Daily Archive: 07/10/2013

Jul 10 2013

Company Paper in a Company Town

The journalistic practices of the Washington Post and Walter Pincus

Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian

Wednesday 10 July 2013 07.24 EDT

Pincus, in lieu of any evidence, spouted all sorts of accusatory innuendo masquerading as questions (“Did Edward Snowden decide on his own to seek out journalists and then a job at Booz Allen Hamilton’s Hawaii facility?” – “Did Assange and WikiLeaks personnel help or direct Snowden to those journalists?” – “Was he encouraged or directed by WikiLeaks personnel or others to take the job as part of a broader plan to expose NSA operations to selected journalists?”) and invoked classic guilt-by association techniques (“Poitras and Greenwald are well-known free-speech activists, with many prior connections, including as founding members in December of the nonprofit Freedom of the Press Foundation” – “Poitras and Greenwald have had close connections with Assange and WikiLeaks”).

Apparently, the Washington Post has decided to weigh in on the ongoing debate over “what is journalism?” with this answer: you fill up articles on topics you don’t know the first thing about with nothing but idle speculation, rank innuendo, and evidence-free accusations, all under the guise of “just asking questions”. You then strongly imply that other journalists who have actually broken a big story are involved in a rampant criminal conspiracy without bothering even to ask them about it first, all while hiding from your readers the fact that they have repeatedly and in great detail addressed the very “questions” you’re posing.

But shoddy journalism from the Washington Post is far too common to be worth noting. What was far worse was that Pincus’ wild conspiracy theorizing was accomplished only by asserting blatant, easily demonstrated falsehoods.

As I documented in an email I sent to Pincus early yesterday morning – one that I instantly posted online and then publicized on Twitter – the article contains three glaring factual errors: 1) Pincus stated that I wrote an article about Poitras “for the WikiLeaks Press’s blog” (I never wrote anything for that blog in my life; the article he referenced was written for Salon); 2) Pincus claimed Assange “previewed” my first NSA scoop in a Democracy Now interview a week earlier by referencing the bulk collection of telephone calls (Assange was expressly talking about a widely reported Bush program from 8 years earlier, not the FISA court order under Obama I reported); 3) Pincus strongly implied that Snowden had worked for the NSA for less than 3 months by the time he showed up in Hong Kong with thousands of documents when, in fact, he had worked at the NSA continuously for 4 years. See the email I sent Pincus for the conclusive evidence of those factual falsehoods and the other distortions peddled by the Post.



The lengths to which some media outlets in this case have gone to assist the US government in trying to criminalize the journalism we’ve done has been remarkably revealing. But the willingness of the Post to aid in this effort by spewing falsehood-based innuendo, which they then permit to remain hour after hour even while knowing it’s false, is a reminder of how ill-advised it is to trust what you read in that establishment venue, and is a vibrant illustration of the reasons such organizations are held in such low esteem.



The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple spoke to Pincus about all of this, and Pincus’ comments have to be read to be believed. He says a correction “is in the works.” Wemple’s analysis of his Post colleague’s journalistic practices is, by itself, well worth reading.

Pincus responds to Greenwald blast

By Erik Wemple, Washington Post

Published: July 10, 2013 at 8:25 am

Pincus also cited “close connections” between Greenwald (and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, who also got a piece of the leak stories) and Assange/WikiLeaks. Here’s an example of those connections, via Pincus: “On April 10, 2012, Greenwald wrote for the WikiLeaks Press’s blog about Poitras and WikiLeaks being targeted by U.S. government officials.”

That claim was among the many that prompted Greenwald to go public with his concerns about the column. Greenwald: “I have no idea what you’re talking about here, and neither do you. I never wrote anything ‘for the WikiLeaks Press’s blog.’ How you decided to pull that fact out of thin air is a genuine mystery. The April 10, 2012, article of mine you seem to be referencing – about the serial border harassment of the filmmaker Laura Poitras – was written for Salon, where I was a Contributing Writer and daily columnist. Neither it, nor anything else I’ve ever written, was written ‘for the WikiLeaks Press’s blog.’ ”

Pincus now concedes Greenwald’s point. A correction on the point is in the works, he said. As for the rest of the piece, Pincus said it’s “argumentative.”

Maybe so. The suggestion that Greenwald and WikiLeaks are somehow collaborators, however, is a rather dramatic allegation. Absent the claim that Greenwald penned a column especially for WikiLeaks, what’s left of Pincus’s case that there are “close connections” between the journalist and advocacy group? Asked about that, Pincus pointed, again, to the WikiLeaks Web site. Specifically, this page, which directs the public to various experts on matters related to WikiLeaks. It’s divided into various subsections: “WikiLeaks,” for example; “Julian Assange,” “Freedom of the Press.” Under each section, it provides the names and contact information for folks who know about the topics. Greenwald is among them.

The page stipulates that none of the listed people are WikiLeaks officials: “These commentators do not represent WikiLeaks; they are listed because they are knowledgeable about the topics.”

Is Greenwald’s inclusion on such a directory evidence of “close connections” between him and Assange/WikiLeaks? If you need more, said Pincus, consider that Greenwald has written “a lot” about Assange and has “appeared with him.” His story also reported that a nonprofit in which Greenwald and Poitras are founding members strives to assist whistleblowers, “including WikiLeaks.”

The doctrine of “close connections” drew a fiery response from Greenwald, who insisted he’s never “appeared” anywhere with Assange: “I’ve never met Julian Assange in my life,” Greenwald told the Erik Wemple Blog. “I’ve certainly expressed support for WikiLeaks, am on the board of a group that raised money for them, and have communicated with him very periodically via e-mail. I would not describe that as anything approaching ‘close connections,’ but in the scheme of Pincus’s factual errors, that’s low on the list.”

In his brief column, Pincus managed to generate other flashpoints with Greenwald. For instance, he alleged that Assange, in a May 29 interview, “previewed the first Greenwald Guardian story based on Snowden documents that landed a week later. Speaking from Ecuador’s embassy in London, Assange described how NSA had been collecting ‘all the calling records of the United States, every record of everyone calling everyone over years. . . . Those calling records already [are] entered into the national security complex.’ ”

Given that interview, Pincus asked whether Assange knew “ahead of time” about the Greenwald story regarding the NSA’s collection of Verizon phone records.

No way, said Greenwald: “The sentence you quoted from Assange’s May 29 interview about the collection of phone records was preceded by this: ‘The National Security Agency – and this has come out in one court case after another – was involved in a project called Stellar Wind to collect all the calling records of the United States.’ Stellar Wind, as you rather amazingly do not know, is the code name for the 2001-2007 Bush NSA spying program. As part of that program, the NSA (as you also rather amazingly did not know) engaged in the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.”



Pincus is not the first to raise questions about the conduct of Snowden and the journalists that he tapped for his leaks. That said, he insisted he’s not poking at potential wrongdoing by the media. His focus is on Snowden. “Why did he go to Booz Allen? Why did he go to these journalists?” asked Pincus. “What interests me is, did he do this on his own or did someone else tell him to do it?”

The Erik Wemple Blog supports questions. Questions about politicians, celebrities, dogs, journalists – the whole lot. At some point, however, facts and findings about Greenwald & Co. are going to have to catch up with these various curiosities. As we’ve stated before, the public knows more about how these particular leaks dripped from source to recipient than we do about the average national security story, thanks to the disclosures of the reporters involved. Thus far, those disclosures have spelled out a set of captivating, though hardly scandalous, interactions between Snowden and his leakees.

Jul 10 2013

Permanent Depression: Where The Hell Is Outrage?

Where the hell is the outrage? That is the question that senior fellow at Campaign for America’s Future and former executive at AIG, Richard (RJ) Eskow asks about the current state of the US econoomy:

From the first breath of life to the last, our lives are being stolen out from under us. From infant care and early education to Social Security and Medicare, the dominant economic ideology is demanding more lifelong sacrifices from the vulnerable to appease the gods of wealth.

Middle-class wages are stagnant. Unemployment is stalled at record levels. College education is leading to debt servitude and job insecurity. Millions of unemployed Americans have essentially been abandoned by their government.  Poverty is soaring. Bankers break the law with impunity, are bailed out, and go on breaking the law, richer than they were before.

And yet, bizarrely, the only Americans who seem to be seething with anger are the beneficiaries of this economic injustice — the wealthiest and most privileged among us.  But those who are suffering seem strangely passive.

As long as they stay that way, there will be no movement to repair these injustices. And the more these injustices are allowed to persist, the harder it will be to end them.

Where the hell is the outrage? And how can we start some?

He notes that Paul Krugman, too, is feeling grim about the possibility that high unemployment has become acceptable and that the “political and policy elite” see no need to find a solution, one that is staring them right in the face:

First of all, I think many of us used to believe that sustained high unemployment would lead to substantial, perhaps accelerating deflation – and that this would push policymakers into doing something forceful. It’s now clear, however, that the relationship between inflation and unemployment flattens out at low inflation rates. We can probably have high unemployment and stable prices in Europe and America for a very long time – and all the wise heads will insist that it’s all structural, and nothing can be done until the public accepts drastic cuts in the safety net.

But won’t there be an ever-growing demand from the public for action? Actually, that’s not at all clear. While there is growing “austerity fatigue” in Europe, and this might provoke a crisis, the overwhelming result from U.S. political studies is that the level of unemployment matters hardly at all for elections; all that matters is the rate of change in the months leading up to the election. In other words, high unemployment could become accepted as the new normal, politically as well as in economic analysis.

Eskow points to the factors why Americans have learned to live in a “quiet state of desperation” and offers a Action Plan for the solution:

1. Expand our avenues of political expression: First, we need to remind ourselves that electoral politics is not the only productive avenue for political activism -that we need strong and independent voices and movements.

2. Refuse to let politicians use social issues to exploit us economically: We also need to reject the exploitation and manipulation of progressive values by corporatist politicians who use social issues like gay marriage and reproductive rights exactly the way Republicans do — to manipulate their own base into ignoring their own economic interests. Politicians who don’t take a stand on economic issues should be rejected, up and down the ticket.

3. Explain what is changing — and contrast what is with what should be:We need to do a better job of explaining what’s happening, so that we can make people aware of the harmful changes taking place all around them.And it’s not just about “change”: It’s also about contrast – between economic conditions as they are, and conditions as they should be and could be, if we can find the political will.

4. Expand the vocabulary of the possible: The “learned helplessness” outlook says “the rich and powerful always win; we don’t stand a chance.” History tells us otherwise. From the American Revolution to the breaking up of the railroads, from Teddy Roosevelt’s trust-busting to FDR’s New Deal, from Ike’s Social Security and labor union expansion to LBJ’s Great Society victories, we need to remind ourselves of what we’ve accomplished under similar conditions.

5. Tell stories: And we need to tell stories — human stories.

Some of those human stories started 22 years ago when Bill Moyers began documenting the stories of two families ordinary families in Milwaukee, Wisconsin who had lost good paying factory jobs and how they have managed over the years. In a 90 minute special on PBS’ Frontline, Moyers revisits the the Stanleys and Neumanns anf their struggles to finding other jobs, getting retrained yet still finding themselves on a “downward slope, working harder and longer for less pay and fewer benefits, facing devastating challenges and difficult choices.”

Over at AMERICAblog, our friend Gaius Publius has posted his interview with RJ Eskow that was taped at this year’s Netroots NAtion in San Jose, CA. It’s an excellent conversation.

Jul 10 2013

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Wednesday is Ladies’ Day.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Katrina vanden Heuvel: Do We Have the Will to Fight for the Jobless?

Turmoil in Egypt. Edward Snowden’s travel plans. Immigration reform’s fortunes. Obamacare’s troubles. The Weiner-Spitzer return to politics. There’s no shortage of items absorbing political energy and media bandwidth. But simmering below all of this is a crisis that goes without the immediate attention it demands. Last Friday morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yet another month of lackluster jobs numbers. While Washington has long since lost any sense of urgency regarding the jobs crisis, this is an issue that continues to poll at the top of Americans’ concerns.

Our economy is stuck at just over 2 percent growth, and the rate of productivity is worse than anemic. We have hit a point where an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent inspires cheers of “it could’ve been worse!” The result is a painful “new normal” for too many of our fellow Americans.

Few commentators even mention that most of the 195,000 jobs added last month, as well as the ones added in the last few years, are low-paying, temporary, part time and usually without benefits. Much of the job growth we have seen is in restaurant, retail and temporary work-the sort of jobs that rarely offer basic security, let alone a foothold for people to climb into the middle class.

Salamishah Tillet: Women at Point Zero in Tahrir Square

Last Wednesday, the world watched an increasingly familiar scene: Egyptian crowds gathering in Tahrir Square to demand social change. Once the army announced it had ousted President Mohamed Morsi, these same streets became host to victory celebrations for some, and violent conflict for others. For over ninety-one women who were sexually assaulted that night, Tahrir Square became what Egyptian women’s rights activist. Soraya Bahgat described as “a circle of hell.” [..]

But this recent wave of rape is part of another frightening reality: women’s bodies are also casualties of “freedom.”

Laura Murphy: Comey Hardly a Poster-Child for Civil Liberty

Comey is lionised in DC for one challenge over liberties. Yet he backed waterboarding, wire-tapping and indefinite detention

It had the air of Hollywood. On the night of 10 March 2004, James Comey, the nominee to lead the FBI for the next ten years, rushed to the hospital bedside of his terribly ill boss, Attorney General John Ashcroft. [..]

There’s one very big problem with describing Comey as some sort of civil libertarian: some facts suggest otherwise. While Comey deserves credit for stopping an illegal spying program in dramatic fashion, he also approved or defended some of the worst abuses of the Bush administration during his time as deputy attorney general. Those included torture, warrantless wiretapping, and indefinite detention.

Zoë Carpenter : Disaster in Quebec Reveals Regulatory Lapse

A debate about the relative merits of transporting crude oil by pipeline or by rail reignited over the weekend, after a runaway freight train carrying seventy-two cars of oil exploded and leveled Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.

The disaster exposed a significant lack of regulation governing the shipment of crude oil via rail, and raised questions about the continued use of old tanker cars known to be unsafe.

The volume of crude carried via trains has grown exponentially in recent years, as the amount of oil flowing from the Bakken formation in North Dakota and the oil sands in western Canada outstripped existing pipeline capacity. With new pipelines like Keystone XL caught up in the permitting process, freight rail infrastructure expanded to accommodate the glut of new oil with little oversight.

Bryce Covert: Men Want Work-Family Balance, and Policy Should Help Them Achieve It

Women don’t all yearn for the boardroom; some are instead focused on the rec room, Catherine Rampell reported in a front-page and much-discussed New York Times article yesterday. She paints a picture of harried women dying to get a little extra time away from the office to spend with their kids, focusing mostly on the story of Sara Uttech, a working mother in Fall River, Wisconsin. In Rampell’s piece, Uttech’s husband, and all husbands, appear just off frame. As Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote, “They are but a parenthetical, maybe an em dash.” Quite literally-men are mentioned as an aside, background noise in their children’s lives. When Uttech’s husband’s caregiving duties are mentioned, it is to say that the working mother “gets a lot of help: from her husband, Michael,” among other family members who pitch in. Fathers might as well be hired hands.

Rampell is not alone in assuming that mothers parent and dads baby-sit. The Census Bureau has made the same assumptions, calling mothers “designated parents” and counting the time fathers care for their kids as merely stepping in for said designated parent.

Auro Bogado: The Less-Than-Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill

Senator Chuck Schumer’s gamble that his fellow lawmakers would pass an immigration bill out of their chamber by the Fourth of July proved fruitful. The bill is now headed to the House-although it might not be, because that chamber isn’t entirely sure it even wants to debate it. But in the frenzy surrounding what’s been called a historic move, a lot has been lost around what the bill has actually become, and why so few voices on the left have accepted the bargain.

Just a few days before the bill’s passage, a coalition of immigrants rights and environmental advocacy groups made a big announcement in Tucson, Arizona, in opposition. Their reasons? The so-called comprehensive immigration bill is less comprehensive than it is punitive-doubling border agents to nearly 40,000, while adding more than 300 extra miles of fencing on the southern border, all in addition to billions of dollars for drones.

Jul 10 2013

A rather scary link about a long-debunked and tosssed-out fallacy:

Hey, everybody:

There’s a very nascent, albeit a very dangerous anti-vaccine movement that’s going through the United States right now;  the so-called “link” between vaccines and autism, created by the long discredited Dr. Andrew Wakefield (who lost his license to practice medicine due to the fraudulence of the movement he created, and well he should have!.), and the former nude model, Jenny McCarthy, who clearly knows nothing about anything (including medicine and science), except to tout her figure in public, if one gets the drift.  

What I find rather scary about it is the fact that the anti-Vaccine people, very much like the anti-abortion/anti-choice (supposedly) Pro-Life people, prey upon people’s fears and ignorance,  and, like the Pro-Life people who want abortions outlawed altogether here in the United States, want childhood immunizations/vaccines outlawed, due to their (supposed ) link to autism.  

Truthfully, other more trustworthy people have found that to not be the case.  More and more research has revealed autism  or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), as it’s now called, to be a biologically-based, neurological developmental disorder (not a mental illness!), that takes hold while the person is in utero, during fetal development, well before the person afflicted with it comes into this world.  

My siblings and I were vaccinated against polio, pertussis, tetanus and diphtheria, for example, when we were young kids, and we all turned out fine.  What’s really scary is that the anti-vaccine people wouldn’t mind seeing the United States turn into a real third-world country, where tons of children either end up dying or being permanently disabled by such deadly diseases.  

I had measles and mumps (the diseases themselves), when I was a preteen, before the vaccines came out, was in bed for a week, (I had mumps on both sides at once, which hurt like hell, but I turned out fine), and the measles in 5th grade, both of which I developed an immunity to.  However, even these illnesses are more harmful today than they were, due to changes in the world and the environment, and the fact that so many parents are now refusing to vaccinate their kids because of their fear of autism, which they know nothing about, is really quite scary.

Even level-headed people are jumping on the band-wagon, which is even scarier.  

The following link is here:  Read it and weep…or gnash your teeth.  It’s rather scary, imho.

http://vactruth.com/2013/07/04…

Jul 10 2013

Thomas Drake

Obama’s Secrecy Makes Bush Look Mild

The Real News

July 9, 2013

100 million phone records of Verizon based on (a) secret SIS court order (are) being given to NSA each and every day, that’s the equivalent of a general warrant, which is a total violation of the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution or even in the enabling act legislation, as broad as it is, gave that kind of license to the government in secret to turn over the records of millions and millions about tens of millions of innocent people, in this case, tens of millions of US citizens, US persons. So those who are attacking him (Snowden) are attacking him as the messenger.

They don’t want to deal with the actual message, because it would raise the most troubling of questions. I would reverse and say, what if the same revelations had come out under the Bush administration. Well, in part they did in 2005 ended 2006, and all kinds of people on the left were wanting to do hang Bush out to dry, up to and including calls for impeachment because he was, violating the oath that he talks, the special oath that he took to, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.

Those same voices are quite muted if not silent and submissive in the face of this unprecedented institutionaliz(ation) of the secrecy regime, which is not only been accepted lock, stock, and barrel by the Obama administration but has been greatly expanded. So there are those voices that you’re referring to simply do not want to deal with the message and want to continue to focus on the person who brought the message. It’s classic politics of personal destruction. It’s classic ad hominem attacks. It’s classic rejection because you don’t have to deal with the extraordinarily uncomfortable truth that you actually have a secrecy Pres. who’s actually making Bush look rather mild by comparison.

Jul 10 2013

On This Day In History July 10

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

July 10 is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 174 days remaining until the end of the year.

1925, Scopes Monkey Trial begins,

In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called “Monkey Trial” begins with John Thomas Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law.

The law, which had been passed in March, made it a misdemeanor punishable by fine to “teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” With local businessman George Rappalyea, Scopes had conspired to get charged with this violation, and after his arrest the pair enlisted the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to organize a defense. Hearing of this coordinated attack on Christian fundamentalism, William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Democratic presidential candidate and a fundamentalist hero, volunteered to assist the prosecution. Soon after, the great attorney Clarence Darrow agreed to join the ACLU in the defense, and the stage was set for one of the most famous trials in U.S. history.

On July 10, the Monkey Trial got underway, and within a few days hordes of spectators and reporters had descended on Dayton as preachers set up revival tents along the city’s main street to keep the faithful stirred up. Inside the Rhea County Courthouse, the defense suffered early setbacks when Judge John Raulston ruled against their attempt to prove the law unconstitutional and then refused to end his practice of opening each day’s proceeding with prayer.

Trial

The ACLU had originally intended to oppose the Butler Act on the grounds that it violated the teacher’s individual rights and academic freedom, and was therefore unconstitutional. Mainly because of Clarence Darrow, this strategy changed as the trial progressed, and the earliest argument proposed by the defense once the trial had begun was that there was actually no conflict between evolution and the creation account in the Bible (a viewpoint later called theistic evolution). In support of this claim, they brought in eight experts on evolution. Other than Dr. Maynard Metcalf, a zoologist from Johns Hopkins University, the judge would not allow these experts to testify in person. Instead, they were allowed to submit written statements so that their evidence could be used at the appeal. In response to this decision, Darrow made a sarcastic comment to Judge Raulston (as he often did throughout the trial) on how he had been agreeable only on the prosecution’s suggestions, for which he apologized the next day, keeping himself from being found in contempt of court.

The presiding judge John T. Raulston was accused of being biased towards the prosecution and frequently clashed with Darrow. At the outset of the trial Raulston quoted Genesis and the Butler Act. He also warned the jury not to judge the merit of the law (which would become the focus of the trial) but on the violation of the act, which he called a ‘high misdemeanor’. The jury foreman himself wasn’t convinced of the merit of the Act but acted, as did most of the jury, on the instructions of the judge.

By the later stages of the trial, Clarence Darrow had largely abandoned the ACLU’s original strategy and attacked the literal interpretation of the Bible as well as Bryan’s limited knowledge of other religions and science.

Only when the case went to appeal did the defense return to the original claim that the prosecution was invalid because the law was essentially designed to benefit a particular religious group, which would be unconstitutional.

Jul 10 2013

Chronic Tonic- I’m Running Out Of Compartments

Originally published at VOTS

If I were to be asked to write a paragraph or two about my life, my current situation, I don’t know that I could do that. Yes, I could tell you in detail about this or that, but no, I don’t ever even think about all of it all at once, let alone lay it all out in black and white:  It’s called compartmentalization, and I’m somewhat of a gifted practitioner. I’m aware that this is a defense mechanism, and if taken to extremes, people can become detached to their own emotions, trust me.  That’s not my deal. In some situations, you need a defense, a way to get through, or you will not survive.

I have to get through, I’ve got people counting on me. I can’t sit and list every circumstance that affects me, because I’m not willing to voluntarily become overwhelmed. I’m not the type to be in up to my neck and look around for a deeper area to see how long I can tread water. Why would I do that? I gave in to my pain for years, and then I fought really hard to get my ass up out of that bed and make some kind of life for myself.  That was 12 years ago, and today I have a life. I have a husband and two gorgeous boys that I never dreamed I’d have, and that’s worth everything.

But I would be lying if I told you it’s been easy, it has not. And it seems that over the past several years, life keeps throwing us one curve ball after another. I’ve written about parts of it. We lost our place to live, and what was supposed to be a short stay with my parents while we got ourselves another place turned out to last, oh…forever. Our youngest was diagnosed on the ASD and the services here are great, and there’s a backyard, and we would have the chance to save up to maybe get a house. We were right back on track, right? Not so much.

It soon became clear that the forgetfulness we had noticed from my Mom was growing worse. Dad always accompanied her to the doctor, but when I asked him what the doctor made of this worsening memory thing, he admitted that he didn’t bring it up, too afraid Mom would be pissed. I said: “Um, you could call and go see him alone, you know?  You don’t have to tell him in front of her but you do have to tell him.” Still, he couldn’t bring himself to do it. I don’t know if it was that he was afraid of having what we suspected confirmed, feeling like he’d be betraying Mom.  It doesn’t matter. I consulted with my doctor (in the same practice) as to what to do. I asked if I could write her doc a note, was that allowed.  So, that’s how I wound up delivering a note with my concerns to my Mom’s doctor, and telling my dad afterwards. He was okay with it, maybe even relieved. I told him, “Hey. if it’s what we think, the sooner we can get her on medication, the better.” They said she had non-specific dementia, and it was then I knew I wasn’t going anywhere — I wouldn’t if I could.

That was over five years ago, and the hits keep right on coming. So, yes, I compartmentalize to a fare-thee-well. I’m not in denial and I handle what I need to handle. This doesn’t make me any kind of a saint, a martyr, or anything other than somebody who has learned to survive. Some days I need to take it an hour at a time, but I don’t allow myself to become miserable, my kids don’t deserve that, and neither does anybody else.

I do worry about what happens when I run out of compartments.~