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Kooks in Iowa

January 22, 2011

I was looking for news on Michele Bachmann kicking off her 2012 presidential campaign in Iowa last night and my search turned up another interesting story about a Des Moines woman who was just arrested for embezzling millions of dollars and her defense is that she suffers from dissociative identity disorder, more commonly knows as multiple personality disorder.

Phyllis Stevens has been accused of embezzling almost $6 million from her employer, Aviva USA. Stevens pleaded guilty to a host of offenses including computer fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, filing false tax returns and money laundering and she faces possible fines of $1.75 million and 48 years in prison.

As the core personality, Stevens claimed the crimes were news to her and she didn’t know she’d been committing the crimes.

Hmmm… You have two expensive homes in a swank neighborhood and you don’t ever stop to wonder when you bought them?

The prosecuting attorney is asking for stiff penalties for Phyllis and her spouse Marla and cites a longstanding history of the couple spending large amounts of money for a long period of time. The defense attorney says both women were abused to the point of torture as children and both suffer from mental disorders. Marla suffers from panic disorder and agoraphobia. Phyllis’ lawyer, asking for leniency, says that Phyllis is no threat to reoffend.

There’s a lot of debate about whether or not dissociative identity disorder is real. I’m pretty much a skeptic about most things, and I am about this as well, but after reading the book by Daniel Keyes, “The Minds of Billy Milligan”, I lean toward the disorder being real. However I tend to doubt that Phyllis Stevens actually suffers from the disorder and my guess is her lawyer does as well or I don’t think he’d claim that she’s not a threat to reoffend since he can’t possibly speak for all of her different personalities.

So like I said, I started the search with news on Michele Bachmann’s campaign speech to the Iowans for Tax Relief group in Des Moines last night. Not much in the way of wacky paranoia from the founder of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus, but wonderful metaphors of the country in dire peril and we’re all on a ship headed straight toward an iceberg. But all is not lost, Americans! No, all is not lost. We can turn the ship. Yes, people, we can turn the ship by grabbing onto the Teabagger rudder and pulling hard. We can repeal healthcare, and cut taxes and cut government (we’ll just let others worry about actually fixing the economy and creating jobs or better yet, ignore it all) and generally not working on or toward anything beneficial to the country, but focus solely on a political war to bring about Obama’s Waterloo. We can turn the ship by being an antagonist to anything President Obama works toward. She told the crowd, “…it will be our charge to repeal a President Obama in 2012…” Is this much of anything more than a gentle way of acknowledging and affirming Mitch McConnell’s comment that “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I thought politicians generally wanted to work toward making life better for people rather than simply working for the defeat of an opponent.

So it seems when Congresswoman Bachmann was done speaking last night there was really nothing substantial gained, just more of the same rant against that “gangster government” she’s talked about before when talking about the Obama administration.

As a Minnesotan, no posting about Iowa would be complete without an Iowa joke and this one comes from my friend Mo who blogs over here.

Government surveyors came to Ole’s Minnesota farm last spring and asked if they could do some surveying. Ole agreed, and Lena even served them a nice meal at noontime.

After their work was done, the surveyors told Ole, “You were so kind to us; we wanted to give you the bad news in person, instead of by letter.”

“What’s the bad news?” asked Ole.

“Well, your farm is right on the state line,” the surveyors said, “and after our work was completed, we discovered your farm is not in Minnesota. It’s actually in Iowa.”

“That’s the best news I’ve had in a long time,” said Ole. “I was just telling Lena this morning that I don’t think I can take another winter in Minnesota !”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2011 12:54 am

    I just finished reading all about Billy and his friends. I am a bit skeptical about this disorder also, but hey who knows. I have trouble keeping track of myself somedays, I could never handle multiple personalities.

    Your Friend,


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 25, 2011 6:47 pm

      Hey Sybil! Nice to meet you!


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