Category Archives: Domino Principle #1: Deceptive Perceptions

Narcissism, Codependency, Gaslighting, Reality Distortion Fields and The American Presidency

Why does a person stay in a toxic relationship?

How can she (or he) be so blind to that which is so obvious to others? 

In my previous article for The Domino Principle, The 10 Reasons People Still Support Donald Trump, I asked and answered a similar question… why do some people cling to support of a President who is so morally reprehensible and so clearly and obviously antithetical to the bests interests of themselves and of America? And in another earlier article, The Destructive Dominoes of Domestic Abuse, I looked at the signs and signals of psychologically abusive and manipulative personal relationships. This column looks at how these two issues are deeply related. Continue Reading >>

The 10 Reasons People Still Support Donald Trump

Why do so many Americans stand in such stark denial of reality?

The August 2, 2017 Quinnipiac University National Poll found that  61% of American voters disapprove of the job Trump is doing, while 33% approve.  With 200 million registered voters in the United States, that means that 66 million people still approve of President Trump.

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Six months of observation and analysis has allowed me to identify the 10 key motivational factors at play in this situation. Continue Reading >>

The Trump Administration’s Next 1353 Days — What to Expect & How to Resist

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America has a pre-existing condition, and it’s name is Donald John Trump.

As this column goes to press, there are 1353 days left. Now that all the efforts to review the Trump administration’s first 100 days are behind us, today we look deeply at how we can use what we have learned over the first 108 days to make educated predictions at what lies in store for the American people over the remainder of Trump’s term. Continue Reading >>

Let’s Make America SMART Again

The author, preparing for the March for Science in San Luis Obispo, California.

The climate is changing.

This past Saturday I joined an estimated 1,200 other people in the March for Science in San Luis Obispo, California. Our march was one of more than 500 such marches that took place around the world on Earth Day, April 22, 2017, likely involving more than a hundred thousand people world-wide.

Father, son, and “alternative cat” participating at March for Science, San Luis Obispo. Photo by Cliff Kurtzman.

It was a day for celebration. Celebration of the benefits that science and technology have brought to each of us to improve our quality of life and our ability to understand the universe in which we live. Continue Reading >>

Are You Complicit?

There are some things that transcend party politics.

These are perilous times, and looking past superficialities to see deep repercussions is important. The current US administration is treading into territory far removed from anything we’ve seen within our lifetimes, from either Democratic or Republican administrations. When basic liberties are threatened and the possibility of nuclear conflict edges closer on a daily basis, it is incumbent on each of us to seek truth, to look at world events with real depth, and to use our voice to say, eyes wide open and with love for America: “No, this is not okay… I will not go quietly into the night.” Continue Reading >>

The Chilling Messages Trump Just Sent With His Syria Strike

The images of dead and suffering children following Tuesday’s gas attack by Syria (with Russian complicity) on its own people were tragic and compelling. Syria was believed to have used chlorine mixed with a nerve agent, possibly sarin, killing more than 80 Syrian civilians.

The chemical attack by Syria happened only days after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Donald Trump made statements indicating that the US had no interest in interfering in Syrian events and that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad remaining in power was an internal Syrian matter with which the US had no interest in interfering. (See: Rubio: It’s no coincidence that Syria gas attack happened after ‘concerning’ Tillerson comments). Continue Reading >>

Let’s Play Dominoes: Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Kim Jong-un and a Date With Nuclear War

Things are not going very well for Donald Trump. But they have the potential to get a lot worse… and not just for Donald Trump, but for America and the rest of the world too. Before we discuss how the dominoes might come crashing down, let’s set up them up with a brief recap of the first two months of Trump’s administration:

  • The health care legislation Trump proposed went down in flames in a Congress that is dying to replace Obamacare… because he tried replacing it with something far worse that utterly failed to meet the promises he had made for such legislation.
  • Trump has exploited the Presidency and proven himself to be a self-enriching snollygoster in a way well beyond anything any American politician has ever done before.
  • After telling us he would release his tax returns, he didn’t. After telling us he would donate his salary, he recently pocketed his second paycheck. After dissing Obama for his annual golf trip, he spent 5 of 7 weekends on vacation playing golf, and spent 1 out of every 3 days of his presidency enriching himself by visiting a Trump property at the taxpayer’s expense.
  • Trump promised to drain the swamp but instead has turned his administration into a kakistocracy filled with alternate-reality philistines lacking a rudimentary grasp of basic science, along with wealthy lobbyists, oil magnates, and wall street executives. Their emphasis seems to be on removing regulations that prevent businesses from poisoning our environment, and on decimating our educational programs (particularly for the neediest), while lining their own pockets and the pockets of their wealthy friends.
  • He has turned America into a global laughingstock, praising our enemies while offending and alienating our greatest allies.
  • He has broken promise upon promise upon promise… just to name two of the bigger ones: The Keystone XL Pipeline is going to be built with Russian steel. His wall, if it is ever built, will be paid for with tens of billions of American taxpayer dollars, rather than by Mexico.
  • He and his team have fabricated false terrorist incidents in Bowling Green, Atlanta, and Sweden to attempt to justify their actions.
  • He seems incapable of speaking for five minutes at a time without lying, including slanderously labeling a former American President a felon in order to try to distract the nation and Congress from investigating his ties to Russia.
  • In the very best case, he has acted as a naive and unwitting co-optee serving Russian interests, and he has been an active collaborator with a white nationalist, and self-proclaimed Leninist, who advocates for a revolution that will turn our country towards Christian fundamentalist fascism.
  • And in the worst case, people who are or were in his close circle have engaged in misprision and/or treason.
  • He has played on America’s fear of terrorism to draft illegal Executive Orders and advocate expensive public works programs that do nothing to address actual security risks while simultaneously flaming racial and religious hatred.
  • Amidst all of this, Trump is doing something he hates more than anything else… He is LOSING.
  • And he has shown a degree of utter incompetence in all of the above that not even his greatest detractors ever believed could have been possible.

And as horrible as this might seem, it is nothing compared to what might be coming our way courtesy of Kim Jong-un and North Korea. But before we talk about North Korea, we need to talk about white nationalist, alternate-reality-ist Steve Bannon, who is Trump’s White House Chief Strategist. Continue Reading >>

Amoral Imperative

Instagram photo by Nona Summers.
Instagram photo by Nona Summers.

He wounds the autumnal nation. A corroded knife, plunged and twisted into the very belly of our Republic, leaving us hemorrhaging from our core, pushing to the front the very worst of what We the People represent.

Donald John Trump has given us a mirror, and what we see in it isn’t remotely pretty.

And amidst the writhing and the screams of the agony inflicted, the casualties are our dignity and our honor and our pride; along with truth, justice, and the American way, all of which he has made a mockery of in the very worst ways imaginable. Continue Reading >>

The Destructive Dominoes of Domestic Abuse

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“All too often women believe it is a sign of commitment, an expression of love, to endure unkindness or cruelty, to forgive and forget. In actuality, when we love rightly we know that the healthy, loving response to cruelty and abuse is putting ourselves out of harm’s way.” ― bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions. Graphic via theasianparent.com.

It is heartbreaking when someone we know is on the receiving end of a psychologically abusive relationship. This article details the terror that those experiencing such abuse endure, and provides some strategies for gaining self-awareness and dealing with the situation.

I have augmented my own personal observations with content borrowed heavily from the references listed at the end of this article.

What is Domestic Violence?

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Domestic violence, both psychological and physical, is a pattern of intentional coercive behavior used to establish and maintain control over an intimate partner, ex-partner, or family member through fear or intimidation. Continue Reading >>

Ultron, Spirituality, and String Theory, Metaphorically Speaking

Pinocchio

Are we all puppets, tangled in strings? One of the lessons that Pinocchio taught us is that our quest to identify and then remove the irrational strings that bind us is invariably tied to our need to understand and remove the lies and distortions that we tell ourselves.

“The lover’s power is the poet’s power. He can make love from all the common strings with which this world is strung.”-Amelia Barr

Seeing the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron last week was a Stark reminder of how terribly I’d failed my ex-girlfriend. I had loved her. Sadly, in a truly deep and spiritual way, I had failed her. And it has taken me much reflection to understand and face the true nature of that failure along with its repercussions.

We’ll come back to this discussion at the end of this essay, but for now, I’ll just mention what any good entrepreneur knows: that a failure only remains one if we are unable to turn it into a learning opportunity. The learning opportunity that came out of that experience has led me to be able to write this article for you today; one that I hope will bring you a degree of insight into your own life. Continue Reading >>