THE PUBLIC EYE: California vs Trump

Bob Burnett
Friday January 06, 2017 - 03:36:00 PM

On election day, Californians favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a near 2 to 1 margin -- 61.7 percent to 31.6 percent. Now, faced with a President many of us detest, California's best stance is to become a model of Democratic principles. But the Golden State faces intriguing challenges.

California is not an independent state; we're not going to be able to secede from the union. Nonetheless, we are the 6th largest economy in the world and Trump is not going to be able to ignore us.

California can have the most impact on the national political environment by demonstrating that the best way to grow good jobs and provide a healthy democratic environment is by a judicious combination of taxes and regulation. The Golden State can serve as a vital alternative to the Republican model: minuscule corporate taxes and zero governmental oversight, which has turned states like Louisiana into sewer pits with deplorable public health, while failing to create the promised jobs. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Karma, Coincidences, and Paranoia

Jack Bragen
Friday January 06, 2017 - 03:21:00 PM

People with paranoid schizophrenia frequently suffer from delusions of conspiracy. Some of this might be narcissistic, but most is due to a malfunction in the brain. People who suffer from paranoid illnesses do not really have much choice about this tendency. The brain has a design flaw, and nobody can run away from his or her brain. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: UN vote on Israeli settlements

Ralph E. Stone
Friday January 06, 2017 - 03:47:00 PM

I for one applaud the U.S. abstention of the United Nation resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal. By abstaining the resolution passed. It doesn't seem to matter to some that under international law, it is illegal for Israel to move settlers into the occupied Palestinian territories. -more-

5 Resistance Resolutions

Bob Burnett
Saturday December 31, 2016 - 07:24:00 PM

As we enter a perilous new year, here are five resistance resolutions:

1.Practice resistance each day. Political resistance is an American tradition; "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." Take a stand for democracy. Slow down and focus. Resist.

If you've experienced a life-threatening disease, the process will be familiar. Live one day at a time. Focus on the essentials: taking care of yourself and regaining your health. Trump is a democracy-threatening disease. Focus on taking care of yourself and regaining democracy.

Perhaps begin each day with an aphorism: "I am a patriot;" "Actions speak louder than words;" "It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end;” "I will not let Trump defeat me." Whatever works for you.

Follow with a simple act of defiance. For example, resolve to not listen to news for 24 hours. Resolve to add another name to your "Boycott Trump Donors" list. Join a march or demonstration. Send $ to the resistance. Etcetera.

Above all, resist the Trump propaganda machine that repeats lies over and over until many Americans believe they are the truth. Resist the "normalization" of Trump. What is happening is not normal; America is experiencing a right-wing coup. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Giving Oneself a Break from Self Persecution

Jack Bragen
Saturday December 31, 2016 - 05:30:00 PM

While many of us are making an effort at making our lives better and at living in a responsible way, none of us can control the outcome of our efforts. We ought to feel proud of ourselves when we make a good effort toward a constructive goal or endeavor. However, when our efforts seem to be futile, when the outcome isn't what we had hoped for, we ought not berate ourselves.

If mistakes are made, if we slip up on something, one hopes that at least that the intent was where it ought to be. If an error is made, we ought not punish ourselves with negative or self-derogatory thoughts.

If we have symptoms that get in the way of fulfilling expectations, whether these are self-imposed expectations or come from someone else, we ought not blame ourselves. Persons with psychiatric disabilities may often have days in which we do not feel good, or do not feel up to doing very many tasks. -more-

Is global warming a Chinese hoax?

Ralph E. Stone
Saturday December 31, 2016 - 07:21:00 PM

President-elect Donald Trump has called climate change a Chinese hoax, vowed to dismantle America's climate and clean energy policies, and appointed climate deniers with ties to the fossil fuel industry to his transition team and Cabinet.

For example, Trump is looking at quick ways of withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement in spite of international backing for the plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions. At the Paris climate conference in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal, which sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C. The U.S. signed the agreement on April 22, 2016. I fear this will be but the beginning of Trump's reversal of policies designed to curb global warming. -more-