Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Want to hear a joke?

"Disability Rights."

In the United States, Texas, Denton County, and on the campus of the University of North Texas, your "Rights" as a disabled person are a poor joke, or rather a joke upon the poor.  Because Rights aren't a thing you are given, freely without payment.  Actual Rights are earned and secured daily by groups of people, and well funded individuals, for themselves.  If you are not part of a well funded group and or you are otherwise poor, you have NO Rights.

I received my disability at the hands of a drunk driver in 1994, and at the same time lost my basketball scholarship, so the State of Texas helped pay to educate me, and gave me a blue parking pass, which is supposed provide me access to parking 'near' buildings.

As a grad student, I was visiting UNT's Library, but all of the blue-spots were occupied, so I parked in the one next to it.  I returned to find my car had been ticketed.  My attempt to resolve the issue with the UNT Parking Authority in-person was unsuccessful, and the appeal I filed was misplaced.  A FOIA request found my appeal information, but it couldn't be provided to me, not because I had failed to properly submit or file it, or it had been lost, but because a UNT Parking Authority Manager's home/personal information was included on it now.  So, I got a ticket I didn't deserve, filed an appeal that was trashed by someone from their house, and then I had to pay $150, even though Federal Law states I am to be exempt from fees or penalties.  One might think bringing these things to the attention of UNT's Legal Department would bring swift remedy to this minuscule oversight...  Nah, they told me in no uncertain terms, "If you don't like it, TRY to find an attorney that'll sue us!"  I did, they are $5000 to start this case...I make $825 a month, so, yeah.  I tried to get a job.



With my B.S. in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, I tried to apply for a position at the Denton County Law Library.  Wherein, Denton County Human Relations told me that the position was being held for an internal hire.  *Oh, that's hilarious, I thought I had Rights established by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave me the Right to be considered for any public position, and that Texas Code- "Sec. 656.001. STATE AGENCY EMPLOYMENT OPENING. Any agency, board, bureau, commission, committee, council, court, department, institution, or office in the executive or judicial branch of state government that has an employment opening for which persons from outside the agency will be considered shall list the opening with the Texas Workforce Commission." meant they couldn't do that??

Even Denton County's own Hiring Policy states in its manual- "CHAPTER 3, SECTION 3.1 Denton County County Sheriff’s hiring process is centralized and managed by the Denton County Human Resources Department. The Human Resources Department shall publicly announce all vacancies to be filled in the County service, and shall maintain a list of announced vacancies on the GovernmentJobs.com. website."  So, the Law is on my side right?  It is wrong/illegal and even Unconstitutional to deny a disabled citizen consideration for a public position...  I contact the Texas Workforce Commission, and asked for legal aid to press my so-called Right to consideration.  They don't have the resources to help me, they said.  The other government agency the Disability Rights of Texas also turned me down, but admittedly they have not litigated a single case in two years.  I even wrote to Governor Greg Abbott, who's disability support counsel told me, "Sorry, we don't actually have resources to help anyone like you."

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ONLY makes appointments 30 days in advance, and not once in over two months has a single opening occurred.  So there are NO places, people, or organization that offer actual legal services/representation to poor people who have been denied Civil Rights.  That is pure myth.

Two days ago, my twenty-three year old wheelchair shoulders hit a brick wall.  Some time ago, I took a fall, tried to catch myself, and sprained both shoulders quite badly.  My Doctor prescribed steroid injections, which offered some relief, but the pain never went away.  Nine months later I need another injection, which again offered relief, but no cure.  My last injection was about three months ago, and it has ultimately disabled me completely.  I've been inching along with daily ice and heat packs, constant doses of Motrin and Tylenol, but day before yesterday, both shoulders told me, "No."  I couldn't lift myself out of the tub, I had to slither out, and I only just made it back into my chair.

At this point I considered calling for an ambulance, but I mustered myself into my car, and headed to the nearest ER.  They gave me an injection and script for more anti-inflammatories, and told me to leave without further assistance.  I asked the attending Doctor, if someone with two sprained ankles would be asked to walk out of the hospital, causing them more harm, or would they be issued a wheelchair or crutches, perhaps?  It hurts to push my chair, and it brings me to tears to lift myself into bed or into the toilet.

There's an old joke, "I went to the Doctor, and I said, 'It hurts when I do this.' and the Doctor said, 'Well, don't do that.'"  I went to Denton Medical City and told the attending ER Dr. Gupta that it hurt to even attempt daily activities, and that I needed rest, hospitalization, and or a short stay at a rehab facility.  She told me to return home, and wait.  That they'd send home health out, soon, to offer me PT and OT services.  What I need is help in an out of bed, on and off the toilet, into and out of the shower, and an electric chair.

How am I supposed to get out of my car, and into my house, I asked?  "Call the fire department.", they responded.

WHAT???

Can you imagine someone getting home from the hospital, after a double ankle injury treatment, and crawling into their home (which is what I did), or calling people who's job it is to put out fires, to carry them inside?

So, the Right to park and access buildings?  NOPE.

The Right to seek employment?  NOT A CHANCE.

The Right to medical service or treatment?  lol..."NO."

"Disability Rights," the worst joke ever, and it does in every way pain me to say that.






Friday, April 7, 2017

Fascist Radio

"...Woohoo cohones...!"

I had just left a three hour night class (grad work) studying International Conflict Theory, under a Phd. who was knighted by the Italian Crown.  He is also a veteran of the Vietnam conflict, serving as a field medic.  There is no class that a Master's student will find more enlightening and conversationally invigorating.  It is however an hour drive home, so to keep me awake, and partially because my speakers are all blown and music doesn't sound good, I listen to the AM band where the voices clear and normal.

That first thing I heard from one Chris Krok of WBAP 820, along with a report that the President had ordered a Tomahawk missile strike on an Assad airfare base that Syria used in a chemical attack on its own citizens.  The fifty-mile drive home serenaded by outright warmongering after leaving a place of peace and understanding reserved only for those who could qualify and afford the education, left me sad for the public's airwaves.  Crowing about a unilateral attack on a country that in no way presents a strategic threat to the U.S., the host's stewardship of these good airwaves, had me moved to again call-in.

I am a progressive liberal, who makes better arguments, and as such my reception onto talk radio airwaves is usually short-lived.  My call gets pushed right up against the break, so most often no real exchange occurs.  The host is likely to put me on the air with less than sixty seconds before commercial and then interject by lowering my mic, as the host goes to the break and drops my call.  Sometimes, I am kept on hold, until the break, or end of the show, when there isn't enough time to take my call.  Last night, no such faux access was extended.  Instead the call screener said that he wouldn't take my call "...because I am an asshole."

This same host rails incessantly about biased media, while at the same time demonstrating a level of intellectual cowardice that is truly astonishing.  This is unchecked authority at its worst.  TV shows, cable news, Internet and traditional news outlets alike, all have counterbalances.  Talk radio however, is dominated, is not singularly ruled by 'conservatives.'  Liberal views are silenced, subdued, and more often than not strangled into silence.  Free speech, deliberations, honest debates do not occur there.

To which I can only say...  "Shame on you Chris Krok, and others like you, who abuse the airways you have been granted use."

e-mail: chris@wbap.com

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Bernie Voters & the Sanjay Effect

"We are going to make America great again."

The election results of 2016 were unexpected by pollsters, analysts, and most talking heads.  Republican voters rallied around their nominee in big numbers in Florida, Ohio, and Michigan.  Who were they and what was their motive?  How did fundamentalists Christians support a self-admitted p**** grabber?  Is the Sanjay-effect a measurable political force?  When Secretary Hillary Clinton did not name Bernie Sanders as her running mate, did she seal her electoral fate?

Sanjaya Malakar was a contestant on a television show called American Idol who was propelled past his talent level into the finals by a following, set upon destroying the show's credibility.  Well known shock-jock Howard Stern actively encouraged millions of listeners to hijack the faux election and support the worst candidate.  These malcontents are a wandering bunch who attack institutions they perceive as non-democratic.  Portions of this same group named a boat in Europe "Boaty McBoatface." When some people witness opportunities to disrupt voting systems, social networks provide them the opportunity to band together with others to pose as a strike-back force.

Bernie Sanders voters were commonly heard as expressing sentiments of the disenfranchised.  Many claimed that they'd rather vote Trump, or stay home, than vote for Secretary Clinton.  The Secretary did not choose Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or anyone that these voters could rally behind.  The electoral results were dramatic and overwhelming.

President-elect Trump was supported by a vast number of people who wanted an outsider, a business person, a non-politician who was going to 'mix things up!'  These supporters united behind a populous message, and saw this candidate as a cruise missile to our democratic system.  Fundamentalists Christians likely found themselves voting straight party ticket, rather than for person who looked at a 10-year old and said, "I'll be dating her in ten years."  However, the result was the same.

Democrats missed the opportunity to unite the disenfranchised when the Democratic nominee left Bernie voters without a viable option.  That said, this was a 'republic' result, not a 'democratic' one.  Secretary Clinton won the popular vote.  The electoral college is a relic of age long since past, and should either be employed now, today, more than ever, or abolished.  President-elect Trump said, "these elections are rigged, and that this electoral college system is bad for democracy."  I could not agree more.  Social media has given candidates direct access to their voters.  No longer are candidates required to hold public rallies.  They can tweet at 3 am and reach millions of potential voters across congressional and state lines.

The protests erupting nationwide over these election result lead me to wonder, what might have happened had those people been this active before the election?  These results, however un-democratic, came after a contest we all agreed to take part in, knowing full well that a majority of Americans might not get their way.  These protests would serve us all best, if they focused of amending our election laws to insure this will never happen again.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Democratic Party Convention Rules Amendment

Our primary election systems are flawed, in so many ways.  The inconsistency and variability between dates and types is mind boggling and without seeming reason other than to cause confusion and voter suppression.  The problem lies in the formation and articulation of the rules that bind and guide our party's actions.

Neither party's platform nor its actions regard voter intention highly or well.  Nominees might be chosen by delete, super delegates, who may vote in the second round of balloting any way they see fit.  The will of the voters, a majority of the party's loyalists, and the democratic process seems tainted by this bloated theocracy of brokering delegates.

While some states partition delegates, the ultimate winner at each convention is still a winner take all event.  One candidate is awarded both the Presidential nomination and the opportunity to name a Vice Presidential nominee, often leaving the losers in the primary without a candidate to support in the general election.

In order to unite the party, insure a general election victory, a restore democratic principles to the Democratic Party Convention system, I offer this amendment:

"The Presidential nominee receiving the second most delegates shall be named to the Vice President position, on the general election ballot."


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Snow-nadoes

“If you listen to the hysterics …, you would think that the Statue of Liberty will shortly be under water and the polar bears are all drowning, and that we’re dying from pollution. It’s absolutely and utterly untrue.”

When Republicans spout such non-sense Democrats should point to people who have already been forced to relocate due to rising ocean waters.   Alaskans and and entire nation of the Kiribati have had to move to higher ground.  That Rand Paul finds such truisms hysterical is the sad reality of the republican party, is its complete disconnection from it.  Without a doubt, industrialized pollution is the leading cause of cancer in America today.  Corporations might be people, but they are the exact definition of a psychopath bent only on their own enrichment, without regard for anything else.  

The world is changing, and rapidly so.  As a child, I went through many tornado drills, during the springtime.  As I grew up in the greater North Texas area, I lived in the middle souther third of what was known as tornado alley.  Most tornados occurred here, Oklahoma, Kansas and lower parts of Nebraska, again during the storm season.  Tornados are becoming more widespread and occur with greater frequency in places outside of what was once their mainstay.  Although I have never heard the phrase on any weather broadcast ever, I predict we will soon hear of a "snow-nado."  I count ever bit as likely as a tornado in Vermont, which happened already.

Global climate change is happening, whether man-made or some type of millennial super-cycle the Earth does, things are not as they once were, and if we can not evolve we will all suffer, the poor and the rich alike.  

We've heard of the "polar vortex" and "snowpocalypse" but these are really just new words for blizzards or cold snaps.  Then again, in my youth I can hardly remember El Nino being anything associated with weather.  Last week, El Nino caused 30 foot breakers up and down the coast of California, where natives claimed to have never seen such oceanic activity in all the decades they lived there.

Republicans seem resolved to go down with the ship, denying that they are sinking the entire way.  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Religious Right's Rights

"The Supreme Court now demands that religious people engage in conduct that seriously violates their beliefs."

Yes, so long as those beliefs are held in some sort of blind faith, instead of science...absolutely.  You may not, in the name of your religion, deny a person the benefit of blood, organ, or tissue donation simply because you personally believe that such acts are ungodly or might transfer evil from one to another.  Just because you pay monthly premiums, does not give you the right to decide what procedure(s) a doctor recommends or provides to another patient!  Your beliefs have no standing in the halls of medicine and science.

Another point to consider is the origin of these beliefs...it is the Bible, specifically the Old Testament. Therein you'll find all sorts of laws and rules.  Some of which to most might seem arcane, yet some still cling to them as though they were codified god-law.   I mean if you like bacon, pork chops, ribs, shrimp, crab, lobster, or catfish, then stay out of the Old Testament!  You aren't even allowed to cook your corn or potatoes with butter thereon?!  And did you know that you are supposed to leave the corners of your field for the weird?  I can assure you that any weirdos wandering the corners of fields through the Bible Belt would be shot on sight!

My point is that the Bible, or any other religious doctrine, isn't a cafeteria bar from the ancient past that you get to pick and choose which dish you will offend to non-believers with today.  The Bible is for you to consume at your leisure, for you.

You have the right to do with your life as you please...that's it and no more.  You don't need to personally agree with someone else's life choices to prepare them a hamburger, rent them a room, serve them pie at a counter, or bake them a wedding cake.

It is restrictive of interstate commerce to use your personal or religious biases to decide which patrons you will provide services you and won't.  Imagine yourself, a pilgrim in an unholy land, unable to procure food, gas, or hotel services all because you openly prefer bacon-burgers and buttery popcorn?


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A New Way of Campaigning

"You can't get money out of politics."

Well, I say, if we can not get it out, then we should put it to good use. I am encouraging all progressive, forward-thinking, politicians to stop printing yard placards, brochures, bumper stickers, buttons, and for humanity's sake STOP paying for media advertisements. These benefit society naught. I suggest we take another tact, and send the money directly into the district or state the candidate is running.

Instead of running an ad in a particular county with donations, you build a park, repair a road, paint a crosswalk, and take special consideration to query local supporters and municipalities for their feedback as to what that community or county really needs. In this way, things get better just from running for office, so that even if you do not win, things are improved because of your campaign efforts. If you are absolutely compelled to spend money embossing your name on things, it should be for big projects like schools, hospitals, and bridges. There really is no project too large so long as it has campaign support.

When enough works have been done, the people will see them and elect you, and if not we will have improved the campaign district anyway...

It is time to change the status quo, money has become far too corruptive an influence to allow it unfettered access into our legislative halls.  Let us redirect the billions of dollars tossed about in fits mudslinging to actual productive ends?