Monday, May 22, 2017

As The Orb Turns

Here we are in Canada, celebrating the Victoria Day long weekend. Meanwhile, in a land far, far away, sinister forces are at work:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

An Insurmountable Divide

These days I find myself writing less on this blog and curating interesting material more. In that spirit, I offer the following letters from Star readers.

The first one suggests the necessity of engaging the other side of the Trump polarity, while the ones that follow show why that is never likely to happen:
Re: New doc aims to take down Donald Trump, May 18

No matter how persuasive a Michael Moore documentary might be, he will never convince Trump’s hardcore supporters, now estimated at more than 30 per cent of the American population, that Trump is guilty of anything except standing up to the left-wing media and intellectual elites.

They see Moore is just one more “libtard,” “leftie” or any other of the pejoratives they save for anyone who disagrees with their personal issues. Moore unfortunately is destined to preach only to the already converted, and I doubt he will have any effect whatsoever on the so-called “unwashed masses” who give whole-hearted support to the embattled president, no matter how outrageous he is.

What is needed is dialogue, not more bear bating. If there is going to be any consensus in American public thinking, we must listen to each other. The extremists on both sides are unwilling. That leaves the large middle group to really sit down and dialogue with each other, one on one, two on two, to hear each other’s concerns and hopes.

We must not only hear, but listen, and I’m not sure there is any politician in the U.S. or Canada, or anywhere else for that matter, who can lead us to the consensus we need.

Are we destined to become more split, more angry and more lacking in cohesion until the system falls prey to dystopia?

Stephen Bloom, Toronto

“Look at the way I’ve been treated. No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

These are the words of U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking to the graduating class of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday.

This says it all about the vain, ignorant and infantile man who occupies the Oval Office.

Trump embarks on his first foreign trip as an embattled and wounded president only four months into office. Not since Richard Nixon in 1974 has a president gone overseas so weakened. At least Nixon was six years into his presidency.

With the victory of Emmanuel Macron in France, western Europe seems to be stabilizing and the European project is safe for now. The wild card in international relations is the United States and its unstable president. And, of course, Vladimir Putin and the meddlesome actions of the Russian government.

Andrew van Velzen, Toronto

Trump asked me to stop Flynn probe, and Manning to remain on active duty, May 17

The fact that a soldier who shared secrets of the U.S. government has had to serve time in prison provides sharp contrast to a man who is perceived to have made improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation within the U.S. government who gets to serve time as president.

Let’s hope he is let out on parole early.

Janet Lemon Williams, Guelph, Ont.

The 1964 movie The Fall of the Roman Empire ends with the prophetic comment: “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.”

The American Empire is in decline. It will not collapse during the Donald Trump era, but his barefaced lies, managerial incompetence and psychopathic behaviour are accelerating the U.S. downward.

Trump is not a political genius; he is the byproduct of our times: corporate greed, political corruption, technological transformation, wealth inequity, global warming, regional wars, international terrorism, drug cartels, asylum seekers and social media.

Many distraught and disoriented people are willing to support a bombastic leader who promises simple solutions, especially if those solutions exploit prejudicial scapegoating.

Lloyd Atkins, Vernon, B.C.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Inside The Mind of Trump: A Salamander Guest Post

In response to yesterday's post, The Salamander offered the following analysis, which I am featuring as a guest post:

.. have a long background on the perimeter of 'mood disorders' ..
The Trump is easily found, though spattered within the DSM-4 & the updated DSM-5. ie he manifests comorbid or multiple symptoms. What is obvious throughout the diagnostic and treatment algorithims is that the patient cannot and will not 'heal' themselves. Will not, cannot.

One may as well suggest to a diabetic that they 'pull up their socks' or develop a new hobby, or eat more broccoli.. or 'give their head a shake'. The most common mistake of those suffering from mood disorders is - upon feeling better from therapy & medication.. they stop medication & of course cease attending therapy sessions. In other words they did not succeed in reaching full remission. Worse, they become locked in a vicious & shrinking circle. The disorder(s) & symptoms blooms faster and faster.. and is harder to ever attain full remission.

Trump is far from 'the healthiest President in American history' as he proclaims. The nation has no idea what medication(s) he is taking daily or the side effects. Leaving aside the obvious low hanging fruit of greed, vanity and deceit & likelihood of blood pressure issues & meds, we note a zero alcohol routine as well as possible scalp meds promoting hair growth. Not Good! Only then may we proceed to the somatic i.e., sleep issues, extreme narcissism & related fabrication. Then we hit ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder, ugh, as well as Possible OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. We could throw in Prostate and Erectile Dysfunction Disorder & medication such as Viagra.

Finally, we may also arrive at Mixed Anxiety with Depression, and if his vanity and anger issues preclude professional psychiatric therapy then rest assured he is managing such a comorbid mood disorder with medication alone. For many suffering from this debilitating disorder, withdrawal from medication & in the absence of therapy, the next stage is often a rapid or sudden spiral into psychotic states. It would be unkind & unwise to describe such a psychosis as 'fantasyland' or Donald in Wonderland.

Dare I mention the dreaded 'Side Effects' of any and all of these medications.. or absence of some of them? The Donald is hardwired from birth, as are all of us. Where he went or goes from there through life is mediated via environment, familial and peer events & now as he ages badly before our very eyes and he grows more and more addicted to listening to his own voice only.. and constantly, we see a bewildered, conceited, nasty and extremely ignorant megalomaniac in the White House. Land of the Free & the Home of the Brave.. right ... This loser in life, is attracting similar people.. ie., the GOP and their base, most of whom may not be at risk of growing dementia like Ronald Reagan or the Donald