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Ken Ashford
Winston-Salem, NC
A Nebraska born, New Hampshire raised, Boston and New York educated, North Carolina living lawyer . . . with two dogs. Hi.
Interests: Theater, Blogging, Law & Politics, Good Conversation, Games
Recent Activity
As Israel bombs Gaza, the Palestinian death toll stands at 576. There have been 27 Israeli deaths as well. And how does Fox report it? Fox News actually just announced this re: Gaza: “So far, violence has killed over 600 people on both sides" — brendan james (@deep_beige) July 22, 2014 Continue reading
Posted 52 minutes ago at The Seventh Sense
The GOP wants to run on repealing Obamacare in the upcoming elections? How will that play at the state level? A new Department of Health and Human Services report documents the impact federal subsidies under Obamacare are having on the insurance costs of people receiving them, and the Plum Line gives the bottom line: But if subsidies were repealed, people would not lose coverage, instead seeing premiums jump from loss of the tax credit. It turns out the jump would be very high in states with contested Senate races where Republicans are running on “repeal”: – In North Carolina, 357,584 people are paying an average monthly premium of $81 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsidies/cost increase of $300. – In Michigan, 272,539 people are paying an average monthly premium of $97 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsidies/cost increase of $246. – In New Hampshire, 40,262 people are paying an average monthly premium of $100 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsidies/cost increase of $290. – In Louisiana, 101,778 people are paying an average monthly premium of $83 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsides/cost increase of $314. – In Iowa, 29,163 people are paying an average monthly premium of $108 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsidies/cost increase of $243. – In Alaska, 12,890 people are paying an average monthly premium of $94 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsidies/cost increase of $413. – In Georgia, 316,543 people are paying an average monthly premium of $54 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsidies/cost increase in premiums of $287. Let that be known. UPDATE: Apparently, the courts are doing it for the GOP. This morning, the D.C. Circuit court (the most conservative of the circuit courts) ruled in a case called Halbig v. Burwell. Here is the D.C. Circuit Halbig ruling: A federal appeals court dealt a huge blow to Obamacare on Tuesday, banning the federal exchange from providing subsidies to residents of the 36 states it serves. A divided three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the text of the Affordable Care Act restricts the provision of premium tax credits to state-run exchanges. The two Republican appointees on the panel ruled against Obamacare while the one Democratic appointee ruled for the law. "We conclude that appellants have the better of the argument: a federal Exchange is not an 'Exchange established by the State,' and section 36B does not authorize the IRS to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal Exchanges," Judge Thomas B. Griffith wrote for the court in Halbig v. Burwell. His ruling was joined in a concurring opinion by George H. W. Bush-appointed Judge A. Raymond Randolph, who said it would be a "distortion" to let the federal exchange provide subsidies. "Only further legislation could accomplish the expansion the government seeks," he wrote. Carter-appointed Judge Harry T. Edwards voted to uphold the subsidies. "This case is about Appellants’ not-so-veiled attempt to gut the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," Edwards wrote in his dissenting opinion. The ruling is very troubling for the Obama administration because the subsidies are critical to the success of Obamacare. The law encourages states to build their own exchange, but if they don't the federal government operates one on their behalf. The subsidies, or premium tax credits, exist to help Americans between 133 percent and 400 percent of the poverty line buy insurance. That imperils the practicality of the individual mandate to get covered and the market regulations to protect sick people. UPDATE #2: Fourth Circuit to the rescue. A few hours after this morning's D.C. Circuit case, the also-conservative Fourth Circuit comes out with an opinion in King v. Burwell, which goes in the other direction and upholds the subsidies in Obamacare. The opinion is here. Money quote: No case stands for the proposition that literal readings should take place in a vacuum, acontextually, and untethered from other parts of the operative text; indeed, the case law indicates the opposite. National Association of Home Builders v. Defenders of Wildlife, 551 U.S. 644, 666 (2007). So does common sense: If I ask for pizza from Pizza Hut for lunch but clarify that I would be fine with a pizza from Domino’s, and I then specify that Iwant ham and pepperoni on my pizza from Pizza Hut, my friend who returns from Domino’s with a ham and pepperoni pizza has still complied with a literal construction of my lunch order. That is this case: Congress specified that Exchanges should be established and run by the states, but the contingency provision permits federal officials to act in place of the state when it fails to establish an Exchange. The premium tax credit calculation subprovision later specifies certain conditions regarding state-run Exchanges, but that does not mean that a literal reading of that provision somehow precludes its applicability to substitute federally-run Exchanges or erases the contingency provision out of the statute. UPDATE #3: I didn't realize this before, but the DC Circuit opinion was en banc. It was not the full circuit. Therefore, the 4th Circuit "wins" out for now. The Obama administration is appealing the DC Circuit opinion to the full DC Circuit. Continue reading
Posted 2 hours ago at The Seventh Sense
Great actor, and somewhat less important, he was in my dead pool for this year. He was 86. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Seventh Sense
Among the dead in the Malaysian Air shootdown -- about 100 people from the World Health Organization going to an AIDS conference. According to the Associated Press, the exact number of individuals who were killed on their way to the conference is unconfirmed. However, Australian officials have noted that “there is no doubt it’s a substantial number” that includes “medical scientists, doctors, people who’ve been to the forefront of dealing with AIDS across the world.” Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Seventh Sense
Yes, indeed. Putin should be embarrassed. When you listen to the audiotapes, you become keenly aware that the pro-Russian separatists in the Ukraine are total boobs... or, as Josh Marshall writes: The audio tapes posted by The New York Times might as well be from some future Russia-based version of Waiting for Guffman or Best in Show, a comical rendering of rustics and morons stumbling into an event of vast carnage and international consequence mainly because they're hotheads and idiots - the kind of people no one in their right minds would give world class weaponry to. It's like finding some white supremacist/militia types on their little compound in the inter-Mountain west and giving them world class missile launchers and heavy armaments. This is a f'-up on Putin's part of almost mind-boggling proportions. Yes, a tragedy. Yes, perhaps an atrocity. But almost more threatening, a screw up. Malign intent is one thing. So is aggression. But goofs of this magnitude by someone who controls a massive military arsenal and nuclear weapons are in a way more threatening. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Seventh Sense
So a bunch of children from Central America are trying to enter this country, and of course, the right wing is throwing fit because 'Merica. The real issue is whether they are seeking asylum from persecution, in which case we have to, by law, let them into the country. As opposed to them just being some lazy Spanish types who are trying to cross our borders to vote for Democrats (as the Republicans fear). U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and others have said that the unaccompanied children entering the United States hope to escape gang violence and drug dealers in their native land. Well, a couple of GOP House members decided to find out for themselves. Congressman Steve Pearce and a seven-member working group from the U.S. House of Representatives visited Guatemala and Honduras over the weekend. And guess what? They came to the conclusion that the reason the kids fled was because of economic reasons. Here's the article that says so. And here's the money quote from the article: Pearce said he and the rest of the House delegation that visited Honduras and Guatemala did not venture from their hotel very often because of the dangers, but the message they received in both countries was consistent: "Send back our children." Right. It's much too dangerous for God fearing Real Americans to venture out into the streets but little kids are wily and quick and they can slither out of the grasp of the violent criminals who want to kidnap, torture and kill them. Anyway, it's character building. So send em back. </sarcasm> Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Seventh Sense
Dick Cheney: TAPPER: But do you think the decisions that you made, your administration really has nothing to do with what's going on in Iraq right now? CHENEY: I think, when we left office, we had, in Iraq, a very stable situation. January 18, 2009 -- two days before Obama took office: Baghdad - A roadside bomb detonated in front of the deputy Sahwa leader's house in Furat neighborhood in western Baghdad on Saturday night. Five people were injured including the Sahwa leader who had a serious injury. - Three mortar shells hit Jamia’a neighborhood on Saturday night. One shell fell near an army check point. Two soldiers were wounded. - A roadside bomb targeted an American patrol in Ameen neighborhood in eastern Baghdad around 11 a.m. Three people were wounded, Iraqi police said. The MNF-I response as the following “ Soldier died of wounds suffered following an improvised explosive device in eastern Baghdad Jan.18 at approximately 11 a.m”. - A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in Meshtal neighborhood in eastern Baghdad around 8 p.m. Two policemen were wounded. - A roadside bomb targeted a trailer carrying blast walls in Jordan intersection in Yarmouk neighborhood in western Baghdad around 8:15 p.m. Two people were wounded. - A roadside bomb detonated in front of Ibtisam restaurant in Palestine street in eastern Baghdad around 8:30 p.m. Eight people were wounded. Mosul - A roadside bomb detonated in Dorat al Swais neighborhood in Mosul around 4 p.m. Two people were wounded including one policeman. - A suicide bomber targeted the former major general Hassan Zaidan, whose son Falah is a parliament member of the national dialogue blog at the Haj Ali village in Qaiyara (south of Mosul) around 6 p.m. Zaidan was killed in that incident. Basra - A magnetic bomb planted under a car belongs to an employee of the Basra prisons near a petrol station in western Basra city. The employee was wounded. January 19, 2009 - the day before Obama took office and last day of Bush-Cheney: Baghdad - A roadside bomb targeted a civilian car in Zafaraniyah neighborhood in eastern Baghdad near Siaada Gas factory and few yards from an army check point around 7 a.m. The driver was killed and seven other people, including a soldier, were wounded. The driver of the car was a captain from the Ministry of Interior, police said. - Two roadside bombs targeted a police patrol in Amil neighborhood in western Baghdad around 2 p.m. Five people were wounded including two policemen. Mosul - A roadside bomb detonated in downtown Mosul around 11 a.m. Four people were wounded. - A roadside bomb targeted an army patrol in the Bakir neighborhood in Mosul around 5 p.m. Two Iraqi soldiers were wounded. In January alone, 372 Iraqi civilians were killed in violence. By the end of the year, an estimated total of 5,175 people were killed in Iraq. That's what "very stable" means. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Seventh Sense
I wonder if Fox will touch this: Military officers testified that there was no "stand-down order" that held back military assets that could have saved the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed at a diplomatic outpost and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya. Their testimony undercut the contention of Republican lawmakers. The "stand-down" theory centers on a Special Operations team - a detachment leader, a medic, a communications expert and a weapons operator with his foot in a cast - that was stopped from flying from Tripoli to Benghazi after the attacks of Sept. 11-12, 2012, had ended. Instead, it was instructed to help protect and care for those being evacuated from Benghazi and from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli. The senior military officer who issued the instruction to "remain in place" and the detachment leader who received it said it was the right decision and has been widely mischaracterized. The order was to remain in Tripoli and protect some three dozen embassy personnel rather than fly to Benghazi some 600 miles away after all Americans there would have been evacuated. And the medic is credited with saving the life of an evacuee from the attacks. Transcripts of hours of closed-door interviews with nine military leaders by the House Armed Services and Oversight and Government Reform committees were made public for the first time on Wednesday. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the oversight panel, has suggested that Hillary Rodham Clinton gave the order, though as secretary of state at the time, she was not in the military chain of command. Despite lingering public confusion over many events that night, the testimony shows military leaders largely in agreement over how they responded to the attacks. And by the way, the article goes on to explain about time travel and how it is not possible: Military officials differ on when that telephone conversation took place, but they agree that no help could have arrived in Benghazi in time. They put the call somewhere between 5:05 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. local time. It would take about 90 minutes to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi. The next U.S.-chartered plane to make the trip left at 6:49 a.m., meaning it could have arrived shortly before 9 a.m., nearly four hours after the second, 11-minute battle at the CIA facility ended at about 5:25 a.m. Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
In a not-very-suprising 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court decided in favor of Hobby Lobby in the recent case involving religious freedom and corporations. As a result of the holding, business owners with religious objections to birth control may defy federal rules requiring most employers to include contraceptive care in their health plans. This is in direct contravention of what the Supreme Court held in its 1982 United States v. Lee decision, “[w]hen followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.” The opinion is here. Fortunately (and thankfully), the Supreme Court was willing to put limits on this: this holding appears limited to closely held corporations such as Hobby Lobby, which is operated by a single wealthy family. Keep this in mind when you read commentary about this case -- the Court did not give religious freedom to, say, Apple and Amazon. Just a very narrow set of corporatoins (which would, I think, include Walmart). Still, the opinion is wrongly decided, and the best explanation why is here. Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
Posted Jun 27, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
On my dead pool list since forever (a mere 2 points at 98), but more than that, one of my favorite actors. Eli Wallach, who was one of his generation’s most prominent and prolific character actors in film, onstage and on television for more than 60 years, died on Tuesday. He was 98. His death was confirmed by his daughter Katherine. A self-styled journeyman actor, the versatile Mr. Wallach appeared in scores of roles, often with his wife, Anne Jackson. No matter the part, he always seemed at ease and in control, whether playing a Mexican bandit in the 1960 western “The Magnificent Seven,” a bumbling clerk in Ionesco’s allegorical play “Rhinoceros,” a henpecked French general in Jean Anouilh’s “Waltz of the Toreadors,” Clark Gable’s sidekick in “The Misfits” or a Mafia don in “The Godfather: Part III.” Despite his many years of film work, some of it critically acclaimed, Mr. Wallach was never nominated for an Academy Award. But in November 2010, less than a month before his 95th birthday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded him an honorary Oscar, saluting him as “the quintessential chameleon, effortlessly inhabiting a wide range of characters, while putting his inimitable stamp on every role.” Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
The House Republican leadership, so solid in its opposition to President Obama, was torn apart yesterday by the defeat of its most influential conservative voice, Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader. Cantor, with a 96% conservative rating, was defeated by a tea party candidate, David Brat. Brat spent a total of $200,000 on his campaign; Cantor spent that much just on steakhouses (actually, he spent $168,637 on steakhouses; overall, he spent $5 million). And yet, this morning, the results show that Brat beat Cantor 55.5% to 45.5%. What does it mean? Well, everybody has an opinion. There's a lot of gleeful talk on the left, and in the center, about the GOP "eating its own". The GOP loves to have purity tests so pure that nobody is safe. What you end up with is a circular firing squad; it is no wonder that an occasional Cantor might fall. Cantor lost for three reasons: first, he made the error of suggesting that maybe possibly he could work with Obama on immigration reform. Rule No. 1 of conservative politics is that you never work with the "enemy", even if it is reasonable to do so. Brat exploited this rare vulnerablility in Cantor. His megaphone was conservative radio show host Laura Ingraham, who criticized Mr. Cantor’s positions on immigration. Secondly, Cantor ran a bad campaign. He attacked Brat as a "liberal professor" which didn't ring true to constituents. Towards the end of the political campaign, Cantor tried to rally the GOP establishment. Rule No. 2 of conservative politics is that the "establishment" -- even the GOP establishment -- is bad. So there was a last minute backlash. Finally, Cantor was a Jew. Yup, that always worked against him in those conservative districts. So what does it all mean? Well, it's not good news for moderate Republicans -- that's for sure. Most on the left are treating this as good news, since most tea party candidates aren't electable. Or so is the conventional wisdom. The thinking goes that some Cantor supporters will stay home, allowing a Democrat to win. But..... that is unlikely in this district. Still, disarray in the GOP is good for the left, and most are taking this as something good. Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
So that Nevada couple who shot the police, a random bystander and then themselves declaring that "the revolution" had begun had been at the Bundy Ranch? What a surprise. It turns out they were right wing radicals. Who'd a thiunk it? Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
Wayne LaPierre, the NRA honcho, likes to spout this lame aphorism every chance he gets: "The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" Au contraire, Monsieur LaPierre: Meis, who was working at the time as a monitor who sits at a desk in the lobby, near the Hall’s front door, quickly moved in to pepper-spray the gunman, then he tackled him to the ground. Police arriving moments later moved in to handcuff and arrest the suspect, other witnesses said. Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
A salute to this guy: An 89-year-old WW2 veteran who was banned by his nursing home from going to France for the D-Day commemorations sneaked out and went anyway. The pensioner left the Hove home at 10:30 BST on Thursday and was reported missing in the evening, police said. The nursing home received a call from a younger veteran later on saying he had met the un-named veteran on a coach. The two were on their way to France and said they were safe and well in a hotel in Ouistreham, Sussex Police said. Hundreds of veterans have been marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France, with events on the beaches of Normandy. Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
Mad Magzine goes full wingnut And when I say it is "not funny", I mean it lacks humor. It's suypposed to be a spoof of Saving Private Ryan, but it's such a stretch (Ryan and Bergdahl sound nothing alike). I haven't really commented on the Bergdahl story, largely because its more bullshit right wingnut outrage. First of all, we have always negotiated for the safe return of captured soldiers and citizens. Prisoner swaps have been around forever. George Washington arranged them in the Revolutionary War. And I don't think anyone has ever suggested that they not be done on the basis of the soldier's political leanings or the suspicion they might have deserted. And these Guantanamo prisoners aren't al-Qaeda, they're Taliban, enemy soldiers in the Afghan War. They are no different than the Nazis we swapped or the Japanese prisoners of war. They aren't supermen. Secondly, it makes me sick how the right is going full-on against this soldier. On the front page of the Breitbart “News” Network, we currently find at least eighteen articles ranting about Sgt. Bergdahl. And on HotAir’s front page, it’s even more ridiculous. As I write this, I count at least twenty-four articles bashing Bergdahl, his father, his father’s beard, and of course, President Obama — because Obama is very obviously the real target, and Bergdahl and his family are just collateral damage to these hateful assholes. Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
This is the single most epic(ly funny) news report regarding the single most important piece of Internet legislation since probably ever. Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
They created a monster. But how to get the toothpaste back in the tube? In a remarkably frank statement issued on Friday, the National Rifle Association said that gun activists in Texas had "crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness" with their demonstrations at fast food restaurants. Activists, most notably those with a group called Open Carry Texas, have drawn attention to themselves recently for their attempts to get served at chain restaurants while carrying high-powered semiautomatic rifles. In response, several chains, including Chipotle, were compelled to ask customers to not bring guns to their restaurants. The backlash was such that the groups themselves felt compelled to issue a statement late last month asking their members to avoid carrying long arms into private businesses during demonstrations. But in its statement Friday, the NRA's lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, went further, publicly denouncing the tactics employed by Open Carry Texas and other groups as "weird" and even "scary." "As a result of these hijinx, two popular fast food outlets have recently requested patrons to keep guns off the premises," the unsigned statement said. "To state the obvious, that's counterproductive for the gun owning community." In denouncing the demonstrations, the NRA said that using guns "to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners." "[W]hile unlicensed open carry of long guns is also typically legal in most places, it is a rare sight to see someone sidle up next to you in line for lunch with a 7.62 rifle slung across his chest, much less a whole gaggle of folks descending on the same public venue with similar arms," the statement said. "Let's not mince words, not only is it rare, it's downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one's cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates." The NRA made clear it "does not support bans on personalized guns or on carrying firearms in public, including in restaurants. " But it concluded that "when people act without thinking, or without consideration for others – especially when it comes to firearms – they set the stage for further restrictions on our rights." The NRA brought this on. They have demeaned anyone who calls for common sense with guns up until now, even including the relatives of gun violence victims, like those who lost 6 year olds at Newtown. They have proclaimed to anyone who would listen that there is an "unfettered" right to bear arms whenever and where ever you want. Where in their approach has ever "consideration for others" been a part of their message? They have managed to create an entire movement of people who think they are not only empowered to carry guns whenever and wherever they want, they are empowered to use them. Some of them even believe they are there as adjuncts to the police departments, as if anyone in their right minds want these bozos to "protect" them. Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
... Sharyl Attkisson? Remember her? Attkisson left CBS because she "had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network's liberal bias," while some staffers characterized her work as "agenda-driven," leading "network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting." Attkisson had supported CBS' disastrous Benghazi reporting, which the network ultimately had to apologize for and retract, and CBSexecutives reportedly saw her as "wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue." She also released an error-ridden report on clean energy, and relied on partial information from House Republicans in a botched story on the Affordable Care Act. Following her departure from the network, Attkisson attempted to paint herself has a victim of media bias, floating baseless conspiracy theories suggesting Media Matters had been paid to attack her work. Conservative media outlets, particularly Fox News, rallied to Attkisson's defense, with personalities showering praise on her shoddy work and indicating they wanted her to join the conservative network. Anyway, this unobjective journalist just landed a job at the conservative Heritage Foundation. That's the same Heritage FOundation that the New York Times described as providing "the blueprint for the Republican Party's ideas in Washington." Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
She died just before 8:00 am this morning at her house on Bertram Road (about 5 minutes from my house). Everyone in town has a Maya story. She had a lot of house parties for people in the arts and Wake Forest. I only met her a couple of times. Still I Rise You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise. Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
A horrific mass shooting at UCSB over the weekend. A lunatic armed with a semi-automatic handgun allegedly posted a misogynistic tirade on YouTube before hunting down and shooting women on campus. Seven dead (including the gunman) and seven more injured. Nothing to see here. Move along, right? The deaths this weekend were disgusting, but not as disgusting as "Joe The Plumber", who writes to the father of the victims and explains why his Second Amendment rights trump the life of his son. Anyway, what Atrios said: Obviously they're a scary crowd to mock, because they, you know, have guns. Which is part of the point. But it is time to up the mockery of the giant external penis of death crowd. They're ridiculous cowards at best, and sociopathic wannabee serial killers, or occasionally actual serial killers, at worst. Losers. Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2014 at The Seventh Sense
You write: Okay. Good questions. Here are some answers. Why do these people who love me think I do these things on purpose? There are people who love you who don't understand your illness, or don't even know you have an illness. Yes, those people think you are doing it on purpose. But then there are people who love you who DO understand your illness. They understand you are not doing it on purpose. But it isn't easy to understand. You certainly look like you do these things on purpose. You plan. You talk about it. You are enthused about it. It's really difficult for us to believe that you are under the control of your illness. You want these things, right? You want them and it has nothing to do with your illness, right? Tell us. But you can't have it both ways. You are making a choice to spend you life this way, or you are NOT in control and "can't help" what you are doing. Because it looks like you are in control and know damn well what you are doing, but when it all crashes in on you, you are setting it up so you can blame the illness. Here's an idea: don't take responsibility after the bad things happen. Take responsibility now, before they happen, and then stop them from happening. And if you need help, say something. But don't write "I do everything to control my illness" if you don't even seek help from those who are willing and able to help. How can they deny my illness after so many years of watching me battle all the extreme highs and lows?i I'm not sure who you think is denying your illness these past few months. If anyone has been, it has been you. Think hard about this... who has been denying your illness? Why do they prefer to constantly remind me that I messed up again? Not sure who is "constantly" reminding you of anything, since you've done a good job of isolating yourself from anyone who even knows you are bipolar, much less understands it. That said, nobody I know wants to tell you that you "messed up". They just want to mitigate the damages. Put quite simply, they want to help you before things get bad for you. Is that a bad thing? And you asked for this help. You said, after making a decision to buy a dog, "Tell me if I'm doing something stupid like that again because of my mania." That's what they are trying to do. They are not trying to make you feel bad. They don't take pleasure in seeing you "mess up" (in fact, just the opposite). They understand you don't have control. They are doing for you what you would do for them, if the roles were reversed: they are trying to help you until you get to a place where you don't need it. Don't they realize I already hate myself for my irrational behavior? No, they don't. Does this surprise you? It shouldn't. Ask yourself this: what have you done to indicate to others that you hate yourself for your irrational behavior? Name one thing. Just one. I'll make it easier: Forget about hating yourself -- what have you said or communicated to anybody to give the impression that you know this is irrational behavior? They may not understand, I do everything I can to control my illness but sometimes it controls me. Try this on for size... maybe "they" DO understand. Maybe that is exactly what they think... that your illness is controlling you. Why would you want to let go of people like that? People who actually "get it" AND are trying to help? This truly is a bipolar mind at work. People with bipolar often see the people who are helping them as people who are putting them down. That is why we caregivers are taught not to constantly ask "Are you taking your medication?" and to let the bipolar partner know that you see them as MANY things, only ONE of which is "bi-polar". Still, it's pretty hard to do and be 100% successful. BOTTOM LINE: We are told that there is a lot of shame with being bipolar, and being the one who "messes up". We are told that helping you out increases that sense of shame, which makes it difficult to help you out. The people who love you understand all this, but they don't hold it against you. They don't think you should feel shame. They know you are trying. They know it is difficult. They know you will fail sometimes. But guess what? They are trying, too -- trying to help. And helping is difficult. And they fail at it sometimes too. Help them to help you by letting them in and by not assuming that they are trying to make you feel shame or remorse or anything worse than you already do -- believe me, it's the last thing they want. Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2014 at The Seventh Sense