May You Live in Interesting Times

Years ago, Barataria predicted that 2017 would be “The Year Everything Changes”. The lesson is, of course, that we all need to be careful what we wish for.

The basic underlying forces which drove that prediction have not changed. The holiday shopping season has yet to be fully tabulated, but it appears that the robust 3.6% gain predicted was met or even matched, with one estimate showing a 4.9% gain. Baby Boomers will still hit retirement age and there will definitely be a shortage of workers coming up, especially in certain skilled areas.

For all that hope, the upside will be limited by an incoming Trump administration. It’s not just that they are largely tied to political views which do not fit the situation, it’s that many of them have little to no experience making policy. To a large extent, nothing will get done. But what does get done will happen among the bureaucracy. That may mean more change than we all think.

Continue reading

Advertisements

2016: The Rot at the Core

What can be said about 2016 as it winds down? Certainly, something has gone horribly wrong. What could it be?

I believe that ultimately what has broken us apart is a destructive selfishness which has metastasized into a cancer.

Continue reading

Solstice Greetings

On Wednesday, 21 December, at 10:44 GMT, the Winter Solstice comes to the Northern Hemisphere. It is the shortest day of the year, but this only means that the world is now turning towards the morning. It only gets lighter from here.

This may seem overly optimistic, but it is true. The biggest problem with this kind of faith is that when we are at the lowest point we also are changing the least. Light will return, yes, but slowly at first.

What is even less obvious at this time of darkness is that the dark is exactly what we make of it.

Continue reading

Resistance

What will 2017 bring in politics? An easy prediction is that there will be chaos, given the reign of President Trump. This is an easy prediction to make given his constant stream of wild statements on twitter, at rallies, and in the media itself. The potential war with Congress, starting with an investigation into Putin’s role in the last election, is also a given. But there may be even more to it than that.

Can the left form an effective organization to stop anything at all from happening? Is it possible for progressives to effectively block any change at all? The short answer is yes, it’s entirely possible – and a few unnamed former staffers have outlined exactly how to do it. The 23 page document is very much worth reading as something of an updated “Rules for Radicals”, tailored to the situation at hand.

Continue reading

Dealing with Crazy

Given the speeches, tweets, and cabinet picks of Donald Trump since the election, one thing has become very clear: we are in for a whole lot of crazy.

This term may not sit well with many people, especially those in the psychiatric field. Though it does appear that Trump himself has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), a diagnosis from afar is rarely accurate or even reasonable. Furthermore, much of the damage we can expect in the coming years comes from those he has surrounded himself with. Many are also crazy. There may be schizophrenia, bipolar, psychopathic tendencies, NPD, or simply substance abuse in play for any of these actors.

So throw away the DSM V. We are dealing with people who have their own version of reality, and that is the point. This is about coping with crazy, regardless of where it comes from.

Continue reading