Every once in a while, pundits can be profound.

August 30, 2012 at 5:00 PM (Uncategorized)

This, today, from Ezra Klein:

We’ve done something very dangerous in the media and in politics more generally. And we’ve created this line where we can say, “over here is politics” and politics is about message and it’s about appearance and it’s about how you’re polling and it’s about how you come off during your speech and we can judge that separately and apart from policy, from the truth of the matter; from what it’s about … the conventions. I mean, it’s as Michael Steele said you know, it’s not, it’s not a policy argument at convention. But that is, in some ways, there’s an expectation for what politicians are going to do. They would do different things if we gave them different expectations.

And when we say the expectation is not to be honest and not to be factual, we allow them among other things aside from just being untruthful to the American people, we allow them to back themselves into promises and into theories that don’t fit the moment and don’t lead to good government. So, Michael Steele made the point, and it’s correct, that one of the main things a convention does is they put forward a vision for the country. If that vision for the country is not based upon sound premises, if it’s on a foundation of sand, it is not going to work. But, having promised it, having latched themselves to that mast they will, and I think this happened in the Bush Administration and it happens in many administrations, be forced into essentially policies that are not good policies.

Notice he said ‘politicians,’ not specifically one party or another. It’s a systemic problem.

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It’s simple. It really is!

August 30, 2012 at 2:53 PM (Uncategorized)

Let’s say you have a belief system.  One you believe in strongly, even passionately.

You express it in private or in public.

You embrace it and practice the tangible positives of it.

It informs the way you interact with others, and causes that matter to you.

But…

The Constitution provides that your belief systems  should stop at my nose, and mine should stop at yours.

I don’t see weakness in the following statement:  I believe in X religion, but I will never force another to act as if they did.

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Popsicle Educational Theory.

August 21, 2012 at 7:48 PM (Uncategorized) (, , )

All I can say is that the cold must be getting to him  .  Mark Ewing, who clearly has a Bomb Pop for a brain, hails from Wasilla Alaska.  This fellow has stated that children who can’t move their wheelchairs don’t need to be educated

Dear Mark Ewing:

Here’s a short list of people who have disabilities who have benefited the universe just by being around, and *further* benefited our nation by getting an education.

Lawrence Carter-Long, professor and movie critic.

Nick Dupree, writer, activist, and killer comic book writer, whose life has been a workbook on what we may have to do to live independently.

Attila The Mom’s kids, who also have a cool, twisty, interesting and educated path towards self sufficiency.

Steven Hawking.  He couldn’t move his chair, but he’s moved scientific discourse about the worlds (not a typo and yeah he’s a brit )

Kay Olson, my blog mentor, who unwittingly, since she didn’t know me at all, taught me the language of disability rights.

David Gaynes, another bright young fellow in a chair.  Got an education.  Using it well.

Ruth Harrigan, poet of faith.

And countless, countless others with disabilities…

They are citizens of this country.  The notion that some with impairments should have educational opportunity  and some should not…is beyond stupid and damaging to the credibility of the language of freedom, let alone the credibility of the clown who said it.

People with disabilities…need the skills of critical thinking, the logical wilderness of numbers, the mystery of science, the joy of well used language…*to help them live more independently, to cost themselves and society less, and to integrate and master their impairments as adults.*

(and don’t whine and bring up those with cognitive impairment… It’s a different playing field, yes…but education still happens, that improves their quality of life.)

Should their parents and friends be caregivers for uneducated persons?  Are there no workhouses?  Should they be abandoned on the hillside?

Mr. Ewing, God help you if you or a family member or friend faces the question of educating a child with disabilities.  Because someday that child is going to learn to read, grow up, use Google and find out you wrote this ****.

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Playing it safe.

August 21, 2012 at 6:32 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I’ve noticed something interesting.  And in a way I’m kind of sad that I’ll have to go against it.

Because I know my family members raise these issues out of concern for my safety.

In the next few years, I’ll have the opportunity to move back into Cuyahoga County…

I love the neighborhood I live in now.  It’s well kept, quiet, ..pretty darn upscale.

(it’s very atypical for housing for people with disabilities to be in upscale neighborhoods…this is a unique situation.)

But…in the part of Lorain County I live in, there is very very little in the way of accessible transportation.

Which is the biggest reason for me to accept the move back into Cuyahoga County. (The second reason is that I’d be closer to family and friends)

It appears my family (both sides) have real concerns about this move.

The conversations often go something like this:

“You know you really ought to consider staying. This is such a great place.”

or “We think you should just stay here.” “This is wonderful.”

To which, I always answer, “Would *you* live without a car?”

They, of course, say no.

Well, since I’m unable to drive…Public transit is my “car.”

And frankly, I’d like it back.

I leave home rarely, due to the difficult nature of one of my impairments, but when I do leave, I’d like to have more options than an ambulette for medical transport only. (And who knows how long Medicaid is going to keep covering medical transport in the state of Ohio?)

And, yes, I’d have to rely pretty heavily on transit to emergency grocery shop, (my home health person can do the regular shopping), get to church.. get laundry quarters,things, that since the apartment complex is literally smash up behind a strip mall, myself and the power chair can handle nicely in good weather in my present place.

The family’s  perception of the neighborhood I’d be moving into is that it can be unsafe sometimes. I agree with that.  I wouldn’t be going out evenings or early mornings. I’ve lived in the exact same area of Cleveland before, when I was first married, and I think I know the drill.

I do appreciate any concern for my safety.  It’s welcome.  But I’m not going to play it safe, I’m going to shoot for some more independence.

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Why “non ideal people” need to start shouting a bit

August 14, 2012 at 6:53 AM (Uncategorized)

The new Vice Presidential pick for the Republicans, Paul Ryan, is a long term Washington guy, with an engaging manner and a deal more brains than their last VP pick.

When Mr. Ryan was interviewed by the Weekly Standard, he was firm about his belief in Objectivism, the philosophy created and promoted by Ayn Rand.

(My source for what she said about her beliefs is the 1959 Mike Wallace interview with her, and it’s transcript)

She’s an atheist, and she espouses vigorous absolute Social Darwinism (in layman’s terms “survival of the fittest,”)

She said religious belief of any kind was a sign of weakness.

I’d love for other atheists who lurk to explain that yes, in fact atheists do abide by codes of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ that don’t include abandoning one’s fellow beings to their fate if they are less than ideal, because yeah she’s tougher and different than other atheists writings I’ve read.

And, going father back into *her* seminal influences we find FrederickNietzche.  Enough said.

Alan Greenspan was a follower.  Paul Ryan is another.

Why?

Her books appear to be love songs to two things. (I’ve read Atlas Shrugged in it’s entirety.  I’ve read parts of The Fountainhead

Completely unfettered lethal capitalism (and I don’t use the word lethal as hyperbole.  I have personal experience of capitalism gone lethal, so that’s what I call it’s extremes.)

And allowed, even institutionalized, self-interest. Ones own desires, are the ultimate goal.

Human beings, in her world, have no inherent worth or dignity.  They must rise to some arbitrary level of worthiness before they should be aided.

If they cost a dime, do not spend that dime.  They aren’t worth it.  They are given rights by nature apparently, but not *value* by nature.
Charity, especially that based in a belief system has no value

She’s also against the use of force.

Some followers of hers say, but we like helping people…it gives *us* joy, so therefore we will do it.

Come on now.  If the human animal is given ‘permission’ by a given philosophy to act selfishly.

98% of the time they’re going to do it.

What I wonder is…

Evangelical’s who love politicians who love Rand must have made a mental agreement to be ‘cafeteria’ Randians.  Embrace the social Darwinism but forget the militant atheism.

NeoCons who love Rand, must have just ditched the ‘against the use of force’ idea.

And all of them have missed the part where she indicated she was pro choice.

So a great part of her philosophy is embraced for its capitalist idealism and fiscal conservatism…

(and privately for the social darwinist part)…

Religious conservatives don’t seem to worry or care, that to Rand the Crucifixion was torture or folly, and that Ryan, according to his interview with the Weekly Standard in March of 2003  makes Ayn Rand required reading for his staff.

They don’t need to scan Paul Ryan too much.  He’ll save the wealthiest a great deal of money, never mind about the place of Deity  in his priority list.

Do religious conservatives ever worry that they’ll get a President (or vice President) that will share their views on fiscal policy, but laugh their faith out of the room?

Human beings have value.  By being here.  One either accepts that axiom or rejects it.

In the disability community, this axiom is paramount.  If all of us, regardless of type or level of impairment live in a society that recognizes our value, and is ok with educating us appropriately, and working on assistive tech or living adaptation to allow us in…..then at least some of us might be safe, some of the time.

But if we live in a society whose political leaders reject the idea that each person has value, what happens?

The first to be endangered, ignored, abandoned…are the ones it is most difficult to discern the ‘value’ in…

The ones that move differently…or look differently.

Maybe the ones who are physically unable work-for-money.

Maybe the ones who’ve retired from work-for-money.

The ones who Objectivist philosophy (if not each individual Objectivist) dismiss.

I knew an Objectivist in college.  A really bright guy.  Who nonetheless admitted to me that the first time he saw me, and my different way of movement….the first thing he was, was, and I quote: “repulsed.”

I used to think he said that because he was just a jerk.  Now, I think at least part of the reason he said that, was that he had been influenced enough by what he read to have that reaction… Unconsciously…..There, his head said, goes one of those non-ideal people.  I am repulsed by that, because this is one of these situations where Rand says I should be repulsed.

What a sad, sad way to be educated about difference.

But this is the reason why us “non-ideals'” need to fight.

Because the deck is more and more stacked against us as followers of these sorts of things gain traction, influence and power.

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