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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Princess went to the Rainbow Bridge today

For almost fourteen years, we were blessed with the most wonderful cat. We rescued her from a shelter in Vermont. She was a wedding present, and we always celebrated her birthday the same day as our anniversary. When we found her, in her cage with her brother, she reached her paw out and touched my nose. We brought them both home, but Hanson was sick, and never got better. Princess was different.

Princess was a love, there's no other way to describe her. She was my unofficial service kitty. She knew, somehow, that I have chronic anxiety, and whenever I walked into a room where she was, she would chirp. If Princess was flopped down on a rug, and I walked by, she would grab at me with a paw, as if to say "Hey! Look at my fluffy tummy, get down here and adore me." And I would, every time.

We moved her from Vermont to Minnesota, then to another house in Minnesota, and finally, to where we are now. And while she hated-hated-being in the car, she knew that wherever we were, she was home and safe.

This morning, I couldn't find her. I went downstairs and she was semi-conscious on the entryway floor. I picked her up and rather than tensing up in her usual "I love you but if you don't put me down I will bite your face off" way, she was limp. I put her gently on her chair, and she couldn't stand. She was disoriented, growling, her ears were back. Princess was in pain.

So we did what many pet parents have to do. We went to the vet, my husband driving quickly but gently, me holding Princess in my arms, our son in the backseat, petting her softly. I already knew, somewhere in my aching heart, what today would bring, but I was still hopeful.

The vet put in a catheter, then brought Princess out to us, after moving us to a larger room. I sat in a chair, holding her, talking to her, while she rested her head on my shoulder. We spent time with her, just reminding her how very much we loved her. Then the vet came back with two syringes. Her fur wet with my tears, Princess went to sleep. Princess went to the Rainbow Bridge.

My beautiful, wondrous, amazing, loving, fluffy cat is dashing around a catnip field, most likely bopping her brother on the nose, and stalking butterflies. My heart is breaking, but I know we made the right decision.

The house is empty. My husband is removing her accoutrements, because he knows I cannot bear to do that. For nearly fourteen years, Princess was my angel kitty, and today, she finally gets her wings.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Trump declares today National Day of Prayer

Image from The Frame Problem

Donald Trump has decided Sunday, September 3, is a national day of prayer for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Because when the Superfund sites are flooded, and Trump is planning to cut $1.3 billion from the Coast Guard and FEMA, prayer is pretty much all we have left.

Many of us have been praying since last November, specifically November 8. You remember November 8, right? We thought there was no chance a sociopathic con man with a dead badger on his head would be elected president. And yet, here we are. The smarmiest man in history is occupying the Oval Office, parading around bragging about how big his hands are, congratulating Purple Heart recipients, promoting his own clothing line, and enjoying the love and support of actual Nazis.

So today, we're supposed to pray. A guy who said, out loud, that he has never asked God for forgiveness, told us to pray. Trump asking us to pray is like me giving a TED Talk on astrophysics: I don't know very much about astrophysics, I may have tried to read a book on the subject once, but would most likely misquote it (think two Corinthians).

You know what works a lot better than prayer? Action. Unfortunately for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, our president is focused on action that will make recovering from Harvey, and future storms, harder. He's focused on cutting funding for the Coast Guard and FEMA to fund endless war. He's focused on ending health insurance for millions of people, including people hurt by Harvey. He's focused on cutting the budgets of government agencies that protect air and water quality.

You want to help? Actually help the victims of Hurricane Harvey? Donate money through reputable charities, find out how to send much-needed items to Texas and Louisiana. You can pray while you do that, but remember: Actions speak louder than words. Praying while you sit in your mega-church won't help, anymore than Trump staring at a television monitor, or pretending to give a shit about a little African American girl, or declaring a national day of prayer, will help.

Here are some links to get you started.

Crowd Rise fundraiser by Supernatural cast.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Global Giving.

GoFundMe has a page dedicated to Harvey relief efforts.

There's a story about a drowning man who asks God to save him. As the man is treading water, a rowboat comes by. The man yells "No, God will save me." Then a motorboat approaches, but the man yells "No, God will save me." Finally, a helicopter appears overhead, and the man yells again "No, God will save me." The man drowns, ends up in Heaven, and asks God why God didn't save him. God replies "I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you want?"

A national day of action would have been much more effective than a national day of prayer, but when the president is a cowardly con man, we get what we get.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Here comes the master race?

Image from Reddit

Nazis believe in, and support, many things. Genocide, eugenics, their own genetic superiority, Adolf Hitler, and the so-called master race. According to historical accounts, the "master race" was invented by Hitler. It's not actually a thing, but Nazis think it is, and again, according to history, members of this mythical race must be "blond, blue-eyed, and tall." You know, like Hitler.

In recent days, we have been introduced to a lot of Nazis. They took their tiki torches, swastikas, and Nazi flags to Charlottesville, Virginia, where these "master racers" used pipes to beat a young black man, screamed Nazi slogans while terrorizing a group of peaceful protesters, and one of them used a car as a murder weapon. Thanks to a documentary on Vice, we learned more than we ever wanted to know about these evil bastards, these Nazis who believe in Hitler's Aryan dream. 

Speaking of Aryan, did you know a growing number of scholars have determined Aryan was not an ethnic label but a social one? This means there's really no such thing as an "Aryan race." You can read more about that here. Don't tell a Nazi his (or her) dream of an Aryan race is delusional; they get very upset when anyone challenges their insane belief system.

And speaking of the "master race," it seems like a good time to take a look at three men who cling to Nazi ideals, believe they are superior to the rest of us, and want to wipe Jews, African Americans, the LGBTQ community, and anyone else they deem inferior, off the surface of the planet. 

Christopher Cantwell is a raging Nazi white supremacist who, up until this week, had a Facebook page (removed by Facebook) and an OkCupid account (removed by OkCupid who also banned him for life). Cantwell was a highly visible figure in Charlottesville; he marched with those "good people" on Friday night, he is always heavily armed, and he thinks Heather Heyer deserved to die. 

But there's another side to this prime specimen of the "master race," a softer side, a side filled with Nazi tears. See, after Charlottesville, Mr. Cantwell discovered there was a warrant out for his arrest, and he became so terrified of going to jail, he made a little video. Where he cried. About possibly going to jail. A man who claims he would die for his cause blubbered on camera about being arrested. Watch:

The "master race" cries in fear when threatened with arrest. Good to know.

Next, there's Matthew Heimbach:

Image from IndyStar

This is the "master race," this guy? It's important to note that Ku Klux Kryptkeeper David Duke adores Matthew and many think Matt is the next David Duke. Heimbach has dark hair, dark eyes, a neck beard, and looks like he passes out after climbing a flight of stairs. He's got three chins for shit's sake. He looks "Aryan" the way a cat looks like a Ford F-150. I'm 51 years old, and I am pretty sure I could not only chase this little fucker down, I could probably do him some serious physical damage using nothing but historical facts and a feather duster.

Finally, there is an unnamed white dude who was caught on camera by journalist CJ Hunt yelling "fuck fuck fuck" as he fled a counter protester. Said unnamed white dude ripped off his white polo shirt while dropping a Monster energy drink, and tried to explain to Mr. Hunt that he was just there for the "fun:"

This is what happens when 4chan trolls leave Mom's basement and head out into the real world. "Holy crap, who knew a black guy would take offense at me saying white power for the lulz?" 

If this is the "master race," we're all going to be fine. A guy who cries when faced with the possibility of arrest, a guy who couldn't run half the length of a football field without falling over with exhaustion, and Pasty White Dude who's just there because saying white power is funny. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Another man on Facebook thinks I should die

Image from Medium

Earlier today, I wrote an article about Donald Trump. I posted a link to that article in a discussion thread on Lynda Carter's Facebook page. A man named Travis Small was deeply offended by my article, and responded with the following comment:

 Travis Small  Did he say that? Or did he condemn them? I guess you're watching CNN... or just being as ignorant as the rest of the haters of America... Who think it's ok to have Black LIves Matters and ANIFTA running freely through the streets burning and destroying peoples livelihoods and personal properties... Get real.. those thugs that were there causing all the trouble are the ones who need to be plowed down. and that is you Black lives matter and anifta.. The ones who was peacefully marching had a permit and it was their right to march... so suck it up.. This is America... and everyone has a right to march or protest PEACEFULLY...

The part that got my attention was where he wants me dead, sorry "plowed down." Did you notice that? "Get real..those thugs that were causing all the trouble are the ones who to to be plowed down. and that is you Black lives matter and ANIFTA [sic].."

So, in the world of Travis Small, Nazis are the good guys, and those of us trying to fight against Nazis should be "plowed down." The Nazis were marching peacefully (with torches while screaming "Jews will not replace us" and "Blood and soil") and the counter-protesters, the people who used their bodies to protect members of the clergy, people like Deandre Harris, Marcus Martin, and Heather Heyer, were causing all the trouble. Heather Heyer who was "plowed down" by a Nazi using a Dodge Charger as a murder weapon, whose memorial service is today

Travis ends his hateful, violent screed by writing the word "peacefully" all in caps. Is that irony or hypocrisy? How does it work, I wonder, in Travis Small's mind, how can he write that I and everyone else fighting against Nazis in whatever way we can deserve to be killed, and then write about peace? 

But I guess this is your typical Trump supporter. Nazis are peaceful protesters, people fighting against Nazis are causing trouble and deserve to "plowed down." 

I reported Travis to Facebook, but since there doesn't seem to be a way to share what Travis wrote, his profile will most likely remain up. I think the best way to fight back against someone like Travis is to make sure people know exactly who, and what, he is. Travis is a man who believes someone like me deserves to be murdered. 

Donald Trump prefers actual Nazis to people fighting Nazis

Tuesday evening, Donald Trump got his base back. He nearly lost them Monday, when he read words he does not believe off a teleprompter. But the Nazis and the Klan members and David Duke and Christopher Cantwell and Andrew Anglin knew he was forced to say those things. They saw Trump's face as he called his base what they are in a monotone, as if he was a hostage and someone had a gun to his head. His base understood the hidden message: I don't believe what I am saying.

And on Tuesday, Donald Trump showed himself for precisely what he is. Donald Trump is a narcissistic, sociopath who sympathizes with Nazis. He stated there were "bad people" on the Nazi side of what happened in Charlottesville, but that the other side had very "violent people." He did not mention Deandre Harris, the young man almost beaten to death by Nazi thugs, he did not mention Marcus Martin, the young man who was hit by the Dodge Charger a Nazi used as a weapon of mass destruction, and he most certainly did not mention Heather Heyer, the young woman murdered by that same Nazi. He did mention her mother, but only in reference to himself:

I thought that the statement put out, the mother’s statement, I thought was a beautiful statement. I tell you, it was something that I really appreciated. I thought it was terrific. Under the kind of stress that she is under and the heartache that she is under, I thought putting out that statement to me was really something I won’t forget. Thank you all very much. Thank you.

Trump also took a few moments to brag about a winery he has in Charlottesville:

Charlottesville is a great place that’s been very badly hurt over the last couple of days. I own actually one of the largest wineries in the United States. It’s in Charlottesville.

Trump's words on Tuesday were divisive, historically inaccurate, and incredibly dangerous. By treating the counter-protesters as somehow worse than the Nazis who descended on Charlottesville, he gave his support to the driver of that Dodge Charger, he gave his support to monsters like Christopher Cantwell and David Duke and Andrew Anglin.

Charles Krauthammer, a conservative pundit, called Trump's words a "moral disgrace." Marco Rubio countered Trump's words on Twitter, stating the organizers of the Nazi protest were "100% to blame" for the violence. Other conservative politicians rebuked Trump as well, including Paul Ryan, Steve Scalise, and Jeff Flake.

Donald Trump said there were "good people" in Charlottesville on Friday night, people who just wanted to calmly protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. Good people, who wielded torches as they screamed "Jews will not replace us," and "Blood and soil." 

Image from NBC news

Trump echoed many conservatives on the internet when he spoke about permits, as if having a permit gives a group of Nazis permission to terrorize, beat, and use a Dodge Charger as a murder weapon. In Donald Trump's mind, it would seem, as long as you have the proper paperwork, you can do whatever you want. Well, if you're a Nazi. Black Lives Matter protests have secured permits, and Trump supporters, including Sheriff David Clarke, have called BLM a hate group and a terrorist organization. 

David Duke thanked Donald Trump on Twitter Tuesday evening, writing:

Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa

David Duke, a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, thanked Donald Trump. That's where we are now. The President of the United States, who is anything but presidential, is so beloved by Nazis and white supremacists, one of their leaders thanked him for his "honesty and courage." 

Can you imagine if Trump had been the president during World War II? He would have shamed the Allies, said there were bad people on both sides, given speeches about the good people in the Nazi party who were just trying to preserve history, and perhaps received a telegram from Hitler thanking Trump for his "honesty and courage."

You want to know who Trump was defending? Who those good people were? The ones with the permit? Vice News sent journalist Elle Reeve to Charlottesville, and she spoke with the leaders and organizers of the Nazi protest. Listen to their words, watch their faces, see what and who they really are. And while you watch, remember that Donald Trump thinks they are the victims.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dear George Soros: Where's My Money?

Image from Huffington Post

Over the past decade, there have been whispers, quick comments here and there, about a man named George Soros, and how he's paying liberals to do all sorts of things. Protest, attend rallies and vigils, write things on the internet, create content, start Facebook pages and Twitter accounts-all of these, according to many conservatives, are paid positions thanks to Mr. Soros. Even Donald Trump believes we're getting paid to protest.

No one I know has ever been paid by George Soros to protest, to write a comment on an article, to create a meme, but that doesn't mean it's not happening. Look at how right conservatives were about "Pizzagate" that's a really bad example. President Obama's birth certificate nope. Hillary Clinton murdering people and no, that...

Okay, there is a slight chance conservatives made this up. So many of them believe that we're all getting paid by George Soros, however, that it made me wonder if, perhaps, I should reach out to Mr. Soros and ask him: Where's my money?

Mr. Soros, I've been a faithful member of the Democratic party for as long as I can remember. And for ten years, I have been writing online, commenting online, creating memes, helping admin Facebook pages, I even made a few videos. But I've never received a check, a money order, Bitcoins, a gift card, a lifetime subscription to the Jelly-of-the-Month club, nothing. You have never paid me for all the things conservatives tell me I should be getting paid for.

I made a list for you, Mr. Soros, to give you an idea of what I believe my liberalism is worth. I took into account what conservatives have said I am being paid, and added some figures of my own. I hope you appreciate that I am low-balling all of this, because I know many other liberals who will probably be reaching out to you, asking about their money, too.

1) Articles

Ten years, five websites, probably over 1,000 articles. Let's make that an even 1,000. At $20 an article, you owe me $20,000. Which seems fair.

2) Social media

Ten years, three Facebook pages, and (again, low-balling) ten thousand comments. We'll ignore the Facebook pages, and just focus on the comments. The reason? I cannot recall how many times, after writing a comment on an article or post, I have been told I am a paid Soros troll. So, ten thousand comments, at, oh I don't know, .50 a comment, that comes to $5,000.

3) Activism

Mr. Soros, I will admit I have not been to as many rallies, protests, and marches as I should. You see, sir, I have chronic anxiety, and large crowds cause me great stress. I can't go to the mall on weekends, and the one time I went to Costco on a Saturday, I almost had a panic attack in the condiment aisle. But I have managed to attend three events, along with founding the original We Are Woman. On Sunday, a conservative woman told me I was paid $25 to attend a vigil Saturday evening. One pride parade, one anti-Trump march, and one vigil=$75. Add to that $100 for founding an actual organization, my activism total comes to $175.

I prefer to be paid by check, but if necessary, you can drop cash down our chimney. You know, like Santa, because Santa is as real as the idea that you are paying liberals to do all these things.

Love, Erin

PS: I think I understand why so many conservatives are convinced liberals are all Soros trolls. Standing up for the disenfranchised, the marginalized, the poor, immigrants, people of color, the LGBTQ community, are all foreign concepts to a lot of folks on the right. The idea of taking time out of one's day to march down a street with others in support of people who don't look like you, or pray like you, or love like you, is unthinkable to quite a few conservatives.

Getting together with a bunch of polo-shirt wearing, tiki-torch bearing, actual Nazis makes perfect sense; supporting Black Lives Matter if you're not black is a head-scratcher.

Monday, August 14, 2017

White People, We Let This Happen

Hello, fellow white people. Feeling a bit discombobulated today? Wondering what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend? Asking yourself how it got to this point? Signing petitions and sharing memes to soothe your broken heart? 

Guess what? We let this happen. Last November, we could have voted for the most qualified presidential candidate in modern history, but we didn't, did we? No, we most certainly did not. Some white liberals wrote in Bernie Sanders because HER EMAILS, some white liberals voted for Jill Fucking Stein because GOLDMAN SACHS, some white liberals stayed home and pouted, and the rest of us voted for Hillary Clinton. It wasn't enough. Hillary won the popular vote, but we wound up with Donald Trump as POTUS. 

Of course, we've been letting this happen for decades, this being dumping the fight at the feet of the victims. We expect people of color to change the system, while we sign our petitions and share our memes. We expect the men and women who have endured so much pain, bloodshed, hate, violence, and loss, to fight this battle. It's not their fight, it's ours. Black people did not beat the living shit out of Deandre Harris, white people did that. Black people did not drive a Dodge Charger through a crowd of counter-protesters, injuring dozens, and killing Heather Heyer, a white guy did that. And not just a white guy; an actual, 100% bonafide Nazi. 

Black people did not descend on Charlottesville armed with tiki torches, decked out in polo shirts and khakis, screaming "JEWS WILL NOT REPLACE US," that was white people. And here are a few more white people who decided to let their Nazi flag fly in comment sections on Facebook under articles on Breitbart, Info Wars, and Fox:

Michael Meeks I'm just tired of the BLM movement always protesting about something and then going back to slavery, it's a confederate general, it's not a big deal for God's sake. Slavery happened in the past, that stupid movement should keep it in the past. Also, how come they don't understand that their own people sold them out? So sad the direction is that our society is moving into

Timothy Launhardt Antifa and blm started the violence.

Donald M. Dawson * it’s now been confirmed that it was indeed a Democrat Party member and Antifa terrorist drove his car into free speech advocates in Charlottesville Virginia this morning

Chris L Lindeman Trump needs to put the National Guard on the streets to deal with ANTIFA and BLM. Put the in civics prison. Take their citizenship away until they learn some manners. It isn't the responsibility of fringe right wing groups or the silent majority to police the street. ANTIFA and BLM will continue to be paid to attack Trump supporters so watch your backs.


Len Snart Our side had permits. They forced us out of Lee Park. There was no violence from us until antifa started attacking, we responded with self defence. 

I found two white men who thought reposting memes from The Daily Stormer was a great idea:

Speaking of The Daily Stormer, Andrew Anglin, evil Nazi creator and sole contributor to TDS, came up with a pretty brilliant way to make money. Thanks to Amy Siskind and her many followers, Go Daddy is dumping TDS. Anglin will no longer have a host for his Nazi website so he needs funds fast. What better way to drive traffic to a hate-filled website than to convince liberals Anonymous has hacked said website? WOOHOO yelled too many white liberals, and in their exuberance they began sharing links to The Daily Stormer as proof. Except no, it's all bullshit, Anonymous did not hack TDS, and you all just made money for an actual Nazi. I'm sure Andrew Anglin thanks you for your support.

But this is how we got here, it's what I mean when I tell you we let this happen. It took me less than 2 minutes to verify what I was already 99% sure of-Anonymous did not hack TDS. And when I proved it, people still argued with me. When I point out Hillary Clinton never murdered anyone, people argue with me. When other fact-based activists, writers, content creators, average white liberals with a double-digit IQ, call out the lies and the bias and the hyperbole, they are shouted down. Because too many white liberals are lazy as fuck.

Too many white liberals want people of color to fight this battle. Too many white liberals refuse to understand how they are complicit in everything that has happened, not just since the election, but for decades. Too many white liberals are willing to march with other white liberals, but have never been to a Black Lives Matter protest or rally. Too many white liberals whitesplain to people of color without ever listening. "I'm on your side, I have black friends, I have a BLM sign in the front yard of my 4,000-square-foot house, I give money to the NAACP, I just can't go to every rally or march; I have a job/life/family/vacation plans, but let me sign this petition from Change dot org, and pat myself on the back."

We let this happen. This is all on us, and it's all on us to fix it. We need to tell Nazis to GTFO of our cities, our schools, our government, our neighborhoods, our country. These are evil, violent people who wear a swastika while waving an American flag. They believe they have the right to preach their hate, to assault people of color, to kill, to beat, they believe they can be both a Nazi and an American.

That flag they wave beat that swastika they wear in WWII. And it's up to white people to make sure the new Nazis get beaten again. The fight belongs to us because we let this happen.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dear Bernie-or-Busters:You're not progressives

I am very lucky in that I have quite a few brilliant, passionate, politically savvy friends. One of those friends is Sabine Blunt. We've known each other awhile, and we have very similar personalities. And sometimes, when I get so angry I can't see straight, somehow Sabine reads my mind, and writes down precisely what I'm thinking.

Thus I present to you the words of Sabine Blunt, words with which I agree 100%, reprinted with her permission.

Once again, I am filled with loathing for the short sightedness of Bernie or Busters and Third Party voters and non voters. They get my special focus because they seems to think they are part of the Left and "on my side," which they decidedly are not. Trump voters don't even pretend to give a damn about anyone but their own families.

I remember during the primary last year, so called progressives were saying that Clinton was "just more of the same", "just as bad as Trump,", and that we needed to "burn the system down and start over."

To say I was infuriated by those people calling themselves progressives is a bit of an understatement, as they pretty much define the idea of NOT creating any positive changes, but there will always be some of those, and I still (wrongly) believed they would not be important in the election...

Most of those people have shut up now. I think they realize the damage being done by TrumpCo far outstrips anything the fictional Crooked Hillary would have done, and what idiots they were to fall for that rhetoric.

But some of them are still crowing about how they stuck it to the Dems, and how we all deserve this because something something Bernie.

Well, congratulations.

You had your chance to prevent this disaster, and you decided to choose personal purity over the social contract. And you may not get a chance to vote again to fix this.

While we were all (justifiably livid) over Trump's unpresidential twitter feuds, the Republicans continue to consolidate their power to prevent unhappy US citizens from calling them out on their crap.

While they simultaneously try to undermine ObamaCare at ANY cost, including just repealing it with no replacement, and their popularity dips below 20%, they are also defunding and undermining the efforts of the only federal agency tasked with helping states to prevent election fraud hacking.

Let me repeat that for clarity:

In a time when US Intelligence can say without a doubt that Russian hackers targeted American voter rolls and election software, the GOP is defunding the only agency that tries to help prevent that. That is as much as an open invitation to those hackers to continue their work.

In addition, the GOP Congress formed a commission to look into voter fraud, which is frequently cited but virtually never founded in any facts, which has demanded that all 50 states hand over their voter rolls, and that they explicitly describe their plans to purge those lists of voters. The message is clear: give less people access to the vote.

The chair of this commission, and at least one of other member, are both well known for their opposition and activism to the Voting Rights Act. I'm sure this is just a coincidence. (sarcasm, for those who don't know me).

Slavery ended officially in 1865 and it took 100 years of activism, death, outrage, and suffering for the Voting Rights Act to be established and to start amending the lack of access to full citizenship. It was imperfect and was still needing activism and outrage to move it further, but now we're being moved backwards. Fast.

So yeah, congrats to the Bernie or Busters, the Third Party voters, and the non voters.
Instead of fixing our system you were willing to risk it ending.

Well, it seems you're getting what you wanted.

Go celebrate, but don't complain when your rights are restricted, as you couldn't be bothered being an ally to others.

And please, stop calling yourselves progressives. You're nothing but nihilist libertarians, wrapping yourselves in a liberal flag.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Does Donald Trump have the same personality structure as a serial killer?

Every day, Donald Trump takes to Twitter to release his id. Every day, I read those tweets and sigh, or roll my eyes, or listen to my husband swear. But this morning, one of those tweets stopped me cold.

This morning, Donald Trump forgot his act, forgot his con, and wrote:

If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!

What Trump is saying in this message is clear: Throw millions of people off healthcare because he can't get his way. He doesn't care about the ramifications of this, he has no empathy for US citizens who depend on the ACA for insurance, he wants them to suffer. He wants us to suffer. The parents whose child has leukemia, the single mom with MS, the 9/11 first responder struggling with COPD or PTSD, the grandfather with Alzheimer's. Trump doesn't care about any of us, he only cares about Trump.

His supporters don't understand, in any way, what they are cheering. Much like the women who were lured to their death by Ted Bundy's fake broken arm, Trump's fans are falling for a dangerous confidence game. A game that could, for many of them, result in their demise. Because their hero is a narcissistic sociopath.

It's important to note that antisocial personality disorder (sociopathy) cannot be cured, anymore that narcissistic personality disorder can. These are both part of the B Cluster of personality disorders, along with histrionic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. From the Mayo Clinic:

Cluster B personality disorders

Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior. They include antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.

Antisocial personality disorder

  • Disregard for others' needs or feelings
  • Persistent lying, stealing, using aliases, conning others
  • Recurring problems with the law
  • Repeated violation of the rights of others
  • Aggressive, often violent behavior
  • Disregard for the safety of self or others
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Consistently irresponsible
  • Lack of remorse for behavior

Borderline personality disorder

  • Impulsive and risky behavior, such as having unsafe sex, gambling or binge eating
  • Unstable or fragile self-image
  • Unstable and intense relationships
  • Up and down moods, often as a reaction to interpersonal stress
  • Suicidal behavior or threats of self-injury
  • Intense fear of being alone or abandoned
  • Ongoing feelings of emptiness
  • Frequent, intense displays of anger
  • Stress-related paranoia that comes and goes

Histrionic personality disorder

  • Constantly seeking attention
  • Excessively emotional, dramatic or sexually provocative to gain attention
  • Speaks dramatically with strong opinions, but few facts or details to back them up
  • Easily influenced by others
  • Shallow, rapidly changing emotions
  • Excessive concern with physical appearance
  • Thinks relationships with others are closer than they really are

Narcissistic personality disorder

  • Belief that you're special and more important than others
  • Fantasies about power, success and attractiveness
  • Failure to recognize others' needs and feelings
  • Exaggeration of achievements or talents
  • Expectation of constant praise and admiration
  • Arrogance
  • Unreasonable expectations of favors and advantages, often taking advantage of others
  • Envy of others or belief that others envy you

Envy, anger, paranoid ideation, attention-seeking, speaking dramatically without facts or details, disregard for other people's feelings, repeated violation of the rights of others. This is Donald Trump.

Trump also shares a number of key personality structures with one of the most infamous and prolific serial killers in U.S. history, Ted Bundy. In 2007, a group of psychologists were asked to participate in a study focused on the personality of Ted Bundy. Because Bundy's personality disorders did not meet one criteria over another, the psychologists used the FFM (Five-Factor Model) along with the DSM to define Ted Bundy:

Of course, the most notable aspect of Bundy’s FFM profile was the consistently low ratings on all six facets of antagonism, indicating that the clinicians saw him as manipulative, deceitful, mistrustful, arrogant and callous. However, consistent with the reports of Bundy’s success in political endeavors, the clinicians also rated him highly in the domain of extraversion, describing him as assertive, active, and thrill-seeking although also extremely low in the extraversion facet of warmth.

Bundy was described as being particularly low on all the facets of neuroticism, with the exception of angry hostility. This indicates that he was seen as relatively free from experiencing negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, and self consciousness, but also as having great difficulty controlling his anger. Perhaps the most noteworthy finding from the FFM ratings was his generally high ratings on the domain of conscientiousness.

In contrast with the impulsive, undercontrolled behavior that one would typically expect from an antisocial criminal, Bundy was described as being competent, orderly, achievement oriented and deliberate. Perhaps it was his characteristic style of careful planning and deliberate execution that enabled Bundy to avoid capture and arrest for so many years. 

Donald Trump has all the same traits as a violent predator: he's sadistic, he has no empathy, he believes he's more special than everyone else, he's arrogant, he has very frequent displays of intense anger, he lies, and he's even used aliases in the past.

When law enforcement arrest a serial killer or serial rapist, there are always people-friends, family members, neighbors-who stutter through an interview and say things like "He was so friendly, he was quiet, I had no idea." In Trump's case, we did have an idea, and yet, last November, it didn't matter. It didn't matter that he bragged about sexually assaulting women, it didn't matter that he enjoyed causing other people pain, it didn't matter that he objectified women, it didn't matter that he believed he deserved to be president because he was rich, it didn't matter that he's a racist, it didn't matter that many people already knew he had Cluster B personality disorders.

We are now a country run by a sadistic sociopath, who has zero regard for other people, who believes he is the smartest person in the world, who is all id, who rages against anyone and anything he deems less than, who hates women, who hates people of color, who sees the world's population as his own special plaything. 

Donald Trump has the launch codes. He is Commander in Chief. Donald Trump is the leader of the free world. And he has the same cluster of personality disorders as a serial killer. 

You can find a link to Trump's quotes about women, including where he says you have to treat women like shit, here.

Disclaimer: I am not a mental health specialist. However, having spent 30 years traversing the mental health landscape, coupled with decades of research, I am offering my opinion on Donald Trump. This article should in no way be viewed as a diagnosis.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Trump Throws Toxic Twitter Tantrum

Once again, Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to unleash his rage on a woman. And once again, this Twitter tantrum includes references to blood. And once again again, Melania Trump, who announced last November her platform would be combatting cyberbullying, is silent.

Let's start at the beginning. During the election, Morning Joe, or at least Joe Scarborough, was very gentle when it came to discussing Trump. Since Trump became president, both Scarborough and his co-host (and fiancée) Mika Brzezinski have let their hair down, and become harsh critics of the authoritarian president. This seems to be confusing for Trump, as evidenced by his toxic Twitter tantrum this morning:

He doesn't watch anymore because they "speak badly of him." What was this speaking badly that got Trump's Made-In-China boxers all in a twist? Morning Joe reported on a Politico story that claimed Rex Tillerson yelled at a White House aide, and commented on Trump's apparent favoritism toward his son-in-law. From the Washington Post:

During the show Thursday, both hosts raised concerns about the president seeming to sideline Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in favor of allowing his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to act as a de facto secretary of state. Brzezinski said that Trump's behavior is unlike that of any president before him.

"Let’s say someone came into NBC and took over NBC and started tweeting wildly about people’s appearances, bullying people, talking about people in the competition, lying every day, undermining his managers, throwing them under — the person would be thrown out. It’s just not normal behavior. In fact, there would be concern that perhaps the person who runs the company is out of his mind."

There's quite a bit of truth in Brzezinski's statement. If the CEO of a company behaved the way Trump does, that person would be thrown out. Trump is not exuding the calm, rational pragmatism we expect from the president. He's a 3-year-old, screaming in the middle of the mall because he didn't get his way. And Mika Brzezinski pointed out Trump has the hands of a toddler, too. Behold her response:

Some Republicans are not pleased that their orange mascot continues to have toxic tantrums on Twitter. Bill Kristol, a man not known for his liberalism, called Trump a "pig." The  White House however, in the form of the lovely and dishonest Sarah Huckabee, defended Trump's bullying, telling Fox Spews:

"This is a president who fights fire with fire and certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by the liberal media and the liberal elites within the media or in Hollywood or anywhere else."

Yes, that's fabulous, because what we really need is a president with a hair trigger who launches salvos when his ego gets bruised.

And yes, Melania Trump did really state last fall that her platform as First Lady would be cyberbullying. Many people, myself included, fell down laughing at the irony of Melania being married to a cyberbully while claiming she would fight cyberbullying. That's like being married to a Grand Dragon in the Klan, and working to rename a street in your town after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In fact, Mrs. Trump is not just ignoring her own husband's cyberbullying, she's defending it. In a statement to CNN, Mrs. Trump's communications director said:

"As the First Lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder."

Carrier's laying people off after telling Trump they wouldn't lay people off, the rest of the world thinks we're insane, over twenty million Americans will lose access to healthcare once Trump's Death Care bill passes, and the Muslim ban went into effect today. And the president of the Divided States is attacking a female journalist on Twitter, ranting about blood.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Death Care, Johnny Depp, Bill Cosby, and Penn State: What a Week!

What a great week it's been. Trump's Death Care Bill was finally released to the public, and hot damn, it's a doozy. When you scrape away the technical jargon, and get down to the bare bones, you realize that's what many Americans will become if this bill becomes law: bare bones. The gist of the GOP's Death Panel legislation is the poor will pay a lot more for really, really shitty health insurance. Vox has a good article on this, and it includes a chart!

Johnny Depp's in the news this week, and not because the 416th "Pirates of the Caribbean" sucks. No, it seems that Mr. Depp decided, while in England, to joke about assassination. According to CNN:

Even before Johnny Depp said it, the actor seemed to know that his comment would ignite controversy.

"This is going to be in the press, and it will be horrible..." he said, speaking to a crowd on Thursday. "When was the last time an actor assassinated a President?"

The actor was at the Glastonbury Festival in the UK when he made his remarks, which were recorded.
    The Secret Service is aware of the comments Depp made about President Donald Trump, Secret Service staff assistant Shawn Holtzclaw told CNN.

    "For security reasons, we cannot discuss specifically nor in general terms the means and methods of how we perform our protective responsibilities," according to a statement from the Secret Service.
    Depp brought up the topic of President Donald Trump while speaking to the crowd.
    "Can we bring Trump here?" he asked.

    The UK crowd booed and roared, "No."

    "I think he needs help," Depp said, as the crowd laughed.

    "This is going to be in the press, and it will be horrible," he said. He paused briefly and said, "But I like that you're all a part of it."

    "When was the last time an actor assassinated a President?" he asked.

    It appeared to be a reference to John Wilkes Booth, the actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

    After posing the question, Depp said, "I want to clarify. I'm not an actor."

    The crowd laughed.

    "I lie for a living," he said.

    Conservatives who cheered when Ted Nugent told Barack Obama to "suck on his machine gun" are livid this morning because, well, Obama's black, which makes threatening to kill him okay, but Twitler's white-orange, which makes a tasteless joke DEEPLY OFFENSIVE. Conservatives like Kelly:

    Kelly Dover Jordan This is not free speech! This is a threat to the President! Why is the Secret Service allowing this? This type of violent rhetoric should not be tolerated!

    And Dee:

    Dee Byrum MINE TOO!!!!!! Do they have a CLUE how stupid they are?? And their words are THREATS??? Why aren't they ARRESTED??? Most are washed up has beens anyway just wanting attention because they have no work.

    And Linda:

    Linda La Londe What angers me more than these idiot liberals making their threats, is how the secret service does nothing. I bet if I said this I'd be locked up.

    Depp's joke is making headlines, while the fact that he is a domestic abuser is not. In fact, when Amber Heard accused Depp of being violent towards her, she was labeled a liar and a gold digger. I guess a tasteless joke about assassination is bad, but beating a woman is fine.

    There are more, but honestly, there's a limit to how much of their hypocritical drivel I can stomach. On to Bill Cosby!

    Bill Cosby, accused and acquitted serial rapist, has recovered from being blind and at death's door so well, he's headed out on a speaking tour. That's right, young Americans, soon you will be able to listen to a man who drugged dozens of women and sexually assaulted them tell you how to get away with rape! No, seriously:

    Embattled comic Bill Cosby plans to embark on a town hall-style speaking tour to educate young people about sexual assault allegations.

    His spokespeople said on Thursday that due to changing laws, more young men will face sexual assault allegations.

    Mr Cosby narrowly escaped a prison sentence when a sexual assault trial against him ended in a hung jury.

    Prosecutors plan to retry the case. At least 50 other women accuse him of drugging and sexually assaulting them.

    Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt told WBRC-TV's Good Day Alabama that the comedian will begin his summer motivational speaking tour in Alabama as early as July.

    "This is bigger than Bill Cosby," Mr Wyatt said, adding "this issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today".

    "They need to know what they're facing when they're hanging out and partying, when they're doing certain things that they shouldn't be doing," he told the interviewer.

    Just a smidge more:

    Ebonee Benson, who also appeared on the programme, noted that the statute of limitations on sexual assault accusations is being lengthened, allowing accusers more time to come forward to authorities.

    "This is why people need to be educated on - you know, a brush on the shoulder - you know, anything at this point can be considered sexual assault and it's a good thing to be educated about the laws," said Ms Benson, who is a spokeswoman for Mr Cosby's wife, Camille.

    PS: This right here, this bullshit, is why women don't report rape.

    Finally, in what might be the most tone-deaf thing ever done anywhere, Penn State students are collecting teddy bears to give to kids in "stressful situations." You know what's a stressful situation for a kid? Being raped and molested by an adult. An adult who's a coach. And the coach's boss, the coach's college, the college's entire football program, conspire to protect that coach. And you know what happened at Penn State? Young boys were raped and molested by Jerry Sandusky, and the Penn State football program covered it up. Protected Sandusky over his victims. But it's okay now, because Penn State students are giving out teddy bears.

    Take the weekend to regroup, recharge, mow the lawn, wash the car, take a nap, get some sun, go to work, join a protest or rally, hug your dog/cat/ferret/whatever, spend time with your family. Walk on sunshine for two days, because you know next week will be just as FUBAR as this one.