Now is the Time We All Need A Great Leader~

‘We need words and acts of wisdom, ethics, and compassion, from our leaders’  Cindy Knoke

We need words and acts of wisdom, ethics and compassion, from our leaders now more than ever. Since this is utterly lacking, take heart from the words of a truly gifted leader that could never be more relevant than today.

Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) addresses the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, where he gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

“Letter from Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963

“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

“I Have a Dream”, Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963

My heart breaks for George Floyd, his family, and our country. Are we not better people than this?

There are no cheers…

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The Value of Life in a Pandemic

The Value of Life in a Pandemic

As of the morning of April 23, 2020, 47,992 Americans have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus sweeping across the earth.  The first known US death from COVID-19 was on February 6, 2020, so all of the 47,992 died in slightly less than 2 ½ months.  In comparison, the 15-year US military death toll in the Vietnam War, from 1961-1975, was 58,220.  On April 22nd, my 86-year-old aunt became one of those COVID-19 death statistics.

Over the past several days, we’ve been hearing calls for reopening the government.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said, “There are more important things than living.” when asked about the dangers of reopening the state too early.  Indiana Representative Trey Hollingsworth said about the potential loss of life that “it is the lesser of these two evils” in calling for reopening the economy.

In a 25-minute interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman called for opening the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, without offering any plan for social distancing or other safety measures.  Instead, she said she offered to use the crowded casinos as a “control group” to test what going back to normal conditions would do to the local coronavirus infection and death rates.  When Cooper asked her if she would be on the casino floors each night, showing the world that it was safe, she deflected the question. Once again, as has happened over and over again in history, the rich and powerful are ready to sacrifice other people’s children, parents, siblings, relatives, and friends to protect their fortunes and power.

The Value of Life in a Pandemic

Mindy Schwartz is a blogger, life-long political activist, pet nutritionist, wife, daughter, DogMom, DemCast California Content Captain, and Jew. She is equally proud of all of those roles.

Disclaimer: I am not paid to promote #DemCast, and Demcast does not pay me to write.

Trauma in a Culture of Abuse

In late November, I planned a short break from my blog to focus on Trump’s Impeachment.

I listened in shock as witnesses like Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch testified to crimes that included threats on her life.

Screenshot_2020-05-21 Marie Yovanovitch calls Trump's disparaging tweet 'intimidating'

After the House impeached Trump for extortion, I watched in horror as elected Republican officials used their positions, and media access to spread the smear Trump demanded of the President of Ukraine.

Republican Senator threatens to impeach Joe Biden
I felt personally betrayed when the Republican Senate voted to acquit Trump without hearing witnesses.

I went numb with fear and shut down.

When faced with life-threatening circumstances, most mammals shut down and play dead and hope the predator will go away.

I felt like a five-year-old trapped in a community of violent and corrupt adults. I shut down. Threatened children must not be seen or heard.

CPTSD  and Institutional Betrayal

C-PTSD is a cluster of symptoms caused by chronic childhood trauma such as physical assault, sexual assault, food deprivation, sleep deprivation, and threats of violence and death.  People with C-PTSD often suffer from feelings of betrayal, defeat, and shame.

“Instead of a single traumatic event leading to mental and emotional symptoms, complex PTSD is believed to be caused by chronic or prolonged exposure to traumatic experiences. “It’s the concentration camp, the person in a bomb shelter in Syria, the soldier in war or child suffering sexual or physical abuse. It’s happening to you, or you’re witnessing it,” says Dr. Robert Shulman, associate chair of psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center.” US News and World Report

As a child, I felt hopeless as the neighbors and social services that should have stopped my Mother’s abuse did nothing or became part of it.

‘Betrayal Trauma’ is the systematic abuse by a parent, a trusted leader, or an institutional authority figure, like the President and his government.

Institutional betrayal is potent because it represents a profound and fundamental violation of trust in a necessary dependency relationship. In that sense, it is similar to abuse in close relationships – it can be more harmful than abuse by a stranger. The breach of trust, unreciprocated loyalty, and exposure to retaliation are like a knife in the back. The Wiley Online Library

Recovery is finding the will to believe that life is more than a savage facade of well-mannered hypocrisy and hate.

The Shutdown

Stay Home
Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

I was in the aftermath of lingering flu when the pandemic and shutdowns began; my partner was away, taking care of his Mother.

I’ve spent the shutdown in isolation, triggered, and regressed to the darkest years of my childhood.

I’ve watched the President of the United States murder his citizens and gaslight us into accepting it.

A week in late November became an agony of months.

Writing this,  I found a recent essay at @CNN by

He writes about a world of people who are afraid to touch each other and how it feels to lose the lives we took for granted: life before the trauma of betrayal:

“Do you remember who you used to be? Before you were told that anyone could kill you? Before you were conditioned to avoid people the way you might avoid malignant obstacles in a video game? Before your brain rewired itself toward a continual search for the proper angle of evasion, the likely field of airborne dispersion, the space least contaminated by human touch?”

All this fear will have lasting consequences. We cannot know what they will be. Last Sunday, we had a visitor, a friend I’d known since childhood. Jessica knew and loved all our children, especially the youngest. Jessica got out of the car and sat on our front steps. We walked outside and stood at a safe distance. The 2-year-old ran toward her. Jessica told her to stay back.
“And she looked at me with the saddest eyes ever,” Jessica told me later. “And that broke my heart.”
It hurts to be treated like a monster.

How it feels to live in fear of each other

There isn’t a rape victim, an abused child, an unjustly imprisoned migrant, a hungry vet, or a homeless schizophrenic who doesn’t know how it hurts to be treated like a monster.

There isn’t an LGBTQ person on this planet who doesn’t know how badly it hurts.

There isn’t a parent who loses a child in a school shooting who doesn’t know
how badly it hurts.

We are a nation of traumatized survivors.

Can we stop the abuse, accept that it happened, and heal?

As I emerge from the ‘freeze,’ I can return to the blog.

Loyal Americans placed their lives and reputations on the line to warn us that we are under attack and on our own; we don’t have to be Agents of Shield to learn a few basic principles of psychological warfare.

People are hurting in different ways, and we’ve had a rough five months.

I hope everyone is coping and staying as healthy as possible.

I look forward to catching up with your blogs.

I also look forward to hearing about how you’re coping.

Update May 23: The focus of Art by Rob Goldstein for the next 164 days is pro-democracy essays and art and articles from advocacy groups like #DemCast.

Screenshot_2020-05-23 Flip The Senate 2020 - DemCast
Graphic by Cris Palomino

 

Screenshot_2020-05-23 Opinion America’s True Covid Toll Already Exceeds 100,000

You can also find this post on #DemCast

(c) Rob Goldstein, May 21, 2020

This post is dedicated to my friend Scott Bader, who reminded me of why I write.  Thanks, Scott