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the father, the son and the holy shit

worst actors
during the time that we were without a solid internet connection [or at least, without an unlimited internet package], i wondered if the trump administration would somehow sort itself out, come clean about its russian problems, right the ship and start focusing on america's real problems. ok, i actually didn't think that, but i liked to imagine that, in my snow white-like repose, something positive might happen, so that things didn't seem so hilariously out of control. it was a nice, if naive, thought.

instead, i come back to see that donald trump jr. picked a twitter fight with the acid-tongued ana navarro [about the fact that she said his sister ivanka was intelligent] just hours before reports came out that he and his nearly mute but all powerful brother in law, and the campaign manager with the super-obvious ties to russia, met with a lawyer who may or may not be associated with the kremlin about receiving some damning information about hillary clinton from the russian government as a token of their support for the trump campaign. since then, there's been the strange spectacle of trump the sequel saying the meeting didn't happen, the meeting only dealt with adoptions [the russian government banned americans from adopting russian children in retaliation for sanctions imposed by the obama administration], saying the subject of intelligence on clinton came up, but the sequel self-righteously left when it was mentioned, and finally saying that the meeting happened, it was always for the purposes of acquiring damaging information on hillary clinton, and he has the emails to prove it.

the idea that the sequel simply handed over a bunch of documents that make him look sleazy if not outright criminal [it is against the law for a campaign to solicit/ receive items of value from a foreign government, and there is some legal precedent establishing that information/ intelligence has value] may seem bizarre at first. the aforementioned ms. navarro has a pretty low opinion of his intellect. [worth mentioning that the sequel is generally thought to be smarter than his younger brother, the leftovers.] but it's also possible that it's an act of panic, as the sequel reacts to being set up by his oily brother-in-law.

the emails show that the sequel attended one meeting. yes, it's salacious that someone who shares the donald trump name was in this there, eager to roll in the slime, but it's not him who's in real trouble. kushner has already been caught hiding more than a hundred meetings with foreign nationals from his security clearance application. any one of those omissions constitutes a criminal offense. the sequel may just be trying to show a measure of cooperation as he tries to deal with the fact that he's being fed to the dogs to slow the pursuit of jared kushner.

[the sequel has good reason to be worried about kushner, if jared is anything like his own father. the kushner family story is meretricious in the extreme, and no matter how i write it, it can't compare to hearing msnbc's lawrence o'donnell tell it.]

this all seems headed inexorably towards the old king, trump sr., having to choose between his own flesh and blood and the son-in-law whose mind seems closer to his own. and then there's the complication that kushner is the husband of the favoured trump child, ivanka. the donald's doting over ivanka, with its incestuous overtones, is unique, in that she seems to be the only person he loves nearly as much as himself. does he dare risk alienating her by throwing her husband, the father of her child, overboard?

this shit-show shakespeare would be a little easier to handle if it weren't unfolding at the apex of the world's largest nuclear arsenal. as the investigation into his possibly treasonous activities grinds ever forward, trump will need to provide more and more distractions. weird tweets aren't going to cut it forever. and eventually, this tragicomedy is going to involve some forced audience participation. 

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jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

mental health mondays :: employee of the month

one of the things that makes mental health difficult to manage is that it can be difficult to tell which are the symptoms and which are the root causes of a disorder. another is that sometimes the symptoms can disguise themselves as things we normally value. both of those things collided for me reading this piece in the atlantic, which deals with the possibility that work addiction may be a coping mechanism employed by people with post-traumatic stress disorder.

the idea isn't particularly farfetched; after all, 52% of men and 28% of women with ptsd will at some time in their lives meet the clinical criteria for addiction. and ptsd is often first identified through habits linked to displaced anxiety. and what gets linked to anxiety more than a demanding job? but drawing the line between the two isn't quite as easy as it looks.

work addiction isn't accepted as an addiction disorder in the way that alcoholism and drug addiction are. that makes it a little difficult to talk …

mental health mondays :: the dangers of diagnosing

when you take a look at any reputable online source of information about mental health, it comes with a warning that anything you read on the site should not be considered a substitute for evaluation by a medical professional. so why are so many people jumping on the bandwagon to diagnose donald trump?

it's not uncommon for people to make glib judgments about the mental health of others, because we think that we understand what disorders entail. when i was working in offices, i noticed a lot of this: an immature and garrulous employee being labeled and partially excused because others were certain he had adhd, or a moody and indecisive boss dismissed as bipolar. [as you can imagine, that one struck me as particularly ignorant and, since i was the audience, ironic.] but in the case of trump, even professionals are weighing in on the subject. no fewer than twenty-seven psychiatrists have collaborated on a book called the dangerous case of donald trump. up to now, it's been unde…