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Ann last won the day on January 5

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About Ann

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  • Birthday 12/19/1970

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    Travel. Fun. SciFi
  • More About Me
    Sharing a good meal with friends and glass of wine is my happy place.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. @Burnedout Is there an example of a country (that you know of) where Libertarian principles are applied and working and you think is a good example of how a country should be run? I'm not being a smart ass. I am really curious as to the system you believe is the best and having a good example of how it is working (not theory, but one in practice). It doesn't have to be a perfect system is perfect, but one you think is pretty good? Like I think Belgium is a pretty good example of how democratic socialism can work. It's not perfect, and has it's flaws, but in general, and in my experience, I think the system over all helps and protects it's citizens while allowing people to have a decent life and even thrive as there are some wealthy areas and people as well as almost no (I think it's around 3 or 4 percent) poverty.
  2. He was more proud of being an Venetian. He told me that Italians are first proud of the small region they live in, followed by other things (I can't remember) and last was Italian. He often would tell me Italians were responsible for almost every invention (telephone, flight etc) mostly because Leonardo Da Vinci thought of it first. Or if we traveled to a different region in Italy, he always knew what that region was known Umbria has the best olive oil (I think it was Umbria...can't remember for sure), or Piedmont region had the best pesto etc...He was proud of the people and their accomplishments but don't think he was patriotic at all...unless Italy was doing well in the World Cup. And he was critical of the other Italians and would say not very nice things about Italians that live south of Rome, but when we went to Napoli, he was quick to point out the birth of the first pizza was from that region and we had to go to a specific pizza restaurant (don't remember the name) in order to get the "best pizza." Leave it to the Italians to know or search for the best food;)
  3. Years ago...I was dating an Italian (kinda why I landed myself in Belgium) and he stayed for a few months with me in Cali. I took him to a high school basketball game. He was in shock when the national anthem was played before the game and everyone stood up. He asked me a lot of questions about this, like why and how often this occurs. I explained that at every sporting event throughout the States we stand out of respect etc... It blew his mind. He thought that kind of thing only happened in the movies. It got me thinking. Why....and why the pledge of allegiance every morning at school? Italians are VERY proud to be Italian. Just ask one and yet, he thought that kind of thing was fascist.
  4. I think it's sad that the most rich and powerful country I grew up in and love does not help it's citizens like other first world countries. The high taxes paid go towards so much more than health care. I almost never see homeless people. If someone has an alcohol or drug problem, they can check themselves in a hospital for care at minimal costs. People with mental illness are also cared for so those two things alone help keep people off the streets and if a worker looses their job, then the unemployment pay is enough to live on...not a lot, but at least people don't have to worry if they can pay rent or eat. The vacation time for an average worker is around 6 weeks and workers have rights, some power and job security. I know socialism is a "bad" word back in the States. I used to think the same until I moved here. I was a conservative republican (like a good little christian should be;) and even listen and agreed with Rush Limbaugh (of all people!) back in the early 90's. So much of my thinking has changed and a big part of that is living in Belgium. It's not a paradise and has it's problems. The people are nice but not open or very friendly in general.... the weather sucks and it rains all of the time (although I like the rain) The language is awful (at least the Dutch speaking side IMO) and difficult to learn. I miss "home" a lot esp friends and family, but I cannot afford to live in the States anymore as I'm not willing to take the risks attached to the American lifestyle....mainly healthcare, but I'm also thinking ahead. Like retirement. I could not afford to retire if I lived in the US and when I get to the age when I may need to live in a retirement home, I know I will be cared for. IDK...the system is not perfect here, but a better fit for me.
  5. I pay a lot of taxes in Belgium (around 45% is deducted from every paycheck). At first I was in shock, but then realized a year or two later that I can easily live a comfortable life with what I take home....So no, it's not free. 2009 I was in a pretty scary car accident. Was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and had surgery because my head tried to break the glass of the driver's side window. In the emergency room, the Dr brought in a plastic surgeon so the cut on my forehead would heal without a noticeable scar (I'm super thankful the emergency Dr didn't just stitch up the jagged gash) and one month later had to have surgery on my back because a lumbar disk was wrecked. 10 months ago, had a second surgery for same stupid disk and a fusion was needed. I live alone and needed help with grocery shopping, house cleaning, etc... A social worker came to my home twice a week for a few hours to help me for 8 weeks. Out of pocket all the above cost around 800-1000 euros. I did have to pay 400 euros for the chemical clean up my car left on the road. I wonder sometimes when I visit friends and family back home if the same thing would have happened to me and I was still living in California if my insurance would have covered (and how much?) the ambulance, hospital stays, plastic surgeon etc..... I pay a lot of taxes, and for me it's worth it. It's not a paradise, just a different system that has helped me as well as others who live here.
  6. Constant Inadequacy

    Hi Nightcore, I'm sorry you are going through some shit with your parental units once again... I have felt the same ^^ when dealing with my mom. Like the rug was constantly being pulled from under me or the knife in my back she put there because it suited her and her needs in the moment. And I also had moments I could not organize my thoughts or place my feelings when dealing with her nuttiness. You are not alone. One thing that helped me soooo much was looking into Narcissism. For me, I also blamed religion as a bad influence over my mother and if only she would stop believing in Jesus, then her and I could have a good mother/daughter relationship. The fact of the matter (for me) was it wasn't about religion, but my mom was a narc and it wasn't just the religion that was more important than me....but almost everything was more important. When I started watching some videos on youtube (for me I could only take 10-20 min videos as I was overwhelmed by the information) about covert/overt narcissism, and related topics like being the "scapegoat" or the "golden child" of a narc and what that meant was I able to place my feelings and anxiety over the relationship I thought I had with my mom to rest. I'm not saying your dad is a narc....I have no idea...but in my case, looking into what Narcissism is and how "they" behave helped me.
  7. Children of the 80's remember???
  8. I see what you are doing....pretending you know the rules so I will let my guard down, slip up, and reveal the real rules. Never! I'm guessing Stormtrooper. This video is too emotional for Federation standards. Are you testing my nerd skills? Or gun knowledge? What I know about guns is they scare me.
  9. Who's this roger you speak of??
  10. Minimize, dismiss, the crazy.....That only helps feed it
  11. Anyone dealt with conspiracy theories?

    I knew it. Humans like conspiracy theories because, "I told you so" feels so good.... Wrap your logic brain around that!
  12. Feeling a bit emo and not in the mood to dance? This might scratch that itch;)
  13. Sometimes I just need to dance, dance, a mad woman! I dare you to listen and sit still. I double dog dare you!