retirelazyandhappy

There are lots of things to think about.


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Trump was defeated by Putin.

I watched and read the transcript of the press conference yesterday with Putin and Trump. While I am happy that there has been such a negative reaction from so many sides, and countries, I want to add my own observations.
First of all, I was surprised that Putin talked first, and for a long time, while Trump stood silently. Usually Trump has a lot of swagger and aggression. But yesterday he was meek and quiet.
When Trump did speak he really said nothing at all. Lots of self praise, but as usual, no plans, no specifics, and no truth.
A lot of people have said that Putin was in control of the press conference. I was impressed by how beaten down, trashed, really, Trump was during the meeting!


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The Importance of the Free Press

I am appalled by Donald Trump’s behavior toward the press.  While his comments about them are so negative they fit into his usual mode of conversation.

“Totally dishonest” “disgusting” “horrible people”.  This is how Trump talks about the press.

We could say that this is how he talks about most of the people, especially those who don’t fawn and grovel to him.  He described the intelligence community as the “intelligence” community until he decided to say how much he loved and admired them.  Then he continued to talk about himself and how great he was for the rest of the time at the CIA.

His behavior is totally dishonest, and disgusting.

We need a free and conscientious press now more than ever.  Trump must be held to account.  His lies and put downs of important people must be illuminated.  Don’t worry about him keeping his promises:  that would be the most dangerous thing he could do.

See this link from the New Yorker for a good example of good free journalism:  http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/trumps-attack-on-the-press-shows-why-protests-are-necessary?mbid=nl_012217%20Cassidy%20Post%20Newsletter%20(1)&CNDID=6938895&spMailingID=10277890&spUserID=MTMzMTg1NTYxNjQ5S0&spJobID=1081823397&spReportId=MTA4MTgyMzM5NwS2.

More to come.  Congratulations to everyone who went on a woman’s march on Saturday.  Great work.

 

 


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Resist Trumpism, Part 2

There was a lot of reaction to Buzzfeed’s release of the dossier of the possible connections between Trump’s people and Putin’s operatives. Evidently, the information had not been confirmed by the United States Intelligence agencies so far.

But if we look at the information that we already know about Trump from his own behavior and performance we know:

We know that Trump is salacious.

We know that Trump encouraged Russian interference in our election.

We know that Trump likes his roughneck image.

Why do we cover or dispute what we already know? Why do we even pay much attention to the validity of the dossier?

We know that Trump will favor billionaires, especially himself and his businesses.

We know that Trump will reduce environmental protection.

We know that Trump will reduce safety regulations.

We know that Trump will pretend to be religious.

We know that Trump will reduce voter rights.

We know that Trump will restrict women’s rights.

We know that Trump will be demeaning to anyone who is not like him.

Soooo

Why do we cover this performance?

Suppose after his next press conference only the dry facts (there wouldn’t be very many of them) were reported? Suppose his tweets were given no coverage? Suppose the press reported that as usual Trump said nothing remarkable?

Suppose instead the press did the real work of finding out and reporting on the real problems in the United States? The real difficulties with climate change? The real dangers of poor enforcement of safety regulations because the agencies that enforce these regulations are seriously underfunded? Suppose instead of fussing about who is at fault for the Russian interference in our election the press focussed on the serious underfunding of the technology in the United States government?

We might have change. We might be able to hold Trump to account.


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Resist Trumpism

It is time to make some changes to this site.  I want to concentrate on the importance of standing up for a liberal, progressive point of view.  I want to make some honest statements about the importance of telling Congressmen and women that they need to pay attention to the real needs of the American people, not just the corporations.

We all like tax breaks, but they go with reduced services and reduced regulation of out environment and our safety.

I want to concentrate my effort on the topics of health care and the environment.  There are many other areas of concern and I invite you to identify how you want to spend your energy.

Let me know.  I will be back with more.  Right now I am babysitting my little grandson so this will be short.  More to follow.

Meanwhile tell me what you think needs to be addressed to improve the lives of our American people.


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Does President Elect Trump have to disclose financial Information?

On Donald Trump’s Transition Team website the following is posted:

“A full FBI background check in which an applicants history of employment, personal, travel, medical, financial, legal, military and education background will likely take.”
“Consideration is taken for possible conflicts of interest. Financial holdings and sources of income must be disclosed.Any conflicts must be remedied by divestiture, the creation of special trusts, and other actions.”
“Many appointees’ dealings with the Federal government both during and for a period of time after their service will be significantly restricted to prevent possible conflicts of interest.”

Does this include his own finances?  What about his children’s finances, since his children will be managing his business?

What about foreign involvements?  What about conflicts of interest?

Donald Trump also posted a letter with a headline about a “full readout” of his call from Putin.  There was nothing in it except the congratulations and sharing inerests.  As usual, no information.

This may be the beginning of the most corrupt administration in the country’s history.

 

 

 

 


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Truthful Trump ?

Hmmm. Can you say “Truthful Trump” and not laugh?

I can’t. His latest lie about Hillary Clinton using Clinton Foundation money for personal expenses is the ultimate lie.

Here is a secret: In my psychology practice I often found that when someone told a lie, he or she was really talking about himself or herself.

This fits Trump perfectly now that the truth about his use of the Trump Foundation has come out.  He has used the money to settle lawsuits, to make donations with money that was donated to his foundation, so that the donation looked like it was Trump’s money when it was money from other people.

By the way: I am still getting ads on my email for a get rich quick scheme that has Trump’s name on it. Anybody else notice this? When I checked it out is was a scam: Unfortunately under many different names, but the same scam: Junk information, good luck getting your money back.

Reply with your own experience. I really want to hear from you.


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Liberals and Conservatives Need to Talk to Each Other!

Why can’t Liberals and Conservative talk to each other?

Does this happen in your family?  With your friends?  When two people from opposite sides of the political spectrum start to have a political discussion it either goes out of control, or gets shut down. (“Let’s change the subject.  I don’t want any talk about politics.”)

Two people arguing.

Political arguments can make you tear your hair out.

The two sides stay completely opposed, stuck, no improvement gets made on the problems which are allowed to fester.

When a conversation does take place the interactions often get tangled, then hostile, often the subject is dropped.

Both sides believe that they have the truth.

What doesn’t happen is a chance to explore the truth of the other side.

To increase the horizons of the discussion.

To recognize that each view has a piece of the truth.

To recognize that some problems can be addressed, but not if the other side or the other view is vilified.

Start with Listening to start a conversation

First: Listen to each other. Both have to be willing to listen and to hear the experience of the other, to recognize that the experience is valid.

What does listening well mean?  Listening well means that you can describe the point of view of the other person in your own words.

Listening may not be an easy exercise. We are often revved up to tell our own side, or to criticize the point of view of the other.

We are thinking about what we want to say rather than listening to the other person. See Here for ways to improve listening in challenging situations.

Both persons also have to be willing to share their experiences, with specific examples, expressing feelings and thoughts about that.

Expressing our own experience may also be difficult. It is easy to give one impassioned example, but to give a series of these, in a calm way, without criticism of the other person’s experience, is also difficult.  Go Here for tips on effective expression of your thoughts and feelings and experiences.

The Question is “How?”

A young man, reaching to shake hands

Reaching out to people who disagree can help with problem solving.

The second step is moving to the question How?

Given that some problems have been identified, how do you address these problems?

Start with the recognition that these issues do not have to be roadblocks.  These are problems to be solved.

The problems are valid.  They cause real problems for real people.

Problem solving also requires us to accept that a solution will not work perfectly. But improvement can be made.

Go Here and Here for powerful problem solving techniques.

Let’s open a dialogue!!


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Dialogues in politics.

With both political parties having their conventions this week, there is a lot of commentary about who is good, who has the best position, and worst of all who is “right”.  In place of rants, lets start some dialogues.

I think it is important for people to talk to each other, especially when they disagree.

There was an interesting point made on a public radio station  which illustrates this.  A woman was discouraged when a liberal congressman who was in her district refused to consider a restriction on partial birth abortion. She knew that if he took a position of absolutely no restriction on abortion he would not ever be re-elected in that district.

The point was that when positions on either side are so absolute, it prevents any good thing from getting done.  We need to recognize that people do have some valid points of view and we need to listen to each other.  Having a respectful attitude toward each other will go a long way toward some reconciliation and some agreement.

Democrats pay a very high price for complete intransigence on abortion, and Republicans pay a price when they refuse to consider even mild restrictions on gun sales.  We both need to recognize that abortion is a tragic situation and can be examined.  We both need to recognize that unlimited gun sales often lead to unwarranted loss of life.

Both Democrats and Republicans can discuss the fact that not all people in poverty are taking advantage of the government, but we also need to recognize that some are.  Helping others too much can be unhelpful, but refusing any help or pretending that the playing field is level when it is not is also unhelpful.

I also think that true dialogue means sharing our own thoughts and experiences rather than passing on and repeating slogans, and propaganda. Our own experiences are real, varied and nuanced, while slogans and propaganda is too often exaggerated, based on one or two examples, passed down without context.

All sides of the political spectrum (we have plenty more than two) have many things that they could say to each other.  A true dialogue could begin.