A wound in the brain

Ed Raymond

This country is going to Hell and many Americans are already living in it

As I read about police in Minneapolis, Los Angeles and other large cities in America, closing  homeless encampments at the start of winter, I was preparing to write a column about talented football quarterbacks in poor colleges being romanced by millions of dollars to “transfer portal” their eligibility to a rich school.

Then there was the picture in the Guardian of hundreds of old RVs and travel trailers parked along busy streets and highways in many cities where housing is too expensive. As an example, in Los Angeles, thousands of workers cannot afford housing in a city that rents two-bedroom apartments for $4,000 a month.

This was the same month when two White Nationalist billionaires, one who beat the pandemic by living aboard his $500 million superyacht in the Med, made sure that Dr. Claudine Gay was fired by the Harvard University Board for being Black. Incidentally, one had just given Harvard $300 million to add to its $56 billion endowment fund. He had given $500 million earlier.

Another billionaire hedge fund manager told Harvard he would not give millions if they didn’t fire Gay. Evidently, like Trump, he liked to say, “you’re fired.” That’s when I thought of the headline I’ve used above.

That’s also when I thought of poet Robinson Jeffers poignant description of the history of Homo sapiens on earth in less than 100 words: “Never blame the man: his hard-pressed ancestors formed him: the other anthropoid apes were safe in the great southern rain forest and hardly changed in a million years: but the race of man was made by shock and agony…..a wound was made in the brain when life became too hard, and has never healed. It is there that they learned trembling religions and blood sacrifice,    It is there that they learned to butcher beasts and to slaughter men and hate the world.”

My file on Donald Trump is about 1.5 inches thick and contains millions of long, complicated  and short curse words that try to capture the essence and character of a man analyzed by psychiatrists, waiters and Mary Trump.

I think a sentence written by Amy Davidson Sorkin does the best job: “On a personal level, Trump probably shouldn’t be trusted to put a stamp on an envelope.”  

Because he has resisted potty training all his life, he is so full of caca, it comes out of his mouth every time he opens it.  

Humans are equal, but one human thinks he is more equal than all others

I’m borrowing a thought-line from George Orwell to emphasize what Donald Trump is all about. There isn’t enough paper in St. Louis County to record the 30,000 lies and the thousands of speeches and tweets made by the Chosen One, so I will list the characteristics of a malignant narcissist, which is a combination of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and antisocial personality disorder (APD).

As you read the list, take a pen and underline the trait. if you think he does not own outright the characteristics described in the latest Manual of Mental Disabilities. Traits of NPD include: •

An inflated sense of talent, achievement and self-importance

•  Fantasies about sex, power, intelligence or beauty without limit

• Need for attention and admiration that is excessive

• Either a lack of emotion or extreme negative emotions when faced with negative feedback or indifference

• Interpersonal disturbances. Traits of APD include:

• An inability to feel guilt, remorse and empathy

• A lack of concern for the well-being of others

• Recklessness, irresponsibility and impulsivity

• Exploitation, aggression and deceit

• Behaviors that violate the law and the rights of others

• May steal from someone for their own gain and then not care that act impacts the other person. Psychopaths and sociopaths also have these general traits: •


• Violations of the law

• Causing harm to others

• Impulsivity

• Irresponsibility.

The manual also states: “Additionally, people with malignant narcissism often suffer from paranoia that is related to the inability to deal with criticism or lack of approval.”

Please e-mail me a list of the traits you think Donald Trump does not possess in the above lists.

Here’s a short list of what environmental causes contribute to malignant narcissism: •

Childhood neglect or inconsistent care

• Childhood trauma and abuse

• Sexual trauma

• Verbal abuse

• Extremely high expectations or criticism from parents or caregivers

• Extremely high praise, indulgence or pampering from parents or caregivers

• Peer and social influences.

This entire section is a reason why Donald Trump should not sit behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office or a desk in any business or organization. He is unfit for any office. When he referred to January 6 as a “beautiful day,” I’m not sure he has a brain to wound.  

The poor and lower middle class are being trickled on and it ain’t Champagne

I listened and watched President Joe Biden give an important campaign speech in South Carolina last week. He never mentioned the words “economic inequality” or “superyachts” or “tax the rich” or progressive policies that would attract half of the 80 million eligible Americans voters who did not vote in 2020. Neither did he ridicule Reagan Republican “trickle-down” economic policies that were supposed to shower the poor and lower middle-class with champagne. They got piss instead.

On the same day of Biden’s speech, Senator Bernie Sanders released a statement that listed critical facts and policies that Biden should have emphasized during his speech. Biden has to get the disenchanted young to the polls in 2024, but he just doesn’t seem to have those skills. It only takes Bernie a few minutes to arouse political passions to get them marching in the streets and carrying placards.

Bernie understands Trump is a nut and the economic inequality is the most important reality Americans are experiencing in a lifetime.

We have had three periods since the 18th century when some Americans got richer: the slaveholding white oligarchs of Washington, Jefferson and Jefferson Davis; the Gilded Age of Rockefeller, Carnegie and Vanderbilt; and the third with Bezos, Musk and Gates starting in 1980. The wealth of the richest 400 has quadrupled since 1980 – from less than 1% to 3.5%. The share owned by the entire bottom half of the population has dropped to 1.3%. The richest 130,000 families now own as much wealth as the bottom 90% – or 117 million families! We have three billionaires – Musk, Bezos and Buffett – who own as much as the bottom half of the population! Both facts require exclamation points!

Biden has to tell Gen Z what he is going to do for them after 2024, not what he has done for them since 2020. What he has done has not affected them much yet. This is just a short list of what he needs to tell them:

1. He will dramatically decrease the 60% living paycheck to paycheck under enormous financial stress on lousy wages.

2. The Divided States of America currently has the highest rate of childhood poverty of major nations. He will not only reduce the rate, he will reform the schools that are poorly staffed and equipped.

3. He will increase home ownership, reduce the 670,000 homeless who are now living in streets, cars, tents,and RVs. There is now such a difference in the lower middle-class and the upper middle class, home ownership has declined only 5% in the upper middle but has declined 31% in the lower middle-class. In the same time income for the upper MC increased by 27% while the lower MC decreased 5%.

4. He will reform a very expensive health care system that treats only half of the population while spending twice as much per person than all the countries with universal care. More than 60,000 people die each year because they can’t afford medical care. The U.S. is the only industrialized country where life expectancy is in decline.

5. He will improve gun controls by employing federal background checks, ban assault-style weapons, limit magazines and ammo purchases, and severely limit conceal and carry policies.

6. He will increase taxes on assets of the rich to pay the $1.7 trillion student debt of 45 million Americans – that should have been paid by state and federal taxpayers in the first place. As Bernie says, we have no need for more billionaires.  

Need a college quarterback next season? He may cost you millions

Before I get into the subject of how billionaires may be ruining college athletics, particularly football and basketball, I must admit I pitched four years for the Moorhead State baseball team and spent summers pitching for North Dakota and Minnesota “amateur” baseball teams, and made good money doing it. It was permitted under college rules at the time. In fact, I played with most of the Fargo-Moorhead Twins, which was a Cleveland Indians farm club. Many Twins players attended MSTC in the winter and played the college schedule until the Northern League opened.

Not only are billionaires ruining countries by buying politicians by the gross, they’re ruining sports at both the amateur and professional level.   When you have college football coaches making $10 million a season, which is 25 times what good classroom professors are making, you should know there’s going to be trouble in river city.

Last week there was talk that an established college quarterback had been offered more than $6 million in the NIL (Name, Image, Likeness NCAA Scheme) to move to an elite football program. The 32 NFL franchises were probably behind the NCAA transfer portal policy because it makes major college football teams just farm clubs for each franchise. Why should players, such as quarterbacks, wide receivers. and line backers, be allowed to play college football for six years? Three of the Heisman Trophy finalists this year had used the transfer portal to move to the University of Oregon, the University of Washington and Louisiana State University. The major league baseball system of having minor league teams as developmental teams seems to work rather well. But the salaries are controlled. College baseball does not draw well because of competing with summer activities. Thirty-one NFL franchises are owned by billionaires and the other one is the property of the city of Green Bay. There are about 32 top-rated college football programs in the country. These teams would have the money to stock up on the best players and become minor league teams for the NFL. Quite a way to create a shopping list for talent.  

Our capital is a serious wound in the brain

One might think a government would want to make a nation’s capital one of the most attractive cities in the country. Washington has 700,000 residents and 140,000 qualify for food stamps, affordable housing does not exist for families making less than $142,300, and neither does affordable child and elder care. Many poor neighborhoods do not have healthy food options. How could that be? Congress runs the district. More than one-half of the Congress are millionaires while only 7% of citizens belong to that group. Corky and I lived in the district for a year in the 1950s. Evidently it has not improved. The slums are still in the same place.