Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

IT’S NOT OVER YET BY A LONG SHOT

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Yesterday a mob incited by Trump’s lies about the election stormed the Capitol Building in Washington. Only one death directly related to the riot, a woman shot inside the building. A second death pending, apparently an injured cop is brain dead. Three others died of unrelated causes during the excitement. The rioters were trying to disrupt the official counting of the electoral votes that would be the last step in certifying Biden’s electoral victory. A number of members of congress were planning to protest this  event, defending Trump’s unsupported fantasies about the election being stolen from him by massive fraud. After the protesters were cleared out, congress resumed its deliberations and completed the certification. And in fact a number of members who had been planning to object, changed their tune and voted to accept the results of November’s election. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are now officially the president and vice president elect, and will be sworn into office on January 20th.

Upon reflection, what do I think? I think people need to choose. They can choose to support America or they can choose to support Trump. They can’t do both, they are mutually exclusive at this point. Trump’s lies and exhortations caused this insurrection and attempt to subvert democracy in America. He is no longer fit to be president of the United States and should be removed from office under the auspices of the 25th amendment, and be impeached so that he can never hold office in the United States again. There is talk of same, but at this point I still don’t see either happening. Time will tell.

The reaction on the right, sadly pretty predictable. About half of registered Republican voters supported what the mob did. Along with a whole coterie of rationalizations and weirdness. It wasn’t Trump supporters, no, it was Antifa supporters disguised as Trump supporters! Or a false flag operation by the Democrats! Or the Lizard People! OK, I haven’t actually heard the last one anywhere, but I’m sure there’s some out there. It’s fascinating to me that Trumpers can simultaneously support what happened, but somehow deflect blame onto their supposed enemies. Some have even called it an attempted coup by the Democrats! The mind reels at the mental gyrations behind all this. And for the record, numerous mob members have been identified so far, and every single one is a proud white nationalist Trump supporting QAnon following enthusiast.

Even after watching this trend grow for decades, it’s still amazing to me that people have gotten themselves into a headspace where their perception of every facet of reality is twisted to match their ideological beliefs. Global warming is a hoax, Obama was born in Kenya, Covid-19 is a hoax, Trump won the election, etc. The whole world of non Trump supporters is somehow this giant conspiracy against them to take away their freedoms and impose atheist gun banned socialism on them. (Paranoid details will vary depending on the Trumper in question.) The problem of course is that people who create their own reality (or follow those who do so for them) are capable of anything, except being reasoned with. Wednesday may have been our century’s Fort Sumter, time will tell.

I am torn up by these events. And Covid continues to rage, 4,000 a day dying in America now. If 4,000 Americans a day were dying on Obama’s watch, Trump and his followers would be apoplectic with rage. Trump’s watch, they don’t even notice. And lastly I’m torn up because a person I had become very fond of as late vanished Tuesday night, and no one knows what happened. Torn up doesn’t really cover it, I woke up this morning hearing her call my name. I can only pray that she’s OK. I love you Erika. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula #ImpeachTrump

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Inside the Capitol yesterday. An image that should never have happened, the people protecting Congress failed. Jesus Christ, one cop even posed for a selfie with a rioter. When was the last time a cop posed for a selfie with a bank robber? Disgusting beyond belief. Image attribution unknown, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. If it’s not an historically important image, I don’t know what is. Lastly, a slightly different perspective on the riot: Capitol Incident a Dress Rehearsal.)

Written by unitedcats

January 7, 2021 at 8:18 pm

MOB STORMS THE CAPITOL

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I am angry. I am sad. I am ashamed. I am afraid. And the first death has been reported. Now I am crying. Random observations/thoughts follow.

After hearing Trump speak, a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol Building in Washington today while Congress was in session certifying Biden’s electoral win. And literally overran much of the building, including offices of Senators etc. Lots of vandalism and looting. One young woman is dead. They’ve been removed from the Capitol building now, the National Guard has been called in. Trump has been blocked on Twitter and Facebook. Congress is apparently planning to finish the certification tonight. That’s what I know as of now, some shocking footage and images on TV.

Some initial observations and thoughts. If this had been any group but Trump supporters, Trump and the GOP would have been enraged beyond all reason, and accused them of every crime under the sun and demanded harsh justice. At the very least. But I see so many Trump supporters falling all over themselves to justify it. This is white privilege illustrated folks. When whites do it, acceptable protest. Black man takes a peaceful knee in protest, OMG he’s spitting on America!

Speaking of spitting on America, the people parading Confederate Flags around inside the Capitol building, you just spat and pissed in the face of every American who ever served this country. If you hate America that much, get the hell out of it. I digress.

A case can be made that Trump crossed the Rubicon today. For my readers unfamiliar with the term, That was when Caesar marched his army into Italy with the intent of dissolving the Roman Republic and installing himself as Emperor. Trump was basically doing the same thing, he rejected the results of the election and essentially urged his supporters to do what they did. He’s claiming he won the election, it was stolen from him. His claims are unsupported by any evidence (or logic,) but that’s kind of irrelevant.

What happens now? No one knows. This is a new one for the US. An incumbent president who won’t accept an election loss and encourages mob rule to retain his office. Still, rumors are already flying that the 25th amendment has already been invoked. That means that key people in Congress decided Trump is unfit to hold office and stripped him of the presidency, and Pence is now in fact the POTUS. Wouldn’t surprise me, the powers that be, IE the ultra rich, whom both parties serve, may have decided that Trump has gone too far.

And just for foreigners and future readers, yes, it’s freaking weird, that these protesters are protesting something that didn’t happen! Trump lost the election, his fantasy that a landslide victory was stolen from him is just that, a fantasy.

Watching reconvened Congress now, Rand Paul just denounced Trump. Others are doing the same. Is Trump the new Beria? Beria thought he was Stalin’s chosen successor. He overestimated his position, went to a meeting of the assembly running Russia … and member after member rose and denounced him. Like Beria, Trump didn’t get it, he needed the support of the established government to stay in power, he doesn’t have it.

The rioters today claim they are coming back tomorrow in greater numbers and with weapons. Maybe they will. God only knows what will happen. Watching Senator after Senator, including Republican Senators, praise Pence and denounce Trump and his attempt to subvert the election by mob rule, I don’t think trump’s mob has much chance.

Trump ducking stepped in it. He’s history. He’s ducking history. He’s been tossed to the wolves by the very people he’s spent his whole trying to be accepted by. He’s being called on his lies. In some ways this is brilliant, it gives Trump supporters an out. The ones who didn’t storm the Capitol today. That’s most of them.

No no no no no no. Watching history live. OMFG. Looks like Trump is toast, Senate is certifying Biden’s win, like 97 to 3 or similar. I am assuming the House will do the same. I’m gonna crash. Looks like the Trump train has derailed. Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Please be OK E.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Found on Facebook, attribution in image. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

January 6, 2021 at 8:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A STORM IS COMING

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Wow. Tons of stuff is happening,Tuesday, January 5, 2020. The Georgia runoff election that will determine control of the Senate is underway, no results till 1am at least. Tomorrow the biggest street confrontation since the 68 DNC riots in Chicago. Tomorrow Congress is to certify Biden’s win. A huge Republican revolt to overturn Biden’s election is underway, but unlikely to succeed since the Dems control the House and both halves of Congress need to agree to change an election result. And Trump has called out his supporters to take to the streets. More details below, but could be a hell of a day.

I got a new patron the other day. Woohoo. So much appreciated. I realize I’ve not made it easy for people to sign on. And changes are already helping. It’s hard to break out of patterns of behavior. I spent decades looking for arrowheads, I found two. One day at a friend’s cabin in the mountains, a place I had looked for arrowheads for years, I thought, maybe I’m doing this wrong? I changed my search algorithm, went out to areas I had searched for years, and found more arrowheads in two hours than I had found in my previous life. Perspective is everything.

So, background. Trump’s refusal to accept the election results. I realized, epiphany time, this isn’t crazy. This is simply a logical extension of what the GOP has been doing for decades: making it difficult for the poor to vote because they might cheat, despite zero evidence that voter fraud is an issue in modern American elections. IE they are cheating to prevent cheating … that doesn’t exist. No different really than claiming they only lost the election because the other side cheated and then trying to overturn the election. Trump’s “Stop the steal” is  just voter suppression one level removed, but the thinking is the same.

Hope some readers can follow that. I don’t think I’m insane. More background. Computers have made modern elections essentially foolproof. To cheat big time in an election, dozens of computer systems on a local, state, and federal level would have to be compromised. Can’t be done. In the pre computer era when it was all on paper, cheating was easy. “Vote early and vote often” was in fact possible in many urban areas. Since computers made it possible to cross check all sorts of records that never could be done in the paper era, cheating is almost impossible. So even Trump’s claim is basically magical thinking, it’s not possible for cheating on his suggested level to have occured. Change my mind.

So tomorrow’s sheet show in Washington:

“The mayor has urged city residents to stay away from the downtown area while Trump supporters and far-right groups voice their displeasure with reality.”

Pretty much. That was from this article: With Pro-Trumpers ‘Intent on Bringing Firearms’ to MAGA March, DC Activates National Guard. So yes, the National Guard is deployed for tomorrow’s protest. The Proud Babies will be there, although their leader has been arrested and forbidden to go to Washington.

Eff if I know what’s going to happen tomorrow in Washington, but it may be in the top ten events in American history. I’ll blog on it no matter what happens. Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

Image: Public Domain Snappygoat image.

Written by unitedcats

January 5, 2021 at 7:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

CRAZIER EVERY DAY IN WASHINGTON AND AMERICA

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Started up on a history and science blog, but too much going down personally and in the continuing Trump election challenge crisis. On the personal front got a terrible text from a friend. My oldest best friend actually. I guess he’s peeing blood now, and he was scheduled for cancer tests. He’s in California. The gentle reader can likely guess what happened, all cancelled because the healthcare system is swamped with Covid patients. He’s angry and frightened, and I don’t blame him.

For every 2 Americans who die from Covid, there’s another Covid related death. Hopefully this won’t include my friend. So we’re at over 500,000 deaths above and beyond normal for the past year, one American in just under 700. And it’s still raging out of control. In other countries too, the new more contagious strain is, well, spreading wildly. And there are concerns the current vaccines won’t be as effective against it as the original strains. Trump of course is doing nothing, all he’s been doing since the election is trying to get the election results overturned.

Some of it is farcical, except it’s destroying American’s faith in our democracy. Not even sure where to begin, but ultra farcical is a good start. Trump has awarded two more Medals of Freedom. It’s pretty much the highest award a civilian can be granted in the US, only about ten a year are given out. It’s given for “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Somehow Rush Limbaugh got one for doing pretty much the opposite, a man who spent his life convincing half of America to hate and fear the other half. The latest two, Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan. They are members of Congress. What are they getting the award for? For being unabashed lickspittle Trump supporters. OK then.

And boy, the infighting among Republicans over whether or not to support Trump’s quixotic attempt to remain in power just keeps getting weirder. Can’t even keep up with it all. Here’s an interesting development: The Republicans refusing to join Trump’s coup attempt are making a stunning admission. They basically aren’t supporting Biden because they don’t like Trump, they are supporting Biden because they fear Trump’s efforts to overturn the election might well end up with the Electoral College being abolished. And if that happens, the GOP’s chances of getting the presidency back get a lot grimmer. Only one GOP presidential candidate has won the popular vote in 32 years. Wouldn’t bother me any, the Electoral College is an archaic joke at this point. Not a ha ha joke though, a “The world is looking at us and wondering wtf is wrong with America?” joke.

Looks like there will be an investigation into Trump’s call to the Georgia Secretary of State: Trump Faces Criminal Investigation for Call to Georgia Secretary of State. We’ll see. While being president Trump was protected from all sorts of civil and criminal proceedings, all that ends January 20th: What Trump faces on Jan. 20, 2021. Jail time seems unlikely, but who knows. I’ve heard people claiming that’s the reason Trump is so desperate to stay in office, he’s afraid of what will happen when he loses his presidential immunity. I don’t really buy that, I think it’s more he really does think he was cheated out of an election victory, the same way I think he really believes he was a fantastic president.

I’m not usually a fan of John Pavlowitz, he does a lot of preaching to the converted, and sometimes his articles fall into the TLDR category. I’m a firm believer that if one can’t make one’s argument in 800 words or less, one needs to rewrite and condense. Still, this time I thing he’s right on, even brilliant. He’s basically pointing out that Trump’s mental health isn’t what makes Trump what he is, it’s because Trump has been sheltered by money and privilege all his life and never faced consequences for his actions. He’s just shallow, selfish, and utterly unconcerned about what harm he causes others. Mr Pavlowitz puts it much better than I can: It’s Trump’s Privilege, Not His Mental Illness That Brought Us Here.

Exciting, if horrifying times. Tomorrow is the Georgia runoff election, so I’ll cover what is known tomorrow night. And I think it’s a safe bet there will be more unfolding news tomorrow as well as Trump’s slow coup attempt or whatever one wants to call it rolls, onward? This turmoil could drag on for months or years. It’s not like Covid is going away anytime soon or the economy is going. Hell, Trump could still order some sort of attack on Iran in a last ditch attempt to stay in power or burn everything down before he’s dragged out of the White House. That’s what Hitler did when he finally accepted/understood that nothing was going to stop the allied armies from rolling into Berlin. He ordered Germany to be basically burned to the ground. Fortunately for the German people, by that time cooler heads were quietly ignoring orders like that.

I can hardly wait to see tomorrow’s news. The next two weeks will likely be crazytime in America.  Likes, comments, as always appreciated. Patrons especially appreciated, even a dollar a month helps, click here. Stay safe, sane, and warm everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Found on Facebook, attribution in image, used without permission, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It made me spray coffee on my computer screen, no matter what else, enjoying the memes these days.)

Written by unitedcats

January 4, 2021 at 7:39 pm

2 MORE DAYS TILL THE SHEET HITS THE FAN

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I really enjoyed writing yesterday’s post. I loved the comment one reader left about Lincoln and his decision to commute the death sentences of hundreds of natives:

“I agree with your assessment of Lincoln’s role as one of the better people during an ugly time. One remark I recall: when he was told that commuting many of the death sentences of Sioux warriors would cost him votes, he said “I can’t hang men for votes.””

Lincoln really had a way of seeing things from a different and wiser perspective. When asked if he prayed that God was on the Union’s side, he replied “No, I pray that  the Union is on God’s side.” So yes, going to try to have one current events post followed by a history or science post. More fun for me to write, hopefully more fun for my readers, and easier to achieve my goal of posting every day. Hope to do so for the next 30 plus years, especially now due to recent developments in my life, but the future is known to no one.

Speaking of which, the above meme. I do agree, the chances that the Democratic controlled Congress will overturn Biden’s election is effectively zero. Reminds me of the Dem’s impeachment proceedings against Trump last year, there was zero chance the Republican controlled Senate would vote to impeach Trump. So what, exactly, is the purpose of these sorts of sheet shows? Governing signaling, IE to fire up their base and make them think the party of their choice has their back. Political theatre basically, to distract people from the fact that neither party is interested in the welfare of poor and working class Americans, it’s all about shovelling money into the coffers of the corporate rich and the imperial war machine that have run Washington for decades. Yeah, I’m cynical about all American politicians. They are welcome to convince me otherwise.

So, Trump has called for protests in Washington on Wednesday when Congress is set to formally certify Biden’s electoral victory. And some of his followers have been making threats: Far-right group Proud Boys claim they will attend January 6 DC rally ‘incognito’ and wear all-black to blend in with antifa protesters and Trump supporters are threatening violence at Wednesday’s march on DC — and he’s egging them on. The Georgia run-off elections are Tuesday, and if the Democrats win it will add gasoline to the fire. Fun times.

And, breaking news! US election: Trump tells Georgia election official to ‘find’ votes to overturn Biden win. In a nutshell, Trump phoned the Georgia secretary of state and basically pressured and threatened him to change the outcome of the presidential election in Georgia. It’s all on tape, and apparently it’s likely criminal action: Trump’s pressure on Georgia election officials raises legal questions. And it gets better! Trump to sue Georgia secretary of state for recording a call where he demanded a crime be committed: report. In Georgia as long as one party to the call knows it’s being recorded, it’s legal to record a phone call.

Well, this Tuesday and Wednesday are likely to be interesting. Wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Trump made more criminal phone calls and dug himself in deeper. He really does believe he won the election and it was somehow magically stolen from him. Magical thinking has been one of his hallmarks forever. Sadly if so many high ranking members of the GOP weren’t backing this fantasy, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. Trump may actually believe his fantasies, tens of millions of his followers do. The fact that every Republican judge and election official that looked at Trump’s election fraud allegations deemed them baseless pretty much means most of the GOP congressmen and senators who are backing them also understand they are baseless. Trump doesn’t actually think he’s committing a crime trying to overturn the election results, I don’t think the congressional leaders backing him have the same excuse.

Crazy times, but a golden age for memes. This one cracked me up. I no longer give a crap about treating Trump with any sort of respect, the death and chaos his fantasies and failures of leadership have caused makes him fair game for criticism. Stay safe, sane, and warm everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Images: Top image, attribution in image. Bottom image, attribution unknown. Both claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

January 3, 2021 at 6:50 pm

WAS LINCOLN A MONSTER? THE DAKOTA WAR AND AMERICA’S LARGEST MASS HANGING.

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Today a trip down history lane, Lincoln and the largest mass hanging in US history. On 26 December 1862 38 Indians were hung by the US Army in Mankato, Minnesota. I’ve seen a number of memes and discussions on Facebook about this event, and frankly I’m usually horrified by how it’s portrayed and discussed. Mostly discussion involves just what a farce their trials were, and they weren’t even up to the standards of the day; plus throwing in Lincoln as the bad guy in all of this. Lately I’ve seen a number of memes etc. to the effect that Lincoln was some sort of racist monster. I hate black and white depictions of complex historical events and people, they usually leave a lot out.

In any event, The Dakota War, the event that led to this mass execution. Minnesota was a frontier state at the time, it had only been a state for four years. Yes, natives were treated badly by America pretty much from the get go, privately genocide was the often path taken by whites. Cultural genocide was the national policy. There’d been a lot of conflict as settlers moved onto land basically just stolen from the people living there. Thus a lot of resentment on the natives part. And one day a native hunting party massacred a settler family, and that instigated a general uprising.

Numerous bands and tribes began to kill settlers in a bid to convince Americans to flee the region. Between 500 and 800 settlers were killed, often in truly heinous ways. Several small towns were completely destroyed, all their inhabitants killed or taken prisoner. Initially there was little resistance because this was the height of the Civil War and there were no federal troops in Minnesota at all. It should be pointed out that not all the native bands and tribes in the region participated, a number of chiefs refused to participate, one even ordered his warriors to protect the American settlers living nearby.

Within months though a combination of hastily organized militias and federal troops fought and won a number of battles with the Dakota,  put down the uprising, and imprisoned hundreds of natives. The army tried over 300 of them for war crimes and sentenced them all to hang, 303 death sentences to be exact. And for the most part, Americans were just fine with this. The governor of Minnesota even warned that if they weren’t all hung, private citizens would enact their own retribution on whatever natives they could. We are talking about hundreds of settler families murdered, many memorials to those killed remain today.

And this is where Lincoln’s involvement comes in. He was, shall we say, kinda busy during this time. The Civil War was raging. He worked from before dawn to just before bed most days, his wife said she was lucky if she got 15 minutes of his company before he fell asleep at night. So he didn’t need to get involved at all, he could have just let the army hang all 303 prisoners, and that would have been that. That wasn’t Lincoln though, he personally reviewed every federal death sentence handed down during the Civil War, and he made no exception here. He had the trial transcripts, such as they were, sent to Washington, and over a month reviewed them all. And he commuted the death sentences of all but 39 of them, later commuting one more when a general wired him that new information cast doubt on one indian’s guilt.

And by every accounting, Lincoln was horrified by the corrupt and unjust way natives were treated, saying “If we get through this war, and I live, this Indian system shall be reformed.” He also said something to the effect that “You can’t hang an Indian just because he joined an uprising at his chief’s command.” Lincoln grew up on the frontier, and knew in fact how badly natives were treated. During the Blackhawk war he prevented his own men from murdering a native that wandered into their camp. Maybe if the Civil war hadn’t intervened he could have started reforms and maybe the whole damn uprising never would have happened.

So yeah, a shameful chapter in American history. As is almost all of America’s history with the natives, and it’s still not exactly something to be proud of today. When Reagan visited the Soviet Union and pressed them on their human rights record, the Russian premier brought up America’s treatment of its natives. Reagan said “Why, we treat them fine. I’ll meet with Indians any day to discuss their concerns!” When he got back to Washington, a delegation of native leaders was literally waiting in front of the White House to meet with him. He refused.

All that being said, I don’t see how Lincoln comes off as the bad guy in this. It seems popular these days to portray Lincoln as a racist, but the cherry picked quotes I have seen don’t support that. Yes, he did regard whites as the “superior” race, that was kind of the scientific view at the time. However, and it’s a huge however, Lincoln thought that meant it was more important than ever to treat them with the exact same dignity and justice as anyone else. This was a man who his whole life was concerned with justice and fairness. He wasn’t popular among his fellow lawyers for example because he charged people what they could afford, and wouldn’t take on unjust cases.

And I’m no fan of Lincoln. As I have said before “Lincoln didn’t free the slaves, he enslaved the rest of us.” Lincoln was the one that laid the groundwork for the enormously expanded bloated monstrosity the federal government is today. Maybe if he had lived to finish his work, the country might be a better place today. In any event, even allowing the “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart…’ I think that whatever the result, Lincoln was an honorable man trying to leave the world a better place than he found it. Something I would say of very few other presidents.

Tomorrow, more covid horror and Trump’s fantasy about winning the election gets ever weirder. Stay safe, warm, and sane everyone.  #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: “Attack on New Ulm” Oil on canvas, 1904, Anton Gag. Public Domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

January 2, 2021 at 6:41 pm

2021, DAY ONE …

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Woohoo! It’s 2020! The year is starting out with a terrible pandemic raging in the US. And our president has clearly lost touch with reality since he has claimed he is Hercules reborn, and has started renaming things after himself. Washington is now Trump City for example. Oh, wait, I’m thinking Roman Emperor Commodus. Trump just thinks some sort of Chinese/Biden/libtard conspiracy cheated him out of being reelected. Well, now I know how those ancient Romans felt. And I wonder, there must have been some, how many Romans believed their Emperor Commodus was Hercules reborn?

So next Wednesday, the most anticipated riot day since the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968. No aliens yet, but 2021 is just beginning. The riots will be in Washington, where Trump is calling his supporters to protest Congress certifying Biden’s electoral college win. Yes, in fact this is one of the checks built into the crazy rube goldberg construction the American electoral college is, if a majority of both houses agree, the election could be overturned at this point. Ain’t gonna happen, but some in congress are gonna try. Fun times.

Next two posts, Lincoln and the largest mass hanging in US history, and the poison pills that are destroying America. Or something else entirely. In further tonight’s news, a pharmacist sabotaged Covid vaccination efforts. 9/11 Truthers are silly and annoying, anti-vaxxers kill. Britain has now completely left the EU, island mentality illustrated. Meh, whatever, if one believes in self determination, this is what it’s about. I think any group of people should be able to declare independence, anything less isn’t freedom, right?

2021, maybe this should be the year I write about whatever I want, so long as I think it’s helping? Since I was about ten or so, I thought, why wouldn’t someone want to use their life to make the world a better place? Isn’t that what any hypothetical good god would want? I’ve never heard any convincing alternatives to the contrary.

So someone very special to me suggested this as blog content: Kitten Jam – Turn Down For What Video (cute, funny cats/kittens dancing) (ORIGINAL) Have a great weekend everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Attribution in image, claimed as fair use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

January 1, 2021 at 9:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2020, THE YEAR SOME OF US LEARNED “THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY.”

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Well, the most interesting year of my life is ending tonight. And I mean that globally, not personally. They say “May you live in interesting times” is a Chinese curse. No, no it’s not; nonetheless irregardless of its origin, it’s spot on. And this was an interesting year. This was the year that the holodeck program changed, and we got to really see who was living in reality and who was living in the map of reality their mind creates. The former understood Covid was something new, the latter didn’t. As this meme puts it:

Covid is like a siege, that’s the analogy I like today. And some don’t get that, they’re saying “Open the city gates, keeping them closed is hurting commerce!” True, it is, but letting the invaders in isn’t the answer. Pretty much by definition they will be bad for commerce, not good. A siege goes on until it’s lifted, not until people need haircuts.

So in review, we’re ending the year 2020 with the worst pandemic in a century raging, near half million dead in the US, 3rd or 4th worst mass death event in US history already. With no near future end in sight. An economy devastated by same, though profiteers and robber barons have made out like bandits. And on top of it all, for the first time in US history, a sitting president is not honoring the results of the election.

So whatever 2021 brings, it’s starting off at a global and national low. I don’t envy Biden in the slightest. This meme suggests him:

I mean, Biden played the centrist corporate foot licking game all his life to perfection, and now he’s finally getting his due … the presidency of the USA. To some extent a largely ceremonial position at this point, but great perks both financial and ego wise. Except Biden is inheriting a sheet sandwich. Economy in a nose dive, pandemic raging, international alliances and deals trashed. The only thing Trump and 2020 isn’t handing Biden is a new war. And Trump might still add that to the pot:  Trump Could Still Start a Last-Ditch War With Iran.

So after tonight, anything could happen! That’s always the case, but sometimes the top is wobbling more than others. Just for fun, a few speculations: Biden takes office, but dies before his term is done. He is old. And Kamala Harris decides to change America for the better, progressive all the way. Seems unlikely, but it’s all unlikely now. Conservative working class people would have to deal with a living wage and comprehensive health care. Sounds rough.

Or, as a friend pointed out to me today, Pence and the mainstream GOP could turn on Trump, and symbolically stab him to death by acknowledging Biden’s win. Pence could almost literally be the Brutus of our times, cutting Trump down at the height of his power. Historically Brutus came to a bad end, but I doubt Pence knows that.

So yeah, we are starting 2021 globally, and especially in America, at the cusp of a new age. 2020 was our ‘Crossing the Rubicon/Black Death/1929/Night of the Long Knives.’ 2021 is going to be different than any previous year. I’ll blog on it as long as I can. Stay safe, sane, and warm everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Images: From Facebook, attribution if known in image, claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

December 31, 2020 at 9:51 pm

Posted in 2020

REVELING IN MY TRANSFORMATION FROM “SOCIALLY AWKWARD LONER” TO “SOCIALLY ISOLATING HERO.”

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Two more days and 2020 is over. It’s been a hell of a year. I’ve done OK because I am able to stay socially isolated. I feel for my friends who have no choice but to keep working. And for all people in the same boat. And for those who lost loved ones to Covid or are still suffering aftereffects themselves. We, as in scientifically literate people who live in the real world, knew real early on Covid was serious sheet and nothing to duck around with. Even people who took all the precautions still fell victim to the cold from hell. Just one freaking haircut, sheesh: They did everything right. But after one at-home haircut, a husband and wife died of Covid-19.

And a just elected Congressman died just days before he was sworn in: Congressman-elect Luke Letlow dies from Covid complications days before being sworn in. 41 years old, leaves a wife and two kids. A damn shame, must be hell for them, God rest his soul, god grant them peace. He wasn’t one of the total “It’s just a hoax” crazies, but he certainly didn’t help by holding maskless rallies and insisting that the economy needed to be opened up. As I’ve stated before, that’s like insisting the factory start up even though it’s still on fire.

These people are kind of self-owning actually, since they’re basically admitting that the nation’s wealth is indeed being generated by working people, not somehow magically by the hyper rich. And that God forbid if people can’t work, corporate profits might be affected! Fortunately our leaders have managed to do just a fine job of bailing out the rich so that 2020 was a great year for them. Sowing the wind, it’s not going to end well.

Speaking of Covid deaths, Dawn Wells died of Covid today. Known to history as Mary Ann of Gilligan’s Isle. She was 82. Ginger (Tina Louise) is now the only surviving cast member of the show. She can have reunions with herself! Yeah, kind of sad. OK, very sad. I was a kid when Gilligan’s Isle was on, so it’s a big part of my personal history in a way. Most of the cultural icons of my childhood are dead now. I’m getting old, but it beats the alternative. Planning on a few more decades at least.

Speaking of islands (yes, I’ve come up with better segues) read an interesting article on “Lord of the Flies.” This was a 1954 novel about a bunch of English school kids stranded on a desert isle, and how they descended into barbarity. Never really thought about it before, but that’s one of the main tropes governments use to justify their existence, why, without government, chaos and barbarism would result! The ugly truth is that modern science says the opposite, most people behave themselves because they possess empathy and know the difference between right and wrong. Even worse, a lot of religions make even stronger, more ridiculous, claims. “There is no morality without religion!” Almost Trumpian logic really, saying it doesn’t make it true. In any event, the article points out that the guy who wrote the book was a raging alcoholic who beat his children, and the book is a reflection of that, not insight into the supposedly intrinsic barbarity of humans: ‘Lord of the Flies,’ Revisited.

Speaking of Trumpian (my year’s ration of good segues ran out, apologies) here’s a neat article on Trump I came across: ‘Sadistic and amoral’: Mental health expert performs postmortem on the ‘pathological’ Trump presidency. It covers a lot of ground, and basically points out a number of things I’d noticed and many I didn’t. Most of which are, well, not good signs. The only time he seems to smile is when he’s being praised by a crowd or is making fun of someone. His rallies and schtick haven’t changed in four years. I noticed that for sure, his reelection campaign was essentially the same as his first campaign. He’s a simple man. Anyhow, I enjoyed it.

Stay safe and sane everyone. A last minute news check shows no new horrors. Other than the new Covid variant has made it to the US. Fortunately our effective national test/trace/quarantine program will shut it down, nothing to worry about. Sigh. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Facebook meme, attribution in image. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

December 30, 2020 at 7:34 pm

Posted in 2020, Covid-19, Personal

THE LAME DUCK SHEET SHOW ROLLS ON

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As I stated in the prior post, three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse are raging in America. And with our luck, number four will arrive on Friday. Granted the parallels aren’t perfect, but we can call Covid plague, the collapsing economy is famine, and Trump is the sword. The fourth is the beast, so I guess snake wolves arrive on Friday? One can make a case that Trump is the antichrist, but not going there. Not sure what he is, but he’s conquered the heart and souls of tens of millions of Americans, trapping them in his fantasy world.

Let’s see, in another lovely downside to Trump and company’s Covid denial, it’s made life so unpleasant for health care professionals in rural red areas, that they are fleeing: ‘Toxic Individualism’: Pandemic Politics Driving Health Care Workers From Small Towns. At this point, I’m not ashamed to admit a bit of schadenfreude. Turns out there’s a downside when “Make America great Again” translates to “We hate and fear medical experts.” Talk about shooting your own community in the face. One has to wonder what other types of experts will flee red areas, and will the people living there ever understand that Rush Trumpian BS is not actually a workable substitute for reason and science, who knew?

The vaccine rollout in the US is, as might have been expected, turning into a complete clusterduck: Medical expert details why the vaccine rollout is a mess: ‘They are again setting states up to fail’ Basically the Federal Government simply hasn’t stepped up to the plate to coordinate and support the vaccine rollout, in the exact same way it didn’t step up to the plate to coordinate and lead the fight against Covid. Basically the states are having to fend for themselves. This is why the Confederacy lost the Civil War, and why Covid is kicking America’s teeth in.

But hey, Trump says he’s doing a great job, and that’s all it takes for his supporters. It’s like some great experiment in mass psychology. As if God was bored one day and said “I wonder how long a political movement will last if the followers believe everything their leader says, even though it’s all self aggrandizing lies while him and his buddies loot the country for the rich instead of governing it for the people?” Going on four years now, no end in sight, even as the country crashes and burns.

For more fun, Trump is promising a ‘wild’ time on January 6th. Trump is summoning supporters for a ‘wild’ time on the day the electoral vote will be finalized. That’s the day the election is finalized in the Senate. It’s essentially a formality, there doesn’t seem to be any way Trump could actually change the outcome of the Senate vote, but Trump is the guy who thought he could wish away Covid 19 and a lost election, so who knows what fantasies are floating through his mind. Trump’s summoned supporters from all over the country, though I think it’s a safe bet the turnout will be minimal. At that point too, I think the potential for right wing violence will start to ramp up.

Right wingers have been stockpiling weapons and infiltrating the police and military for a long time now. This story is from Germany, they have the same problem: A Far-Right Terrorism Suspect With a Refugee Disguise: The Tale of Franco A. Basically an officer in the German army disguised himself as a Syrian refugee and created a fake identity. Then he was planning on committing political assassinations and acts of violence, so that they would be blamed on a fictitious Syrian refugee. The idea was to create enough unrest to bring down the government. Yeah, a totally whacked plan, as dumb as the Michigan yahoos who were going to kidnap and try their governor. We’ll see, it’s only going to take one Lee Maga Oswald to change the world though, it’s not something I want to blog about.

Even better, if right wing whack jobs do commit terrible crimes, if they do so before Trump leaves office, he can pardon them! Dark sarcasm. Pardoning murderers is what Trump does. I’d say the recent Blackwater pardons shocked me, but no, they don’t. They murdered Iraqi civilians, which is simply the modern day version of “nits make lice.” I don’t think most Americans, even many on the right, understand how deeply ingrained America’s genocidal impulses towards non whites really is. Trump is the voice of intolerance and hatred, we can only count our blessings that he has inspired very little of it so far.

In many ways, despite the very real damage Trump is doing and may do to the country, he really is a clown in many ways. Hitler was a bonafide war hero from a very humble background. Trump is a spoilt rich brat who used his wealth to shelter himself from reality his whole life. As Mary Trump said, no one has ever said no to Trump, which is why he is freaking out about losing the election. He simply can’t grasp nor accept that the majority of American’s finally said :No!: to him.

Suddenly dawns on me, what if Trump turns out to be one of the small number of Covid survivors who develops a severe psychosis? And if he does, how will we tell? Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #FelesRegula

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(image: Found on Facebook, attribution in image. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. I do fear the twenties are going to be a rough decade.)

Written by unitedcats

December 29, 2020 at 7:36 pm