Broken laptop.

I need to get my laptop fixed or buy a new one, so I won’t be posting for a few days. It’s very hard for me to type from my phone, which is what I’m doing now.

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Maybe we should stop trying so hard to be happy.

Originally posted on October 2, 2016

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We live in a society that demands we always be happy and smiling.    “Negative” emotions are generally unacceptable, and we are told over and over again via pop psychologists and the mass media that constant happiness is not only our birthright, but our responsibility!    People are encouraged to stuff their feelings and wear a smile, no matter how they are really feeling.

Some people are more naturally given to cheerfulness than others, regardless of their circumstances.  We are all different; and those of us who aren’t naturally inclined to be upbeat and perky all the time are made to feel like we are somehow defective and our darker emotions aren’t okay.

So we seek out therapists, read self-help books, recite affirmations, pin up positive-thinking posters, and beat ourselves up if we don’t or can’t conform to the pervasive “don’t worry, be happy” ethos.

But what if not always being happy is actually saner than always being cheerful?  After all, there are a lot of things in the world to get depressed, upset, or angry about.    Acknowledging that bad things happen isn’t being negative; it’s being realistic.   For example, being afraid can sometimes save your life!

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As long as you aren’t so depressed you feel like killing yourself or drowning yourself in alcohol or other substances, or can never see the bright side of anything, maybe embracing and accepting dark moods is a more authentic way to live.

Maybe if modern society acknowledged that dark emotions are a normal, non-pathological reaction to many things in life and accepted these emotions as easily as they  accept a perky smile and an “everything’s great!,” those of us who worry that we aren’t “happy enough” would actually begin to feel happier.    Maybe we need to stop trying to force ourselves into a box that doesn’t fit, and learn to embrace our painful feelings instead, and stop comparing ourselves to some ideal that we think we should be.

The world is not perfect and it never will be.  Why should we go through life, then, pretending everything’s perfect or beating ourselves up (and making ourselves more miserable) when we don’t measure up to some “happiness standard”?   It’s fake and it’s only going to make us feel like we’re defective.    Maybe we should just accept ALL our emotions as authentic and stop trying to always hide them away like something shameful.   If you’re happy, by all means, show it, but the emotional spectrum is like the color spectrum–there are many shades and hues, and a world with only one color is the most depressing kind of world I can think of, even if that one color is “happiness.”

Being truly happy isn’t a performance to impress everyone with how “positive” we are; it’s a feeling of genuine well-being brought about by accepting ourselves–ALL of ourselves–as we really are.     If you’re feeling sad or angry or upset, instead of berating yourself for it, accept your feelings as an authentic part of life.

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The ultimate dissociative experience.

Death is an uncomfortable subject for most of us, but at some point, we are all going to have to come to terms with it. Here’s a post I wrote a while back describing what that process is like for me.

Lucky Otters Haven

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Death isn’t something I like to think about, much less write about.  In fact, it’s my biggest fear (outside of the death of one of my children).  Oh, I know all the pat arguments and rationalizations that it’s not so bad–death is a part of life, death is nothing to be afraid of, if you’re a good Christian you will go to Heaven and there will be no fear, nothing at all will happen so there will be no fear, even the idea that death is beautiful.

I woke this morning, as I often do, thinking about how much I fear my own death.  I think this is a little obsessive-compulsiveness on my part, and probably something I should talk about more in therapy.   The mental health field has a name for the irrational or excessive fear of death: thanatophobia.    So far I’ve only talked to God…

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The mystery ship.

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Credit: Unknown photographer.  This haunting photo is very similar the way the old battleship appeared to me as a child.

I have a vivid memory of myself as a mosquito-bitten, golden-tanned and skinny little girl of seven and eight years old happily playing and exploring on the the tidal flats of  East Brewster, along Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts, where my parents had rented a vacation beach cottage for two weeks during two consecutive summers in the late 1960s.

The sandbars and  network of warm tidal pools and rivulets left behind by the retreating tide stretched far, far into the distance–so far that the deeper water where the sand was never exposed was only a thin royal blue line against the horizon and sometimes was not visible at all  (I read recently that the Brewster tidal flats actually can extend up to two miles at low tide).

I played out on the flats for hours, collecting hermit crabs in my orange plastic bucket and then setting them free.  I marveled at how fast the incoming tide moved–so fast my friends and I used to try to race it in. I recalled sunsets seen from our screened in porch, painting the tidal pools pink and orange, and the smell of citronella and the sound of the bug zapper as the armies of mosquitoes dodged into it.

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Brewster tidal flats at sunset.

Way out on the horizon, so far away it appeared more like a mirage than a tangible thing, was the shadowy outline of a battleship.   I remember gazing out and wondering where it came from, why it never moved,  how far away it actually was, and even whether it was real at all.   It didn’t appear quite solid; I could see none of its details, and often it was shrouded in fog that was sometimes so thick I couldn’t see it at all.   Even on clear bright days, the ship seemed to shimmer in the sun like a mirage, or like the ghost of a ship that had foundered and sunk years earlier.

The ship seemed strangely alive though.  I was drawn to it.   I wanted to know its story.    I knew it had a story.  I remember asking my parents about it but they just said they had no idea.   The ship wasn’t important to them, but it was to me.   When we went to Provincetown one day, I looked out over the bay in the direction from which we had come to see if I could see my ship from a different perspective.  I was disappointed that I could not.   It was too far away and out of my line of vision.

My questions remained unanswered.   We had not taken any photos of that ship, so all I had was my memory of it.  After that second summer, we never returned to Cape Cod Bay.     Life went on, my parents divorced, we moved to the city,  school became more demanding, things like dating and making friends consumed my redirected adolescent attention.   Years and then decades passed by, and I never thought about the ship except as a random passing memory before turning my attention to more important things.

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Another ghostly image of the Target Ship in the far distance. (photographer unknown)

But about a month ago, that changed.  One day the memory again filtered through to my consciousness, as it sometimes does as a matter of course.   But so many decades had passed since those two distant summers that the memory itself has faded and I was no longer even sure it was an actual memory or perhaps just a dream or figment of childish imagination.

The Internet has made it possible to find the answers to obscure questions that in the recent past remained forever hidden in the darkness of the unknown.   So this last time I remembered the ship, I decided to Google it.   I didn’t expect to find anything.

So imagine my shock and delight when I typed in “abandoned battleship in Cape Cod Bay” and clicked on Images and saw THE SHIP almost exactly as I remembered it as a child standing out on those long-ago tidal flats gazing at the horizon.   There it was, right there on the screen of my laptop:  its ghostlike hulk like a mirage against the distant horizon, way out beyond the flats.  My jaw almost dropped to the floor.   Was my 50 year old question finally going to be answered?  Was my memory a real memory, and not just a dream?

My ship had a story, and she had a name:  The SS James Longstreet.  According to Google, she was a World War II battleship, constructed in 1942 by the Todd Houston Shipbuilding Company in Houston, Texas.  She measured 417 feet in length and 57 feet in breadth.  Her namesake, Major General James Longstreet, had been a hero of the Confederate Army and one of General Robert E. Lee’s top officers during the Civil War.   She was moored in the Cape Cod Bay off Eastham at the end of World War II and her remains can be found there today.

As per Wikipedia,

SS James Longstreet (Hull Number 112) was a Liberty ship [a cargo vessel built to carry supplies to Allied troops] built in the United States during World War II at a cost of $1,833,400. She was named after the Confederate general James Longstreet.

She was laid down on 3 December 1941, then launched on 2 April 1942. On 26 October 1943, she ran aground in a gale and was declared a total loss. Instead of being scrapped, she was acquired by the US Navy in June 1944 and used as a target ship for early air to surface guided missiles. Whilst under tow to and from the target areas, she once ran aground and on another occasion broke her anchor chain and drifted for ten days before being recovered.    She was then sunk and used for further experiments using missiles, before then being used for live ammunition target practice by Naval jets from nearby South Weymouth Naval Air Station and the Air Force from nearby Otis Air Force Base  until 1971. The ship is also referred to as the “target ship”.

The remains of James Longstreet lie approximately three and a half miles off  Eastham, Massachusetts in 20 to 25 feet (6.1 to 7.6 m) of water. The site is off limits to divers.

And there it was.   It was much more than I expected.

targetship

Bombers drop missiles on the target ship at night (photographer unknown).  Going by the relatively intact look of the ship, I’m guessing this was taken earlier than the 1980s (most accounts say it was mostly disintegrated by 1982)

But that wasn’t all.  Another article, from The Cape Cod Times, said “The Target Ship” had become so badly rotted and damaged by rust and algae, and the constant bombardment by practice missiles, that in 1997 she finally broke apart and sank for good.  1997 was the last year she would have been visible to a child standing out on the tidal flats the way I had thirty years earlier.

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The “target ship” riddled with holes from years of attacks.

Of course I felt drawn to her.  Of course she haunted my dreams.   I related to her plight as an abuse survivor, as a child who constantly felt misunderstood and unappreciated by her own family, and unfairly maligned as a loser, a child who had opportunities ripped away, was used for emotional (and sometimes physical) target practice, and was finally emotionally abandoned by those who were supposed to always be there no matter what.   James Longstreet had been built, didn’t perform to standards, and was never given another chance to prove herself.  Instead, she was cruelly chained down where she couldn’t escape and used for target practice for half a century — only to be abandoned and left to rot and die where no one would ever see or remember her again.

Of course, intellectually, I knew the SS James Longstreet was just an object, a hunk of rusted iron manufactured by men for wartime.   She had no heart or brain or soul.  But in a sense, she was me, and for five decades she called out to me through my memory, yearning for her story to be told.

That’s the least SS James Longstreet deserves and so I have done this for her.

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View of the James Longstreet after she went under for good.

*****

Further reading:

Memories of the Target Ship in Cape Cod Bay 

 

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I would not want to have children in today’s America.

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When I was a little girl back in the ’60s, life was good.   There was a sense — even among children as young as I was — that America was a good place: prosperous and powerful, but also with a large, healthy middle class, a strong public school system, an effective safety net and strong labor unions that kept the vast majority of people from falling into poverty, institutions that actually worked, and a sense that the President of the United States would always be a man of high moral character and compassion for others.

Community was important.   Libraries, public schools, the post office, and the infrastructure in general were there to serve the greater good, and they did their job well.   No one questioned their existence.  It was unheard of for people to complain about having to pay taxes to support the community or to have nice things like public schools, fire departments, libraries, safe and well-kept roads, Social Security for the elderly,  federal grants so kids could go to college, poverty-relief programs like Medicaid or food stamps,  and national or state parks.   The rich — of which there were only a few — weren’t that rich:  in the 1950s, the wealthiest 1% paid 91% of their income in taxes (now they pay only 35% and that number is about to drop even more under the Trump tax plan).   If anyone complained, you never heard about it.   Everyone assumed that it was only fair the wealthy pay more in taxes, because the common good was seen as more important than the few wealthy being able to buy  yet another mansion or yacht (or use their vast sums of money to influence politicians and buy votes).

Politicians and leaders were generally seen as trustworthy and benevolent.  A few were not, but they hid it well (or were slapped down quickly) if they weren’t.   If they broke the law (like Nixon with Watergate), there were consequences — and they apologized and gracefully stepped down.  Most seemed to care about the average American.   Both Democrats and Republicans seemed supportive of public institutions that helped everyday people and worked to build things instead of tear everything down.   As the sixties turned into the seventies, measures began to be taken to clean up the environment, and formerly polluted rivers and cities began to heal themselves as new regulations were put into place that put people over profits.  The EPA was established.

When something bad happened, you had faith that the President was someone who was able to comfort and identify with the people’s pain. You could rest assured that whether Democrat or Republican, the president was a person not only of high moral character but also of high empathy.

Where I lived in the New Jersey suburbs, I was pretty much sheltered from all the social changes until the very late sixties or early seventies.   I heard about hippies on the evening news, but they seemed like some sort of fascinating exotic creatures to me, very far from my own sheltered childhood reality of homework, kickball, and Barbie dolls.   The Vietnam War seemed like something happening on another planet,  a terrible but abstract thing I never had to worry about.

I was too young to realize that women did not have many choices or that racial segregation was still being practiced, especially in the South.    As the civil rights movement began to change society, all it meant for me was that my school became more integrated.   Since I lived in an all-white part of town, having a few non-white students around made things more interesting.  If there was any pushback, I wasn’t privy to it.   Gradually, my grade school textbooks began to have photos of black and Hispanic kids in addition to the WASP-y looking people that populated the textbooks of my first and second grade years.   In 1972, we sold our home to a black family, and I found out later the neighbors’ reaction was pretty negative, but we had already moved away by then so their reaction didn’t matter.

As the women’s movement came along and women began to chafe at their limited roles as housewives and mothers, there was a more negative effect on me personally.   As a preteen,  I needed my mother (or thought I did), and her suddenly leaving my dad and spending so much time away from home and embarking on a career made me feel, well, as if she no longer loved me.  Of course, my mother’s narcissism — which was the real problem, not her feminism — has been written about here many times, but this post isn’t about that.

In spite of the problems ’70s-era feminism caused for me (or seemed to cause), as I got a little older I embraced it.   The world seemed wide open with possibilities and choices.   It was exciting to stand on the brink of adulthood and know I could be anything I wanted to be (things didn’t quite work out that way, but again, that’s another topic that has more to do with my individual background and poor choices).  What’s important is that back then, the future seemed like a carnival of brilliant colors and endless possibilities.

In 2017, things are vastly different today than they were forty years ago.    I don’t even feel like this is America anymore.  We are a country under siege by a corrupt group of selfish, compassionless, greedy criminals and their financial donors who pull all the strings to funnel ever more money away from the rest of us and into their own pockets.    They are actively trying to tear down the institutions that made us great and built a strong sense of community back in the postwar years.   Everything that helps families and children is being gutted.   Democracy is a thing of the past.

They are trying to legislate a repressive, authoritarian form of evangelical Christianity that would not only roll back hard-won rights and freedoms of women, minorities, and LGBTQ people, but also marginalize and punish those same people.  It seems like what they really want is a return to the Gilded Age, only with an ISIS-like religious theocracy in place of the Constitution.

Incredibly, they are shoving their oppressive religion down everyone else’s throats and infiltrating the highest reaches of politics in the name of religious freedom.   I’m afraid we are dangling on the precipice of becoming a totalitarian state which wouldn’t look too different from Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale.  At the very least, we are on the brink of civil war between the Trump-emboldened far right Christian extremists and white supremacists and everyone who believes in liberty, justice and freedom for all.   Violence is glorified and even after last week’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, certain Republicans are actually blaming the victims of the shooting for not doing enough to defend themselves instead of placing the blame where it belongs:  on the need for stricter gun laws.  Talk about gaslighting!

If all that wasn’t bad enough, we are in real danger of being decimated by nuclear war.  Our own government (aided by Russia) has declared war on us from within, but oh no, that’s not our only problem.   Our president — a conman and pathological liar who would have already been in prison 40 years ago — is engaged in a schoolyard pissing contest with North Korea’s dictator, and is threatening and abusing us all by making veiled threats about nuclear annihilation on Twitter.    I cannot trust this president to do the right thing.   In fact, I’m pretty sure his intentions are malicious.  I really do feel like our own president has declared war not only on the most vulnerable Americans, but also on those who still value decency and compassion and community.

It’s ironic to me that Trump is rolling back laws that require employers to cover contraception and women’s healthcare, since Trump’s America is not any place I would want to bring a child into.     If I were of childbearing age, I’m pretty sure today I would choose not to have children.    I worry about my own two kids, who are just starting their adult lives in this new, mean version of America, a collapsing empire now infested by unspeakable evils we couldn’t even imagine a few decades ago.   I actually hope my kids remain childless until (and if) things get better.

This country that held so much promise as I entered adulthood has been gutted from within.  All I can see is a dystopian nightmare future.   I would never want to foist it on an innocent child.  I feel very sorry for kids being born today.    I don’t understand how anyone with a soul would want to have a child under this oppressive, toxic, uncaring, hateful, and dangerous regime.  They will never know the same America that I knew.

 

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5 reasons why you should never tell a narcissist they’re a narcissist.

Originally posted on July 1, 2015

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In my dealings with narcissists, it’s sometimes been tempting to tell them to their face that they’re narcissists, thinking maybe it could be the wake up call they need. It’s a nice fantasy to think they might take a look at their obnoxious, abusive, insufferable selves and try to make some changes, but unfortunately that’s just a fantasy. It won’t work, because narcissists cannot feel remorse for their actions or empathy for hurting you. In fact, they may take pleasure from it.

The following reactions are far more likely if you “out” a narcissist to their face:

1. They might rage. Or give you the silent treatment. Or laugh at you. Or deny it. Or abuse you. Or call you names. Or tell you you’re crazy or deluded. Narcissists hate the truth, and if they know you have their number, they feel threatened and will attack like a cornered rattlesnake. It’s in their nature.

2. It might give them twisted narcissistic supply. Some narcissists may actually take a perverse pride in being called narcissistic. Rather than making them feel shame and remorse, telling a narcissist they’re a narcissist may flatter them and inflate their ego even more, which could lead to them becoming even more narcissistic and abusive than they already are.

3. They might project it back onto you. This is surprisingly common. Projection (attributing their own bad behaviors to their victims) is one of the more common red flags of a narcissist, so if you call a narc a narc, don’t be too surprised if they start telling everyone YOU are the narcissist. They might even turn the tables and play the victim (see DARVO).

4. They might learn more to hone their weapon. Taking #2 a step further, some bright narcissists may actually decide to learn more about their disorder–but not to learn how to control it or improve the way they treat people, but rather to educate themselves about abusive narcissistic mindgames they haven’t already tried in order to use them against you. I actually know someone this happened to when she called her ex a narcissist. He started reading every book he could get his hands on about NPD and narcissistic abuse, and systematically started using the information to “prove” his girlfriend had NPD and that he was the real victim (see #3).

5. They might not be a narcissist. There is always a possibility (even if small) that the person you think is a narcissist really isn’t. If you’re not a mental health professional qualified to make a diagnosis based on standardized testing and interviews, your own bias, lack of knowledge, or just plain dislike of a person could be influencing your judgment of them. Perhaps they are having a bad day (or a bad life), or suffer from some other disorder that can mimic narcissism. Even non-disordered people can act like narcissists at times. All of us can. So if you’re certain someone is a narcissist, you may be right, but it’s still best to keep that information to yourself–or only tell your close friends.

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Grumpy old men: narcissists in old age.

Now I just think “Donald Trump.” I get irritated at the mainstream media that keeps looking for his nonexistent empathy, and keeps speculating that the smallest “nice” thing he does means he is changing. All it means he is appeasing his base/donors or he has been ordered to act that way. Giving him a gold star for just doing his job (which is hardly ever) only enables him. Donald Trump is incapable of changing and proves it daily. He doesn’t even have the self-awareness to realize he is a pathological narcissist, as someone like Sam Vaknin was able to do. Without that, there is no hope for change at all — especially not at age 71.

Lucky Otters Haven

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It’s been said narcissists grow worse with age. As they lose their looks and mental acuity and become less sexually desirable and more unemployable, they lose the ability to attract the supply they need to feel like they exist. Most will fall into deep depression and a few might even commit suicide. Growing old and having to confront one’s own mortality is the ultimate narcissistic injury. The only thing they have left to obtain supply is their advanced age itself.

Some will become the stereotypical “get off my lawn” grouchy old man or woman, demanding their entitlements (or what they think are their entitlements) be met, no matter how unreasonable. They don’t bother with “charm.” They don’t even try to hide their self-centeredness or contempt for others anymore or make any attempt to be “nice.” They’ve given up playing the games they used to attain supply when they had their…

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RIP Tom Petty.

Yesterday wasn’t a good day.   The Las Vegas shooting happened and a musical icon from my youth (and one of my favorite musicians), Tom Petty, died.

I hope 2018 is better than 2017 has been. 2017 has been the worst year in my memory (maybe not so much for personal reasons, but for political and other reasons that affect us all).

RIPTomPetty

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“I Dare To Dream”

This is a reblog of an excerpt from Pastor Paul J. Bern’s book “The Middle and Working Class Manifesto — 3rd Edition”

new manifesto cover

I found this excerpt on Pastor Bern’s blog, The Progressive Christian Blog, which is a politically and socially progressive blog based on biblical principles and is therefore truly progressive in the ways Jesus was during his time on earth, and expects Christians to follow his lead, rather than merely “liberal” (watered-down “feel good”) sort of Christianity that is more like junk food for the soul than spiritual nourishment.

I was thrilled to finally find a true social gospel that someone like Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (such people are rarities today) could get behind — a biblically based blog that doesn’t engage in Trump-worshipping, blaming vulnerable populations, or the selfish “prosperity gospel” type of thinking so prevalant on the Christian Right.   I think what he has to say is important so I wanted to share it with all of you.

I Dare To Dream

By Pastor Paul J. Bern

The march of economic inequality, from which springs the source of racism, poverty, crime, violence, and lack of access to healthcare and higher education, has become the new civil rights issue of the 21st century. (I like to call it Rev. Dr. MLK, Jr. 2.0.) King’s dream of unconditional equality throughout the country can finish becoming a reality when the economic barriers that we all face on a daily basis finally come down for good, like an economic Berlin Wall circa 1989. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to the masses during the 1963 civil rights march on Washington and said, “I have a dream…”. By writing and publishing these words it is my intent to help take up where King’s Dream left off, and to do anything I can to help finish the job that he started. And so let me slightly change that to, “I dare to dream”.

I dare to dream of a world in which the gap between rich and poor is gone forever. We all deserve to live in a world where wealth has been redistributed in a peaceful and orderly manner and not by the barrel of a gun. I dare to dream of a country where wealth has been redistributed in 4 ways. First, every worker earns a living wage so poverty can be eliminated. Second, free higher education and vocational retraining must be available to every worker for life, including daycare available to all, that would be based on the worker’s or student’s ability to pay on a sliding scale, because everyone has the right to better themselves at will. Third, I envision an America where quality health care is available to every worker at nominal cost for life. Single-payer healthcare based on the current Medicare model must not be reserved only for those who can afford it, but it must be a fundamental human right for all ages. I dare to dream of an America where there will be no such thing as someone without health insurance, where every citizen will have lifetime healthcare and prescription drug coverage without qualification, and where there will be the fewest sick days for American workers and their children of any country in the developed world. Fourth, “we the people” demand the abolition of the federal tax code, including elimination of the despised federal withholding tax, which would give every American worker or business owner an immediate 18% pay raise.

I dare to dream of a new America with a robust and viable economy. That is why I have been insisting on a $14.00 per hour minimum wage since 2010. I dare to dream of a new America where education will be subsidized from the cradle to the grave so that the US develops the most formidable work force the world has ever seen. I dare to dream of an America where all workers have the right to organize, to a flexible work week and to paid family or maternity leave. Most other developed countries already do this. The US is the only exception and that has got to change. The only remaining question in my mind is whether we can accomplish this peacefully or otherwise, and it looks more and more to me like it will be the latter.

I dare to dream of an America where affordable housing is the law of the land, where home ownership becomes a right and not a privilege so we can wipe out homelessness, and where the price of a house is limited to the sum total of ten years income of any given individual or household purchasers. I insist on a country where home ownership isn’t part of an exclusive club with the highest “credit scores”. It is, and must become, a basic human right. Even the cave men lived in caves of their own!

I dare to dream of a country with new public works programs that put an end to unemployment forever so the USA can have full employment all the time. America’s infrastructure needs to be rebuilt, and its inner cities are in dire need of an overhaul. What a better way to accomplish this!

I dare to dream of a new America with an all-new public school and university system that has an Internet-based curriculum that can be updated at will, and that is second to none in the developed world, with a new and more intensive school year, and that has viable replacements for standardized testing, and where class size is limited by law. I dare to dream of a country where teachers make what their Congressional representatives make, and vice verse.

I dare to dream of a new nation where unconditional equality is the law of the land for every citizen without exception, and this will include economic equality. I dare to dream of a new America where there is no more income tax, no capital gains tax, no alternative minimum tax, no estate tax, no self-employment tax, and where families and businesses can have a tax free income unless they are very wealthy. In its place would be a national sales tax, such as a Consumption Tax, where everyone pays proportionately the same tax rate on only what they consume, plus an “excess wealth tax” for persons with annual incomes exceeding $3 million, and for businesses with annual proceeds exceeding $300 million, so America’s budget can be balanced and fair.

Please read the rest of this post here.

 

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Don’t call yourself pro-life…

george-carlin-abortion

Don’t even think about calling yourself pro-life if…

  • You support taking health insurance away from low income, sick, and disabled people.
  • You support abolishing or cutting Medicaid (which covers HALF of all pregnant women and 45 million children).
  • You  support privatizing or cutting Medicare and Social Security.
  • You want to abolish Planned Parenthood, which is NOT an abortion clinic (only 2% of their services are abortion-related) but provides healthcare (including pregnancy care) and birth control information to low income women.
  • You’re OK with a president who allowed CHIP (a health insurance program for low income children who do not qualify for Medicaid) to expire, leaving millions of children uninsured.
  • You support dismantling public schools.
  • You support removing laws that protect college women from on-campus rapists and give more rights to the rapists.
  • You think programs like Meals on Wheels and school lunches are a waste of taxpayer money.
  • You think climate change is a hoax.
  • You support fracking, drilling, and mining on our public lands.
  • You believe in removing laws that protect our air and water against pollution.
  • You think laws that protect consumers from dangerous products and predatory  practices is interfering with free enterprise.
  • You support the death penalty.
  • You support the idea of using torture on suspected terrorists.
  • You believe in detaining documented immigrants, even when it means separating parents from their children.
  • You support deporting refugee mothers and their children, even when it means they could die horribly in their countries of origin.
  • You support deporting productive young people who came here as children with their parents, even when it means sending them back to countries they can’t remember and know nothing about.
  • You think Puerto Ricans who have been devastated by a Category 5 hurricane and have no food, electricity, or drinking water “aren’t doing enough for themselves.”
  • You demand “respect for the flag and the Anthem” but don’t respect people’s right to exercise their First Amendment rights.
  • You’re okay with a president who plays nuclear chicken on Twitter with an unstable rogue nation dictator because his ego is hurt.
  • You think we should “completely destroy” North Korea, even its innocent civilians, women, and children.
  • You’re okay with a president who in all likelihood sold our democracy out to a hostile foreign power.
  • You’re okay with police brutality, especially against people of color.
  • You admire dictators and bullies.
  • You think white supremacy, Naziism, and racism are okay.
  • You’re okay with a president who treats women with disrespect and brags about grabbing their private parts.
  • You don’t see anything wrong with a president who plays golf and complains about NFL players exercising their First Amendment rights when people are dying of thirst and starvation in Puerto Rico.

If you oppose abortion but support the things above, you aren’t pro-life.  All you are is a  hypocrite.

ETA: Since last night’s tragic Las Vegas shooting, I would like to add one more:   Don’t call yourself pro-life if you agree with Trump lifting gun checks on people with mental illness.

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