Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Posts Tagged ‘current events

I’m Back, and it’s Worse than I Thought

with 7 comments

A few days in the desert clearing my mind, and I’m back, safe and sound. Maybe not completely sound. No, I’m not in the above image. I’m the one in the 100 year old mine tunnel taking the picture. My friends did not share my belief that “It’s perfectly safe.” Of course it wasn’t perfectly safe, a half wheelbarrow full of gravel and rocks could have showered on my head at the entrance, falling from a few inches. I would have been bruised and dirty. Inside the tunnel, if it was a Hollywood movie, the entire tunnel could have caved in on me, crushing me in front of my horrified friend’s eyes. In real life, tunnels cut through solid dry rock are used as bomb shelters. Yes, there was a minuscule chance that a boulder could have fallen from the ceiling and killed me. Probably about the same risk I take crossing the busy corner by my house several times a day. It’s all about relative risk people.

Speaking of relative risk, standing near New York cops when they open fire clearly has some hazards. They managed to hit nine bystanders while gunning down an armed man?! Is this some sort of record? Fortunately only the suspect was killed, and none of the nine was seriously injured, few of them being directly shot. As police shootings go, this one seems justified to me, so hopefully there won’t be too much hue and cry. And another example of the need for cradle-to-grave health care. Sadly there will now be lawsuits instead.

Speaking of graves, Neil Armstrong is dead. He was a good man, a true hero. And not so much a hero for being the first man to step on the Moon, a hero for being humble about it and sharing the credit for what was a team effort involving tens of  thousands of people. Yes, he “flubbed” his line when he was the first person to step on the Moon, but anyone with a functioning brain understood what he meant. He was kinda nervous at the time, so I think we can safely say he gets a pass. And no, he wasn’t an Atheist; and the Mr Gorsky thing is an urban legend.

Two nice segues in a  row, but now I got nothing. I have done a bit of digging, and discovered that 31 states allow rapists some parental rights. And that Ryan, Romney’s running mate, co-sponsored a bill that would have given parental rights to rapists. I really hope some gentle reader can confirm that this isn’t true. I did seem to find evidence that Ryan believes that rape is “just another method of conception.” Yeah, and murder is just another form of death. This is the problem with ideology (and “life begins at conception” is as ideological as it gets,) it means that followed to its logical conclusions in any number of directions, one gets sick absurdities. No, rape is not “just another method of conception,” it’s a terrible crime. And rapists do not have parental rights. The Republicans need to clarify their position on this.

A  Jason left a nasty comment on my “We Could Have Won Vietnam” post, it’s the last comment. Sigh. Aside from missing the point of the post, he not only regurgitates the myth that we fought the Vietnam War with our hands tied behind our backs for political reasons;  he comes up with a new myth, that our victories in World War Two were due to barbarism and unrestricted warfare.  No, our victories in World War Two were because the Allies built dozens of planes and tanks and ships for every one that Japan and German built. The war crimes the USA committed on the side had no appreciable effect on the outcome of the war. And no, I’m not going to make any pro forma remarks about competence and heroism by Americans during the war. Deal with it.

Iran has opened the Summit of Nonaligned Nations with a call for a world wide ban on nuclear arms. A prominent Israeli spiritual leader called for Jews to pray for “the annihilation of Iran.” What’s wrong with this picture? Not to be out done, North Korea’s Kim has threatened war over a joint US/South Korean military drill. Of course if Russia and Mexico held an annual military drill in the Gulf of Mexico involving tens of thousands of Russian troops and nuclear weapons, the USA would be threatening war as well. Alas, most people are so wedded to their good guy/bad guy world view that they can’t imagine other perspectives. I still remember an online friend who insisted that it was “illogical” for Iraqi insurgents to be attacking US troops. One of the finest examples of Straw Vulcan Logic I have ever heard.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. ;)

(The above image is Copyrighted with the awesome might of the US legal system behind it, and may not be reproduced for any purpose. Credit and copyright 2012 Doug Stych, all rights reserved. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to publish it, but am very reasonable if asked. Coming someday, more desert pictures, some inspired by the fine photography of Mary Molnar.)

Written by unitedcats

August 27, 2012 at 8:26 am

Evolution = God, Etc.

with 8 comments

A big part of the reason I haven’t been posting much daily is that I want to fit all my latest epiphanies into one post. I’ve come to a new understanding of a lot of fundamental things in the past few years, and I feel like I need to add vast codicils to anything I write to accommodate them. The good kind of accommodate. Since that isn’t going to ever happen, at least not blogwise, I’m going to take a different approach. I’ll start at some fixed point and ramble as I may. And I’m starting with Evolution = God. What do I mean by that? I could write a book. I mean that the Universe we find ourselves in is so complex on so many levels that it is mind boggling, we are the product of processes that have gone on for billions of years through gigatrillions of iterations. And every single step of the way leading to us was ordered on levels of precision that are again, mind boggling. We appear to be just one product of a reality that literally appears to have infinite possibilities to create different complexities. Yet here we are. When one truly grasps that, it’s amazing beyond belief.

It also makes the idea of a Biblical God who is concerned with promulgating his narcissistic cult throughout the human race on the threat of eternal torture seem like something a psychotic two year old would come up with. I mean, really? And every faith convinced that they are following the one true messiah, and the followers of the other faiths are inherently violent and somehow less than human. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism demonstrate that most clearly. Anything resembling an impartial look at even 20th century history has to conclude that each is capable of horrific barbarism under the right circumstances. If we go back further in history, it gets much much worse. Religions are ideologies, and with an ideology, it’s easy to manipulate people into committing atrocities. I use those three as examples, they are all the same. Political ideologies are no different, communists, socialists, capitalist, fascists, the whole lot have committed the most unthinkable atrocities throughout their histories.

Unthinkable being the word. Adherents of such ideologies either deny that their ideology committed the atrocity, holocaust deniers being a prime example, or they claim that the atrocities committed in their name were the only choice, forced on them by the enemy’s atrocities. America’s Obama supporters are a great example of this, but every president since World War Two has hands drenched in blood. As do their die hard apologists. The USA has been an empire since the Spanish American War, and there’s no such thing as a peaceful empire. Again, anything resembling an objective view of America’s actions in the twentieth century shows an empire drenched in blood like all the rest. And not blood for blood’s sake, that’s not my point, but if you are going to steal from people, they are going to fight back. It goes downhill from there.

That’s basically what the modern world is based on. People accumulating wealth at the expense of poor people. And nations accumulating wealth at the expense of poor nations. The upwards transfer of wealth combined with the colonial transfer of wealth. This isn’t really civilization, it’s looting with high tech gadgets. At least the Romans knew that the heart of their empire was productive provinces and an educated population. A lesson that seems to have been lost since then. There’s two big problems with this looting mentality being the heart and soul of the empire. For one thing, it creates horrific problems in the parts of the world we exploit. Some appreciate this, many don’t. More importantly, and the point that almost everyone seems to miss, is that the upwards transfer of wealth can only go so far. At some point the whole system collapses, usually because the wealth becomes so concentrated that the people at the top lose touch with reality. Mitt Romney’s feeble attempts to portray himself as a “common man” illustrate that nicely. He considered it a “hardship” when he was forced to live off of the income from his investments!

So as my regular readers may have noticed, I’m not particularly optimistic about the future of America. We seem to have the same hubris, shortsightedness, and corruption that have led to the downfall of so many empires in the past. In my next post I have a list of ten ghastly expensive mistakes the USA has made in the past decade or so, mistakes that will cost us all dearly … yet most Americans are oblivious too them. Worse, they are led around the nose by pundits and shysters and politicians and getting all worked about about such things as gay marriage, Obama’s birth certificate, and the like. Afghanistan is the longest war the USA has ever been in, and we are holding elections to deprive Americans of their rights. Jesus wept.

(The above image is Public Domain under US copyright law. It’s Photograph of Utah Battery on McCloud Hill, in the Philippines. It was taken in 1899, shortly after the Spanish American War. I was looking for a photo of the Spanish American War, but the ones I could find were all kinda lame. This was during fighting in the Philippines, our first real war of colonial repression. One of the men in this image was killed within by fire from Philippine Freedom Fighters.)

Written by unitedcats

May 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm