Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Travels of Joseph

Seattle twice to watch the Mariners play baseball. Tucson Az. to watch Spring training. Disney Land in California. Disney World in Fla. Graceland in Memphis. Dolly World in Nashville. Branson Missouri for country music. Las Vegas (What happens in Vegas...) Two times in Hawaii for sunshine. Alaska for cold weather. San Diego for Sea World. Washington DC for politics. A 5 night stay in downtown Portland at Christmas time.

Mexico for Mexican food. Greece for olive oil on the beach. Portugal for adventure. Russia in August. Polynesia next summer.

That's some pretty good traveling in 10 years! Especially for a man with autism.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Time to Riot??

By the title of this post, it probably looks like I'm talking about the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Although I'm EXTREMELY upset by the decision the 6 non-black women jurists made, that's not what I'm going on about this morning. I had a thought earlier today that inspired this writing.

Want to get pissed off? How about our government's total lack of empathy for the people and city of New Orleans in the wake of Katrina? Or the billions given to banks in what was called a "bail out"? Guantanamo still open, while force feeding innocent detainees? Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and all the other whistle blowers persecuted for telling the truth? The killing of civilians by drone throughout the Middle East? There's plenty to be pissed off about. Trayvon Martin's murder is just the flavor of the day in reasons to riot.

A riot (/ˈraɪət/) is a form of civil disorder characterized often by what is thought of as disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of violence against authority, property or people. (Wikipedia... not to be confused with WikiLeaks) Maybe the keyword here is "disorganized." The 3% (1% my ass) and their minions count on disorganization. They know that unless the people can STAND TOGETHER, disorganized riots is all that can be accomplished. And it's highly doubtful that any violence would occur in their gated communities.

So what are we gonna do? Awaken, that's what! If you are STILL unable to see the game being played on you, simply start asking questions, then weigh the answers you get. If you dig deep enough, you'll surely find that the ultimate beneficiaries of the suffering of ordinary people are those who have the most. I'm done.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Berry Good!

One of my very FAVORITE features about our yard is the wild black berries we inherited when we moved in a few years back. The vines grow out through our hedges, yielding the sweetest of crops every July and August. Last year we harvested over a gallon of sweeties. This year promises to be even way more productive! I LIKES!!

Monday, July 08, 2013



Mentally disabled NY newlyweds find home to share

July 2, 2013, 2:24 p.m. PDT
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Who could blame Paul and Hava Forziano for celebrating Independence Day a few days early?
The mentally disabled newlyweds, who filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against group homes that refused to allow them to live together as husband and wife, held a joyous moving-in party Monday at their new apartment after another agency sympathetic to their plight stepped forward to offer them space in one of its facilities.
"We can be together all the time now," Paul Forziano said. Added his wife, "Happy, not sad."
The newlywed couple beamed with joy and frequently hugged and kissed as they welcomed their parents, attorneys and reporters into their freshly painted one-bedroom apartment. Their new place is inside a large group home, already occupied by eight men; the newlyweds will live alone in a second-floor apartment, although the group home is staffed day and night should they need any help.
"It's more independent," said Norman Samuels, the father of the bride who walked her down the aisle at a ceremony last April at a Long Island catering hall. "Here it is July 4th is coming up. It's not quite that type of independence, but it is more independent."
Despite the happy developments, the lawsuit filed earlier this year will go on. The couple and their parents want a judge to order that all group homes in New York make facilities available for mentally disabled married couples.
Legal experts are watching the case closely as a test of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which says, in part, that "a public entity shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures ... to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability." The group homes are licensed as nonprofits by the state and receive Medicaid funding on behalf of their clients.
"You don't know what's going to happen in the future," said attorney Martin Coleman. "People like Paul and Hava have to have the ability to move around if they want to. There's only a limited number of providers. We need to be sure they're not closed out of places."
Paul's mother, Roseann Forziano, said her son and his new wife likely would still be looking for a new place had it not been for the legal action.
"I don't think it would have happened without a lawsuit." she said. "All of a sudden once you file a lawsuit there's a whole lot of cooperation. I don't want that to have to be the norm."
The facility where the former Hava Samuels lived has declined to comment because of the pending litigation. The group home operators where Paul Forziano lived said they didn't have facilities available for a married couple.
Also named in the lawsuit is the state Office of Persons With Developmental Disabilities, which the couple claims sided with the agencies in refusing to accommodate their wishes and has not done enough to find a solution. The office has declined to comment.
Forziano, 30, is classified in the mild to moderate range of intellectual functioning, with limited reading and writing skills. His wife, 36, is in the moderate range, with significant expressive language disability.
Gus Lagoumis, director of programming at East End Disability Associates — operators of the facility the newlyweds now call home — said his agency has no objections to mentally disabled people living as married couples.
"Gone are the days where parents are told a kid has a disability, institutionalize them and forget they ever existed," he said. "Now we have people growing up in the community and they want to do things just like everybody else does and getting married and possibly getting divorced is one of the things that goes on in a community."

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Thank You Paula Deen

I want to go on record as thanking Paula Deen. She has been the most recent catalyst in bringing out the more subtle (can't think of a more apropos word for it) forms of racism in the US. The George Zimmerman trial has brought it all to light for me.

Many white people find it easy to "like" certain types of black people. If you wear a shirt and tie, and speak the same as what I believe to be an educated white person, I "like" you. Thus I can't possibly be a racist. If you DON'T wear pants that sag, or hoodies, when I decide the weather's not right for it, I "like" you. If you're more Bill Cosby than Cornell West, I "like" you.

It's usually the more in-your-face black people that I don't "like". Those ones who speak in Ebonics, or those people who don't give a shit what white people think, that I don't "like". And I'll find any reason I can to point this out. Just look what Paula Deen has shown us lately.

People who really don't believe they're racist have come to her defense from out of the woodwork. "How can you blame Paula Deen for what she said so many years ago, and not blame rappers and other "unlikeable" blacks for what they say or said?" is their battle cry.

These white (and sometimes black, if you can believe it) people will NEVER understand the level of hurt black people have experienced in this country. They are incapable. They will go through their lives in search of the new reason they can get to display their subtle racism. Trayvon Martin could probably attest to that, if he were still alive to do so.