THE PUBLIC EYE:Impeachment and the Supreme Court

Bob Burnett
Friday October 25, 2019 - 03:25:00 PM

As the House of Representatives' Impeachment Inquiry rolls along, it continuously runs into non-cooperation from the Trump Administration. Dems could chose to ignore this but if they did they would deprive the investigation of potentially vital information. On the other hand, fighting this non-cooperation means going through the legal system -- and likely appearing before the Supreme court -- and that takes time. The longer the inquiry takes, the more likely that the public will lose interest and the more likely that support for impeachment will diminish. The House Democratic leadership is engaged in a balancing act between keeping the public informed and wrenching vital information out of the Trump Administration. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Anxiety Disorders

Jack Bragen
Friday October 25, 2019 - 03:21:00 PM

There are some survivor recipients of mental health care who have said they have "a little bit of everything." This means they may have psychosis, mood problems, and other difficulties. I could easily fit into this category.

My documented diagnosis is schizophrenia with paranoid delusions. This is accurate about me so far as I can tell. I am very high functioning for someone with this diagnosis, e.g., able to write for publication, able to manage my own finances and other responsibilities, able to be in a relationship, and possibly able to work at some jobs or gigs.

The paranoid delusions really interfere with my life. Additionally, I sometimes have panic attacks. These can be very uncomfortable, but I would not say unbearable. I can withstand the discomfort because of the amount of mindfulness I have done. Yet, because the panic takes over my body and large parts of my mind, the episodes of anxiousness are debilitating.

Benzodiazepines are a habit-forming class of controlled substances, sometimes prescribed for severe anxiety attacks. Their use is not recommended for long-term anxiety management. The patient can become dependent on these substances. Benzodiazepines must not be taken before driving a car.

For me, what seems to work, in addition to prescribed medications, is to do a mental exercise to shut down the panic. I can do this because I have been a practitioner of mindfulness for three decades. I've practiced mindfulness to deal with difficult life situations, and as a way of feeling better. I do not need to always be comfortable. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT:Roy Cohn, a Trump Mentor

Ralph E. Stone
Friday October 25, 2019 - 03:53:00 PM

President Donald Trump once asked, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” He was, of course, referring to his former personal lawyer and fixer, who had been Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s top aide during the investigations into communist activity in the 1950s, a lawyer for mob bosses, who died in 1986 five weeks after being disbarred. By all accounts, Roy Cohn was a despicable human being and an unscrupulous but effective lawyer. -more-

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Friday October 25, 2019 - 04:54:00 PM

The World's Real Superheroes

Step aside, Avengers. Stand down, X-Men. Time out, Guardians of the Galaxy. I've recently seen an array of films that reveal these Hollywood fantasies are no match for the real heroes of our actual modern world. And who might these awesome and redoubtable people be? Answer: the planet's growing population of refugees and migrants.

Think about it. Hollywood excels at (and profits by) inundating us with the sensory overload of blockbuster films that push a singular, disquieting message—i.e., that the majority of the human population is powerless and surrounded by threats that can only be addressed by the intervention of all-powerful super-human saviors.

These saviors don't just have Big Screen names like Superman and Wolverine: they also populate our TV screens in the persona of police investigators, SWAT cops, firefighters, FBI agents, SEAL team members, intelligence operatives, and big-city doctors. Again, the messaging is always the same: (1) You are surrounded by concealed weapons, public threats, deranged sociopaths, foreign-and-local terrorists, and plagues and (2) Only specially trained, physically endowed, shrewd-and-woke, badge-wearing Soldiers of the State can protect you.

You want to honor a real superhero? Focus your attention on any one of the tens of thousands of refugees who stagger out of Africa to risk their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean on ramshackle boats. -more-