Why we have nightmares

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By Harriet Hausman

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I join the folks who have been expressing concerns for the status of our society. I feel as though each day has been providing me with another nightmare. We should be proud of our United States of America, our Bill of Rights, our Constitution, and the goals of justice for all that our nation has strived for. But our nation's goals are being shattered and the guiding lights of our democracy are being darkened.

Racist views have become acceptable, increasing the divisions in our diverse society. Xenophobia has been encouraged by President Trump and hate has grown like a disease.

Care for our fellow human beings is unimportant. The "I have mine why should I care about you?" attitude prevails.

Gun laws are not being passed by this Congress even though mass killing have increased everywhere in our country.

Our enviable reputation among the world nations has diminished and the U.S. is no longer considered the country of strength, peace and cooperation.

We are suddenly a population caught in the wind of political whims. It is certainly represented in the present tax bill. The priorities set forth provide tax benefits to huge corporations (already earning record-breaking profits) and for the financially rich 1% of our population whereas 62% of our nation has been alerted to future tax increases. Also included in the tax bill is the health care phase that will cause some 13 million people to lose their health insurance. This will result in increased health insurance costs to those who have coverage. Several senators have noted they do not favor this tax bill but will sign it. They can satisfy their campaign donors with tax deductions and will be able to show some accomplishment during their term of office. The public will suffer under this heartless bill.

December is a crucial month for essential program renewals. Unfortunately the "CHIP" children's health bill was not renewed and the president will not be signing a renewal on the "Dreamers." They will be forced to return to a birth home they do not know. They have been here all or most of their young lives.

Our nation's pain continues with the horrible, bigoted immigration ban Trump proposed; the elimination of regulations that were meant to protect our natural resources, the environment and our air and water for health safety; and the prevailing distortion of our justice system and moral behavior.

Sexual harassment is not a new problem, but it is more extreme now. Old movies, stories, and comedy routines often displayed degrading actions toward women. It was supposed to be amusing. It was, for the most part, tolerated and accepted. I remember a well-respected and repeatedly re-elected congressman (Henry Hyde) who stated laughingly to the general public, "I was guilty of youthful indiscretions" after a longtime affair was exposed. Now, shockingly, a pedophile is likely to be elected to the Senate and even our president in his own words has admitted to being guilty of harassment of women.

Is it any wonder I have nightmares? 

Together we can change our nation's course. First, we must oppose the tax bill because it will affect our nation for many years in the future. Our Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will be cut because funds will be needed to help the deepened deficit. Email or phone our congressmen with your concerns.

Today's politics are a disaster for both Republicans and Democrats. We, therefore, must be involved, striving for a more just society.

Harriet Hausman is a longtime River Forest resident.

Reader Comments

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Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 10:37 PM

Ray Simpson, thank you for sending the link. I was starting to search for it. Your mother certainly had a very active life including learning. Her picture shows she was a very happy person.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 10:22 PM

@ Tommy - ooops that was 2-3 books a month. 2 on her Kindle. http://www.rblandmark.com/News/Articles/8-11-2015/Mary-Simpson,-99/

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 10:21 PM

Ray Simpson, she was from a generation that enjoyed reading and knew the value of books. I don't want to assume, although if you mean Amelia Earhart, that your mother baked a pie for, then that is really an interesting. There is intrique regarding Amelia Earhart, and if she really was working gathering intelligence for our Country.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 9:45 PM

@ Tommy - No need for sorrow! Mom was 3 months short of her 100th and up till six months before she died she read 3-4 books a week. I got a kick out of the Wednesday Journal Obit "Mary Simpson, she baked a pie for Emelea Earhart" She always had a hard cover book to read and said that "The experience of reading a book is always enhanced by the smell of paper and ink"

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 7:50 PM

Ray Simpson, I am sorry for the loss of your mother. You had me laughing when you wrote this. "She gave me a wink and said " that is what we are supposed to say!" That was nice that he was able to be confident nothing would be said. There is a wise saying when it comes to a secret. A secret is no longer a secret once you tell some one. Regarding trump, I understand the basics of how you think towards him and saying he is not a politician. He was and is a lousy business man, too. I know you won't agree with that, and I have no intention to change your thinking. What I am trying to have you understand can be down by saying how do you think you can get several countries together in agreement and then create WWII. The answer is simple. It is done knowing how the average person thinks and responds to. If you developed situational awareness, you become very aware of what you are trained in. If I put a certain 8 times in a paragraph, gave you the word to search for how many, you would not find each one. It is how the mind works and perceives things. It will eliminate certain information just like a compressed video file eliminates the same information so it can transmit faster although you lose quality. The same goes for why when we type comments or a journalist writes a story, you can find mistakes.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 6:48 PM

@ Tommy - What isn't often spoken is that Pres Trump is NOT a politician and he expects results by the end of the week not an election cycle or two. At my mothers funeral 2 years ago my cousin had the memorial book from Uncle Peters burial at Arlington. I asked her how come Peter spent 30+ years as an army spook and when he retired he was assigned to the Pentagon GSA. 20 additional years a "Bean Counter?" She gave me a wink and said " that is what we are supposed to say!"

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 6:35 PM

Ray Simpson, two corrections on the previous post. We have our government changing from the way our government use to work and it has been a slow process with each president. The from is the key word. Second change should read Maybe you heard the expression bag of dirty little tricks and they aren't the same bag as Felix the wonderful Cat, with his bag of tricks used

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 5:43 PM

Ray Simpson, you are right about Xenophobia, that was brought to attention because trump acted in that behaviour. Conquer and divide is what is happening on both sides. On one side you have people who are aware of the wrong behaviour and on the other side you have people who are willing to push things away from their thinking to accept things that sound good. Unfortunately, both sides don't realize they are being manipulated unless you are able to step outside of it, and follow the path. We have our government changing the way our government use to work and it has been a slow process with each president. What makes trump stand out is he is pushing things a lot faster. When the investigation is over, there won't be any chargeable offenses. When you understand that the president has the power to fire Mr. Mueller, you can understand there is some thing wrong with the justice system. It has always been on the side of each serving president. The one thing trump does which he can't help is he telegraphs information to the public because he is egotistical and when you hear or read had his aides are trying to reign him in, that is what they are trying to get him to stop. The agency you mentioned did a lot of recruiting. Maybe you hear the expression bag of little tricks and they aren't the same bag as Felix the wonderful Cat, with his bag of tricks

Ray Simpson  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 5:27 PM

@ Tommy - I rest my case!

Mike Hanline  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 3:27 PM

Trump showed "our" President Obama zero respect while he was in office, and continues to publicly question his birth record. I see absolutely no reason to extend any respect to Trump. He's a sociopath, a pathological liar, a sexual predator, a wannabe dictator, and a self-serving carnival barker of the highest order.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 3:25 PM

@ Tommy - you just illustrated the point I was trying to make. We both gave an opinion -both at variance with the other. We did it with cool respect and no one wound up being insulted. I think we each might be seeing things from more neutral ground - I am trying. Every dispute has two sides and each has something to offer. We did not resort to our list of smarty pants $4 insults that prove how smart you are. Two years ago had you used the word "Xenophobia" no one would have any idea what it means nor would they care. Today many of those who use that particular word still are clueless as to what it means. Hatred goes two ways and claiming moral superiority can expose some of one's own weaknesses. Thanks for your point of view. BTW My late uncle was involved in the conversion of Army intelligence into the CIA or something like that. I always enjoyed his stories about recruiting agents in suburban Detroit. .

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 2:56 PM

You're defending a fascist, Simpson. Didn't you fight in a war against that?

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 12:06 PM

Ray Simpson, thank you for naming a few things that trump says he is doing. As for school playground tactics, I do think if trump never behaved that way, and would stop behaving that way there would be no reason to call him on his behaviour. Regarding the putin call, that is not how things are done in the intelligence community. That is to slowly get everyone to accept a relation between putin and trump. Learn about putin and what he has done. The stock market is manipulated by a very rich group of people who can make it swing either way. Any overhauling of the V.A., is to make it private and get rid of the V.A., which just on speculation would eventually have Veteran's, also paying for health services. You should understand that in intelligence communities scenarios are played out. The cards that were going to be given to Veteran's, to go to any hospital was a good idea although that hasn't and won't happen. Keeping DACA means more spending and collecting more taxes from the younger generation who spend more so it is profitable to keep people in the Country. Health care overhaul is to increase profits. You have all logical reasoning why you think trump is doing great things and I hope it does work although it would be nice if you could mention some thing that has already been done that is working and not behind schedule like the wall being built. The prototypes were to be completed by September 2017. I respectfully thank you for trying to give me some ideas on what trump has done although every thing is still in the process which is different then what I was asking you.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: December 18th, 2017 9:17 AM

@ Tommy - That phone call from Putin, Pres. Trump informed Russia of a terrorist plot planned for Moscow. Lives were spared and that is GOOD! Would you have it any other way? 2- The dow will hit 25000 by years end and all of our retirement plans will benefit greatly. 3- The VA is going to be overhauled. 4- DACA has been thrown to the congress to make it a LAW!

Ray Simpson  

Posted: December 17th, 2017 11:32 PM

@ Tommy - I believe he is your president as well! I am not defending his rhetoric or his policies. I am speaking to civility in our conversations. Most everyone has his/her points of view and why they believe them. Lacking legitimate arguments things degenerate to name calling and grade school playground tactics which seems to be all to common in Oak Park.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 17th, 2017 4:54 PM

Ray Simpson, I have been following some of your president's business dealings for over 40 year's and they have all been bad and involved mistreatment towards other's. Now we have the putin and trump conversation thanking trump and complimenting him on how well the economy is doing. I am sure you think trump gave a good job back to putin. I don't want to make any assumptions on why you are so fond of trump so maybe you can post one or two of the really really great great things going on folks, I can tell you that, which is what trump tells you. So just mention two things that trump has done

Ray Simpson  

Posted: December 17th, 2017 4:08 PM

Dwyers disrespect for our president manifests itself in gut level hatred. If he has one of those "Hate has no place" signs in his front lawn I assume he sleeps in the garage.Many of us here have differing opinions on many subjects. We seem to be able to press our points and enjoy the conversations. When Dwyer shows up his contribution seems to only be able to point out my mis-matched socks and out of style bow tie. His contributions are rarely meaningful and lean toward vindictive.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 17th, 2017 8:06 AM

You're correct, Bruce. My disrespect for the president is fully intentional.

Nick Polido  

Posted: December 17th, 2017 6:36 AM

We live in a state that lost a record $4.75 billion in adjusted gross income to other states in the 2015 tax year, according to recently IRS data released. That's up from $3.4 billion in the prior year. Not to mention we have $267 billion in unfunded retirement liabilities and who knows what in unpaid bills. We our OK having our local elected officials maintain law firms that rain down money into their coffers as they tell us there is no conflict of interest. These our immediate things that should keep you up at night as Illinois races to a day of reckoning!

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 17th, 2017 12:55 AM

Bruce Kline, you are right that his name is trump, and you are wrong saying that I have addressed trump as drumpf. You are wrong about my choice of who I should respect. I have earned that right in my Country. I don't consider it respectful for a person to call others childish names when that person holds the office of president and commander in chief, that includes all previous presidents. I consider a person very naive or delusional if they can find respect in that type of behaviour. There is a saying, you don't have to respect the person, although you respect the position they hold. That is very difficult for some one serving my Country, during the era I served in. My family goes back to the Civil War, always serving the thoughts that all people are free, and I wouldn't have any idea what your last name would be previous to the 125 years you have been using it. I know about respect to my Country, the flag that represents my Country, tenacity, deligence and most importantly, integrity. If there was any thing naive on my part, it would be that I thought there may have been a chance you were serving on the front line as a surgeon during Viet Nam. Maybe I will still consider myself naive on that. Since we are on the subject of respect, you can call me by Tommy, Tommy McCoy, or Mr. McCoy. It is not respectful to call some one you don't know by their last name when addressing them.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: December 16th, 2017 9:16 PM

No McCoy. What ever you think of Mr. Trump, his proper real, name is Trump not Drumpf. Drumpf is not his proper name. It might be his ancestral surname, but that is a far cry from his proper name. Just like my name is different than its ancestral German derivative. I would consider it disrespectful if you called me by a name other than what I and my family have been using for the past 125 years... irrespective of what it was in Germany two or three centuries ago. This applies as well to one Mr. William Jefferson's Clinton as well. His proper name is Clinton and not Blythe III. So since you seem very concerned about addressing people in a respectful manner, I would submit that you address Mr. Trump as Mr. Trump and not Mr. Drumpf. If you believe Mr. Dwyer was being respectful in calling Mr. Trump, Drumpf, because that is his "real" name, you are either terribly naive at best and delusional at worst. I am reasonably certain that Mr. Dwyer was using "Drumpf" to send a multitiered message, none of which involved respect.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 16th, 2017 6:23 PM

Bill Dwyer, I don't think many people know, or at least less knowledgeable people knew about trump a Germany. His debate with fellow Republicans was as staged as a Vince McMahon wrestling event. I don't know why Ray doesn't consider trump using crooked Hillary, little Marco, rocket man, and the list goes on to demean a person, other than trump just being very disrespectful towards others and then Ray finds disrespect for you calling trump by his proper name. Doesn't Ray find it disrespectful that when our Country called the flag loving trump to serve his Country, the trump found a few ways to keep from serving, and if I recall correctly, Ray did serve during the Korean war. People who hug the flag seem to be the least ones to serve their flag. I do not mean any disrespect to Ray, although how would Ray, like it if trump called him stupid simpson, or maybe radar Ray. It just wouldn't be nice and it would show any lack of care or respect towards another person

Mimi Jordan from Oak Park  

Posted: December 16th, 2017 6:18 PM

Thank you for this, Ms. Hausman. The 2016 campaign seems to have released a poison into our democracy. Formerly civil people are exposing their crude, selfish and sometimes racist proclivities very freely, both online and in person.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 16th, 2017 4:35 PM

Actually... Ray... I'm knowledgeably spelling his family name in the original German. Apparently his grandfather, who the German government didn't want in the country, spelled his name Drumpf. And Drumpf is NOT a "typical New York businessman." He's a pathological liar, narcissist and pedophile who fooled enough genuinely ignorant people to become president. Believe what you want, Simpson. But your guy is a truly bad, dangerous person.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 16th, 2017 3:13 PM

Ray Simpson, trump is not your typical business man. You believe what he tells you and he does not deliver on what he tells you. He use's Ronald Reagan's Let's Make America Great again slogan and removes one word. Trump sells you on trickle down economics and it did not work when Reagan did it. Reagan dropped social programs which now you complain about how society is because of those programs were dropped to reduce the debt and at the same time his friends could become richer by reducing their taxes

Ray Simpson  

Posted: December 16th, 2017 10:38 AM

In 8 years I never exhibited the visceral hatred of President Obama by ignorantly and vindictively misspelling his name. President Trump is a typical New York business man and while I find their demeanor offensive, I know that they are true to their word. You may find humor in insulting the president with your spelling jabs but many of us find them childish at best. This letter is so loaded with factual errors and partisan talking points that someone has to stand up and say "enough"

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 16th, 2017 8:22 AM

A "failed philosophy and visceral hatred?" No, Ray, I'm talking about Trainor's view of the world, not Drumpf and his followers. .

Ray Simpson  

Posted: December 16th, 2017 7:19 AM

So Bill, we are to expect a "More just society" that is derived from failed philosophy and visceral hatred? To express a laundry list of societies woes and blame another human being seems to be the essence of "Xenophobia" A word Hillary's campaign probably found in a list of big words to use to look "Smart"I will agree that our government is in a mess, but the troubles are a decade in the making. Remember that Ken's, and many others here, are myopic without any interest in an opposing viewpoint. It must be satisfying to believe that God whispers in your ear - exclusively!

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 15th, 2017 7:37 PM

Yeah, Ray. That Trainor guy is always pushing that "striving for a more just society" pipe dream. Kind of infectious.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: December 15th, 2017 4:28 PM

You have been reading too much "Ken Trainor"

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