Slightly Off Center

Slightly Off Center

By Dennis Hinkamp

Dysfunctional nuclear family: Should anyone be dating U.S.?

by Dennis Hinkamp

The campaign rhetoric is getting so creepy that I’mactually starting to think about the advertisements. The pro-Clinton ad about”who do you want to answer the red phone at 3 a.m.?” is especiallydisturbing. The scary part is that apparently the impending nuclear holocausthinges on somebody answering a 1970-vintage handset landline. I mean couldn’t amessage that important come in on a cell phone, text message or instantmessaging? Where are all those billions of dollars of military funding going?


The next thing I thought was “I wonder who thenumber one nuclear threat in the world is? Syria? North Korea? Switzerland?After a little research, it turns out that it’s us. The United States has about12,000 nuclear weapons located in 14 states, seven foreign countries and anundisclosed number touring the oceans onboard submarines. Our best buddies,Great Britain and France are about fourth and fifth on the nuke list. Israelhas never officially admitted that they have any nuclear weapons at all, butmost sources estimate they unofficially have about 100. Russia is still leadingthe pack in sheer numbers of nukes, but most of them are in the same conditionas that 1967 VW van in your neighbor’s back yard.


So, clearly we are world leaders and deserve to wave ourgiant foam rubber “We’re number one” fingers around in the air likenutbag fans at sporting events. The only question is will we use them? Iborrowed this potential abuser assessment tool that the rest of the worldshould be using on the United States right now before they decide to go outwith us.


“The list below provides you with some extremelyvaluable information. Use it to help you determine if the person you are datingis already an abuser or has the potential to become one.”


1.   LowFrustration Tolerance-Reacts to stress in self-defeating ways, unable to copeeffectively with anxiety, acts out when frustrated. Frustration leads toaggression.


We are getting a little edgy about the price of oil andthe economy in general.


2.     Impulsive-Isquick to act, wants immediate gratification, has little or no consideration forthe consequences, lacks insight, has poor judgment, has limited cognitivefiltering.


“Rush to war” and “quagmire” are thewords that most often come to mind.


3. Loner-Is isolated and withdrawn, has poorinterpersonal relations, has no empathy for others, lacks feeling of guilt andremorse.


We have a president who does not like to read newspapersand a vice president who, when told that two-thirds of the American publicoppose the war, said “so?”


4. Overly sensitive-Hypersensitive to criticism and realor perceived slights, suspicious, fearful, distrustful, and paranoid.


Homeland Security is the result of our insecurities. Allshoes and bottles of shampoo are potential bombs, all cell phone calls are topotential enemies and we’ve exported our legal system to Guantanamo Bay.


5.     Threatsof Violence-Toward self and/or others, direct, veiled, implied, or conditional.


Let’s see, last week Hillary Clinton said we would”totally obliterate” Iran if they attacked Israel.


6.     BlamesOthers-Projects blame onto others-Is fatalistic, external locus of control,avoids personal responsibility for behavior, views self as “victim”instead of “victimizer,” self-centered, sense of entitlement.


“They hate us for our freedom” is the nationalequivalent of high school cliques saying “they hate us because we arepopular.”


7.     ChemicalAbuse-Especially alcohol, opiates, amphetamines, crack, and hallucinogens (PCP,LSD), an angry drunk, dramatic personality/mood changes when under theinfluence.


We do have the highest percentage of our population inprison for drug crimes of any developed country, and we’re still a big importerof the drugs that last time I checked.


8.     Historyof Violence-Towards self and others, actual physical force used to injure,harm, or damage. This element is the most significant in assessing individualsfor potential dangerousness.


Well, we did use nuclear weapons one, no two, times. Wereally tried to stop, but they made us do it.


9.     Odd/BizarreBeliefs-Superstitious, magical thinking, religiosity, sexuality, violentfantasies (especially when violence is eroticized), delusions.


I still support freedom of religion, but we’ve had a lotof this in the news lately.


10. Preoccupation With Violence Themes-Movies, books, TV,newspaper articles, magazines (detective), music, weapons collections, guns,knives, and implements of torture.


Have you looked at the movie or video games listingslately? Tales of the Roman Coliseum seem tame in comparison.


Dang, if I were the rest of the world, I would leave skidmarks in the driveway trying to get away from us.


Dennis Hinkamp has not given up on America, but thinks itneeds to seek some serious therapy.





This article was originally published on June 1, 2008.