Congress is a Mess

August 17, 2011

Well, it’s been awhile since I have posted anything, but lately with what has been going on in Congress I am ready to explode! It is time for the United States of America to start taking care of its own people and for the politicians to get to work. This constant bickering is driving me nuts. The politicians are more worried about being re-elected than doing their job. This debt ceiling crisis was a bunch of BS manufactured by a bunch of partisan politicians. Frankly, I was embarrassed by what went on in Washington. We were looking like fools in front of the whole world.

I have some ideas for Congress: how about we get the hell out of Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan for starters? It seems to me we could save a whole bunch of money and use that money on the home front. Why do we have to be the country that tries to save the planet? I don’t see China doing anything, or Brazil, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the rich oil nations. We can no longer afford to take the role of world peace keeper. Let’s take care of our own children, elderly, and people in need of services. We keep cutting social programs for the americans who need them most.

I have an idea: Let’s raise taxes to the rich, people earning a million dollars a year and more. Let them pay their fair share instead of placing the burden on the middle class. A couple of years ago, Obama had the bright idea of not giving Americans on social security a cost of living raise for two years. I am one of those people who did not get a cost of living raise, but instead lost money, because the cost of Medicare went up on both those years, and my social security amount went down. Yes,Virginia, (and those of you that didn’t know) Medicare is not one of the great things about turning 65 or being on disability, and it is not free. So I am losing money, while the fat cats just pay less taxes and get richer. I think a flat tax rate for all Americans would be fair and it sure as hell would simplify things.

It seems pretty damn simple to me get out of Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, quit wasting billions of dollars in those places, raise taxes on the rich, and quit giving so many perks to the elected senators and congressmen. Who is with me on this? Comments are welcome.

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Unemployment is High for People with Disabilities

November 6, 2009

I hear all the time that unemployment is high and the economy is in the toilet and able bodied people cannot find work. President Obama is allegedly creating jobs to help the unemployed. What I want to know is just what the hell has he done for people with disabilities to get them employed? The rate of unemployment  is around 44% for people with general disabilities while reaching 70% for people who are visually impaired and blind. The numbers are hard to figure out as I found one that showed 16% unemployment for people with disabilities, however this number is taken from the number of people filing for unemployment in a one week period and not the total number of unemployed.

In my experience, looking for work is a pain, and getting past employer attitudes is a bigger pain. I have a dual masters degree to go along with my undergraduate degree and feel I am qualified for the positions for which I have applied. Employers like to hide behind what I call “Legal Discrimination”, which means that when they tell you that you did not get the job they use catchphrases such as: We are looking for someone who is a better fit, more experienced, more qualified; I was even told by one person that he hired the first person he interviewed. This is a crock! The jobs I applied for were mostly entry level, working in the state vocational rehabilitation area. So what is Obama going to do to help people with disabilities find gainful empl0yment?

I am waiting for the stimulus to help, and I don’t mean worthless job fairs where employers show up and make themselves appear to be willing to hire people with disabilities, but really are there to make themselves look good.  I have never met a person with a disability that was hired at a job fair. Obama needs to open up government jobs and have more programs to get people who are visually impaired and other people with disabilities working in mainstream employment. Let’s get that stimulus money into jobs for the 16,000,000 people with disabilities who want to work.

Cataract Surgery Can Improve Vision

August 21, 2009

Well I finally went and did it, I had cataract surgery on my right eye, which is considered my worse eye. I know you are asking, if you are blind what do you need cataracts removed for? I actually have a bit of sight that was becoming really cloudy, not good for watching tv. Anyway I told the doctor I wanted to get it done and made the appointment. I had to put in eye drops for 3 days before the surgery and day of the surgery. I went in, they prepped me and the whole surgery lasted 20 minutes. I am putting 3 types of drops in my eye 4 times a day now until told otherwise. I wear an eye shield at night to protect my eye. The early results are good, I can see clearly and I can actually read some large letters on the eye chart I couldn’t read before. I am planning to schedule the other eye as soon as possible.

Some Restaurants Discriminate Against Service Dogs

March 29, 2009

I’m baacck! It has been a while since I’ve written anything for this blog. However, something happened to me that I just had to let the world know about. My wife and I were out doing a couple of things yesterday and I had my “Dog Guide” Murphy with me, as I usually do. It was past lunch time so we thought we would stop at a nearby fast food restaurant for lunch. The name of this place is Gold Coast Hot Dogs and it is located at the corner of Howard and Western on the North side of Chicago. The three of us walked in, and I heard someone with a heavy accent calling to me from across the room, telling me I needed to leave because dogs are not allowed in the place.

I asked to speak to the manager and this guy claimed to be the manager. I tried to explain that this was my service dog and I am allowed by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) to bring this dog in his restaurant as this is considered a reasonable accommodation. I have an ID card from the school where I trained to receive my dog. I tried to hand it to him, but he kind of glanced at it and said something like, “OK, whatever, but still you can’t bring that dog in.” He would not listen to what I had to say. My wife even read out loud the excerpt from the ADA printed on the back of the card.

Once again, this idiot would not listen. I told him to call the police, and he said that we needed to leave. He was not going to serve us. I called him a name or two and told him to “F” off! And he returned the greeting as we walked out the door. For what it’s worth, this fellow was speaking English as a second language. This area has people of many nationalities and some are not citizens. I do not know about that guy.

Well, we were still hungry, so we thought we would go to the McDonalds down the street that the three of us have been to many times over the past few years (not that we eat out that often). We walked in, and before ordering, we thought we would go get a booth and Murphy and I would sit down or so we thought! This time, a woman with a heavy accent told us we could not bring the dog in the restaurant and had to leave. I asked for the manager, and this woman stated that she was the manager. I explained to her about the ADA and that Murphy was a “Dog Guide” for me because I am blind. She was at least listening as I explained the law, and another customer near us was saying “he is right!”

She then went and made a phone call while we stood waiting. I do not have any idea who she called, but she came back and said “He’s trained right, he’s trained not to pee or something?” to which I said, yes, he’s well trained and keeps me from crashing into things, etc. She then told us we could stay, but did not give any apology.

This whole series of events really pisses me off! It irks me that these people from these other countries who most likely came here to the land of opportunity to have a better life have the balls to take my “rights” away by discriminating against us. I don’t like the immigration laws anyway, but that is a rant for another day. It’s hard enough having a disability and cope with things in general, but these foreigners need to be educated or sent back to where they came from! I am not usually prejudiced, but this kind of thing makes me that way.
Because of this enlightening experience, I am going to start a website where I can post the names and addresses of places that discriminate against people with disabilities and service dogs. I will start locally, and when I get the site up I will ask that people email me experiences that they have had and the names and addresses of businesses that have discriminated against them. I will post more information on this blog as things move along. If you know of anyone who has had experiences like these, please give them the address to this blog. The word needs to get out.

Grateful Dead and Ratdog

November 21, 2008

Well I have to admit I have been a Grateful Dead fan since the 60’s and my good friends AJ, Jocko and I listened to them all the time. I would not consider us “Deadheads” in the sense that we went to every concert we could get to, but when they came to Seattle if it was possible we would go. I even managed to see them in their own Mecca, San Francisco, at the Winterland Ballroom. Just possibly the best concert of any kind, that I have witnessed. Well as we know Jerry Garcia died a few years back and that ended the band.

One day last summer I was up watching Jay Leno and the musical guest was Bob Weir, who was one of the original members of the Grateful Dead. He was appearing with his band “Ratdog” and they performed some song recorded by the dead. This seemed interesting so I went online and found out they would be appearing in Chicago later in the summer. So I went to Ticketmaster and plunked down $100 for two tickets, thinking this could be a blast. Concerts have changed! We got there and there was a line for males and females where we were searched for contraband. Like a blind guy carries weapons and drugs!

We went in just before Ratdog came on stage and the air upstairs was pungent with the smell of weed and I noticed many OLD hippies, wearing tie dye shirts and beads with really long hair. It made me feel really old. I admit I may be 60 years old but I have been getting in better shape, I have lost over 40lbs since February, my cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar is normal thanks to meds and diet. I do not feel 60! Well the music started and I have never been so disappointed in my life, it wasn’t that they were horrible; it just wasn’t the Grateful Dead.

I guess I was trying to live my past over and you know what? You just can’t do it! I wanted some of my youth back and the good old days when we partied hard and never regretted it. Seeing these old hippies made me wake up and realize life moves on and we can move with it or be stuck trying to relive the past. After a few songs the band took a break, I guess they were tired, they were old too. I told my wife let’s get the hell out of here, I have had enough. The Grateful Dead lives on in their music on CD and Sirius Radio. I will be content to listen and not try to relive the old days. Hell the days now are pretty damn good too!

Honking Horns

November 20, 2008

Well here it is another day and my second post to this blog, but who is counting? We are having snow flurries today in the Chicagoland and frankly I hate snow, it should only be found in the mountains amd the poles. As I said earlier, if you were paying attention is that I live in Chicagoland, far north Chicago as the locals call it. In this part of town there is a crisis for parking. Back in the 40’s there was a lot of building and no thought was given to the future of where cars would park with the apartment buildings all around.

With no place to park people will honk their horns for people to meet them for their rides to work or wherever. What is annoying is that this occurs all hours of the night and morning. It seems to me these idiots could be courteous by calling on their cell phones to let the people know they are coming and let the rest of us sleep until we have to get up in the morning. But in this area where English and politeness is not the norm, the rest of us just have to deal with it. Tune in nex time when it is Ratdog vs Grateful Dead.

Generalities and Rants

November 14, 2008

Well, this is my first post to my blog or any other blog and I am not sure where the hell this is headed. This will evolve, hopefully in a good way. Don’t expect perfect grammar or anything else for that matter. Topics will change constantly and may be interesting or not. I bet you are wondering about the tag line, well I happen to be a blind guy. But don’t worry this is not going to be a blog about blindness or disabilities, although it will touch on these topics from time to time.

I have a dog guide named Murphy and yesterday he and my wife were at the local supermarket. At the checkout the checker and the bag girl, and I use the term girl loosely. Had to demonstrate to me that they could read the sign on Muphys harness which reads: Do not pet me. I am working. Why is it these idiots have to read this sign outloud? Is it some need to tell me they are there and they can read? After reading the sign the bag girl actually had the balls to ask if she could pet him. What the hell is the point of the sign lady? Being a nice guy and I don’t know why, I said yes he actually is not working at the moment because I had a hold of his leash not the harness.

I expect these kind of questions from kids not adults that can read. I guess they are just proud of that fact and want to show off to me. All i can say is read it to yourself and do ask if you can pet him, because even if you don’t respect yourself, respect me and my dog. Questions and comments are welcome and I might even read them.