Trump

Impeached again…

Last night, just as I was about to fall asleep, I saw the news that the House of Representatives had impeached Donald Trump for a second time. This news didn’t surprise me. I had a feeling that Trump would be impeached again due to evidence that he incited last week’s violent uprising at the Capitol. What makes the second impeachment remarkable, though, is that ten Republicans voted to impeach. Usually, when presidents get impeached, legislators vote according to their party affiliation. But this time, ten Republicans decided that Trump’s conduct was worthy of formal censure. By voting to impeach even though they are in the same party Trump is, they proved that they have basic decency.

For the past four years, I’ve watched and listened to Donald Trump. I’ve seen people champion and praise him. I’ve read comments from loved ones claiming that people didn’t give Trump a chance. And I just wonder what in the hell that man has to do before decent people wake up and realize that he’s a terrible leader and an even worse person. In U.S. history, there have only been four attempts at impeachment. Two of those attempts have targeted Donald Trump! The others targeted Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson. Richard Nixon was threatened with impeachment, but voluntarily left office before it could happen.

Here we have Donald Trump, who has been polarizing and controversial from the get go. He’s been involved in many shady business dealings, openly admits to harassing and molesting women, is insulting and rude to people who don’t kiss his ass, and curries favor with dictators. What, exactly, is it going to take before people realize that he’s completely ill suited to lead a country? Why are people committing crimes in Donald Trump’s name? It’s so obvious that he won’t be grateful for people’s efforts to keep him in office. He expects people to worship him, and so many people do… despite all of the evidence that he’s just awful.

I remember when I was growing up, hearing about Richard Nixon basically being forced to resign the presidency over the Watergate scandal. People often referred to him as a terrible president, even though he’d won a second term of office. Nixon resigned the presidency when it became clear that he was going to be impeached and removed from office. As he left the White House, he said he was resigning for the good of the country and asked Americans to support the new president, Gerald Ford. In Nixon’s case, he’d lost support from the Republican party, and it was obvious that he would be impeached and removed from office. But Nixon was also clearly a much better man than Trump is. He had the integrity to do the right thing.

If Trump had been in Nixon’s shoes, he would not have resigned. He would have gone through the proceedings and insisted that he was the best man for any job at all. Anyone who voted against him would incur his wrath, and he would spend his time finding ways to get revenge. Trump is a narcissist, and he can’t stand to lose. His four years as president have been terrible for the country on so many levels. I don’t write this because Trump is supposedly a Republican, but because to me, it’s easy to see that he’s just a despicable human being. And yet, some people keep saying that no one ever gave him a “chance”. Even my beloved Aunt Nancy, who has always seemed to be kind and intelligent, complains that Trump gets blamed for everything. Well, I will agree that not everything is Trump’s fault, but a whole lot of this shit is his doing. At the very least, he could have done a much better job asking people not to be violent and try to overthrow the government, right?

For God’s sake. The Capitol was ransacked by American people. The mob, who had come to Washington, DC at Trump’s invitation, threatened the lives of innocent people. Five people died. And Trump referred to the mob as “very special” and said he loved them. Only today, have I read that Trump has asked people not to be violent next week when President-elect Joe Biden takes office. And he only seemed to do that under duress. In fact, when the riots were going on, Trump wasn’t even there to be a leader. He didn’t accompany the supporters he’d asked to fight for him. Instead, he returned to the White House and criticized aides about how the scene had appeared, before attacking Mike Pence on Twitter. Trump caused the violence last week through his words. He should absolutely be removed from office or, at least be barred from running for office in the future.

I don’t have much faith that the Senate will do the right thing and convict Donald Trump for his obvious crimes and abuse of power. He clearly gets away with murder. I’m just relieved that we don’t have to endure another four years of this ugliness, even though I doubt Trump’s unhinged supporters will go away quietly. I feel sure that they will do what they can to undermine Joe Biden’s leadership. It does hearten me, though, to see that some Republicans do have a red line and Trump has finally crossed it.

Last night, I was sitting at home, where I’ve been for months on end. I was listening to disco and trying to boost my spirits, which have been pretty low recently. Every day, the news is worse… in just about every topic, ranging from the state of the environment and global warming to the surge of the coronavirus and new restrictions on our lives, to the masses of people who have lost their jobs and homes, to political unrest and violence. But Trump’s fans will continue to crow about what a “great” president he’s been. I just don’t see it. And I fear that if Trump doesn’t come roaring back, the way Hitler did, there will be someone even worse waiting in the wings to pick up where Trump leaves off.

It makes me very depressed and I wonder why I should bother sticking around.

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Ex, psychology

D.A.R.V.O.

Now that Labor Day is over, it’s time to get back down to business. Labor Day is, after all, sort of the symbolic end of summer, even if technically summer ends the third week of September. I love this time of year for a lot of reasons, but I especially love it for the weather. Although it’s typically still really hot where I come from, September means that cooler temperatures are coming. In Germany, that means cool, crisp days, sometimes with sunshine, and sometimes without. And since COVID-19 has made traveling and going out such a pain in the ass, I look forward to weather that makes me want to be a hermit. Home is where I do my best thinking and ruminating.

This morning, I’m thinking about a neat little trick abusive people do whenever people call them out for being the assholes that they are. This toxic technique is super common, although if you’re not expecting it, it can take you by surprise. I’m writing about DARVO, which I have written about before. It’s one of those “chestnut” topics that is always useful. The term was coined in 1997 by Dr. Jennifer Freyd at the University of Oregon. It was traditionally used in situations involving sex offenders, but it works quite nicely in other situations, too. In fact, in my other article about DARVO, I pointed out that Donald Trump regularly engages in DARVO. South Park even made a plot about it. Bill Clinton also engaged in a bit of DARVO back in the 1990s, when he was called out for his sexual dalliances with Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones. Remember? He famously said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!” regarding 21 year old Lewinsky, who was later painted as a whore and became the butt of many horrible jokes for years.

Um… yes, you did, Bill.

So what is DARVO? It’s an acronym that stands for DENY, ATTACK, REVERSE VICTIM and OFFENDER. Say you’re in an abusive relationship. You’ve been on the receiving end of verbal harassment for years and you’re just about at the point of accepting that you “deserve” the harassment somehow. Your abuser is quite certain that he or she has you under control. But then a little spark of self-preservation sneaks in. You listen to your abuser’s latest rantings and think, “Wait a minute! This isn’t really all my fault! The abuser did this, not me.”

So you raise an objection. You can raise it in a quiet, non-confrontational way, or you can be more assertive or even aggressive about it. The abuser suddenly realizes that a light is being shined on their bad behavior. Their lightning fast reflexes at deflection cause them to come back at you.

They can’t risk having you call them out on their bad behavior, and they are neither mature enough nor responsible enough to take ownership of their actions, so they vehemently deny your claims. Then they start attacking you, often with whatever accusations you have made toward them. That’s where the REVERSE VICTIM and OFFENDER part comes in. Suddenly, just as you were starting to take some control of your life, you’re back in the role of defending yourself against the abusive person.

Bill Cosby denies being a rapist.

This scenario has happened to me a lot over the years. Fortunately, I’m not as attractive to abusers as some people are, but I’ve still had to deal with it. I think a lot of us have, on some level. Many people have even engaged in this technique themselves at one time or another, but the decent among us try not to make a habit out of it. It really is a dirty trick– completely unfair and demoralizing– and those who are weak and don’t stand up for themselves soon stop having the courage to speak up when they are being mistreated for fear that they’ll be the ones blamed.

When I met my husband, he was convinced that the failure of his first marriage was mostly his fault. As I got to know him, he started telling me the stories about what happened. The longer we knew each other, and the more I saw his good nature and extremely responsible character, I realized that he had been lied to and lied about to MANY people, even including people related to him. Unfortunately, his ex wife can be a convincing liar to those who don’t know her. She had people turning their backs on Bill, convinced that he is an abusive monster, even though most of them had never heard his side of the story. For a split second, she even had Bill’s own mother wondering if there was a grain of truth to her lies. Fortunately, Bill’s mom is very smart, compassionate, and kind, like her son is. She was the first to be on Bill’s side, advising him to divorce her.

Here’s what I know about Bill. Since we’ve been married– almost 18 years now– he has almost never raised his voice to me. He’s never even come close to raising a hand to me. He comes home every night when he’s not on a business trip. When he is on a business trip, he calls or emails and, in fact, he was faithful to his ex wife until the day their divorce was official. He has not missed paying a bill since we have been married, and when he has been responsible for doing or paying for something, he’s been quick to accept responsibility and do the right– and fair– thing.

Bill is widely known and well-respected in at least three military communities in Germany and one in Italy. When he had to change companies in 2017, he was the first one interviewed and hired for the company he works for now, and he would have been welcome to go work at any of the places he’s known in Europe. When we had to move in 2018 because his contractor job turned into a government position, Bill was specifically recruited by his current boss. He was also asked to become a government employee and stay on where he was working, but it would have meant accepting a lot less money for the work he was doing. He’s a valuable asset to his employer and is regarded as an excellent employee. He’s extremely easy to work with, hardworking, honest, and very well-liked.

However, just like Ex, someone has spread a different narrative about Bill. This person has falsely accused him (or really us) of all sorts of nefarious bullshit. Some of their claims are flat out ridiculous and easily debunked. This came about when Bill objected to being ripped off of a substantial amount of money. Their first approach was shaming us, with a little pinch of trying to make us feel sorry for them. When that didn’t work, there was denial, attacking, and bald faced lies. Somehow, my super responsible, kind, honest, fair-minded husband was being portrayed as an actual thief and vandal because this person felt entitled to rip him off and assumed that he wouldn’t object. Apparently, they forgot that war is literally Bill’s business. It’s how he makes a living.

We don’t actually miss the money, but we can’t, in good conscience, let them get away with stealing from us. Letting them take that money doesn’t just affect us; it affects other people, too. So we reported them and called in the law, which led to the DARVO attack. I’m now patiently waiting for justice, because I know we are in the right. But that doesn’t mean that the DARVO attack hasn’t left me stung and very angry.

I am angry on many levels and at several people who were involved in this situation. I am angry with myself for tolerating the abuse for as long as we did and for not going with my gut instinct, which told me to avoid these people in the first place. Trust me, I have learned a lesson. And I am angry at things beyond my control that are delaying our ability to move on from this fiasco and reclaim our lives.

I’d like to be able to write about this topic freely, but I can’t. Not yet. But there will come a day when I can.

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Netflix, politics

I just saw Filthy Rich, a Netflix documentary about Jeffrey Epstein…

We’re enjoying some much needed rain here in Germany this morning. I woke up early again. I think it was about 4:30am. I’d had some vivid dreams and then had to answer the call of nature. I checked the news and Facebook and soon found myself on a friend’s timeline. She is as anti-Trump as I am, but still maintains a lot of friendships with people in the county where we both grew up in the 1980s. One of her “friends”, an older man, defiantly posted “#Trump 2020” as a response to her.

I don’t usually comment on political or religious posts made by friends. It’s mainly because I end up getting into arguments with people I don’t know, and I don’t want to waste energy on that. However, after my friend left an impassioned comment regarding her concerns about Trump to her townie friend from Gloucester, I felt compelled to respond. This was what I posted:

Don’t forget rapist… Trump is a rapist, too… with ties to Jeffrey Epstein.

My friend’s friend responded with this comment:

I think if you knew what your talking about Bill Clinton had 26 documented flights with Jeffrey Epstein-look up your facts & stop watching CNN & you might sound a little smarter

Okay… first off, it really bugs me when people bring up Bill Clinton in a discussion about Donald Trump. Bill Clinton was the president from 1992-2000. He is NOT the president now. Neither is his wife. And, guess what… I didn’t vote for EITHER of them. And secondly, we can’t do anything about Clinton. We CAN do something about Trump.

But this guy happened to catch me before my coffee and morning constitutionals, so this was my response:

I was not a Clinton fan, either. I don’t like rapists, and Trump not only raped his first wife, but he also raped teenagers. Your whataboutism is pathetic, and believe me, anyone who still supports Donald Trump is an idiot of EPIC proportions.

So he wrote this:

I have no idea were your getting your facts from-probably CNN very honest network 🤦‍♀️ but I appreciate y’all’s input but I have to go to sleep so I can work tomm-millions on welfare depending on me

Hmm… I don’t sound smart? I’ve copied his responses word for word. I wasn’t going to respond again, because trying to communicate with these folks is a losing proposition. But who knows? Maybe someone reading that thread will learn something new. So I decided to leave a parting shot. It’s one I’ve written about in my blog more than a few times, but here it is for anyone wondering…

I read books written by people who do credible research and I avoid Fox News. It’s a fact that Trump raped his first wife. It was part of their divorce proceedings. She even called it rape at the time, but then later recanted, probably because Trump paid her. The way it was described certainly fit the definition of rape. He was angry with her because she had recommended a surgeon for his hair transplant surgery. He was in pain, so he took it out on her sexually. You can easily find the account if you search for it.  

As for Trump’s penchant for teens… I find Katie Johnson’s account very credible, especially after what has come out about Jeffrey Epstein. You seem like the type of person who blames victims, though, so I won’t be surprised if this doesn’t move you or if you don’t even bother to listen to what she has to say.  

And finally, I was actually a Republican voter during the Clinton era. I didn’t vote for either of the Clintons. Last presidential election, I voted third party because I couldn’t stomach either choice. Since I voted in Texas by absentee ballot, I realized it didn’t matter. You should not assume that everyone who dislikes Trump is a Clinton fan. A lot of us aren’t, although I think both Bill and Hillary Clinton are miles better than Trump is. Besides, Bill Clinton has already been POTUS and there is nothing we can do about that now, so bringing him up in a discussion about Trump is pretty pointless. We can’t do anything about Clinton. We can do something about Trump.

I vote for people, not political parties, but even if Trump weren’t an admitted pussy grabber, I would not have voted for him. He’s been a well known scumbag for decades. And I can see by the way things are right now that my instincts about him are 100% correct.

And I left this video in the comment.

I’ve shared it a few times. I’m sharing it again.

Two days ago, I logged into Netflix for the first time in a few months. I was moved to watch Netflix on account of a public post made by Dr. Gene Fant, my tenth grade homeroom teacher, who is now the president of a Christian university in South Carolina. He wrote of the four part documentary Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich. I would like to share his post here, but it’s very long. I recommend reading it, since it’s public. Dr. Fant used to live and work in Palm Beach, Florida, where many of Jeffrey Epstein’s disgusting exploits with teenaged girls took place.

Jeffrey Epstein used his money and power to abuse hundreds of women and girls. He and his former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, ran a sort of teen girl pyramid scheme. Maxwell would recruit beautiful young women with promises of work and lucrative pay to come to Epstein’s homes and give him massages. Eventually, the young women, hopelessly ensnared in Epstein’s filthy rich world would wind up recruiting other young girls into his lair, where they would end up servicing his filthy rich friends… people like former president Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and yes, Donald Trump. Katie Johnson, in the above video, offers a very credible account of what happened to her at the hands of Trump and Epstein. I believed her when I first discovered the video, filmed in 2016, at some point last summer. I believe her even more now, as I listened to other women tell stories that were very similar but less explicit than Katie Johnson’s.

The documentary shows Epstein’s lavish homes in Palm Beach, Florida, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and New York City, as well as his private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I was stunned by the natural beauty of the island, known as “Little St. Jeff’s”. It was reportedly his favorite place because it is so remote and isolated. He brought powerful people there– mostly men– and trapped beautiful young women there who would inevitably wind up being raped. Some people would come just for dinner… but plenty of powerful men were there for orgies. And the women lured there, many times very young, in troubling personal circumstances, and financially strapped, were promised legitimate work. Instead, they were basically trafficked by people who literally bought and sold them.

If you can stomach it, watch it.

Filthy Rich is a disturbing documentary. Most of us can’t fathom the world Jeffrey Epstein lived in, surrounded by extremely wealthy, powerful, famous people whom he could force into silence because he had the goods on them. Epstein was convinced he’d never be caught or prosecuted because he pretty much “owned” people in power. He had video cameras everywhere, so if any of his rich and powerful friends ever had an attack of conscience, he could make sure they went down with him. And he probably figured that regular folks– prosecutors or police chiefs– would not have the courage to go after him, even when the women he victimized spoke out. Fortunately, he was wrong, although his victims will never get the satisfaction of seeing him prosecuted or getting compensated for what he did to them.

Seriously… if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.

Donald Trump was a part of that world. So was Bill Clinton. Both have been presidents, tasked with leading the most powerful country in the world… although it appears that the United States is now about to sink into decline. Trump is now acting like an unhinged dictator wannabe.

I know a lot of people voted for Trump in 2016 because they saw him as the less evil choice. The Clintons had been in power before, and Hillary Clinton is definitely not a paragon of virtue. Many people did not want to vote for her because they figured they already knew her. I do think she would have been a much better president than Trump is… but I also think that almost anyone in government would do better than Trump has. I also think Bill Clinton was a much better president than Trump is, but he’s basically the same type of person. He lies, and uses and exploits people, especially women, to get what he wants. Of course, all politicians lie to some extent, but some are much worse than others.

He was there… in the thick of it all.

In 2016, Trump was untested as a leader, and he had charisma. He’d been on his own reality TV show. It was a popular show and Trump was supposedly entertaining. I never saw the show myself, so I don’t know if he actually was entertaining. People were tired of career politicians. They saw Trump as a straight shooter and plain talker. They thought he had the moxie to get things done. He talked a good game. I’ll admit, even I thought he was better than Ted Cruz, although I don’t feel that way now. His presidency has been a shameful, embarrassing, terrifying disaster. But he never should have been considered in the first place, because of his record of raping women… and because he was also an established racist as early as the 1970s.

From 2016… we were warned about Trump’s racism.

But now that Filthy Rich has come out, and it’s well established that Donald Trump was in Jeffrey Epstein’s vile sphere, I can’t see how anyone with a shred of decency can continue to champion him. He’s a disgrace, and he has no problem victimizing people to get what he wants. He’s trying to turn the United States into his own private fiefdom. Even if the elections go on in November and he is defeated, he will probably not leave power quietly. And there will still be people like the gentleman I referenced at the beginning of this post who will continue to cheer him on… because they are white men of a certain age who see their power slipping away because of emboldened people who are now confronting them about their privilege.

Anyway… I didn’t enjoy Filthy Rich, but I do think it’s very important viewing. Extremely wealthy and powerful people have privileges that most people can’t fathom. Jeffrey Epstein could have easily gotten away with his crimes if not for the bravery of the women who came forward… and the legal professionals who vowed to hold him accountable.

Edited to add: I don’t usually do this, but I decided to leave one more comment for my friend’s Trump supporting friend who thinks I get my news from CNN…

Here’s an excerpt of an article about a book that came out in 1993 about Trump’s sexual attack on his ex wife, Ivana Trump. After I read the article, I read the book, “Lost Tycoon”, which was published decades before Trump was a serious contender for POTUS.  

Aside from that, there are many references to the kind of person Trump has always been, to include his racist policies regarding his rental properties. And I didn’t find them on CNN. In fact, I have subscriptions to three different newspapers, and that’s where I get most of my news.

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