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Soldiers Fighting, Killing, and Dying for Unworthy Causes: the Perversion of Patriotism

March 16, 2018

18 Million German men served in  Wehrmacht between 1935 and 1945. They went to war  for the Nazi cause because “their country called;” because family ans school told them it was their patriotic duty to defend their country against the intolerable threats  to homeland security from (among others) the Jews, the Dutch and the Danes. Every one of them went into battle wearing a military  belt buckle reading “Gott Mit Unds” (God is with Us) as German churches, Catholic and Protestant, told them it was their Christian duty to God and Christ to fight for the Nazi regime. Int eh end between 4.3 and 55.5 died fighting for that cause, including, at the very end of the war, the defenders of Berlin who fought almost to the last man. They certainly were courageous.


“Throughout history soldiers have fought valiantly, unselfishly, courageously, heroically for causes unworthy of them.” Was it Chris Heeds who said that?
Tim Snyder? I don’t know, but it is a vital insight, one to remember when the suffering and sacrifices of veterans are invoked by warmongering politicians to justify the next war they want, an unnecessary war, attacking, bombing, invading yet another country that is no real threat to us; a war to be launched under a new false flag. What will the false flag be this time? How many decades will it pass before we can no longer deny it was a war of aggression under a false flag? We Americans have been down this road too many times to be naïve or silent.


Fire and Fury: Up Close and Personal

January 6, 2018

Michel Wolff’s book Fire an Fury has created an instant sensation. What impresses me is that suddenly Donald Trumps’ harshest critics are identified as Republicans whom he personally selected to form his White House staff and closest advisors and whose opinions and observations of him are based on  up-close, fist-handed  experience of trying to work with Trump and observing at close quarters what he is like and how he operates.

Lee’s break that down: The harshest criticisms are coming from:

1.fellow Republicans

  1. who wanted to work for him and be in the inner circle of his administration

3.whom Trump personally hand-picked as his idea of the” brightest and the best” White House staffers and closest aides.

4.who, in a year or less, were shocked and dismayed, horribly decillion with who Trump is and have been profoundly concerned about his competency and his tenuous grip on reality.

Insiders, not outsider, members of our own party, not the opposing party, dissing you. That feels new.

Before the 2016 election I was one many veteran metal health professionals who sought to warn the public that Donald Trump displayed a severe character disorder that rendered him an incompetent and very dangerous person to assume the powers of the presidency.  Our “duty to warn” is both an ethical and a legal obligation of our field. We were criticized for “diagnosing from a distance”  someone we had never met and assessed face-to-face.

Now it seems those who have met him face- to -face, who have worked with him—or tried to writhe—are seeing the shocking abnormality what so many of us, both professionals and ordinary citizens, saw from a distance a long time ago.

Now we must hoe Donald Trump does not follow example of other demagogues and authoritarian leads and start a war to distract attention from his fiascos, scandals, and  failures at home. Any such war could easily go nuclear and this time the American homeland n will not be spared.

Prognosis: Trump is not going to “get better.”

Saturday addendum: Headline story today on the Huffing ton Post: “CDC Plans Nuclear War Prep For Public” (you know, just in case…)



Gun Massacres are Not a Mental Health “Issue”

November 16, 2017

Mass shootings and massacres are NOT a “mental health” issue and mental health professionals will neve be able to substantially reduce, let alone eliminate such violent, murderous crimes. I say this as a veteran mental health professional of 30 years standing and road experience. To say otherwise is, in my professional option, booth stupid and a case of lazy buck-passing.

Most mentally ill people are harmless and less likely to commit crimes than the non-mentally ill. Research has shown this over several decades. It is not news.

What could the mental health system have done to stop Stephen Paddock, the Las Visas shooter who massacred 178 people? Nothing. Or Devin Patrick Kelley, the Texas Church shooter who murdered 26? Nothing. There was no reason for these individuals to come to the attention of any mental health professional. Ditto Jared Loughner, the would-be assassin of Gabby Gifford who killed others including a child of nine. Ditto Dylan Roof who murdered black people in church. Yes, these latter two had their heads filled with crackpot right-win-racists garbage but so do millions of people in this society.

Each of them were sane enough to avoid contact with mental health or law enforcement. Each one methodically and carefully planned his massacres. They chose to kill because they wanted to kill. They had the motive, the means, and opportunity and they knew it. Their horrendous crimes showed willful intent and were well-thought-out, methodical and followed careful, rational planning.

Why are there so many mass shootings?  Look at the cultural context they occur in.

We live in a culture that WORSHIPS militarism and violence.!  A huge segment of the American population is increasingly obsessed with a lust for war, enraptured by fantasies of Final Annihilation, of cosmic vengeance and bloodshed, who dream of an Apocalyptic victory over their endless enemies through force and violence. It wasn’t always this way, but it is now.

You can’t watch the media without being exposed to endless exhortations to believe that the u>S. military machine, t he largest and most destructive in world history, with clandestine operatives and commandos reportedly in 130 other countries, is the source of all virtue, “form who all blessing flow.” Soldiers ae heroes, all of them. They are the only real heroes because only their really serve their country. There is no other worthwhile way to serve your country. TV, movies and sporting events constantly depict over-the-top celebrations of war, of force and violence. The civilian population buys tens of thousands more assault rifles every year. One gun ‘expert” proclaims the AK-47 as “ideal for children “ as young as 9 t sue at the target range. White House advisor Steve Bannon reportedly has the largest privately-owned collection of 30-caliber machine guns in existence. Firing thousands of rounds is his favorite hobby, We are told he way he ‘relaxes.” And prepares for his important civil deities and imagines his latest apocalyptic films.

No other nation of earth even vaguely resembles the United states in these areas. None.

We now have a president who is by far the most bellicose, belligerent, saber-rattling, war-threatening world leader since Hitler. He has been trying to provoke a war for years, threatening

My Duty to Warn (again)

October 17, 2017

Exercising (again) my ethical and legal Duty to Warn:

Trump’s mental disorder is getting worse. There is a growing danger he will plunge us into a war that could go nuclear. Americans shouldn’t be like “Good Germans”, looking the other way and passively hoping for the best.  His growing persecutor y delusions, sadism, and  primitive, blind rage should be obvious to everyone by now. Will the Republican leadership step up to the plate and remove him before it’s too late.




July 4, 2017


If the definition of being illiteracy is “unable to read or write in any language” I am inexorably moving in that direction. In fact I can barely read or write now. I’m typing this as a Word document using 22-point type and a seven-power magnifier close at hand. I make lots of typos and despite using spell check some of them escape my being reminded what books matter to me rarely matter to anyone I know. And while I’ve written some satirical plays and some off-beat stories, I won’t be writing that novel after all.

Age-related Macular Degeneration ARMD) both wet and dry, is causing a steady deterioration of my eyesight. Injections of Avastin arrest the “wet” (neovascular) aspect but nothing halts the more gradual but inexorable, slower “dry” deterioration of rod and cone cells in the macula, the center of the retina.

I can no longer read conventional print in books, magazines or newspapers. Nor can I write legibly or read cursive—including my own. I literally cannot read my own writing. So boxes of old letters, some by departed relatives and friends, decades of journals, sketches, notes and drafts, are closed to me. Me, with my sometimes snobbish pride in being ‘well read,” with two degrees in history and one in psychology & counseling, and a personal library of over 900 bn00ks mostly well-worn paperbacks. About two dozen of those books are ones I bought and never read, squirreling them away for my old age when I would have plenty of time to read all I wanted and “fill in the gaps” in my knowledge of history and world literature. Not going to happen. Still, a few in pristine condition made good Christmas gifts for friends. Some of the others I search for “good homes for” as if they were puppies or kittens but often

I can read the enlarged computer screen with the Sherlock Holmes style magnifier but it is like reading hieroglyphics. It is slow going and that dramatically restricts the sheer quantity of reacing I do every day.

My other longtime interests besides travel, hiking and backpacking, are photography and photo editing, astronomy and stargazing.  Travel and outdoor adventures will soon depend on someone else driving me. I tell myself I can leave the camera on autofocus/shutter priority/1/125th of a second/100 ISO and play with the result in Lightroom or Photoshop Elements and it will be satisfactorily enhanced. I cannot drive myself to or from star parties anymore but I live in a rural area and when the skies are clear and dark, I can see easy things like the Big Dipper, Orion, Scorpios, The Teapot. I’m determined to spot the Andromeda Galway (M31) but that can only be seen under unusually good conditions for viewing. It was while observing the wonderful Hale-Bopp Comet in 1997 under the dark skies of the southern Utah desert that I first noticed that vision in my left eye was blurry and could no t be brought into focus using the binoculars a friend loaned me. The comet was more magnificent with the naked eye anyway, in its ‘expansive cosmic context but I realized something was wrong with vision in my left eye.

The ophthalmologists quickly diagnosed me with ARMD adding encouraging words like “We usually only see it this bad in people over 75, not in their fifties.” They explained that in the “dry” aspect the prognosis is for a gradual, inexorable decline visual acuity. The ‘wet” dimension arises from he body’s misguided attempts to heal itself. Detecting damage to rod and cone cells, it sends out tiny new blood vessels in the layers of the macula to bring nutrients and oxygen to the damaged area. These abnormal blood vessels are very fragile and prone to hemorrhaging. The fluid they leak kilsl any rod and cone cells in comes in octant with. At worst this can be like a dam suddenly bursting and creating a devastating flood whoa damage cannot be repaired.

So I’ve had 20 years of very useful vision since the initial diagnosis. So I guess I shouldn’t complain. I believe I have made good use of my remaining vision.

In February 2017 my opthaenologist told me “You now meet the criteria for being legally blind. If you need to sign some papers for you to get services for the blind, let me know.”

LEGALLY BLIND. That stunned me.  I mulled that over as I drove the 18 miles home from his office.   I live alone in a beautiful rural area five miles from the nearest small town. My primary vehicle has 301,000 miles on it. I have probably driven well over a million miles in my lifetime. Virtually no public transpiration in western Colorado and eastern Utah. Hard to live here and not be housebound if you don’t drive. My driver license expires in a few months anyway and there is no way they will renw it. They shouldn’t. I will lose my travel freedom and become dependent on going where others are willing to take me when they want to go

Last month the ophthalmologist tested mea gain and said “you did better this time” on the eye chart  with some coaxing and coaching to use averted vision and scan back and forth, by tthe tech. So I’m no longer LEGALLY BLIND. For now. I’ll see him again before the year’s end. Apparently my visual acuity is fluctuating around the cutoff level. Weird. I am intermittently disabled, apparently.

Much of the time I take pleasure in developing what I like to think are clever work-arounds, like photographing tiny serial numbers I cannot read, then enlarging the image until I can read the numbers.

Other times I dread the thought of a humiliating and increasing dependency on others and  my interaction with the world shrinking and shrinking. I often cannot recognize friends form more than 20 feet away. I cannot recognize or see faces clearly from that distance.

“I’m not sure I’m seeing things accurately” is not only literally true but becomes a metaphorical truth. I heard that we make over 70% of our decisions on the basis of visual information. I sometimes feel indecisive, uncertain, not sure I’m “seeing the whole picture.” If I cannot trust my perceptions, how can I trust my judgment?

I will never be able to read my grand-daughter’s125-page senior thesis, base on original research done in Cartagena, Colombia, that won her Magma cum laude honors. It will not be available in audio format. It looks like I will never read many other works I always intended to.

Yet there is a place for gratitude that involves not denial of loss but continued awareness of a larger perspective that keeps those losses in perspective.

I am very grateful for the Amazon Fire table (only S50) and for affordable Audible Books and Recorded Books I download onto it. I’ve been through everything from a new translation of Don Quixote to Chomsky and Chris Hedges to “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben. I can still smell the pines and see the deer on my property as well.

Life is always a series of changes and challenges.






Trump Diagnosis of Malignant Narcissism Confirmed by Many Experts

June 5, 2017

Diagnosis of Malignant Narcissism Vindicated by Many Experts

The distinguished San Francisco-base psychologist & psychoanalyst Michael Bader has a new article on Donald trumps’ mental health posted on  on June 3, 2017.

He joins other renowned psychiatrists and psychologists, including John Gartner , Ross Rosenberg, James Gilligan, Leonard Cruz,  Bandy Lee, and her collegues in identifying Trump’s malignant narcissism and calling attention to its dangers.

Since I posted on this subject before the election (“Donald Trump: The Face of Malignant Narcissism”),  I have been very pleased to see my diagnostic identification,  and most of my  perceptions confirmed & elaborated on by experts with far more credentials and renown than  I have ever had and speaking out on the same basis: that thee “duty to warn” takes precedence over the soc-called “Goldwater rule”.

Of coerce I can’t take any credit for inspiriting them. I’m sure they never head my obscure blogs and posts, but it is heartrending to see this confirmation from a growing number of other mental health professionals. I knew I was on to something.

Btu Trump’ psycho pathology is less important than hat of his true-believing followers. A leader is not a leader without many voluntarily followers, normalizing and enabling him.  Without these supporters he’s just a powerless lone crank.

Even more urgent is to follow the attack on all citizen rights (“government regulations”), the moves towards police-state measures (“Keeping America Safe”) an removing any obstacle to unbridled looting of the public sector to subsidize the private for-profit capitalist set or (“from whom all blessing flow”).


The Transparent Pathology of Donald Trump

May 12, 2017

Those of us who pointed out what a malignant narcissist Donald Trump is were not wrong. So much of his seeming puzzling behavior is readily explained once we understand this is a very rigid, limiting behavior pattern his disorder has him trapped in.

Authoritarian leaders seek total control. He believes he has the power to define truth and reality. “Truth is whatever I say it is! My assertion makes it so!” followed by “If I don’t admit it’s real, it’s not!” Magic belief in the power of denial.

Intensely narcissistic personalities select their inner circle on the basis of blind loyalty to him (or her); that is, “yes-men” who will never disagree or doubt his wisdom. This is a mistake that can be fatal to his ambitions.

Narcissists are obsessed with image, appearance, and given to dramatic gestures, grandiose claims and pronouncements. Lot s of “positioning,” posturing and posing. “It’s all about the façade,” as someone said. There is often little real substance underneath the self-dramatizing  performance he puts  on.

They feel entitled to lie.  Their emotional need to to appear perfect leads them to lie a lot. Their lying is conscious and intentionally chosen. They feel entitled to life and do so without any guilt or shame.

They also believe they have a “right” to demand to be believed in their lies, even when spouting transparent falsehoods. They  either “double down,” repeating and extending the lie, hoping to pound the square peg into the round hole, or they may suddenly drop the lie and adopt another one that blatantly contradicts the first one, without blinking.

They feel misunderstood, attached, persecuted, and/or victimized when their lies are not believed. Anyone not taken in by the lies is an enemy, a persecutor out to ruin him. There are no dissenters, only malicious enemies.

He may flee from those who see through him. He cannot relate to them or engage them in any way except to attack them. Narcissists are full-time salesmen. What they are selling of course, is a (false) image of themselves. If they can’t make a sale they move on.

How sensibly they face unpleasant reality, how they handle frustration or defeat, and how flexible they can be, determines a lot. Their detachment from and denial of reality is what often makes them their own worst enemy and sets them up for self-destruction.

If such a leader has a strong circle of shrewd supporters who expect to profit greatly by propping him up he can keep up the act indefinitely. But if not, such leaders are vulnerable to sudden collapse when the act doesn’t fly anymore.  Once the balloon is burst the fall can be sudden and swift.

I’m not predicting, just sayian’