Word of the Day: Dissociation

Ok. I decided after some self-reflection that I want to try to get my “Word of the Day” series going again. I will admit up front that it won’t likely actually be daily. A few posts now and then may even be repeats from other blogs or from Facebook posts I made in past.

Some of the words will be political, and some will be social sciences related. I have decided though that some of them will also, from time to time, be related to mental health.

I’m from the US, and I realize that in the English speaking world as a whole, but especially in the US, mental health is not something we talk about. As such, it is not something most people understand, and it is easy to get isolated because of this.

So, this brings us to our current Word of the Day:


Dissociation is a mental health term. In short, it means your mind is separating you from your surroundings.

This is not always clinical. There is an entire range from heavy daydreaming to spacing out and legitimately not knowing where you are.

I chose to bring this up specifically because 1) I have been experiencing it quite a bit myself lately, and 2) I don’t want people to feel like they are alone.

The last week has been an ongoing experience of internal screaming intermixed with sleeping in and constant daydreams. If this describes you, you are not alone.

I have seen posts by cis allies, urging support and promising pain to those that aren’t gentle over the coming days. People promising to fight to their last breath. I am grateful for those posts that I have seen. They understand that we are afraid, but I am not certain they understand just how horrifying this is for us.

I understand the dearth of posts that I am seeing from my trans brothers and sisters. It’s hard to process. It’s hard to think about. I see a lot of prominent trans voices going dark on social media. It’s for their own mental health and safety.

I have a strong degree of anonymity and it’s still scary to me.

So, in summary: If you are going through a hard time and things don’t seem entirely real, don’t feel bad. It’s not just you.

If you find yourself sleeping as many hours a day as you can, and daydreaming the rest of the time, you are not alone.

When the anger, the frustration, the screaming in your head gets to be too much, the brain looks for ways to alleviate or avoid the stress. It’s a normal reaction.

If it becomes excessive, it can also be a sign that you need to seek help, even if that help is just a shoulder to cry on for a while.

We have come so far in the past decade, and it seems like the bastards in charge want to push us back more than a century. It is ok if you are scared, or frustrated, or just want to not deal with the world for a bit. Know that you are not alone.

If you are interested in more real info on the clinical aspects, check out the Wikipedia Article on Dissociation.


I started this post over a week ago. It was short and brief, and before I posted this, I had a few friends look over it and they both had similar comments. They said that I should try to expand a bit on some parts, and perhaps provide more resource links.

I spent a day or so staring at the screen trying to decide how to find the balance between explaining all of my thoughts, and leaving room to protect people’s feelings.

Then the news kept coming in. The shootings kept happening. Brazil. And now Trump is taking yet another not entirely surprising step towards trying to deny citizenship to an unknown number of people.

What I have above, still stands well on it’s own, and I am still uncertain how to improve it, but reality itself has taken steps to explain the thin bits for me.

Why am I afraid, even though I have a strong degree of anonymity? Because I have spiritual brothers and sisters who are no longer in the closet, and are in danger every day now. I have spiritual brothers and sisters who are still in the closet, and suffering more than I am, who now have no way of knowing when it will be safe to come out.

Even if I am somewhat anonymous, I haven’t actually buried my trail. I am not a “spook,” and the administration is already taking aim at communications outlets.

Brazil. Brazil held an election that was won by a landslide. It was won by a landslide because the majority of people who got out and voted were relatively wealthy, and wanted this to happen. Within three days of his victory, the new president had military personnel taking over schools for the sole purpose of deciding which classes were allowed and which were not, based on the whether or not the class was critical of Fascism and whether or not it was teaching the new government’s favored version of western history.

This is horrifying.

The Trump administration has been held in check by nothing more than legitimate American values and the fear that if they go too far, they will trigger a rebellion. The largest nation other than ourselves in this hemisphere has now stood up a Fascist regime and given it absolute power, and the two leaders are already saying good things about each other.

We can’t depend on American societal norms to protect us anymore.

The word Fascism descended from the Latin word fasces, or a bundle of sticks. They use the symbolism of a bundle of sticks being stronger together than apart, and as Fascists pull together so do Fascist nations.

Fascists in the US, where they still pretend to be oppressed, will be emboldened by every action taken by the Brazilian government from this point forward, and Brazil is moving fast already.

So, this is why I am scared. I am scared for myself. I am scared for my trans brothers and sisters. I am scared for those who don’t “look American.”

And, I am scared for my wife and son.

I am scared for my child who was born to an American father and a Japanese mother, who is unlikely to be seen as “American enough,” if things get that far.

I am scared because I don’t know if I have the resources to get them out.

I am scared because I don’t even know how to explain all of the things in my mind to my wife.

I am scared that our country is preparing to go up in flames and that the civil war that people seem scared is coming is the least of our worries.

It won’t be a civil war, at least not entirely.

Most “good citizens,” will stay on the sidelines and do as they are told. They will stand by as the fascists in power begin the cleans the undesirables from their lands. They will claim later that they just never saw the signs.

Guess what, we have been screaming about the signs for over a decade.

That screaming took on a fevered pitch in 2015 and has gotten louder everyday sense.

People like to use the concept of the canary in the coal mine. The canary is already dead. It died years ago, and the miners have started to drop as well.

People ask what they can do. I’m going to say here something similar to what I have said in past.

  1. If you are a citizen of any western nation, register to vote and vote. Vote for the party that is most likely to protect everyone. Vote for the party that is least likely to burn everything to the ground. Vote for the party that is not accusing others of being the enemy of the state.
  2. Understand that voting is only a stopgap. It is only a starting point. Think of it as bandages on a broken limb. They will slow the bleeding, and help to stave off infection, but more will still be needed to finish the healing process.
  3. Organize. Find others who think like you do and gather together to weather the storm. Remember though that you are not simply organizing for organization’s sake.
  4. Strengthen your communities. Look around you. Find what is broken. Find what is missing. Find what is needed. Start building up your communities so that if everything went to hell tomorrow you would not starve.
  5. Learn, and educate. Learn new skills. Teach others what you know. Agricultural, architectural, and medical knowledge are vital. Again, what does your community need to survive if everything else were to go away tomorrow?
  6. If you have skills that can be put to use, do so. Find projects that are working towards liberation and put yourself to work.
  7. If you are a member of a relatively protected class, use your voice. Speak up for those who are not protected. Speak out against abuses. Stand up against the powers that be and be the roadblock between them and those that they would deem undesirable.

I am running out of steam at the moment, but I want to make sure that this piece does get posted, so I will stop here.

Remember: We have to stand together and work to create the world we want. We have to insulate our local communities so that when it comes down to it we can protect ourselves.

Those of us with the emotional resources to do so need to do the heavy lifting. Those who are not scrambling just to survive need to focus on the long term. Those who are coming under direct fire will be too busy keeping themselves together.

And, coming back to where the post first started: If you are feeling the emotional weight of everything, and you find yourself tuning out more than you would like, you are not alone. It is an entirely normal reaction. This world is fucked up at the moment, and your brain is working to keep you in one piece. Reach out to others if you see that you need help. Reach out to your comrades if you see that they need help. Keep tabs on each other. Be brothers and sisters. Be comrades. In the realm of mental health, especially in what amounts to a battlefield environment, there is no such thing as checking on someone too much.

If we are going to survive this, we must do this together. The pretty words that the Fascists use to make their propaganda palatable are at least partially true. The bundle of twigs is stronger than the twig standing alone. The difference, what separates us from them, is that we understand that this metaphor expands beyond individuals to cultures. In diversity, we are stronger than in isolation.

Fuck racism, fuck sexism, fuck gender and neural normativity. We all have to stand together and take care of each other. The strong among us have to insulate the week. We have to show them that their philosophies will not destroy us. There is more to our evolution as a species than survival of the fittest.

I suppose that once I post this there is not much point in being on the fence or holding too many of my views when discussing things in the world.

Expect more posts in the future on subjects ranging from community building to operational security.

Editor’s Note: I am attempting to set the timestamp on this to match the day that I posted it to steemit.com (November 2018) . I realized that the post still has merit, and that I should share it here. it is now 11 January 2019.

Neurons and Synapses

The brain (be it human, or that of another creature) is made up of millions and billions of tiny cells called neurons. These neurons are separate from one another, but also connected.

The real power of the brain lies not in the neurons themselves, but within the connections.

We call these connections synapses. A synapse is the space between two neurons, where information is passed back and forth. Little bursts of energy go from one to the other. This allows billions of individuals, that independently can only do so much, to work together to do the massive work of making the Human brain function.

Humans are like this as well. We always have been, but modern technology makes the comparison even more apt.

The Human species functions like a massive brain. Each of us are independent neurons, going about our business and doing what we can on our own. It is, however, the connections that we make with other beings that really make the world go round.

It is our connection to other Human beings that allows us to be who and what we are.

It is our connection to other Human beings that allows us access to a vast pool of knowledge and resources that one person alone could never hope to amass.

It is also through these connections that we experience each other, and develop emotions, understanding, empathy, and compassion.

Compassion is perhaps the most important of these traits. It is compassion that leads us to do what is right for our species as a whole rather than just ourselves. It is compassion that helps us to understand that the path to true happiness and comfort for one, is the path to true happiness and comfort for all.

We as Humans are all interconnected.

As individuals, we can only do so much, know so much, experience so much. As an interconnected species, however, we have gathered the knowledge of the ages, and our collected experiences go well beyond what any of us could dream.

We should remember this in our dealings with other people. You cannot touch one, without touching the whole. Taking care of one, is taking care of the whole.

Word of the Day: Solidarity

Word of the Day: Solidarity

 noun: unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.

Solidarity is one of the most important concepts when you are working for social change. It is a vital concept when you are working to build communities. It means finding your common ground, and supporting each other in those areas where you can agree. It does not always mean that you agree with each other one hundred percent, but that you agree sufficiently to work together and support each other.

Solidarity is standing together for a cause. Sometimes it is a common cause. Sometimes it is an ally’s cause. Sometimes it is your cause.

Sometimes it means opening your mouth when someone is abusive or oppressive.

Sometimes it means standing in the soaking rain outside some politician’s house because you want them to know what you think of their voting record.

Sometimes it means standing beside your allies, through thick or thin, even if you think their cause is insane. It might not be your cause, but it is theirs.

Sometimes it means being the only Liberal or leftist in the room, standing beside a Republican who is talking sense, when everyone else is turning him out because he is a Republican (or the other way around).

Sometimes it means ignoring faction lines all together and standing by your fellow man. When a house is being raised, or you have twelve hours to get the harvest in before a storm, who stops to ask if the person beside them is in the same political party?

Sometimes it just means setting your issues aside for a bit to see what someone else needs help getting done.



I saw a post on Facebook the other day. It was a photograph of a woman holding a sign that read:


Sadly, the sign is inaccurate and naïve.

The word “most” implies a landslide. Used in reference to a divided group of things, it means almost all.

Yes, Clinton won the popular vote, but her margin of victory was less than two percent[1]. That is barely a rounding error. I’ve seen articles pointing to a lead of 2.9 million votes. Never 1.9%. In this day and age, 2.9 million is not a lot of people. That is less than the population of San Diego County[2].

Another quote that is common is “A historic number of people voted for Clinton!”, ignoring the fact that percentage-wise the lead was not sufficient for the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to choose to contest the results.

So, sadly, most Americans did not vote against Trump. Most Americans that voted did not vote Against Trump.

The scarier side of this, that we are now starting to see playing out in communities and in statehouses across the country, is that enough of our fellow Americans agreed with his ideology to make him President. For those who did not agree with him anyway but voted “against Clinton” rather than “for Trump,” the things he said and did were not deal breakers.

I do not intend to be divisive, but if we are to fix the damage that has been done, we need to have a realistic understanding of the battlefield.

Trump is President.

A majority of Americans did not vote for him, but enough did to make him president.

Enough of our fellow Americans were able to look at a man who spewed bile and hatred on the campaign trail and vote for him.

Enough of them were absolutely gleeful to hear him make campaign promises that sounded more like vile threats, which he has started to make good on.

The DNC had a strong hand in getting him elected, even if that was not their intent. Rather than working to rectify the situation, they spend a lot of time looking for people to blame. Those within the Democratic Party who are looking to fix things are arguing over whether the party needs to shift more to the left or more to the right, and whether the Millennials or Sanders supporters are more to blame for the 2016 loss. They are playing party politics when party politics is what got us here.

We need to strengthen our communities so that it doesn’t matter who is in charge.

The task at hand is going to require a diversity of tactics. What follows is a short list of things that we can do in our communities to help:

1. Campaign for decent candidates, and vote.

2. Organize and attend protests.

3. Get involved in letter writing and phone campaigns.

4. Run for office at the local level, and/or work to elect the right politicians at the local level.

5. Start gathering, organizing, and building the resources and infrastructure to fill the gaps.

6. Those who have the knowledge to carry out any of these tasks need to teach those that do not.

The government apparatus in our nation has been flawed from the start. Those flaws have reached the point of decrepitude over the last few decades. It is starting to collapse. This is why tasks 4, 5, and 6 are so vital. We need good leaders at the local level. We need to develop resources at the local level to keep people fed, housed, and medically fit. We need to do our best to fix the government so that it can do the most good, but we also need to prepare our communities to function despite the government if needed.

For those of you who are uncomfortable with the idea of collectivism without government, I encourage you to learn more about the idea. At the end of the day, our primary goal, the purpose behind the six tasks that I listed above, is to grow strong communities that can provide for their people locally and network together to provide for the common good over larger regions regardless of who is in power.

Just as importantly, we need to band together to prevent those who got Trump elected from being the driving force behind our nation.

[1] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-popular-vote_us_58599647e4b0eb58648446c6
[2] https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/sandiegocountycalifornia,CA/PST045216

Welcome to the Community

Welcome to our community. Pardon my dust while I get things situated and figure out the ins and outs of running a blog and a Patreon page.

Going forward, blog posts will appear first in the Patreon Only feed on the Patreon site, and then a few days later on the FellowTravelers.net website.

Some of the posts already on the website are a little old and have been brought over from other sites so that I didn’t lose them. They should give you a good idea of the range of things I am inclined to write about. I am always on the lookout for inspiration.

You are free to provide feedback on the Patreon site, or via comments on the blog. I have installed the Disqus plugin which will allow people to log in and comment with various social media logins. I look forward to the conversations. Dialogue is vital to communication, education, and organization. I hope to do some of each through this community.

Word of The Day: Terrorism

Word of The Day: Terrorism

The FBI defines terrorism as The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

The US Military uses a similar definition. The main difference is that it breaks down social objectives into a few more categories, but maintains the overall meaning.

This is important. Words have meaning. The way that local law enforcement and the media use words is important.

Just as important is that this means that local law enforcement SHOULD know what terrorism is, but apparently do not. To have the police or certain news outlets tell it, any random shooting committed by a black man or a Muslim is terrorism. Anything done by a white man most likely is not.

Just to cover all grounds, since the inciting events leading up to this post took place in Canada:

In Canada, section 83.01 of the Criminal Code[1] defines terrorism as an act committed “in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause” with the intention of intimidating the public “…with regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act.”

So, in short, in North America, at least the English Speaking part of it, there is a very clear legal definition of terrorism.

On Monday, 23 April 2018 Alek Minassian, a Canadian citizen, drove a van onto a busy city sidewalk intentionally running down and killing 10 people and injuring 14 more. Prior to this attack, he left a message behind encouraging armed rebellion by himself and other ‘Incels,’ and praising the attack by May 2014 attack carried out by Elliot Rogers[2] in Santa Barbara, California. Within hours of the attack, he was already elevated to the level of sainthood by other Incels.

Incels are members of a social movement whose driving factor is intense misogyny and the belief that women who owe them sex are refusing it to them. The word itself is a merging of the words “Involuntary” and “Celibate.” While they sound like some cartoonish monstrosity out of a comic book, they are very real, and consistently prove to be dangerous. They feel that the world has wronged them and that it is their right to hurt people in response.

In other words, this was a textbook case of terrorism. The Santa Barbara attack was a textbook case of terrorism. Several other attacks carried out by white men against people of color, school children, women, and other groups have been textbook cases of terrorism.

Of course, the Toronto police were relatively quick to declare that it was not terrorism, as were the police departments involved in the aftermath of the other aforementioned tragedies.

Words matter. When the police look at a situation and use race and religion, and not actions and intent, as the deciding factor when defining whether or not a particular event is terrorism that is tacit approval of the behavior involved. It is also encouragement for others to use the same racist criterion. If the attacker is white, it’s obviously not terrorism. If the attacker is not white, it obviously is.

Minassian, of course, was taken in alive. This is not a surprise. In almost every incident of terror in the US, if a white attacker dies, it is by suicide. The rare cases where the attacker was not white, they were gunned down by police. Non-white attackers don’t survive. White attackers get taken out for lunch before heading to the precinct. I wish that were a joke.

[1] http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/page-12.html#h-25
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Isla_Vista_killings



On the Road Again

It is time for me to get active blogging again. The site is at a new location and set up and ready to go.

I have started by importing a number of posts that I originally created on other pages. That is why they are all dated pretty much the same date.

The posts that are up so far should be sufficient to give the average reader an idea of my general political leanings.

I hope in the future to post more often, and more effectively.


I Have Come to a Grimm Realization


I was preparing a response to a Facebook post, and came to a horrible conclusion.

The post was one of those images that said: “Why is the 2nd Amendment the only one that requires a permit.”

This is what I realized.

The 1st Amendment:
The Speech, Assembly, and Journalism clauses are (by “law”) a fast track to the terror watch list.

The 2nd Amendment is highly contentious, but it really does tend to get trampled.

The 3rd Amendment… Well, this one is pretty much the only one that is good to go. I guess it is because it would be SUPER obvious if they fucked with this one.

The 4th Amendment gets new wholes poked in it every few days. There is a constant, gradual, erosion of the definition of reasonable.

The 5th Amendment, thanks to a recent court decision, is admissible as evidence in a court of law. Pleading the 5th now has the same legal impact as pleading guilty.

The 6th Amendment has been questionably enforced darned near from the start. Impartial is often active fought against by lawyers, and peers has rarely been enforced.

The 8th Amendment is a crap shoot at best. It is pretty much entirely at the whim of the judge to decide what is appropriate, as well as what is cruel and unusual.

The 9th Amendment is pretty much ignored by law makers in its entirety. It is almost as if it doesn’t even exist.

The 10th Amendment has been up for dispute pretty solidly… And the rights of the people presented there? I am not sure if that line would have even made it into the constitution if it were drafted at any point after 1900.

So, yeah, the 2nd Amendment gets abused, but it is far from the only one. The bulk of the Bill of Rights is pretty much under constant attack.

It is ok to have pet issues. It is ok to focus your energies on fighting for a single issue, or a few issues. Just don’t burry the other issues in the process. Do not make light of other issues or pretend they don’t exist.

Fight your fight, but don’t make it harder for your neighbor to fight their fight either. When it comes time to stand together, you don’t want to have to question if you are on the same team or not.

Trigger Warning

Trigger Warning.

It is two simple words, with much meaning.

Two words that cause so much contention.

I periodically see people post the words “Trigger Warning” at the top of an article or blog post. It almost always inspires the worst in internet commenters.

They will say it is political correctness gone mad, or that the poster is being melodramatic. They will say that the only people who need trigger warnings are week minded people who are too easily offended.

In short, they don’t get what a trigger warning is, they are lucky enough that it is an alien concept to them. To be honest, I don’t begrudge them that. I am happy for them. I just wish that they would show a little compassion for those who are not so lucky.

Trigger warnings are not about political correctness. They are not about what might offend. They are not about what is politically correct, or what might make a person uncomfortable.

They are about emotion. They are about a soul so broken that there is something so beyond their control emotional that even mentioning it can cause them pain and anguish.

It is about walking down the street when a word, an image, or even a stray thought hits you so hard you are physically knocked over by it. It is about a word, meant in kindness, causing sudden waves of grief that there are no words to explain.

Sometimes you know what your triggers are. After all, you know what the root cause is, so that can kind of tell you what you should avoid to stay away from that emotional place

Sometimes you know what your triggers are, and sometimes you don’t.

Trigger warnings are not a way of saying “Oh, this might make you angry or sad.” They are about the realization that there are people in this world that have lived through experiences that no human should have to experience, and survived.

Trigger warnings are not to protect the week minded, or the fools. They are to protect the strong who have walked through this world with burdens that no one else can see. They are for people who have experienced things that have driven others to madness, or left them dead or hollow. They are an acknowledgement that what is to be said must be said, but that there is some trauma so common in this world that it is almost guaranteed that it will effect some people.

Imagine living through an event that was so horrible and so painful that your mind and body just wanted to shut down? Imagine that something happened to you that left you for ever changed? Imagine that there is a scar on your soul that you are certain you will carry with you into the next life and beyond.

That is what trigger warnings are about.

There are things that are common. There are things that humans regularly do to their fellow humans, that are so horrible that they should never happen. Those are the “easy” trigger warnings. Easy is in quotes, because I just mean those are the ones that are easy for us to think of.

Then there are other triggers that are not so simple. Some things are hard to warn about because you really don’t know. If I manage to hit one of those without warning, I apologize.

Sometimes you know what your triggers are. After all, you know what the root cause is, so that can kind of tell you what you should avoid to stay away from that emotional place

Sometimes you know what your triggers are, and sometimes you don’t.

Imagine being afraid to walk into a toy store, because you are not sure if you are going to walk away happy, or holding back tears. Imagine looking at a calendar, and the date being enough to push you to the edge of sanity. Imagine city parks being a place of terror because you don’t know if the laughter of children is going to make you happy, or cause you to break down in tears.

Time heals all wounds, but deep wounds leave scars as they heal

That is what trigger warnings are about.

If you don’t have any triggers, great. I am happy for you. Read the article in question, and assume what you will. Please though, don’t go off on a rant about political correctness gone mad. Having a scar is not about being weak. It is about having survived.

Ken Ham’s Response to the Secular Ten Commandments


Not too long ago (and it has been done a few times I think), a secular website released what they called “The Secular Ten Commandments.”

Ken Ham has decided to respond to each of the ten with bible verses.

In case you were wondering, no, the Bible is not going to be a conversion tool for Atheists. Telling them that the Bible says something is a certain way provides no leverage in convincing them of anything.

To an Atheist, the bible is seen in much the same light as modern people see the ancient texts about Zeus and Poseidon. I intend no disrespect to those that follow that pantheon, but people outside of a given religion don’t tend to put a lot of stock in the stories and legend of other groups.

Telling an Atheist that they are going to hell if they don’t follow Jesus is about like telling a Christian that Herne is going to stalk them in the night if they piss off the pagan gods.

His final conclusion of course is that a 10 commandments type list means nothing in an Atheistic world view, because, in his view, morality can only come from God and the bible.

There are many religions in this world. Only one of them (or one Category of them depending on how you look at it) even believes the bible is anything more than an intriguing piece of literature. Not all of those religions believe in the Christian God, and a hand full of them are a little sketchy on the existence of gods all together.

They ALL have morality. They all have life views that provide them a way to see the world, and to see what is right and wrong.

Even a large number of professed Atheists have other disciplines and philosophies that they follow/practice. The word Atheist does not discuss what a person believes, only part of what they don’t believe.

Ken Ham’s ego trip, like so many he has gone on in past, does nothing to convert Atheists. It just provides them fodder for their own conversations/amusement.