises. This alone, now and in the future, will stun and confound people. How could a party applaud its leader who is essentially doing nothing about a pandemic that is killing a thousand Americans a day?

Trump and his supporters live in a separate reality is my theory. They rationalize America’s Covid-19 nightmare  away. Denying it’s happening or claiming it’s all a hoax is popular. Right, a planet ruled by literally hundreds of armed warring gangs (thousands if we count non-state actors) for the first time in history all got together to hoax the world for some nefarious reason. With no exceptions. All to make Trump look bad. Yes, many even believe that. How to explain to people that theories involving vast secret conspiracies fail the reality test? 

Still, nothing new. Americans have believed nutty things en mass for a long time. They saw a non-existent communist conspiracy trying to rule the world once. They thought Saddam’s Iraq was a threat to the USA. They believed in trickle down theory, the idea that if we give our bosses raises any time they want, they will joyfully give raises to their employees. They believe global warming is a liberal hoax. Not that far off from thinking Covid-19 is some sort of international plot. And of course all of the above are still believed in some quarters. And here’s Trump telling them they were right all along! It’s all a Libtard plot, and if only he can get reelected, he can put an end to it all.

Telling people what they want to hear works like a charm. An art Trump has mastered, gotta give him his props for that. Trump’s not as popular as Hitler was, his base is smaller, but the dynamic is very simple and similar. He’s telling them the reason for the unsettling world they live in, they were right that it’s being done to them by their enemies, and he can fix it! The discerning reader will note that, Trump, Hitler, many others, can be substituted for ‘he’ in the preceding sentence. And here we are today with Trump the absolute fuhrer of his flock, in a way America has never really seen before. Less than two months before the election of my lifetime.

As is usual today I have a bunch of links about ongoing current events. Just this one I’m gonna share though, because it’s a great read, and ties into my thoughts above. I’ve always liked and read the Neurologica Blog, written by an actual scientist about all sorts of amazing sciency stuff. Recently though, he’s posted a number of posts about scientific aspects of some of the crazy times we live in. Yes, we live in crazy times, it’s not just my imagination. This is one of his best so far: The Holocaust and Losing History. There’s stuff in there I didn’t know, great read.

Oh, the moon landing hoax, forgot about that. Is that still a thing? People were absolutely convinced  that the Apollo Moon landings were faked. Some still are I’m sure. On a personal note, I’m still gonna write every day while this election event is going on. Notes for future historians if nothing else. Dug up 5 wheatback pennies in a row today while treasure hunting with my metal detector. Hole number six, chunk of silver jewelry. Best streak ever, I can only hope it’s a good omen. 

Stay safe everyone. Wear a mask in public, glasses apparently help too. Makes sense, harder for shit to get to your eyes. Social distance as much as possible. Covid-19 is real and terrible, but eventually Washington will have to get it under control, one way or another. Dark dreams. Comments, shares, likes, patrons, appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Anonymous Facebook found meme, used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

September 21, 2020 at 7:31 pm

200,000 AMERICANS DEAD OF COVID-19, TRUMP TWEETS ABOUT FARTS? WHATEVS, 2020 CONTINUES.

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Stuff keeps happening. Near 200,000 dead of Covid-19 in America now. A million deaths or more world-wide. Trump retweeted some sophomoric fart joke. The man’s sense of humor, well, appeals to his base. He also joked about signing an executive order prohibiting Biden from being president. Trump’s not much of a humorist, despite what his toadies and fans may think. If he was doing a great job, who cares? Since, um, still no national plan to address the Covid-19 pandemic, I’m going with a not so great job. Whatevs, lame tweets are just lame tweets, Trump’s other ‘accomplishments’ are far more worrisome.

Like the national debt: Under Trump’s Watch, America’s National Debt Has Increased by $6.6 Trillion. I seem to recall the GOP gets excited about deficit spending when they aren’t at the helm? Reagan is the guy to blame for this. “Borrow and spend,” the right’s answer to “tax and spend.” I’m not an economist, I don’t know, but I find extreme deficit spending by a non wartime president to be questionable. 

Definitely questionable is Trump’s decision to keep ramping up pressure on Iran. And doing it in defiance of the UN and our allies. Yeah, they aren’t buying it. In the fantasy realm the neocons have created, Iran is the font of all evil in the Middle East, and nothing less than endless war makes sense. So Trump’s just doing what his base, and the current government of Israel, want. It’s crazy, but we’re getting to see what would happen if a drunken uncle blowhard like Rush Limbaugh got to actually run the show. Fun times.

Bear with me here. Train of thought thinking. So multiple reports are coming out that the US military electronically camouflaged spy planes as commercial aircraft in order to spy on China. Hopefully the gentle reader can see the big problem with this practice. There are several problems with it. The biggest is that by deliberately disguising a combatant as a civilian,  it makes all civilians potential military targets. It’s basically hiding the military among civilians, like disguising a military base as a school or hospital. Or another way of looking at it, how about if Russia or China or Iran did that to the US? The outrage on both sides of the political aisle would be seismic. Us doing it to them, we’re the good guys; but they’re the Godless commies, it reduces the risk to our spy planes. 

So somehow it became part of the American national character that since we’re the good guys, we don’t have to follow the rules if the end is just. Numerous US war crimes during World War Two for example. Firebombings, nuclear bombings, whole cities full of civilians murdered. And many if not most Americans not only overlook that, they even celebrate it. It goes back deeper too. In some ways the founding of the United States was a good moment for humanity. Self determination, constitutional democracy, inherent human rights … these were and are good positive ideas. How could they go wrong?

They went wrong because at the very outset, America didn’t live up to its ideals. Chatel slavery, human beings as mere property, was written into the constitution. Indians didn’t become citizens until 1924. Acknowledging flaws doesn’t make America weak, it makes it greater. Because once acknowledged, a flaw can be fixed and we can move on to even better things. It’s not weakness to admit mistakes were made, it’s definitely cowardice and weakness  to deny such. So yes, Trump and his supporters are ultimately cowards. I hope they come around.

So during World War Two a Japanese pilot flying off of a Japanese submarine bombed Oregon. Yes, submarine aircraft carriers were a thing in WW2:

He dropped a few incendiary bombs, trying to ignite a forest fire. The US was well protected against that though, since it was still operating under the misapprehension that putting out all wilderness fires was a good idea. Hell, if the Japanese attempts to light forest fires in the western United States during the war had succeeded beyond their wildest dreams and burned a hundred and four million acres … today’s fires on the west coast wouldn’t be so bad. And few would even guess. I digress.

So yes, the pilot’s name was Nobuo Fujita. He was invited to Brookings Oregon in 1962, the town he had dropped his bombs near. After being assured he wouldn’t be tried as a war criminal, he went. He had trepidations though, he was ashamed of what he had done, and if he was received badly he planned to kill himself with his family’s 400 year old katana sword. As it was he was treated warmly, though there was some controversy. And he gave the sword to the town in atonement and all went well. 

Teaching school children the truth about America’s past isn’t child abuse. And there’s lots of room to teach nuance and context. It’s not anti-white, it’s not anti-American, it’s not unpatriotic. It’s the truth. Truth is the first casualty of war though, and Washington declared war on reality a long time ago. 

And now, America is reaping what it sowed. Stay safe everyone. Shares, likes, donations, comments, suggestions (anatomically possible,) welcome. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Images: Top image is a Snappygoat public domain photo with an anonymous quote I found on Facebook. Shares appreciated. Bottom image is the British HMS M2, it’s a Public Domain image pretty much everywhere.)

Written by unitedcats

September 20, 2020 at 7:03 pm

“NEVER LESS ALONE THAN WHEN ALONE.”

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Some celebrated Ginsburg’s death. Mitch McConnell didn’t even wait for her body to cool before announcing the Senate would vote on appointing a Trump appointee to the Supreme Court. The very same guy who when a justice died eight months before the last election … blocked any new appointment until after the election. Hypocrisy runs deep in current American politics. If this shitshow can even be called politics. 

The Supreme Court thing is a horrible distraction from the much more pressing issues at hand, like Covid-19 and the economy. And Trump seems determined to ratchet up pressure on Iran and the whole mess in the Middle East just for snids and giggles. Trump is still promising a return to normal in the near future, and lots of people still think it’s going to. I think they’re fooling themselves, but what do I know? Well, more than many I think. 

The USA went off the rails in 1980, and the debacle that is 2020 is the bill coming due. See above image. Another good look at the corrupt core of the problem here:  The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90%—And That’s Made the U.S. Less Secure. And then for fun QAnon is taking on a life of its own: Friends And Family Members Of QAnon Believers Are Going Through A “Surreal Goddamn Nightmare” 

Speaking of nightmares, more cases of Covid-2 reinfection reported: Catalonia reports four cases of Covid-19 reinfection, with one patient in intensive care. Scattered reports world-wide, still not enough data to come to any conclusions. Not a good sign though. The Cold from Hell is what I dubbed Covid-19 early on, and as accurate as ever. Speaking of surreal, we’re reinforcing our uninvited and illegal forces in Syria, because of “Russian aggression.” Except the Russian troops are in Syria at the express invite of the Syrian government, while America is an illegal invading force. 

As an old acquaintance once said, “America is a land where right is wrong, and wrong is right.” I wonder what they think of today. Just in review, and for new readers, my theory is that the world we all grew up in took a mortal blow in December 2019. Covid-19 was the perfect bullet to crumble the house of cards that the neocolonial exploitation of the world was, especially in America, a land buried in corruption, evangelism, and science denial. The corpse is still stumbling forward but it’s dead; science denial and reality denial only work for so long. The horsemen are arriving, deal with it. Don’t worry, Trump  has a plan, teach America’s children to be good little Trumpsters: Trump calls for ‘patriotic education. That how malignant narcissism works, why, the problem is … they’re not thinking like me! 

Just in, Trump says the SCOTUS nominee will be a woman! Brilliant! Insane! Sexist as hell! Why, as long as the nominee has female genitals, the liberals should be happy! Not the point of feminism, but explaining that to the Rush Limbaugh crowd, well, I’ll keep trying. Here’s hoping it’s Sarah Palin. 

The weird alien sitcom reality show that 2020 Trump’s America is … continues  unabated. Have a safe and sane weekend everyone. I have gone into retreat for a bit, but should be able to keep blogging. God, we’re gonna see some crazy shit between now and January. Pull up a chair, I’ll comment as I am able. Share at will. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Tweet attributed to Kane Wishart. Used without permission but legally. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

September 19, 2020 at 7:20 pm