On “Victims”

September 30, 2012 at 6:05 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

By now, everyone and their brother has weighed in on Romney’s remarks at a private, closed door fund raiser last May, stating that 47 percent of Americans see themselves as victims.

What about persons with disabilities as part of that whole?

Are we, as Ayn Rand so gently put it “mindless eaters?”

And what about the subset of persons with disabilities who have never been able to


First the setup between the PWD’s who worked-for-money and now can’t and the ones who were always unable to do so is a false one.  I put it out here so I could knock it down.

…many many folks who cannot work for money  are advocates for others.  Kids with disabilities facing the adult world need mentors.  Adults newly thrust into the tribe of the disabled need some shock absorbers.  And what about the System?  I’m not speaking of “should it be there or not,” I’m speaking of, “It exists, so and so needs it, but hasn’t a clue how to start the process.”

Eight years back I hadn’t the slightest clue.  I’ve since helped three people who needed to know how to apply get in.  These were people who genuinely needed housing or Medicaid long term care or food stamps.  I’m trying to help a fourth.  (Sometimes people take your advice and sometimes they don’t…)

I’ve been mentored as well, often by other PWD’s I’ve never seen, often by PWD’s whov’ve never held down a conventional job.

If we get help, from amongst ourselves, from allies, from the “safety net…”    We save  the government money. We have fewer physical and mental issues, and most important of all we’re likely to be around to help someone else feeling overwhelmed that needs it.

(on the flip side, many able bodied people who work for money spend a hell of a lot of their workshift doing things they shouldn’t do, and getting paid obscenely for playing computer games, reading a novel, chatting with friends or balancing their checkbook. Been there, seen that myself, so no I’m not making this up.  Evidently they feel ‘entitled’ to do so.)

Unfortunately there was always one bad apple at the office doing this crap and pissing me off, because even when I was able to work, my impairments made it difficult enough that I had to  work the entirety of my shift to keep up.  On the day shift, no inane water cooler chat for me.  No sir.

(Yes, on one of my many jobs, overnights in a call center *were* slow and a bit lazy, but only because the number of calls incoming was quite small.  Even if we had written work to keep us busy, there was often downtime.)

Then there’s the intangible stuff that our friends and family and allies got angry about when Mr. Romney said what he said:  Over and over parents friends co workers said of persons with disabilities that were their associates that merely by being here, we enhance the lives of everyone around us.

Now.  Are some people with disabilities a pain to be around?  If you knew me or my ex boyfriend you’d say emphatically yes. Like any other group of people.  But many  bring to the table humor, intelligence, kindness, happiness…some of the time like any other group of people.  And those in our circle would be worse off without the positives we bring.

And here’s a touchy one.  Is there abuse or fraud in the safety net?  Yes.  What do you do about it?   Make sure it’s really abuse and not a misperception…Report it, work against it, fix it.  Not the goals of one side of the debate…gut it.

“The inherent worth and dignity of every human person.”  That statement isn’t just about one’s views on abortion or contraception.  It’s about all of us, from beginning to end.

(I’ll be quite interested to see how the vice presidential debate goes if that definition comes up.)

And lastly Mr. Romney, l:

, stop with the shaming of anyone on benefits.  Ever since you said that thing, I’ve felt a lot of shame.  Unnecessary, incorrect shame.  Intellectually I  know that I’ve done what I can do, and continue to try to make a difference.

But as many other longterm PWD’s have, I’ve been called a lot of names since I was a child.  I should have enough armor now that they never hurt.  They don’t always, but this one got to me.

That, and a healthy batch of irritation at the thought that I believe if Mr. Romney had had to walk my life path instead of the one he walked he might well have cracked under it and have taken up quiet basketweaving by now.

What right has he to tell me that because of my impairments, I draw Social Security and that means…I see myself as a  victim?

Mr. Romney if you end up in the White House, get some education on real life please.

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I think it’s coming from an insular place

September 18, 2012 at 9:04 AM (Uncategorized) (, , )

Connected to Mr. Romney’s  belief system. Yep, Mormons do have missionaries that bring new meaning to the word pesky. But once you’re in… (as also true in many other belief systems)

I’m not accusing all Mormons of being insular. That would be patently false…

It’s the construct of the belief system and it’s administration…First, very top down, even though any man can be in the priesthood…the directives leave little room for adapting to “conditions on the ground” in any situation. The “No non-Mormons at weddings”rule…He was heavily involved in that system, and then became a CEO…

A central part of the bio we do know about the candidate makes clear that his church is a huge part of his life…so it’s not unreasonable to infer that some of the character of the belief system is expressed in how he runs his life, his businesses, his campaign.

He’s resistant to most forms of outside inquiry, of pressure to change, is secretive about his tax returns.

There’s a resonance there, to the authority in the Mormon church being worked out behind closed doors.

An argument can be made: What about Harry Reid? He doesn’t have the appearance of a guy who is secretive, most comfortable with behind the curtain power….maybe it just proves that different folks can take completely different things away from the same religion.

After all, more conventional forms of Christianity range from militancy to social-justice heavier versions…

But I really don’t want to think of the guy as intrinsically evil. I had eight years of believing that about a Republican President, and if he gets in, I’d rather he just be a leader I can disagree with on policy, disagree with on social issues…but trust that he doesn’t have bad intent.

But if I believe the secrecy is purely intentional, purely cynical…that the remark about the 47 percent reflects that he really believes nearly half the country are dependent losers…that he really believes the timing and content of his remarks on the Libyan terror attack were fine and dandy…

I don’t want a guy in the White House with open contempt for being examined by the electorate and the media during an election year.

So I hope the “inelegant” speech and the keeping many things close to the vest come from his takeaway from Mormonism. It’s more palatable.

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Impairment as shaper

September 18, 2012 at 8:16 AM (Uncategorized)

I was speaking with somebody the other day and I said, “Sometimes I’m glad things turned out the way they did…and they looked at me like I was nuts. I said, “Would I be as adaptable to new situations? Maybe not. Would I be the same observer of the crazy that is life without having been somewhat ‘forced’ to observe…perhaps not.” Besides, some of the stuff able-bodied people with my DNA have gotten into makes me think that I would have been way too much trouble to the world and myself, had I been able-bodied

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What happens…

September 9, 2012 at 11:14 PM (Uncategorized)

Two public figures I admire are bitterly opposed (no it’s no one campaigning right now.) They’re in court having a bitter dispute.

I am an outside observer, I can only read the court documents and observe.

and what I observe, is that this breach will probably never be healed.
I don’t need to insult one and praise the other: the problem is is that both are utterly convinced that they are entirely in the right.

That means the facts, the fair allocation of percentage of right and wrong on either side, can never be known. I have a personal opinion on which has the higher percentage of right, but I’m smart enough to know that I’m a peon far from the action, and so it is my *opinion* nothing more. If neither party can step away from absolute rightness…then it’s done. And the value of both is diminished because neither will step away.

Honestly stepping away wouldn’t have to mean any admission of or statement to the effect of “I was wrong.”

Couldn’t some such statement in the ballpark of… “My positive resources are better spent at _______ (the different skill set each figure has) so I’m deciding to suspend/move away from the lawsuit…”

It’s foolish I know. The work that went into the lawsuit means neither will decide would be better for us who admire them, and *better for each of them* to cut this out and have more time to shine light in dark places.

A tweet this evening asked both to kiss and make up.

Not happening.

Our politics and media have long been slanted as irreconcilable opposites. It’s a shame they’ve both ensconced themselves in the same type of box.

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Mr. Romney/Mr. Ryan: Medicaid as block grant

September 9, 2012 at 10:42 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Mr. Romney/Mr. Ryan:

Let me just state right up front:

I don’t have enough money to pay for a tax cut for you and those in your tax bracket.

If you get your wish about Medicaid…cutting it by 30% over the next ten years and changing it into state block grants…in effect asking me to pay for your tax cut, this is the direct effect it could have on me:

Let’s look at the best case scenario first. At the end of the ten years, I’d arrive at a scenario where

I’d lose 30% of services for the same amount of spenddown (read money-I-presently-have-to-pay-before-Medicaid services start.)

Right at this moment, I would lose my present doctor a rare young fellow who listens to me, and get a new physician who’s job it is to tell me what drugs, and procedures are no longer covered, and therefore no longer really necessary… I’d have to reargue the case for a certain kind of asthma medicine for me, or which anxiety medication is best to help with my depression.

Therapy that among other things, slows the progress of my incurable lymphedema, ‘wakes up’ the lymphatic system to get things moving, physical therapy that does a bit to counter the tightening stiffening muscles that come when you have cerebral palsy and get older, that I’ve been dealing with, the therapy that has been at least partially covered, up to a certain dollar amount, would reduce by 30% (It’s limited now, and I have to give it up entirely ’til January, even before you get your mitts on it.)

In order to pay for your tax cut, I’d have to pay 30% of my medical transport costs…presently the only transport I have available in this county to get to a doctor or specialist. (FYI full cash cost of one round trip to my lymphedema therapist would be approximately 180.00 one way. I was going 2x a week. If you can, you do the math.)

That’s best case.

Middle of the road case: In addition to the above cuts in order to pay for your tax cut, my spenddown would go up…money that I now use for rent, non covered medical expense, food, phone bill, internet access…

Worst case: the 30% cut means cutting *people* not just services, and since I’m relatively new to the program, in order to pay for your tax cut, I could be one of the ones to go.


Still lose my doctor…

All medical transportation costs

and 20% of medical expenses covered by my remaining Medicare would become my responsibility. (I’m eligible for Medicare due to disability…many of my fellow Medicaid beneficiaries *only* have Medicaid, so their situation would be even more desperate than mine.)

My earned benefit of disability only goes so far Mr. Romney…
I’ve given up a lot by my estimation:

I love books. I had 400 or so. I still like reading books you can pick up and hold in your hand. I’m now down to 30

I love movies. I used to have about 150. I sold them to pay for groceries. Now I’m down to about 30 of those too.

I had to give up a loved pet because there was no contingency money for her if she fell ill…and not enough to make sure both she and I had the basics. And, for what it’s worth I loved her enough to do what was best for her, not put her on top of a damn car for a roadtrip.

Luxuries like a dinner out or a movie out don’t happen unless someone else is kind enough to pay. (This is as it should be. I am in no way asking anyone to subsidize a trip to the movies for me. Doesn’t mean I don’t miss them. )

In summation, Mr. Romney, and Mr. Ryan too.

Mr. Ryan has been called bold for advancing the plan that would force me and every single present Medicaid beneficiary to pay for your tax cut, Mr Romney…

What’s bold, or brave about forcing benefits away from poor people and people with disabilities and forcing more of their small store of money into your pockets?

Smells like cowardice to me.

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