Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Trump’ Category

THE COVID-19 SHOW CONTINUES

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Well, here I am again. Front row seat as one of the great events of my time unfolds. Thursday, April 16, 2020. Lots has happened in just the past few days. Front row seats for two reasons: (There’s always multiple reasons for things.) One, here I am in the USA, the developed country worst hit by Covid-19, with no end in sight. Two, because I’ve been a student of history and how it relates to current events all my life, so I’ve got a lot of background research done. I guess a third level, Covid-19 and the ongoing pandemic have gotten the lion’s share of my thinking at least the past month.

So today’s thinking, it’s August 1914 or September 1939. December 1941 for the Yanks. In both cases the world people knew came to an end, and years of hardship followed before a new normal was established. For the uninitiated, in August 1914 the First World War started, few grasped what horrs it would inflict, many thought it would be gloriously brief. In September 1939 Hitler’s Germany invaded Poland, unleashing nearly a decade of horror. Yeah, a pandemic isn’t a war, yet, but it’s gonna get war level ugly. The third world especially is not equipped to deal with Covid-19, it’s going to be a bloodbath. Literally, there will be millions of dead people in the streets this summer. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

This is the best overview to date I’ve seen, even if one reads no other links on this page, check this one out. Our Pandemic Summer. That aside, what’s new? Trump blamed the WHO for fumbling its initial response to Covid-19, claiming if they had done their job properly instead of relying on what China was telling them, the outbreak might have been nipped in the bud, or at least the world would have had more time to prepare. And guess what, Trump’s right, both China and the WHO downplayed the severity of the epidemic initially. The head of the WHO should apologize and resign.

However, and it’s an Olympic size however, so what? That literally changes nothing about the current situation. And even more importantly, their mistakes cost the world days, Trump spent ten weeks after numerous parties were raising the alarm essentially doing nothing. Then there’s the part about accepting that Trump, a dyed-in-the-wool science denier and hater of all things foreign, would have even listened if the WHO had called the shots right. He’s blame shifting again, Covid-19 is skyrocketing still in the USA, and Trump still hasn’t stepped up to the plate …

See the image above, I find this a compelling image. In at least three cases US governors have made agreements to coordinate their struggle against Covid-19. (Apparently there’s one more compact.) Wait, shouldn’t the Federal government be coordinating the fight against Covid-19? Yes, yes they should. Trump has pretty much declared it’s up to the governors of US states to fight Covid-19, leading to the map above. And internationally, he has called for an end to US funding for the WHO, which would gut the agency at a time when it’s coordinating the global fight against Covid-19. He doesn’t actually have the power to do so, so who knows how it will play out. Still, when Lincoln was unhappy with the Union Army’s performance, he didn’t freaking fire the whole army.

So yes, the other reason I say I have front row seats. We are seeing in the US possibly the greatest failure of national and international leadership in my lifetime. Aside from a few hours of weird TV performances daily, Trump is letting the states and the world fend for themselves in the fight against Covid-19. And he has plenty of supporters, libertarian “government is bad” types who think (yes, I’ve talked to them) that Trump is right to leave it up to the states, and each nation should deal with Covid-19 on their own. Ideology trumps reason I guess. I am almost at a loss for words, how can one not understand that teamwork and cooperation is the best way to fight a common enemy?

So who knows where this is going. “It’s not going to end well” is about the safest thing to say. Trump is still promising miracles and claiming the country will start to reopen immediately. He’s not living in the real world, but in his defense, he has surrounded himself with people who only tell him good news. He likely actually thinks Covid-19 has peaked in the US. He’s wrong. And internationally, his failure to step up to the plate will further isolate the US and empower our designated enemies. The SCO, the Russia/China/India alliance has invited the WHO to their upcoming summit. The SCO has nearly half the world’s population, Trump’s missteps could literally lead us to a world where Europe and America no longer dominate the world order. If it means an end to our endless overseas wars, it could be a good thing.

Fun times. Have a safe and sane weekend everyone. Comments, shares appreciated. #StaytheFHome

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image credit: Created by Patrick Michael O’Shea, updated, reprinted with permission.)

Written by unitedcats

April 17, 2020 at 6:09 am

TRUMP DECLARES HE’S GOD AND OTHER NEWS AS THE WORLD ORDER COLLAPSES, BUT IT’S OBAMA, CHINA, AND THE WHO’S FAULT

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I hear Trump really lost it on his Monday address, claiming he is the boss of things, lashing out at his enemies. He also played a “clip show” that proves what a great job he’s done, it was weird on multiple levels, it’s on this site. His base will eat it up though. I’m going to watch Trump live this afternoon, history unfolding before my horrified eyes. Other countries get to listen to sane rational advice advice from health and pandemic specialists, we get to watch an increasingly frustrated man try to bullsh*t his way through a terrible crisis. It’s what Trump does unfortunately, he bullshitted his way into the White House, and has no real clue how to deal with an actual crisis. He actually thinks he’s one of the smartest people ever. No, he’s one of the most talented bullshit artists ever. Gotta give him his props, he’s good at it. Better than Obama in many ways.

Trump wasted the first ten weeks of the crisis basically doing nothing except claiming Covid-19 was no big deal, he had it under control, and it was all going to be OK. And now the USA has the world’s largest Covid-19 death toll, surpassing Italy. A stunning accomplishment for a developed nation on the opposite side of the world from China, where the pandemic originated. Covid-19 is well on track to kill more Americans than died in the Vietnam War, in about 1/20th of the time. As the days pass and the gap between reality and Trump’s claims grow, God only knows how he will react. I’ll watch today and write about it, and post at the end of this.

The quarantine stress and anxiety is starting to get to me. Most humans are really comfortable with the status quo, they just want their lives to go in a predictable and comfortable way. Change is stressful, that’s why for most people moving is one of the most stressful life events. Well, for all practical purposes, we’re all going to make multiple unplanned moves over the next few months without leaving our homes. I wish it wasn’t so, but here we are. A friend of a friend just died of Covid-19. She was 30 years old and in good health. Yeah, Covid-19 is just a cold. I wake up in the morning hoping this new normal is all a dream. Nope, here we are, living the nightmare.

One last thought before the Orange Trumpet of Purported Wisdom speaks. This is a great article about the history of how we got here, and how things may change. Basically as people should be noticing by now, working people are what make the economy run. Not CEOs, politicians, big corporations, celebrities, the stock market, or billionaires. And setting up an entire global economy to exploit the former to enrich the latter is a huge part of the reason we are in such an economic mess now. That’s possibly one of the most horrible things about this, if the world had been run rationally, humanity could have taken Covid-19 in stride. Instead we’ve been all guns, no butter since at least 1980.

<Trump’s address>

Well, that was weird. Second Trump Covid-19 briefing I’ve seen.  Tuesday, 14 April, 2020. Let’s see if I can sum it up. “Everything’s great, the WHO screwed up, not me. I saved all sorts of lives by not listening to them, and I’m cutting off their funding to investigate them and their pro-China bias. It’s all under control, the governors have all they need, much of the US is just fine, and soon enough we’ll be back to being the greatest economy the world has ever seen, and we’ll help everyone else out. Oh, and where we weren’t prepared it was Obama’s fault.” I’m sure his supporters were happy to hear once again Trump has it under control, those damned foreigners and Obama caused the problem, but Trump has done wonders saving us. Oh, almost forgot, once again  “No one could have seen this coming!”

There’s a few problems with his narrative. Whatever mistakes the WHO may have made were nothing in comparison to Trump doing nothing for ten weeks while Covid-19 spread. He once again made a big deal about how his closing travel from China was the right call and it saved so many lives. First of all, his travel ban closing was more a band-aid, only a small class of people were excluded, some 40,000 flew to the US from China after Trump closed the border. And stood in crowded airports (cough cough)  because the US didn’t have the capability to test arrivals. Trump’s travel ban did nothing basically.

His claim the Obama administration left the US unprepared was a whopper. The Obama administration fought two pandemics in its time, and left behind a pandemic plan and a pandemic team to deal with precisely things like Covid-19. Trump dismantled the team, and ignored the plan. Also note that because Obama had a plan and a team to deal with pandemics, the idea that “No one could have expected this!” is pure, unadulterated, bullshit. A lie as the old folks used to  call them.

Basically sounds like Trump is setting it up so he can blame governors if anything goes wrong, and if less than two million Americans die, it will be a great victory for Trump! In other words, he’s making sure he has scapegoats for anything that goes wrong, and his bar for success is so low he will be able to claim almost anything as a Trump victory. Trump still really does think he’s a genius, he’s handling this brilliantly, and soon enough this will all be behind us and the economy will be booming again. And of course he will be reelected and go on to leading America to greater glory.

And lastly no, Trump’s claims that the USA has testing all under control are bogus, the US is still dead last for testing in the developed world. IE it’s likely we don’t even yet have a good idea how bad it is in the US, so Trump’s claims it’s all good and we’ll be back to business soon are as bogus as all his prior claims about how it would soon be over. No, it won’t. 25,000 dead and rising by thousands a day now. And the world we knew is gone forever.

And if I’m full of it, and Trump does have it all back under control and normalcy returns in a few months, I’ll never have been happier in my life to be wrong. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay sane. #StaytheFHome

Comments, likes, shares appreciated.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Mount Kosciusko, seen from the Victorian border (Mount Hope Ranges) Painting, 1866. I found it in an image search for <hope>. There is hope Covid-19 will lead to a better world, but not anytime soon. Still, I choose to hope. Credit: Johann Joseph Eugene von Guérard 1811-1901. Public domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

April 14, 2020 at 6:57 pm

BERNIE DROPS OUT, MASS GRAVES, AND SCIENCE DENIAL

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Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 American election campaign, paving the way for Joe Biden to face off against Trump in the November election for POTUS. Well, I thought the 2016 election had the most horrible choice of candidates ever. Cersei Lannister vs Ramsay Bolton. For the non ‘Game of Thrones’ folks, Clinton vs Trump was like choosing between hanging or firing squad. Some choice. Bye Bernie, a lot of my friends will be sad. This is an interesting and different take on Bernie and his candidacy, I wouldn’t say it’s wrong.

So yeah, Biden vs Trump in 2020. That’s in November, months away. A global pandemic and a global economic collapse are underway, a confluence of global events not seen since at least World War Two. Anything could happen between now and then, and almost certainly will. So I don’t see any reason to worry about the election yet. And come October there will be only two issues, Covid-19 and the economy. We’ll see what Trump and Biden have to say then.

There has been an explosion of vote-shaming memes on Facebook. Memes basically claiming that Biden isn’t as much a sh*t sandwich as Trump, so all Bernie supporters and such should vote for him if they have any brains. And I understand, I can’t fault the basic logic. Trump is a ghastly president, on track to be the worst POTUS ever, it’s kind of like a crime family has taken over the White House. I see why people would hold their nose and vote for Biden in the hopes that he would be better than Trump. That’s what voting is all about, vote for the candidate of your choice.

What I am having trouble with on several levels, is why people sharing such memes think they are helping? How, exactly, is telling people they are stupid if they disagree with you helping? Telling me I’m an idiot if I don’t buy a product certainly doesn’t inspire me to go buy it, It’s especially weird since this sort of vote shaming didn’t help Hillary’s campaign any in 2016. Telling Bernie supporters they were idiots didn’t get Hillary elected, how is telling Bernie supporters they are idiots going to get their votes for Biden? I generally don’t vote for people if their supporters call me an idiot. Thinking people who disagree with you are stupid is the problem, not the solution. There are very good reasons not to vote for Biden. In any event I’ll decide who to vote for in November 2020. It’s entirely possible I’ll vote for Biden. But it’s my vote and I will cast it as I will decide.

Scary days. Trump will handle a global depression as well as he handled Covid-19. He will react way too late, and not do what needs to be done to boot. There will be plenty of blog fodder no doubt, and social isolation means I have lots of time to write. And read obsessively online. In no particular order a few recent interesting links and developments:

Covid-19 is spreading in Singapore, which is scary, because Singapore initially had a truly robust approach and kept it shut down. Until now. The takeaway is that the more we are learning about Covid-19, the scarier it gets. It’s a scary contagious disease. It’s sickening to think of the havoc it is going to cause in the US because so many, including my freaking governor, still think it will all magically blow over or something. The US is going to end up being isolated from the rest of the world because Covid-19 will still be raging here as the rest of the developed world gets it under control. Darkly ironic considering the hostility so many in the US view foreigners with. Now they’ll build walls to keep us here.

Also in the US, Covid-19 is already proving to be far more deadly to blacks than whites. No surprise to people aware of the fact that blacks are routinely and institutionally treated as second class citizens in the USA. I’ve also heard some tribal lands are being hit hard, but didn’t want to read further because it’s so depressing. In any event, this article depressingly lays out that ‘No, the Coronavirus is not an Equalizer.

Lastly, boy, the role science denial has played in America’s patchwork and uncoordinated response to Covid-14 can’t be underestimated. Science denial has become institutionalized in America, and decades of Global Warming Denial really paved the way for an unscientific response to Covid-19. America has always had an underbelly of anti-intellectualism, as Isaac Azimov put it nicely in 1980:

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

And it’s gotten worse in recent decades, spreading like a cancer through society and government. I wish I knew the answer, but a pandemic requires a rational science based response, and huge numbers of Americans couldn’t think rationally and scientifically if their lives depended on it.

And now their lives do depend on it. Have a safe and sane weekend everyone. #staythefuckhome

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Mass graves in New York City. I have no words, never thought I’d see this in my lifetime. Credit: BBCNews, used without permission, but claiming Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s definitely an historical image. What a disaster.)

Written by unitedcats

April 10, 2020 at 12:07 pm

WE’RE HOSED

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“We really are screwed, and so many people are not getting it yet. And much more so than just a pandemic. The whole world economy was finely tuned for one thing only, profit and exploitation. There was no slack to the system, and it’s all going to fall apart. It might well be worse than the great depression. It’s the end of an era, this fellow discusses it well. This isn’t just going to go away in a few months and everything will be back to normal. Nope, going downhill from here, the crazies will come out of the woodwork like so many demented cockroaches. They’ve already burned 5G towers in the UK based on the “theory” that Covid-19 is spread.”

I wrote that a few days ago. I think it’s understated now. Global civilization has been decapitated, the body will keep walking mindlessly for a bit, but it’s going to fall down soon. Everything is going to change. This isn’t The Great Depression or World War Two, it’s the Black Death or the Collapse of the Roman Empire. Yeah, I’ve always been Chicken Little, but maybe this time I’m right. I hope I’m wrong, change my mind.

In the near future here in good old America, it’s going to continue to get weirder every day. We will have Trump on TV constantly, increasingly disconnected from reality, claiming he has it all under control, blaming everyone but his administration for America’s Covid-19 disaster. That’s what’s going to get weird, the numbers of dead Americans are going to continue to spiral upwards, at what point will Trump’s supporters realize he doesn’t have a clue? I guess his plan is that Covid-19 will all blow over in a few months, he’ll claim it would have been much worse without his skills, and he sails into getting reelected claiming he saved a million American lives!

I don’t think it’s a particularly realistic plan, if hundreds of thousands of Americans die while the rest of the developed world keeps their death toll in the low ten thousands, wouldn’t people notice? Especially when their friends and loved ones die? Dunno though, once people become wedded to an ideology/religion, they can be remarkably resistant to changing their view. The historical precedents aren’t encouraging. By the time it gets so bad that core supporters lose faith, the damage is usually already done. Mussolini comes to mind. He’s actually a better Trumpian example than Hitler. Mussolini launched his legions against Britain in Egypt. Consumed by visions of riding into Cairo on a white horse as a conquering hero. It was a ridiculous fantasy. I’m guessing Trump’s reelection fantasies are equally absurd, but who knows.

So, speculation time. We’re through the looking glass folks. The only safe prediction is what sane people predicted at the start of WW1 and WW2: Who the hell knows where this will lead? The rise of authoritarian figures around the globe is a safe bet, details will vary. Pretty safe bet Trump and company will continue to transfer money and property to their corporate buddies, they were brazen about it before Covid-19, now they will pull all the stops out to give corporate America what they want. Which isn’t going to help the average American at all.

At some point I suspect Trump may use this as an excuse to further gut the social safety net. “Sorry, no more SSI, the government is broke.” No more Post Office. No more Medicaid. Any sort of election funny business is also a distinct possibility. No one can say they weren’t warned. And who knows, I don’t think Trump is above starting a war if he thinks it will improve his election chances.

So internationally, yes, gonna see some ugly stuff. Authoritarians are going to use the pandemic as an excuse/cover to seize power. A great time to settle old scores, widespread ethnic cleansing is a definite possibility. Israel might well use the Covid-19 collapse  as an excuse for the so-called transfer plan. IE simply kick the Palestinians out and annex the occupied territories. Could we see bigger things, like regional or even a world war? The former more likely than the later, but anything is possible going forward from here. There are still way too many nuclear weapons floating around too, best not to even think about that too much.

Writing about this is cathartic for me. I am certainly feeling a fair bit of stress and anxiety. And I’m fairly well set in a pretty safe place, I can’t imagine what it’s like in the front lines. I’ll try to end on a few positive notes. All things considered, a zombie apocalypse is extremely unlikely. The same for alien invasion, even less likely than a zombie apocalypse. So two less things the gentle reader has to worry about. Lastly, is the antichrist going to show up? It would sure seem like a good time. Nope. That’s because he’s already here, and doing just fine.

A few interesting links:

America is Committing Economic Suicide. Posits the stimulus is not even close to what we need to do.

The American South is screwed.

Trump the worst president ever! Well, a case can be made.

Burying people in parks, need more evidence we are in uncharted waters?

The Trump administration literally wasted two months before responding to the Covid-19 threat. I was freaking stocking up before the government acted on the issue. OMFG.

Linked above, worth a read, Trump really is a messiah to some people, here’s how he does it.

A long but interesting read about how this might all change things.

Lastly, the Prime Minister of the UK is in intensive care suffering from Covid-19. Anyone who is still thinking Covid-19 is a cold or flu needs to snap out of their shit.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay sane. #staythefuckhome

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved. Please share.

(Image: Public domain Snappygoat image.)

Written by unitedcats

April 6, 2020 at 7:51 pm

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