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While We Still Have Time

In spite of the grimness of the times in which we live, there is still hope. If you feel, like I do, that the usual discourse about matters of critical concern tends to be superficial, misguided, and false, then you might find some solace and inspiration here. I will try to offer insight and a holistic perspective on events and issues, and hopefully serve as a catalyst for raising the level of dialogue on this planet.

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Location: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

I was born in 1945, shortly before atom bombs were dropped on Japan. I served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971. I earned master's degrees in Economics and Educational Psychology, and certificates in Web Page Design and as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. I followed an Indian guru for eight years, which immersed me in meditative practices and an attitude of reaching a higher level of being. A blog post listing the meditative practices I have pursued can be seen here.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Only a Matter of Time

Nobel economics laureate Paul Krugman tweeted on Tuesday that we have "An American first: a president who was obviously mentally ill the moment he took office. Thanks, Comey." Yesterday Arizona congressman Ruben Gallego said Trump is mentally unstable. He also said "This man is not normal. He is not acting normal. And there's nothing that he's done at this point for me that he's proven that I should work with him. And I don't think it's gonna change."

This shouldn't be news. Salon, among others, raised the question of Trump's mental state last April. In February 2016 a website called News Corpse explored the possibility that Trump is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Three most common symptoms of Alzheimer's were listed: Impaired judgement, loss of memory and childish behavior. The author concludes by saying "When all of this is taken into account, it seems obvious that there is a problem here that requires attention. Every day Trump validates the notion that he is mentally challenged and unfit to perform the duties of the president. His immature outbursts, his brazen narcissism, and his faulty cognition, are all indications of senility."

Peter Dreier, writing in Alternet, says "Beneath Trump’s public bravado is a deeply insecure, troubled man who is unfit to be president. This makes him a danger to the country and the world."

And, on Friday's PBS NewsHour, commentator David Brooks said Trump's behavior is that of "a 5-year-old who has an ego that needs to be fed, and the universe has to warp around his ego needs so he can feel good about himself, and everybody has to produce photos to make the monarch feel like he’s made of gold."

Talk of Trump's mental state will increase in the coming days (and months) as his behavior becomes increasingly bizarre. He has outdone himself, claiming his inauguration audience was the largest in history, when the turnout in actual historical fact was about one-third the size of Obama's 2009 inauguration. Trump even called the acting head of the National Park Service in an attempt to get him to go along with his inflated claim.

So in the first week of the new president's tenure we have a growing chorus of people questioning his sanity. He won't be around long. Bookmakers are offering 4 to 1 odds that Trump will be impeached within his first six months in office.

I think he will be gone within a month. He is not healthy - weighs about 250 pounds, prefers fast food, doesn't get any meaningful exercise, claims to live on four hours sleep every night, and is angry and blustery much of the time.

If Trump's mental condition doesn't force him to leave office, his physical health will. As the pace of his first week indicates, he has little control over himself. He will die in office. He is not a Superman, or a super man. He is a 70 year-old, overweight crazy guy with bad habits. Irascibility alone will kill him. Pushback against his goofy policies and petty claims will make him continually outraged. It is only a matter of time before he implodes.

So what next? Mike Pence will be our new president, the Constitutional designee to replace the departed president. Pence will try to continue with "Republican" criminality, but will likely face as much opposition as Trump. He wasn't elected president, and wouldn't have become vice president if he hadn't been Trump's choice.

All this instability will be within the context of our house of cards economic system. Our infinite-growth on a finite planet economic system. At a time of increasingly threatening global climate change. Donald Trump will be a bad memory very soon. We will have much greater concerns.
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Here's a song. Alternate version. Eddie and the Cruisers. This song is from Trump's favorite campaign band, though he might not like the not-so-subtle message. When will we hear no more from Trump? Sing this song whenever he speaks (or tweets). I suspect many Trump voters feel this way about him now. Alternate version. The originalHere's another song. And, of course, thisSam CookeBruce Springsteen. Here's a song from The Wizard of OzMeet the new boss. The Decemberists. R.E.M. Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Green Day. David Bowie. The End is also the beginning.

A song to make you optimistic.

Here's a song for Trump. Alternate version. Alternate alternate versionHere's another. He likely wishes he could go back to New York City. Could this be in Trump's future? Or this?

Update, January 31:

There are some other reasons why Trump's time in office might be less than four years.

Update, February 9:

A congressman is calling for mental health screenings for presidents. I wish him luck.

More evidence that Trump is mentally unwell.

Update,February 18:

Mental health professionals are calling for Trump's removal from office.

Here's a petition you can sign to have Trump removed from office for manifesting a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States.

Trump or no Trump, climate change continues at full speed.

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