The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 63: Mental Health

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August 2, 2020-

It turns out that the individual who torched the Arizona Democratic Headquarters, over a week ago, is mentally ill. Republicans, and others, who read only the part about his being a member of the Democratic Party are, predictably, chortling about how this just goes to show that it’s a big farce, orchestrated to bring down President Trump-because, hey, what else is there in the world?

The individual is mentally ill. I know, firsthand, how that feels. Everything is about “MEEE”. Imagined slights take on a reality that knows no bounds. Good people become viewed as monsters-for any number of reasons-most of which are contrived by a mind in pain. So, it came about, that an individual acted to destroy that which he deemed inperfect, and, thus, expendable.

There were all those times, in my distant past, and in more recent years, when autism led to the bouts of self-centeredness, mild delusion and not a little paranoia. It took a good deal of self-work to separate my mother’s high bar of expectations, itself grounded in love, from the blistering criticisms of some of my peers, who left no room for error-or in a few instances, even humanness. Through meditation, correcting my diet, my wife’s love, and adoption of a Faith that actually lived the love prescribed by Jesus the Christ, but ignored by so many of His followers, I achieved a sense of equilibrium.

There have been relapses, and setbacks, mostly in times of high stress. There are those who were present during those times-and who remember, all too well, how things went down. I am grateful that forgiveness, and securing my word that such behaviours will not be repeated, were their responses.

Conversely, I have striven, when confronted with other mentally-ill people, to do right by them. In one case, the person was able to get a leg up and straighten out his life. In two other cases, that was not the result, as of the last time I heard from either one. I felt the need to cut one loose, for personal safety reasons and the other, because of an increasing stridency and level of verbal harassment on his part.

It’s taken time to begin to overcome the tension I have felt, when seeing a small, older model of RV driving around or when starting up my phone, and getting more than one Instant Messenger “ping”. Realizing that these are left-over post-traumatic reactions has helped greatly.

I am ever grateful to all who have, either consciously or unconsciously, helped me put my own demons to bed. In all this time of relative aloneness, I have been able to soothe those ills, and make myself a far more useful person, amenable to this comforting society around me.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 60: Hermanator,Derailment and An “Inside Job”

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July 30, 2020-

Herman Cain died this mornng, the victim of , apparently, the after effects of Coronavirusdisease 19 on his vital organs. He was, by all accounts, a still robust man. This underscores the reason for every one of us to continue to take this NOVEL disease seriously, and consistently so.

COVID-19 is infecting some high profile people, across the political spectrum. Microbes do not care who you are, or who you think you are. “The Hermanator” was a colourful human being, a pizza magnate who, at one point, thought he might make a fine President of the United States. His worldview was not my worldview, by any means, yet his death diminishes us-because he was, in essence, a man of love.

Now, as his family and friends mourn his passing, let those who were with him, at the event which likely was the scene of his infection, take stock of their own health-as we all must.

This news just added to the residue of yesterday. Early Wednesday morning, a loaded freight train, passing through Tempe, Arizona, went off the rails. The friction set the wooden bridge, over which the train was passing, afire. The bridge collapsed, several cars tumbled off the bridge and into a vacant park. Some other cars hung from the edge, over a major parkway.

Fortunately, there was no loss of life, and the sole injury was to the train’s conductor: Smoke inhalation. Police and fire crews responded swiftly, spectators who were in harm’s way were removed from the area and the few joggers, walkers., cyclists and boaters who were at nearby Tempe Town Lake had the good sense to stop their activities and head for home.

This was the second derailment on that bridge, in little over a month. The first one, on June 27, was underreported and it is not clear whether Santa Fe Railroad, which owns the bridge, even had plans to address the issue. Now, they have no choice.

The larger question, as with bridge collapses in other places, over other rights of way, is: How widespread is this issue? How many other railroad bridges, across the country and across the planet, are outmoded, decrepit, unsafe? It is time for ALL rail companies, not just Santa Fe Railroad, to start assessing the tensile strength of their bridges.

Finally, the matter of the torching at Arizona Democratic Headquarters, on July 26, has an update: A registered Democrat has admitted, nay, BOASTED, of having set the fire. This was not aimed at framing conservatives or alt-Right people, as some had speculated. The perpetrator is a mentally ill man, who has a recent history of making delusional statements and excessive demands on certain people, including the Chair of the Maricopa County Democratic Party, which also had offices in the same building.

The investigation, of course, is ongoing. As is this day, which will, among other things, feature the unsealing of some of the documents pertaining to the case of alleged sexual predator, Ghislaine Maxwell. July is far from over.