ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Psychotic Anger

Jack Bragen
Friday January 12, 2018 - 04:59:00 PM

There are some people with mental illness who must be supervised and who are unable to handle their own responsibilities. And at the other end of the spectrum, there are some persons with mental illness who do better at most things than most non-afflicted people. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE:What to Expect in 2018

Bob Burnett
Friday January 12, 2018 - 04:54:00 PM

As we slosh into 2018, it's clear that while there are some negative carryovers from 2017, there's a lot that has changed for the positive over the past 12 months. We're still stuck with predator Trump and the associated madness. On the other hand, there has been a huge wave forming for -- lacking a better term -- a new women's movement. That bodes well for 2018. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: North Korea gave thumbs up to Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury

Ralph E. Stone
Friday January 12, 2018 - 04:46:00 PM

Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury: Inside Trump's White House, portrays an unflattering view of President Trump and much of his White House. Excerpts of the book had already appeared in New York Magazine.

Among the juiciest claims in the book:

* Trump's "ultimate goal” had never been to win the Oval Office. But he was excited about the exposure and opportunities to develop his brand;

* “I got as far as the Fourth Amendment before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head,” former aide Sam Nunberg told Wolff about the time he was sent to explain the Constitution to Trump early in the campaign;

* President Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, described a controversial meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” to Wolff;

* Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly called Trump a “moron” last year;

* “For (Treasury Secretary) Steve Mnuchin and (former Trump White House chief of staff) Reince Priebus, the president was an ‘idiot.’ For (former Goldman Sachs exec) Gary Cohn, he was ‘dumb as sh-t.’ For (National Security Adviser) H.R. McMaster he was a ‘dope.’ The list went on,” Wolff said;

* “It’s worse than you can imagine. An idiot surrounded by clowns. Trump won't read anything — not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers; nothing. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored. And his staff is no better. Kushner is an entitled baby who knows nothing. Bannon is an arrogant p---k who thinks he’s smarter than he is. Trump is less a person than a collection of terrible traits ... I am in a constant state of terror and shock,” Gary Cohn said in an email, according to Fire and Fury; and so on. -more-

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: Dispatches Awards for 2017

Conn Hallinan
Monday January 01, 2018 - 07:09:00 PM

Each year Dispatches From the Edge gives awards to individuals, companies and governments that make reading the news a daily adventure. Here are the awards for 2017.

The Reverse WEBBY Award to the Colsa Corporation based in Huntsville, Ala, a company that runs the multi-million dollar WebOps program for the U.S. Defense Department. WebOps, according to Associated Press, employs “specialists” who “employ fictitious identities and try to sway targets from joining the Islamic State.” But the “specialists” are not fluent and used the Arabic word for “salad” in place of “authority.” Thus the governing body set up by the 1993 Oslo Accords became the “Palestinian salad” (tasty with a light vinaigrette).

Runner up is the military’s Special Operations Forces (SOFs) that botched a raid in Yemen last February that got a Navy SEAL killed and destroyed a $75 million MV-22 Osprey aircraft. Desperate to show that the raid gathered valuable intelligence, U.S. commanders published a video on how to make explosives that they say were captured during the raid. Except the video was 10 years old and all over the Internet. The raid also killed several children, but the Trump administration called it “a success by all standards.” -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Congress, hands off Social Security

Ralph E. Stone
Saturday January 06, 2018 - 05:23:00 PM

Both my wife and I receive Social Security benefits. Yes, we are of that certain age. We pay taxes on part of our benefits. Luckily, we do not depend on these benefits to totally meet our daily retirement living expenses. Instead they supplement our employment retirement income. Many senior citizens, however, rely only on Social Security benefits to survive. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: The Method of Retasking the Mind

Jack Bragen
Saturday January 06, 2018 - 07:00:00 PM

Most people, I have observed, are generally unaware of what it is they are trying to do.

Some examples: What comes to mind when you hear someone say, "I'm not angry!" or, "I'm not jealous!"? What comes to mind when you hear someone say, "I don't do it for the money"? And, what comes to mind when you hear someone say, "I can take it or leave it"?

The human mind is constructed in a such a way that we may have a blind spot that may prevent us from understanding our own motives. This is so for a non-afflicted person's mind as much as it is for someone with a psychiatric diagnosis. -more-