BOTH WAYS

Nothing seems to make me feel worse than when I reflect on my earlier life and what would have become of it had I resisted the urge to enlist in the Army after September 11th. Would things have turned out worse? Instead of the towering shame and sense of betrayal that overwhelms me today, would I have just found replacement feelings of ignominy and victim-hood? Either way I lie awake at night hoping to erase the shame and wake up with the fear born of my nightmarish anger. So I do my best to occupy my brain with the drone of the never ending internet or the fiction within the screen; anything to dam the current that flows from another life and the future impossible to replace. Death comes, it seems, the moment that barrier gives way, opening up the closure our fiction has hidden.

There is no justice for the self-righteous among us. I say that in the context of modern day truth tellers, those who do what they believe to be honorable only to be treated like the villain. The story is familiar. I can relate. The idiom, I believe, is: “no good deed goes unpunished.” My entire concept of right and wrong was challenged, and defeated the day I was discharged from Army service administratively, essentially, for doing “the next right thing.” “The war is bigger than this young man,” I was lectured just days before I was unceremoniously shipped home with two fellow “troublemakers.” “We are in the middle of a war, son.” “Why are you doing this to yourself?” My answer, in the moment was as honest as it was naive and simple. My answer, paraphrased, was something like “I signed up to fight for the good guys. I enlisted….” The meeting was over.

Even in my initial shock, there was an ember of dignity deep within. That I could somehow hang my hat on that simple truth. That my war was over, yet my humanity carried on. In a rational mind, this could have been logical. Instead what settled under my atmosphere were the competing forces of embarrassment and shame. Embarrassed that I came home physically unharmed, yet profoundly hurt by what felt like being abandoned and shameful for trusting the forces of power to begin with. My self-righteousness encumbered my ability to prosecute the immorality of war. I should have known as much. I did this to myself and that’s ultimately what today hurts the most.

You might be wondering: “what could have been so terrible that it forced me/us to press the issue to the “event horizon,” if you will? In not so many words, I am ready to let it go. The only person outside of my unit and command that I told was my now deceased Grandfather; a Veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam Wars. It was unexpected that he expressed his lack of shock. In fact, he thought it lucky to have an honorable discharge in the face of such deliberate malfeasance.

After 8 months deployed to Afghanistan in late 2002 early 2003, our unit was quickly turned around and refitted for the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. During the final 4 weeks prior to the invasion we were stationed outside of the Middle East with several additional coalition forces. It came to my attention that soldiers were visiting a brothel regularly, then sharing video captured during the sexual escapades. It wasn’t the idea of a brothel that bothered me, nor the childish passing around of amateur porn. What seemed quite disturbing then -revolting today even- was the open knowledge that many of these girls were underage and that several of the homemade tapes included violence. My first reaction was disbelief. Just sailor stories, I thought? Pretty sick shit, but almost certainly untrue. The more I heard however, the more it became evident that the rumors were, in fact, true.

The second thing that killed me was few seemed to give a shit? Is this really what we are all about? Supposedly traveling halfway around the world to liberate oppressed peoples only to victimize some along the way? So we took it to the PL. Long story short; four months later, following a capture mission in Iraq and three separate meetings since first reporting the incident, one final chance was given to drop the issue. Six hours later I was extricated from Iraq; ten hours after that, from the Army itself.

About five years ago I stumbled upon an article that caught my attention. Some private contractor for the US Military had been accused of shielding individuals caught up in a scandal involving underage prostitution very near the post I had visited years before. A corporate whistle blower had come forward with evidence of the myriad crimes only to be fired and returned to the States ingloriously. According to the piece, the corporation settled with a moderate fine and no admission of wrongdoing in the matter. The article went on to reveal that the crimes continued for another year at least. No charges or further investigation was ever instigated, according to the piece.

Are we the country we proclaim to be? Am I insensitive to the bigger picture, or, am I simply unwilling to take accountability for my own behavior, projecting my anger to deflect the truth? I remember that flight home so many years ago and the slightest ember of confidence that remained deep within. That someday, if I pressed on, someday my actions would be rewarded. Yet, like so many other high and mighty idiots, that redeemable moment never comes. Instead, we just add to the long list of victims assaulted by the “big picture.”

Why write this today? The truth is, my slow fall from normality has inflicted emotional harm, not only upon the self, but upon those who knew me so long ago. This guilt is yet another scar. I wanted to at least try to explain in a way that’s to not explain away the forces that interrupted my trajectory and shifted its orbit. I am sorry. My stubborn reluctance to talk and my inability to cope is on me, period. Be assured, the end will come despite your genuine concern, not in spite of it. I’m sorry you couldn’t help me. I am gratified. The truth is, it’s unclear if anything will prevent my ceding to the fear and noise?

I wrote this for anyone who cares enough to read it.. It’s the single thing I’m capable of doing. Hopefully these words will offer a modicum of reason and eventual closure. Remember me for the man I once aspired to be, not the coward that ran away.

I’ll post this tonight for good measure. If possible, another time soon, more will follow? It’s impossible to say everything. All life must one day pass through the seasons of creation to be born once more, cleaner somehow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nonprofit Corporation: Oxymoron?

If I could be granted one simple wish before leaving this world, it would be that I had somehow captured on paper the genesis of this sadness and grief I endlessly suffer. I so want to leave an expression of my frustration and guilt that one day, a long-lost friend or loved relative might read and somehow “get it,” somehow comprehend the level of internal, immutable struggle. Leaving this world behind vacant of that record, ironically, or paradoxically, as it were, bends my will ever so slightly to live, if only in hopes of discovering those words.

That conversation aside, the present nature of things, politically speaking, have sunken to depths I’d otherwise assumed impossible. Can it really be true that our, some might say, “great society” has been lost to a celebrity worshiping, dumbed down, get rich quick ethos so prevalent that a buffoon the likes of Donald Trump could actually be elected the President of the United States? Could it be that I surrendered my future to fight for an America that can name more Kardashian’s than Supreme Court justices? -a recent poll finds that 81% of Trump supporters and 65% of Clinton supporters could not name even 1 current SCOTUS judge- As a white male growing up in America, the concept of “white privilege,” in retrospect at least, was supremely evident. Yet, could I have actually brought myself to enlist in 2001 to fight for a country that is, in fact, so prejudice to nominate a man like Donald Trump as the GOP contender for POTUS? Why would anyone in their right mind volunteer to fight on behalf of a nation -at least halfway around the world- so divided at home, for the idea of another’s freedom elsewhere? 

I actually like Donald Trump. What I do not care for, what I find depressing and pernicious, is the simple fact that I fought for a country, suffered, experienced others suffering, put friends in body bags even, that considers Trump suited for the job Commander-in-Chief. Can there be anything worse on a spiritual level than to discover your sacrifices were not only unnecessary, but harmful? That this man speaks to an electorate so many have given so much to protect, is disheartening and jarring. My guilt is such that no amount of time will ever heal the burden. The realization that not only did my service harm fellow human being’s so irrevocably, but that it produced a sense of righteousness within those perpetrating the ongoing tragedy, squeezes me so tightly within, that finding air to breathe becomes ever more difficult. Not only did I temporarily prop up the madness, I lost my future to its pervasive continuance.

As a person, I don’t like Hillary Clinton. As a politician I find her deplorably acceptable in a moment of terrible strain. Unlike Trump in his role as a politician exposing the worst in our society, Hillary represents the worst of our political system at large. “Stronger Together?” Not unlike her campaign in general, her meaningless slogan represents her largest flaw, which from my perspective is: Does she want to be president because that’s what’s next, so to speak, because if I were asked, I couldn’t tell you why she wants to be the next POTUS? So Donald Trump isn’t? This truth is overlooked largely by the media, yet I believe it heavily represents her seeming inability to brush The Donald aside, as I suspect many other Democratic candidates would quite easily. Comparing herself to Trump when pressured to explain her own actions comes across as mealy-mouthed and cynical. 

There is a difference between Veteran’s of WWII and the Vietnam War. Much of that static seems to me related to the feelings of guilt and shame I, and many other War on Terror vets live with. Not only did we encounter the loss, stress, confusion and pain of war, but many of us discover the fight was fought on some big lies and manipulation. WWII Vets could/can at least find solace in the fact that their sacrifices were made for the greater good. That they suffered in truth, sacrificed in the name of justice. Sure, PTSD was common throughout the community of WWII Vets, however, the process of healing was amplified through the lens of righteousness. A simplistic opinion, maybe, but not necessarily incorrect.

I’d like to add more to this essay later, for now I must sign off and try to recollect my thoughts. But if I don’t make it back, it’s important for me to express one final thought: I don’t blame anyone for my condition, despite the possibility my words could be interpreted as so. My decision to jump into this war was made voluntarily and within the context of my historical knowledge of the world. I did it to myself….and maybe that’s what hurts the most? I wish I could take it back. I want to heal so badly. The reality is that I’m so lost, so broken and bent, that I will not. Good night- 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART II – IN HIDING section a

This is the second part of a rough draft of work describing my time serving in the US Army and the life that has followed. For PART I Click Here THANK YOU!

PART II – IN HIDING

How are you supposed to react when a person you’ve known all your life says to you, in all seriousness, “we don’t even seem to know you any more?” My reaction to this honest statement of fact was to deflect, to isolate, to just run. It was just the thing I might not have done before, in a previous life, in a space prior to this mask I now wear. The words hit hard. The words hit home. The mask was ripped off like an infected scab. The illusion of my happy life had not only been unveiled, turns out, it was never there at all. It’s not being caught in a lie, rather, it’s that they all knew the mask was a lie all along. How am I supposed to face them? How do I tell them the mask is all that remains?

The clock strikes midnight as I sit here, alone, as far away from home as I’ll ever be. Light streams in through the bare glass of the four windows, east, north, west and south, on this still summer night. At this latitude the sun is like an unbalanced friend. The winter falls hard and the summer slight. I wont be able to see the stars again for what seems like months. Will I ever? Thoughts like this are safe in a place already so distant. This shell of a structure I like to call home, a space looking out in the four known directions, I often consider the trap.

There are men I used to know that seem comfortable with it all? Are they just more at ease with the mask, or was it there all along? I wish I could walk that line between the future and the past. To live in the moment, they say it’s all that there really is. This assessment of reality, in my opinion, feels completely untrue. Like faith in a God that is cool with what comes, I shudder at the thought of such acceptable evil. What I see is the past. What I feel is the future. These are the foundations of my life in atrophy. Picture an ocean as it meets the shore; look for the present, a space between the sand and the sea. Dig deeper, let the past wash away. I came home long ago, yet never was able to touch the shore.

This loss will not be calculated into the next fools war. They’ll consider the caskets and consider the gold, but what about the suffering of those with wounds down deep? It adds up to nothing in the vaults of an immoral economy, an ignorant population marches on, slaves and truants, to the master’s of war. It’s “hooray” for the flag and hell for the children, a pattern that has persisted over millennia. Our projection of evil isn’t new or even clever. Rome would conquer new lands under the guise of relieving oppression, or, even more familiar to our modern history: as a preemption to future, imminent war. Although the truth was quite evident and clear. The Roman Empire never couched their expansion as conquerors, guided by greed and tempted by glory. The PR of the ancient world is no more fresh today. “We’re Rome, we’re only here to help.”

I ask myself, did the Legionnaires of Ceaser and Crassus’ Rome suffer from guilt and shame? I find it difficult to believe this happened in any great numbers. From history it seems clear, a striking difference from that world to this is that Roman propaganda was employed upon the masses, with the troops given the truth. Conquest today is packaged the same for all, public and plebs. This hypocrisy jumped out of the shadows as we once again marched into battle. This fight was not about liberty. This new war had little to do with freedom, for the West or the Middle East. If it was a lie, it was still for; fighting on a lie.Those in the ranks who realized this first, fought both integrity and lead. Fighting on a deliberate lie, killing in the face of dishonesty, these men, us men, have gradually succumbed to this hell, our masks melting away, the conscience proceeds.

The rest of America seems to have largely moved on to new, fresh projections of fear? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novel Idea – A Biography in Pieces

Secretly, I’ve spent much of the last two years grinding out, bit by bit, a semi biographical book reflecting on my experiences with the Army and life after. I’d never even considered doing such as thing. Besides the occasional letter, some technical writing at work, and an on again, off again journal, I had no credibility or experience needed to write an actually readable text. The project become more daunting upon losing my early efforts, most applicable art and several notebooks containing memories and rough quotes from my time in the Army, when last February, my cabin went up in flames along with everything inside at the time. I returned from a hike to find the place little more than a pile of smoking rubble, a particularly apt metaphor for my life.

These past months I’ve slowly restarted the process, albeit from an even further deteriorated mind and spirit. I’m considering publishing the work, an unedited chapter at a time, on this page for review and commentary? Even though I find my work entirely unreadable, like the reaction one might have to hearing ones recorded voice for the first time, possibly a little sliver of vulnerability would help me in improving, or worst case, abandoning the project altogether?

I do not expect any response to this post. Writing it down, here, was my first baby step in that direction. So if I don’t chicken out before then, I hope to release the prologue online by tomorrow night. All I ask if for genuine feedback, good or bad, helpful or not. Any sharing of the work would be greatly appreciated as well.

Until the next falling sun. L

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introspection: #Veteran

I’ve been thinking about atonement and absolution, alone, in the darkest hours of my night. How can you be forgiven if you are unable, or unwilling, as it were, to absolve yourself of those cloudy shadings of corrupted immorality? Does writing about this guilt and shame, shared with few, yet available to many, chip away at the past? In public I hide the flames destroying my future, therefor, I am nothing but a forgery, a future skeleton of a once polished soul. I care. I think I care, at least?

A great friend and passing lover of mine had a favorite idiom she quoted to me from time to time: “the people you see on the way up, are the same people you’ll see on the way down.” Of course it’s not entirely meant to be literal, however, I have experienced just that very thing a few times; on the way down, that is.

Beyond my minuscule self and as a matter of the macro world, this piece of advice could apply to our Nation’s foreign policy, not as it is propagandized, but rather, how it is carried out in fact. The way our government as policy has walked over the 3rd World post-WWII -of course there is prior examples, e.g, Spanish American War- will eventually reap what we’ve sown. No better example is that of our deference to Israel and its relationship to the Palestinian people and their legitimate fight for living space. More specifically, our support of Christian Nation’s and autocratic regimes on our way up, will undoubtedly cause great harm, as our dominance eventually wanes. 

I feel it in my bones. I understand that my opinions are of no tangible consequence. It simply feels important for me to be on record in regards to the many mistakes, stretching from the macro state to the micro self. I’m ashamed for the role I played in prosecuting these unjust policy goals. I try to get into the minds of Veteran’s from the distant past, hoping to understand some of their struggles. It seems Smedley Butler, a career Marine of the early 20th Century and 2 time Medal of Honor recipient, expressed a similar disillusionment with US foreign policy post military when he said, I will paraphrase: “that Al Capone had nothing on me. Our job was to protect the corporate interests of politically connected businesses operating throughout the 3rd world. We promoted Democracy at end of a gun, making sure those elected were amicable to the monied interest of Wall Street banker’s.” For that torrent of honesty, the one time hero was systematically destroyed through the use of propaganda, missing his deserved appointment as Marine Commandant, eventually silenced and marginalized by a public unwilling to hear the truth. I’m far from Mr. Butler in all meaningful accomplishment, yet I feel a kindred spirit and understand his truth.

I have so much love for my fellow brother’s and sister’s suffering in silent with the battlefields of mortality and immorality burning within. We should all strive for a better world and the ability to forgive. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nothing Between

Are there wounds that cut just a little too deep, therefore irreparable? Where can I find the line separating the acute from the chronic, and how did trauma such as this become the ultimate American cliche? On one side you confront the fear with isolation, on the other it’s anger masquerading as courage. On your own you realize that line was but an illusion, like an ocean’s coast meeting the high tide. Alive. Dead. Light. Black. What’s the point of all this pain if the only one that heals is me? There’s no difference between fear of death and fear of life. At least that’s what I tell myself at the waking hour, confusing my brain just enough to proceed towards the light with my heart.

I never blame anyone else out loud. Those feelings I keep sewn deep within. Whenever they begin to roil I shake, shed a tear and hold back the rest. If I find myself touching that place in conversation, I cram it back in, all of it, heavy feet and a cheery song. The paradox is sealed, the matter no longer matters, and off I go with these broken clocks and miniature parts of a life I never wanted, yet, somehow bought. Nobody gets me, right? They don’t get me, not because I’m unique, rather, because somewhere back there, I broke apart, separated, now here incomplete. Picture a completed jigsaw puzzle with additional pieces left in the box. It’s all there, it looks complete.

Maybe the future holds a surprise I still cannot see? Maybe someday it’ll all be okay? I don’t pray, but we can hope, right? There’s something left to offer if I find another chance. At least that’s all I can tell myself in between these days of numbness, of anguish, recalling misery and dancing in the dusk, along that space between the elements, in a dream more like a movie I’m watching in my sleep.

It was so long ago. The smell of it all drifts closer.

 

 

 

 

 

2nd vs 1st Amendment

preface: thanks for the comments. never really believed anyone would read so I will try to be better with the grammar and also try to include some photos. But thanks!

The consumers of media are being ill-served by the supposed laws of modern journalism. Journalism is being equally held hostage by the ethics of the profession. No better example of this dichotomy of sorts is NPR’s -albeit not alone- coverage of the unprecedented national presidential election that is 2016. Maybe this opinion and observation is far from unique, nevertheless, it’s an opinion that’s escaped my view in reading through the NYT, WaPost and WSJ’s editorial pages. I’ll try to briefly explain what I mean.

Mainstream media organizations, those that put on an air of fairness and balance in coverage, -let’s preclude MSNBC & FOX for now- almost never accuse someone outright of lying. And in many instances this is a sound policy, from my perspective at least. 2016 seems to have ventured into rather stormy waters? There have been several, if not many, statements made by both candidates and campaigns -I believe the lions share are from the Donald however- that fall far beyond the usual white lies and can -and should- be called out by the media as outright lies, fabrications and/or intentional deception.I’d argue that this is new. I’d also argue that being of the unprecedented nature, mainstream, objective media, needs to modify their general practices in order to serve the public, to serve Democracy and the 1st Amendment.

When Secretary Clinton uses legalese, oratory gymnastics, and obfuscation, as she continues to employ regarding her use of her private server, the media -CNN, NBC, CBS, NPR, ABC etc- should begin calling it for what it is: lying. When the Trump campaign claims they had nothing to do with the GOP platform committee changing language, softening its position in respect to Russia and the Ukraine, that same media needs to stop dancing around, applying the same techniques with words, and simply say: “that’s a lie.” 

Why is this simple, yet possibly dramatic modification necessary? Count me as ever skeptical, but the truth is, many American’s trust many of these news outlets to give them the truth. They might not like what they hear initially, might even tune out, yet in the end, I believe the ethical decision is gravely important for our Nation. When Walter Cronkite told us the War in Vietnam was lost, feelings were probably hurt, the Pentagon lost its shit and the Executive Branch howled, but in the end, it was the truth that did the most good, ultimately, along with courageous Americans the likes of Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali and Daniel Elsberg, we slowly corrected our course. The 15 year, unwinnable War On Terror is the modern equivalent and the media has failed epidemically. Like the Iraq War, those voices many Americans trusted, sounded off the truth far too late and only when popularity in the war had sunk so low, their ratings went unaffected.

Their ratings today cannot get any worse. Maybe telling the truth, in time that is, would paradoxically be the right move in our Capitalistic business/news/entertainment landscape? Maybe telling the truth by calling the lies a lie would ultimately be the most sound financial, moral, ethical and patriotic move? Maybe, in the words of Edwin Murrow, words condemning Senator McCarthy’s unconstitutional and abhorrent search for Communist’s in a supposed “free” United States, “let us speak the truth, for we are not born of fearful men,” or close to that, maybe that network could ascend to the top of the ratings along with the top of those protecting the 1st amendment? Because how can we expect our politicians, or candidates, to protect the 2nd Amendment if they aren’t willing, or not bright enough, or honest enough, to protect and defend the 1st?

So from me to you: they’re lying. Neither 2 major candidates has a stump to stand on when calling the other a liar. It’s not like the pot callin’ the kettle black, no, more like the coward callin’ the chickenhawk brave. So Meet the Press, This Morning whatever, NYT, Don Lemon….even Rachael Maddow or Megan Kelly, as a start; a spades a spade, a liars a liar…until they’re not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOLD STAR’S & PURPLE HEART

Wow! War, Veteran’s, and sacrifice finally reached the national political zeitgeist…for basically, all the wrong reasons. I take that back. What I mean to say is that it’s great that the upper political class and media gave the subject airtime, however, the scope of the debate became narrow and somewhat pointless.

How about we discuss the fact that prior to the Khan’s extraordinarily brave and selfless speech, that barely 7% of the U.S. population over the age of 16, could accurately describe the meaning of a “Gold Star Family?” Or might we have more than a ‘gotcha’ type of public debate as to the merits, cost, and/or crime that was the 2003 Iraq War? I actually came across a few who said in one way or another that, if a certain he or she, or several he’s and she’s opposed the war, the Khan’s son might be alive and well today? This assertion was scoffed at with contempt of course. They’d say, “the intelligence was wrong,” or “the country was in shock because, you know, 9/11. Did I say 9/11 yet?” Or why not use the moment to discuss the problems with the VA, Vet suicides, ongoing, ever expanding war without end, on and on and on?

Not to put to fine a point on it, but even if Saddam Hussein still had some chemical weapons laying around; did that present an imminent threat to the United States, a country Iraq had never attacked beyond the outskirts of its own border? This intelligence failure reasoning is the most brilliant, yet stinky red herring in American foreign policy history. The thing that bothers me the most, even today, is that the only people to suffer, to pay the price for an illegal war and occupation of a sovereign state, is the civilian population of Iraq and the low level soldiers who followed orders, implicitly trusting a government and society that they/we wouldn’t be asked to sacrifice so much on a deliberate set of lies.

We will continue making the same errors, from ideological wars to illegal torture, not because we are inherently evil as a society, but because those who prosecute and approve these policies are not held to account, implicitly causing much of the country to agree with the process, no matter the eventual complete and utter failure. So yeah, I find men like Donald Trump wretched and small. A person so vacant of honor that he’d go around claiming he was against the Iraq War when in fact he’s on record supporting it. To campaign on a Navy warship, spewing bluster and grit, yet avoiding the Vietnam War four times due to school, then, avoiding service by having some shady doctor write a letter claiming the 22 year old had bone spurs, thereby precluding him from service. As POTUS, I have no doubt he’d have no qualms sending others into battle out of vanity. Hillary Clinton is little better, and is one of those who never paid the price for her poor judgement that ultimately cost the lives of many thousand soldiers and more than a million civilians. So fuck her too!

But these are not subject to discussion in the mainstream. It’s the gatekeeper’s of the forum who were also complicit in our wars of aggression. Even the chicken-hawk’s and carpetbagger’s throughout the media aren’t immune to that level of hypocrisy. And so we march on in lock step chanting hey-hey, ho-ho, exceptionalism is the way to go. Some day far down the road, history will be written by someone other than ourselves, only then will our hyperbolic pride be revealed in earnest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vet Love

Rainy days like today make me sad. Sunny days, that direct heat blasting through the cars window, irritates me more often than not. So basically what I’m saying is: I’m a miserable motha-fucka. It’s this never ending raw nerve that walls me off from family and friends, hoping to solve a spiritual problem with geography, I feel myself disintegrating. The best I can do is cram my eyes and ears full of meaningless candy and picture, so as not to disrupt this perfect imbalancing act. In simple metaphor it’s this: many years ago I started packing shit into a garbage bag that I carry everywhere I go. You might ask; what’s wrong and what’s that smell? Oh, that’s just my bag of shit I refuse -refuse, is it?- I refuse to let go of or put down. The bag just keeps getting heavier and smellier and stickier and closer. It’s my bag of shit though.

What’s that law of physics? An unstoppable force meets an unmovable object: what happens? A time will come soon where I either leave the bag behind somehow or finally drown in the stench and foulness of it all. Reality is both true and false at once. A paradox I suppose? Will I look back one day at this stretch of pain and wonder how I could have let life squeeze me so hard when escape was so evident? Or will I reach an apex, a destination, and ask myself why I held on so tight for so long?

Some wounds cut just a little too deep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trump, Clinton, Libya & Addiction

This opinion may no longer be unique? Nevertheless, after reading the Washington Post, Donald Trump interview transcript today, –I will try later to link here if I can figure out how– it occurs to me that the man is, in fact, seriously psychologically damaged. I’ll refrain from elaborating in detail. The transcript speaks for itself. I have little doubt he will crumble prior to November. The pressures are tremendous and even the most disciplined politicians find the process so taxing they avoid beginning the race altogether. What seems most fascinating to me is how he will manage the destruction, or how the GOP as a party will play the circus?

As a former drug counselor and recovering addict, my first reaction to his instability is to assume he is on drugs, particularly some type of amphetamine / sedative combination. I write this off almost unconsciously, yet maybe we/I shouldn’t? The abuse or dependence on substances typically evolves from a co-occurring disorder related to a mental health condition. Self medicating is the loose terminology. I might be off base, perhaps, or as Trump might say: ‘many people have written this, I’m not saying but, you know?” His ever increasing seemingly uncontrollable behavior and his increasing need to be affirmed by polls and ratings, might suggest an addict slowly losing control? His behavior is consistent in process, but increasing in lack of control.

Wednesday August 3rd, 2016

After an appointment with the VA this afternoon, I have to consider the fact that many folks in this country support The Donald, come hell or high water. Just today I had brief conversations with strangers who all supported Trump. My question in all cases was, why and how? Little was learned despite my openness. I just cannot imagine a future with this man anywhere near the Oval Office. Call it hypothetical cognitive dissonance if you’d like?

Another tidbit I came across was an interview Hillary Clinton did in the immediate aftermath of Qaddafi’s execution by NATO supported rebels in Libya. It was cringe worthy and revealing unlike most of the sanitized views of Clinton. Her maniacal laugh and obvious joy with the killing of a head of state, had it been a leader of another country, would’ve been rightly condemned. She obviously learned NOTHING from the lessons of Iraq. Anyone with a brain and accurate information could have easily predicted the future of Libya, yet she seemed blind? Either she truly is ignorant, or more likely, a Libya lawless with nonstop civil war is the policy of our government? Either way, how can we support her for POTUS? A question I will continue asking myself as the campaigns come to a close.

It makes me glad that some actually read some of my rambling thoughts. Thank you, and I appreciate any feedback, positive or negative.