Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

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IS SAURON BACK? IS QANON HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF?

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I’ve come to a few conclusions about the whole QAnon phenomena. And phenomena it is, QAnon is a conspiracy theory that emerged in 2017, and has spread like wildfire since: QAnon spreads across globe, shadowing COVID-19.  Both here in America and internationally. What is the QAnon theory? Basically that a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles running a global child sex-trafficking ring is plotting against President Donald Trump, who is battling them, leading to a “day of reckoning” (the storm) involving the mass arrest of journalists and politicians. Soros and the Clintons are supposedly deeply involved. And not just pedophilia, the cabal is sacrificing children for their nefarious purposes, some suggesting they are harvesting something from them to rejuvenate the leaders of the cabal. World domination of course is the cabal’s goal.

Whew, breathtaking, isn’t it? What do I think? I remained unconvinced. Proponents of QAnon have yet to produce any actual evidence, until they do I will remain skeptical. That being said, one of the things that was just brought to my attention is that the QAnon theory is nothing new. For all practical purposes this theory emerged in Russia in 1903 called “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” That was a text purporting to be a factual account of a secret Jewish plot to rule the world. Including, get this, sacrificing non-Jewish children to use their blood in Jewish rituals. The protocols were certainly instrumental in inspiring/justifying a number of anti Jewish pogroms in Russia before World War Two. After the war it gained global currency, and was popularized by such people as Henry Ford and one Adolf Hitler. Basically QAnon is pretty much Hitler’s theory that a secret Jewish cabal was running the world, and all Jews were in on it: QAnon is a Nazi Cult, Rebranded.

Is Trump Hitler? No. Hitler would have despised Trump, Trump would have envied Hitler and vied for his approval. I digress. What scares me, is that unlike most conspiracy theories, QAnon has teeth and legs. And it’s arising at a very scary time in America. By legs, I mean there are already QAnon supporting GOP politicians, and more all the time. It’s going mainstream, at least in GOP circles. And by teeth I mean QAnon actually identifies enemies to be eliminated. 

And I’m not just talking about Jews. Unfortunately for the past few decades at least, many on the right have been preaching that liberals are the enemy. Little better than, if not in league with, Godless commies who want to destroy America. And they’re stupid! Rush Limbaugh, a wondrous font of hating all things liberal, once said that two liberals should be kept on display in every town so people can see what they were like. And QAnon brings it one step deeper, liberals are actually a Satanic cult out to destroy true humanity. Which would be Trump supporters of course, defenders of a “great” America..

There’s no mystery why Trump’s base stays with him no matter what. He’s on their side, and QAnon reinforces that in spades. So I’m scared what will happen if push comes to shove. Trump is already talking about a third term, as if the second was a guarantee. And the election is already showing plenty of signs of being fubarded. I’ve gotten four forms in the mail to send in to request an absentee ballot. I mean, wtf? The crash and burn of the Iowa caucuses this spring was an ill omen. Election from hell coming up.

So, a second civil war in the offing in America? Trump’s base is definitely outnumbered, but nothing a handful of nukes in CA and NY wouldn’t fix. Crazy talk I know. If in 1939 one suggested Hitler was going to gas millions and start wars that would kill tens of millions, most would have called that crazy talk too. I dunno, I wonder if we’re heading down a path we’ve been before. That’s why I reference Sauron. He was the protagonist in The Lord of the Rings, an evil being who was reborn periodically and wreaked havoc and death on the world. I’m not saying Trump is Sauron or Hitler, I’m saying the times periodically create Saurons and Hitlers 

And QAnon sure makes me wonder if those times are back.  I hope people keep their cool and we muddle through Covid-19, the election, the fires, and everything else. I fear though we’ve already reached a tipping point and things will get vastly worse before they get better. Reality bats last, and most Americans seem to have lost sight of that. Stay safe everyone. Share, likes, comments appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved. 

(Image: Aftermath of the Armenian genocide during World War One. Credit: Unknown, Public Domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

September 13, 2020 at 7:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

TRUMP PLANS TO KILL US ALL AND OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY, PLUS ALIENS

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9/9/2020. I made this illustration for yesterday’s post, and then the first bad news about the Sturgis superspreader event came out, and I just had to write about that. Hopefully no horrible news will supersede today’s post. Though getting used to it, so maybe I’ll just shoehorn it in as it happens. Fun times.

So yes, the illustration at the right is just one of the many metrics one can find that shows that 1980 is when the USA started going down the tubes. Before then rising tides did raise all ships, after that the gains in the economy pretty much were all siphoned upwards. And here we are today with wealth inequality in the US at mind numbing levels, and no end in sight. Until Americans understand just how thorough economic injustice is in the USA, I don’t see it changing. 

And not only is economic injustice the way of America, the left side of the illustration shows just how sketchy the current economy is for many Americans. And yet nothing is going to be done. The GOP ruled Senate has declined any further stimulus. You’re on your own Americans, Washington is going to protect the rich, everyone else is disposable apparently. Trump has apparently decided even our lives are disposable, bear with me, I’ll get back to that.

In some breaking “news” Trump was accused of deliberately playing down the threat of Covid-19 earlier this year: Trump deliberately played down virus, Woodward book says. I say “news” because it’s not exactly a surprise. I was there, Trump repeatedly claimed Covid-19 was no big deal and it would all go away soon. I especially liked “It will all be gone by Easter!” So there’s zero question Trump played down the severity of Covid-19, hell, he still is for all practical purposes. So did he do it deliberately or out of ignorance? Either is an utter fail for the POTUS. Giving the public clear accurate information is the most important thing a government can do to fight a public health crisis. It was Trump’s one job when Covid-19 arrived, he failed.

And then this news … Trump has apparently ordered an end to Covid-19 screening at international airports: White House orders end to COVID-19 airport screenings for international travelers. Right, at a time when the US desperately needs to launch a coordinated national testing/tracking/quarantine system to fight an out of control pandemic … Trump is halting one of the few feeble efforts he made to fight Covid-19. He’s basically admitting Covid-19 is so out of control in the US that letting more infected people in makes no difference? WTF?

I’m going with Trump has decided to just let Covid-19 run its course in America, hoping that that and a vaccine will get us to herd immunity; then Trump can claim victory, problem solved. What’s a few hundred thousand dead Americans, and millions more with permanent Covid-19 health issues? And a cost to the economy in the tens, or hundreds, of billions? We’re gonna find out apparently. My guess, Trump’s magical plan to end Covid-19 will end as well as Hitler’s magical plan to save the German Sixth Army surrounded in Stalingrad. 

A reader asked what I think of the Abraham Accord. I haven’t looked into it much, though from what I’ve seen I take a dim view. Still, I’ll try to keep an open mind and look into it. It got Trump nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, so it must mean something, right? (That was a joke, anyone can be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Obama got one just for being elected, so the bar is pretty low.) 

So no time traveller emails yet. Here’s a weird theory, hey, it’s the End Times, might as well share. So if star travelling aliens exist, IE long term technological civilization is possible and more or less inevitable, then … they’re already here. Aliens from galactic scale distances could have spotted life on Earth a billion years ago, our own technology is rapidly approaching that level of remote scanning technology. They’d have spotted us, and assuming they are interested in living planets, their probes and AIs have been here all along. And are here now. 

And what better way to study a culture than from the inside? Presumably they can access all of our online presence, they’d have computer technology millions of years in advance of ours. So why wouldn’t they have Facebook accounts and web sites? Human anthropologists exist, why not alien ones? Not sure how to go about detecting same, but like my invitation to future time travellers reading this, any alien AI wants to drop me an email, I’d love to correspond. 

World news post coming up. Stay safe everyone, don’t catch Covid-19, bad idea. Comments, shares, likes appreciated. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved. 

(Image: Self explanatory. Credit: Robert Reich and what the url on the right image says. Used without permission, but I think legally under US Copyright law. Facebook grabs.)

Written by unitedcats

September 9, 2020 at 8:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

PEOPLE WHO DENY THINGS THEY WEREN’T ACCUSED OF ARE ADMITTING GUILT

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People who deny things they weren’t accused of are admitting guilt. That’s been one of my observations since I was a young man. I suppose there are codicils, there always are, nothing  is black and white. Still, as a general rule, when someone denies something they weren’t accused of, it should raise an eyebrow or two. I am here talking about Trump and him tweeting: 

“ … Now they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes. Never happened to THIS candidate — FAKE NEWS,”

Um, no one said anything about a series of mini-strokes Mr Trump. (The medical term is transient ischemic attack (TIA.) It’s basically a temporary stroke that lasts only a few minutes. It’s a forewarning of a possible stroke.) He is literally denying something that no one suggested.

That’s the problem with lying all the time, hard to remember what one has said. Trump was taken for an unscheduled hospital visit last fall. Is something up with his health? Unfortunately America has a long history of lying about the health of the POTUS. Cleveland. Wilson. Roosevelt. I can see why they do it, people are remarkably able to deny their health has failed, especially when the brain is involved. Wilson referred to himself as “slightly lame.” One whole side of his freaking body was paralyzed! And his cognitive functions were impaired, as you would expect when a major stroke caused brain damage. And it also makes sense for the people around an ill POTUS to keep up the fiction. Either out of cynical self-interest, or rationalizing it away. Human nature.

I pretty much suspect that something happened to Trump’s brain. I say this from a number of perspectives, but mostly based on his non response to Covid-19. He does not seem able to grasp that Covid-19 was a game changer and required an actual response, not his standard gestures and promises. That the world he inhabited had changed! And so here we are playing a national game of whack-a-mole as various states try to control outbreaks. All without anything resembling a national coherent strategy.

So yeah, there’s no one really home in Trump’s head. He’s just a walking collection of habits. And in the case of a con artist and habitual liar, these aren’t particularly useful habits for a POTUS. If it’s good, it’s his doing. Bad, his enemies. No enemies to blame? Make them up. His tweets and responses to interview questions are getting weirder and weirder. Hell, some of his recent interview responses have just been word salads. And he has no platform for his reelection campaign, just his usual habit of regurgitating Rush Limbaugh and Q-Anon nonsense. Like his latest claim about a planeload of antifa thugs: Black-clad thugs on a plane? What was Donald Trump talking about? No one knows, no evidence has been provided. And it makes no sense, why would they wear black clothes on a plane?

This is what happens when one turns a political party into a religion. There’s nothing left but dogma, and it doesn’t have to actually make sense. And anyone who disagrees, why they are Satan’s minions. Deceived by the anti-religion, socialism, communism, whatever. The fact that the anti-religion doesn’t exist, no matter. The Jewish conspiracy Hitler was killing millions to fight didn’t exist. Small comfort to the millions killed. The number of socialists and anarchists in America is miniscule, the idea that they secretly control the Democratic party is laughable. It’s an idea that might get Trump reelected though. 

One has to remember that in the shining world of white Christian Republicanism … there’s no such thing as right wing violence. I’ve had right wingers absolutely freaking insist on that, all violence comes from the left. Even Hitler, he was a socialist don’t you know? And people like Kyle Ritterhouse and the police, why if they are violent they were forced into it defending themselves against leftist violence. Like I said, Evangelical Republicanism led by Trump is a religion now. A cult really. They have the answers, any problems that arise are because people didn’t accept them as saviors.

Reality is far more nuanced of course. That’s why the efforts of Trump, Napoleon, Hitler, Washington all came to naught. (Yes, I admire Washington in a way, but creating a country where only white male property owners have rights while everyone else was a second class citizen hasn’t turned into the paradise for all it was promised to be.) So yeah, Trump is not going to win the election and turn America into a paradise anymore than he did the first time. Granted Biden isn’t either, but I think there’s someone still home there.

I mean, Trump’s latest is telling everyone there will be a vaccine just before the election! What an incredible coincidence! Just another example of his magical thinking, since his higher functions are gone. (Look at Trump interviews from decades back, he at least was articulate and responded to questions in a sensible way, unlike his current word salads.) There’s absolutely zero reason to think a safe, tested, and effective vaccine will be available by November. And even if there is, vaccines are only one component of a national pandemic response. Which we don’t have yet. 

Oh well, Rambling on. It’s just so freaking weird to wake up every day in a country where mass death stalks the land, and the king is pretending it’s all under control. And his loyal followers agree even as they are dying. Maybe Trump will stroke out or otherwise become incapacitated before the election. Not that I’m sure that would help any. On the plus side, as a long time student of history, I now find history’s endless parade of stupidity, nonsense, and avoidable catastrophes far less perplexing. Human ignorance, gullibility, and stupidity is a feature, not a bug.

Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #InsanusTempora

PS. This has been bugging me. If American cities were actually under siege, if there was widespread violence  … people would be dying by the score! Whole blocks would be going up in flames! We’d see burning Walmarts on TV every night! I mean, in the Watts riots in 1965, the last major civil unrest in the US in my lifetime, 35 people were killed. Just in Watts! If something like that was happening nationally, hundreds would be dead! Whole neighborhoods would be burning. What, under a dozen people are dead? A handful of businesses? There are no freaking riots going on people; so responding as if there are is political theater, nothing more. Like Trump’s promised vaccine, pandemic theater. Neither is helping.

PPS. Guess what the big killer of cops is now? Covid-19. If Blue Lives Mattered Mr Trump, you’d do something about that, not make up stories about plane loads of antifa ninjas.

PPPS: Shares, likes, comments appreciated.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved. 

(Image: A screengrab from The Drudge Report. Used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s an interesting site, it’s been an Oracle at Delphi for the right for decades, people should check it out.)

Written by unitedcats

September 2, 2020 at 7:44 pm

I DRINK AND I WRITE THINGS

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First order of business, how many readers realize we are in the second worse ongoing mass death event in US history? There weren’t 160,000 dead in the first six months of World War Two or the Civil War, not even close. Only the 1918 Flu pandemic was worse, and only for about a month. A huge number of Americans died in October of 1918. And yet most people are going about their lives as best they can under the circumstances. Really? Future generations are going to look back and wonder what it was like to live through America’s Covid-19 epidemic.

And for the ones reading this now, it’s fucking weird. The nation has yet to mobilize in defense of Covid-19. One would think an ongoing event killing a thousand Americans a day would warrant a national response. Or at least an acknowledgement that something awful was going on. For the most part, no, Covid-19 just turned into another background news item. In fact it’s been thoroughly politicised by many people, by that I mean how one thinks about Covid-19 is a political litmus test. The alien invasion movies all had it wrong, America is not capable of uniting against a common foe.

So, um, one recent thought I had, people need to understand we are in uncharted territory, anything can and will happen. This is just the beginning of a world changing event. There will be completely unforeseen complications/events as a result of Covid-19. Even at the best of times the future is known to no one, these pretty much by definition are not among the best of times. When World War Two started, no one had a freaking clue how it would progress, let alone turn out. Well, World War Three for all practical purposes started in March. Because huge numbers of Americans are still in denial about it won’t change the outcome one whit.

Another brief talking point I wanted to toss out there: Pay no attention to polls. Polls are an industry now, a poll can be commissioned to get pretty much any result desired. That’s why GOPers were so shocked when Obama got reelected in 2012, Fox News polls had shown him sure to lose. And now with the world exploding, polls are even less reliable … and people are even more motivated to use them to influence people. Ignore the polls people.

So, I read a good article on the current situation with a lot of historical background. Most of it I liked, some of it I didn’t. Fair warning to Trump supporters, it has some Trump bashing, that’s one of the problems I have with it. Still a good read though: The Unraveling of America, anthropologist Wade Davis on how COVID-19 signals the end of the American era. I would have edited out some paragraphs. And whatever faults China may have, they aren’t going to try and replace America’s world military empire. The Chinese tend to be practical, not stupid. As the article points out, China pours more concrete every three years than the US did in the entire 20th century. 20,000 miles of Chinese high speed rail to America’s zero.

Yeah, but we have military bases all over the world! Snort. So what? Pissing money away isn’t something to be proud of. The American Empire never made much sense, World War Two ended in 1945, we should have stood down then. Instead we’ve spent staggering sums of money on endless colonial wars and maintaining a worldwide network of military bases. To what end? Made a handful of Americans very rich. That’s pretty much it. The rest of the developed world spends their money on infrastructure and taking care of their citizens. You’d think this would be a no brainer. There’s something more important than the health, education, and welfare of a nation’s citizens?

And in that vein, Trump just promised to terminate social security if he’s re-elected. OK then. Well, the GOP spent decades promoting the idea that government was bad, now with Trump they are reaping what they sowed. Well, if no government is the problem and the free market will fix everything, a Golden Age is beginning. I have no idea what’s going to happen now, but in my considered opinion, it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. A horror age, not a golden age.

Hope everyone stays safe this weekend. Constructive comments from Trump supporters are especially welcome. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Snappygoat image of a cat I liked, Public Domain under US Copyright Law.)

Written by unitedcats

August 8, 2020 at 8:38 pm

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

TRUMP WINS WORLD WAR TWO, CURES CANCER, CATCHES THE ZODIAC KILLER AND GRATEFULLY ACCEPTS A THIRD TERM FROM AN ADORING NATION

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Today is Juneteenth, a holiday the freeing of slaves in the USA is celebrated. June 19th, 1865, the Union army freed the slaves in Texas. (Though it wasn’t quite the end, a few border states still had slaves until December.) So, Happy Juneteenth to my black friends and readers. I’m going to write a Black Lives Matter post one of these days. It’s hard because trying to write something that will reach the people who need to read it is tough. The people who think whites are a persecuted minority, blacks are for the most part thugs, and BLM is a terrorist organization devoted to killing all whites. Sigh. I miss the America of my youth where we all watched the same news and lived in the same reality, even if we disagreed about how to navigate it.

Remember Christopher McCandless? How about the movie “Into the Wild”? Basically after hitchhiking around the country for a few years, he hiked into the Alaskan wilderness in April 1992 with minimal supplies planning to “live off the land.”  Four months later he was dead of starvation, though poisoning may well have contributed to his death. A tragic story, made famous by a book in 1996 and more famous by the movie  “Into the Wild” in 2007. Subsequently the abandoned bus Mr. McCandless lived in became a tourist attraction. And this is where it gets even more tragic, since 2007 numerous people and parties have had to be rescued trying to get to the bus, and two people actually died. Apparently a lot of people watching the movie missed the message, don’t travel into deep wilderness unless you goddamn know what you’re doing. So now the DNR and the Alaska National Guard have removed the bus by helicopter to a place of safety. It will likely go on display somewhere where people can go look at it without risking their lives. Humans. “Buy them books and send them to school. What do they do? They eat the books.”

So the above illustration is a shamelessly copied image. Failure of central government illustrated? These are western democracies similar to the US in many respects. Get to some of those dirty commie countries, the comparison is worse. Cuba, 85 deaths. Vietnam, 0 deaths. And I’m being, what, sarcastic, facetious, when I say dirty commie countries? Drawing attention to the truly sick idea that there are “good” and “bad” government ideologies. No, there are 300 plus countries, each and every one of which is a unique case. Yeah, reality is complicated. My point here with this illustration is that the US federal government’s response to Covid-19 has been dreadfully inadequate by all reputable measures. The “pro-life” party running the country has cost the lives of tens of thousands of Americans, wtf?

And what is Trump doing to fix this? He’s holding a huge indoor rally this weekend, his first since he belatedly recognized Covid-19 was a big deal. Is there a vaccine? No. Has herd immunity been reached? No. Will the participants all be wearing masks and practising safe social distancing? No. Is a robust national test and trace program in place to deal with and shut down the Covid-19 outbreaks that events like this are almost sure to cause? No. So what the hell is going on here? Today’s theory remains unchanged, Trump pretty much only has one schtick, self-promotion, and it’s all he’s got to deal with this crisis. He’s a one trick pony so to speak. Will this weekend be the start of the Trump Pandemic? Maybe. Will he announce nothing but the great things he’s done? Probably. Will future historians be baffled.Definitely.

I’m baffled. The weirdest thing about the summer of Covid-19 so far is that we can’t talk about it except within those who share our social beliefs. During the run up to the invasion of and the subsequent occupation of Iraq after 9/11 I had a lot of engagement with people on the other side of the coin, both in real life and online. Today, essentially none. I guess I should call one of my oldest friends, he was a Trump stalwart last I checked. I’m afraid to know, it’s like we’re on different sides. I guess Lincoln corresponded with Davis during the Civil War, so maybe I should email him.

So hey, gentle readers, enjoy the good times if such is happening, that’s what I’m doing. (Drinking a craft beer and eating cheese with a homemade biscuit as I type.) A third of America is going to Trump rallies and thinks things are fine. The other two thirds, well, a lot of them don’t grasp how bad it is, and/or believe ridiculous conspiracy theories. Some of us are trying to make sense of it all, me included, comments/shares appreciated.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Used without permission. New York Times, claiming Fair Use, etc. I’m a subscriber and support them FWIW.)

Written by unitedcats

June 19, 2020 at 7:38 pm

LIGHTS OUT IN WASHINGTON, Part II, “Protesters dispersed with Tear Gas so Trump can Pose at a Church.”

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Well, that headline sure sums up Trump in a nutshell. While he was giving his “law and order speech” yesterday,  police used mace, rubber bullets, and horses to disperse peaceful, lawful constitutionally protected protestors so he could walk across the street and pose waving a bible in front of a church. A church that vociferously objected, never gave permission for their church to be so used, and supports the protestors. Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, responsible for the church that Trump visited said: “The Bible teaches us to love God and our neighbor; that all people are beloved children of God; that we are to do justice and love kindness. The President used our sacred text as a symbol of division.” Apparently Trump doesn’t have to obey the law even while he is insisting he’s the “law and order” president. It’s nonsense like this that makes the aliens fly right by. I should also note that if the president of one of our designated enemies did this, the GOP would be howling in outrage at the perversion of democracy.

Sigh. Notes in the margins so to speak. Observations and thoughts on the nation’s travails, struggling with a pandemic and widespread civil unrest. In a nutshell, police brutality has been an ongoing problem in the US for decades. The police kill like a thousand people a year in the USA, under 100 in Germany, France, and the UK combined. It’s a horrible level of police violence for a self-styled developed country. As long as that continues, protests and calls for change are going to continue. If someone’s cause is just, that some violence is done in its service doesn’t magically delegitimize the cause. And it most certainly doesn’t legitimize calling on the troops and police to quell the disturbance, as if people angered by decades of unjustified police killings and violence were somehow the enemy of the state.

It’s not like there are no reasonable solutions. How about cops being trained to much higher standards, like the rest of the developed world does? How about reversing the militarization of the police, bipartisan efforts are already under way in that regard. They’re freaking police, not an occupying army for God’s sake. How about admitting there’s a problem and trying to address it? Apparently that’s too subtle or too complicated for the great thinker in the White House to come up with. “The riots must be being orchestrated by my enemies, so they must be crushed.” Never before had a president in my life who made everything about him. Narcissism illustrated.

I had a thought I don’t recall being pointed out anywhere. The original George Floyd incident. OK, I spent decades going to little liquor stores in sketchy neighborhoods. And yes, a few times a customer tried to pay with a stolen credit card or some shit. The store owners refused to honor it and booted the customer, end of story. In this case, the clerk took obviously fake money, gave George his purchase, and then called the cops? Wouldn’t it be easier to not honor the counterfeit money in the first place? It sounds like the store owner was trying to create a confrontation and a problem. And this is the shit black people have to deal with regularly, people call the cops on them at the drop of a hat. This time the wrong cop showed up, though with his history of violent complaints, one has to wonder why he was still a cop? This gets back to what I said above, why the hell can’t we hold cops to a higher standard? And why the hell don’t cops support such efforts, though granted there are those that do.

One of my biggest fears now is the chaos engendered by Trump will “break” the system, and we will get a military coup or some such. IE there have to be all sorts of Dick Cheney’s working in the shadows, people perfectly willing and capable of using Trump’s chaos to further their agenda. Trump would make the perfect martyr to install a Christian theocracy for example. Scary days. Paranoid nonsense? IDK anymore. We’ll see how it plays out, but I don’t see any lights in the tunnel yet. At least none that aren’t train wrecks rushing towards us. Boy, just a few months ago I thought the Iowa caucus screw up was the big story of the year, if not the decade, that I would have front line seats to.

Let’s see, May brought us murder hornets, a horrible police killing, and the worst civil unrest and police riots since the 1960s. Still waiting for June’s treat. Asteroids? Ebola outbreak? Tigers? Whatever it is, I’m sure it will generate some hysterical memes. If things keep humming along, I might post every day for a while. To say I am upset and my concentration has been affected would be an understatement. I watch the news, I rage, I write. Rinse and repeat.

Stay safe, stay sane everyone.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Antififa activists storm ashore June 6 1944 in the beginning of the end for One of the world’s most evil fascist tyrants. How we got from all Americans  knowing fascism was bad to a POTUS defending Nazi flag waving thugs and demonizing anti-fascists is a mystery to me. Credit: Public Domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

June 2, 2020 at 1:58 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

DARK DAYS

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Number three abortive Covid-19 post. I notice it’s not making a huge amount of news, I think some attempt is being made to avoid panic. A good thing, panic rarely helps. As the CDC says, keep calm and wash your hands. At this point, still thinking Covid-19 is the cold from hell. The 1918 flu of our time. 40-70% of the world’s population will catch it, millions will die. The US will be particularly hard hit because of the dismal state of our public health care system, among other factors I previously blogged about.

Economic disruption is almost a certainty at this point. Just the closing of factories in China is going to result in empty store shelves here. Those of us who remember the 1973 gas crisis know what it will be like. Except there will be shortages of all sorts of things, not just gas. A little preparation now goes a long ways, I’m stocking up on items I know I will use eventually no matter what.

Going after Trump a waste of time, he’s made things worse and his response to this crisis is questionable, but the USA’s horrific public health system long preceded Trump. Turns out a health care system that prioritizes corporate profit over public health is poorly equipped to cope with a pandemic. Who would have guessed? I actually kinda feel sorry for Trump, he actually believes he’s this smart and competent leader. And now that he’s facing a real crisis, not an imaginary crisis or a crisis of his own making, he’s out of his depth. He’s like this guy, it’s painful to watch.

Watch for scammers. Facebook and Amazon have already pulled millions of ads for products claiming they will cure or prevent Covid-19, or price gouging on things like masks. (Masks are of little value anywise, they can certainly help prevent sick people from spreading disease, but they are of little use in protecting from it.) It goes without saying that getting Covid-19 advice from the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow or Jim Bakker is a bad idea. Hoping and praying are of zero medical benefit. Here’s the CDC guide for preparing for it, real advice from real experts. Yeah, I’m old fashioned that way.

Some of the rumours flying are ridiculous. Read a post by a guy claiming Covid-19 reached the US by way of Chinese balloon bombs, modelled after the Japanese balloon bombs of WW2. Yes, that’s what comes from mixing poor logic, a limited understanding of history, and racism. There’s so many things wrong with the idea I don’t even know where to start. And as expected, since Covid-19 originated in China, racists are crawling out from under their rocks. Hopefully most people have more sense, but people often react badly to scary times.

Sorry about the brevity of this post. I have reached the age where various parts of my body are saying: “You thought that was bad? Watch this!” This being Bursitis. Sigh. Have a great week everyone. Wash your hands! Comments and shares appreciated.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: CDC flyer, inspired by this. Credit: CDC, used legally under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

March 2, 2020 at 12:58 pm

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: 21 FEBRUARY

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When it rains, it pours? I hurt my hip and have been crippled with pain for days, although it is getting better. Probably my drunken late night snow shovelling. And one of my oldest best friends is fighting for his life in the ICU, which hasn’t helped my state of mind any. So physically and mentally I was a wreck this week. Which, oddly enough, interfered with my writing. I’d say some day I’ll get the hang of being human, but at this point, maybe not. At least I’m secure in the knowledge that pretty much everyone is faking it, and the more outwardly successful they are, likely correlates nicely with how fake they are. I hung out with hippies for awhile in the eighties, and eventually noticed that the guys with the most hippie Zen Buddha personas … were the ones that beat up their girlfriends or otherwise had rage attacks. Same deal.

So writing, I’ve got at least two almost done posts that I am pleased with, but trying to finish them in my muddled state of mind and body would not yield happy results. So here I am winging it with another random post. We’ll get Trump out of the way first. I’m pleased to see that at least some in Washington have realized that attacking Trump directly is a waste of time. Deflecting deserved criticism is what con artists do best, and he’s the ultimate grifter pulling the con of the century. No, what they are doing now is goading him to overreact and start firing his staff. The latest silliness about Russian interference in our elections being a case in point. The truth of it doesn’t matter, it’s Trump’s reaction that matters. The more he goes all apprentency with his “You’re fired!” schtick, the more his administration will collapse from within. Just too bad they waited till now. Still, pass the popcorn.

In world news, the madness continues on all fronts. Popcorn sales in our neck of the galaxy are no doubt at historic highs. A racist loser shot a bunch of people in Germany because they had skin darker than him. He was an incel to boot. No surprise, anyone whose thinking process goes “I can’t find a girlfriend, so all women are fucked up” probably has disordered thinking in a number of areas. In this case leading to mass murder. Sigh. God rest their souls. In another case of multiple murder, a guy set himself and his wife and kids on fire in Australia. And a detective investigating the case has been relieved for saying the killer was “being driven too far by issues that he’s suffered”. Yeah, no, not a smart thing to say. It’s called victim blaming, it’s what abusive men say to justify their violence against their families. Sadly western culture promotes the idea of “righteous rage,” we need to address that, not use it to excuse acts of horror. Again, God rest their souls.

The Coronavirus continues to spread, though the death toll remains modest. I kinda think it’s with us to stay at this point, and at some point the annual flu shot will include the latest Coronavirus vaccine as well. No doubt driving the anti-vaxxers to new heights of child killing. Anti-vaxxers are my least favourite type of science denier, though I suppose in the end it’s the climate change deniers who will get more people killed. There at least some people are promoting it to make piles of money, greed is a powerful motivator. I’m not quite sure what drives the anti-vaxxers, but I’m sure there is scientific speculation.

On February 21 in history, a few odds and ends. In 1885 the Washington Monument was finally completed, 37 years after construction began. It’s the world’s tallest predominantly stone structure, and for a few years was the world’s tallest structure. Predominantly stone …in other words, sooner or later there will be a modest earthquake in Washington, and down it will come. So if you’re ever in the vicinity of the Washington Monument and an earthquake starts, run away! You want to be the person taking the video of it falling, not the people being crushed in the video. Another helpful safety tip from Doug’s Darkworld, I do what I can.

In 1918 the last Carolina Parakeet died in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo, 4 years after the last Passenger Pigeon died there.  I could probably make some morbid joke about the connection, but I’ll leave that to my regular readers. We killed them of course. There’s at least a possibility it could be brought back existence, there must be similar birds that could bear their eggs. And there’s still wild habitat, it was a very widespread bird. Since it’s flesh was often poisonous, cats would die after eating one, I’m surprised the cat haters haven’t started a gofundme. Or maybe they have, the idea of reviving them has been thought about.

I guess that’s another safety tip, if the gentle reader takes their cat time travelling, don’t let it eat any Carolina Parakeets. As for future historians and time travellers wondering what was up with us wiping out entire species, my bad, we’re really sorry. Have a great weekend everyone, please share.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Baltic Sea at Kolka Cape Credit: Italas at Lithuanian Wikipedia. Released into the public domain by same. The image came up when I searched  <rage> on Snappygoat, it just looked so nice compared to the Arctic wasteland outside my windows I thought I’d share.)

Written by unitedcats

February 21, 2020 at 9:33 am