Category Archives: Domino Principle #4: Distress Potential

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 Dominoes of Impeachment

From Left: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, President Donald Trump and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the morning after the firing of FBI Director Comey. Photo via TASS. American media photographers were not allowed to take photos.

We are not making this up.

In case you were somehow off the grid for the last two weeks, let’s briefly recap just a few of the more salient and perfidious events of the past fortnight before we take a look at how the dominoes may fall in the near future.

On May 9, 2017, United States President Donald John Trump fired F.B.I. Director James Comey, who was also leading the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russian tampering in the 2016 US presidential election as well as the possibility of collusion between Russia and members of Trump’s campaign and administration. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reportedly urged Trump to take this action. Continue Reading >>

Re: Termination of the Presidency of Donald John Trump

President Trump and Russian Ambassador Kislyak, the morning after the firing of FBI Director Comey. Photo courtesy Russian Embassy. American media photographers were not allowed to take photos.

May 15, 2017

Open letter to the Honorable Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Fax: (202) 224-2499

          Re: Termination of the Presidency of Donald John Trump

Dear Majority Leader McConnell,

We are writing to you today to discuss the pivotal and immediate role that you personally play in the very future of the American experiment in democracy, as well as the singular power you have to facilitate the possibility that the Republican Party will retain its hold on the Oval Office and Congress for more than one single term. 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 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 >>

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 >>

Transforming Your life: Predict The Future By Inventing It!

"Because there's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it's sent away." -- Sarah Kay
“Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” — Sarah Kay. Image via kreolwines.com.

Last summer I sat down and asked myself… if I could redesign my life, how would I change it? As noted computer scientist Alan Kay once wrote “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

The idea was inspired, in part, by an article that my friend Renée Rouleau suggested to me: “Staying Is Settling: Why You Need To Move At Least 5 Times In Your Life.”  It is about having the strength and courage to break old bonds and move out of one’s comfort zone to have the chance to create an even  more fulfilling and interesting  life. The article perceptively notes: Continue Reading >>

“I Go to the Hills, when my Heart is Lonely”

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Cliff Kurtzman, overlooking Zion National Park, July 2014.

“Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
Till you find your dream.”
–The Sound Of Music – Climb Every Mountain

“You can CHANGE LIVES in two minutes,” my friend Sam Horn wrote this morning (her full note is embedded later in this post, below). She’s right! It just takes a fraction of a second to knock over the first domino in a chain reaction that can change your life or the lives of others. Yet it can take days, weeks, or even a lifetime to set up the dominoes necessary to allow that chain reaction to occur. Continue Reading >>

401 Stories; Running the 9/10th Marathon; Domino Principle #4: Distress Potential

marathonersmarathonOver time, I’ll be introducing readers of this blog to a series of 10 specific Domino Principles. These Principles provide a framework for taking control of our lives and businesses, navigating the present, and shaping an exceptional future. In this article, I’m using the news of the past week coming out of Marathon Oil to introduce “Domino Principle #4: Distress Potential.” (The Domino Principle framework is still evolving and somewhat fluid. Things may change.) Continue Reading >>