The words read around the world

When I first started my blog in January 2011 my goal was a place for me to kvetch,out of my complaining came The realization if it affected me it was affecting others. Firstly I wanted to help my community, my town, my country, but no sooner had I reached that goal than a English magazine for the disabled asked me to write for them.
From 500 readers the first month to a readership of over 280,000 now it continues to amaze.
But mia you say only New Yorkers read it right? Hell no,today 40 readers from the people’s republic of Laos and several hundred from India, Bhutan, Nepal,Bangladesh and even obscure parts of the former USSR such as khamilkaya and Georgia ?
On a daily basis over 150 different countries and as many languages with English speaking countries being the minority is the average.
When I first wrote this blog I asked a revered member of the Buddhist community for his opinion, he replied ” if you must throw a pity party get the damn thing catered” I thought how un-Buddhist Of him,but after my ego healed he reminded me of a prayer we Buddhists say when
We eat
” may this food not benefit I but give me the energy to help all other sentient beings first and through helping them first only then may I receive benefit”

The essence of that prayer is the essence of my blog,” only through being the vehicle for all others to benefit first shall I truly myself live a better more fulfilling life. To those 150 countries thank you and blessed be!

Jetstar at Perth Western Australia airport says “no wheelchair ” to woman with cerebral palsy!”

The airline industry couldn’t find their humanity with both hands, when I was in Australia in 2010 virgin Australia pulled up to a staircase instead of a sky walk and put my wheelchair at the bottom expecting a disabled woman to suddenly be cured and walk down the stairs, when I refused they reported I was taking over the plane? Cost them thousands.
Delta in Newyork made me crawl to my seat because “they didn’t have time to push me down the aisle” so to hear that a woman had to carry her sister over 100 meters through airport because they refused her a wheelchair while intensely disgusting me doesn’t unfortunately surprise me.
Their excuse she didn’t look disabled? What do we look like? I lost the catalogue what does this years model look like? I mean to believe the idiots that run the worlds airlines we are all like the porcelain warriors found in China, identical clones? Aren’t we? I get ” you don’t look disabled all th time, before I was permanently disabled I stood 6ft4inches 25 inch biceps 36 inch waist and 72 inch chest now because of Loss of some muscle control the bottom half isn’t as impressive but the biceps from pushing my ample frame around the world are even larger.
We are humans not humanoids, yes some of us have a diagnosis that creat outward signs of severe disability but it’s outward were all beautiful decent humans on the inside and for Christ sake a sister who would carry her loved one on her back over 100 meters exemplifies the best in us all.
Jetstar is the only clone in this story, unfortunately they have cloned he worst that exists in the world of international flight and therefore should hang there head in shame.
In a week where Australia remembers World War One, Gallipoli Simpson and his donkey and the best we have who died to keep the wide brown land beautiful and free you jetstar are the worst .

Access-a-ride blocks disabled access

In New York there is a service that is supposed to make the lives of the elderly, infirmed and disabled easier by providing door to door access, well this isn’t the first time I have come across their drivers acting in a manner that totally destroys any good they do.
Last year I was seriously screamed at and abused when an access -a-ride bus was parked completely blocking a wheelchair ramp.
Well we were rolling down parsons boulevard yesterday, and right across the road from a major hospital and around the corner from a major rehab facility the pic below shows a access-a-ride blocking the up ramp on a crosswalk making any wheelchair access impossible?!

car
Access for who access-a-ride?
Get your crap together access-a-ride, and don’t tell me this is a first I can show you dozens of pics like this.

Florida Has a New Name ” The Hypocrite State”

Before I get bombarded by my regulars, nothing has changed, I am still Buddhist and think as someone once said “religion is for the opiate of the masses.”

That said we all have a past and mine includes studying the bible for many years under the tutelage of learned men who walk the walk and talk the talk.

A 90 year old chef and two priests were handcuffed and arrested this week in Tallahassee for the horrible crime of feeding the homeless! Yes, you heard it, being compassionate to the homeless gets senior citizens and clergy arrested.
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Florida in the run up to this election has had gubernatorial, congressional and senatorial candidates of all persuasions screaming “put God back in schools,” “ban gay marriage it’s ungodly,” and even some want evolution not to be taught.
When you go to court in any state, and Florida is no different, the judge sits under the words – In God we Trust.

When you’re called to give evidence you’re told to place your hand on the bible and swear the evidence you give is the truth “so help me god” and the final quirk is in Florida an aethiest is forbidden to hold public office? I swear it’s true.

Now one would think with this bile inducing holier than thou attitude following gods teaching to the very red letter would get you elected, canonized even, not arrested? One would think.

The bible has an old rule, any lie can be found once but a truth is written three times, What this means is if you’re a hate filled teabagger you can find once somewhere in the bible a verse to prove your point but only once for it to be true it must be written multiple times.

So look up feeding the poor

1/ He who refuses but one of mine refuse me

2/ The sermon on the mount

3/ Jesus sharing with prostitutes

4/ The teaching that to gain a seat in heaven a rich man must give it all away

There are so many more, be unFloridian and actually look for yourself.

But for Florida or anywhere else in this great nation to shove the bible down our throat with one hand while handcuffing us with the other for living it’s word — well you become the abomination, you become the vile anti-Christ, not the gays, not women who want abortions, not any other uttering by the the imbecilic Roberts on the 700 club.

In revelations there is probably the most prophetic teaching

“in the final days many will come proclaiming they come in my name beware for I know them not”

So to the politicians, police, and judges who scream what they think is the word of God as they arrest and vilify those who actually live it, you’re busted your God already warned us to ignore you!

In closing studies have proven more than 80% of the homeless in this country are veterans so before you sit at the diner next week crying platitudes about people being un-American and how if I gave you a gun you’d get those damn Muslims, when was the last time you took a veteran home for dinner?

Silence – never done it? Didn’t think so. So, you go home play with your big guns and let real Americans like this amazing old chef do the hard work. They do it quietly, get it done and ask nothing in return. You know, like that book you talk about tells them to. You should really read it sometime.

Songs in the key of life

Stevie wonder wrote an amazing song with the title above, when it came out I was too young to get anything but the beat. As I grew I heard at many different stages that we all have a song that describes our life, or at least where along the mortal coil we are right now.
I am watching a new TV show called stalker, the story is about a couple who had a song, it was a Roberta flack tune, and it occurred to me that I have a song in-fact I have had many songs and at the times in my life I heard them they were everything, they were the beat of my drum.
When I was being molested as a young child my brothers music was the beat of my life it was all dark, it was Alice cooper, it was Neil young, the sex pistols, tom Waites but it cried out.
I left home and worked in restaurants and put up a front that nothing ever was wrong or had ever been wrong, it was Billy idol, Sade, grace jones it was all avant garde it played a roll but at home it was still Alice cooper mainly a song called Steven.
I got into security work and there were many songs but very few of them spoke to me but I was being paid to do what was necessary to keep people safe so a lot of things were worked out in my head and somebody else paid me to do it. The commodores night shift used to be the start of my night bouncing was low brow but high aggression, body guard work was filthy money and the bonus for me it gave me a target usually one person or group who were the targets, the reason we were needed and it was a very high tension situation but when it was over at that time it was better than any drug.
I came out and I thought when in Rome, so I dumbed down and went with the sheep it wasn’t music it was noise it was emotional white noise as long as it played the real noise couldn’t be heard.
I went through my drug days and there could have been Beethoven resurrected playing his latest right in front of me and I would never had heard a thing and that’s the problem we can never truly deal with the noise in our heads until the noise stops until we stop playing the music the white noise we will never truly hear what our souls are saying what they are telling us is necessary to survive.
Ask most musicians, they write from pain, ask comedians it comes from broken hearts and broken souls, that’s why they are loud because the louder the noise the quitter that voice is the one telling you it will be all right. You will survive, you hurt like hell and only want to scream right now, so SCREAM and keep screaming till you don’t need to scream anymore.
It will feel so damn good until it doesn’t, then you will finally hear the music you need to hear and that music will save your life because it will be the beat of the life you deserve, the beat of your own strength, your own truth and you finally will everything you need to climb out of the darkness and realize it really does get better and you are the one who can make it happen the only one.
Find someone to guide you through, find someone you trust and together you will survive.

For Russian Kids, A Disability Often Means Life In An Orphanage

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Dasha Daunis, (back) a 15-year-old with Down syndrome, is shown with her sister, Anna, 7. When Dasha was born, Russian health officials urged the family to put her in an orphanage. But after a year, Dasha’s family took her back. Throughout Russia, nearly 30 percent of children with disabilities are placed in state orphanages.

Courtesy of Anastasia Daunis
Dasha Daunis is a lively 15-year-old who loves animals. She talks with her mother, Anastasia, about a recent trip to the circus, where they saw her favorite, bears.

Dasha was born with Down syndrome, and Anastasia says the doctors at the hospital told her that her baby would never thrive.

“Everyone was saying, the most reasonable decision is to abandon the child, because it’s a cross you’ll have to bear all your life,” she recalls. “This child will never even understand that you are its father and mother. And your friends and your family will turn away from you.”

Anastasia says she couldn’t bear to leave her child behind, and after more than a year, she brought Dasha home from the orphanage. She never regretted her decision.

Instead, she thinks the doctors who advised her were in need of help and better information themselves.

“ Everyone was saying, the most reasonable decision is to abandon the child, because it’s a cross you’ll have to bear all your life
- Anastasia Daunis, mother of a 15-year-old with Down Syndrome
But this Russian habit of placing disabled children in orphanages has changed little over the years, according to a new report highlighting problems with Russia’s treatment of disabled kids.

Human Rights Watch, the U.S.-based group, says that nearly 30 percent of Russian children with disabilities live in state orphanages.

“We do believe that people are still being advised to institutionalize their children,” says Andrea Mazzarino, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, which recently released its report. “We spoke with several parents who heard that advice within the past two years in Moscow alone.”

Instances Of Poor Treatment

Mazzarino says that once disabled children are consigned to state orphanages, there’s little chance that they’ll be given the attention needed to thrive. In many cases, she says, they face ill treatment.

Orphans’ Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child’s Brain
“We visited 10 institutions across Russia, and in the vast majority, we either heard about, or we witnessed firsthand, severe forms of violence and neglect,” she says, including children being tied up and sedated, or beaten, or doused with cold water.

She says children with severe disabilities are confined to so-called “lying down” rooms, where they spend their days in cribs, kept in diapers and fed through tubes. Photos from her report show teenagers with the physical development of preschoolers after years of confinement.

Even in the most developed countries, advocates struggle to obtain civil rights and humane treatment for disabled people, but Russia seems to be moving slower than most.

Goats and Soda
Study: Kids In Orphanages Can Do As Well As Those In Foster Care
Andrei Dombrovsky, an activist for the rights of disabled people, thinks the problem dates back to the Soviet period, when the official ideology called for the creation of an ideal society.

“The country was striving toward something very perfect, in which you cannot see disabled person, because he is not perfect,” says Dombrovsky, who is based in St. Petersburg. “And that’s why all disabled people were living in the institutions.”

He volunteers to help young adults make the transition from institutions to life on their own.

From A Children’s Institution To An Adult Institution

For most disabled children who grow up in Russian orphanages, the only transition they’ll make is to another institution that takes them when they’re 18, such as the adult facility outside St. Petersburg.

It’s a sprawling labyrinth of hallways with locked wards. Some residents, mostly very old, doze in chairs, or make their way slowly down the halls.

With her pink hair and punky clothes, 18-year-old Anya is a whirlwind of energy in this place, when she’s let out of the women’s ward to meet visitors. But Anya has virtually no education, and limited prospects for getting out of the institution.

Evgenia Shtil is the founder of a charity called Children of Pavlovsk, which helps young people who have aged out of one of Russia’s biggest orphanages.

Russian law actually calls for the state to provide apartments for disabled people who are capable of living on their own. The catch, Shtil says, is that applicants have to prove to a panel of experts that they’re ready for life in the community.

“ We do believe that people are still being advised to institutionalize their children.
- Andrea Mazzarino, researcher at Human Rights Watch
“It’s really hard for a person like that to prove to the panel that they’re able to cope with everyday life,” Shtil says. “The only reason for that is that for the first 18 years of their lives, nothing was done to help them achieve that goal.”

Russia says it’s taking some steps to address these issues and help children in institutions to move into the community. The government has an “action strategy” that it says will bring Russia into compliance with the international Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Advocates like Shtil and Dombrovsky are working to help rescue the young people who are products of Russia’s orphanages for disabled children. But they say, and human rights groups agree, that Russia’s reforms will need to address the entire lives of disabled children, from the moment a they are born.

I have often wondered what city hall thinks of the disabled really today I found out

Yesterday after a long day in Manhattan I had to meet Ella on 8th and 14th to catch a subway to my 6pm appointment. Rolling Manhattan is always tough, stupid people, inconsiderate people, broken sidewalks, corners without down ramps and did I mention stupid people but most of the stupid people are not the city of new York that was until yesterday.
The picture below shows all the garbage cans for a whole city block waiting for a truck to pick them up and where does the city tell the workers to stack them? All over the front of the entrance to the only working disabled access elevator to the subway in ten city blocks.
lift garbage
I caught a worker adding to it and asked he said his supervisor told him and I quote “there’s so few disabled they don’t matter so put it there”
Thanks deblasio with a mayor like you who needs republicans? You could teach an underclass in who gives a fuck!