Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

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RUSH LIMBAUGH GOES ON A KILLING SPREE AND THE COMING RED STATE COVID-19 CATASTROPHE

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What a time to be alive. World War Two all over again. Well, not really, but first time since then that an event is occurring with similar global ramifications. Most of human history consists of huge areas of more or less stability, with local problems here and there. In the developed world, almost all stability since World War Two. It’s weird and different this time though. Now with the Interwebs, we are in touch with our friends in the front line. Some of them won’t survive the war. Hell of a thing. It’s the beginning of the storm. A million confirmed cases world wide, and certainly a wild undercount since so many countries have limited testing capabilities.

And in America, it’s going to be a Red State cataclysm. I almost never listen to Rush Limbaugh, every time I have it’s just a string of lies, false arguments, and vitriolic hatred directed towards his fellow Americans. Not my cup of tea. Well, turns out, surprise surprise, he’s had a lot to say about Covid-19, collected here for the gentle reader’s edification. Put a pillow on your keyboard before reading though, because your jaw and or forehead may hit it shortly:

February 24: “Folks, this coronavirus thing, I want to try to put this in perspective for you. It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump. Now, I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus. You think I’m wrong about this? You think I’m missing it by saying that’s — Yeah, I’m dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.”

February 25: “Why couldn’t the coronavirus get Donald Trump reelected? What if the United States comes up with a dramatically great policy to deal with it—and the number of cases in the United States dwindles, goes down, or does not expand like the cases around the world? Then why wouldn’t that be beneficial to Trump? Notice: Here we are in February, and they’ve already got this virus ruining the economy by November, in time to take out Trump. This is proof they’ve got nothing. They know they can’t beat the guy, folks…. Donald Trump has survived every coup attempt, every assault on him, that has been made up and now the coronavirus, they’re trying to lay it at his feet and make him responsible for it and they’re doing irresponsible news reports claiming that the coronavirus is gonna destroy the US economy by when? November! Isn’t it magical? The coronavirus is the new Russians…”

March 9: “Democrats out the wazoo are showing up at Trump rallies. This is why they want these rallies stopped. This is why — it’s not because of public safety, not because of public health.”

March 11: “This coronavirus, they’re just — all of this panic is just not warranted. This, I’m telling you, when I tell you — when I’ve told you that this virus is the common cold. When I said that, it was based on the number of cases. It’s also based on the kind of virus this is. Why do you think this is “COVID-19”? This is the 19th coronavirus. They’re not uncommon. Coronaviruses are respiratory cold and flu viruses. There is nothing about this, except where it came from, and the itinerant media panic…”

March 13: “We’re shutting down our country because of the — the cold virus, which is what coronaviruses are. This is COVID-19, the 19th version of the coronavirus. We’re shutting it — can you imagine our enemies watching this? You think the Chinese are not laughing themselves silly over how easy this has been?”

March 27: “We didn’t elect a president to defer to a bunch of health experts that we don’t know. And how do we know they’re even health experts? Well, they wear white lab coats, and they’ve been in the job for a while, and they’re at the CDC and they’re at the NIH, and they’re up, well — yeah, they’ve been there, and they are there. But has there been any job assessment for them? They’re just assumed to be the best because they’re in government. But, these are all kinds of things that I’ve been questioning.”

Well, I stand corrected. I thought Mr Limbaugh was just an asshole making a living spewing hate and nonsense, why not, it’s a free country? I was wrong. He’s a fucking moron. A man so stupid that he thinks he’s smart, Dunning-Kruger on steroids. Essentially everything he’s saying above is not just wrong, it’s dangerously criminally wrong. Yes, various coronaviruses do cause the common cold. That’s where the similarity begins and ends, it’s like claiming all mushrooms are harmless because they sell them in stores. He is right though, our enemies are laughing at us, because people like Trump and Limbaugh utterly sabotaged our response to a global pandemic. The USA is now the world’s leader in Covid-19 cases, and the horror is just beginning.

And Mr. Limbaugh is just one of many. The anti-science, anti-public health efforts of the GOP are going to reap a terrible harvest. Many GOP governors refused to expand Medicaid, because, you know, Obama. And have seen dramatic closures of hospitals in rural areas as a result. Basically, the GOP’s efforts to undermine trust in government and science have crippled public health measures in regions they control. Read about it here in nauseating detail: The Coming Red State Coronavirus Catastrophe. It’s incredibly depressing, huge numbers of people are going to die because of the nonsense promulgated by the GOP … and others.

This is what happens when people become convinced that opinions and hunches and woo are better than science and reason. God only knows how this is all going to play out in detail, but it’s going to get ugly. Promoting paranoid nonsense has already caused one fellow to snap, he won’t be the last. Covid-19 in America is like a bad dream I can’t wake up from. There’s some hope though, around the world people are stepping up and organizing to help their fellow citizens get through this crisis. I just hope enough people in Red States can step up and make a difference, because the GOP leadership sure isn’t stepping up to the plate.

Have a safe and sane weekend everyone. #staythefuckhome

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Communards in their Coffins, photograph taken by André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri in May 1871. Public domain image. I chose it because they just seemed so real, real people, they had friends, family, loved ones. Covid-19 isn’t partisan and doesn’t give a shit about someone’s ideology, only science and reason can defend us from a pandemic.)

Written by unitedcats

April 3, 2020 at 6:14 pm

WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO REINTRODUCE SLAVERY TO SAVE THE ECONOMY

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OK, I lied, every time I try to write a non Covid-19 post, something else Covid-19 related happens that made me want to rend my garments and pound the keyboard. So here we are again. America is number one now, more Covid-19 cases than any other country. The main thing I want to write about, is that we are about a week from the sh*t truly hitting the fan in the US. At the current rate of progression, we’ll hit a million cases in the US by the first week of April, next weekend basically. Thousands will be dying daily and health care systems in the worst hit areas will be overwhelmed. People just aren’t getting how fast Covid-19 will grow from something that doesn’t look too bad into a disaster. It’s day 40 people, read this and understand why day 48 is a nightmare. The enemy is at the gates. And it might already be worse than we know, likely much worse. Or even  this.

So a few more points. There have been calls to let Covid-19 run its course, that in the long run we’d be better off if we let a few million old and sick people die so that people can get back to work and a great depression is avoided. Seriously, like politicians and leaders have for real made this case. My first response to this: Are you a fucking psychopath!? My second: If you ever claim to be pro-life again, I hope someone punches you in the face. There’s also giant piles of logical reasons why this is magical thinking at best. Fascist eugenics at worst. The “let them die” argument is based on the “everything was great” premise. It wasn’t, this pandemic has illustrated on so many levels how our society was failing in protecting the common good. There are ways to get through Covid-19 that don’t involve a million dead Americans and a great depression, but they will involve lowering of corporate profits and executive bonuses. If MacDonald’s can no longer spend $10k per employee per year buying back their own stock, the economy will be just fine. Basically that’s what the alt-right is asking us to do, throw granny to the wolves so that the mind numbing upwards transfer of wealth that has defined America since Reagan can continue unabated. Talk about worshiping a Golden Calf.

More on point, a million or more Americans dying will be an economic disaster with long term consequences. They won’t all be useless old and sick people (and that’s not what I think about the elderly and ill, but sticking with the logic of the “let them die” argument,) health care providers will die in huge numbers, and one out of five healthy people will require hospitalization when they get Covid-19, huge numbers of them will die or suffer permanent health damage. Especially if we let Covid-19 explode and overwhelm the hospitals. Pretty sure most Americans are going to want to save granny, even if Glenn Beck is throwing his granny to the wolves.

So yeah, just relaxing and letting it happen isn’t going to help. And one should wonder about the motives of anyone who says you should let granny die. We’re not a starving village where the elders sacrifice themselves to save the children. We’re the richest nation the world has ever seen, even Trump himself claims our economy was great. And yes, for America’s giant corporation and the rich, it was a Golden Age. So why the fuck do the richest companies in history need taxpayer bailouts weeks into an economic downturrn? They’ve spent decades buying back their own stock using the tax breaks presidents since Reagan have been giving them, definitely including Trump. Don’t they have plenty of stock to sell? Can’t they borrow money against their fabulous assets?

Of course they could, companies and people already wealthy beyond all reason aren’t going to be hurt if they lose money for a while. Executive bonuses and salaries don’t drive the economy, a guy making ten million a year isn’t going to be hurt if his or her (but usually his) salary drops to one million. Greed is the most powerful force in the Universe though, and America’s corporations view Covid-19 as just another opportunity to exploit. The healthcare industry, people who have turned sick people into commodities, are especially going to profit from Covid-19.

So yeah, the worst crisis in America for a century is unfolding. The worst global crisis since WW2. Millions may die. Who knows where we’re going or what America will look like just a few years from now. And it’s going to get a lot worse in the weeks to come. It’s affecting me, I can’t claim otherwise. So the pandemic is what I will be writing about. It’s what I do. Until the end.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home. #staythefuckhome. Comments, shares welcome.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Lilies. Credit: Public Domain Snappygoat image.)

Written by unitedcats

March 29, 2020 at 8:19 pm

Posted in Coronavirus, Covid-19, Trump

IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD

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I only get to do this once, write my end of the world post. It was a post I hoped never to have to write, even though I’ve known all my life that this was a possibility, and almost an inevitability. And knock on wood, we’re seeing the beginnings of the 1918 Flu Pandemic and the Great Depression at the same time. I don’t want to have to write about apocalypse number three anytime soon, so no killer asteroids or nuclear wars now please. So the world is ending. By that I mean the world we knew, the world we all grew up in, is coming to an end. It’s going to get a lot worse here in the good old USA. It’s not The Stand or The Walking Dead, but the party is over, even if a lot of people don’t get it yet.

It’s the end of the world because the USA is uniquely among developed nations unprepared for Covid-19, and the people running the country aren’t responding to it in an effective manner. When one’s car breaks down, one calls a mechanic. When one’s house is on fire, one calls the fire department. When one faces a pandemic, one calls pandemic experts. Not Trump, he actually thinks he is smarter than the experts on the subject. Many people see this, but his supporters don’t, to them Trump is Benny Hinn. The problem of course being that the Covid-19 virus doesn’t give a shit about a waving coat or Trump’s hunches. Decades of science denial and faulty logic have left America utterly vulnerable to a plague that requires a rational and scientific response. Reality bats last, and in America, it’s about to bash our brains in.

Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, will die, there will be economic disruption unseen since the crash of 1929. And the economic damage to the planet is incalculable. It’s going to get worse because America and the world’s global economy is collapsing. And it’s going to get way worse in the USA because we still haven’t shut the country down. Millions of Americans are likely going to get Covid-19 now, our health care system will be overwhelmed, and huge numbers will die. Because the POTUS is ignoring expert advice and lives in a fantasy world where a few weeks of shutdown will fix this and we can all go back to work.

Americans need to take this seriously, even if the POTUS and his followers aren’t.  It’s time to plant victory gardens, the gentle reader will be glad they did. And the other thing people need to understand, it’s not going to get normal again for years, if ever. Even the few countries who have brought it under control are still massively shut down. And until a cure or a vaccine is developed, they can’t let their guard down. The world economy is going to tank, despite Trump’s valiant efforts to pretend otherwise. He seems to think it will all be over by Easter, and churches will be filled with happy worshippers. This is frighteningly delusional, mark my words.

Covid-19 is the perfect storm, as disease control experts have warned for years. Highly contagious, often before symptoms appear. More contagious than the flu. And more deadly. The perfect vehicle for spreading through the entire race. I’m getting angry now. Part of me wants to scream  “You stupid fucks, I’ve been trying to warn about shit like this my  whole life.” Covid-19 most assuredly was predictable, and we did essentially nothing as a nation to prepare for it. Moronic. So yeah, my last Covid-19 post in a while. I have a nice post on the earliest human fossil ancestor ever found in the works, we’re all worms, fun stuff.

To recap: There’s going to be a Covid-19 bloodbath in the USA over the next few months. The economy is going to take a nosedive on a scale unseen since the Great Depression. If I’m wrong, and I survive, I’ll buy the gentle reader a beer. I hope I’m wrong. Skol!

Stay safe and God Bless everyone.

Percy Shelley’s “Ozymandias”

I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:

‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Poem: Public domain under US copyright law. Image: Soviet ‘Boy Scouts’ pre-World War Two. Credit: Viktor Bulla/Wikimedia Commons.)

Written by unitedcats

March 25, 2020 at 6:54 am

RANDOM ARCANE COVID-19 THOUGHTS AND IMPRESSIONS

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There are some parallels between Trump and Hitler. In late 1942 the Russians surrounded the German Sixth Army in Stalingrad. This was an incipient disaster of epic proportions, however, all was not lost. The Sixth Army easily still had the supplies and ammunition to fight their way to safety. Hitler however, rather than authorizing this sensible action, listened to Herman Goering, a sycophantic toadie eager to get himself back into Hitler’s favor. He swore that his Luftwaffe could airlift enough supplies into Stalingrad to keep the Sixth Army afloat. This was pure, unadulterated BS, and several people desperately tried to get Hitler to look at the numbers, the Luftwaffe simply didn’t have the capacity to do this, period. Hitler refused to listen to anyone but Goering, ordered the Sixth Army to hold on, and the Luftwaffe would save the day. Reality won of course, the Luftwaffe was only able to deliver a tiny fraction of the needed supplies, and the Sixth Army quickly starved and ran out of ammunition. Surrender soon followed, a catastrophic loss the Germans would never recover from. I see parallels between Hitler’s refusal to listen to experts and Trump’s refusal to do the same over Covid-19. Magical thinking illustrated by both, both Hitler and Trump listen to people who tell them what they want to hear. Not a good trait in an emergency requiring a rational response.

As I’ve said before, Trump is no Hitler. I don’t see Trump hunkering down in the White House till the end. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if he resigns soon. He has a long history of walking away from failures and letting other people clean up the mess. He wanted his legacy to be Space Camp and a supercharged stock market, not hundreds of thousands of dead Americans and a devastated economy. The sooner he resigns the easier it will be to spin it all as a plot by his enemies, and the easier it will be to convince himself he was brilliant, it was the country that failed him. We needed a Lincoln, we got a Jefferson Davis.

Wait, what? OK, history lesson here. When the South seceded and the US Civil War started, what did their respective leaders do? Lincoln took the bull by the horns, and seized national power to organize a national response to the crisis. For example, he put the entire North’s railroad grid under central control, thus making the massive coordinated movement of troops and supplies possible. The Confederacy, being wedded to the idea of “State’s Rights,” did nothing of the sort. Lincoln raised a huge Union Army, and deployed it as needed. Lee led, the Army of Northern Virginia, yes, the Confederate states each raised their own army! And in numerous other respects, Lincoln formed a united force to promulgate the war, while the Confederates cooperated but did not centralize and coordinate. It was a big part of the reason Lincoln won the war, the Confederacy had enormous advantages, but they squandered them by not having a centrally coordinated war effort. And we have the same today, Trump for all purposes practically stated that he thinks state governors should be responsible for the Covid-19 fight, not him. Jefferson Davis lost the war with the same thinking, Trump is losing to Covid-19 the exact same way. You are not only no Lincoln Mr Trump, you do not even appear to understand the concept of leadership, it’s doing what’s best for the nation, not yourself.

And just to reiterate, the senators and such who used their inside information to protect their wealth should be tried for treason. Using your government power to enrich yourself at the expense of American lives is treason. That’s what treason is, hurting the country to help yourself. Just to give a historical example, we all should be studying history now, Jane Fonda’s trip to North Vietnam during the Vietnam War was not treason. Yes, what she did hurt Americans, it was misguided, stupid, and a propaganda victory for North Vietnam. However, and it’s a huge however, she was trying to promote peace, not benefit herself. Not treason. Using your position in government to protect your wealth instead of protecting America, treason.

Historical meanderings aside, I ventured forth today. A new world. Empty shelves in the markets. Many businesses closed or with altered practices/hours due to Covid-19. People were friendly but wary of each other and mostly kept their distance. Gallows humor prevailed, my grocery checker sneezed, and I said “Sneezes are OK.” A lady in the next aisle laughed, she got it. In any event, I’m going to be posting more random thoughts and observations during the Covid-19 outbreak.

One last thought, boy, global pollution levels are plummeting as the world goes into a shutdown. This is a good thing. And a message from reality (or God,) that we need to clean up our act. If shutting down non-essential services makes such a difference, and we all win when pollution plummets, why were we polluting so much in the first place? Because a small number of people profit from burning oil and passing the pollution costs onto the public. We can live without that, nu?

And Trump is still thinking his hunches will save the day. Yeah, no, reality rarely works that way. Latest rumor is that Trump is going to declare martial law and shut the whole country down for two weeks to halt the spread of Covid-19. Well, that will be intense. A Hail Mary pass by Trump. Could he try that? Maybe. Will it work? I would have to review what pandemic experts say to even guess. Is it a good idea? No, it’s a shallow simplistic idea that could have all sorts of negative unintended (or even intended!) consequences. Stay tuned I guess.

Oh dear. It’s a hell of a time to be alive. It’s 1914. It’s 1939. It’s 1941. 1776. 1521. 1453. Stay safe everyone.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych.

(Image: Destroyed German He-111 during the Battle of Stalingrad. Credit: Unknown, a wikipedia image, public domain as far as is known.)

Written by unitedcats

March 21, 2020 at 7:58 pm

THE END OF TRUMP (?) THE END OF THE WORLD (?) AND OTHER FANTASTIC BEASTS

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I’ve seen a number of articles recently claiming that this is the end of the Trump presidency. Yeah, wishful thinking. Even before the Covid-19 outbreak such thinking was wishful, things have changed in modern America, Trump is the new normal. By that I mean there just isn’t any accountability in Washington anymore. When the Vietnam War went South, Johnson’s presidency was done. Doesn’t work that way now, the Iraq War went south, but Bush got reelected anyhow. None of the architects of that colossal mistake were held responsible for their lies and failings, one is even the Democratic front runner for the 2020 election. Blame shifting is how Washington works now, Clinton blamed her stunning election loss on mythical Russian actors and her base bought it hook, line, and sinker; why would Trump supporters be any different? According to Fox News, he’s doing great. Though even they are having trouble spinning it that way. I hope I’m wrong. Since, you know, things haven’t been great at all.

I digress. More on point, the reason I roll my eyes when anyone predicts anything about the next year, is that nobody effing knows. The only thing we can say safely at this point is that Covid-19 is wreaking terrible economic and human cost over the globe, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. It’s a sea change people, no one knows how this will play out. All three of the candidates for POTUS this fall are over 70 years old. Even in the best of times that demographically meant there was a decent chance any of them could die before then. Now, Jeez, it wouldn’t be terribly unlikely if all three died of Covid-19. Even one dying would upset the apple cart. It’s uncertain times, at best, lol. So not going to get too worked up about politics and the election at this point. There’s more important things now. We’ll see what happens

So , there are  a number of takeaways at this point. Late March, 2020. In no particular order, please tell me if I’m wrong:

Senators selling stock. This is the scandal de jour. After a confidential Covid-19 briefing in January, at least four Senators dumped all sorts of stock holdings. Among others. I love how the first article spins it: “ … sparking concerns that they put safeguarding their private finances before their duty to protect public health.” No sh*t Sherlock, those aren’t “concerns,” those are  facts. They made sure their wealth was safe, while downplaying the threat to the country. This shit is what fomented my recent guillotine tweet, our “leaders” putting their financial well being ahead of Americans’ lives. And that includes Trump at this point, he is literally pretty much doing nothing but lying about cures and shit that aren’t available, blame shifting, and denying responsibility for anything. At least he’s consistent, nu?

So this is going to continue to get worse in America. In January 70% of Republicans thought Covid-19 was a serious threat to the nation. Thanks to Trump’s insane underreaction, that was down to 40% just days ago. So while the virus was spreading out of control in the US, Trump was actually convincing his base to ignore it … thus making the situation much worse. The time to flatten the curve was in January and February, likely way too late now. Especially since many people in many states, including governors, still don’t get it. Celebrities, leaders, politicians are going to die too, since Covid-19 doesn’t give a shit if one is rich, powerful, or popular. The first celebrity just died today, Aurlus Mabélé, a music legend in Congo, has died from Covid-19. And of course some of our friends and family will die, four people in the same family died in New Jersey. Yeah, some flu.

Watch out for clickbait good news. The scammers, snake oil salesman, and click-bait artists are out in force, it’s a golden age for them. From more or less harmless stuff where some doctor working on a treatment etc is breathlessly portrayed as the solution, on up to actual cons. Here’s one link for avoiding fake news, best to get one’s actual info from the CDC or other reputable sources.

Lastly, just in case it wasn’t becoming self-evident, we’re in for the biggest economic downturn of our lives. And the last final dark thought, one I don’t see out there much … there’s going to be a secondary or shadow wave of deaths associated with Covid-19. Hospitals will be overwhelmed, so other treatments will be cancelled. A friend’s cancer surgery was “indefinitely postponed.” Treatment for other emergencies like accident victims and the like will be delayed or unavailable. Then there’s people who won’t be able to refill their prescriptions, in some cases life saving prescriptions. Emergency services will be overwhelmed, ambulances and firefighters might be delayed or simply unavailable. Basically until this passes, which will be months from now, any life saving support service Americans take for granted, may be rationed, delayed, or unavailable. A summer of death is on the march.

Anyone who still thinks this is just a flu is an idiot. Sadly we have been nurturing those for decades in the US, and now we are going to reap what we sowed. Have a safe weekend everyone. Comments and shares appreciated.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych.

(Image: Anonymous Facebook image. Credit: Unknown, used without permission, will remove or attribute as necessary. I will be posting more funny memes, gallows humour is going to get e through this. I hope.)

Written by unitedcats

March 20, 2020 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Covid-19, Health, Trump

SCREAMING AT THE TV

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I watched the Biden/Bernie debate last night. I was literally screaming at the TV at one point. I said to my perplexed housemate, guess now you’re glad I don’t watch the news all the time? Yes, yes he is. It’s likely the neighbor’s are glad too. Apparently it’s genetic, my grandfather was known for flying into a rage watching the news. The item that earned the loudest screams, the debate moderator actually asked “Should China be punished or sanctioned because their initial response to Covid-19 was inadequate?” The Trumpian/neocon implication being that other countries should be punished by the US for doing what the US deems to be bad things? Who the hell made America the world’s policeman? And if we are going to talk about countries causing problems in other countries, the US has turned whole nations into failed states wreaking havoc across entire continents. So yeah, pot calling the kettle black, global style. And the idea that Covid-19 is a created bio-weapon requires layers of special pleading, so not likely. I’m losing my already shredded tolerance for propaganda. It never helps. Propaganda, not tolerance.

Well, if one ever wondered if something like Covid-19 would pull humanity together, the answer is pretty obvious. No, some nations are better than others, but turns out having a planet run on the “armed gang turf” model isn’t a good model for communal national response to a global emergency. Basically think of Covid-19 as an alien invasion, because that’s a pretty damn good analogy. It doesn’t care. And we’re squabbling among each other for the most part. Trump not exactly leading the charge for international cooperation in the face of this crisis.

Writing about this unfolding crisis is weird, thoughts and trends become irrelevant so quickly. I had more thoughts on the Bernie/Biden debate, but it’s already slipping away. Bernie thinks the Covid-19 crisis should force us to look at the problems in society that are making this such a disaster. Great, but it was preaching to the choir. Biden is the Democratic voice of corporate America, IE GOP lite. He sounded good though, he’s not senile yet. And the debate format clearly played to his neocon world view. At this point, who knows. Both could easily die of Covid-19 before the election. Reality bats last.

Yeah, it’s bad and getting worse. Last Friday my small rural Iowa town was mostly pretending everything is fine, in action (bars etc packed) and online. By today the tide was changing. The empty store shelves, Trump and the governor finally saying it’s an emergency. Too little too late I expect, it’s still exploding in Europe, and they were vastly more prepared for this than the USA. Oh, yeah, Biden at one point even said that Italy’s cradle-to-grave health care system had failed to prevent their outbreak, evidence that such wasn’t needed in the US. The “logic” in that is so frighteningly bad that yes, more screaming. We’re going to fare a lot worse than Italy, and our patchwork for-corporate-profit health care system is part of the reason.

Trump rated himself 10 out of 10 on his response to Covid-19, which is divorced from reality, but he believes it. At this point Covid-19 is looking like the worst pandemic since 1918, the worst depression since 1929. With Trump stridently claiming he’s got it under control the whole time, despite all evidence to the contrary. This is going to be like Hurricane Katrina, but national. Some of our friends and family will be dead before Christmas, barring a miracle.

Yes, so normal last week, peeps starting to freak out this week. Empty store shelves, limits on purchases. The first national disruption of my lifetime since the gas crisis of 73. And looking much worse than that already, though at least gas is in good supply. Yeah, fracking. I’m pretty stocked up, and have helped friends and neighbors already, because that’s why I stocked up. We’re all in this together.

In that vein, peace out to everyone I know, in contact with them or not. My estranged siblings, my friends old and new, Lars, Eric, Steve, my family, my readers, everyone. I’m at risk in the coming storm, if I go I want to be at peace with all. Even my mortal enemy, Anna-lisa Smoker. “You haven’t really lived until you’ve had a mortal enemy.” I’m quoting myself. I’ll try to make a near future post about the nuggets of supposed wisdom I’ve uttered or heard in my life. Might be my last chance.

So I had a bunch of links, most stale already. It’s bad people, not a hoax. And Covid-19 is worse because our system has failed the common good. This link is worth reading. And yeah, there’s a storm coming in. Hell of a thing. Take care everyone.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Anonymous Facebook meme. Credit: Riker’s Beard? Used without permission, will gladly attribute or remove upon request as required.)

Written by unitedcats

March 16, 2020 at 6:52 pm

I HAVE NO WORDS, GROCERS TO FIGHT A PANDEMIC?

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OK, I had a Covid-19 post already written. Then, Friday the 13th, Trump held a press conference where he announced a national emergency over Covid-19, the novel coronavirus pandemic that is spreading around the world. I’m still in shock over his event. Trump trotted out his crack team of … grocers … who are going to be our goto guys for fighting Covid-19. Not experts in public health or pandemics, no, those weren’t even consulted in the planning for this! And by grocers, I mean the heads of giant health care profiteers like Walgreens. People whose entire agenda is to make money from sick people. Wait, what? When your house is on fire, one sends in fire-fighters, not anyone else. Right?

And after all these guys gave a little rahrah speech for Trump, Pence gave a speech extolling Trump’s response to Covid-19 and claiming everything was all peachy, which was so divorced from reality that I had to stop listening. I’m having a real hard time processing this, Trump seems to have finally become aware that Covid-19 is real, not a hoax as he was claiming at first, but he thinks businessmen are the people to fight this? This is surreal, did I dream this, did I die this afternoon and this is a dying fever dream?

So yeah, crisis of the decade, if not my life, is upon us. We’re in a really interesting moment in history, gonna be wild. Like when Grant was approaching Richmond or Panzers were rolling over France. Surprize! Reality might very well change in big ways in the next few months. I’m gonna keep  blogging about it, because my whole life has been devoted to “What the hell is going on here?” And right now, “here” is overwhelming whatever comfortable fantasies Americans live under. Arguably we’re the most sheltered and coddled national population on Earth, so the Covid-19 shutdown is going to be an ugly shock to most Americans.

I hoped Trump would make it through his term without having to deal with something like this, most of the damage he’s done can at least potentially be rolled back. Ain’t no fixing this, a global crisis, and the guy in the White House is a failed businessman, skilled grifter, habitual liar, and reality show star. Not the skill set for dealing with a pandemic. As today’s performance showed. :( Convince me otherwise.

One last thought, Trump and Pence made a big deal about how their border closures made things so much better. And on one level, true enough, the fewer infected people arriving, the better. However, and it’s a huge however, that was only part of the battle. There was no question that Covid-19 was going to arrive in the US, so border restrictions just bought us time to deal with it when it got here. And that’s where Trump dropped the ball. They did nothing but pretend it was no big deal. And here we are, it’s spreading rapidly in the US, and we don’t even have a clue how much because zero preparation was made for widespread testing and containment procedures.

I had more, but most of it is rapidly being overtaken by events. The crisis of a generation is upon us, and the Trump administration isn’t handling it well. So barring a miracle, things are gonna get real ugly over the next few months. I hope and pray I’m wrong, time will tell I suppose.

Have a safe and sane weekend everyone. Comments appreciated, damned if I know what to make of all this. God bless.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: A Lewis Carrol illustration, The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits by Lewis Carroll, just a random image of something crazy, like today’s Trump national emergency declaration. Credit: Henry Holiday, This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 70 years or fewer.)

Written by unitedcats

March 13, 2020 at 7:32 pm