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Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanks to the kindness of a stranger ...

I was able to get my driver’s license renewed today. After being given the wrong ticket by the guy who didn’t focus all that hard on what I said I needed to do at the DMV, I was eventually sent to a woman who spoke broken English when I finally had my number called. She may otherwise be a very nice person, but she clearly wasn’t comfortable assisting me in any way. To be fair, I’ll even admit that I don’t know how often someone with my level of physical disability would need to access the DMV, so this is not a complaint about the woman nor the lack of accessibility in their system. (Previous experiences have actually been extremely easy, in fact.) But between signing things with pens that were chained to the desk and having to access a number keypad to answer questions on a computer that wasn’t equipped with adaptive features, the process quickly became frustrating. Then a middle-aged white guy – and I mention those characteristics because he is part of a group that is generally the least likely to offer assistance to me in public in my experience even though I am more or less part of that group – got out of the waiting area to assist me. He wasn’t asked to help, I’ve never seen the guy before in my life, and I have no idea what prompted him to do it. But less than a week from Thanksgiving on a day that turned out to be filled with frustrating customer service (or lack thereof) in places where it should be expected I was very thankful for his assistance.

Friday, November 9, 2012

I decided to rephrase this from last night, but I’m still tired of people suggesting that they go to work to support lazy people under Obamacare. Well, no, you don’t....

The Health Care Reform Act has a work requirement. I specifically see many people saying this who grew up much like me -- white and middle-class economically, if not better. Some really didn’t work all that hard to get where they are. They started in the right slot, muddled through school, and got the career they always assumed they would. They also grew up able-bodied, and most of them work in places that wouldn’t even consider hiring me because I’m disabled. I know, most will say, “We don’t mean disabled people.” But that has started to seep into the public dialogue. And who exactly do you mean? Yes, some people scam the system, but that’s a failure in enforcement, not the law, and probably happens in as many “good” neighborhoods as the ones in the minds of people saying this stuff. Who exactly doesn’t deserve health care? By the way, one of these comments came from a person suggesting America died on Tuesday. This morning I saw a post from a serviceman actually saying goodbye to America...because he was leaving to defend it for 6 months. Try some facts before you gripe about having a job.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Voting in Support of Obama, Democrats, especially to Defend People with Disabilities

          There are many reasons that I’ll be voting strictly for Democrats on Tuesday. President Obama is not only at the top of the ballot, he’s at the top of the list of my reasons. I think he has served honorably despite an onslaught of vicious attacks that I don’t think any other president has faced. He can’t and won’t call it out as the racism that it is, but many realize he has forged ahead without once responding to the blatant prejudiced he’s faced veiled as political banter. I think he has chosen to do what is right over the easy political move time and time again. And I think he has worked to move the economy in the right direction for everyone as opposed to giving the rich every advantage in the world and hoping everyone else gets a few leftovers.

          However, my vote will also be a vote against the Republican Party that has become elitist, openly scornful of anyone in a minority status, very much including myself and other people with disabilities, has inexplicably and repeatedly chosen to attack victims of rape, and at this point has a presidential ticket that seems to lie as a matter of course. (Mitt Romney has actually been called out for his latest lies by the auto industry.)

          Most of all my vote will be intended to protect the rights and integrity of people with disabilities, who have been regularly attacked by republican candidates for reasons beyond my comprehension. While our president has not been as forceful as I would like to see in working to further the struggle of people with disabilities to become equal members of society, the republican party seems to find our mere existence an affront to their misguided sense of right and wrong.

          Here’s just a few reminders of their unacceptable attitudes from previous posts:

·       Live from Hell’s Kitchen recently reported that Bob Marshall, a republican from Virginia, blasted Planned Parenthood, saying “that God was punishing women who had abortions by giving them disabled children. . . . has his direct quote: ‘The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,’ said Marshall, a Republican. ‘In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.’”

·       Republican Mark Ewing of Alaska, running for the state House, said, “We are spending millions and millions of dollars educating children that have a hard time making their wheelchair move and, I’m sorry, but you’ve got to say, ‘no’ somewhere. We need to educate our children, but there are certain individuals that are just not going to benefit from an education.”

·       And the quote that stands out from all the rest even after almost two years, Republican Martin Harty said, “‘[T]he world is too populated’ and there are ‘too many defective people. . . . You know the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions – the defective people society would be better off without.’ . . . Harty [added that] the world population has increased dramatically, and ‘it’s a very dangerous situation if it doubles again.’ . . . Harty said nature has a way of ‘getting rid of stupid people,’ and ‘now we’re saving everyone who gets born.’ . . . Harty [also] stated, ‘I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population.’” In response, Republican House Speaker William O’Brien’s main point was to say that Harty had earned the right to say whatever he thinks, and I saw no reports of any republicans rebuking Harty.

·       In his speech at the Democratic National Convention, President Obama at least mentioned people with disabilities. It’s a start Mitt Romney didn’t take.


          Disability issues aren’t the only reasons I will be voting Democrat on Tuesday, although I would have no problem if they were the only reasons. In fact, I think anyone with a physical disability voting Republican is a masochist.

          Yet, the republicans have given me plenty of other reasons to vote against them. They include the words of Mitch McConnell, republican minority leader, saying, “Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term,” and the continued existence of Fox News.

          McConnell is the epitome of what’s wrong with our government. The only difference between him and other republicans in what he said was that he was dumb enough to say it for media consumption. Regardless of any other opinion, I don’t understand how anyone can support a party that openly opposed the president for the sake of opposing him. It’s a disgrace. It’s not what they were sent to Washington to do. And it should not be tolerated.

          Fox News is probably the biggest fraud being perpetuated on the public at this time and possibly any other. They have completely abused the right to free speech in calling themselves a news network, which they simply do not even resemble. Their lies fill their network 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and their viewers are known to be uninformed on basic facts according to numerous studies. They give air time to cretins like Ann Coulter, and aside from mimicking the graphics and talking mannerisms of actual news networks and journalists they have nothing to do with the news. Their right wing agenda is blatant, a slap in the face to the American public on a daily basis, and, according to none other than the party itself, comes directly from the Republican Party.

          Before President Obama ever took office republicans began talking about taking back our country. Despite the thinly veiled context they were using, the sentiment actually does apply four years later. We need to take back our country from the extremists in the Republican Party who seem to think they can spew their lies and prejudices to get their agenda back in the White House.

          I hope to do that by voting for the president and the Democratic Party on Tuesday.

Even big business, which Mitt Romney is supposed to be the champion of, is calling the man a liar.

See the article here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

#WePush2 First time I did 70 mins of continuous pedaling on the exercise bike - 60 + 5 “cool down” + 5 after I ...

could restart; learning as I go; don’t necessarily have to go slower during the “cool down,” though it might be a good time to really drink some water. Did around 13.8 miles in the first 60 mins on level 5 (best yet on current bike), maybe .5 in the cool down, and another mile on level 6 after being able to restart. Thinking about the 2013 MS Ride with a goal of beating my 9+ hours to complete the first day – 75 miles – in 2010. My biggest fear is the recuperation. It could have been coincidence, but the year after was filled with numerous minor health issues. I think drinking more water during the ride would help – couldn’t get enough afterwards last time.