law, true crime

How quickly things can change…

It’s 9:16 am as I write this. I’m having some trouble coming up with today’s topic. I could write about the death of David Crosby, who just died at age 81 after a long illness. But if I did that, I wouldn’t have much to say… because although I enjoyed his music, I wasn’t a super fan. I need more exposure to his work.

Or maybe I could write about the awful story I read out of San Francisco, California. It involved an art gallery owner who sprayed a homeless woman with a hose. The story is extremely sad and infuriating. Here’s a link to the article, unlocked. Yes, I could write about that. But I’m not in the mood to tackle homeless people being abused by mean spirited jerks. I’m not even in the mood to write about the comments on this event.

Most people commenting seem to think the water sprayer, Shannon Collier Gwin, should go to jail for what he did. But there are also some people who think he was justified, as the homeless woman had parked herself in front of his business and was relieving herself on the sidewalk. I’m not sure what homeless people should do. It’s not like we have many places for them to go when they fall on hard times. San Francisco probably has more resources than most areas, but it’s also a very expensive place to be.

Maybe I’ll write about that situation later, if more comes out about what happened, or if something else about it inspires me. Perhaps if my comment section heats up, I’ll blog about it. I guess I can understand why Jacinda Ardern, soon to be the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, is resigning her post. Burnout is a real thing. It can strike even if all you do is write blog posts.

I know I wrote that Prince Harry’s Spare inspired me, and it did. But I can’t think of anything right now that is begging for a blog post. Maybe I need to watch some more of H.G. Tudor’s narcissism videos. I’m also getting tired of addressing narcissism, though. I feel like I’m in a rut.

I think I’ll write about the death penalty in Virginia. It’s a timely subject for me right now, because I am reading a book titled Anatomy of an Execution. The book– and it’s an honest to God book, not a Kindle download– was written in 2009. It’s about a 1990 double murder case out of Middlesex, Virginia. The perpetrators were teenagers– Chris Thomas, then aged 17, and his girlfriend, Jessica Wiseman, who was 14. They killed Jessica’s parents, J.B. and Kathy Wiseman, because Jessica’s parents had forbidden them to see each other. I previously mentioned them in this post.

This “real” book is worth squinting for…

Because she was so young when the murders occurred, Jessica Wiseman spent about seven years in juvenile hall. The authorities released Jessica on her 21st birthday. The state chose to try Chris Thomas as an adult for capital murder, first degree murder, and illegal use of a firearm during a felony. Virginia ultimately executed Thomas when he was just 26 years old. The case was controversial because of the differences in sentences, especially since Jessica reportedly talked Chris into carrying out the murders. Chris took responsibility for the crimes out of a misguided decision to protect his girlfriend. That poor judgment cost him his life.

You can expect a review of the book very soon. I anticipate getting through it quickly, even though it’s not easy to read due to the small print. The reading is fascinating to me on many levels. I grew up in neighboring Gloucester County. Many familiar local lawyers and judges were involved in this case. The death penalty also interests me. Capital punishment has been abolished in Virginia since 2021. Frankly, I never thought I’d see the day.

Anatomy of an Execution is well-written and researched. 2009 doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, either. However, a lot of things have changed since then, especially regarding Virginia’s death penalty. For many years, Virginia was a top death penalty state. Virginia is far and away the state that has executed the most people, dating back to the Colonial Era. The “modern” capital punishment era commenced after 1976, when the death penalty was once again legalized. After 1976, Virginia’s rate of executions was topped only by Texas, which is a much larger state with many more condemned people awaiting execution. How crazy is it, then, than as of 2021, Virginia became the first southern state to abolish executions? It is the 23rd state in the nation to abolish capital punishment.

My home state has evolved so much! It’s too bad that Chris Thomas was unable to benefit from the more enlightened attitudes of today’s Virginia. Of course, much of what the authors have written about Virginia’s death penalty in 2009 is now obsolete.

I was eager to leave Virginia in 2007, when I finally permanently moved away from there after years of trying. Now, I think I might be proud to move back “home” again, when the time comes. I don’t know when that will be, or even if I’ll live to see the day. As I mention in today’s title, things can change quickly.

There’s one other thing I’d like to mention before I review Anatomy of an Execution. Reading that book caused me to realize that I have a very curious mind. Yesterday, I found myself looking up the people involved in the Wiseman’s murder case. I was really into it. It just made me realize that maybe in a different life, I would have been a true crime writer. Maybe I would have studied law or criminal justice instead of English. Perhaps I wouldn’t be an “overeducated housewife” if I had done that.

I am excited about the prospect of reviewing Anatomy of an Execution. I hope some folks will want to read it. Jessica Wiseman is proving to be an interesting topic, even 32 years after she helped murder her parents.

I do find true crime stories very intriguing. The real stories surrounding crimes are often more interesting than any story dreamed up by a novelist. The case involving Chris Thomas and Jessica Wiseman is especially tragic on so many levels. I don’t believe Chris Thomas ever had a fair shot at life. He was failed and abandoned by so many people when he was a young boy. I’ll get more into my thoughts on that when I review the book.

Well, I suppose I should end this post so I can get back to reading my book and ending my writer’s block. Hope you have a fine Friday.

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bad TV, good tv, modern problems, nostalgia, politicians, politics, Russia, Trump, YouTube

TDY weeks are made for made for TV movies…

As I mentioned in today’s first post, my husband, Bill, is gone this week on a business trip in Bavaria. I don’t have any local buddies to hang out with, so that means I have a lot of empty time on my hands. When Bill was deployed to Iraq back in 2007, I spent a lot of time watching reality TV. At that time, we lived in the States on Fort Belvoir, and we had FiOS (fiber optic cable TV and Internet– which is just becoming a “thing” here in Germany). This was before Apple TV, so I couldn’t spend my time watching relics from my childhood, the way I do today. I’m glad for Apple TV and YouTube, because now I can watch stuff I missed back in the day.

Back in February 1987, I was fifteen years old, and very busy with school and taking care of my horse. I wasn’t at all interested in politics, religion, or current events. I was kind of “dumb” then, as we didn’t have all of the news and information sources we have now. In those days, the Soviet Union was still very much a thing. People worried about nuclear war to the extent that it was a topic on sitcoms, like The Golden Girls. There were a number of Soviet themed films that were released for the big screen. I remember the movie, Red Dawn, came out in 1984, when I was 12 years old. It was the very first PG-13 rated movie, mainly because it was, and still is, a very violent film about Soviets invading the United States. I remember being very “fired up” when I saw that movie the first time. I was young and impressionable, and thought the height of patriotism would be to join the military and fight for my country. Hell, when I was 12, I might have even made the military’s weight standards. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Actually, I’m kidding. As a teenager, I thought I was fat, but I really wasn’t. Like I said… I was kind of dumb in those days… dumber than I am today. But today, I am fatter than I was in the 80s.

Since the Soviet Union was still so threatening, the American Broadcasting Company, otherwise known as ABC, made the mother of all miniseries. It was a seven night EVENT, which even in the era of network TV, was a big production for a miniseries. Most miniseries lasted two or three nights. I was interested in very few of them, because like I said, I was BUSY then… and not interested in politics, religion, or current events. But other people were interested, so ABC made this miniseries called Amerika. It was set in 1997, in a fictional midwestern town called Milford in Nebraska. It starred, Kris Kristofferson, Mariel Hemingway, Cindy Pickett (“Ferris Beuller’s mom”), Christine Lahti, Robert Ulrich, and a very young Lara Flynn Boyle, among other people who are now either dead, or more or less famous than they were in 1987.

The premise of Amerika was that the Soviet Union’s leaders had messed with our elections and that had led to a “bloodless” coup. The United States was no longer. Instead, it was broken up into smaller areas. The flag and national anthem were changed, and the idea of communism was introduced to our capitalistic society. The miniseries was about how the country changed. It wasn’t a pretty sight, and it was obviously based on the propaganda of the time. Remember, the Soviet Union ceased to exist in December 1991, so a lot of today’s adults weren’t around when it was still in existence. But some of us old farts remember it very well.

Well, I completely missed seeing Amerika when it originally aired. It only aired once, because it caused a lot of issues with leaders in the Soviet Union, who were outraged by it. It was also a really long television event that was probably expensive and disruptive to air. In the 80s, we had our “must see TV”, and these kinds of special shows would usurp our old favorites. And then, after just a few years, Amerika seemed over the top and ridiculous, as the Soviet Union literally fell apart, and formerly closed borders started opening. Hell, the movie was set in 1997, but I was actually finishing up my Peace Corps assignment in Armenia, a former Soviet country, in 1997. So, as you can see, it didn’t make a lot of sense to air the program again. It was later released on video, but it doesn’t look like a DVD set was ever released. However… someone did upload the entire series to YouTube. I watched the whole thing in several sittings, as the program is over fourteen hours in length. Even couch potatoes like me need to get up and move sometimes.

A trailer for Amerika.

I don’t want to get too much into the specific plot of this series, because frankly, it seems like an overwhelming task. As I mentioned up post, the series was set in a fictional town of Milford, which was named after the enterprising American family that helped build it. Some of them still lived in Milford, only to watch their town being overrun by Soviets and American politicians who figuratively “got in bed” with them in a bid to seize power. We watch as people with private businesses can no longer offer what they used to have. A woman who ran a cafe for over thirty years was forced to serve soy products instead of the comfort food she used to offer. Later, everyone is forced into a curfew and heavily armed Soviet soldiers bust the woman’s neon sign, which had been lit for decades. She cries as she’s forced into the back of a truck to be driven off to God knows where.

We see a talented young dancer (Boyle’s character, Jackie Bradford) being ignored when she auditions for a show because she’s too good and would ruin the uniformity of mediocrity of the others. By the way, while I can see where the writers were going with this point, years of watching Soviet athletes and listening to Soviet trained musicians tells me that the culture certainly embraced the talented. They were showcased! Just watch any 70s or 80s era Olympics or a Russian ballet! But the point is, communists didn’t give anyone an incentive to excel, since everyone was “treated equally”. Except they actually weren’t. There were certainly people in communist countries who had it better than others did, due to their stations in life.

We see dissidents being forced into “re-education” camps. Kristofferson’s character, a former politician and 1988 presidential candidate named Devin Milford, had been imprisoned in Texas for trying to fight against the regime and speaking out against corruption. At the beginning of the series, we see him being released and sent into exile in Milford, where he is to stay within 25 miles of his property or risk being jailed or shot. He watches as families lose their homes as Soviet squatters are not recognizing the former Americans’ rights to own land. Children in school are being propagandized with communist principles, which they spout off by rote.

Devin’s eldest son is sent to a psychiatric hospital to be “treated” for thought crimes. He and his fellow patients are shown propaganda while hooked up to electrodes, drugged, and kept in cells. His middle and youngest sons are kept from him. The middle child is bright enough to see through what is happening, but the youngest child becomes very indoctrinated, to the point at which he turns on his father, with a literal gun. Devin’s ex wife, Marion Andrews (Wendy Hughes), is becoming a government leader who wants her ex husband killed.

Fellow Milfordite, Peter Bradford (Robert Ulrich) becomes president, with his wife Amanda (Cindy Pickett) as his first lady. Amanda is very disturbed by all she sees, and tells Bradford that she can be his wife, but not his first lady. Sounds kind of like Melania Trump! Except Amanda is nowhere near as narcissistic and vacuous as Melania is. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And then there’s Kimberly Ballard (Mariel Hemingway), who was very young and beautiful in 1987. She plays a musical theater actress whose work is affected because of censorship. She also gets involved with a Soviet military leader– well… she falls in love with him, and he falls in love with her. But their love can’t survive, because she’s an American through and through, and he’s a Soviet. And politics always take precedence over love.

Mariel Hemingway “sings” as Kimberly Ballard… or does she? This is disturbing.

Like I said, this is a very long series, and to be honest, it was a bit of a plod to get through it. It starts off rather slowly, but then gets more interesting. The musical score may be familiar to some people, too, as the composer of much of the music was Basil Poledouris, the same guy who did the music for the original Red Dawn. In some ways, this film reminded me a bit of Red Dawn, minus most of the violence… at least at first. As Americans start waking up to the reality of communism, a la a frog in slowly heated water, there’s more violent action. Some of it was kind of chilling to see, even by today’s bloodthirsty standards. There are a lot of “dead” people shown– eyes frozen open in shock and horror, as fake blood runs down their faces. In 1987, it was still uncommon for Americans to see mass shooting events.

In some ways, Amerika still seems far fetched and ridiculous. It’s now 2022, and 1997 was a long time ago– 25 years! But realizing that this movie was made in 1987, it’s kind of interesting to see what we had in 1997 that wasn’t yet conceived of in 1987. So, for 1997, Amerika seems pretty quaint and antiquated. However, I moved to Armenia in 1995, which was only about 3.5 years after the Soviet Union fell apart. Things were still very antiquated there in 1995, and things were still pretty much run like they were in the Soviet era. In fact, conditions were worse there at that time, because they were on their own. We had no electricity most of the time; some places had no running water; and almost no one had hot water from a tap. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia in 1995, I took bucket baths with water heated on my kerosene heaters or propane stove. I read books at night by kerosene lamp light. Anything I wanted to buy was behind a counter. And I lived in a series of ugly Soviet era cookie cutter apartments.

But, in other ways, Amerika is scarily prescient. The miniseries was probably conceived of by right wing political conservatives, as it has a very anti-communism message. BUT… as we all know, in 2016, the Russians fucked with our presidential elections. We had a “Republican” leader in Donald Trump, who doesn’t really resemble an old style Republican at all and, in fact, isn’t one. Trump is a fascist, dictator wannabe, and he’s spawned a bunch of power hungry acolytes who would love to follow in his footsteps, even though he’s clearly against freedom and outwardly said the Constitution needs to be “suspended” so he can be put back in power.

This bitch needs to be voted out… but Georgians are too wedded to being “Republicans”. She says that if she and Steve Bannon had been “in charge” of January 6th, they would have “won”. What a fucking loser she is. How DARE she?!

Yesterday, there was news about how, on January 17, 2021, South Carolina Republican Ralph Norman sent a text message to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, calling for Trump to institute “Marshall law”. He means “martial law”, of course. But he was actually calling for Trump to use military force to overturn the legal and fair 2020 presidential election, to prevent Joe Biden from taking his rightful place as the US President. Can you fucking believe it? These are Republicans! Aren’t they supposed to be about smaller government, the Constitution, and freedom for everyone (except women of childbearing age)?

How dare he? These MAGA motherfuckers need to be run out of power. Especially Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is among the worst of the lot.

I saw a lot of comments on the Amerika videos. Many people were trashing Biden, and saying that America is headed for the scary communist dystopian reality presented in Amerika. And yet, I lived in a former Soviet country, and I learned that the people living there weren’t bad people. They really weren’t that different than I was. They just came from a poorer country in need of assistance. In the 25 years since I left Armenia, I have been really heartened to see how far the country has come. It’s truly become a cool place to be, in terms of the incredible culture and the insane talents of its citizenry. Meanwhile, the United States is starting to look more like it could go the way of the old Soviet Union, as Trump and his minions try to take over and force us to accept his “leadership”. I’m actually not that afraid of Trump anymore, because he’s old and has been revealed for what he is. BUT… I am afraid of the younger, smarter, more polished, power hungry types in his wake who claim to be patriots and fans of the Constitution, but want to do away with fundamental American principles like separation of church and state, the right to privacy, and not having the military running the government so that the overall unpopular extremist, dictatorial types like Trump can stay in charge.

Peru and Germany DID something about their dictator wannabes. Let’s get with it, America, and put these dangerous people away, before they ruin the country.

This week, there was a coup stopped in Germany, which is where I live right now. The people involved in that are now in massive legal trouble. They have been arrested. In the United States, Donald Trump is still a free man, in spite of showing us who he is, and what he wants to do. For some reason, Republicans think their party is still what it was years ago, when it was about keeping government out of people’s private business and keeping taxes low. Do these folks really believe that Trump and his deplorable minions won’t be trying their best to take what’s yours? Trump just wants money and power. But there are people inspired by him who want more. They have shown us… and there are a lot of awful people in public office who care more about being re-elected than doing what is right for the citizens of the United States and running free and FAIR elections, without corruption.

One thing that I did learn, having lived in Armenia, is that abortion wasn’t really a big deal in the Soviet Union. I met many women who’d had them, mainly because birth control wasn’t freely available, and their men didn’t want to bother with condoms. And when you’re making the US equivalent of $10 a month, it’s hard to have enough money to raise children. But, it hasn’t escaped my attention that a lot of Republican business owners who don’t want to pay a living wage, nor do they want to offer birth control coverage on health insurance policies provided through work, are very much against allowing abortion. At least for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Some of those folks might eventually realize that religion makes it harder for them to control the masses, as people have a power higher than the state. I think with time, religion and the so-called morals espoused because of “God” will become much less fashionable among Republicans, just as the Constitution apparently has.

Yeah… she’s all for church, until she realizes that people are giving money to churches that they could be giving to government officials, like her. What an un American idiot she is. And no, the church is NOT supposed to direct the US government.
It’s UNBELIEVABLE to me that people are so blind to WHO these MAGAts are!!!!

Anyway… just like I was in 1987, a lot of Americans are concerned about other things. And they aren’t paying attention, even though we have a lot more ways to pay attention now, than we ever had in the past. I hope some people wake up before we start seeing America turn into Amerika. I don’t even want to say that all Republicans are bad, per se. It’s just that the old school ones are being replaced like MAGAts… like cancer cells, they are taking over.

So, although Amerika was a “plod” to get through, I am glad I took the time to watch it. It made me think. If I had taken more time, I probably could have written a much better blog post about it. But if I manage to inspire someone to watch it and draw their own conclusions, maybe I will have done my good deed for the day. It was eye opening for me, but not in the way that other viewers saw it, apparently. This is the type of thing conservatives would tend to watch, because of that dirty word– communism– and Soviet Union style politics. They donโ€™t see the similarities between Soviet Union style communism and Trump style fascism that I see, like the Trump style desire to suppress the mediaโ€” something very much in the Soviet playbook. As someone who has experienced life over there, and has voted on either side of the spectrum, I see other, more frightening things. We, as a nation, need to collectively wake up and do something about these deranged, fascist, violent people before it’s too late.

WHEW… I meant for this to be about two movies. Guess I’ll be writing another post, which seems fair enough, since it’s snowing outside right now.

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book reviews, narcissists, politicians, politics, Trump

A review of Michael Cohen’s Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the US Department of Justice Against His Critics

A couple of years ago, I discovered the very “New York” lawyer, Michael Cohen, who had served as Donald Trump’s “fixer” in the years before he regrettably became our 45th POTUS (though to me, Trump will always be more of a SHPOS). I read and reviewed Cohen’s book, Disloyal:  A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump. I remember liking Disloyal, as Cohen had a very conversational tone that pretty much spelled out what a shitty person Trump is, and why he was a terrible president. Cohen pretty much confirmed my suspicions that Trump is a malignant narcissist, and that makes him an inherently poor choice as a world leader.

Cohen on his book.

Cohen, who was once a very successful attorney with a beautiful wife, two gorgeous children, and a thriving career, went to prison for Donald Trump. I remember hearing him interviewed before he was locked up, and I liked what he said. He admits to being a bit of a shyster. In Disloyal, he even admitted to admiring Trump and wanting to be like him. He made the mistake of thinking that Trump might someday see him as an equal. Of course, because Trump is a grandiose narcissist, he doesn’t see anyone as his equal. People respond to his charm, and his ability to say the things that will spin up a crowd. But it’s all bullshit. Cohen didn’t find this out until it was too late. He paid dearly for working for Trump. I was grateful to him for sharing his story two years ago, even though I knew he did it, mostly, for self-serving purposes.

Lately, I’ve seen Michael Cohen making the rounds on YouTube. I’ll admit, he can be entertaining to listen to. He uses a lot of profanity, which I kind of enjoy… on some level. He has a thick New York accent, which somehow charms me these days. I used to like southern accents, because I am a southerner. Sadly, I no longer feel the same affection for the South, as I’ve seen Republican governments strip women of their rights to bodily autonomy, and I’ve watched salt of the earth people buying into Republican bullshit. It was as if living in Europe cleansed me of most of my appreciation for my home… even if I still love a good bowl of grits.

So anyway, this morning I finished Michael Cohen’s latest book, Revenge, which was just published October 11, 2022. I purchased the book five days after its release, so I was clearly eager to read it. And now that I’ve read it, I feel somewhat less satisfied than I did after I read Cohen’s first book. Revenge is informative, and Cohen is every bit as blustery as he was in Disloyal. But Revenge isn’t about what it was like to work for Trump. Instead, it’s more of a warning to people… as well as a good long vent about Trump’s misdeeds. It’s not that I don’t find venting entertaining sometimes. It’s just that sometimes, Cohen seemed just a little bit whiny in this book. Sure, I agree that he has every right to complain… to some extent. He paid a dear price for being loyal to Trump. However, he seems to think he has some deep insight into Trump’s character, or lack thereof. He doesn’t, really.

In 2016, when the news broke about Trump’s comments regarding women– how he kisses them whether they want him to or not, and grabs them by the pussy– I knew then exactly what Trump is. I knew then that he was not suited to lead the country. I am just a simple overeducated housewife, but it was plain as day to me that Trump is a toxic, abusive, autocratic wannabe. How is it, then, that people who are supposedly smarter and more successful than I am had to learn the hard way? Is it because they suffer a bit from narcissism themselves? In Cohen’s case, I think so… but Cohen isn’t in Trump’s league of narcissism. Thankfully, not that many people are.

I do like to listen to Cohen in small doses. He’s fun to listen to, because he comes across as personable and plain talking. However, I realize that if he hadn’t gone to prison, he’d probably still be loyal to Trump. It’s the same as the Republicans who are now turning on Trump. If he’d turned out to be the “kingmaker” he purported to be before the recent midterm elections, I know that people wouldn’t be turning on him now (and thank God they are doing that, regardless of the reason). If his candidates had won big in the 2022 elections, he wouldn’t be about to go down in flames. But that didn’t happen, so people are turning on him. Cohen, I’m afraid, seems to be in that group. He does what will ultimately serve him, and his best interests. Of course, that’s what most people do, when it comes down to it. I guess it just seems disingenuous to me that he’s now trying to come off as someone who is totally decent. I felt like in Disloyal, he was a bit more honest and genuine. In Revenge, he just seems angry, self-pitying, and hurt, and as rightful as I think he is to feel that way, it doesn’t make for the most appealing or engaging reading.

I do applaud Michael Cohen for turning lemons into lemonade. He’s turned his legal career loss into a new career. Now, he writes books, speaks on YouTube and late night TV, and offers his opinions on Trump and his cronies. I think it’s commendable that he’s picked himself up and recovered. If this shit with Trump hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t know who he is. So he did get something from his ordeal, as humiliating and awful as it was. But he got it because he reached for it, and not everyone would have been capable of doing that. The fact that, like Trump, he has a bit of a narcissistic streak, he was able to mostly shake off the ordeal. Except it’s obvious to me that he’s still kind of outraged and very offended. I’m still wondering how it is that someone as smart and successful as Cohen is didn’t see what, to me, has been very obvious for many years. And, I think that Cohen would be singing a very different tune if he hadn’t been one of the people Trump has fucked over so forcefully. But that’s just my opinion, of course. I could be wrong.

Anyway, I liked Disloyal better than Revenge. It just seemed like a better written, more honest look at what happened. Cohen freely admitted some of his own responsibility in that book, which tells me he isn’t a malignant or grandiose narcissist. In Revenge, he just seems to be looking for…. exactly that. Revenge. I would have liked to have seen a little more personal accountability from Cohen, and less ranting and raving. And, a lot of what is in this book can be found in many of the most recent YouTube videos Cohen is showing up on these days. To Cohen’s credit, though, amid the vitriol, he does offer some recommendations and potential solutions, which makes his book worth reading if you’re interested. Personally, I much preferred his first title, though.

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love, marriage, music, politicians, politics

Happy anniversary to us… let’s hope Putin and Trump don’t make it our last…

Last night, as we were having a much too spicy dinner from Lieferando (food delivery), Bill and I read about how a missile somehow struck Poland near the Ukrainian border. A couple of people were killed. Bill, being in the business he’s in, immediately got concerned, since Poland is a member of NATO. This morning, I’m waking up to the news that Biden says the missile was likely not fired from Russia. The missile was apparently Russian, but may have been fired from Ukraine or somewhere else. Still, it raises the fears of people who worry that World War III could be on the horizon. It’s especially bad that this happened in Poland, where there is a US military presence. Three years ago, Bill and I actually went to Poland for our anniversary, because he had to work there for a week. I’ve come to love Poland, and its people.

I’m also learning that– BIG SURPRISE– Donald Trump is running for president again in 2024. Of course we knew this would happen. Trump won’t stop trying to be president again as long as there is breath in his bloated orange body. I just hope he does his part to stop DeSantis from being president. It’s time we moved on from the whole Trump schtick and elected people who are young and smart enough to do a good job, and people who actually care about others, instead of enriching themselves and getting drunk on power.

I suppose history is being made right now. It’s always being made, actually, but some times are obviously more historic than others are. This time will probably be very historic in the future. Maybe it will even be on par with the Hitler era. But I hope it won’t… and I hope we can enjoy our anniversary weekend in France. James Taylor was able to play his show in Stockholm last night, although I don’t know how it went. He’s going to Copenhagen next, then will appear in Frankfurt, if all goes well. I always find great comfort and solace in James Taylor’s music. I always have, especially when I was much younger and suffered acutely from depression and anxiety. I know he had those demons, too, and his actually led to a stay at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts… a place where Ex once stayed, too. I don’t think her treatment was quite as effective, though. In any case, it seems that James is suffering less from mental health issues now, and more from things like COVID… which is another bad thing that makes life more difficult for all of us.

We need to bring back Bobby McFerrin.

I think what helps me to cope is realizing that there have been times that were as bad or worse than now. Or maybe it was always as bad, just in different ways, and the scope of badness depended a lot on where a person happened to be at the time. I’m sure, for instance, that World War II was more horrifying for Europeans than it was for Americans. And the same would be true for World War I. It looks like the same would be true in case of World War III, since it seems to be provoked by Putin. But there were things going on in the United States during those times that would also make life harder. Having a corrupt, incompetent, blowhard fool like Trump in charge again would certainly make things worse for many of us. Those who like Donald Trump are blind and ignorant to who he really is. I just hope there aren’t enough of them to put him in power again. I am optimistic, though, thanks to last week’s elections. We showed that most of us are not that stupid… at least not anymore.

There’s nothing any of us can do about the missile strike in Poland, so there’s no reason to worry. But Bill and I can have a nice time in France, and then, hopefully, enjoy James Taylor one more time. I hope it won’t be the last time… but again, none of us are getting any younger. There’s always an asshole lurking in the midst, waiting for the chance to step into power. I fear Trump less than I do the more polished looking turds who are waiting to seize the chance to get in power. Trump, at least, is brutally honest about who he is. We’ve all been warned. And maybe he will prevent a slicker version of himself from entering the White House. Meanwhile, I hope we can elect someone who can do something about Putin, who really seems hellbent on world destruction. He’s a much bigger threat and danger to the world than Trump is, especially right now.

Anyway… I smell breakfast cooking, and I have a couple of chores to do before we can light out of here for Alsace. I’ll probably write while we’re in France, because we’ll have the dogs with us, and that might limit our ability to do a lot of stuff. But I do look forward to the change of scenery, and some lovely new wines… Maybe we’ll fit in a few tastings.

Happy Wednesday! By the way… this song played on my HomePod last night. It seems almost weirdly appropriate. Wonder what ever happened to Bobby McFerrin… I was in high school when this was a hit. Time flies!

1988… things used to be better, right?
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narcissists, politicians, politics, Trump

Battening down the hatches and bracing for impact…

This morning, I’ve been listening to pundits talk about Donald Trump’s “special announcement”. I think we all know that Trump is going to announce his run for the 2024 presidential election. Or, at least that’s a very likely scenario, as Trump hasn’t made it a secret that he intends to run. But… he’s doing so against the wishes of people close to him. Melania doesn’t want to be FLOTUS again. Ivanka wants to focus on her kids. Jared Kushner has distanced himself. Tiffany just got married, and no doubt wants no part of her father’s ridiculous and increasingly desperate antics in his bid to stay relevant. And… it looks like the Republican Party would like Trump to go away, too.

Yes, the Republicans totally deserve this turn of events.

Of course, had the midterm elections been more in favor of the Republicans, I’m sure the politicians would be fully supporting Trump right now. But as we all know, the supposed “red wave” that so many people were predicting simply didn’t come to fruition. Election deniers and extremist Trump loyalist “crazies” mostly didn’t succeed in winning their races. The more “normal” Republicans, desperate to save their party, have tried to get Trump to go away. Sadly, it doesn’t work like that with narcissists. Especially when they’ve gotten close to something they value. Once a narcissist has had someone or something, they usually can’t let go of it, even after they’ve devalued and discarded it.

I will caveat that last comment with a disclaimer. Bill has had encounters with some narcissists who did totally walk away, seemingly forever. For instance, his old “war buddy”, who was very publicly fired for abusing troops in Iraq, hasn’t been in contact with Bill in years. He may never hear from him again. Or, maybe he will… like, if they run into each other somehow. If war buddy sees Bill, he will be reminded that Bill is a super nice and thoughtful person who can do things for him. That former supply would be like fresh meat to the war buddy, and then he might want to tap into that. But, right now, Bill is out of sight and out of mind. He currently isn’t obviously useful to his old war buddy. If that should ever change, I would not put it past him if, somehow if he was reminded of that supply, he decided to try to worm his way back into Bill’s existence and mess with things. This is why it’s so important to go no contact with narcissists. It’s easier said than done with some people.

Trump, as a malignant narcissist, can’t stand being labeled a loser. He had a taste of being the most powerful man on Earth. In spite of his disparaging comments about the White House, Trump LOVED being president, if only because it made him so very powerful. He was in the news every day. He’s still in the news today, but not for the right reasons. He wants that power and esteem back, and if he ever gets it, he won’t ever want to let it go again. I think Trump as POTUS again would be a huge disaster. I think the more normal people in the Republican Party can see it, too. But now, they have a monster on their hands, and slaying him won’t be easy. He won’t go away quietly, and won’t stop trying to get what he thinks is his until he’s dead. Unfortunately, there are a lot of disenfranchised, unhinged, misinformed people out there who will not stop championing their hero, Trump… who wouldn’t deign to piss on them if they were on fire.

I am so grateful to sensible voters, particularly in Generation Z, who rejected the extremist right wing rhetoric being promoted by Trump and his acolytes. Trumpism is rapidly going out of style, but unfortunately, the Republican Party opened a Pandora’s Box. Trump is like the worst drug seeker, trying to get that hit again… that hit of power and influence that is the sweetest fuel to a narcissist of his caliber.

Republicans, noting that their influence is rapidly dwindling, in part due to Trump, are now scrambling to right things. Some have even proposed raising the voting age, to keep the tolerant youth from influencing elections. Meanwhile, their elderly base is slowly, and literally, dying off. And I’m afraid Trump’s influence is here to stay for awhile, even if Trump himself doesn’t get back into office. I won’t be surprised if he ends up forming his own party, which will split some voters away from the Republican Party.

The voting age is a Constitutionally protected right, but some Republicans want to change that.

You see, this is why I think people really should learn about narcissists and narcissism. Too many people– especially high ranking, and likely very narcissistic people themselves– didn’t understand that unrelenting and insatiable narcissistic thirst for supply and power. It’s like a drug for them. And for a guy like Trump, being the POTUS is the most potent hit of power there is. It’s killing him that Joe Biden beat him. He can’t accept it, and won’t stop trying to get back in power until he’s dead. So that people who put him in power have created a monster, and they will have to deal with him until Trump inevitably dies or becomes so disabled that he can no longer meddle with the Republican Party’s business. Once something or someone becomes a source of supply, they don’t ever totally let go or forget, even if someone or something is out of sight, out of mind for awhile.

Look at my husband’s narcissistic ex wife. She has negatively affected so many people– even people like me, who have never met her in person. That, in a way, is a form of legacy that is powerful. But her presence, by those who know who and what she is, is rarely welcomed. Even close family members don’t want her around, and don’t want contact with her. She continues to try to claim them, even if they have tried to set boundaries. And what’s very sad for people directly connected to Ex is that the people they have relationships become part of the network. My husband’s stepmother is now in Ex’s network, even though she wouldn’t even know Ex if not for Bill. Younger daughter’s husband is now in Ex’s network because he married Ex’s daughter. Even I am in her network, due to my connection with her ex husband. When I Google myself or Bill, invariably, one or more of those Spokeo type Web sites come up. I see my name affiliated with Ex’s, even though we’ve never been in the same room. Why? Because we were married to the same man, and now share acquaintances and relations.

And yet, I have found that when those of us in her network get together, we all have similar stories to tell. Most of her direct victims don’t want to be near her again. She keeps trying to infiltrate, though. I have no doubt whatsoever that if I weren’t married to Bill and she thought he was available, she WOULD contact him and try to re-establish contact. We’ve seen her do it repeatedly, especially to anyone who can give her what she wants. What she wants is money, people to do the work of daily living for her, and people to prop up her image. She doesn’t actually care about other people, and is completely incapable of love. She says she loves, but she doesn’t, really. It’s all fake, although she expects real love from other people. She can’t reciprocate. She doesn’t know what love is. She just wants what comes from good people– love, regard, respect, but most of all, money, power, and resources. And she always leaves them weakened, damaged, and poorer, just as if she was a vampire who’s sucked away some of their blood.

Trump, likewise, loves no one but his own false image, and simply wants to drain the American people. He loves nothing but power and money. He is an empty shell of a person, delusional and suffering from extreme withdrawal. That makes him desperate. Eventually, he will weaken, but not before he does a lot of damage… even more than he’s already done. So I hope the Republicans are satisfied with what they’ve wrought. They’re about to go through a NASTY divorce with Trump, not unlike the one Bill experienced. And there will be a “custody fight” over the will of the nation.

I hope some of the ones who aren’t narcissists themselves will learn more about what narcissism is, and what narcissistic people do. It’s the only way to vaccinate oneself against their lies, manipulations, distortions of reality, gaslighting, and overall craziness. While most people have narcissistic traits, people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are a whole ‘nother ball of wax. I am convinced that Trump has NPD off the scales. And I suspect Ex does, too.

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