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Eclipse, National Tooth Fairy Day, Dorothy Parker, Goldwater Rule- it's more of a guideline

Published Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 3:00 AM EDT
Aug 22 2017

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Today is Tuesday, August 22, the 234th day of 2017 in the Gregorian calendar, with 131 days remaining.

This is the 215th day of Donald Trump's presidency. There are 1,247 days remaining in his term, assuming he doesn't resign, is otherwise removed from office, or his unhinged, psychotic behavior results in the destruction of the republic.


What happened on August 22 from On This Day.


Among other things, today is also National Tooth Fairy Day. Wikipedia's article on the tooth fairy describes the nebulous interpretations of the childhood myth.


This is the day in Pittsburgh, PA with the lowest average wind speed (6 mph).


Florida Florida woman drunkenly bites man's fishing line, swims away with lure, police say.


Quote of the day:

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
-Dorothy Parker


The eclipse was a nothingburger of sorts here in the south Pittsburgh suburbs. Bands of clouds and rain moved through about an hour before totality (only 80% of the sun was obscured here) and, quite frankly, you have to get above 90% to notice anything. Pittsburgh's a fairly cloudy city, and light levels change all the time. Had I been outdoors and not known about the eclipse in advance, I wouldn't even have noticed it. The Yellowstone Supervolcano did not erupt, the nation's electrical power grid did not melt down, and no large, carniverous extra-terrestrial plants landed anywhere.

Folks on social media supplied lots of eclipse-related observations:

The sun never went out when Obama was President is all I'm saying.

Why is it when the sun blacks out on a Monday afternoon it's an "amazing natural phenomenon" but when I do it it's a "problem"?

Everything's better now, right? The Dark Overlords of the Universe came down on the eclipse, grabbed Trump, and exiled him to the Nexus of Sominus, right?
-KGB (I love obscure Howard the Duck references.)

"Happening now, breaking news, God has forsaken us to a dark, icy death."
-Wolf Blitzer at 1:00 pm, probably. Actually,

After the eclipse, we're going to be in the parallel universe we're SUPPOSED to be in, and not our current dystopian hellscape, right?
-Jim Ellwanger

Now, back to the shit show.
-God (@thetweetofgod)

One TV outlet put its eclipse coverage cameras in the middle of a farm that raises fainting goats to see if the unexpected darkness would trigger their neuropathy. Alas, it didn't.

Shepard Smith at Fox News either really did not want to anchor the network's eclipse coverage, forgot to take his meds, or both...

Which brings us to the BIG eclipse story: President Trump taking off his protective eyewear and STARING DIRECTLY AT THE SUN. There was only one rule for watching the eclipse- don't look at it without protective glasses- and Trump violated it because of course he did. He's Trump. The rules don't apply to him.

The general consensus among rational humans is you'd have to be crazy to do something like that, which is a perfect segue into a story that came out last month that I somehow missed...

The American Psychoanalytic Association sent an email to its 3,500 members telling them they were free to ignore the "Goldwater Rule", the informal name given to Section 7 in the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Principles of Medical Ethics, which states it is unethical for psychiatrists to give a professional opinion about public figures they have not examined in person, and from whom they have not obtained consent to discuss their mental health in public statements.

It is named after presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. In 1964, Fact magazine published an article claiming 1,189 psychiatrists said Goldwater was psychologically unfit to be President. The editor, Ralph Ginzburg, was sued for libel in Goldwater v. Ginzburg where Goldwater won $75,000 (approximately $579,000 today) in damages.

It should be noted that the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychoanalytic Association are different organizations. The American Psychiatric Association's "Goldwater Rule" is an ethical stance applicable only to members of that organization, and is still in effect. It was never applicable to members of the different American Psychoanalytic Association anyway.

The Goldwater Rule isn't a law, it's an ethical guideline. You won't go to jail, but you may open yourself to a libel suit by Trump, although I can't picture any jury ruling in his favor.

And it hasn't prevented mental health professionals from questioning Trump's fitness to serve. A petition on Change.org calling Trump mentally ill and asking for his removal from office has over 50,000 signatures.

At a political rally I attended last week, one of the speakers- a mental health counselor- also claimed the Commander in Chief is non compos mentis, and urged we contact our Congressman, Tim Murphy- who is a psychiatrist- and urge him to get the cabinet and the Vice President to initiate 25th Amendment proceedings against Trump.

A former shrink of mine liked to note there is a thin line between crazy and stupid. Whatever. Let's not argue semantics. Either condition disqualifies Trump from continuing. Everyone knows Trump has more behavior disorders and neuroses than he has ex-wives and bankruptcies, and you don't need a medical degree to make that determination. Stick "Trump mentally ill" into Google, and you'll get 27,100,000 hits. Rather than waiting for the special counsel's investigation to yield information upon which the House could impeach, invoke the 25th Amendment, which provides a mechanism for dealing with Presidential disability. That's a really messy and uncertain path to tread as well, one that will probably end up in the Supreme Court. But the republic can't survive another 1,247 days of this incessant lunacy.


In case you're worried, how to tell if watching the eclipse damaged your eyes.


'Well played, Moon.' Netflix admits defeat after losing viewers during the solar eclipse.


$417 million awarded in suit tying Johnson's Baby Powder to cancer. It will, of course, be appealed.


British Airways forces man to sit in wet urine-soaked seat for 11 hours. Worse, it wasn't even his urine. And they were out of trail mix.


The President delivered his address on Afghanistan, which was long on sturm und drang but light on details. It was similar in tone to his campaign performances, but he stayed on the teleprompter and as of this writing has posted no outrageous tweets, so Guam is safe for another day and the Nazis are still Not Nice People. Read Ali Vitali's story.


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