For All You “Give Him a Chance” People

Yes, I’m talking about Trump.  He hasn’t been in office a week and this is what he has done:

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Economic Development Administration.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the International Trade Administration.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.

* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.

* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.

* On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.

* On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.

* On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of “dishonest press.”

* On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, period.

* On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.

* On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.

* On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.

* On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.

* On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3 to 5 million people voted “illegally,” thus costing him the popular vote.

* On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.

* On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.

* On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.

* On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.

* On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.

* On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.

* On January 24th, 2017, Director of the Department of Health and Human Service nominee Tom Price characterized federal guidelines on transgender equality as “absurd.”

* On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.

* On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources.

And today: the wall and a Muslim ban.

Just how many more people can he hurt in the first 100 days?  Now imagine that over 4 years.  If you still don’t get it, you never will, and you are what is wrong with the world.

An Open Letter to Trump supporters

Dear Trump Fan

You must understand that the anti-Trump group is not simply upset that there are questions as to foreign manipulation in our election process.  It’s not simply that my preferred candidate did not win.  It’s not because most Trump supporters are Obama haters.  It’s because the man is simply UNFIT.

He lacks the knowledge of how to govern.  You might say, yeah, it’s one of the things you like about it.  But knowing how to govern involves understanding others’ points of view.  If I read a book, or several books, about government and how to be effective doesn’t mean I know how to govern.  But I would have a leg up on Trump.

He lacks the diplomacy that is required when dealing with foreign dignitaries.  Sure, you say, he knows plenty of foreign big wigs.  Yes, but those big wigs only deal with Trump on business.  They may respect that, they may not.  It could be they just put up with his lack of grace and humility because he is making them money.  Well, the government is NOT a business, and probably shouldn’t be run like one.  Businesses look at the bottom line, profit and loss.  A country doesn’t profit from its people, but is supported by them via taxes.

To be an effective leader, one must have empathy for the other guys.  Something Trump certainly appears to lack.  In fact, I’m not even sure Trump can define ’empathy’.  Nor can many of his supporters.

One must have compassion for ALL citizens, not just those who agree with you.  Belittling other groups is counterproductive, and makes one look small and childish.  Very un-Presidential.  Disrespectful.  Something Trump seems not to understand.  Respect is earned, and treating others disrespectfully diminishes one’s chance at being respected.

I don’t believe our President should be tweeting criticisms about TV shows, or people who disagree with him.  My President has more important things to do.  My President barely sleeps, has no time to watch TV, let alone have twitter wars.  It diminishes respect for My President in the eyes of other countries, which reflects badly on me.

For a democracy to work, it cannot be run like a dictatorship.  The American people will not yield their rights to a dictator.  Perhaps Trump and his supporters don’t know what a dictator is.  Well, it is exactly what Trump proposes with his refusal to meet with certain members of the press.  The elected leader of this country is bound by the Constitution to allow Freedom of the Press.  There are plenty of Trump supporters who know the Second Amendment very well, but many seem to be ignorant of the rest.

I won’t even go into the lies.  I don’t expect politicians to tell the truth, but I do expect them to own up to their ‘misstatements’ and offer a clarification, or an apology.  And an apology is not “I’m sorry you got mad at me when I called you stupid.”  It is “I’m sorry I called you stupid.  That was untrue and unkind.”

Yeah, your candidate won.  And since no charges are forthcoming from those who claim voter fraud or foreign influence, etc., I’ll go so far as to say he won legitimately.  That still does NOT mean he is a suitable representative of me, or people who think like me.  He can’t legislate people away.  He can’t ignore the majority, not for long, anyway.  One group of people does not have more privileges than another.  At least they shouldn’t.  Trump and his supporters seem to think it’s ok to ignore the rest of us.  The British didn’t take the resistance seriously either.  You do know how that ended, right?

Cynicism

The state of mental health care in the US is atrocious.  Not as bad as when it was thought the ill were possessed by demons, and people were kept chained and naked in dank cells.  It hasn’t improved enough. People still treat mental illness as a personality flaw, something we could change if we only tried.  It is something many medical doctors, and ER staff do not recognize.

Most public hospitals prior to 1900 were operated by religious orders, and evolved from Almshouses.  As so many other things, hospitals were often as squalid as the Almshouse.   With time, hospitals became less of a place where paupers died and more of a place of improving one’s condition.  As more of those with funds chose to go to hospital, more changes were made.  Eventually public hospitals were cleaned up and money for improvements and new buildings became available.  Now, the people who would like to donate don’t have the money, and those with money don’t care.

When psychoactive drugs were introduced in the US in 1955, their use lead to increased discharges from mental hospi­tals. Over the next 50 years there was a dramatic decline in hospital beds from 560,000 in 315 hospitals to 53,000 beds in 230 hospitals.  Certainly doesn’t sound like much.  Currently, according to the Mental Health America, the prevalence of untreated adults with mental illness ranges from 43.1% in Vermont to 67.5% in Nevada.  That’s awful!  Mental illness can be as deadly as cancer.  Those with AMI (A Mental Illness) deserve better.

I discovered that the largest mental health facility in the country is in Los Angeles and is part of the county jail.  The article: Inside The Nation’s Largest Mental Institution (heard on Morning Edition, on NPR August 13, 20083:09 PM ET, by ) wrote, in part:

           The largest mental institution in the country is actually a wing of a county jail. Known as Twin Towers, because of the design, the facility houses 1,400 mentally ill patients in one of its two identical hulking structures in downtown Los Angeles.

The End Of Public Mental Hospitals

Until the 1970s, the mentally ill were usually treated in public psychiatric hospitals, more commonly known as insane asylums.

Then, a social movement aimed at freeing patients from big, overcrowded and often squalid state hospitals succeeded. Rather than leading to quality treatment in small, community settings, however, it often resulted in no treatment at all.

As a consequence, thousands of mentally ill ended up on the streets, where they became involved in criminal activity. Their crimes, though frequently minor, led them in droves to jails such as Twin Towers, says Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

 

 

And yet, we do incarcerate the mentally ill.  All the time.  Because there seems to be no where else to place them.  It’s awful when the police become involved.  At a minimum the person with AMI will be dragged to the ground and handcuffed as if they had committed a crime before they are dropped in some overcrowded, understaffed county hospital.  There they will receive minimal care and a quick discharge.  In the worst case scenario someone with AMI can end up dead simply because they do not understand what the police are telling him to do.  Like drop a weapon, or to lie on the ground.  Just google “mentally ill man killed by police” and you will find hundreds of incidents.

Most insurance plans do not provide adequate coverage for mental health, as if it is less important than someone’s physical health.  There are limits to the number of doctor visits, hospital stays are too short.  How does the insurance company know if you are healthy enough to leave after just 2 weeks?  It must be up to the doctors to determine when a patient is well enough to leave.  And what about someone who will spend their life institutionalized?  I’m sure most insurance plans do not have that covered.  There are not enough doctors and nurses.  There is just not enough.

My cynical side tells me that the only way we can make changes is with money.   Sure, there’s legislation, but that does not help people who cannot find a facility that will admit them.  There just aren’t enough beds.  That must change!  More mental health facilities need to be built.  MDs and hospital staff need to be made aware of symptoms of a mental health emergency.  Mental Health America is important to the improvement in mental health care and education.  Please support their #b4stage4 campaign on Facebook and Twitter, and take the pledge now to help make mental illness stigma free.

 

Post Tortoise

I’ve seen this story all over, and I’m not sure who to credit, but felt it needed to be shared yet again.

trump_as_post_tortoise

While stitching a cut on the hand of a 75 year old farmer, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Donald Trump and his role as the [President-elect]. The old farmer said, ” Well, as I see it, Donald Trump is like a ‘Post Tortoise’.”

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post tortoise’ was.

The old farmer said, “When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a tortoise balanced on top, that’s a post tortoise.” The old farmer saw the puzzled look on the doctor’s face so he continued to explain. “You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there, he’s elevated beyond his ability to function, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put him up there to begin with.”

Sometimes You Shouldn’t Call 911

I’ve decided, after this most recent, for lack of a better word, psychotic episode it is not always best to call 911 or go to the ER.  But then what do you do?

The last time we had to call 911 and the cops came, they treated son with no respect, as if he had robbed a bank or deserved what was happening to him.  That time they took his (full rx) meds and his (brand new) shoes with them.  The meds and shoes did not return with Son.

This time I called 911 both the paramedics and the cops showed up.  The medics came, looked Son over and left.  Three 6′ cops surround Son, agitating him further.  They told us we were agitating him and pushed husband and I from the room.  They practically searched his room, picking things up, reading mail.  And once the cops are there: you have no control over the situation.

I felt a twinge of how it must feel to be a person of color when they interact with the police.  Only a tiny taste, but it struck me how the police do that.  Push everyone out, take control and then haul your son away like a criminal, leaving bruises on his arms, scraped skin around his wrists and a badly pulled tendon in  his shoulder.  Which is almost no injury at all, but they don’t care that they injure you this mildly, let alone shoot you.

The cops DO NOT know how to handle people with anything nearing empathy or compassion.  It appears that they are not trained in diffusing or de-escalating a situation, especially in the case of an addict or mental health patient.  In our particular situation I now know that Son needed to calm down, instead we ended up working him into a frenzy of frustration and anger.  By the time the cops arrived, he looked positively crazed.  I’ll never forget the look he gave me when the police took him away.  I’ll never forgive myself for causing him that kind of pain.

So I ask you, why would I call 911 the next time?  I mean, fool me twice, but then who should I call?  I discovered, too late, that my county has a service that will send out a social worker team that will come to your home and assess the situation, and work with the family to alleviate the crisis.  Many times avoiding police involvement or trips to the hospital.  This is a fabulous service, and one I did not know existed. Their number is in my phone now, on speed-dial.  I urge everyone to see if they have this type of service where you live.

I make one suggestion to the 911 system, add another question; “Police, Fire department or mental health emergency.”  I think that would be a huge huge help to people who find themselves in similar situations.  The service could even pair up a social worker with a police officer, specially trained where his first impulse is NOT to shoot.

Rather than make this post too long, I won’t write about ER staff and their treatment of mental health patients.  Suffice to say they are not much better than the cops.  Again, having a psychiatrist on staff at all times and the staff trained to at least recognize someone who is obviously in a crazed state would go far in alleviating the problem.  Those of us with mental health issues , when in crisis, should be treated with as much urgency as a heart attack.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services: (SAMHSA), a federal source of information and help for those in need of mental health or addiction issues.

National Association for Mental Illness: (NAMI)

 

Well, That Didn’t Go Well (update)

Came home from dinner Monday night to find son sitting on the couch snoring.  Just like he does when he drinks.  We said nothing and went to bed.  He woke me at 2AM with the worst migraine.  Took him to the ER.  Sat with him for 4 hours while they gave him benadryl, compazine, and toridol.

He was in a rage on Tuesday.  I slept most of the day, not having had much sleep the night before.  He was still angry today.  Stupidly, I decided this would be the day I would give him a letter explaining how his addiction effects us and how much we want to trust him.  How much we want to help him.  Just how much we want our “old T” back.

My letter did not go over well.  We spent 1 1/2 hours yelling at each other.  Mostly Son doing the yelling.  That stupid letter I never should’ve given him.  He’s left just now, says he’s going to check into the hospital “to give us a break.”  We don’t need a break.  Things have been good for 4-5 weeks now.  I just wanted to know what happened Monday.

I’m so sorry I wrote that note and gave it to him.  Shouldn’t have done it.  It made things worse than just letting him be.

Going to go have me a good cry.  Then probably a nap.  Not up to yoga or tai chi today.  I think I’d rather wallow in a little self pity.

UPDATE

It’s 4PM and he’s been raging all damn day.  He’s talking about going to the hospital, but we are encouraging him not to go.  I know as soon as he checks in, he will want to leave again.  Plus it’s Christmas this weekend, we don’t want it ruined by him being in hospital, but then again, if he’s going to be in a manic rage all week, maybe it’s best.

I feel this is all my fault.  I know how he reacts.  But I was angry with him, and disappointed, and felt I needed to do something.  Unfortunately, for Son, it was the wrong thing.

NAMI

The National Association for Mental Illness is having an end of the year fund drive.  I normally don’t do this, but with Trump coming into office who knows what will happen to people who have mental health needs. It’s very possible the helplines currently out there will be cut or entangled.

Back in October 2016 (read article here) Trump was speaking to a group of veterans and commented on those with mental illness.  He stood there in front of soldiers with PTSD, those with depression, or those knew someone who committed suicide, and others who may have attempted, and called them weak.  “They can’t handle it,”  he said.  If he doesn’t even understand the basics of humanity and psychology, do you really think he will commit funding to the VA for improved care?

I don’t think he will.  I think he is going to sit in the White House and perpetuate myths and misinformation about depression, PTSD and other issues faced by returning vets.  He expects that a ‘strong’ person can beat their depression.  Like it’s a heavy bag, and punching it every day will make it go away.  It doesn’t work like that.  There’s medication and therapy.  Finding the right doctor and getting the right meds takes time and effort.  Often more effort to find help than to give in.

The man hasn’t an ounce of empathy in his body, do you think he knows how to help vets and others with mental illness beat the stigma?  No.  Obviously, Trump is going to re-introduce the myth that those with depression are just ‘weak’.  That soldiers who come back from combat with PTSD, as being “unable to handle it.”  What kind of assistance is he going to ensure the community continues to destroy the stigma and myths around mental illness.  We need to stand by NAMI, the VA and other support groups in making sure people have adequate access to mental health care.

Over the past 20 years, deaths related to substance abuse and mental illness have increased by over 1,000 percent in some areas.

This GIF Sums Up The Impact Of Addiction And Mental Illness On America  (click on graphic):

.  hp-gif

For the complete article:  Huffington Post

Here’s Mayim Bialik  making the plea for NAMI.

Thanks for reading.

It’s Getting Interesting

This thing with Russia hacking the DNC is starting to gain some real speed.

Electoral College Electors Demand Intelligence Briefing On Russia Election Interference

A group of Electoral College electors sent a letter Director of National Intelligence James Clapper demanding an intelligence briefing on Russia’s interference with the 2016 election before they vote on December 19.

Continue reading

The Dump Years

That’s how I have begun to define the next four years.  The Dump Years, when the US turned to shit.  My only hope is all that shit will somehow fertilize things.  Maybe after the debris settles and the Muslim Americans have been released, and the illegal immigrants are put on a path to legality, we will have a better America.

The shocking thing to me is how singularly idiotic the Trump supporters are.  How clueless.  Do the folks in the Red States really believe he will bring better employment opportunities?  The only way that will happen is if they try to put a pipeline through Ohio and Pennsylvania. There will be jobs, but the land and water will be poisoned.  How can they not see that? Surely, some Trumpsters must be intelligent?  Some must have a college education, or are well read?  Hopefully some recognize the serious error of buying into Trump’s rhetoric.  I hope some of those who voted for him are having second thoughts.

The majority of Trumpsters seem fueled by hatred: of Muslims, immigrants, any non-whites.  They hate our government, our laws, our Constitution.  These otherwise probably normal and pleasant people are easy prey for a guy like Trump who spouts lies as easily as he combs his hair.  No.  Lying surely comes easier to him.  I doubt he even combs his hair, but has someone do it for him every day for $1000 an hour.

His cabinet nominees grows more awful by the day. Here is his latest list as posted by The New York Times (updated Dec. 5, 2016).   Most of these positions require Senate confirmation, but with a Republican dominated Senate, I don’t see a lot of opposition.  I most afraid of the three that do not require Senate confirmation:

Busy

I haven’t blogged for several days.  Mostly because I’m still in shock over our new president (it makes me cringe), and seeking others who are not going to “give him a chance.”  With the cabinet choices he has made, he doesn’t deserve a chance.  I will undoubtedly produce more blogs about it.  But today I’ll update you on Son.

It’s been more than a month, and son has been doing much better.  He’s seeing a psychiatrist who put him on Depakote and Seraquel.  But his last visit, she had him drop the Depakote.  Which is a relief since it has the nastier side effects.  In just the short time he took that, he must’ve lost nearly 1/3 of his hair!  It’s already looking better.

I do worry right now.  Holidays are always a difficult time.  Son is trying to revive his business and working harder than I’d like, but money is tight, and every dime he earns is a dime I don’t have to give him.  Son puts a lot of pressure on himself to succeed with this business.  He’s cut back on the number of products, and the number of hours he spends on FB talking about herbs.  He constantly complains about how he can afford to get gifts for his son.

I am worried, because his tinctures are made with alcohol, so there’s usually rum or vodka around, and I know he at least takes a little drink now and then.  I’ve smelled it on his breath.  Do I confront him about that?  Do I go through his room and make sure he isn’t hiding anything?  Should I just let it go and see if things go bad?  Wish I knew that answer.

Unfortunately, the petition site I was working on was started by Obama, and I doubt Trump will keep it up. (After all, he doesn’t care about anyone but himself.)  So my energy lately has been devoted to finding ways to combat Trump and his Posse of Deplorables.

Thanks for sticking with me.