Monday, August 31, 2009

By request, a confession – Yes I do get tired…

A certain Gertie from Boulder, who has been lurking here for years, asked this bitch if I ever get tired of practicing the fine art of bitchitude and sent me a bitchfirmation just in case I do.

Do I ever get tired?

Blink.

Yes.

Oh yes, I do!

I get tired of following stories detailing the wrong people do to others…I get tired of writing about why we need to defend reproductive freedom and resist accepting a society where want and hunger define the lives of far too many people.

I get tired of watching folks resist doing something…anything…for fear of failure because they lack the courage required to achieve success.

And I sure as shit get tired of bullshit.

But every time I think that I can’t go on…that my input doesn’t really matter and my activism won’t really change a damn thing…someone sends a bitch an email telling me to keep on keeping on.

Just like Gertie did.

Thanks for the bitchfirmation, Gertie!

But yes, I do get tired.

They call it a struggle for a reason.

I just don’t let all that tired hold me down.

Eyes on the prize, y'all!

Eyes on the prize...

Post Person Centered Plan Meeting Recap…

This past Friday I attended my autistic brother’s Person Centered Plan meeting.

Well, actually this was more of a review of his 2009 goals-based meeting in preparation for his Person Centered Plan meeting. I kind of like this new approach, since it allows for us to give more input prior to completion of the plan. Anyhoo, after three years of asking...wince...they finally produced a spreadsheet detailing my brother’s monthly performance on his goals. We sat in a conference room and digested this information…even though staff was clearly annoyed to have us question the data that was produced so we could question it, which explains why they took three years to produce it.

Sigh.

Most of the key players in my brother’s life attended the meeting – staff from his residential treatment center and a representative from the state office that monitors all things related to his care.

As previously predicted, one of them got overly defensive in response to a valid critique (something along the lines of why the heck can't they explain sharp deviations in Bill's performance when they are the ones who recorded the sharp deviations in his performance) and, rather than explain what should be explainable, proposed that we toss a year’s worth of data and start over.

Blink.

Another attendee played the role of Corn Flakes pisser and happily predicted several denials of authorization for some shit we really want for Bill.

Still another tried to explain to us that our brother is autistic (really?!?) and that our expectation that staff recording data should be able to explain how they record the data so that we can better understand the data that has been recorded is unreasonable.

As usual, the meeting ended up making me wonder what my brother’s life would be like if he didn’t have demanding sisters who serve as co-guardians and are able to make time to push back against the machine.

That’s not a comforting feeling…not really. It’s the kind of realization that adds a weight to a bitch’s shoulders because I know the answer and it is unacceptable to me.

Sigh.

But I didn’t make a drinking game out of it.

If I had I would have hurt myself!

There were several annoying uses of my brother’s formal name William instead of Bill…and that would have equaled 1 sip vodka cran.

We heard at least two rambling explanations of budget cuts to programs already cut to the bone along with a freakishly overcomplicated explanation of how funds are distributed that so disturbed a bitch that I’m going to have to set up a meeting with the state finance office…and that was supposed to be 2 sips vodka cran.

And naturally, there were a few condescending explanations of autism…surprisingly from a veteran staffer who may or may not have been trying to distract us from her inability to explain how her staff collected the data we were questioning. Umm, that was going to equal 1 big gulp of vodka cran.

Pause…consider…continue.

A bitch would have been on the floor!

Anyhoo, this week I get to make a series of follow-up phone calls and set up that meeting with finance.

Yay.

But as a comment to my original post pointed out, the system needs to be worked and challenged by out-of-the-box ideas…

…and I’m just the bitch to do it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

After reflection, some thoughts on Senator Edward Kennedy…

Shall we?

At Senator Robert Kennedy’s funeral, Senator Ted Kennedy asked that his brother not be idealized. The same should be true for Senator Ted Kennedy. His accomplishments are all the greater for his human failings because they stand as examples of what human beings, not saints, can do. I have long been inspired by the fact that Edward Kennedy kept going…despite his stumbles, his fuck ups and his imperfections.

Would that we all could say the same.

I can’t help but note the current condition of America as I consider Senator Kennedy’s legacy…that many among us see suffering and turn away from it and see wrongs and do nothing to right them. ‘Tis not that we are engaged in a debate over healthcare…but that we aren’t debating “care” at all. Instead we are debating whether or not to care…to do what can be done and then push ourselves to do more because its right and will benefit society.

And after noting that current condition…so lacking in compassion and social responsibility that it chills me to the bone…I find comfort in Senator Kennedy’s legacy.

I find comfort in the indictment his legacy issues to those who feel the wages of poverty are hunger, want, suffering and death.

I find comfort in the fact that when we pass healthcare reform it will be but one of many outstanding legislative achievements left behind by a human being…not a saint, but a real person…by Senator Edward Kennedy.

And I find comfort in knowing that, though the cameras may swing about to document the opinions of those who would have us do nothing in the face of need and give nothing in the face of want, I am not alone in my dedication to turn away from such wretched indifference and toward social justice.

I remember Senator Kennedy as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.

And may his legacy be that others live lives that will one day be remembered the same way.

That the living dream things that never were…ask why not…and then get about the business of making those dreams a reality…

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pre Person Centered Plan Meeting Preparedness 2009…

‘Tis that time of year again, y’all!

C-Money and this bitch are scheduled to attend our brother’s Person Centered Plan meeting tomorrow. As our older brother’s co-guardians, we get the opportunity to provide input and guidance in his plan…in the document that details his needs and wants, how he will be cared for and what services he will receive.

Trust me, these meetings are crucial and often a royal pain in the ass.

The good part?

The meeting will have all the key players in my brother’s life in attendance – staff from his residential treatment center, the state offices that monitor all things related to his care and representatives from the various departments that provide all manner of services...plus The Sisters of Bitchitude in our role as sisters and as co-guardians. By meeting’s end, we’ll have revised all things Bill related and have a plan to present to the Missouri Department of Mental Health with hopes that they will authorize all needed things and green light most wanted things.

The shitified part?

The meeting will have all the key players in my brother’s life in attendance – staff from his residential treatment center, the state offices that monitor all things related to his care and representatives from the various departments that provide all manner of services. At least one of them will get overly defensive in response to a valid critique, another will play the role of Corn Flakes pisser and happily predict several denials of authorization for some shit we really want for Bill. Still another will try to explain to us that our brother is autistic (no shit, really?!?) and that our expectations are unreasonable (only if failure is an option) and end up making me wonder if we’re not getting services because we can’t or if we’re not getting them because those positioned to demand them are requesting them with the expectation that they will not be authorized.

Sigh.

Person Centered Plan meetings are yearly reminders that public policy and government budgets play huge roles in the lives of millions of Americans...that we are too often a society that proclaims our goodness rather than manifests that shit through action. And they serve to remind this bitch that when the leadership of my state government chooses to pander to conservative interests rather than do the people’s bitness during legislative sessions the most vulnerable among us are left paying the tab.

So today I seek to settle my soul and fuel up my emotional battery so I can go into that meeting tomorrow and get the things my brother needs...even as I acknowledge the precious lack of resources we are left to play with when those in control of government claim to value Missouri families and life while in reality they value political bullshit and panderific greed more.

Mayhap I’ll make a drinking game out of it.

Annoying use of my brother’s formal name William instead of Bill = 1 sip vodka cran

Mention of budget cuts to programs already cut to the bone = 2 sips vodka cran

Condescending explanations of autism from new staffer(s) with less than 2 months employment under her or his belt = 1 big gulp of vodka cran

Pause…consider…continue.

Something tells me that wouldn’t be wise or good for a bitch’s liver (wince).

***logs off to get preparedness on***

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Keeping it real isn’t easy, but keep it real is what a bitch does…

Shall we?

Yesterday my State Senator Jeff Smith resigned from office and pled guilty to two felony counts of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

I voted for Jeff Smith because he ran as a progressive and my State Senate district is progressive as hell and needs to be represented as such in the Missouri Senate.

I’ve met Smith, but we aren’t friends.

He was my State Senator.

I was his constituent.

As such, I am pretty damned pissed off.

And as a practitioner of the fine art of bitchitude, a bitch simply cannot pull a punch because the felon under discussion has a D next to his name.

The Missouri House and Senate are dominated by Republicans, so I need the Democrats I work to get elected to work double time in defense of progressive policy while there.

I do not vote for people because I like them…or because we’re tight…or because they kind of remind me of a short RFK.

I vote for people because state policy impacts my life and the lives of people I love.

I voted for Jeff Smith to be a progressive voice defending and representing his constituents against the constant attacks against reproductive choice, LGBT equality rights, protections against discrimination and knowledge-based education.

Smith, by conspiring to lie to federal investigators over some shit associated with his 2004 campaign, brought the wrath of those investigators down upon more than just his lauded political career.

He brought that shit down on all of his constituents…we who will now face a special election in November and a new State Senator come next session…we who needed that progressive voice and now must hope that a progressive emerges from committee.

Oh hell yes, a bitch is angry.

I’m mad as hell.

I deserve better, damnit.

My fellow residents of the 4th Senate district deserve better too.

Not talking about that or trying to dress it up as youthful stupidity serves no one and damn sure doesn’t serve the next progressive youngin’ pondering public office.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

This happening brings me no joy.

I do not relish this moment or the political uncertainty my senate district now faces.

But this shit happened...to me and mine, not just Jeff Smith or Rep. Brown or the other player and/or players in this pathetic mess.

Yesterday my State Senator Jeff Smith resigned from office and pleaded guilty to two felony counts of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

We must acknowledge that for what it is…lay it out, painful as it is, and learn from it.

Lest we open ourselves up to the same kind of criticism we so often toss out to the right.

Lest we become what we despise…

By request, my thoughts on Glenn Beck’s show’s emaciated advertising…

A certain someone asked for my thoughts on Color of Change’s successful campaign to challenge advertisers to drop their support of Glenn Beck’s show on FOX.

Beck said all manner of ig’nant race baiting shit on his show when President Obama spoke out about the arrest of Professor Gates. He even went so far as to call Obama a racist and go on and on about how the President, who is himself half white and was raised by white people, has serious issues with white people.

Blink.

Beck offers up an opportunity to observe that saying you’re something (a thinker) and being that thing (thinking) are often two different things.

The Color of Change campaign offers up a reminder that freedom of speech does not include freedom from a response. Hell, the town hall meeting-based drama demonstrates that folks can and often do respond and we won’t always like what come out of their mouth or how they spit when shouting (wince).

Beck freely spoke.

Color of Change and others have issued a response.

And now Mr. Beck is experiencing what this bitch likes to call the Howard Stern (when he was on traditional radio) Syndrome – big ratings, controversial programming and freshly printed listing on advertisers’ Do Not Buy list.

As my father often said, money talks and bullshit walks…

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Meanwhile, back on planet earth…

A bitch just read this commentary on CNN.com and I’ve got to tell y’all that this is the kind of shit we should be discussing but are not discussing because…well, because outfits like CNN have spent the last month pushing coverage of the mob up front while they bury important debate-inspiring opinions in the Health section of their website.

Blink.

Anyhoo…this bitch thought I’d share this commentary.

Whether you agree with it or not, ‘tis a reminder that there is more to health care reform than to be or not to be...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday, Monday…

Happy Monday, chil’ren!

A bitch got a lot of shit done this weekend.

I mowed the lawn.

Pause...consider...continue.

Okay, so I moved the backyard and said fuck it to the front yard, but...well, shit. All that damned rain ended up feeding the weed-based sorta-grass in the back and it took twice as long to cut that shit down!

And, since I never go out the front door, I rarely have front lawn guilt (wink).

Full disclosure - a bitch doesn't have enough lawn to warrant a riding mower. I get my mowing on with a nifty electric number I've named Madge.

Anyhoo, both sorta-beagles were groomed (their current not so houndish scent should last around five days).

And I did laundry!

Blink.

Three cheers for weekend based productivitude!

As a result of all that real world activity, I’m more than a little behind on internet-based happenings.

So, bitchitude shall be delayed until this evening.

Toodles ‘til tonight!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pondering the first day of school…

‘Tis Friday, y’all!

Yay!

This bitch is exhausted. Between my normal insomnia and the added lack of sleep brought on by a certain sorta-beagle’s storm based all night freak out, I feel as if I haven’t slept all week!

Shit.

Anyhoo, I predict Saturday will involve a lot of couch-based lazitude.

Shall we?

The school year has begun again in St. Louis city. A bitch noticed young children gathered on street corners with backpacks and sleepy faces…and buses stopping to pick them up.

Shark-Fu’s Back-2-School message to the masses – pay attention and focus! Wee little ones are out and about on the sidewalk and crossing the streets early in the morning. Stop at the stop signs, let the chil’ren cross at the crosswalks and respect the do not pass stop signs when buses are loading and unloading. “I was late for work” ain’t an excuse for risking a child’s life!

Cough.

Soooooo, school is back in session…

…and this bitch is jealous.

I loved going back to school when I was a wee bitch. Loved it! It wasn’t because I missed my friends – in grade school I didn’t have a lot of friends and I sure as shit didn’t miss the bullies. But I missed the routine of learning, the opportunity to do shit and get praise for doing it right. As I got older, I missed getting my nerd on…big time! While my fellow students dreaded the month of August, this bitch was getting my countdown on and struggling for patience.

Sigh.

Those were the days!

I can’t help but feel jealous that grown people don’t get recess…rarely take time for lunch and fantabulous lunch time gossip…and don’t get the opportunity to learn something new Monday through Friday.

Hell, we don’t even take snow days!

Shit.

I remember my father telling me that I’d appreciate being a school aged child when I was grown and dealing with grown people bitness.

Ain't that the truth.

***logs off feeling nostalgic for the anticipation of filling up a three-subject notebook with newly learned shit***

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pondering the compassionate release story…

Let’s jump right on it.

On December 21, 1988 Pan Am flight 103 blew up over the town of Lockerbie Scotland. 259 people on the flight were killed. 11 people were killed on the ground. I remember this incident well…watching the news break, finding out that American students returning home for the holidays were killed and then watching the painstaking investigation in subsequent coverage. I remember the final conclusion that the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 was the result of state sponsored terrorism and that Libya was the culprit.

The Pan Am 103 bombing was a huge news story and one of the first in my memory that highlighted the threat of state sponsored terrorism…that nations would attack other nations by targeting citizens through terrorism.

The United States under the Reagan administration had engaged in military strikes against Libya. Back in the mid-80’s, Muammar al-Gaddafi was the enemy…the evil foe of the United States bent on the destruction of our nation and way of life. And so we engaged in a game of chess using live weapons and the American people were told that Libya was behind multiple terrorist incidents, most notably the bombing of Pan Am 103.

Libya was the enemy…regime change was needed…those who loved freedom must hate Libya.

So, I was startled when the Bush administration normalized relations with Libya in 2006…in the midst of the global war on terror…even as President Bush ratcheted up the rhetoric against the latest evildoer nations.

Startled but not surprised.

This has all happened before.

This will all happen again.

Now the only individual convicted in the bombing of Pan Am 103 is set to be released from prison on the grounds that he is dying…a compassionate release that is being denounced heatedly by some and defended vehemently by others.

It is important to note that 11 people died on the ground…that this is not a case of Scotland leveling compassion for a crime it was not been touched by.

In many ways the debate over what this release says about Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi’s innocence or guilt is moot…his release is not exoneration.

What the press has thus far failed to explore is that the compassionate release of the only individual convicted in the Pan Am 103 bombing offends many because of that normalization of relations back in 2006…because it feels as if all responsible parties involved have been let off the hook.

That is something worth pondering as we continue to wage war…that one day our enemy will no longer be our enemy. We would be wise to contemplate what that means. One day we will normalize relations with Afghanistan and Iraq…just as the Bush administration normalized relations with Libya…just as we no longer make movies about Soviets invading America while fresh faced rural youth taking up arms to protect our way of life from godless communists bent on conquering the world.

The propaganda lingers long after one diplomatic game is over and a new game of chess begins…and the masses are left to struggle with the meaning of it all even as we reassemble on the board.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Untitiled…

“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Shall we?

I took a day off from bitchitude yesterday because everything I tried to write was bitterized by my foul ass mood. Contrary to popular belief, bitchitude is not about bitterness and dismissive negativity…and when I find myself spewing the wrong shit ‘tis best to log off and reflect.

Why was I too bitter to post?

I’m glad you asked!

I found myself depressed by those members of the masses who have mobbed up around the notion of what we the people cannot do…cannot accomplish…and cannot achieve.

Pause…allow to marinate…continue.

The great unsaid within this health care debate is that there are many who see government as separate from the people…and, because they often fail to participate in government, their belief often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Our work…the people’s work…begins in earnest after we vote. And there are many across the entire political spectrum that like to ignore that and instead focus on what a government minus the active and vigilant participation of the people fucks up.

So they are proven correct…over and over again.

Government fucks shit up…when the masses step back.

Trust a bitch, I’ve only to look at the misdeeds of the previous administration to see proof of that shit…. example upon example of what government can do when enough of the masses embrace to "love it or leave it" flawed definition of patriotism.

The same can be said of health care reform.

Catch the knee ‘cause this bitch isn’t in the mood!

Set aside the fantastical freak out crazy assed rumors about health care reform and what is left is a list of somewhat valid concerns that should be a part of the policy discussion and would be a part of the policy discussion if folks actually participated in a discussion of the policies under consideration instead of bullshit rants over fantastical freak out crazy assed rumors.

After weeks of witnessing that shit I woke up yesterday and I was the very definition of disgusted and depressed.

But that didn’t last…mostly because I realized that my emotional state was exactly what the forces fueling the anti-reform sort-movement want but also because that’s just not how this bitch rolls.

I recently attended a town hall meeting here in Missouri and, despite the fact that there were many in the crowd cheering the status quo (mercy), I saw many other folks who are waiting for specifics.

Those folks…the people who are looking at the ingredients and struggling to imagine what the final dish will look like…are the real majority.

And ‘tis time to turn from the mob, who will never give a shit, and engage the real majority, who need some attention.

So, I thank all y’all for your kind words of encouragement even as I re-focus my eyes on the prize.

We have a rendezvous with destiny regarding health care reform, y'all…

…and this bitch has only just begun to fight.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Taking a moment to power back up…


A bitch’s emotional battery is low and I’m running on reserve power.

Bitchitude is on hold until tomorrow…

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hassani Campbell is still missing…

Update
Hassani Campbell's foster parents have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Several people have contacted me asking for my thoughts on Michael Vick’s return to the NFL. Since I take Saturday’s off from the Internets, I read through this requests this morning and pondered them while drinking my Sunday morning coffee. And then I looked at the most recent post to this blog about a missing child names Hassani Campbell and…well, I’ve decided to take the road less traveled today.

Hassani Campbell is still missing
.

Hassani’s story has not caught the imagination of the media.

In not covering this story, the press...who postured a while back about why they don’t cover missing children of color worth a shit...has once again demonstrated that they don't cover missing children of color worth a shit.

It’s not that I don’t value the Michael Vick story. I have three rescue dawgs in my home that are living examples of society's cruel disregard of animals…I live in a state that is shamefully successful in maintaining a thriving puppy mill industry…and I know that the return of Vick to the NFL runs the risk of diminishing the horror of his actions even as it has the potential of jump starting a discussion of animal cruelty in communities where dog fighting still happens.

But Hassani Campbell is still missing
.

The Vick story is just going to have to wait.

Hassani Campbell was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and gray pants.

He is 5 years old.

Hassani, who has cerebral palsy, has braces on his legs but they may not be noticeable.

Hassani Campbell is still missing.

Hassani Campbell is still missing.

Hassani Campbell is still missing...

…and, Lawd have mercy, the whole world isn’t watching.

If you have any information about this case…any information at all…please call the Oakland Police: 510-238-3641.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oakland police are looking for a 5-year-old boy with cerebral palsy

Oakland police are looking for a 5-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who went missing in the city's Rockridge district.

Hassani Campbell was last seen Monday afternoon sitting in the car parked outside a shoe store.

Hassani is black, stands 3-feet-tall and weighs 30 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and gray pants.

If you have any information about this missing child please call the Oakland Police Youth Services Division.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pondering the Senator McCaskill Hillsboro town hall…

Yesterday this bitch joined fellow pro-choice activists at Senator McCaskill’s town hall in Hillsboro.

It was…well, one word just can’t sum it up.

Yes, a sorta-scuffle broke out when a man grabbed and ripped up a poster of Rosa Parks a woman mistakenly brought into the meeting hall (signs were banned by the college hosting the event).

No, that wasn’t me.

Mercy.

That woman didn’t even have an Afro!

I did have an unfortunate incident with a woman when I was trying to make a phone call outside of the hall while being black. She got up in my face…said something about being tired of all us [insert N-word]…and then called me a baby killer (I was wearing a pink Planned Parenthood t-shirt). She was quickly escorted away by an extremely nice and police officer.

But, other than those incidents and a general climate of vocal hostility, nothing happened that wasn’t expected.

Anyhoo, here are my observations.

A lot of people in attendance weren’t Obama or McCaskill supporters before healthcare reform. This wasn’t about McCaskill losing support…it was about people who did not support her, do not support her and will not support her telling her why they did not support her, do not support her and will not support her.

A lot of the folks in attendance were confused. President Obama was portrayed on signs and pamphlets as some sort of Nazi, socialist, foreign born, communist, Muslim, euthanasia enthusiast, fascist who wants to tyrannically impose new environmental standards to perpetuate the dangerous myth of global warming all the while teaching the wee little babies about birth control in pre-school and plotting to knock off Grandma.

These people seem to be scared shitless by the Obama presidency.

Many of them are on Medicare…like Medicare…don’t want to see Medicare go away, but are opposed to government healthcare coverage options.

Blink.

Still others are for tort reform instead of healthcare reform…seemed surprised that Missouri and other states have already done some serious tort reform…were even more surprised that the tort reform they called for did not result in a lowering of healthcare costs…and then settled back on their allegation that healthcare reform is fascist and supporters want to knock off Grandma.

Don’t even get me started on how the crowd cheered when Senator McCaskill announced the huge profits posted by healthcare insurance companies. I was so sure they were about to start a Blue Cross Blue Shield They’re Our Man If They Can’t Profit from it NO ONE Can! cheer…but they somehow restrained themselves.

Anyhoo, after two hours it was all over.

And a bitch was left more enlightened than disturbed.

See, I live here and I’ve got a pretty good handle on my region…and I’ve got to tell you that crowd didn’t warrant the press coverage they got.

Nope…sorry, but no cigar.

If a bitch had been blogging the event I’d have covered the fact that, given the accusations made by those people who did attend, it is far more news worthy that the place didn’t reach capacity.

Because the fact that throngs weren’t gathered outside even though this town hall was closer to conservative areas than the more liberal St. Louis city (the St. Louis event was cancelled)…the fact that every seat in the place was not filled nor were people overflowing outside the building…the fact that there were lots of healthcare reform supporters there too (and Gawd forbid the media capture that)…and the fact that a bunch of other folks were there from organizations trying to get petitions signed for this or that (hey, a crowd is an opportunity!)…

…all of that shit adds up to not as many fired up anti-reform confused about the difference between a socialist and a fascist Missourians as they and their backers would have the press believe.

Which leaves this bitch suspecting that most eastern Missourians are still in Show-Me mode in regards to healthcare reform while yesterday’s town hall represented the folks who refuse to be shown.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Remembering Eunice Kennedy Shriver…

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, has died.

She is survived by her husband, Sargent Shriver, five children and 19 grandchildren.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s speech at the 1987 Special Olympics World Games in South Bend Indiana sums up her legacy beautifully.

“The right to play on any playing field? You have earned it. The right to study in any school? You have earned it. The right to hold a job? You have earned it. The right to be anyone’s neighbor? You have earned it.”

Because of her work…because she channeled her personal experience into positive action…because she chose to be an advocate rather than talk about being an advocate…because she lived her values…because of all of that, millions of people across the world now know that individuals with developmental disabilities have rights and have something to give back to society.

She didn’t do it alone…she isn’t the only activist…but hers was a strong and constant voice within the chorus advocating on behalf of the developmentally disabled.

The Special Olympics was more than just an opportunity for people with developmental disabilities to participate in sport…it was and is a movement to bring the developmentally disabled into the mainstream.

Even though my brother has never participated in the Special Olympics he has benefited from the movement greatly.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s work stands as an amazing example of what an activist can do and the positive change one person can make in the lives of millions.

May the Divine One comfort her family and friends as they mourn her loss and celebrate her life.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver was 88 years old.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A bitch’s correction of a certain fool’s statement on the current health care debate…

Sarah Palin wrote an article and, among other things, said…

"And who will suffer the most when they ration care?" Palin asks. "The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."

Blink.

Jaelithe of MOMocrats has a fantabulous response up.

And this bitch has something to say too.

Shall we?

Sarah Palin is right – the sick, the elderly and the disabled suffer the most when the health care system is fucked up.

But she’s also the very definition of wrong – the current system is not working and, as a result, older Americans and people with developmental disabilities…and I’ll add the poor, who seem to be invisible to Palin and her minions…are suffering right now.

Contrary to the voices in Sarah’s head, she’s not the spokesperson for families with a loved one with special needs...mostly because she has failed to embrace reform of a health care insurance system that is currently failing children and people with special needs. While many of us have been trying to get insurance reform for children and people with autism spectrum disorder passed there has been a curious lack of input from the former Governor of Alaska, who speaks so well of being an advocate yet seems unwilling to actually advocate.

My older brother is autistic and I grew up watching my parents damn near bankrupt themselves providing basic therapies for him because insurance companies refused to cover a damn thing…and I don’t recall Sarah Palin proposing a damn thing to address that when she was the Republican Vice Presidential nominee (a speech is not a policy proposal) or since quitting her job as Governor of Alaska.

There has been a loud as hell silence from Palin on the need to include services for children and people with Down Syndrome or other developmental disabilities in health care reform…and then she drops this freakish bullshit on her Facebook page, sits back and waits for her followers to praise her maverickishness.

If she had a lick of sense she’d be ashamed of herself.

Well, I’ll be damned if Sarah Palin is gonna become some sort of demented voice of a community I’m part of so she can further her political career.

Fuck that.

My Gawd, are there no rational conservatives left?

Pause…listen to crickets…continue.

Because this debate could use them.

Catch your knee!

The health care debate could use the addition of a robust and sane opposition raising mentally stable questions about implementation, access and sustainability.

But I’m not hearing from those folks.

I hope to Gawd they are out there and are just being drowned out by fear mongering inaccurate “death panel” ads trying to freak seniors out, by former politicians trying to be relevant despite having relinquished the very political platform that could have allowed them to propose legislation to help protect the rights of children and adults with developmental disabilities…and by the mob, so riled up it has become deaf to reason and blind to the reality that the insurance industry regularly decides who is worthy of certain care and who isn’t without the threat of electoral correction every four or six years…without ever having to face the judgment of the people, because the people have been too fucking busy defending the status quo to take this precious opportunity to add people-focused reform to a health care insurance industry that is currently “downright evil.”

Lawd, give me strength.

Let me be clear…my older brother is profoundly autistic and he is incapable of advocating on his own behalf to make sure he gets the health care he needs as a 39 year-old man.

And I, who would protect his life with my own, support health care reform.

Because the America that I love…the America that my grandfather and father served to protect…the America that my people have lived in for over 200 years…would not let this opportunity to provide adequate health care to the people pass by without action.

Jesus, where's the digital divide when you need it...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Happy birthday C-Money!

Today is my sister C-Money’s birthday, y’all!

Longtime readers know that C-Money is my best friend and has been my rock through many a challenging time.

She’s also brilliant and sassy and the best person I know.

So, today I celebrate my sister...she is the very definition of fantabulous.

Happy birthday, Neopthe!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

By request - pondering the mob…

A certain Frances from Vancouver would like to know my thoughts on the recent conservative mob activity at Congressional town hall meetings here in America.

Shall we?

A bitch is fascinated by these mobs…not that Americans may be angry about things that our government is doing but by what these conservative Americans have gotten worked up about. I’m going to assume that they are actually really riled up and not paid protestors because that would be some sorry assed shit if the conservative right can’t even organize real constituents to show up pissed…I mean, that would be the very definition of pathetic.

Shit.

So, assuming that these folks are for real…is healthcare reform worthy of their mobification?

Pause…consider…continue.

I ask because most of these mobs have gathered in districts that could really use some healthcare reform…where families are struggling to access minimum services…the working poor are uncovered and at risk…where seniors weigh their need to eat against their ability to afford medicine.

And a bitch can’t help but wonder why these mob-based shouters aren’t demanding that their representatives suspend their own coverage.

Catch that knee!

I’m just saying…if you’re gonna shout at a Congressperson about healthcare reform why the fuck would you give them a pass yet angrily demand that they cease trying to provide coverage to the masses?

That’s kind of like taking a starving mob to a food bank and shouting at volunteers that they need to cease feeding people…or getting a mob of homeless people to get their mob on at a shelter.

Hell, mayhap that’s next.

Maybe they have a strategy to protests all government services and once they’re finished defending the healthcare insurance lobby from the evil sin of people focused reform they’ll move on to mobbing public schools, police and fire departments and sanitation departments.

Lawd, I can see them linking hands around water treatment facilities while screaming that they want their country back and then demanding that everyone recite the pledge of allegiance!

Mercy.

Anyhoo, a bitch can think of a lot of things to get a mob on about – America has the second worst infant mortality rate among modern nations, 38 million Americans are considered food insecure, poverty is rising at an alarming rate among senior citizens and America is falling behind the rest of the world in education.

Oh, and I’d think that the fact that an estimated 87 million Americans are uninsured…and, even if a mob participant is only worried about their own life and money that should cause some serious concern…would kick off a protest or two in support of healthcare reform not against it.

But Lawd knows conservatives are loath to put logic ahead of stopping anything associated with a liberal administration.

The story is not that there are mobs set to shout down members of Congress when they attempt to hold town hall meetings during recess.

The real story is that these mobs are passionately demanding that Congress not do it’s job and threatening to replace any representative who does try to do her or his job with someone who will promise to do nothing if elected.

Blink.

That ain’t Thomas Paine-ish behavior, people.

That’s some throwback pre-revolution loyalist bullshit and no amount of Lipton tea makes it good for America.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Remembering Naomi Sims…

Naomi Sims, beauty pioneer and the first black model to appear on the cover of Ladies' Home Journal, has died.

Naomi Sims was beautiful and a successful businesswoman.

Getting the fashion world to acknowledge that did more than fling open the door of opportunity for future Naomis and it did more than present a beautiful black woman to America.

There was a time before Sims, where the beauty ideal was actually a societal declaration that what we are was not what beauty is...and there was the time after Sims, still dominated by a beauty standard sans diversity but no longer absent a challenge to that shit.

Many will dismiss the importance of Naomi Sims as long lost history. Others will dismiss the role of fashion.

But I will always remember seeing her picture, so lovely and brown, and thinking she was beautiful…not beautiful despite her color but beautiful having embraced it. And I know that had a positive impact on how I viewed my chocolate brown self.

Naomi Sims was 61 years old.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Back from beautiful Arizona and pondering Corn Flakes…

A bitch is back from C-Money’s birthday trip to the beautiful state of Arizona!

Happy pre-birthday to C-Money and many thanks to her for including me in a trip of a lifetime…fantabulous!

I’m almost recovered from witnessing her and a certain Menekse fly off over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter.

Almost.

Lawd, have mercy!

Anyhoo, the upside of going on vacation…other than the cool shit one does while on vacation…is not checking email. The downside is that email waits…like a stinky fart in a humid room. This morning a bitch caught up on my emails and…well, reading several days of them all at once has revealed a pattern.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

Mmmhmmm, some folks get joy from pissing in the Corn Flakes of others.

Blink.

Okay, so you should know that a bowl of Corn Flakes is yummified…particularly if you haven’t had them in a while. Imagine sitting down for some Corn Flakes…having hooked them up with a ‘naner (translation – banana)…and maybe you even had a few spoonfuls, so you know that shit is yummy. Then, out of nowhere, some asshole appears and takes a piss in the bowl!

Wrongness!

I honestly had stopped noticing but a wee break from email illuminated that shit and daaaaamn!

Shark-Fu’s review of Corn Flake pissing emails up in my inbox…
The “you just need to get laid” email…
I don’t know who told people that getting laid made a person blind to injustice and bullshit, but whoever it was lied to their ass. I’m all for a healthy sex life…FULLY support it (wink)…but I promise y’all that regular sex will not cure the need for bitchitude.

And, as these emails demonstrate, getting laid sure as shit isn’t the cure for ig’nance.

Next!

The “people are racist/homophobic/bigoted/rancid about all manner of things…so what? Talking about it only contributes to the problem” email…
The easy answer is that not talking about injustice hasn’t accomplished a damn thing, but that’s responding to the surface and ignoring the real proposal within such emails. What these emails really say is that the author doesn’t want to hear about that shit and would prefer to live their life in a state of willful dismissive ig’nance unless an injustice jumps up and bites them in the ass in which case they then want the world to stop so everyone and their dawg can address the wrong done them.

Well, that’s just precious…and a mound of steaming intellectually lazy fubarity too.

Not talking about a hungry polar bear breathing down your neck aint’ gonna prevent that bear from…well, um…doing what hungry polar bears do.

Wince.

And damn it all to hell if that’s not a lesson fools seem to need to learn over and over again…even though we know that the odds of them escaping that bear are low and even though there are tons of examples of folks not escaping that bear and even though we can do some things to make sure hungry metaphor-based polar bears aren’t lurking about amongst the masses denying them civil rights, equality and/or life.

Go ahead and get your denial on, though.

But you may want to remember that you aren’t on parole and reading this bitch’s blog is not a condition of your work release program.

Blink.

And finally, the “didn’t you know that [insert identity they don’t respect and secretly fear] are lesser than and thus worthy of abuse? That’s why I support abusing them!” email.

If I had a dollar for every asshole who sends me an email trying to educate me about my own damn self and how unworthy of equality and respect I am in the hope that I’ll slap my forehead in shock…shout “eureka!”…and give up activism, this bitch would be able to fund the International Intervention Against Fubarity, Ig’nance and Bullshit program I’ve long dreamed of starting.

Since no one has started a Cash for Ig’nance program, a bitch is left to wonder at that shit.

I’m more than aware that the price of logging on is feedback from the masses…and, since one huge benefit of logging on is also feedback from the masses, I’m willing to wade through the rancidity in my inbox.

I just wish that shit was a little less predictable.

Is it too much to ask for the knavish among us with internet access to take the time to get creative?

***cue crickets then log off while craving pee-less Corn Flakes***

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Traveling once again...

A bitch will be traveling Monday.

Toodles 'til Tuesday!

A bitch in The Guardian!

This bitch just had an article published in The Guardian!

Blink.

Yay!

Click here to get your read on.

So now I have some new readers here at my blog-based home.

Welcome to the land of bitchitude, Guardian readers!

Fantabulousness...

The Grand Canyon is so amazing it is almost too much.

Longtime readers know that this bitch is not known to post pictures...and these fail to capture the fantabulousness...but Lawd, have mercy this was too wonderful not to attempt to capture!


Shit, the drive to and from Sedona was amazing too!


I don't know how people get anything done, though.

I'd be forever looking out the window...and sighing happily.

Mr. Squirrel gives tours at the Grand Canyon...


A bitch made a friend at the Grand Canyon...Mr. Squirrel (he liked to pose)!

He sat beside me for a spell and then tried to get me closer to the edge for a better view. But we'd only just met - for all I know he could be beyond tired of humans and trying to get a bitch to tumble over. So, I took a pass on a closer look.

But he was a nice ledge-based companion for a wee moment...