By John Ruberry

“But… but maybe he’s only a little crazy like painters or composers or… or some of those men in Washington.”
Julian Shellhammer, Macy’s toy department head in Miracle on 34th Street.

“On 24 March 1943, Päts was sent to forced treatment in psychoneurotic hospitals first in Kazan, then in Chistopol in Tatar ASSR. His forced psychiatric hospitalization was justified by his ‘persistent claiming of being the president of Estonia.'”
Wikipedia biography of Konstantin Päts, the Estonian president who was deposed by the Red Army.

“I mean, psychiatry: it’s the latest religion. We decide what’s right and wrong. We decide who’s crazy or not.”
Dr. Kathryn Railly in Twelve Monkeys.

Last month during a two-day long private meeting with over a dozen members of Congress–all Democrats save one Republican senator–Dr. Bandy X. Lee, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at Yale, said of President Trump, “He’s going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs.”

Lee is the editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, a book where 27 mental health professionals–meaning, I assume, as professionals that they earn their living in that field–rant about the “dangerousness” of the 45th president.

Two days ago The Atlantic’s Elaine Godfrey reported that Lee says there are Washington DC-based shrinks and legal organization who are willing–and no, this is not from a 24 script–to work to commit Trump against his will if White House staff issues troubling reports about him.

President Trump meet Konstantin Päts.

Lee has also warned that Trump could lead to the extinction of the human race.

Trump Derangement Syndrome has reached a disturbing low, but no doubt the last. (Oh, I can make that diagnosis because I am not a mental health professional and TDS is not a clinical term.) Some people, with as many degrees slapped on them as you’ll find ads on hockey rink boards. just can’t accept the fact that Donald J. Trump is president. Are Lee and her cohorts intelligent? In a way, yes. On the other hand there is documentary about the fall of Enron entitled The Smartest Guys in the Room.

Ah, but there is some good news. The American Psychiatric Association reaffirmed its 1973 condemnation of what it calls “armchair psychiatry.”

From an APA press release:

Today, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) reiterates its continued and unwavering commitment to the ethical principle known as “The Goldwater Rule.” We at the APA call for an end to psychiatrists providing professional opinions in the media about public figures whom they have not examined, whether it be on cable news appearances, books, or in social media. Armchair psychiatry or the use of psychiatry as a political tool is the misuse of psychiatry and is unacceptable and unethical.

The Goldwater Rule, as Alan Dershowitz points out in the Washington Examiner–Dersh voted for Hillary Clinton by the way–goes back to the 1964 presidential election when a magazine, based on interviews with 1,100 psychiatrists, deemed that the Republican nominee, Barry Goldwater, was unstable and therefore mentally unfit to serve as president. None of these smartest guys in the room had examined the Arizona senator, who served in the upper chamber with distinction for two decades after his landslide defeat, nor had they even met him.

The winner in that presidential election and the man Dershowitz voted for, Lyndon B. Johnson, got us entangled in the Vietnam War which led to the deaths of 58,000 Americans.

Blogger at Chicago’s Trump Tower

The “experts” were wrong.

The Trump-is-crazy meme will probably fade away soon, but not completely, I fear. But the left will proceed with more plots to remove Trump from office, which so far have included the Hamilton Electors (before he was sworn-in), Russia, emoluments, tax returns, and of course Russia.

Here is my non-professional mental health advice for those of all you Trump Derangement Sufferers: Deal with the strong likelihood that Trump will be president for the next three years–and probably seven. Presidents who run for reelection usually win. Accept it and find a way to get on with your lives, without watching CNN or MSBNC during every waking hour. I cannot promise happiness, no one can. But I suspect you will be less miserable.

Oh, by the way, Trump is not crazy. Not even a little bit.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Latvian Freedom Monument
Latvian Freedom Monument, Riga

By John Ruberry

After seizing the Crimea and invading Ukraine, Russia-watchers wonder which former Soviet republic is next on Vladimir Putin’s expansion list?

Latvians fear it could be their nation.

Yesterday parliamentary elections were held in the small Baltic state. Ethnic Russians with Latvian citizenship–not all of them enjoy this benefit–mostly lined up as predicted behind the Harmony Party, which is led by Nil Ushakov, the mayor of Riga, Latvia’s capital and largest city, the population of which is about half Russian.

In an attempt to water-down ethnic minorities that began during the tyranny of Josef Stalin, Russians were moved into Soviet republics such as Latvia to replace people deported to Siberia.

Latvian speakers, proving in a way that they belong in Europe, traditionally split their vote among a dozen or so parties, and yesterday was no exception.

Harmony won about one-quarter of the seats in the 100 member Saeima, the Latvian parliament. more than any other party. Another pro-Russian party, For Latvia from the Heart, may end up with a couple of seats, but the Russian-bloc, with no other feasible coalition parties, will fall far short of a majority. In fact, Harmony will probably have fewer seats in the new parliament.

Saturday was a good day for the ruling center-right coalition led by Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma. Her Unity Party, along with the Union of Greens and Farmers and the National Alliance, received about 60 percent of the tally. Straujuma favors the current NATO build-up in Latvia and is getting credit for her nation’s economic turnaround after the 2008 recession.

Harmony’s Ushakov, while favoring Latvia’s membership in NATO and the European Union, raised eyebrows when he said on Russian television that Putin was the best leader for Russia from the Latvian perspective.

Riga's Old City
Riga’s Old City

For now, it looks like Russia has been checked in Latvia. But Putin can look at a half-million Russian speakers as potential partners to destabilize the small nation. Or he can look  to the north of Latvia at Estonia. Over ninety percent of the population of its third-largest city, Narva, which sits across a river from Russia, is Russian-speaking.

Or perhaps Putin can cast his gaze to the south and Kazakhstan, the northern part of which is heavily Russian. Kazakhstan is not a NATO member.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.  His wife was born in Latvia and he has traveled to the Baltic nation twice. 

You know his tactics; Your Excellency; A demand for concessions and when the concessions are granted then new demands each one more weakening than the one before, until the object of his attention is either too weak to oppose him further or is at least so weakened as to make armed resistance fatal.

C. S. Forester Commodore Hornblower p 167 1945

Yesterday VDH had a post asking if the Orcs were winning it ended thus:

The Europeans are shrugging that Ukraine is lost and will soon sigh that the Baltic states are a far-off place not worth risking the coffee shops of Amsterdam to defend. Westerners lament beheadings but then privately mutter that journalists know just what they are getting into when they visit the Middle East. Murdering and abusing a U.S. ambassador on video is not such a big deal anymore and is worth only a second or so mention on Google News.

So we wait behind our suburban Maginot Lines, arguing over our quarter- and half-measure responses, refighting Iraq and Afghanistan as if they were the Somme and Verdun, assured that we can distract ourselves from the horrors abroad with psychodramas about Ferguson, the president’s golfing, his lectures on fairness, and which naked celebrity photowas hacked on the Internet.

Meanwhile the orcs are busy and growing and nearing the ramparts…

Well it looks like the Orcs of Russia are taking hostages:

“Over all, it’s hard to believe something like this is possible. This case breaks all the rules,” said the well-known Estonian politician Eerik-Niiles Kross commenting on the kidnapping by Russians of the employee of the Estonian Security Police on Estonian territory.

In Tallinn people are seriously worried. Estonian officials are trying to convince themselves that this is a tragic exception that has nothing to do with politics. They are contacting Russian colleagues, hoping for their assistance in the rapid release of the man who had been kidnapped   by “unknown” persons. But the most interesting part is that Russia is not even attempting to hide anything. The public relations office of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that the arrest of the Estonian employee happened on the territory of the Russian Federation despite the fact that the border police of both countries held a special meeting at the scene of the crime — on Estonian territory, naturally, not in Russia. But Moscow has already carried out a similar exercise with Nadiya Savchenko. Now it simply repeated it.

This is a clear violation of the norms of conduct, something that would not be tolerated between civilized nations but not only has Russia done this but are not even taking the trouble to issue a face saving denial.

Then again why would they?  Why would Putin bother to deny it?  He has the power, he’s willing to use it, and he knows that the current leadership of the west does not have the courage to stop him because it lacks leadership and no longer has a culture that values the courage necessary to do so.  Not denying it emphasizes that power and demonstrates to those he wants to intimidate who is in charge.

When nobody is willing to stop you all things are possible and this is a lesson that applies not only on a geopolitical scale but on a local scale as the people in Memphis have discovered:

Three people were brutally beaten by a mob of teens in the parking lot of the Kroger at Highland and Poplar Saturday night.

Two of the victims were reportedly teenage Kroger employees coming to the aid of a customer being attacked by the group. A video of the incident has gone viral.

The Memphis flyer mentions a “Mob of Teens” and there is this from police:

“It is extremely troubling to see how many young people were involved, especially on the heels of last week’s youth forum. A lot of our citizens are working to provide safe and productive alternatives for our youth,” Memphis Police Department Director Toney Armstrong said in a statement on Monday.

however there is one fact that is left out for some reason that Breitbart manages to notice

GANG OF BLACK TEENS BEATS WHITE MEMPHIS GROCERY STORE EMPLOYEE INTO UNCONSCIOUSNESS

and like the Ray Rice story, there is video

Video taken by customers on the scene attest to the viciousness of the attack. It shows screaming, joking, laughing black members of the mob attacking and kicking a white Kroger employee lying immobile on the ground.

Police are making some arrests:

FOX6’s sister station, WREG in Memphis reports a 15-year-old has been charged with aggravated riot and acting in concert: to wit aggravated assault.

WREG reports the teen was out on gun-related charges at the time of the attack. WREG says the teen wasn’t enrolled in school, and his mother was previously charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

But the most revealing line from the story is this observation from a witness

“It was nonsense violence. I can say that for sure. It seemed very unprovoked. They weren’t about anything, that it was fun for them. They were out having a good time. They were all smiling they were laughing,” the man said.

Now why would a mob of black kids go around beating people in a city like Memphis?  Well this screenshot from memorandum gives you a clue

memphis

Look what’s missing from that list, CNN, ABC, NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, NYT, Washington Post, CBS, Huffington Post,

The kids of this mob have learned the same lesson Vlad Putin have on a smaller scale.  they’ve  taken the measure of the country and know it doesn’t have the will or the desire to stand against them and the media certainly won’t make it an issue.  Vlad Putin would recognize this in a heartbeat and be nodding in agreement.

An Orc is an Orc is an Orc no matter what age, no matter what race no matter what scale and until Orcs are stopped they will rampage unchecked.

Exit Question:  If this had taken place in Putin’s  Russia would any of those kids in the video be seen again outside of Siberia?

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Olimometer 2.52

If you think the coverage and commentary we provide here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below to meet our annual expenses.

Consider the lineup you get In addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

By John Ruberry

The effects of Russia’s annexation of the Crimea are being felt in the Baltic States–Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The three states were part of Czarist Russia, but they won their independence from the Bolsheviks after World War I. It was not to last–the tiny nations were seized by the Soviet Union in 1940. My wife, who was born in Latvia, was told that the three nations “requested” to join the USSR by her teachers.

Riga, Latvia
Riga, Latvia

Shortly before the collapse of the Evil Empire, the Baltic States regained their independence.

Despite being hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008, the Baltic States are the wealthiest of the former Soviet Republics. The democratic nations are members of NATO and the European Union.

But not all well in what was known in imperial Russia as “our West.” Thousands of Balts were deported to Siberia in the 1940s, Russian speakers took their place. It was an essential part of Josef Stalin’s policy of Russification–one people, one language. Over two decades after the collapse of the USSR, ethnic Russians comprise roughly one-quarter the population of Latvia and Estonia. Lithuania has a tiny Russian population but it borders the Kaliningrad exclave of Russia.

Needless to say, some people are nervous in the Baltics about the Ukraine crisis and Russia. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the former president of Latvia, told NPR earlier this month, “We have to worry every minute of every day.” Latvia and Lithuania suspended the broadcasts of the international service of a Russian government-owned television network for three months because of what they deemed inflammatory broadcasts.

An ethnic Russian member of the European Parliament from Latvia is under investigation by Latvian authorities for being a Russian Federation agent.

I’ve been to Latvia twice. When walking the streets of its capital, Riga, one is just a likely to hear Russian spoken as Latvian.

The most tense situation is in Estonia. Its third largest city, Narva, sits on the border of the Russian Federation. Just four percent of the residents are Narva are Estonian. The two nations have an unresolved border dispute. Estonia was the victim of a 2007 Russian cyber attack.

Pro independence rally in Latvia, 1990.
Pro independence rally
in Latvia, 1990.

To become a citizen of Estonia or Latvia, Russians and their descendants who emigrated there after 1940 have to pass a difficult language test, which is significant challenge for the elderly. Russians born there after 1991 can choose citizenship. In Lithuania Russians were offered citizenship upon independence.

In response to the Crimea crisis, NATO dispatched some F-16 jets to Lithuania and President Obama sent Vice President Joe Biden there. I’m sure the Balts appreciated the former more than the latter.

But if Vladimir Putin uses the same reasoning–the protection of Russians–to seize Narva as he did with Crimea, will President Obama and NATO have the stomach to view such a move as a violation of Article V of the charter of the alliance, “An attack on one is an attack on all?”

Or will Obama simply draw another of his meaningless red lines, as he did in Syria?

Putin has called the collapse of the USSR a “geopolitical tragedy.” 

But now he has Crimea. Is there a next move?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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Olimometer 2.52

The time has come to ditch the weekly goal to focus on the monthly figure, that’s where the real action is at.

In order for this to be a viable full-time business this blog has to take in enough to make the mortgage/tax payment for the house (Currently $1210 monthly) and cover the costs of the writers writing here (another $255)

As of now we need $1278 to meet this goal by April 30th.

That comes out 51 people kicking in $25 over the rest of the month or basically three people a day.

I think the site and the work done here is worth it, if you do too then please consider hitting DaTipJar below .

Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 61 more subscribers  at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.

Consider the lineup you get for this price, in addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit) and Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Sunday  Linda Szugyi (No one of any import) on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?