Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mold, Mycotoxins and President Trump - All Poisonous to the Psyche

Kind of an ominous crop of the inaugural walk.
I knew it was going to be bad, but I did not truly calculate the Trump administration effect on my psyche and my body. I've been a wreck, burst into tears every day, feel constant DREAD. I know part of my malaise is the effect of air borne mycotoxins in my house. The tears, DREAD and insomnia are all symptoms of this poison I've been breathing. I moved out of my house and molds remediators have done their work, but the place still needs a total air cleaning because every time I return, my skin tells me there are still errant mycotoxins there to mess with me.
Given all that, I am also coping with the Tump effect. Must I stop reading The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, on-line reports from The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Truthout, DailyKos, Alternet, Huffington Post and occasionally Forbes
View from John and Trish's second floor window.
I am living at my brother's while mold is being eradicated at my place, and so am listening to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Connell. Shall I wean myself from them too? I don't think so. I will make a list of some of the actions that have disturbed me the most. See if that calms me down and drives me to positive resistance measures.
Trump has been in office six days and this man of action started work right after he ate his inaugural lunch. Here's what's happened so far:
1. On inauguration day, 230 protesters were arrested in WDC on felony riot charges. Included in this number were seven journalists. So when do journalists covering a situation get swept up with protestors and charged with a felony that comes with a possible ten year prison sentence? What happened to the first amendment? I think it's just as important as our second amendment, on which there has been so much discussion and angst. Let the journalists go. Adhere to the first amendment.
2. After being sworn in, Trump froze all the regulatory powers of federal agencies. He did not waste one day.
3. And he couldn't stand the National Park Service showing a pair of photos that compared the inaugural crowds in 2019 and 2017, so he cut off their use of social media. 
At inaugural balls, he danced with Melania, who wore a stunning gown and smiled beguiling at her husband. But dancing didn't last long, because the size of his inaugural crowds really got to him, especially after he saw Saturday's Women's March that involved 2.9 million people in American cities and towns, and around the world.
Marchers at the Pantheon in Roma. Love it.
4. On Sunday, he called upon Sean Spicer, his press secretary, to blast the media in its first White House press briefing. Spicer had a hard time with his prepared remarks, but he spit them out, calling the press 'shameful' for failing to say that this inaugural crowd was the biggest ever. So the lying began. And defamation of the press began in earnest. I have never heard anything quite like Spicer's presentation. Surely, he was channeling his boss?
5. Before Spicer called out the press, Trump visited the CIA, speaking in front of the wall that commemorates the memory of those who gave their lives for America. He didn't really acknowledge these men and women. Instead he rambled on about his inaugural crowd numbers, again, and how popular he was and once again, debunked a dishonest press for deflating the crowd size. He also said, "I love you" to those in the CIA audience, and said he was sure they all voted for him. This is embarrassing. Seriously, it is unimaginable that a president can/did make such remarks when he was supposed to be diplomatically smoothing earlier gaffees with the CIA. He made it worse.
6. On Sunday, KellyAnne Conway staunchly defended Trump's remarks on crowd numbers. She named the numbers he gives as 'alternate facts'. And so we have a new word - straight from George Orwell's 1984, a book, which, by the way, has quickly sold out across the country. 1984's publisher must be running the printing machines like mad. 'Alternate facts' are the new.  But we - and the media - cannot switch to alternate facts. They are not the truth. They are Trump's reality.
7. On Monday, Trump reinstated the Global Gag order, a thing that Republican presidents do, beginning with Reagan. The gag order defunds international organizations that promote family planning and offer conraceptives to women. They are defunded because they mention abortion as an option. Democratic presidents rescind the gag order when in power. Imagine how this 'to gag or not to gag' affects millions of women worldwide.
8. Trump picked a fight with China over their movements in the South China Sea. He should leave that to the Department of State, if they still have any senior staff left.
8. Trump is fixated on his inaugural crowd numbers. He is, after all, a reality TV show entertainer who lives by ratings and numbers. Of course, numbers are important. Of course, he does not simply say, "I won" and move on. Especially when the Women's March was so jam packed in so many cities. Surely, unconsciouable on all our parts.
9. On Tuesday, January 24, the Environmental Protection Agency was ordered to stop interacting with the American people through social media and to stop publishing any papers or research. Really? They can't even publish research? The White House will vet any flow of information. This is serious because the EPA, since Richard Nixon's administration, has tended to air and water quality. Pollution has lessened over the last several decades, but who cares except those of us who have to breathe the air and drink the water.
10. On this same day, Trump gave the go-ahead to resume construction of the Keystone and Dakota pipleline projects. Will be all be marching in North Dakota this spring for the Water Protectors?
11. We learned that police confiscated the cell phones of the WDC inauguration protestors and those of JOURNALISTS covering the action.
12. On Wednesday, Trump began to talk about the WALL and he picked a fight with Mexico, our third largest trading partner. He's messing with money and making an enemy of a friend. I wish he'd get the idea that the WALL could be a metaphor. A real bricks and mortar and metal wall is not going to do the job through mountainous terrain and Big Bend National Park. I wish they'd put a pair of hiking boots on Trump and a gaggle of his supporters. Helicopter them all to the wilderness to walk the terrain and see how inhospitable it is. It's wild country that needs to be left alone. Better to fly over it with great spot lights and let it be. Take the enormous amounts of funds the wall would cost and build more worthy infrastructure projects. Or is that too much like Roosevelt's WPA?
Big Bend National Park land.
Do we really need a wall here?
The thing about Trump is that he says things like, "We will build a wall" and his supporters love it, so he says it again and again. Seems to me that statements like this automatically back him into a corner. Following through on building a wall becomes a test of manhood and winning. And I think the wall was truly never anything more than a metaphor for securing our borders.  It might have been a throwaway line that worked and so was endlessly repeated.
Talk to the folks who live in South Texas, and some say it's hard to live near that big fence and pass all those agents in their SUVs on Highway 90. The agents may be well intentioned, but they come from other parts of the country and don't know the locals. So the locals get stopped time and again. Must be maddening to live in border towns and ranches.
It's bad in America right now. In six days, Trump has upended the world. My own DREAD has suddenly receded, either because I've not breathed mycotoxins in 24 hours, or because writing this has been good therapy. These six days have been horrific and this is just the beginning. He will dismantle our world and we must march and call and draw a line in the dirt. We are Americans, and we've always honored our democracy as a patriotic duty. Our military has defended it abroad. Now we ordinary citizens must defend it at home. Our very government has gone rogue.
Down with mold and mycotoxins. Down with Trump.

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