Putting stupidity in perspective.

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The same goes for “health savings accounts” which is Trump’s lame “replacement” for Obamacare.

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Why some people won’t change their minds even when faced with evidence they are wrong.

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Where I stand on “positive thinking.”

I was going through some old posts, and the last sentence of this one demanded my attention, because it looks like it has finally happened. Time for a reblog.

Lucky Otters Haven

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Positive thinking taken to extremes is deluded thinking.

I’ve seen several blog posts about the problem of forced positive thinking lately, and since this is an issue that has concerned me for a long time, I thought I’d add my own take on it.

In recent years, there’s been an increased societal pressure toward “positive thinking.” I think two factors have led to this trend–the New Age philosophy that we can “be as gods ourselves,” and the continued glorification of the Reaganistic optimism of the 1980s. The signs are everywhere, in self-help and pop psychology books, in countless popular slogans and memes that appear on bumper stickers and coffee mugs, on motivational posters, on calendars, on the political campaign trail, and all over social media such as Facebook. The forced positive thinking brigade has even infiltrated churches. Motivational speakers like Tony Robbins and preachers of the “Prosperity Gospel” like Joel…

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My Fundamentalism of the 1960s Has Changed for the Worse—Considerably Worse

This article from one of my favorite bloggers is about how religious fundamentalism, like politics, has also moved so far to the “right” since the 1960s that these churches now resemble dangerous cults more than churches, and they seem preoccupied with control, a doctrine of hate and punishment, and make excuses for the abuse of women and children.

Jesus Without Baggage

We became fundamentalists in 1958 when I was 7, and I ate it up! We joined a Freewill Baptist Church and I was with those churches until 1970. However, I did not absorb fundamentalism only from FWB churches; my strongest influences were from the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) movement which was even more fundamentalist than the FWB churches.

We subscribed to John R. Rice’s influential paper The Sword of the Lord, which I read devotedly. I also read many of John Rice’s booklets, including Bobbed Hair, Bossy Wives, and Women Preachers. In addition, I read articles and books by other IFB leaders such as Bob Jones, Jack Hyles, and Oliver Greene. I listened to Lester Roloff on the radio. Other fundamentalist influences were Carl McIntire and the Moody radio station. I was pretty much saturated with fundamentalism.

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Characteristics of Fundamentalism in the 1960s

Like evangelicals, fundamentalists subscribed to…

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Back to the Gulf Coast!

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Sunset off Clearwater Beach.

In just a month (April 7th), I’ll be driving back to the Tampa Bay area again to visit my son. I’ll be there for 5 days, until the 12th.   This time, my daughter is coming along with me, since she hasn’t seen where he lives before.

When I went in August last year, it was the first time I’d ever been in Florida, and since my son was working most of the week I was there, I had time to spend alone exploring the area.  One of my favorite discoveries was the bath-warm waters of the Gulf near his home, with its ever-shifting tides that expose the silt-like sand at low tide.   There aren’t a lot of tourists there in August (too hot), so that trip actually turned out to  be not only a peaceful, but also a spiritual experience — not to mention that I got to see my son and spend time with him and do some fun things together.

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The tide going out at Rees Park.

For me, the worst part of any vacation is returning from one.    I remember how hard it was to re-adjust to my daily routine when I came home.  For a while, I wanted to move to Florida, but I have changed my mind about that for a few reasons, mostly because of global warming.  Central-west Florida may be submerged in the near future.   I also don’t think I’d care much for the weather, due to the near-constant threat of severe storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

This time, I won’t be returning home just as my SAD (seasonal affective disorder) sets in.  Spring is my best time of year, and my mood improves with the lengthening days, so I shouldn’t be blindsided by the double whammy of oncoming SAD and post-vacation blues at the same time.

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My son may have to work again for part of the time I’m there, but he thinks he can get off most of the days I’m there, so that means more time spent together.   Clearwater Beach is definitely on the agenda, and this time we are going to visit the famous aquarium there too.   We might even drive to Disney World, but  I’m not sure yet.   None of us have ever been there.   I might try my hand at fishing again.

Whatever we wind up doing, it’s going to be a lot of fun.  I’ve already booked the room (because there are two of us this time, we’re staying at a nearby motel). I’m   getting excited about our road trip!

I’ll be bringing my laptop along with me, just as I did in August, so I can still blog while I’m there.

All photos you see here were taken by me during my trip in August of last year.

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Meet and Greet: 3/4/17

Dream Big, Dream Often

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It’s the Meet and Greet weekend everyone!!  Strap on your party shoes and join the fun!  

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

See ya on Monday!!

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“You people” and “I will pray for you.”

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This came up in the comments under another post, but I think these two phrases are important red flags to identify toxic people,  so I’m going to copy what I said in the comments here.

Language is a powerful tool.   It can be used to control, abuse or even destroy others, even whole nations.  The children’s rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” couldn’t be more wrong.   Sometimes the language abusers use isn’t straight up name-calling or unjustified and cruel criticism.  Sometimes the language used to hurt or demean others can actually seem “nice.”     This gives the speaker an easy excuse later on to say, “I never said anything wrong.  I was only trying to help!”

“You people.”

“You people” is used both on- and offline by people, usually narcissists or other toxic types of people, who consider you part of a group they can’t identify with or may outright despise.   It’s often used by racists to separate “us” from “them.”    It’s a form of splitting, and is an insidious way of dehumanizing a group of “others” who the speaker regards as inferior or different from them (in a bad way).   By dehumanizing people by making them the “other,” that justifies hatred or even abuse of “those people.”

“You people” seems innocuous enough, but it’s damaging because it implies that “you” are not like “me,” meaning “I” am better. The judgment and condescension are implied but are very clear.

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“I will pray for you.”

A similar thing can be seen with certain religious types who say in a simpering, patronizing voice, “I will pray for you.” On the surface, the message SEEMS charitable enough, but when said in that condescending way, it implies that they believe you have some moral or other failing that led to your situation, and the implication is that they are “better” and therefore you are inferior to them.

I don’t want any prayers from people like that.

Both “You people…” and “I will pray for you” (said in a sickly sweet, condescending way, sometimes with an insincere “dear” or “honey” tacked on) are favorite phrases among narcissists intended to belittle you. You can bet the minute you’re out of earshot, they will be stabbing you in the back and definitely NOT praying for you.

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George W. Bush’s Painted Atonements.

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During his presidency, I did not like George W. Bush or his policies, even though I always felt that he wasn’t a bad person and that he truly believed that what he was doing was right for America.   I never voted for him, and was disappointed when he won the presidency (for two terms), but I also never experienced the visceral level of fear and dread that I do now with Trump in office.

Eight years ago, I never would have imagined that there’d come a day when I actually would start to like Dubya, at least a little.

But last week, Bush said a few things that indicated he definitely did not approve of Trump’s immigration ban, or his attacks on the legitimate media.

“A bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely.” — Former President Bush in response to question about Trump travel ban

On the Today Show, he said this to Matt Lauer:

“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy.  We need an independent media to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive, and it can be corrosive.”

Source: George W. Bush Throws Shade at Donald Trump

How right he is.

I also found out he was never a Trump supporter, and in fact, he voted for Hillary Clinton!   Imagine my shock.

This week, the New Yorker published an article called George W. Bush’s Painted Atonements.   They are from a new book, “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors.”  The New Yorker article includes a slideshow of several of Bush’s  individual portraits and a group mural which Bush painted, from photographs, of 98 physically and/or mentally wounded Armed Forces veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

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I knew Bush painted, but it never occurred to me he could actually have talent, and yet he does.   These paintings are wonderful and the expressions on the wounded veterans in his portraits capture their pain, despair, and anguish.   The paintings also seem to indicate that Bush has compassion toward these wounded warriors, and may be struggling with a lot of guilt over both the wars he got us into.    Painting may be how he’s trying to redeem himself.

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“The Most Narcissistic Schoolteacher Ever” (by Lenora Thompson)

Lenora Thompson writes about narcissism for PsychCentral.  This article about her narcissistic third-grade teacher stood out to me,  not only because it is an entertaining (and of course, heartbreaking) read, but also because not much has been written about narcissistic teachers.  This is strange to me because teachers probably have the most impact on young children, after their parents.

I had one such teacher (also my third-grade teacher), Mrs. Morse, who  decided to make me her scapegoat.  You can read about that here, in an older post I wrote about my childhood, called Crybaby. 

The Most Narcissistic Schoolteacher Ever

By Lenora Thompson, for PsychCentral

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The class of thirty 9-year-old third-graders looked like something out of a 1950s photograph. They sat perfectly still. Their reading books were held in identical grips in their chubby hands. Every student held their books at exactly the same angle. No one slouched. It looked like a model classroom.

What no one knew was that, just the day before, their narcissistic teacher had taped a student’s mouth shut, tied him to his desk and struck him.

They were not model students. They were quite simply terrified.

The Mean Teacher

Finding out who your new teacher will be at the start of each school year is always very exciting. In my über-religious Protestant school, there were two third grade teachers. There was the beloved nice one who, unbeknownst to us, was slowly dying of cancer.

Then there was the other one. A newlywed. Very young. Very pretty. Very mean.

As luck would have it, I got the mean teacher. But I adored her. Back then, I adored all my teachers and often was the teacher’s pet.

You’re Not Sick

Who doesn’t have a dire tale to tell of getting sick at school. On this particular morning, I felt fine when I boarded the schoolbus. I felt fine when I arrived at school and handed in my completed project.

Then it struck me, the waves of nausea. That salty flavor in the mouth that precedes losing ones cookies. “Please teacher,” I begged. “I think I’m sick. Can I go call my mommy?”

“No,” she snapped. “You’re just pretending to be sick because you haven’t finished your homework.”

It wasn’t true, but she was scary. So I shut up.

Then I threw up…all over the floor. Served her right.

*****

Read the rest of Lenora’s article here.

 

 

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I am no longer accepting emails.

sorrynote

I just had to change my contact information.  I am no longer able to accept emails because of the sheer number of them I receive and my inability to reply to them.

I would love to be able to answer each email personally but I don’t have the time to do that.   My friends already know about how bad I am about answering emails promptly, and sometimes  they even think I’m angry with them because days or even weeks pass before I reply.   Of course, this is my problem and not theirs, and is something I need to work on, but I decided it would be best to no longer accept unsolicited emails from readers who stumble on this blog and want to ask a question, tell me their story, or just need someone to listen to them.

I apologize if this seems cold or uncaring.  I do care about my readers, but I was beating myself up with guilt over so many unanswered emails sitting in my Inbox.   There are other ways to contact me though — this blog has a Facebook page and I have a Twitter account (both are in the sidebar).

There’s another reason why I’m no longer accepting emails.   This blog has grown big enough that I get a lot of spam, and I also want to discourage trolls or the possibility of opening up an email virus.

Comment policy:

You can always communicate with me via the comments under almost every post.   I will try to answer most comments, or at least give it a “Like” so you know I read it.

If you’re a first time commenter, your comment will go under moderation but after that, they will appear immediately.   With rare exceptions, abusive or troll comments will not be approved and you may be banned from being able to comment in the future.

I hope this causes no one any inconvenience, and again, I apologize for removing my email address and no longer accepting them.

This does not apply to my friends who already email me.   I’m not just suddenly going to stop replying.   You can certainly continue to communicate with me that way, but don’t expect a reply right away.

 

 

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