Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Trump’ Category

93 DAYS. GIVE ME LIBERTY. AND DEATH.

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Posted this meme because this is entitlement illustrated. Granted I doubt the people that are entitled will see that, that’s how entitlement works, one thinks that society should make special exemptions for you. There’s no reason not to wear masks in public, there’s no reason why businesses should serve someone who isn’t wearing a mask. Businesses can refuse to serve people on any basis other than some fairly narrow (but extremely important) issues like race, religion, etc. This idea makes about as much sense as a “No traffic laws hour.” Hopefully at least some people can understand why that doesn’t make any sense … because it would endanger all sorts of other law abiding people.

The post title came from this editorial: Double, Double, “Trump’s Toil, Our Trouble.” I liked it, and it matches my thinking in a lot of ways. So I suppose confirmation bias is at play. Read it gentle reader and see I suppose. I’m more and more despairing of Trump and his followers ever seeing the light. Maybe if Rush Limbaugh or Trump dies of Covid-19. Herman Cain’s death doesn’t seem to have done the trick, though Trump’s support is continuing to shrink. 93 days until he is voted out of office. Or who knows. What a depressing frustrating time to be alive. Especially in America, a country that seems to have lost its way.

One of the things future historians are going to be most baffled by is Trump’s utter failure to fight Covid-19, it’s not like Trump couldn’t see it coming, and it wouldn’t have been hard to throw up some sort of plan to mitigate it. I’m baffled still. It was Trump’s chance to shine and be the hero and leader he claims he is. If Covid-19 deaths were under 50k and the economy was cautiously reopening, like every other freaking developed (and many undeveloped) countries, he’d be comfortably sailing towards reelection while Biden and the Dems floundered. Granted Biden and the Dems are still floundering, Clinton grasped defeat from the jaws of victory in 2016, I wouldn’t be shocked if Biden pulls the same hat trick in 2020.

Meanwhile, Trump is blaming his falling support on the idea that “nobody likes my personality.” No Mr Trump, your popularity is sinking because Covid-19 is out of control in the US, and you seem unable or unwilling to address it. All Trump seems to be doing these days is whining and trying Hail Mary strategies to save his reelection chances. Promoting quack doctors, quack cures, blaming China and everyone else for his failure to mount an effective Covid-19 strategy for America. One of his latest is to try and ban Tik-Tok. Irrelevant, makes zero sense, likely will cost him even more support, especially among young people.

Trump’s attempt to turn the Portland protests into some sort of rallying point seems to have failed. Yeah, there’re always a few jerks among protest movements, but the idea that the Portland protest is some sort of anarchist/terrorist driven plot to destroy America doesn’t seem to be gaining traction. The protests don’t seem to be accomplishing a whole lot either, here’s an interesting black perspective on the whole deal.

Oh, yeah, schools reopening. What horseshit. There’s this thing called reality. It doesn’t give a crap about us wanting to “get back to normal.” I’m changing my thinking about a lot of things as this global disaster unfolds, and one of my current thoughts is that people are far more out of touch with reality than in my worst nightmares. It’s no wonder that over 5,000 human civilizations have collapsed, my current thinking is that successful civilizations (and yeah, there’s many wonderful things about civilization) sooner or later get to the point where the “map” or philosophy or worldview of the civilization gets so incongruent with reality that the whole edifice rots and collapses.

The fantasies of the ultra rich and powerful in said civilization seem to contribute to the same. The rich and powerful in America have used Covid-19 to get even richer. Yes gentle reader, the upwards transfer of wealth in America has accelerated under Covid-19. This article is from May, but I can’t find anything that refutes it. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that if a civilization’s  rich see a global calamity as an opportunity to get richer, it’s not a sign of a healthy civilization.

Oh well, a golden age for bloggers and memes and billionaires. Well, not a golden age for me. Hell, Trump is trying to take away my health care. Because you know, depriving 20 plus million Americans of their health care in a global pandemic is going to be so good for the country. I’d say where’s Jesus when we need him, but even if he did come back now he’d go down in a hail of rubber bullets and tear gas. Or worse, crucifixes in the future would show Our Saviour covered with rubber bullet bruises, as a cop kneeled on his neck while pepper spraying him in the face.

Fun times. Stay safe everyone, Comments, shares, likes appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #BaghdadBurning

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image publicly posted on Facebook of unknown genesis, used without permission. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

August 1, 2020 at 8:03 pm

94 DAYS, AND HERE COMES AUGUST

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“Constant incredulity is the only non-contrived response to life.” My ex-wife said that decades ago, she was wise beyond her years. Not surprised she divorced my sorry ass, I wasn’t much of a husband. These days, my incredulity is in danger of burning out. Today’s theory is that huge numbers of Americans are so out of touch with reality that they wouldn’t recognize it if it hit them in the face. Though certainly hearing stories of people coming around as they are sick or dying of Covid-19. Covid-19 is actually a real thing, go figure.

In that vein, looking like a lot of otherwise OK Covid-19 survivors have damaged hearts. I’m sure plenty will dismiss this as “fake news.” Decades of Rush Limbaugh and his ilk have turned a lot of brains to mush. I’m getting less inclined to be diplomatic as this insanity continues. We have a president praising a “doctor” who’s about as much of a quack as it’s possible to be (see previous  post,) so it’s no wonder so many of Trump’s remaining supporters keep thinking (if thinking is the operative word here) that actual science is some sort of plot to embarrass Trump. OK then.

Continuing in this vein, a new study indicates that Covid-19 aerosols remain infectious in the air for up to 16 hours. IE the droplets expelled by infectious people from simply breathing. This is apparently unusual, most viruses start breaking down much sooner. Although not surprising in that the evidence is very much pointing at Covid-19 being mostly spread by being in a room with a Covid-19 infected person. We knew really early on Covid-19 was a freakishly contagious disease, now we’re starting to understand why. Now if science could only  figure out why stupidity is so contagious.

I saw this article, not exactly sure how to take it. Claiming that Jared Kushner’s coronavirus task force decided no national response to Covid-19 was needed, because it was primarily a Blue State problem. It’s certainly believable, the GOP has politicized Covid-19 from the very beginning. That’s not really debatable, they turned wearing masks into a freaking political issue for Christ’s sake, which is so stupid as to beggar belief. These are the people who turned married couples’ genitals into a political issue though. In any event, the reason why no national response to Covid-19 has been launched doesn’t freaking matter. It’s stupid beyond belief no matter what the reason, as dumb as Roosevelt saying “Well, Hawaii can handle the Japanese, the attack on Pearl Harbor isn’t really a national problem.” As my friend Jonny recently said “We’re just so screwed man it’s sad.” Three months to go.

Anyhow, weekend coming up, here’s a few non Covid-19 links I found of interest. Scientists won an Ig Nobel Prize for a study about whether cats should be classified as liquids or solids. From Wikipedia: “The Ig Nobel Prize is a satiric prize awarded annually since 1991 to celebrate ten unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research, its stated aim being to “honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.” The name of the award is a pun on the Nobel Prize, which it parodies, and the word ignoble.” Being an ailurophile, I got a big kick out of it: Are cats liquid or solid?

Well, Japanese scientists did a study that required them to paint zebra stripes on cows. Science is often fun, what can I say. I mean, getting paid to paint zebra stripes on cows, how cool is that? The idea being that maybe zebra stripes protect against fly bites. Looks like a good study, looks like the stripes really did reduce fly bites. They aren’t sure why, they conjecture it somehow confuses the flies’ visual perception. I’m a little puzzled, if it was so effective wouldn’t more animals have evolved zebra stripes? And I always thought the purpose of zebra stripes was dazzle camouflage, IE it made it harder for a predator to single out a single zebra in the herd? Fun stuff though, if one starts seeing zebra striped cows, this is why.

Lastly, I Dream of Jeannie. My older readers will recognize that, a classic sitcom from the sixties. 1965 to 1970 I believe. A different world then. Especially television, there were only three networks, and it was much easier for shows to achieve cultural icon status. I was just a kid, wasn’t one of my faves, I was into science fiction even then. I was one of the kids who thought “Lost in Space” was much better than “Batman.” That was the big schoolyard debate then, simpler times. Less nuanced times? The lost country, as I’ve mentioned before. Anyhow, stumbled on this article analyzing the show from a sociological perspective: Jeannie’s American DreamThe Assimilation of a TV Icon. I thought it was a fascinating thought provoking read, I hope my readers enjoy it.

Stay safe and stay sane this weekend gentle readers. I will continue to blog daily as long as I am able. Judging from my doctor visit today, that might be more limited than I had hoped. No one lives forever. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Random image publicly posted on Facebook of unknown genesis, used without permission. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

July 31, 2020 at 8:51 pm

95 DAYS, AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

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Yeah, I’m 63 years old today. How the hell did this happen? My plan to die young and be a horrible warning has gone tragically awry. And judging from the image above, I’m not even doing old age right. A Covid-safe birthday of course, cake for one. I’ll throw something at the cat maybe. I had the wrong birth date listed on Facebook out of excessive caution. In 1984 creepy as F fashion Facebook changed the date to the correct date. Oh well, at least all my Facebook friends sent me birthday greetings on the right day this year.

The election countdown continues. Trump suggested that the election might have to be postponed because of Covid-19. Outrage, justifiably enough, from many quarters. Trump doesn’t have the authority to change the election date, so just more of his nonsense. He’s running scared and grasping at straws. Like his endless complaining it’s going to be the most corrupt election in history. (Easy on the hyperbole sport, it’s getting old.) Safe bet that if he loses, he will claim the election was rigged. Not sure what he would be able to do about it though. His latest wall around the White House is 13 foot high. So it’s going to hurt when he gets tossed over it. (Since I wrote this even Republican leaders have said no way to his election delaying fantasy.)

And even if somehow the election is delayed, it’s not like Covid-19 is going to magically go away or the economy will magically recover. The economy is tanking at a frightening rate actually, no doubt Trump will claim this is fake news or a Democratic hoax. His fantasised ability to bend reality to his bidding doesn’t really work that way, neither problem (the economy or Covid-19) can be solved with a sharpie on a chart.

Came across the below meme about the doctor Trump was touting as support for his Covid-19 treatment:

I can’t make this shit up, living in a world where facts have left fiction in the dust. On the plus side, Trump doubling down on trying to appeal to his Evangelical, science denying, magical thinking base is a good thing. They are still a definite minority in America despite the best efforts of the quiverfull movement, alienating everyone else isn’t going to help him win in November.

Trump has decided to pull 12,000 troops from Germany. He’s punishing Germany for something or other is the claim. Screams of outrage from some quarters, far less understandable in this case. If the troops are actually coming home, great. Nato’s raison d’etre ceased to exist over 30 years ago, the more troops the US pulls from abroad the better, at this point as our economy is nose diving we really should consider cutting military spending, there are a few problems in America more pressing than defending against essentially non-existent overseas threats. Caitlin Johnston covers this tempest in a teapot nicely: The Exit of 12,000 US Troops is the Single Worst Event in German History. When Caitlin is on form, she’s on form.

A few quick notes. A double lung transplant saved a Covid-19 patient. When was the last time someone with a cold or flu needed a double lung transplant? Once again for those in the back, Covid-19 is a terrible disease, it’s not just a new cold or flu.

Turns out coating things with copper really helps stop the spread of infections in hospitals. Good news, though peak copper is a thing. Hospitals and doctor’s exam rooms are going to look a lot different in years to come as this is put into practice. Gonna drive up the price of copper though. Peak copper and copper theft are already issues. More incentive to develop asteroid mining I hope, there’s single asteroids out there that contain more of certain metals than exist in the entirety of Earth’s crust.

Lastly, still getting into debates with people who think Biden is as bad as Trump. On the one hand, can’t argue with them, Biden is a terrible choice on multiple levels. There’s nothing even slightly progressive about him, he’s an utter tool of big corporations, the rich, and the Pentagon. Point granted, he’s no better than Clinton in 2016. I loathe both parties, both of them have been selling out poor, working, and middle class Americans since at least 1980.

However, and it’s a huge giant in-your-face however, in 2016 Trump was just a scary candidate with numerous red flags. 2020, Trump is insane. He lives in a fantasy world where he is a genius and a great world leader. His utter inability to lead has resulted in an epic  economic and health catastrophe in America. One of these things is not like the other. I still and to my dying day encourage people to cast their vote as they prefer, that’s the whole idea of democracy. However, unlike 2016 where I didn’t bother to vote, this time I will indeed vote for anyone who I think might win over Trump.

IDK. My crystal ball burst into flames months ago. 95 days, anything could happen between now and the election. I don’t have a spear, but I do have a sword. The way things are going, might be my saving grace. Oh, my old friend did call me. Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Random images publicly posted on Facebook of unknown genesis, used without permission. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

July 30, 2020 at 9:36 pm

I USED TO THINK THAT “READING/HEARING THAT MADE MY HEAD HURT” WAS A FIGURE OF SPEECH

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I was wrong, it’s not a figure of speech. I read something this morning that did in fact make my head hurt. Numb at times too, so mind numbing is also a thing. Yes, reading Trump’s latest pronouncement literally made my head hurt. I sure hope “that made my head explode” is a figure of speech, because we’re getting there.

Trump said that the malaria medication he has been touting to treat Covid-19 was only rejected as a treatment because he recommended it. Yes, he did say that. This means, correct me if I’m wrong gentle reader, Trump thinks the entire world’s medical establishment, millions of people, would see their patients, friends, and family die … and they would rather die themselves … rather than admit Trump was right. I pretty much went into shock, and yes, again,  it literally made my head hurt to think about.

And this made me realize I was wrong about Trump. I was wrong about a lot of things. It’s made me re-evaluate some deeply, almost unconsciously, held beliefs. I finally realise on a core level that Trump actually believes the things he says. He actually believes he is a combination of Christ and Julius Caesar, that he  is this super genius world leader. And the only reason things aren’t working out in his favor is that millions of people are conspiring against him to make him look bad. He actually fucking believes this. 

There certainly were plenty of signs of this earlier. Sharpiegate being maybe the most obvious. Or maybe his contention that Americans were wearing masks to make him look bad. (Does it even need to be said that Americans are wearing masks to avoid spreading a terrible disease?) This man actually believes that the stuff he says is true. He literally is living in a fantasy world of his own creation.

And worse, and this is where I was wrong about Trump and Hitler, his followers believe everything he believes too. Hitler was the same, he actually believed that the world’s Jews were all secretly conspiring to rule the world, and their secret machinations had caused Germany to lose World War One. A contention that utterly fails any logical rational analysis. Even Hitler’s allies like Finland and Japan realized it was nonsense. But millions of Germans believed it, and murdered millions of innocent men, women, and children in defence of this insanity.

I was wrong, on some level I’ve always assumed that except for the raving mad, most people understand that there is this thing called reality. And it is utterly indifferent to what people believe, it’s reality, the Universe we live in. The floor we are standing on is real. If we punch a wall and break a fist, it’s because the wall is real. I finally see that huge numbers of people don’t really understand this. If Trump says it, it’s real for them. No debate, no evidence, essentially nothing will change their minds. Trump’s the messiah for them, every word out of his mouth is God’s truth.

It was exactly the same for Hitler. Trump and Hitler both were/are so unalterably convinced of their rightness that their confidence sucked millions of people into their fantasy world. I guess humans are programmed, at least a lot of them, to follow messianistic leaders. I guess there’s evolutionary advantages to having a lot of tribal members unquestionably follow a confident tribal leader. Except of course we no longer live in tribal villages, and it’s not clear at all that this kind of devotion is a good thing anymore. Following Hitler killed a hundred plus million people and left Germany in ruins. Following Trump has killed over a hundred thousand Americans with no end in sight, not to mention devastating our economy and world standing.

But to Trump and his followers, no, whatever has resulted is because so many people want Trump to fail. No Trumper readers, us non Trumpers desperately want Trump to tackle Covid-19 using science, reason, consulting with experts; like pretty much every other developed country has done. Nope, to Trump and his ilk, anyone who doesn’t agree with him is the enemy who wants America to fail. Sigh. I’m fond of saying “we’re not really an intelligent species.” I was wrong. We’re not even a sane species. On the plus side, that we still exist is proof the aliens don’t exist. If they did, they’d have exterminated us long ago.

The pic above. Trump promoted a doctor whose medical beliefs come straight out of the Middle Ages. Health problems are caused by dream sex with demons and witches. No worries, his followers will believe her, that’s how the messiah thing works. Trump’s never wrong. Trump can’t be wrong, he’s the messiah.

I’m gonna post every day until the election. It’s the craziest time of my life, I do so to honor my current readers, and to provide a chronicle for future readers. Sorry if not as polished as most of my historical posts. 96 days now to the election? Trump continues to fortify the White House. I continue to evolve my thinking. Trump is the Hitler of our time. I can only hope he’s removed from power before he does as much damage as Hitler. Biden may be a horrible candidate on multiple levels, but pretty sure he doesn’t live in a fantasy world of his own creation.

What a time to be alive. Stay safe everyone. Comments and shares appreciated. Jesus H Christ. #StaytheFuckHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Random image publicly posted on Facebook of unknown genesis, used without permission. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

July 29, 2020 at 8:38 pm

97 DAYS

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97 days to the weirdest election of my life. At least I hope there’s an election. Came across the above, basically true. Trump’s campaign platform is that he’s going to fix problems he created. Plus problems that don’t exist. Covid-19, oh yeah, he’ll have a vaccine by early next year and the army is on standby to deliver it! Woohoo, Covid-19 will all go away if Trump gets reelected, he promises! Right. It may not even be possible to develop a vaccine against Covid-19. Or it might be like the flu vaccine, helpful, but doesn’t eliminate the flu. Also, huge numbers of Americans won’t even wear a piece of cloth on their face, not to mention the USA is the world capital of anti-vaxxers. Safe to say that large numbers of Americans will resist getting a vaccine. And the bottom line is that even if we get a vaccine, it’s only one part of the sort of comprehensive test/trace/quarantine program required to get Covid-19 under control. A program which as yet Trump refuses to create. Then of course the idea that the guy whose incompetence made America the worst hit by Covid-19 nation is going to fix it, is, well, somewhere between pathetic and ludicrous.

And then there’s the “riots” and “cities under siege” Trump’s going to fix. He was even talking about sending 75,000 cops/troops into American cities. Where the hell these 75,000 cops are going to come from is anyone’s guess. I’d say something rude about where Trump’s going to pull them from, but I’ll leave it up to the gentle reader to imagine. And in any event the demonstrations (there was little to no rioting) were dying down until Trump sent in his DHS wannabe cops, who blew the situation up and triggered more protests.  Oh, yes, there’s been police riots, but Faux News doesn’t mention those.

I don’t even want to go into the idea that Biden is some sort of arch socialist who’s going to destroy America, or that the protestors are all arch anarchists trying to destroy America. It’s freaking ludicrous, but people believe it. Saw a Facebook meme today about hunting protesters for sport, and it was serious. Thanks Trump, you’ve done more to turn Americans against each other than any president in my lifetime.

Moving right along, here’s a good editorial: “What the coronavirus has revealed is the power of America’s cult of selfishness. And this cult is killing us.” Worth a read, though us old folks who have watched America turn into a land of selfish children the past few decades will no doubt be familiar with much of it.

An article by a reformed Covid-19 truther, a fellow who was adamant that Covid-19 was all just a Democratic hoax to make Trump look bad. And  he caught it himself, and infected a number of relatives, some of whom died. Yeah, a wake up call for him. I’ve mentioned this before, but most truthers of any ilk face essentially zero personnel consequences for their beliefs and actions. Sandy Hookers, 9/11 Truthers, Birthers, whatever. They can hold their beliefs and suffer nothing worse than occasional ridicule. Which if anything will reinforce their beliefs. Covid-19 Truthers, yeah, sooner or later there will almost certainly be serious consequences for their beliefs. Covid-19 doesn’t give a shit what you believe. Sadly though Covid-19 Truthers won’t read this article, and even if they did they would dismiss it as just fake news. Until Covid-19 kills someone they know there’s little likelihood of them coming around, especially with so many public figures still spewing “It’s only a cold!” and other such dogs*t.

Q-Anon. I’d heard of them, but was only vaguely familiar. In brief: “The world of QAnon is one in which Trump is a lone, heroic warrior, the only person strong enough to take a stand against a nebulous entity they call the “deep state”. The deep state is a secret shadow government, led by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, philanthropist George Soros, and others, existing to facilitate unspecified corruption and — hold onto your hats — their global pedophilia ring. In the QAnon world, the US Democratic party, the deep state, and pedophilia are essentially synonymous.” Yes, gentle readers, actual human beings actually believe this. Sigh. As the article says, sociologists will be studying this for decades, up there with the Tulip mania and other such mass delusions. Anyhow, a good article deconstructing the Q-anon phenomenon.

Lastly, several readers have asked if I want to reconsider my Trump isn’t  Hitler article of 2018. Honestly, yes and no. In many senses I stand by it, I think such comparisons can limit our thinking. On the other hand, not any question that whatever Trump is or isn’t, I am far more horrified by Trump now than I was then. I still think WW3 with millions of Americans sent to concentration camps is unlikely, but sure not going to bet on it. I will add that there is a parallel between the two I missed. Both men were absolutely convinced of what they believed and said. Self confidence at a level that, well, sane people in touch with reality can never achieve. Reality is way too complicated and nuanced for absolute assurance. This trait however is why both Trump and Hitler developed a cult like following, a lot of people just can’t resist a leader who exudes absolute confidence. Human nature I guess, another one for the sociologists, psychologists, and historians to ponder.

Lastly, there’s an increasing possibility, which I don’t see many people mentioning, that even if Trump doesn’t turn into Hitler, he may do such grave damage to the republic that someone far far worse than Trump could seize power.

Sleep tight gentle readers. Stay safe. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Random image publicly posted on Facebook of unknown genesis, used without permission.)

Written by unitedcats

July 28, 2020 at 7:45 pm

LETTER TO AN OLD FRIEND

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Got a phone call from one of my two oldest best friends today. I have known him since seventh grade, that would be since 1970. Fifty years of friendship. Good times through thick and thin.  I haven’t talked to him in months. I didn’t answer his call. I didn’t answer it because he’s a Trump supporter. And now is not a good time for me to talk to Trump supporters. Still, he deserves a response:

Dear XXXX,

I saw you called today. I was unable to answer it. I range between crippling depression and frightening rage these days. These are not good times. I still love you man, I still got your back no matter what. It’s not a good time to talk though. I now have friends and family who are DEAD of Covid-19. And they are dead because Trump is a science denying, magical thinking, narcissistic idiot whose unbelievably incompetenncompetant response to Covid-19 has made America the world’s epicenter of the pandemic. A president so freaking stupid he brags about passing a senility test. 

You’re a smart guy, you’re the person who actually awakened my love of science and reason. Decades ago having lunch in High School sitting on the south side of campus you had drawn lines on the sidewalk showing where the Sun’s shadow fell and moved as the year progressed. Remember that? It awakened in me a desire to look at the Universe we lived in, and understand it. I’ll always be thankful for that, it changed my life.

Fast forward. When Trump was running for POTUS, you were a big supporter. I had my doubts, but when he was elected, I had hopes he would think outside the box, he wasn’t a slimy Washington politician like all the rest. I even remember saying maybe he will meet with Putin and put a freaking end to the insane Cold War between the US and Russia. A man can dream. Trump certainly made some great promises to get elected. Universal health care. Infrastructure spending. Tax the rich. Drain the swamp. Reduce our foreign adventures. Remember those promises?

Trump didn’t. He proved to be the best friend corporate America and the Pentagon ever had, a president who did everything in his power to make the rich richer. A president who not only didn’t drain the swamp, he freaking did everything he could to turn the country over to industry lobbyists. A president who made Reagan look like a piker when it came to putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

I understand Trump’s appeal still. He absolutely believes in himself, a man so exuding self confidence it’s almost infectious. Trump is not only convinced he’s a genius of epic proportions, he’s so self confident he thinks he can bend reality to his will. A president who actually believes he can wish Covid-19 away. A man who actually believes he is a national and world leader confronting the worst health crisis the US has seen since the 1918 flu pandemic. It will all be gone by April, it will just disappear! Etc etc etc.

And now there’s hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed Americans with no end in sight. I didn’t buy Clinton losing the election because of Putin, I don’t buy Trump’s pathetic excuses as to why he isn’t responsible for the Covid-19 catastrophe raging unchecked across America. No one in their right mind does. The Buck stops here as Truman said.

Call me again, I’ll answer. If you are still a Trump supporter, don’t bring up Trump or Covid-19. I don’t want to burn any bridges with an old friend, but that’s what will happen if you’re still a Trump supporter. No regrets, no apologies. Trump is the first president in my lifetime I wouldn’t take a bullet for. I love my country, I served my country,  I’d die for my country, … but I won’t die for a POTUS whose  hubris and idiocy is destroying my country. Fuck Trump and anyone still deluded enough to support him.

Your call old friend.

God save us all, Trump sure isn’t going to. Comments, shares appreciated. #StaytheFhome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Random image publicly posted on Facebook of unknown genesis, used without permission.)

Written by unitedcats

July 27, 2020 at 9:02 pm

Posted in Covid-19, Personal, Trump

100 DAYS

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Another quick post. 100 days until Trump loses his re-election bid. And 836 years after the Erfurt Latrine Disaster, but I digress. I read an article that is a fascinating perspective from one who lived through the start of an actual dictatorship that disappeared 30,000 or so people. I actually have no idea what the rest of 2020 is going to bring, anyone who says they do is a liar or an idiot. Both are surprisingly common in contemporary America.

Article linked in a moment,  horrible but interesting. The author makes one point I think is right on: If Trump actually does try to cancel the election, refuse to leave office, whatever, and barricades himself in the White House surrounded by his “army” of wanna-be soldiers, IE his DHS thugs he has been using to attack peaceful protesters in Portland … it’s not going to be pretty. And it’s not going to last long.

The Pentagon has one of the greatest scams in history going, they aren’t going to stand for President Bone Spurs, draft evader extraordinaire, a man who gets zero respect from actual soldiers, dismantling the republic. We will quickly see on live TV the 101st airborne et al march into Washington to restore the Republic, and they will make very short work of Trump’s DHS thugs (and any “I need a haircut” armed loons foolish enough to stand with them.) DHS wanna-be soldiers who get their jollies dressing up in soldier uniforms and tear gassing and beating up peaceful protesters will stand zero chance against real soldiers with Abrams tanks and Apache gunships. Tear gas and rubber bullets vs tanks and helicopter gunships manned by veterans. It will be effing glorious to see.

And by that point the vast majority of Americans will stand with the Pentagon, not a deluded failed president whose incompetence, hubris, lies, and magical thinking has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, devastated the economy, and utterly destroyed America’s prestige, influence, and respect abroad.

Yeah, I’m an optimist. I have no freaking idea what the next 100 days will bring, but willing to bet it’s going to be a wild ride. Here’s the article, read it and decide for yourself gentle reader. Stay safe and stay sane in these perilous times. God bless America. (It’s a figure of speech my atheist readers, I’m ignostic.) #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Random image publicly posted on Facebook of unknown genesis, used without permission.)

Written by unitedcats

July 26, 2020 at 7:39 pm

BY HIS OWN WORDS HE SHALL BE JUDGED

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Another post soon. I’m just numb with horror. Horror that Covid-19 is raging essentially unchecked across America, and horror that Trump still has millions of supporters oblivious to his failure by his own words to take responsibility for the carnage. 150,000 dead Americans, God rest their souls.  Jesus wept. Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Written by unitedcats

July 25, 2020 at 8:09 pm

Posted in Covid-19, Personal, Trump

COVID-19, PERFECTLY TAILORED TO TARGET THE WILLFULLY IGNORANT? AND HOW DID TRUMP MISS THE OPPORTUNITY OF THE CENTURY?

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Was Covid-19 designed to target the willfully ignorant? What do I mean by that. I mean that unlike most ongoing natural disasters, this one’s easy to mischaracterize. The lava is coming, the dam has broken, the earthquake is happening … everyone is pretty much going to agree what to do, even if it’s just screaming and running. To some extent all plagues are more deniable, but Covid-19 hits under the waterline in additional ways. It kills a lot of people, but not enough to really freak everyone out. If it killed 10% of it’s victims, everyone would be going nuts. Better yet, it mostly kills the old! Makes it easy to ignore all the healthy people it kills. And finally the frosting on the cake, and the full horror and diabolical extent of this is still being revealed, for every person it kills, dozens have long term or permanent health deficits from Covid-19.

In other words, Covid-19 was the perfect weapon to fire at groups of willfully ignorant people and governments. I don’t mean stupid people, I mean people who use religion, ideology, magical thinking to guide their life. As opposed to people who at least try to use reason and science. The former’s risk assessment skills are spotty at best. (“It’s just a cold folks!” “It will all be gone by Easter!”) The latter, well, Vietnam took Covid-19 seriously in January. No fatalities, a handful of cases. My freaking American rural county has fared worse than the entire nation of Vietnam. Jesus wept.

So yeah, Covid-19 is the perfect weapon to deploy against Trump and similar? Is it going to kill/maim far more Modi/Trump/Boris/Putin people than others? Sure looks like it. If this aspect of Covid-19 turns out to be real, what does it mean? Is it just a coincidence? Did some secret liberal/commie lab invent Covid-19? Satan? Aliens? Let’s speculate …

First of all, I think the evidence is overwhelming that Covid-19 is a natural or feral virus. The experts in the field, and viruses are a very well studied field, say it has all the earmarks of a naturally evolved virus. There’s no global dissenters, the entire virology/epidemiology  field agrees. If evidence to the contrary emerges, I’ll reassess, but for starters we can safely eliminate this possibility as unlikely.

Are there other possibilities? Well, aliens. Maybe. At least if we postulate they exist, they would have the technology to do so, unlike hypothetical human agents creating Covid-19. Still, it’s a magical possibility. Same category as “God did it!” Or “Satan did it!” Circular reasoning, special pleading, whatever. As with the comic book idea that a human lab created Covid-19, if evidence emerges supporting the above, I’ll reassess.

So was Covid-19 being the perfect weapon to defeat Trump just a coincidence? Yeah, probably. Occam’s Razor tells us that. It’s the possibility that requires the least number of assumptions. Doesn’t always turn out to be the case, but only because new evidence shows up. With the evidence we have, Covid-19 was a natural and utterly predictable event. Especially since experts in the field have been warning us about this possibility pretty much all our lives, especially since the 1990s. It’s the most likely explanation, people that can’t accept that as a starting point in a debate, well, be careful, they may not be taking proper Covid-19 preparations either.

So, moving on. One caveat. It’s important to understand there are two faces to  an event. What actually happened, and how people responded to it. And by that I mean that yes, Covid-19 was a naturally occurring event … but … in January 2020 the smart with-it generals and other experts tasked with protecting nations … or concentrations of wealth … started having meetings. Started sitting down and brainstorming “What does Covid-19 mean, what threats does it pose, and can we use it to our advantage?” Is any major power or player using Covid-19 as a weapon yet? Maybe, I don’t see any evidence of it, but something to watch out for.

The speculation I wanted to put forward based on all of the above is this, what if Covid-19 is evidence that Evolution works in ways we don’t yet understand? What if on some as yet scientifically unexplored level this virus evolved to target things like Trump rallies, Evangelical church services, and other gatherings of Covid-19 denying folk. The perfect storm nature of the Covid-19 sure makes me wonder.

And it all could have been different too. Trump could have lept into action in January 2020, closed the borders, and used the awesome resources at his disposal to set up a  huge national test and trace program to stop Covid-19 from getting a foothold in America. He would have been ridiculed for a few months … and he would be an American God by now. If he had pulled off a Vietnam type Covid-19 response, with only a handful of dead Americans while hundreds of thousands died world wide, pretty sure his reelection would be a shoe in.

So in other words, Vietnam defeated us in war, and now they’ve defeated us in peace. Johnson and Nixon get the blame for the former, Trump gets it for the latter. He missed the golden ring he’s always aspired to, and will now go down in history like Nero at best, Caligula at worst. He wanted to be a Caesar, instead he is a Didius Julianus. Or a Commodus. One of history’s great, if largely unknown, losers.

Covid-19 is basically a test to see how in touch with reality people are. Welcome to the Universe. Stay safe and have a good week everyone. Sanity is optional at this point. Next post, black Holes. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Random image publicly posted on Facebook of unknown genesis, used without permission.)

Written by unitedcats

July 21, 2020 at 9:02 am

IT JUST GETS WEIRDER AND WEIRDER IN AMERICA

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Ok, so have come across Trump’s re-election platform. It was something along the lines of “Biden is a socialist who’s going to take your guns and impose liberal fascism on America, completely destroying it from within. Vote for Trump to save America!” Did I miss some subtle nuance? I don’t think so. That was from his latest speech, which was more unhinged than usual. I mean, this is the ultimate straw man campaign, Trump’s firing up his supporters to fight a Democratic platform that doesn’t exist. Biden is an utterly non-progressive centrist candidate who is going to make zero progressive change, a total tool of the pentagon and the rich, like every president since Reagan. I went to Youtube and a Trump ad wanted my input on a poll about socialism. WTF? The socialist party in the USA has been irrelevant since at least the forties, Biden isn’t a socialist by any stretch of the imagination. And no serious gun control measures have been proposed since Reagan was shot decades ago. The Supreme Court even ruled in 2008 that the right to bear arms was an individual right, there’s literally zero chance of mass gun confiscation in the US.

So context for readers from the future, Covid-19 is raging out of control in the US. Trump is insisting schools open normally in a few weeks. Rush Limbaugh, the spokesman and mentor for Trump, is now saying we should “just get used to” mass Covid-19 deaths, because the Donner Party didn’t complain about their predicament. No, not making this up. He’s basically claiming that things like wearing masks and social distancing are cowardly liberal surrender. No, they are rational attempts to deal with Covid-19. Which are working just fine in virtually every other developed country.

It’s beyond crazy. I can’t even think of an historical analogy. The president and his followers are utterly refusing to fight Covid-19 as the experts in the field are urging them to do, and their re-election campaign so distorts the Democratic platform that it’s essentially running against a fantasy candidate. Sort of how my brother relates to me, but I digress. Yeah, I know, the Dems have their own reality testing issues. Mostly related to pretending that somehow they aren’t serving the rich and the pentagon. Not in the same league as a POTUS pretending a global pandemic is some sort of hoax to make him look bad, or the same POTUS whose reelection campaign is directed against a non-existent Democratic platform.

***

Friday night. Another new record sent, 75,000 new cases. The madness continues. The mask wars continue. The one step we could take to dramatically slow the spread of Covid-19, but huge numbers of Americans are resisting. And the president is encouraging the resisters. I don’t know what to say about that. To people concerned about the safety of themselves and their loved ones, they should do everything they can to avoid catching/spreading Covid-19 until there is a cure or a proven safe vaccine. It’s basic game theory, one wants to minimize the chances of a catastrophic outcome. Anything less is playing Russian roulette with one’s life, we simply don’t know what the long term consequences of getting infected with this virus are.

It’s like, oh, it only kills the old! In other words, if one catches Covid-19, maybe one has no symptoms as a young healthy person, but it hides in their body and kills them when they hit their sixties. Viruses do stuff like this, infections are permanent, they hide in one’s body for life waiting for favorable conditions to explode. Only a fool would take the risk of catching an unknown virus that already has scary effects. Heart damage for example.  Oh, but, my freedoms! The economy! Yeah, when your leaders tell you to charge into machine gun fire, maybe they don’t have your best interests at heart? When leaders talk about “acceptable losses,” be very afraid.

Just realized that in some ways, Biden is the perfect foil for Trump. He’s white, he’s male, he’s Christian, there’s nothing progressive in his background at all. He’s not vulnerable to the coded racist and sexist attacks Trump uses against Hillary, Obama, etc. Trump is basically flinging mud wildly, because Trump has neither accomplishments or issues to run on at this point. I can see why Biden is mostly laying low.

I’ll end on some good news, Covid-19 might be the beginning of the end for the fossil fuel industry. Especially coal. They are both wildly subsidized industries, in that they are allowed to pass their terrifying environmental and health costs onto the public, not to even mention global warming. So good riddance. Well, good news for Europe at least, where no one is in power who believes in “clean coal” and thinks wind farms cause cancer: “The way Europe sees it, if every nation in the world is going to be in debt for at least the next decade, they might as well be paying for something that solves the biggest challenge of the 21st century.” Interesting read: FC100: 2020 Is The Worst Year Ever For Fossil Fuels

Hope everyone is having a safe and sane weekend. Sorry about the disjointed nature of this post, getting harder to concentrate as I watch the Trump virus rage out of control in America. I recommend getting Covid-19 health advice from the CDC and Dr Fauci, not the White House. What a country, where the president thinks he knows more than experts in the field. The mind, formerly reeling, boggles uncontrollably. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Random image publicly posted on Facebook of unknown genesis, used without permission.)

Written by unitedcats

July 18, 2020 at 8:53 am