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Hi All,
I will be posting this to lots of places, so friends and family may very well get multiple copies of this. I’m also explaining things that my family and close friends probably know already. Sorry about that, but I’m feeling like I want my friends, family and even some acquaintances to know some things about what’s going on with me in the near future. Read more... )
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This article by Marilyn Golden gets to some of what I worry about when it comes to legalizing assisted suicide.


Oct. 31st, 2014 12:58 pm
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My thoughts on assisted suicide prompted by this article:

Assisted Suicide is More Dangerous...

I've been struggling with this issue for a long time now. I'm a person with a disability and I really do believe that terminally ill people should be able to decide when they want to end their lives. However, with all the talk about reducing medical costs and how much more expensive treatment is towards the end of life, there are huge financial incentives to "allow us to die with dignity". It wasn't that long ago that babies with Down's Syndrome were pushed to the back of hospital nurseries and "allowed" to die from neglect. "For their own good."

For a couple of years in college I worked as a crisis intervention counselor and I know from personal experience that many people who feel driven to suicide just need some time and perspective. This is not to diminish their pain and suffering, but I've talked to people who say they wish to kill themselves. I know, that if I could keep them on the phone long enough, they changed their minds. Sometimes suicide is not a desire to end their lives, but a desire to end their suffering with the only option they believe they have.

Too many people already think my life is a burden to me even though I love my life and the people in it. Too many people have said to me, "if I were you I would just check out." Personally I would be much more comfortable with the whole issue if I was sure that people with disabilities got the services and treatment they needed to live as full a life as possible. If that happened, then I would be more interested in talking about my "right to die."
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Just passing on an update on Wisconsin
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I just found out that the House of Representatives cancelled ALL funds to health clinics like Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthoods and local health centers like them provide birth control, Pap tests, and prenatal care to millions of low-income people every year. And Congress wants to stop funding these clinics!

It's up to the Senate to say "no."

As a man who has a mother, sisters, partners, and a niece, I want women to have access to services to keep them healthy and I want every child to be wanted.

Thanks for speaking out!
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It's difficult for me to know what to say about the economy and specifically Gov. Brown's proposed budget. There seems to be little or no patience for even discussing enhancing revenue (increasing taxes), even when the "increase" is just going back to tax levels that were easily coped with by the upper 10%. There seems to be some people who just believe wholeheartedly that there is massive fraud and waste in government. They seem to think that refusing to increase taxes will somehow magically get rid of all this "fraud" and "waste". It also seems impossible to have a realistic conversation about any system change. Look at the healthcare debate.

It happens that most of my income comes from benefits. I depend on services like In-Home Social Services (IHSS) which is the program that pays for personal care so I can stay out of a nursing home. Lately, every year during California's budget cycle, I find myself making the same arguments with little apparent effect. Nursing homes cost considerably more per person to pay for than paying for the same services being provided in my home.

Unfortunately, because of long historical precedent, there is a bias towards institutionalizing folk like me even though it has been demonstrated again and again that nursing home care is much more expensive and less humane. In the last three or four years Gov. Schwarzenegger has offered budgets that completely eliminated IHSS. Fortunately, thanks to advocates for people with disabilities and some great state representatives who understand the issues, IHSS still exists even though it was cut last year. Gov. Brown is suggesting deep cuts not only in IHSS but many other programs that people depend on to lead reasonably tolerable lives.

Lots of programs are being cut, I happen to know more about those related to people with disabilities. Some of the consequences of Gov. Brown's proposed budget would cut IHSS once again across the board. It would require all recipients of IHSS to go to their doctor and get them to sign something that says the loss of IHSS would mean that that person would need to go to a nursing home. Why he wants this is confusing since everyone receiving IHSS needed to get a note from our doctors saying the same thing. Seems like a waste of resources all around, but I believe they're hoping the additional bureaucratic dance will cause some people to drop off the rolls.

There is also a suggestion that people with disabilities who live with someone may have any housekeeping hours cut because I suppose they assume that whoever lives with them will do that housekeeping. I know lots of people disabilities who have roommates just to help take care of the rent. Why a roommate should be obligated to take care all that housekeeping is beyond me.

Because cuts are coming to all sorts of programs that people depend on, many of us have been dealing with cut upon cut upon cuts. Gov. Brown talks about not liking the cuts and that we all must share in the burden. What goes unspoken is the cuts proposed could keep people imprisoned in their homes. Taken from their homes to institutions. Necessary medical treatment and medicine will not be given. More people will be homeless or go hungry. All to make sure that a small percentage people can buy so many homes they can't even remember how many. I wonder where the shared burden is there?
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Today is National Coming Out Day. I'm coming out for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. Although I'm a polyamorous het man, my lovers are bisexual and a lot of my friends are lesbian, gay or bisexual and transgender. It's 2010 and you can still be fired from your job in 29 states for being lesbian, gay or bisexual and in 38 states for being transgender. Donate your status by clicking here:
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Next Monday is the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Just in case there are people who read my journal that don't read [personal profile] wild_irises, from her journal:

"Neli was both Sitting While Autistic and Sitting While Black. And now he's in jail."
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Have you ever had one of those days? Where everything seems to be going wrong and it feels like there's nothing that you can do that will make things go right? I seem to be having one of those days. Weeks? Months? While getting up this morning I got a call from a medical equipment provider who needed to know all these Medi-Cal/Medicaid numbers and other information that I didn't have readily available. I ran my morning attendant all over the place trying to gather the information. Made her late for school and half the things I wanted to get done this morning either didn't get done or didn't get done correctly. Feeling really disabled and grumpy. Hopefully I will be seeing [personal profile] serene this afternoon and maybe she can rescue me from my incompetence.

To leave on a positive note I was interviewed by an AP reporter on behalf of the Center for Accessible Technology talking about Internet access for people with disabilities, especially online games. I think it went well, I have no idea when or if a story will come out of it.
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I was recently invited by [personal profile] badgerbag to become a contributor to the Hack Ability blog. It's a very cool concept for a blog where people with disabilities can talk about all the "gadgets", strategies, whatever we've come up with to cope or make things easier. I don't think of myself as a "hack" kind of guy, but was very complemented by the invite. I have no idea how much or how often I will contribute, but here is my first post.
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No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this to your journal, blog etc.
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I'm increasingly concerned with the rhetoric coming from US conservatives since President Obama's election. Its become more and more racist and disconnected from reality. From Lou Dobbs asking for "proof" President Obama is a US citizen to Rush likening Obama's attempt at health care reform to Nazi Germany. I was bitterly disappointed at President Clinton's failed campaign to reform health care. Then conservatives lied and fear mongered us to failure. Now they're at it again, with claims that Obama's plans will lead to forced euthanasia and health care rationing (never mind the rationing we are already doing by allowing some of the poor, lower middle-class and disadvantaged to go untreated or undertreated because of a lack of insurance coverage or money.) The problem is those against health care reform can say anything without a shread of truth and put those infavor of reform on the defensive. Now part of the stategy, along with out and out lies about health care reform is just shouting down those in favor of reform. [personal profile] rmjwell posted the clip below and says,

"Please watch this segment and consider reposting it, that's all I'm going to say."

The Maddow show.
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I don't always agree with Bill Maher, but he nailed "this one." Thanks [personal profile] serene for the link.
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Yesterday was interesting, a bit frustrating, and punctuated with a little bit of fear. Not that you'd know from the news, even the local news, but there have been a series of protests against the California governor's proposed budget. A few months ago he sponsored some ballot measures that were put on the ballot. They were put there as a condition of getting one Republican to switch his vote in order to pass the budget. As you may not know California is one of the few states that requires two thirds vote in order to pass the budget every year. So even though the vast majority of our state legislators are Democrats, Republicans hold a disproportionate amount of power because it is necessary that some of them vote along with Democrats to get to the budget passed. So anyway, there were several ballot measures related to the budget. All of them failed except one. It will not allow legislators to vote themselves a pay raise when there is a budget deficit. It doesn't require that they actually cut their wages, just not give themselves raises.

Read more... )
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Now I know what may have contributed to my horrible mood a couple days ago. I have cellulitis again. On antibiotics and things are getting better. Every time I get this stuff I am pretty pissy and more depressed.

I'm mulling over the idea of participating in some civil disobedience. There are plans being made for a demonstration against our governor and the budget cuts next week. I have been asked whether I wanted to participate in some guerrilla theater or be one of those willing to be arrested. It's been a very long time since I've done this sort of thing. I'm pretty sure I'm not up to guerrilla theater but I feel like I'm not doing enough to fight the devastating cuts our governor is suggesting. So far he is apparently standing firm on balancing the budget only with cuts.

Aside from some systemic changes that I believe need to be made, there have been a couple tax suggestions that make some sense to me. Apparently, the medical marijuana people are volunteering to have their product taxed. I haven't seen any numbers about how much money that would bring in but if they're volunteering...

Another suggestion is to put a tax on oil being extracted in the state. We don't tax it now and we are the only oil producing state that doesn't. I think Chevron can stand the increase. I still think some big changes need to happen to the budget process, but those taxes may get us over the hump.


Jun. 16th, 2009 01:48 pm
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Seems like I only post when I'm not happy these days. I try to follow [personal profile] serenejournal's good example concentrating on the good things and I have lots of good things. My family most of all. How I got these amazing women in my life is beyond me. They are such a blessing. My friends, who are the smartest, most talented, socially aware group of people I know. The world is a better place because they exist (and if you think you might be part of this group, you probably are).

It seems like getting through each day is getting harder all the time for me, and I'm sure many, many, others. Personally, I've had lots of "learning experiences" in the last few years. Many I would've preferred avoiding, but we don't get to choose. As an old lefty advocate I've gone from despair to hope and back again. This year has been the most exciting politically and the most depressing. Budgets are being cut everywhere. Our safety net in the United States is becoming nonexistent.

The kind of systemic change I think we need in order to rebuild our social supports seem unlikely to happen. I just don't know what to do.

The music chosen by Rhapsody is particularly appropriate. :-)
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I just thought I'd drop a note and let everyone know I'm still alive. I have been particularly depressed the last few weeks. I'm coping and what energy I do have has been going into fighting California Gov. Schwarzenegger's proposed budget cuts )
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I haven't checked all the figures, so I won't vouch for them. The video does describe what I think are the systemic problems with the California budget process. It's interesting the video doesn't mention prop 13. Folks may not know that my income comes from benefits. SSI, Medi-Cal, Medicare and IHSS. All these programs are being cut. IHSS especially so. Attendants were getting $12.50 an hour and are being cut to $8.00 an hour. What's particularly stupid about cutting this program is that those who can't find attendants for $8 dollars an hour may have to go into nursing homes which will cost the state a lot more than $8 dollars an hour. The truth is that Schwarzenegger is counting on family members to take over that job. I'm fortunate to have people I can count on in emergencies, but lots of my friends with disabilities don't.

What's going on
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As is often the case in discussions on the Internet. By the time I become aware of a big kerfuffle it's mostly died down. I don't want to just restart things, but I also feel like I want to say something. So here I go again. To those who are tired of this discussion please feel free to move on to the next post.

Personally, I would prefer that marriage be a strictly religious ceremony and not confer any particular rights.

If we are to recognize groups of people as families, I would prefer they all be some kind of domestic partnership. That would mean homosexual and heterosexual partnerships would be domestic partners and not husband and wife at least legally.

That does not mean that I don't feel simpathy for those folks who wish to have their partnerships recognized in the same way and with the same words as married people. If heterosexual married people get to be married with all that entails homosexuals should get the same recognition and rights.

This fight doesn't directly affect me, but as an ally I understand the anger and frustration. I understand those who wish to vent on those who get to marry. Maybe it's not the best strategy, but it's certainly understandable and not every thing that an individual does is always the very best strategy to accomplish their goals. I also think that discussions about strategy from allies and non-allies divert the discussion in unhelpful ways. Allies should take their cues from those being discriminated against.

I'm not married, but if I were, I certainly wouldn't take people's expression of anger toward those who are married or the institution of marriage personally. It's not about me. I don't feel that those being discriminated against need to worry about hurting my feelings. I'm on their side even if they were angry at me. People don't deserve rights because they have nicely asked for them. They deserve rights because it's the right thing to do. Treating people equally is the right thing to do.

Some of those who are against same-sex marriage have been persuaded that domestic partnership is the same as marriage. So why are those seeking same-sex marriages so worked up? First, domestic partnership doesn't confer the same rights as marriage. If the word marriage isn't important why not let everyone use it? Clearly the word is important to both sides.

I really do believe that recognition of same-sex unions as marriages will happen in the not too distant future. Five states recognize same-sex marriage now. The 18,000 same-sex marriages performed in California stand. Its not enough, but its another step.


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