Dont keep cell phones next to your body, California Health Department warns

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a warning against the hazards of cellphone radiation this week. Yes, the thing we are all addicted to and can’t seem to put down is leaking electromagnetic radiation and now California has some guidance to safeguard the public.

The CDPH asks people to decrease their use of these devices and suggests keeping your distance when possible.

“Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones,” said CDPH director Dr. Karen Smith.

The warning comes after findings were offered up this week from a 2009 department document, which was published after an order from the Sacramento Superior Court.

A year ago, UC Berkeley professor Joel Moskowitz initiated a lawsuit to get the department to release the findings after he started looking into whether mobile phone use increased the risk of tumors.

A draft of the document was released in March, but the final release is more extensive.

“The cellphone manufacturers want you to keep a minimum distance away from your body and you should find out what that distance is,” Moskowitz told local news station KCRA, shortly after the draft release. “If you keep the device by your body you will exceed the safety limits provided by the FCC.”

According to the Federal Communication Commission’s website, there is no national standard developed for safety limits. However, the agency requires cell phone manufacturers to ensure all phones comply with “objective limits for safe exposure.”

The CDPH recommends not keeping your phone in your pocket, not putting it up to your ear for a prolonged amount of time, keeping use low if there are two bars or less, not sleeping near it at night and to be aware that if you are in a fast-moving car, bus or train, your phone will emit more RF energy to maintain the connection.

Other organizations have warned of the dangers of cell phone radiation exposure as well, including the Connecticut Department of Public Health, which issued similar recommendations in May of 2015.

However, Moskowitz maintains most state and federal health agencies have not kept up with the research. “The preponderance of the research indicates that cell phone radiation poses a major risk to health,” he said in a statement.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/15/dont-keep-cell-phones-next-to-your-body-california-health-department-warns/

Should We Teach Facial Recognition Technology About Race?

Tech companies are eyeing the next frontier: the human face. Should you desire, you can now superimpose any variety of animal snouts onto a video of yourself in real time. If you choose to hemorrhage money on the new iPhone X, you can unlock your smartphone with a glance. At a KFC location in Hangzhou, China, you can even pay for a chicken sandwich by smiling at a camera. And at least one in four police departments in the US have access to facial recognition software to help them identify suspects.

But the tech isn’t perfect. Your iPhone X might not always unlock; a cop might arrest the wrong person. In order for software to always recognize your face as you, an entire sequence of algorithms has to work. First, the software has to be able to determine whether an image has a face in it at all. If you’re a cop trying to find a missing kid in a photo of a crowd, you might want the software to sort the faces by age. And ultimately, you need an algorithm that can compare each face with another photo in a database, perhaps with different lighting and at a different angle, and determine whether they’re the same person.

To improve these algorithms, researchers have found themselves using the tools of pollsters and social scientists: demographics. When they teach face recognition software about race, gender, and age, it can often perform certain tasks better. “This is not a surprising result,” says biometrics researcher Anil Jain of Michigan State University, “that if you model subpopulations separately you’ll get better results.” With better algorithms, maybe that cop won’t arrest the wrong person. Great news for everybody, right?

It’s not so simple. Demographic data may contribute to algorithms’ accuracy, but it also complicates their use.

Take a recent example. Researchers based at the University of Surrey in the UK and Jiangnan University in China were trying to improve an algorithm used in specific facial recognition applications. The algorithm, based on something called a 3-D morphable model, digitally converts a selfie into a 3-D head in less than a second. Model in hand, you can use it rotate the angle of someone’s selfie, for example, to compare it to another photograph. The iPhone X and Snapchat use similar 3-D models.

The researchers gave their algorithm some basic instructions: Here’s a template of a head, and here’s the ability to stretch or compress it to get the 2-D image to drape over it as smoothly as possible. The template they used is essentially the average human face—average nose length, average pupil distance, average cheek diameter, calculated from 3-D scans they took of real people. When people made these models in the past, it was hard to collect a lot of scans because they’re time-consuming. So frequently, they’d just lump all their data together and calculate an average face, regardless of race, gender, or age.

The group used a database of 942 faces—3-D scans collected in the UK and in China—to make their template. But instead of calculating the average of all 942 faces at once, they categorized the face data by race. They made separate templates for each race—an average Asian face, white face, and black face, and based their algorithm on these three templates. And even though they had only 10 scans of black faces—they had 100 white faces and over 800 Asian faces—they found that their algorithm generated a 3-D model that matched a real person’s head better than the previous one-template model.

“It’s not only for race,” says computer scientist Zhenhua Feng of the University of Surrey. “If you have a model for an infant, you can construct an infant’s 3-D face better. If you have a model for an old person, you can construct that type of 3-D face better.” So if you teach biometric software explicitly about social categories, it does a better job.

Feng’s particular 3-D models are a niche algorithm in facial recognition, says Jain—the trendy algorithms right now use 2-D photos because 3-D face data is hard to work with. But other more widespread techniques also lump people into categories to improve their performance. A more common 3-D face model, known as a person-specific model, also often uses face templates. Depending on whether the person in the picture is a man, woman, infant, or an elderly person, the algorithm will start with a different template. For specific 2-D machine learning algorithms that verify that two photographs contain the same person, researchers have demonstrated that if you break down different appearance attributes—gender, race, but also eye color, expression—it will also perform more accurately.

So if you teach an algorithm about race, does that make it racist? Not necessarily, says sociologist Alondra Nelson of Columbia University, who studies the ethics of new technologies. Social scientists categorize data using demographic information all the time, in response to how society has already structured itself. For example, sociologists often analyze behaviors along gender or racial lines. “We live in a world that uses race for everything,” says Nelson. “I don’t understand the argument that we’re not supposed to here.” Existing databases—the FBI’s face depository, and the census—already stick people in predetermined boxes, so if you want an algorithm to work with these databases, you’ll have to use those categories.

However, Nelson points out, it’s important that computer scientists think through why they’ve chosen to use race over other categories. It’s possible that other variables with less potential for discrimination or bias would be just as effective.“Would it be OK to pick categories like, blue eyes, brown eyes, thin nose, not thin nose, or whatever—and not have it to do with race at all?” says Nelson.

Researchers need to imagine the possible applications of their work, particularly the ones that governments or institutions of power might use, says Nelson. Last year, the FBI released surveillance footage they took to monitor Black Lives Matter protests in Baltimore—whose state police department has been using facial recognition software since 2011. “As this work gets more technically complicated, it falls on researchers not just to do the technical work, but the ethical work as well,” Nelson says. In other words, the software in Snapchat—how could the cops use it?

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/should-we-teach-facial-recognition-technology-about-race/

Spotify and Tencent agree to swap stakes in their music businesses

Tencent’s overseas investment splurge continues after the company confirmed a deal with Spotify that will see the duo make investments in each other’s music businesses.

Tencent Music Entertainment (TME), the Chinese firm’s subsidiary that manages its music streaming and karaoke services, will make an undisclosed minority investment in Spotify through new shares, while Spotify will buy a similar undisclosed stake in TME. Further to that, Tencent will make its own investment in Spotify by purchasing secondary shares from existing backers.

“Following these transactions, Spotify will hold a minority stake in TME, and both Tencent and TME will hold minority stakes in Spotify,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Spotify’s IPO is hotly anticipated and it has been tipped to take place as soon as next year. Potentially, the company could opt for a “direct listing” which would mean going public without doing an IPO. In other words it is just insiders, not the company, that sells shares to the stock market.

It’s unclear whether this deal impacts the potential for a direct listing.

Tencent became Asia’s first $500 billion company by market cap primarily by virtue of its surging business interests in China, which include a lucrative PC-mobile games business and China’s top messaging app WeChat.

The firm has, however, expanded its presence outside of China significantly through investments. Deals with Tesla and Snapchat, two public U.S. businesses, are perhaps the highlights, but Tencent has also put money into in India-based unicorns Flipkartmessaging app Hikehealth portal Practo and Uber rival Ola. Other earlier-stage deals include flying cars, lunar drones and asteroid mining, while longer-standing investments like Sogou (search) and China Literature (e-publishing) have gone public over the past month.

TME has been tipped to go public — potentially in Hong Kong and at a $10 billion valuation — in the coming period. Its listing would follow successful IPOs from Tencent’s e-book subsidiary China Literature, as well as Yixin and search engine Sogou, both of which are in Tencent’s investment portfolio.

There have clearly been talks between both sides. Earlier this year, we reported that Tencent had held talks to potentially acquire Spotify but they broke down. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the two companies were in talks to exchange equity ahead of today’s announcement. The publication claimed that each company’s stake would be less than 10 percent.

The Tencent-Spotify alliance comes one day after Bloomberg reported that Google’s YouTube is planning to release its own music streaming service next year. The service has reportedly secured the support of Warner with Sony and Universal currently in talks.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/08/spotify-tencent-share-swap/

30 Kickass Affirmations For Going No Contact With An Abusive Narcissist

God & Man

No Contact from a narcissistic or otherwise abusive, toxic ex-partner can be a rewarding and challenging time. Survivors of emotional and/or physical abuse are not only paving a new path to freedom and rebirth, they may also be struggling with the effects of cognitive dissonance, fear, obligation and guilt (FOG), as well as the traumatic effects of the abuse on their minds, bodies and spirits. They may also encounter stalking or harassment from their abusive partners in their attempts to detach from them, especially if they ‘dared’ to leave those partners first.

Due to biochemical and trauma bonding with their abusers, survivors may also struggle to not contact their ex-partner or check up on them due to being conditioned to rely upon their abuser’s approval and validation during the abuse cycle as a survival mechanism.

Considering the fact that detoxing from an abusive relationship is very much like recovering from an addiction, ‘rehab’ from this type of toxicity needs to be addressed in a way that is both compassionate and empowering.

These positive affirmations can help you reconnect back to your sense of reality when you may be plagued by emotional flashbacks, triggers or cravings to reconnect with an abusive partner. I’ve also included brief explanations of each affirmation, in case any of them need further clarification in order to better appreciate the underlying meaning for each.

For those who may have implemented Low Contact due to co-parenting with an abuser, you can feel free to customize these various phrases to best suit your situation. You may also want to brainstorm your own affirmations that are best tailored to your unique needs and desires.

1. Every act of silence is a protection against psychological violence.

Every time you choose not to check up on, respond or reach out to an abusive ex-partner, you demonstrate that you value yourself, you value your time, your new life and your right not to be subjected to abuse or mistreatment. You protect yourself from traumatizing information or emotional violence that could further retraumatize you and ensnare you back into an abuse cycle. A cycle that can only expose you to more pain, heartache and a pervasive sense of hopelessness. You have escaped from the abuse – don’t let yourself reenter the cycle right back into a seemingly inescapable situation again. It can get more and more difficult to leave each time you do.

2. I have a right to be free from abuse. Every human being has that right and I do, too.

We have to remember that we are just like any other human being – including those who have never been in an abusive relationship or those who have never tolerated any form of abuse if they encountered it. They had the right not to be abused and we do too. This is not to blame or shame anyone who has stayed in an abusive relationship; there are many reasons why abuse survivors stay well beyond the first incident of abuse, including the trauma repetition cycle that arises due to subconscious wounding from childhood. This is simply a reminder that there are many people who are in healthy relationships – and as a human being, you are of the same.

3. No one can take away the power I have within me.

It may come as a surprise to you, but narcissistic abusers don’t actually hold any authentic inner power – they take away power from others because they have none within themselves. They have no sense of core identity – they need us more than we need them (even if it feels otherwise). They leech off of our light – we are life source, their narcissistic supply and they are the energetic vampires who live off our resources, our talents, and our empathy and compassion.

4. My will is stronger than an abuser’s attempts to bully me.

If you’re suffering from PTSD or Complex PTSD and you’re hearing your abuser’s voice and/or are being met with hoovering attempts to shame you back into the abuse cycle, you’re not alone. Many survivors of abuse are left reeling from the bullying behavior of their ex-partner. They cannot understand why their abusive ex-partner refuses to leave them alone, stalks or harasses them, or even goes so far as to flaunt their new source of supply to them as a way to provoke them. Remember: the abuser’s tactics cannot work on you as effectively if you are willing to prioritize your freedom over their attempts to bully you. The bullying may hurt and you will have to address it as you process the trauma, but where there is a strong will, there is an even stronger survivor who can meet any challenge along the way.

5. I am stronger than empty threats.

Abusive ex-partners may smear you, slander you or even threaten to release personal information about you, especially if you ‘discard’ them first due to narcissistic rage and injury. They want to regain power and control to put you through an even worse discard and essentially ‘win’ the break-up or save face after the ending of the relationship. Much of these are empty threats. It’s true that more dangerous narcissists may follow through with their threats, but the point is that you can choose how you respond to their threats. You have choices and options to protect yourself and document those threats in case you need to ever take legal action. You can go to law enforcement if you have to (and feel safe doing so). You can also seek support from a lawyer and/or counselor who can offer you insights into your particular situation. What you have to do is give into the threats of emotional blackmail and go back into an abusive relationship only to be terrorized in an even worse fashion than before. Who wants to be in a relationship where you are coerced back in?

6. I will defend and protect myself, no matter what.

Whether that means getting a restraining order, changing your number or blocking them from all social media platforms, do whatever you need to do to protect yourself from the narcissist’s manipulation and abuse on your journey to No Contact (or Low Contact if co-parenting). You don’t deserve to be retraumatized, in any shape, way or form. Seek support from your local domestic violence shelter (yes, emotional abuse is still violence), find a trauma-informed therapist, research local support groups, Meetups or group therapy focused on trauma recovery and support. Find any and all support you can to help build and reinforce the fortress of protection around you. The more quality support you have, the more confident you’ll be in moving forward without your toxic ex-partner.

7. I never give up; I keep going.

No matter how difficult it becomes, you never give up. Even if you make a mistake, all is not lost. How do you beat an addiction? You don’t let imperfection impede you from progressing on your path. You keep going. If you fell off the wagon and broke No Contact (whether by checking up on the narcissist or responding to them), don’t judge yourself too harshly. Self-judgment leads to the same sense of unworthiness that leads you back into looking for validation from toxic people. Instead, get back on the wagon and commit yourself to the journey even more fully. Practice mindfulness and radical acceptance of any urges you might have without acting upon them and participating in more self-sabotage. Know that every setback is simply bringing up the core wounds you need to heal in order to move forward with even more strength and determination than before. Understand the triggers that led to your decision to break No Contact to mitigate them in the future and grieve for the illusion the narcissistic abuser presented to you (the ‘false mask’ they presented). Know that this person never truly existed and that the promise of a relationship that was fabricated in the idealization phase led you to an investment that ultimately led to more loss than gain.

8. My life is worth more than empty promises.

When a narcissistic abuser is hoovering you, they are re-idealizing you and making the same promises they made in the beginning of the relationship. They promised to change, to love and care for you, to always support you and be there for you. Yet they invalidated, belittled and degraded you instead. These empty promises are just another way to control and coerce you back into the abuse cycle. Don’t feed into the illusion of what the relationship could have been. Instead, acknowledge it for what it was: moments of terror merged with false promises that were never carried out. You deserve more than empty promises: you deserve the real thing. The true promise of a new and healthier life awaits you: make a promise to yourself that you will pursue that new reality instead.

9. This is life or death and I choose life. Every time.

Many abuse survivors have a high level of resilience as well as a pain threshold that could rival a sumo wrestler or someone walking on hot coals without so much as a grimace. Even if you feel like you can ‘deal with’ further abuse even after the break-up, consider that this is truly a life or death situation. If you are escaping from a physical abuser, this affirmation hits home. Yet even if you’re coming out of an emotionally abusive relationship, it also holds weight. I know many might not think of emotional violence as a life or death situation, but considering the suicides that occur from bullying and domestic violence and the fact that domestic violence survivors are actually at a higher risk of committing suicide, it is truer than we think. Each time we sacrifice our peace of mind for one more ‘hit’ of the abuse rather than detoxing from the relationship, we also belittle, demean and abuse ourselves.  These incidents build up collectively to reenact the same sense of hopelessness we had during the abusive relationship and can pose severe harm to our psyche over time due to the cumulative impact of traumatic and retraumatizing experiences. By breaking No Contact, we convince ourselves that we are unworthy of something more than being with a toxic person. In the case of life or death, be sure to choose your new life without your abuser…each and every time.

10. Loneliness is infinitely better than any form of abuse.

After an abusive relationship, we may begin to romanticize our ex-partner in times of loneliness. We might even wonder if it was ‘worth’ leaving the abuse since we now feel so alone. We may have mixed emotions about our abuser as the “good times” come flooding back in the absence of our abuser.

The ‘good memories’ we had with our abuser never justify the abuse or make up for them. Loneliness can be a sign that you are working through and processing the trauma. It’s a sign that you may need to be more present with yourself and surround yourself with better support networks. It’s also a sign that you are in dire need of learning to enjoy your own company. Acknowledge and validate the loneliness, but don’t resist it by pursuing more toxic people or going back to the same toxic relationship. Survivors often need a period of self-isolation to reflect and recover from the trauma before they date or pursue new friendships. Take this time to heal and don’t rush the process: it’s very much needed in order for you to be in an optimal state of mental health. The more healed you are, the better the quality of your future relationships will be, whether with new friends and/or partners.

11. I deserve so much more than to be an emotional punching bag.

When you’re in an abusive relationship, you are not in a healthy, reciprocal relationship. You are an emotional punching bag for an immature and unstable person. They get to take all of their flaws, their insecurities, their internal garbage and spew it onto you. Throughout the relationship, you were trained by your abuser to ‘take it’ as a natural part of being in a relationship with them. No more. You deserve more than to be someone’s emotional punching bag. You deserve a mutually respectful relationship where love and compassion are the default.

12. I can communicate my feelings to people who deserve to hear my voice.

We don’t have to use our voice with people who are committed to misunderstanding, invalidating and mistreating us. We can reserve our energy and time for people who are willing to see our beautiful qualities and celebrate them. We can use our voice for people who truly want to help us, who appreciate our help and reciprocate our efforts. Instead of wasting your precious voice on people who will always be intent on silencing you, why not use it to help those who really need it, to comfort someone who is just as empathic and compassionate as you are, to receive insights from a trusted professional or to share your story and change the world? I guarantee you that helping people who are to evolve (and this includes yourself!) is a much better use of your voice than trying to convince a person without empathy to treat you well. It’s more likely to be effective, too!

13. My mental health is my number one priority.

Make sure you’re engaging in extreme self-care during the No Contact journey. This means checking with yourself every moment of the day to ensure that you are thinking healthy thoughts, taking advantage of the diverse healing modalities available to you, and addressing any symptoms of trauma that may be interfering with your ability to function in day-to-day life. If your mental health is suffering, all other aspects of your life will also feel the impact. So take care of yourself – and don’t be afraid to seek professional support if you need it. No one should have to go through this turmoil alone.

14. Staying sane is more important than being validated by an abuser.

Often when we have been devalued by an abuser, we become controlled by the need to be validated by them as ‘worthy.’ This need becomes especially amplified when we see that the abuser seems to have moved on with a new victim. This is because the abuser was the source of our pervasive sense of unworthiness throughout the abuse cycle and we now feel as if we need confirmation that we were not the problem. Unfortunately, the reality is that narcissistic abuse will inevitably leave us without any closure from the toxic ex-partner. Narcissists are masters of impression management and they rarely expose what is actually happening behind closed doors – so all you are likely to see is them idealizing their victims for the public, just like they did with you. That’s why you must prioritize your own sanity by accepting that while you may never get closure or confirmation of your worth from the narcissist, you can find ways of cultivating your own belief in your self-worth. This means stepping away from the narcissist’s public façade and investing in living your own best life.

15, 16, and 17. I trust my own reality. I know and trust what I experienced and felt. I validate myself.

These are a set of affirmations that can help you to resist the gaslighting attempts of your ex-partner or their harem.

This affirmation is here to remind you that despite the amount of people your abuser may have fooled, no one has the right to take away the reality of the abuse that you endured. You know what you experienced – you know how valid it was and the impact that it left upon you. It doesn’t matter how charming the narcissistic abuser is or who chooses to believe them; let their harem members learn at their own pace who the narcissist is. You’re not here to convince anyone. You’re here to validate yourself and resist the gaslighting attempts to distort your reality and that of the abuse. Don’t feel obligated to protect your abuser, minimize, rationalize or deny the abuse you endured. Honor and acknowledge your authentic emotions as well as depth of trauma you experienced.

18. I am worthy, I am beautiful (or handsome), I am brave, I am strong, I am fearless.

These are another set of positive affirmations that can help remind you of how worthy and courageous you truly are, with or without a partner. It conditions you into believing good things about yourself, especially if you’re used to hearing harsh words from your abuser. I recommend recording these into a tape recorder or voice recording application on your phone and listening to them on a daily basis just to get yourself used to hearing them. Repetition is essential to deprogramming the harmful messages your abuser instilled in you and reprogramming your mind for future success.

19. Each second, each minute, each hour, each day, each month, each year, I am getting stronger.

While you may have moments of powerlessness and hopelessness from time to time, rest assured that as you move forward with No Contact, you will gain more and more strength and resilience than you ever knew was possible. As more time passes and as more trauma is processed and addressed, the more space you’ll carve out to become the person you were meant to be. You’ll eventually reach a point in your healing journey where the strong attachment to the abusive person has ‘dulled’ in its emotional potency.

20. Leaving (or being left) was the best thing that ever happened to me. I made that happen.

It was your agency and your powerful light that got you through the worst moments of your life so never underestimate your ability to survive after the abuse. There are so many victims still in abusive relationships – including the new source of supply. You’ve awakened and you’ve taken back control over your life. This is a blessing that should not be taken for granted. Instead of focusing on the ways you still feel trapped, validate your grief while allowing yourself to celebrate the ways you’ve been freed.

21. I am a motherf*cking badass. I can survive anything. And I will thrive.

For those who need that extra punch (and dose of profanity along with their reality check), this affirmation can charge you with the determination and badassery needed to rise above the pain and channel it into something greater. Remember: for every crucifixion, there is an even greater possibility for resurrection. Transform all the grief and outrage you feel into your greater good: use it to fuel you to reach greater heights, achieve your goals and kick some serious butt in all facets of your life.

22. Do no harm; take no shit.
We don’t have to be vindictive or retaliate against our ex-partners in order to take care of ourselves, set boundaries or to lead victorious lives. At the same time, we don’t have to internalize anyone else’s garbage. You can empower yourself by establishing what your boundaries are and following through with them – each and every time. Whether it be with your abusive ex-partner or a new acquaintance, the healing journey is all about learning how to implement healthier boundaries and becoming more assertive in our authentic truth.

23. My success is their karma. Karma can answer him or her – I am too busy.

Live your life and try to minimize your focus on what the narcissist is doing, who he or she is seeing or what they are getting away with. Let the narcissist learn at his or her own pace what life is all about; you don’t need to educate a grown ass human being on how to be a decent person. You don’t need to give karma a ‘push’ either – let it unravel and unfold organically, if at all.

24. I am the life source. I am the Light. Without me, there is nothing to feed on.

These are emotional vampires we’re dealing with; it’s up to you to make sure that they don’t leave nourished on your supply while you’re left malnourished, drained and underfed after an interaction with them. Without their sources of supply, narcissists live in the darkness of their own emotional void. Don’t let your mind, your body and your soul be part of their feeding queue. Remove yourself completely from the equation altogether. If they don’t get to feast upon your emotions, your commitment or your investment, you get to nourish yourself with a healthy mind and life.

25. They don’t miss me as a person – they miss controlling and mistreating me.

Narcissistic ex-partners only try to play the ‘let’s be friends’ card because they miss what you provide for them. They miss putting you down. They don’t miss you or any other victim as a person because they truly cannot even wrap their heads around people as individual human beings. To them, supply is supply and they rarely ‘know’ their sources of supply beyond a shallow impression of them as objects to control and misuse for their own gain. Remember that when a narcissistic abuser tries to hoover you, saying they miss you, what they’re saying is that they miss the power and control they felt when they were able to provoke your emotions.

26. They don’t love or care about me – they care about fulfilling their own needs.

Normal partners would leave their ex-partners alone and move forward especially after they realized that their ex-partners were not the one for them. Narcissists don’t care what is best for their ex-partners; they don’t care if they’re potentially retraumatizing them by reaching out to them or flaunting new supply. They want to fulfill their own needs and it doesn’t matter who they hurt in the process. Give yourself this reality check each and every time you find yourself romanticizing the abuser: they do not love or care about you, at all. If they did, they would have made the effort to treat you better. Love is expressed in actions, not empty words.

27. Each time I don’t respond or set a boundary, I remind myself of what I am worth.

You are truly worthy, warrior, and you don’t need anybody else to validate your worth to you. You are precious, valuable and enough. Know it and own it; don’t let anyone take away your divine self-worth from you. Each time that you permit yourself to stick to No Contact, you communicate to yourself that you are worthy of a better life. Continue to tell yourself that you are whole just as you are and so very deserving of the best life possible. Treat yourself as if you were already whole and one day you will realize you’ve internalized this belief. Feeling and knowing that you are enough goes beyond just an affirmation; it can lead to success beyond your wildest dreams. You just have to be willing to be receptive to this belief. Gently invite it into your life and find ways to cultivate it every day until it is so fully rooted in your psyche that it has no choice other than to blossom.

28. I care about and love myself.

Be gentle with yourself during this time. Treat yourself as you would a dear friend or a wounded baby bird. How would you take care of yourself? What would you tell someone you love who is hurting? How would you treat someone who you wanted the best for? Treat yourself that exact way – you deserve all the care, compassion and validation that you tried to give to the narcissist.

29. I am my own best friend. I am my own best advocate.

You can have a nourishing support network, but at the end of the day, you are the only one who can advocate for yourself and your healing. You are the only person who can act on your own behalf and make the right choices for your recovery process. Nobody can do it for you. So advocate for yourself, each and every day: turn off the phone, the computer and any form of communication with the narcissistic abuser and walk away from temptation. You are worth so much more than this toxic person could ever give you.

30. I love myself. Truly and always, I love myself. And for the first time in a long time, I am putting myself first.

The journey to healing is about you. Not your ex-partner, your friends, your family, or society. You may have placed your mental health and basic needs on the back burner for a long time when you were in this abusive relationship. Now it’s finally time to prioritize you, your needs, your dreams, your desires and what you personally want to manifest in your life. Take this valuable time to really get to know yourself and honor your goals. You deserve to make all your dreams come to life. It’s time for you to shine – and no one is ever going to get to dim your light ever again.

Want more writing like this? Read the book

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/shahida-arabi/2017/05/30-kickass-affirmations-for-going-no-contact-with-an-abusive-narcissist/

Starbucks Christmas Tree Frappuccino just tastes like sugar and regret

Please drive this away from me.
Image: STARBUCKS

Nothing says Christmas like a cold cup of sugar. 

At least that’s what I kept telling myself as I took a sip, and another one of the Christmas Tree Frappuccino. It’s Starbucks’ latest concoction that has people running out to corporate coffee shops, where they spend $5 and most likely take a bunch of smartphone photos to later post on social media. 

Like this: 

Like any good business reporter, I jumped on the trend Sunday. After my editor shared a piece by The Denver Post reviewing the drink and some tweets of people’s reactions, I asked if I could go get one and try it myself. Because that, my friends, is reporting. 

Well, I’ve been wanting to get one ever since my sister shared the Starbucks ad in our family group Thursday morning. 

Three hours later, my mom shared a picture of hers. Her review: “It is delicious.” Her favorite part was the candied cranberry topping. 

Image: screenshot

Image: screenshot

I had participated in two of the previous limited-edition Starbucks drinks. 

The Unicorn Frappuccino, a trend debut, was actually not too bad in my biased opinion. Though I think I was on an emotional high because I drank them with Chloe the Mini Frenchie (RIP). 

important coffee meeting with @kerrymflynn who you would share a unicorn frappuccino with? 🦄☕️

A post shared by Chloe The Mini Frenchie (@chloetheminifrenchie) on

The Zombie Frappuccino was strange, but I was also in the middle of emceeing an event in Columbus, Ohio. 

I definitely couldn’t let this one escape me. 

And so that’s how I ended up drinking 420 calories on a Sunday morning. Fortunately, I live four blocks from a Starbucks, so it wasn’t too burdensome to put on a jacket and walk out in the cold weather for a frozen beverage. 

The most embarrassing part was probably ordering when I asked for a “Christmas Tree Frappuccino” and the barista replied, “What?” So then I had to repeat myself over a cringeworthy order while the person in front of me just sipped her cup of hot coffee. 

I waited to take a sip until I could take photos. Because, of course, that’s exactly what Starbucks wants us all to do. All of our tweets are free ads. Actually, they’re not just free. We’re not getting paid. We’re paying them. Starbucks is making money having us all make ads for them. It’s brilliant, and I’m happy to be part of it. 

I got home and looked at the drink on my counter. The Matcha whipped cream had melted to half its height from before. I finally noticed that there was no candied cranberry topping. But I regretfully took a sip. And oh man, it was not good.

Thin Mints are great (Disclosure: I’m a Girl Scout). Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream is awesome. 

The Starbucks Christmas Tree Frappuccino is not either of those things. Every sip of this beverage is an overload of sugar. I’d rather crush up a bunch of Thin Mints and mix them with some ice and milk in a blender than continue sipping this. 

I’m not going to tell you not to get a Christmas Tree Frappuccino because you can probably make your own decisions. But this is not good and you can spend $5 on something else. If you need the picture, go to Starbucks and just wait for someone else to order one. But be good to yourself, and don’t drink it. 

Please. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/10/starbucks-christmas-tree-frappuccino-review-sugar-regrets-photos/

Schwarzenegger Did A Creepy Soft-Porn Travel Video In 1983

In 1983, Arnold Schwarzenegger teamed up with Playboy Entertainment to make an educational travel video about Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At least, that was the intention. They wound up making something halfway between a manifesto on why Arnie loves Brazilian ass and an instructional guide on how to sexually assault co-workers.

You can watch the entire thing below (NSFW, as if you couldn’t guess). It’s a little over five minutes long, yet crams in more raw sexual aggression by a male actor than anything I’ve ever seen — and I’ve watched all of Entourage.

The first minute and a half is mostly lingering shots of Rio’s natural beauty — its beaches, its vegetation, its gyrating tits and asses — overlaid with Schwarzenegger’s even-toned introductory voiceover, which could be confused for something from a David Attenborough nature documentary if only it didn’t cram in two sets of exposed breasts before the opening titles.

Arnold’s first stop is the Oba Oba night club, where he’s treated to drinks and a dance show with his guide and interpreter, an attractive young woman who wears a petrified expression that perfectly captures what it’s like to be cornered by a horny Austrian Sasquatch. In a moment that tells you everything you need to know about the inner workings of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s brain, she tells him that Brazilians toast by clinking their glasses and saying the Portuguese word for “health,” which Arnold mishears as “power.” There isn’t an accent on Earth in which the English word “health” sounds like the word “power.” There’s something symbolic in watching a clearly uncomfortable woman saying a word that represents well-being, but being misheard by an big man who thinks she said the word for the utter domination of the weak. Arnold Freudian-slipped words that came from someone else’s mouth.

The woman (Who is never named. None of them are. I’ll call this one Ana) explains to Arnold that American men like boobs, whereas Brazilian men prefer asses. Arnold uses this as an opportunity to turn his ass-based kinship with Brazilian men into the first of what very quickly snowballs into the thousands of sex atrocities he commits throughout the video. It begins simply, with an aggressively flirtatious chuckle in his own admission that he likes asses. Ana responds by nervously stirring her drink so aggressively that she might be trying to create a tornado that will fling her thousands of miles away.

As a dancer approaches, Arnold turns his hands into goggles and starts nodding with his mouth open, like he’s a pit bull whose thirst can only be quenched by Brazilian ass.

This moment held such poignancy that Arnold needed the weight and flowery verbiage of his Attenborough-esque narration to truly capture it: “You know something — after watching the mulatas shake it, I can absolutely understand why Brazil is totally devoted to my favorite body part, the ass.” The future governor of California has the observations of a 13-year-old who cites PornHub’s Brazilian fart porn channel in the bibliography of his geography report on Rio.

After quickly proving that South America will lose 87 percent of its chlamydia the moment his plane departs, Arnold is invited on stage to dance. You can see the moment he realizes this dancing thing isn’t really working out for him. Quick thinker that he is, on the spot he comes up with a brilliant three-stage plan to save face:

Stage 1: Grope one dancer’s ass while spinning her to create a turnstile which alternates between horny joy and abject fear.

Stage 2: Start humping another dancer from behind, much to her displeasure.

Stage 3: Shove your face directly into the crotch of the third dancer and perform a head-bobbing motion that looks like you’re sucking on her protruding vagina.

With all three accomplished, Arnold wins dancing. Raise your trophy aloft, Mr. Universe!

With the scene awash in a dreamy haze that lets us know we’re about to watch a walking boner’s actual sex fantasy, Arnold sits down for a mentally stimulating lunch with a beautiful Portuguese language teacher who was tragically born without a name. I’ll call her Sofia. Sofia teaches Arnold the word amore, meaning love. Perhaps to show off a little, Arnie whips out a word he learned the day before: bunda, a Portuguese slang term for ass. Left on the cutting room floor was footage of Arnold showing off more Portuguese words he learned the day before, like “E. coli” and “pinkeye.”

His commitment to their cultural exchange compels him to teach Sofia the word “biting.” He even gives a little demonstration by snapping into a carrot. From there, the two get lost in a wonderful afternoon exchanging ideas, teaching each other words and phrases of their homelands — or in Arnold’s case, adopted homeland. They laugh and think. They learn and bond. Lunch becomes dinner and dinner becomes dessert. When they’re done scraping their plates clean of delicious flan, they walk away intellectually satisfied and spiritually enriched.

None of that happens. Instead he mouth-fucks her with a carrot while moaning “Yes …” indicating to the head of wardrobe that he just ruined another pair of child-sized Bermuda shorts.

A used VHS copy was available on Amazon for $159.99 just a couple of days before I turned in this column, only to be replaced by a new listing for $189.99. VHS copies of this thing are the new Bitcoin. Stock up, then sell them off to pay your kid’s way through college. This five-minute sizzle reel of horrifying misogynistic behavior was available for purchase on Amazon before Arnold ran for governor of California back in 2003. There are still some reviews dating back to that more shameful time, when a man who was caught on tape treating women like sexual puppets for his pleasure could win elected office. Some say it’s corn dogs, but I think learning from past mistakes is what truly makes the human race great.

On July 4, 2003, four months before Californians chose Schwarzenegger to be their new governor, an anonymous Amazon user left a five-star review titled “Arnold’s Intelligence Truely [sic] Shines (sarcasm)” just days before another reviewer said, “If you are an Arnold fan and like the idea of Girls gone wild, get this one.” The highlight of a review from 2005 titled “The Pervinator” points out that “the camera must be manned by a 13 yr old boy because I have never seen such long genital shots before.” Another, going even further back to 1997, is just one word. It just says “END” — all caps, no punctuation. Five-star review. All four of its reviews give it five stars, and not one of them have anything good to say about it.

I had to know more, so I scrounged up what little information exists out there about Carnival In Rio. Everyone involved in the production except Playboy and Schwarzenegger is a legitimate documentarian. It was the first thing one of the production companies behind it ever made, then they spent the next 20 years producing biographies of old Hollywood stars and historical documentaries for PBS. I figured it was directed by a sleazy early ’80s porn impresario who thought celebrity travel docs would be a great way to sneak full penetration into America’s living rooms. But it wasn’t. The director’s name is Shep Morgan. He produced a lot of boring stuff for PBS, including a bunch of stage plays during his work on the series American Playhouse. One of his early credits was as the production manager on a seminal Cuban-American sitcom produced by PBS’s Miami affiliate called Que Pasa, USA?, which I used to watch as a kid. The director of the video wherein Arnold Schwarzenegger mouth-fucks a teacher with produce was partially responsible for my upbringing. Jesus.

Everyone in this production is trying to tell the fascinating story of the cultural significance of one of the biggest parties in the world, but Playboy and Schwarzenegger kidnapped these PBS dorks and made them film softcore porn and sexual assaults. I could easily imagine these stuffy documentarians telling Arnold to nod thoughtfully while Brazilians spoke with passion about what Carnival means to them, but then falling apart the second he starts fondling their tits mid-answer.

“No, Mister Schwarzenegger! We told you to ask your questions and nod! Ask and nod! That’s it!”

“BUT HOW CAAN I BE EXPECTED TO IKNORE DER BEAUTIFUL TITTIES?! I AM THE UNIVERSE!”

“No, you’re Mister Universe, Mister Schwarzenegger. And it’s more of a ceremonial title.”

“LOOK, I KNOW YOU DWEEBS WANT TO MAKE DOCUMENTTREES ABOUT MARTIN LUTHER AND THE GREEKS, BUT STOP BEING BABIES AND POINT DEE CAMERA AT HER ASSHOLE.”

Luis still thinks it’s corn dogs. You can find him on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

Want a musclebound role model who won’t let you down? There’s always Stretch Armstrong! His arms (and his morals) will never give out!

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For more, check out My Crazy Life As Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s Stunt Double and 27 Disappointing Ads By Celebrities Who Should Know Better.

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What The Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel Of Cosmic Horror, the third book in David Wong’s John Dies At The End series, is available now!

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/schwarzenegger-did-creepy-soft-porn-travel-video-in-1983/

Lil Peep Died From An Overdose Of Fentanyl And Xanax, His Toxicology Report Confirms

Investigators have

And more importantly, investigators can now confirm that the cause of death came from “the combined toxic effects of fentanyl and alprazolam,” according to reports out first this afternoon in TMZ.

Alprazolam is a generic form of Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug.

Toxicology also found that there were a LOT of other drugs in Lil Peep’s system, too. In all, he tested positive for cocaine, marijuana, and the painkiller Tramadol in his blood, with his urine testing positive for all of those drugs plus a few opiates, including Hydrocodone, Dilaudid, and Oxycodone among others.

Related: AC/DC Guitarist Malcolm Young Has Died At 64

Wow.

Interestingly, there was no alcohol in Lil Peep’s system at the time of his death.

Sad, scary stuff to cap what is still such a devastating story.

[Image via Instagram.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-12-08-lil-peep-cause-of-death-overdose-accidental-fentanyl-xanax-drugs-system-toxicology

‘Do Not Resuscitate’ tattoo causes ER ethical dilemma

Emergency room doctors at a University of Miami hospital faced a vexing ethical dilemma when paramedics wheeled in an unconscious man with a “Do Not Resuscitate” chest tattoo.

The case is described in a case study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctors treating the 70-year-old diabetic patient at first began lifesaving efforts. The patient had an elevated blood-alcohol level and a history of pulmonary disease.

But tatooed do-not-resuscitate requests are not considered valid by the Florida Department of Health, and the doctors were unable to immediately locate the man’s family members or even identify him.

“We initially decided not to honor the tattoo, invoking the principle of not choosing an irreversible path when faced with uncertainty,” four University of Miami doctors write in the case study.

So they began administering antibiotics and intravenous fluids.

“This decision left us conflicted owing to the patient’s extraordinary effort to make his presumed advance directive known,” the doctors write. “Therefore, an ethics consultation was requested.”

Ethics consultants soon advised the doctors that the tattoo likely represented his wishes and should be honored.

The consultants told the physicians that “the law is sometimes not nimble enough to support patient-centered care and respect for patients’ best interest,” according to the doctors.

After a DNR order was written, officials found an official copy of the man’s DNR order from the Florida Department of Health. He died overnight without further lifesaving efforts, the doctors write.

“We were relieved to find his written DNR request, especially because a review of the literature identified a case report of a person whose DNR tattoo did not reflect his current wishes,” the doctors add.

Gregg Re is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @gregg_re.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/12/01/do-not-resuscitate-tattoo-causes-er-ethical-dilemma.html

Trump Guts 2 Protected National Monuments In Utah

WASHINGTON — Flanked by a group of Utah officials at the Capitol in Salt Lake City, President Donald Trump on Monday signed a pair of proclamations to dismantle two of the state’s national monuments — a move that opens the door for oil, gas and other development on public land that has been protected.

The boundary of Bears Ears National Monument, a 1.35 million-acre landscape named after a pair of buttes and home to thousands of Native American archeological and cultural sites, will shrink by about 85 percent. The 1.87 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the largest land national monument in the country, will be cut roughly in half.

“I’ve come to Utah to take a very historic action to reverse federal overreach and return the rights of this land to your citizens,” Trump said during his speech.

SAUL LOEB via Getty Images
President Donald Trump holds up a pen after signing the hat of Bruce Adams, chairman of the San Juan County Commission and a vocal opponent of Bears Ears National Monument. 

The action — the largest reduction of national monuments in history — follows an administrative review of recent monument designations that Trump launched in April. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said early on that “there is no predetermined outcome on any monument,” but the criticism he and Trump have made in regard to several recent designations left many wondering whether the review was mostly for show.

There was absolutely no consultation with our nation in advance of this decision. Ethel Branch, attorney general for the Navajo Nation

The president will no doubt face a slew of legal challenges over the new proclamations, most notably from the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition. The group of five Native American tribes petitioned for Bears Ears to be given monument status.

Ethel Branch, the attorney general for the Navajo Nation, told reporters in a call ahead of Trump’s trip to Utah that the looming announcement was “absolutely shocking” and totally “disrespectful” of the decades of work that went into establishing Bears Ears.

“There was absolutely no consultation with our nation in advance of this decision. We were greatly upset by that,” Branch said. “And ultimately, the president doesn’t have authority to take the steps he seeks to take on Monday. We plan to challenge that in court.” 

Presidents have reduced the size of monuments before ― in 1915, for instance, Woodrow Wilson trimmed more than 300,000 acres from Mount Olympus ―  but there is no legal precedent that establishes a president’s authority to abolish, shrink or otherwise weaken national monuments. 

Congress, not the president, has the sole legal power to rescind or weaken protections for monuments designated under the Antiquities Act, four legal scholars concluded in June. Sixteen presidents have used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate 157 monuments.

TIM PETERSON/BEARS EARS INTER-TRIBAL COALITION
The area known as Bears Ears, near Blanding, Utah, was designated a national monument by President Barack Obama in 2016.

Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante have been at the center of a fiery debate over the size and scope of such protected sites. 

Members of Utah’s Republican delegation and other local officials who have a reputation for attacking public lands have blasted the establishment of monuments in their state, referring to them as federal land grabs by Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. And they were quick to call on Trump to overturn or drastically shrink the sites.

Trump signed a pair of executive orders in April that threatened the future of 27 national monuments. At the signing ceremony, he said the designation of Bears Ears “should never have happened” and praised Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) for his “never-ending prodding” on the issue. And Trump boasted that he would end “another egregious abuse of federal power,” put “states back in charge” and open up protected areas to “tremendously positive things.”

Monday’s proclamations reduce Bears Ears to 201,876 acres and Grand Staircase-Escalante to 1,003,863 acres — a collective loss of more than 2 million acres. Additionally, they divvy up both monuments into several smaller units.

According to maps distributed Monday, Bears Ears will consist of two disconnected areas called Indian Creek and Shash Jaa. Grand Staircase-Escalante will consist of three units: Grand Staircase, Escalante Canyons and Kaiparowitz. 

During his speech Monday, Trump railed against recent administrations for abusing the Antiquities Act and against “far-away bureaucrats” in Washington, D.C., for thinking they know more about managing Utah lands than local residents do.

“These abuses of the Antiquities Act have not just threatened your local economies, they’ve threatened your very way of life,” Trump said. “They’ve threatened your hearts.” 

“Public lands will once again be for public use,” he added.

In a tweet on Monday, former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the decision would solidify Trump’s place as “the most anti-conservation president in our history.” 

“Mr Trump, some promises are worth keeping,” she wrote in an opinion piece for The Guardian. “Some places should remain forever.”

Environmental groups were quick to condemn Trump’s proclamations, and several promised to sue. 

“This is a shameful and illegal attack on our nation’s protected lands,” Jamie Rappaport Clark, president the conservation nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife, said in a statement. “National monuments are designated for their scientific, cultural and conservation value ­— because they are too important to damage and degrade. Teddy Roosevelt is rolling in his grave.”

Roosevelt — of whom Zinke calls himself an “unapologetic admirer and disciple” — signed the Antiquities Act into law in 1906 and used it to designated more than 800,000 acres of the Grand Canyon as a national monument. He also designated the 20,629-acre Chaco Canyon National Monument and the 610,000-acre Mount Olympus National Monument. 

While Native American tribes are expected to lead the legal battle against Trump’s decision to shrink Bears Ears, Earthjustice announced Monday that it is representing eight conservation groups in a lawsuit to protect Grand Staircase-Escalante’s boundaries. 

“President Trump has perpetrated a terrible violation of America’s public lands and heritage by going after this dinosaur treasure trove,” Heidi McIntosh, a managing attorney at Earthjustice, said in a statement. “While past presidents have used the Antiquities Act to protect unique lands and cultural sites in America, Trump is instead mangling the law, opening this national monument to coal mining instead of protecting its scientific, historic, and wild heritage. We will not let this stand.”

Zinke has recommended Trump shrink or otherwise modify at least 10 other existing national monuments, according to a leaked copy of the report that the interior secretary submitted to the White House in late August. Zinke has also recommended Trump create three new national monuments, including a 130,00-acre monument in the Badger-Two Medicine area of his home state of Montana — a move many see as hypocritical. 

“It’s certainly encouraging to see Secretary Zinke advocating for permanent protect of the Badger-Two Medicine, but he can’t have it both ways,” Kate Kelly, public lands director at the Center for American Progress, told HuffPost. “It’s unacceptable to propose monument protection of the Badger in his own backyard of Montana, while at same time stripping protections from Bears Ears and other sacred places for Native Americans. With President Trump attempting to render monument protections as impermanent, Zinke’s proposal rings as hollow and politically self-serving.”

Monday’s announcement notably comes a week after Trump proved unable to get through an event at the White House to recognize Native American Code Talkers — largely Navajo Marines who transmitted commands over the radio to soldiers overseas in their native language during World War II — without resurrecting his favorite insult for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). 

“You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump told Code Talkers during the event. “Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”

This article has been updated with addition details from Trump’s speech on Monday, and with reactions to his proclamations. 

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-national-monuments-utah-proclomation_us_5a25478ee4b03350e0b7fa85

Whats Behind Donald Trumps Impulse to Sabotage Himself?

Why would President Donald Trump jeopardize the last shot he has of passing a major part of his agenda in 2016 (tax reform) just in order to fire off a couple of angry tweets?

In case you missed it, he did it again. What is more, one of his tweets was attacking Senator Jeff Flake.

On Friday, I warned about the tenuous nature of tax reform, and they can only afford to lose two votes in the senate (and, I should add, there are several Republicans who could conceivably vote against the Senate bill, including: Rand Paul, John McCain, Ron Johnson, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Bob Corker, and Jeff Flake).

Again, the question comes up: Why would Trump risk his own agenda just to send a couple of angry, vindictive tweets?

One theory holds that Trump is playing three-dimensional chessthat he intentionally wants to distract us with a salacious diversion, while Congress pushes through tax cuts for the rich. But there are problems with the Trump knows exactly what hes doing! theory, not the least of which is the fact that this is a pattern that has demonstrably failed. Heres something I observed in the immediate wake of health care reforms failure in the Senate this past July:

In the days leading up to a vote in which Republicans fell one vote short of passing an admittedly ridiculous skinny Obamacare repeal bill, Donald Trump: (a) engaged in an ugly public dispute with his conservative attorney general, (b) threatened to veto a veto-proof Russian sanctions bill, (c) hired a new communications director who threatened to sic the FBI on Trumps chief of staff for leaking (he didnt leak)and engaged in an expletives-laden interview with a reporter, (d) delivered a speech to the Boy Scouts that they had to apologize for, and (e) tweeted out a new policy on transgender military members that caught his joint chiefs unawares.

It should be noted that two of the five transgressions cited above involved his use of Twitter.

If Trumps genius was to distract and to provide cover for the senate to stealthily repeal Obamacare (while he took all the heat) worked, then I missed the bill signing in the Rose Garden.

So why does Trump do this? I have three theories.

1. Its possible that he is self-sabotaging. Psychology Today says that behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals. Sometimes people who are afraid of failing at something they earnestly attempted will give themselves an out by unconsciously engaging in behavior that can later be cited as an excuse for later failure. For this reason, people may go out drinking the night before they take the SATs. That way if they test poorly, they can always blame in on the hangover, because dealing with the possibility that they might not be that intelligent is too painful to confront.

According to Margaret Paul, Ph.D., We all have a survival part that is programmed into us which I call our ego-wounded self. It gets activated by fear and goes into action to try to protect us from getting hurt.

Its risky to put Donald Trump on the couch, but he is clearly someone who likes to blame others for failures, even as he shoots himself in the foot. By manufacturing excuses for his failure, Trump inoculates himself against some criticism, even as he undermines the kind of legislation that might someday help define him as a successful president who accomplished things.

Of course, circling back to the litany of distractions Trump dropped on us just prior to the failure of the health care reform vote, one could argue that he was simply engaging in his normal self-destructive behavior. At the very least, this is evidence that he doesnt tone things down in advance of an important vote.

But again, the point here is that if this is some sort of grand scheme to distract us while Congress toils away under the radar, it isnt working. That leaves us with options that are less Machiavellian, and more uncontrollable. And if Trump isnt subconsciously self-sabotaging, maybe he is consciously doing it?

2. Its the plan. Too often, we make the mistake of assuming that Trump is a normal politician who has normal goals (such as passing an agenda). But what if this is the old way of thinking? Heres something I wrote about this theory a few weeks ago:

Those of us who assume that presidents have to put legislative points on the board assume that failure to do so will depress the GOP base. But Trumps fans see victories everywhere. Picking a fight with the NFL is just as good as repealing Obamacaremaybe better in a pop-culture, reality-TV world. Ditto telling squishy senators like Jeff Flake Youre fired!

Think of it this way, if Donald Trumps real goal is the Bannonite strategy of burning down the house in order to rebuild it in his image later, then who benefits most from passing tax reform? The truth is that mainstream conservatives and establishment Republicans like this supply-side tax bill that cuts corporate taxes much more than nationalists do.

If Congress functions correctly, the establishment wins. It means that governing is actually possible. It means that incumbent senators can run for reelection claiming they actually did something. Conversely, congressional dysfunction actually proves the Bannonite point about liberal democracy being impotent. So maybe Trump is doing this on purpose?

3. Impulse control. The first two theories are sort of opposites. One argues that Trump is unconsciously self-sabotaging, while the other argues that he is intentionally sabotaging the establishment. Occams Razor suggests that both theories are examples of a writer who is over-thinking this all.

The simplest theory is that Trump cannot resist punching back when he feels threatened or attacked. This might be a close cousin to self-sabotage, but its not the same thing.

When you consider that Trumps Sunday tweets involved attacking the father of a basketball player (who, rather than praise Trump, sought to diminish his role in returning his son who was being held by China), and attacking Jeff Flake (who had recently been captured on a live mike criticizing Trump), this makes sense.

Trump isnt self-sabotaging on purpose, instead, hes just easily bated into counter-punchingregardless of the impact it might have on his long-term goals

So which of the three theories is correct? Im only an amateur Trumpologist, but my gut is always to assume the simplest explanation is correct. Having said that, I think all three are plausible. And Im not sure, frankly, which is the worst.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/whats-behind-donald-trumps-impulse-to-sabotage-himself