THE PUBLIC EYE: The Rape of the United States of America

Bob Burnett
Saturday December 09, 2017 - 04:05:00 PM

2017 political news contained two preeminent images: Donald Trump and sexual assault. Trump's objective has been to be dominate the news each day. Nonetheless, beginning with revelations about the sexual behavior of movie producer Harvey Weinstein, Trump tidings were pushed aside by reports of celebrity sexual misconduct. (Time Magazine recognized this by naming "the silence breakers" their persons of the year.) The two images are connected. Trump has been accused of sexual assault. And the Republican Party is engaged in systematic rape of American workers.

A little over a year ago, Donald Trump's presidential campaign was momentarily derailed by the release of a salacious recording where Trump bragged about assaulting women: "When you're a star, they let you do it, you can do anything... grab them by the pussy." Amazingly, Trump survived this. His most ardent supporters came to regard the recording as "fake news." Mainstream Republicans adopted the attitude, "Whatever Trump may have done in the past, he's preferable to Hillary Clinton."

During 2017, Donald Trump put his imprint on the Republican Party and, in the process, "normalized" sexual assault, for the Party faithful. We see this in GOP support for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. Multiple women have come forward with tales of Moore's sexual misbehavior -- one of the women was 14 when Moore assaulted her. The mainstream Republican response is, "Whatever Moore may have done in the past, he's preferable to the Democratic candidate."

Republicans have adopted the dubious ethical maxim: "the end justifies the means." And they have gone farther; they've adopted the tactics used to denigrate sexual assault victims. We can see this in the Republican tax plan that passed the Senate in the early hours of Saturday, December 2nd. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Segregation Versus Reintegration

Jack Bragen
Saturday December 09, 2017 - 04:08:00 PM

There can be so much more to life than riding in a van to a "day treatment" program, spending the day there taking about your problems and hearing others talk about theirs, riding back to a "board and care," and looking forward to another night of watching television, and eating bad food, bought at Costco, for dinner. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: This Is Your Intellect on Antipsychotic Meds: Use It Or Lose It

Jack Bragen
Monday December 04, 2017 - 10:17:00 AM

Antipsychotic medication can impair concentration. When concentration is difficult, we might be more tempted to do mindless things and we might not try to do anything that requires concentration. However, this is the first step toward what I will call "brain atrophy."

A large dose of antipsychotic medication can actually make it painful to concentrate. Concentration and focus are capacities that should not be relinquished. Fortunately, there are ways that we can retain our valuable mental capacities.

Just because an authority has told you that your brain has a defect, it is not a good reason to give up on your mind. While life circumstances and a psychiatric illness may dictate to us that we need to be medicated, we should value ourselves enough to realize that we still have a good mind. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Senate Passes GOP Tax Bill

Ralph E. Stone
Sunday December 03, 2017 - 04:07:00 PM

On December 1, 2017, the U.S. Senate passed the GOP tax bill. Now that this irresponsible GOP tax bill -- with massive tax cuts for Trump and his wealthy friends and large corporations -- will now likely become law, ordinarily I would expect voters to punish those who voted for this shameful bill at the midterms and beyond. -more-