Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Trump’ Category

THROUGH THICK AND THIN

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66447493_10157413177964722_6022236441885540352_nAnother week gone, give or take. I guess technically Sunday is the first day of the week Saturday the last. So the week starts with a day of rest? That makes no sense, another one of those things that shorts out the human to alien translators. Still, maybe it’s good that our freaking race is nuts, protects us the way walking in the road talking to yourself is a good way to get through a bad neighborhood. “We’re not going to invade Earth, those creatures are nuts.” Fermi Paradox solved, isn’t logic grand?

It would be if more people used it. Came across an interesting article: Did Black People Own Slaves? The answer is pretty obvious, of course they did. Slavery was practised in the Americas from the beginning, and there have been free blacks since the beginning. In the Confederacy though, the focus of the article, the number of black slave owners was miniscule. And at least a good proportion of them owned a slave or two to protect a relative or friend. It wasn’t unusual for blacks to buy women slaves to marry them. I thought that was interesting because that was a common way for female slaves to achieve their freedom in Roman times.

Alas, because humans are humans, some blacks owned slaves for purely selfish reasons. It’s always easy to find humans exploiting other fellow humans. Especially if it’s legal and encouraged and everyone else is doing it. Like Japan before WW2, they saw European countries benefiting from colonizing and exploiting nations, why shouldn’t Japan have a colonial empire of their own? It was a valid point, then and now generally ignored or quietly mumbled away by western apologists. Yes, what Japan did in China was horrible. Of course what the Dutch, French and others were doing in East Asia was equally horrible, but that tends to get overlooked.

Yes, I’m on a roll here. People are messed up. And it shouldn’t have to be said, but it does after reading comments left on the article where posted on Facebook, a few blacks owning blacks is not in any way, shape, or form a defense of slavery. Granted apologists for slavery have done so, but that doesn’t make discussion of the topic in and of itself a defense of slavery.  In fact the whole idea that blacks owning blacks somehow justifies slavery is both racist and logically fallacious. Just cause Timmy jumped in the lake doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Or the falls I suppose.

No, they don’t hate us for our freedoms. I mean, if they did, wouldn’t they be hating us a lot less now? I am referring to Muslims, terrorism, and US foreign policy. They hate us because of our endless wars in the Middle East. This article is a nice review of the sad situation, to semi-quote the article, an America where since 9/11 Muslims have been so demonized and the military so fetishised that endless war in the Middle East is now completely normalized. Bears reviewing once and awhile to keep one’s head clear. I wonder what young people think of it all, growing up in the post 9/11 world. OK, that was kind of rhetorical, since I actually know some young people and what they think.

In Trump news, brace yourself, Trump remains not giving a damn about UFOs. That’s the title of the article. Best for one’s sanity not to read it though. Basically the UFO populists thought Trump would be the one to reveal all, instead he’s been rather dismissive of the subject. He didn’t even joke about UFOs like his predecessors, though the article helpfully points out that Trump’s humor is never intentional. Basically the UFO people think some relatively recent release of military “UFO” films is some sort of slam dunk proof of their existence. Um no, it isn’t. If anyone really wants to know why, I’ll blog on it, but I’m kind of reaching my limit explaining why nonsense is nonsense. At least when it comes to things like UFOs. So, I guess it’s a good thing that Trump doesn’t believe in little green men.

The American people are done with denials though, thousands of them are planning on storming Area 51 to get to the truth about aliens. OK then. Basically America jumped the shark a generation or two ago, and it’s just going to get crazier from here on. I’ll blog about it as long as I’m able. This blog is written both for contemporaries and future people.

And speaking of getting crazier and being able to blog, soon ads will be appearing. Or reappearing. But, one sec. Anyone catch that? A double segue? Not sure I’ve ever done that before. Or a 2 into 1 segue? Has anyone ever classified segues? Some institutionalized grammarist? Is my obsession with segues healthy? <takes breath> OK, yes, in an effort to earn some little monies to support my writing, I will be running some ads soon. Discrete, inoffensive, not-causing-problems, ads. I find intrusive ads very annoying when I cruise the interwebs, so want to spare my gentle readers that.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Meme found on Facebook for Star Trek fans.  Credit: Unknown. Used without permission. Happy to properly attribute if information so provided.)

Written by unitedcats

July 12, 2019 at 3:54 am

Posted in History, Terrorism, Trump, UFO

RUSSIAGATE, THE FINAL CHAPTER

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My long promised last Russiagate post. I tried to cover all the important points, and marshall my arguments logicly. Even so, there are things I didn’t have space to include, so I chose carefully. As my mentor Sally used to say “If you can’t explain something on a single page, you don’t understand it.” If anyone disagrees, persuade me otherwise. In any case, enjoy the ride.

So, I posted this link on the Doug’s Darkworld Facebook group, and commented on it. In this case probably best to read the article at the link before carrying on. This was my comment:

“Sanders has consistently pushed Russiagate? I find that deeply disappointing.”

And it opened a can of worms. In essence a number of people claimed I was taking Russiagate way too lightly, and that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a fact. Several points were raised, and hopefully I will cover them. In considered order:

First, how I feel about Russiagate and whether or not Russia tried to meddle in the election isn’t the point of the article. The point of the article above is that the reaction to alleged Russian meddling has been over the top, and used to seriously limit freedom of the press in the US. This is far more a danger to an open democracy than putative foreign meddling, I mean really, we’re going to limit our press to preserve our freedoms? Wait, what? I might also mention that since the US government  is the greatest meddler in foreign elections the world has ever known, outrage about Russian teenage trolls is a bit misplaced.

That aside, yeah, I still think what I thought a year or so ago. Meuller’s first round of indictments showed us that Russiagate was Nothingate. An oligarch paying a handful of teenage trolls to post a microscopic number of crude memes on Facebook affected the outcome of the election? Boy, billions of dollars in US election spending has been wasted if that’s all it takes. The second round of indictments showed it was political, timed as they were just before Trump’s Putin summit. A bunch of more or less random Russians indicted on “secret” evidence, Mueller knowing full well none of them are ever going to show up in court to testify. This was all Mueller came up with in a year?

Now granted I didn’t read the Mueller Report, because I knew if it contained any smoking gun evidence, it would be broadcast 24/7 on every available media outlet. I didn’t hear  of any. He had two years to write a report that sounds very convincing to people who already believe in Russian interference, without presenting any actual evidence. Other people read it though, and there’s a lot of problems with what is in the report, which this article dissects in detail. And Mueller Report aside, there are simply logical problems with the whole ‘Russia interfered’ premise. I will expound:

First, if Clinton had run a fabulous campaign, pulled the Democrats together, gotten out the vote, had crossover appeal, and was set to win the election by a huge margin … and Trump unexpectedly won by some margin that was clearly traced to Russian tampering, yes, we’d have a big problem. That’s not what happened. The Clinton campaign was uninspired and made major gaffes. She failed to inspire Democrats to get out and vote in droves. And as a result Trump eked out an electoral victory by some very thin vote margins in a handful of states. Huge numbers of factors, many of which were controlled by Clinton herself, influenced how people voted … or didn’t vote. To claim that alleged Russian interference somehow trumped myriad other factors in the elections is to credit Putin with Godlike powers.

Moreover. Putin isn’t an idiot. The opposite in fact. He had to know his ability to directly influence the election was negligible. And if he got caught the repercussions could be extreme. Basically to believe Putin tried to influence the election is to believe that Putin did something brain dead stupid so that Clinton would have an excuse for losing the election. Because it certainly wouldn’t do him any good, the idea that Trump is some Manchurian candidate is again ridiculous. And this is completely borne out by the facts, relations with Russia are worse than they have been in decades, and Trump has done nothing to change that. Hell, he is happily selling Ukraine advanced weapons to use against their ethnic Russian rebels. Trump doesn’t serve anyone but his own ego and family, the idea that he is Putin’s puppet is, well, up there with Obama being a secret Muslim.

The thing that is most obvious to me in understanding Russiagate, who benefits? The people who have been running the country for decades, the Pentagon, the big corporations, the rich, and of course the Democratic party. What Russiagate has been, and continues to be, is brilliant propaganda. No need for Clinton and the Dems to examine their failings in the election, no siree, it was all the Russian’s doing. Perfect rationalization to justify our global domination ambitions, we need to defend the world against the evil Russians, Cold War II. Putin of course is in the unenviable position of trying to disprove something for which there is no proof in the first place.  Trump is in the same position too, though for him it’s a great distraction from his other myriad giveaways to the rich. The GOP has illegal immigration, the Dems have Russiagate. Huge amounts of outrage and attention over distraction issues that are dwarfed by things like climate change, wealth inequality, out-of-control military spending, student debt, health care, etc.

The greatest propaganda aspect about both issues is … they can never be fixed! Neither Russia nor illegal immigration is going to vanish from the Earth, so always endless opportunity to demonize and spin. I grew up with the Cold War, and realized by my teenage years that the “threat” posed by Russia was being wildly exaggerated. And now Russia is a shadow of its former globe spanning imperial self, and we’re supposed to regard them as some sort of existential threat? Give me a break. The only threats to what is left of our democracy are in Washington and Wall Street.

In summation, it makes no sense for Putin to have tried to influence the election, his ability to do so is dwarfed by purely domestic factors in the election, and what “proof” has been offered boils down to “Trust Meuller!” As my old hippie friends say, “When did we start trusting the FBI?”

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Trump trolling the Democrats. Credit: Russia.ru. I think that’s a Russian news site, but it may be an official Russian site, my Russian is rusty. I got it off Wikipedia so presuming it’s Public Domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

July 8, 2019 at 4:41 am

MAD TETRIS SKILLS

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OK, was thinking of doing a post about July 5 in history, but turns out nothing much happened that day. Well, nothing that inspires me to write about it. July 5 1937 Spam was introduced, that’s about it. Another milestone in the long slow decline of western civilization. And I guess nothing happened in the July 4 celebrations in Washington, despite the fervent hopes of some that Trump be run over by a tank. As others have noted, Trump’s desire for military parades is a little odd considering his cowardly avoidance of service during the Vietnam War. He was a draft evader plain and simple. I’d have more respect for the man if he just admitted he was afraid to serve, cowardice I can respect, dishonestly not so much.

The 4th of July parade here in Clear Lake was fun. The usual stuff, and the first time I ever saw a drone in action. A P-51 Mustang made a few flybys as well. There’s a local Fire Museum, so got to see a lot of neat old fire trucks parading around. And what’s with all the paraders throwing candy at the crowds? I guess that’s a new tradition, I certainly don’t recall it from parades in my youth. The kids sure loved it, though seemed like it was a bit of a risk. I kept expecting some kid to dash under the wheels of a passing float attempting to retrieve a piece of candy. My morbid streak showing through again.

And now the parade is over and the following storm has passed. Went out in search of food and photos. Got a $4 burger and fries for $10. Carny prices I guess. Would be worse in CA so not complaining, a burger and fries at Disneyland was $39 last I heard. I miss California less every day. And as promised, a picture (above) of a Ferris Wheel that folds up and fits in a semi. Maybe I’ll try to catch them when they pack it up. Might improve my Tetris game.

Southern California had its biggest quake in decades. “Only” a 6.4 on the Richter scale, so not a big one. Still, the Richter Scale is a little misleading, since it is a measurement of energy released, not ground motion. I know, nothing is sacred on Doug’s Darkworld. Richter magnitude is quick and easy to calculate though, so it’s become the standard for pop measurement of earthquake strength. And for the most part it’s close enough, but earthquake snobs use the Modified Mercali Intensity Scale instead of Richter. More than most of my readers ever wanted to know I suspect.

In local news, the fireworks display was just postponed until Friday night. Another storm rolling in. The rioting has already begun, though in Iowa that consists of people throwing their corn dogs to the ground in disgust. I guess some pansy thought that barges full of fireworks out on a lake during a lightning storm was a bad idea. Whatever happened to “The Show Must Go On!” Meredith Wilson is rolling over in his grave.

Well, I stopped there last night so this didn’t turn into a blog version of “Drunk History.” Many people really like that show, not me. I don’t find drunk people particularly funny. Too many bad experiences with them.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Ferris Wheel, Clear Lake, Iowa. 2019.  Credit: Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.)

Written by unitedcats

July 5, 2019 at 4:52 am

Posted in Personal, Trump

JULY 4

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July_4th_LOC_28705988071

Ah, July 4th. A big day in the US. Lots of celebration. Go team. I put my flag out, though considering the storm that just rolled through, not sure it’s still flying. It’s the thought that counts though, right? And what thoughts are those? All sorts of them. Holidays were sure a lot easier when I was a kid. Christmas was about presents, July 4th was about fireworks, Bubble Wrap Day was about bubble wrap, etc. Now I have both a brain and access to social media, and it’s more complicated. Especially regarding July 4th, a holiday of mixed origins and increasingly hijacked for propaganda purposes. Trump’s gonna drive a tank for God’s sake, how does one explain that to school kids? Or adults?

So yes, 243 years ago a group of white American businessmen declared themselves to be in open revolt against the crown of England. IE their legal government. They enjoyed the support of 40-50% of the white population. The Loyalists were supported by about 15-20% of the white population. About 70-80,000 Loyalists fled the country during or immediately after the American Revolution. Which is a tiny fraction the number I remember from my college days, my own personal Mandala Effect, but I digress. My point is that not everyone thought rebelling against the crown was a great idea.

And yes, as several friends pointed out, the creation of the United States is not exactly something blacks and American Indians can look back to with joy. The United States almost immediately began the conquest of Indian lands, making Indians second class inhabitants of America. I say inhabitants, because American Indians were not given American citizenship until 1924! And of course early America’s treatment of its black citizens was shameful. Slavery was peacefully outlawed in the rest of the developed world by the early nineteenth century. It persisted decades longer in the US and took the bloodiest war in America’s history to end. And black’s treatment after that remained and to a large extent remains shameful. So yeah, I can understand many seeing July 4 as little to celebrate.

Then of course there’s the increasing militarism and military worship that characterizes modern America. And the 4th of July has been very much co-opted as a part of that process. Every time I hear “The troops are fighting to defend our freedom” I want to scream. Sometimes I do. No, they are fighting to defend war profiteers and the Empire the war profiteers created. The last time American troops were fighting to defend our freedom was World War Two, and even that’s debatable. Our whole democratic system is debatable at this point.

In any event, here in my little corner of Iowa, July 4th is the biggest celebration of the year. A carnival is set up in Central Park with all the local exotic food delights like Funnel Cake and Chicken on a Stick. Iowans are a simple people, in all the good ways. Live music and fireworks are also on the schedule. Lots of fun, especially for the kids. And boy, kind of neat how they can have things like 60 foot tall ferris wheels that fold up into a semi trailer. I’ll go out later and get some pictures to publish on Friday.

In other words, blogging wise, “I’m back bitches!” I’m ashamed to admit it, but I like that quote, but almost never use it. I thought it was from ‘Breaking Bad,’ but while Jessie Pinkman was fond of the word “bitches,” he apparently never uttered that particular line. I don’t like to use it, because comparing human beings to animals is misogyny or racism. It’s just plain racism in many instances, like Trump’s son’s recent utterance. Trees, apples, falling, etc.

Oh, yes, we will be having a parade here in Clear Lake too. No tanks though. Right past the window of where I am staying. My friend wanted me to help her hang a political banner off our roof. My job was to draw sniper fire. Alas, the landlord prohibited it and locked the door to the roof. Well, it is his building. And speaking of parades, came across the above image in my usual quest for the perfect image to illustrate the post. This one seemed perfect  in several ways.  Back when we were proud of our democracy and industry. Neither is what it was back then, for good or for ill.

Happy Fourth everyone. Celebrate or not as the spirit takes you.

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Fourth of July parade around 1915-1920 Credit: Bain News Service, Public Domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

July 4, 2019 at 6:41 am

WHY I WON’T BE COVERING THE 2020 ELECTION CAMPAIGN AND OTHER RANDOM VACATION THOUGHTS

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I didn’t watch the debates. Because the election is so far away I figure some of the candidates will be dead of old age before then. It’s over a year away, and like the Boston Marathon, the starting crowd gets bigger every time. The race is getting tons of coverage, in fact whole networks are devoted to it, and it’s all BS. It’s just a circus to keep us distracted, the POTUS  position is largely ceremonial. I guess I’ve reached peak cynicism. If something really noteworthy happens I’m sure I’ll comment on it, but until then, there’s plenty else to write about besides the forever  campaign. I will be posting my Russiagate post  though, probably later this week.

It’s weird living in a world where politics has been so tied, to, well reality. So that if one expresses a fact, one’s political affiliation is assumed. I don’t think Putin interfered in the 2016 election … so I must be a Trump supporter. I think anthropogenic climate change is both real and serious. I must be some sort of bleeding heart Democrat. Clearly I’m confused? No, just trying to make sense out of it all. And, well, reality doesn’t conform to politics. Doesn’t conform to common sense either. Makes it lots of fun to try and figure out.

So, yeah, the last real progressive national legislation was passed in the sixties. Since then, Democrats have made progressive promises, but been short on follow up. And through it all, by law, by Supreme Court ruling, the corporate/banker rule of America has been reinforced. The GOP does it blatantly, the Dems are more subtle. So even if Bernie or another similar sounding candidate gets elected, I don’t think there is anything they can do. A bloated, corrupt, incompetant aristocracy rules the greatest empire the world has ever seen. The only question is how much richer they will get before it all falls down. What is going to happen when the last dollar in America is deposited in a tax sheltered offshore account? (Hat tip to Jarrod Diamond.)

Speaking of unreal beliefs, came across a you-tube video of tidepools near San Diego. The narrator was saying all these pools were barren, and they used to be thriving with life. OK, well, I guess. He didn’t have any ‘before’ images. And even if they have become lifeless, there are any number of perfectly prosaic reasons for a change. I’m not a marine biologist, but I have had expert classes in geology. Seashores change, any sort of minor change up or down the coast could cause this. So, what’s the big deal?

Well, the big deal is … Fukushima. Yes, Fukushima is dumping 400,000 thousand gallons of radioactive waste into the Pacific each day. And it’s killing the tide pools near San Diego! <Inset new keyboard and bandaged forehead here>  Sigh. And the guy who posted this posted was adamant that it was all “common sense.” I wish people were schooled more in logical fallacies. It would save a lot of time at least.

For the record, yes, Fukushima was a terrible nuclear meltdown. It was also a classic example of human error. It cost Japan a huge pile of money. It probably shortened the lives of hundreds of people. However, outside of the immediate area, the effects are effectively nonexistent. The 400,000 gallons of nuclear waste dumped daily? That’s about 1 ½ Olympic pools worth of slightly Tritium contaminated water. Tritium is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope, and the amount being released is trivial. Calling this water nuclear waste is scaremongering at its worst.

And Fukushima sure as hell isn’t killing tide pools in San Diego! My God, if the water in those tide pools was radioactive enough to sterilize them, the people wading in them would get radiation burns. People would notice. The truth of the matter is, nuclear power is one of the safest and greenest power options. It’s vastly better than coal, to date it’s estimated that nuclear power has saved nearly two million lives by replacing coal plants. Coal power is what’s killing the planet, nuclear power is part of the global warming solution, not part of the problem.

Which doesn’t freaking mean I’m a Trump supporter or I don’t support green power like solar and wind! The more green power the better! But until we utterly decentralize the power grid and cover the planet with batteries to provide power when it’s night and the wind stops, we need 24/7 power plants to fill the gaps. And hands down nuclear is safer and greener than coil/oil/gas plants. End rant.

FWIW, I endorse Bernie Sanders. He’s talking about important issues. Things that, if implemented, will make improvements in the lives of regular Americans. His proposals aren’t even all that radical, but decades of increasingly blind partisanship has made any real debate impossible. Trump made many equally populist promises, if he had been good to his word America might be a better place. He wasn’t, populist promises are about getting votes, period. As Clinton and Obama amply demonstrated.

The image above  I stumbled upon, but it’s an interesting image. The giveaway of public resources started in the 19th century. The railroad land giveaway was the second greatest gift of public resources to corporations in American history. At least they used it to build a railway system that promoted and supported development and industry. It was a big deal at the time as the image shows. The biggest giveaway was in the early 1990s, the digital spectrum giveaway, but no one knows about it since by then the media was owned by the same corporations getting the freebies. Times have changed, and not for the better.

So next post, mutant cats, art on Mars or some such. Have a great holiday week everyone, Americans and Canadians alike.

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Campaign poster from the 1880 presidential campaign. Credit: Democratic Party of 1880, Public Domain under US Copyright Law.)

Written by unitedcats

July 1, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Posted in Elections, Politics, Trump

ARE WE AT WAR WITH IRAN YET?

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British_supply_convoy_in_Iran,_headed_by_Soviet_BA-10_armored_vehicle

OK, taking a break from my vacation to write two posts. First, about the Iran/Trump kerfuffle, because it is a scary situation that might blow up into an actual shooting war. Second, more on Russiagate, due to popular demand. (I never should have started that Facebook group.) Plus I like writing, I had fun with the new cat species post.

So, Iran. the US has been playing brinkmanship with Iran ever since they overthrew the US sponsored dictatorship that ruled Iran with an iron fist for decades. The nerve, if a nation’s government is good enough for the US, why, it’s good enough for the nation’s citizens! Yes, I’m being facetious. In any event, I will discuss several features of the current situation, primarily the drone shoot down, and Trump’s supposedly cancelled attack. I don’t know how long this article will remain current as the situation is rapidly evolving. Another reason for a quick break from my vacation. In any event the biggest codicil to keep in mind is no one in either administration can be trusted to tell the truth at times like this, so us worms can speculate endlessly and still not know what’s going on. Still, it’s fun to speculate. It’s what worms do.

So, Iran shot down a US drone. That’s about all we know for sure. Was it an unexpected shoot down? I’ve heard this type of drone was designed not to be shot down by the type of missile that hit it. Does this means the Iranians are more capable than expected? Or did the US point the drone at Iran, turn off its electronic countermeasures, and wait for them to shoot it down? Who knows. It wasn’t just any drone either, it was a $100 million plus spy drone, which would argue the drone shoot down was not part of US plans. The only thing that can be safely said is that this isn’t something to get excited about, let alone go to war over. Alas, I have seen a number of “Bomb the Mullahs!” posts and comments on Trump supporter web sites.

Then Trump’s claim that he authorised an attack and then called it off at the last moment. I can’t think of anything good about this one. If true, it’s sort of good news, but it’s also crazy. What if some military assets didn’t get the stand down order? Or maybe the Trump administration was just trying to scare Iran? Maybe, but it’s not like Iran is unaware of imminent US threats, and it’s not like the US has exercised restraint when it comes to bombing people.

Which leads to, why is Trump doing this? The idea that Iran is being aggressive or is behind the tanker incidents literally doesn’t pass the laugh test. Trump claims there will be new sanctions “to prevent Iran from getting the bomb.” Newsflash, Iran gave up their nuclear bomb program long ago, and their peaceful nuclear program is heavily monitored by the international community. That’s what the freaking treaty with Iran did, the treaty that Trump pulled out of!  So dunno, maybe Trump’s usual mindless hostility towards any Muslims not in America’s pocket. It’s the Saudis waging war on their neighbours and destabilizing the region, not Iran. Maybe Trump just wants to drive the price of oil up.

Or possibly this is all cover and distraction for “The deal of the century” in Palestine. That would be where Israel effectively annexes the West Bank, bypassing the Palestinian Authority, by signing a “treaty” with some Palestinian businessmen. In other words, Israel will buy off a few prominent Palestnians to legitimize the final elimination of any possibility for independence and justice for the Palestinian people. Occupation forever. Shades of American treaties with the American Indians. A big enough crisis in the Middle East could give Israel all the cover it needs.

The scary thing about all this is that no one knows how a war with Iran would play out. In the infamous Millenium Challenge 2002 wargame run by the Pentagon, Iran launched a preemptive attack, sinking over a dozen US warships with at least 20,000 dead. At that point the Pentagon halted the wargame, and then rewrote the rules so the US was guaranteed to win the rematch. Not the first time in history that a military leader has cancelled results he didn’t like in a wargame. In the wargame just linked, the Japanese proceeded with their plan despite the wargame outcome, and went on to suffer a crushing war-changing defeat at the Battle of Midway. Could Iran win a war with the USA? Not bloody likely. Could a US attack on Iran go catastrophically bad and lead to major losses to the US? Sure. I certainly don’t want to see the Russian theory that 70 cruise missiles fired at a US carrier would sink it put to the test.

So, the situation continues to unfold. The US is now claiming they launched a cyber attack on Iranian weapons systems. Which would be an act of war of course, but the US has no qualms about waging war and claiming it was justified somehow. In this case it’s especially ludicrous since none of the accusations of Iranian “aggression” are particularly well founded. Our aggression, we brag about it but call it anything but aggression. In any event who the hell knows what is really going on, “The first casualty of war is truth.” Trump is playing with fire though, I can only hope it ends with a whimper, not a bang.

Mostly just another manufactured crisis to distract us while our pockets are picked. It saddens me how over the past few years we’ve been trained to think of the world as being primarily made of threats. It’s not a healthy outlook, but it sure sells weapons. One last link that seems to have a decent overview of the situation. And, you know, should nuclear war breaks out, this is what to do.

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: British supply convoy with Soviet escorts in Iran, part of the 1941 Anglo-Russian occupation of Iran. September 1941 The west has been invading and meddling in Iran for a century, this is just one of the more egregious instances. Credit: Unknown. Public Domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

June 25, 2019 at 12:56 pm

Posted in current events, Iran, Trump, War

THROUGH THICK AND THIN

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game-of-thrones-starbucks-coffee-cup-mistake-fb6Photo from this website.

This one really is an extemporaneous post. It’s Thursday night, exhausted from a long day of physical therapy, treasure hunting, and politics. The therapy went well, I am slowly but surely recovering the use of my left arm. The treasure hunting, great exercise! Sunshine! Good company! Treasure, no. A 1982 quarter and a rusty 60s matchbox car. Oh well, it was a proof of concept treasure hunt, so in that sense it was a success. The politics. Sigh.

So, I went to a water quality meeting. It was depressing, but at least people are doing something. Or trying to. In a nutshell, Iowa’s environment is being destroyed by out of control factory farm growth. A wonderful example of how capitalism has failed, or been hijacked by moneyed interests, in the USA. In a nutshell, factory farms pass terrible environmental costs onto the public, destroy property values, destroy quality of life, and destroy jobs and family farms. All so a tiny handful of people, often foreigners, can profit. And that a tiny number of rich people can basically screw 3 million Iowans shows just what a farce our “democracy” has become.

Speaking of failed democracy, Alabama has passed the most restrictive “Strip Women of Their Rights” bill yet. It claims it’s about preventing abortion, but of course does nothing of the kind except make abortions dangerous and expensive. If these self styled “Christian” lawmakers wanted to prevent abortion they would pass bills calling for comprehensive sex education, birth control on demand, and Planned Parenthoods everywhere. They don’t, just Evangelical Christians trying to force their medieval beliefs on everyone. Fortunately the law is blatantly unconstitutional so unlikely to ever go into force. And for the record, no, having a heartbeat no more makes a fetus alive than it makes a person alive. One’s heart can be beating just fine while they are legally and actually dead. It’s a functioning brain that makes someone alive, not a heartbeat.

Trump continues to ratchet up tensions with Iran. Even our allies are confused. Hell, I’m confused. Not sure why Trump suddenly got his knickers in a twist about Iran. Nothing has changed I’m aware of. The Mueller Report and other political distractions are no more a danger to Trump than they ever were. Trump’s not going to be impeached, and even if he is, the GOP will be calling all the shots. IE a Trump impeachment is far more likely to benefit the GOP  than the Dems. If Trump somehow gets forced out, we get Pence with a wildly invigorated base willing to rally round him in 2020. The Dems already forming circular firing squad won’t stand a chance.

The big struggle I have been having with my blogging lately is truth decay. I find myself living in a world where facts and opinion have been increasingly conflated. A world where (just for example) a major political party and tens of millions of Americans reject global warming and evolution. And there’s so many others these days, flat earthers, anti-vaxxers, 9/11 truthers, birthers, etc. I don’t want to ridicule or put down such people, I don’t see how that helps. Plus I like having friends and readers. I suspect I have my blind spots too. I guess I am going to resolve this issue by being honest about the facts, and be open to debate if someone wants to challenge them. We had some great climate change and 9/11 truther debates on my old blog. Certainly open to suggestion.

Game of Thrones is almost over. And yes, a Starbucks cup was left in a scene. Meh, these sorts of errors are far more common than most people realize. We just don’t notice them because we aren’t looking for them. No worries. Season 8 is getting some shade though, a lot of fans find it too rushed and shallow. A petition has been launched. They’re kind of right. A huge amount of time was spent setting up a bunch of characters and their character development/story arcs … only to have them come to abrupt squishy ends. Me, meh, the good way outweighs the bad, so enjoying immensely. Looking forward to having it be done so can talk about it.

Tim Conway and Doris Day passed in the last week. I quipped to my housemate that “celebrities always die in threes, I wonder who is next?” I regret my flippancy as I see we lost another celebrity this morning. Grumpy Cat of Internet meme fame as died. RIP little cat, you brought smiles to a lot of faces for seven years.

Shares appreciated. Have a great weekend everyone.

(Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.)

Written by unitedcats

May 17, 2019 at 6:30 am