The Most Backwoods State in the Nation

Dear Readers,

I’m appalled. I once called Florida home, but I’m truly appalled. Look closely at the yachts and other kinds of water crafts off the coast of Miami, and you’ll be fooled. Beyond the palm trees, tropical tiki bars, and drinks beyond your wildest imagination sits a state desperately in need of help. Florida, compared to other states, is backwoods, governed by conservative majority, also governed by elder and guardianship fraud and abuse like no other. I spoke to a lady whose mother, one of many Jane Dohs of guardianship abuse, is not allowed to see her own daughter. The lady was a millionaire, now she’s a peasant. SHe is shriveled down to a bad weight, on drugs, and not allowed to see her daughter. Chemical restraint and isolation are common characteristics of abusive guardianships. My mother, for instance, was right on the money with other abusive guardians when she declared she’d raise the dose of medication I was on simply because I was in love with a man she deemed inappropriate. THis is just one example, but elders may be drugged for years and told never to see their relations and children. THis is not how I want to end my life, nor should I wish that on anyone.

I’m seriously trying to figure out why Florida is so desperately in need of a good cleanup. Florida seems to have forgotten its once glamorous role as the state of fun or romance, and it hailed as the number one place to retire. Sadly, Florida is no longer on the list because of Republican governorship, guardianship abuse, and elder care abuses that are so rampant you couldn’t slice or dice it any better. I worked at a Florida nursing home, and an abandoned old lady and I became friends. Mary was left at the home because her family no longer desired to take care of her. There were other ladies like Mary who were left at this home, Daytona Health and Rehabilitation, because they were too ill for the family. Remember that some families would throw their friends or family members in a nursing home because they just don’t know how to take care of their elder family member. Here’s the reality behind homes like these: all residents, with the exception of very few, have a wandering guard brace on their ankles. It keeps them into the nursing home facility itself, and it does help somewhat with the Alzheimer’s and memory care ward for the residents who do wander. However, what about those who are just being drugged? I didn’t see any abuse at Daytona Health when I worked there, but then again, one could be wrong. ANother visitor could smell something awful, and one third visitor could be haunted by the sounds of the ideosyncratic voices that echoed in the memory care ward. I was haunted by such voices, namely one, and it made me think. I don’t want to be a nursing home resident in Florida, period. Regardless of what a public guardian says, I won’t leave Trenton and the family we attempt to create. Our family may be small, just us, but Florida’s nursing homes are no place for a family like this. Not even myself.

Florida must outlaw all elder guardianships and family guardianships of young adults with disabilities. Why do I suggest such a thing? Because of the way we’re currently seeing abuse of power. There are good honest people in the justice system, and they managed to put one certified public guardian in Nevada in the slammer for being exploitative. April Parks was put in jail, and so should just about every one of the Florida public guardians who abuses an elder or person with a disability. My parents could face a lot of jailtime too, if only they understood the seriousness of it all. Their particular guardianship was founded to protect from one person, but it expanded into “We don’t want you getting married because you pick the wrong people.” First of all, I could’ve married Michael Bonhomme, a young man who emigrated here from Haiti, but has since lost contact with me. Haiti being too poor for Mr. Bonhomme, he came to Florida and eventually was pushed into marrying a woman with intellectual impairments, and she bore him two kids. Rachael and Moses are growing up with their dad, but the mom was unable to function as a wife. I advised him to go before a judge and properly divorce her, not because I was interested, but because it wasn’t fair for Amy. His ex has a racist family history, and since Michael is black Haitian, it only got worse when I was talking to him. Michael is stuck in Titusville, and I wonder where he went. His children need to know how to take care of their daddy when he gets old and frail God forbid. However, because he had the two children, I was forbidden from dating him, which is stupid because you don’t always meet a single father with children. Most single fathers don’t give a crap about their children and don’t pay child support.

My family won’t be allowed to do one more thing. I’m going to expose the guardianship on a show done by Lulu and Robbin. Face Us with Lulu and Robin will feature me, and I’m ready to be frank and honest about the guardianship and all of its flawed reasoning. Please feel free to tune in via BlogTalk Radio or call the guest line when available. I will post the guest line on a Facebook status, so please make sure you’re a Facebook user before calling in or seeing the status.

13 reasons why I won’t watch 13 reasons why

Dear Readers,

Imagine you have been bullied heavily and sexually assaulted in school, books stolen from you in the hallway, your lunch stolen multiple times. You’re sick of it, so what do you do? 13 reasons why, a Netflix original series, is a great teaching tool, but there are thirteen reasons why I won’t be watching the show.

Public schools sounded an alarm about the series, especially when the first opening lines popped up. THe main character’s life is over due to suicide, and she leaves behind a narrative in the first lines about her life being over because of bullies. There is a good reason why people do this to themselves due to bullying, and that’s because bullying is bad and worse than ever. Bullying can hurt others, and if the wrong person is named in a kill list, especially by a bully, it can have grave impact on the school and its environment.

Public schools want a warning list and resources at the beginning or end of each episode of 13 Reasons Why. I think that’s reasonably good because we need to teach kids that there are resources out there to prevent suicide.

Too graphic and morose for viewing at times. People are saying that some things are just too graphic and 13 Reasons Why could be one of those things. Digrassi isn’t meant to be that way, and what little I’ve watched, it has some graphic parts, but there aren’t super graphic moments, like the time that Zig and Maya were swatted by Hunter just because Maya was shutting down Hunter’s gaming club. THe show tackles more issues than just bullying, but 13 reasons Why tackles just the bullying part, and we should put a warning label as stated previously on each episode.

I never thought I’d experience what was in the show, rather I didn’t. Bullying in the extreme is not what I grew up with, but maybe I could view it to remind myself that I grew up in a better time when bullying didn’t take place on the Internet.

Teachers hate this series. ANd as well they should because they almost do nothing about teen suicide due to bullying. Not all teachers, mind you, but a lot of them. I bet my old band director will love the series personally because his band students are supposed to be tight knit, but students posting stuff on social media could affect his band students. I bet he might learn something, and the resource list suggestion might help students cope with the loss of a student at any time.

Bullies might get validation from seeing someone die or hang him/herself in the series. No, bullies should know that their actions reflect badly on them, including if the death of a student is involved. Public school bullies are the worst they’ve ever been, so take note. Parents of bullies should be disciplining the bully child in their home, doing what they can to prevent suicide of a student. Force that child to accept differences in people, period. Any teacher caught favoring bullies should be suspended from their job, especially for allowing the actions to lead to suicide of students.

Students may not be able to discuss bullying properly. 13 reasons why is supposed to get a conversation going, but students may not be allowed to do this because the principal of the school may not ever allow a student to converse with him/her about bullying on campus. Not without the victim not being believed. Bully victims should consider having a conversation with parents and school board officials, of course, but over this show? Whether you choose to watch it or not, this show should start something.

I might not have done thirteen reasons here, but there are more reasons why I won’t be watching the show. There is another show called Dear White People that covers being black in America, and introduces police brutality and subjects around it. Titusville people should watch that show because if you look at the census, the town is 83% Caucasian and very few black people live in good conditions in the town. It is a typical Southern town, which is why I’m not a resident there, and why I feel that Dear White People is a better selection than 13 Reasons Why, at least for me. Racial differences could impact bullying, of course, so yeah.

Dear white people for the win.

Beth

Kidnapping Girls Is a Sin: Boko Haram Must Pay the Price for Selling and Kidnapping Girls in Chibok Nigeria

It’s an all too familiar story in Nigeria now: over 200 young girls from a school in the Nigerian plains were kidnapped by terrorists from a group called Boko Haram, whose name means “western education is forbidden.” Haram meaning “forbidden”, this group’s mission was to force upon the girls a life of slavery, something no one in the U.S. should be condoning. Only 80 girls were freed yesterday and are under military protection, but what about the ones who weren’t free? Boko Haram must start caring enough to disband or face death with dishonor because Islam does not condone human trafficking in young sex slaves. These girls wanted to be doctors, nurses, etc., but now they will be confined and looked upon as slaves by Boko Haram, and the ones freed will be afraid to venture out on their own. Understandable. What if we reversed the genders of the perpetrator and kidnapped? Should it be so that a bunch of crazy women go out and kidnap males and make them breed and eat and fight against each other against their will? Maybe we should show them how it is for the women among them, deny them basic rights, force them to get married to men they hate, or women in this case, or they should face the U.S. Navy. President Trump is doing nothing to help the Nigerian people free ALL of the girls, and believe me, I would have done something to eradicate Boko Haram long before this came to pass. The United States would never negotiate with Boko Haram, and trust me, Boko Haram is a Terrorist violent organization, and therefore, no negotiating is needed. I would have sent in the Navy seals and special operations folks and soldiers and the like to kill the guys and extract the girls. ISIS may start buying girls from Nigeria, and they won’t see their families, which is a travesty. I have a message for the Nigerian people: free them all. Don’t negotiate with terrorists, free them all. All of the girls deserve freedom, even the ones who are not educated. The girls need to be freed to return to their families, and some of them have been impregnated by the terrorists, so the babies may end up adopted out. What would you do if you had to look into the face of the Terrorist who raped you daily? I wouldn’t want that. However, Africa does not protect abortion rights, and I think the girls should choose what happens to their bodies, lives, and minds. Boko Haram, however, must not make any further choices. It must be eradicated like ISIS, and no African Union soldier should negotiate with a terrorist to get limited results. Full results are the only ones acceptable.

Kids Don’t Know How to Lose Fairly

Imagine you’re at your son’s first soccer game. You cheer him on, go go go, get the ball, kick the ball, etc., but you wonder why the team is acting quite sloppy on the field. Your son kicks the ball and it’s blocked, and then at another point the other team scores and wins the game at stoppage time. In soccer, or European football, of course the end of the game is stoppage time. The world cup games are played in halves, with each half being forty-five minutes long or so, no real quarter breaks. Youth soccer leagues take note.

Now imagine your son playing soccer again. What happens when your son scores the goal for the team who wins? How do you feel about that? WHen the first example is displayed, how do you feel when you find out the other team won? What do you as a parent do to teach your child to win, and to teach himm or her the benefits of losing a game or two? In the early 1990s, the values of winning and losing were important to children, and children competed more often just to see who was best, and there really was a “best” player or person on the field. This doesn’t apply to just soccer, it also applies to life itself. There is a difference between losing unfairly and losing a fair game. You wonder why athletics has gotten obsessed with antidoping measures as well.

Meet Donovan. He’s a CAnadian paralympic swimmer who’s had his share of wins and losses I assume. Donovan has to be tested for antidoping agencies to ensure his wins are clean, and believe me, it’s not fun. Because athletes are taught today that cheating is a value they can uphold, there are those athletes out there who cheat, and must vacate victories based on cheating. Marion Jones is a good example. But how can we instill this value in the youths today?

Children must first learn that it’s okay to lose a game as long as it’s a fair and equal opportunity on both sides. LEt’s imagine the soccer game. If you have a goalie break the rules about using his hands or whatever he’s not supposed to do, I’ll confess I forgot, you must say that the losers didn’t lose fairly. However, if the team’s offense wasn’t strong enough, we can fairly say that the opposing side won fair and square. There are always better people out there than the people themselves. There is a principle in the Tao Te Ching, the book of Taoism. The best warriors say they’re not the best fighters, and they’re humble enough so that they lose a battle every once in a while, but when they win, they don’t gloat. That’s another thing. I watched an intramural football game at FSU, not the regular games, but Brother Jason from the brotherhood of hope was a good example of why we should bless our opponents. He prayed for the opposing team, and said they deserved blessings and he prayed for a clean game. Brother Jason is a humble and modest man who converted to Catholicism and joined the brotherhood of Hope shortly after leaving Methodism. Of course, I knew him as a man who truly blessed the world with his presence, and if he were Taoist, he would have understood the best warrior quote well. At the game I watched, though FSU lost it, we still cheered on our opponents. We didn’t try beating them up and nobody had terrible thoughts about losing because it was all in good fun, though a bit competitive on the edges. Still, your child should learn to congratulate his/her opponents in all things: card games, soccer games, intramural and competitive sports, and other school functions and activities around the community. Then, when your child wins, or his/her team wins, congratulate them, but trust me, allow them to evaluate what they can do better. IF you’re a coach reading this, always remember that everybody loses at some point, but winners never quit. True winners are the ones who say and admit they did wrong.

I learned all this the hard way. Today’s kids oftentimes take losing too seriously. Three quarters of today’s teen suicide attempts are girls, and boys tend to complete suicide more. Why? Bullying is a big factor, but a child must learn how to detect bullies and stand up to them, including on the internet. Internet bullying is a huge problem for today’s youth. I didn’t grow up with selfies, likes, and other sorts of things. I plan on never posting pics of my kids on Facebook, never identifying the child by name as a young woman mother of one child decided to do. I’m going to follow her example and keep my child safe online, and one thing will have to go: pictures. IF my son is in a soccer game, I won’t be taking pics, and I will not allow any parent on the team to post pics of the team on social media. I’ll just say don’t tag me or my child on Facebook, not till he/she’s thirteen and can handle her or himself on social media. I want to be able to interact with parents on social media but I just don’t see the point in taking pictures of naked Baby X and dirty Baby Y and putting them up on Facebook for competitive purposes, which is what parents today do for their children. Millennial parents don’t get it at all. It’s sad, truly sad, what they do. THey expect their daughter to look pretty for selfies and win boys for her pics all the time, but such attention can lead to sexual assault, bullying, and suicide attempts for her. The boys are infrequently taught to send “dick pics” to girls, how to ask for nudes, etc., and high school has gotten so bad that certain things have to be banned in order to keep learning a priority. Smartphones and cell phones should be banned, but now kids are doing snapchats and other things. Remember the infamous Syracuse Snap? Anyone remember that? It depicted sexually violent acts against women and girls, smoking, and all that stuff. It was a page devoted to this kind of activity, and I don’t want my child winning the wanton cruel award of “sexiest hussy model alive.”

Not putting pictures on social media is just the beginning. My friend doesn’t identify her son on social media, but she is doing this for a reason. She will be moving to England, which has a tougher education system, but still, I think she’s making great choices for her child. It’s her world, she can’t let others mess it up. When her son is a teen, he will thank his mom for keeping him safe as a little boy at that point. Hopefully, this young man will also win, and win good things. He won’t solicit things from women, and think that women only do that stuff. High schools aren’t what they used to be, and teen suicide rates may skyrocket between now and then, but part of suicide attempts is not accepting temporary acts of defeat. Defeat in the long term though is unacceptable, and I have examples of that.

Not being able to ever work or get a job because of disability. Not being allowed to sit in the same rail car with the person you want to sit with because that person is black. Not being allowed to marry because your family doesn’t like him. All these things aren’t losing battles, they’re dangerous. If my friend sees her son happy with a woman who is black, she should congratulate him and support him, regardless of racial views of different people. My friend doesn’t think race should be a factor in marriages, if I know her well enough. For all we know, parents of Caucasians also have a dramatic rise in domestic violence, something thankfully I didn’t witness in later life, but my mom messed everything up when she and Dad went to court and manipulated a judge into defeating any things I wanted to do. The long term consequences of such a thing can be suicide for some, and why would I do that? I wouldn’t. However, there are many women and men with disabilities in this situation with no place to turn, no place to go but in the ground, forever to sleep eternal with the rest of the dead. These people need a voice, a hopeful message. You are not alone, do what you want, don’t let anything or anyone steal your fun. That’s what I’m doing now. And I’m winning at it, I’ve scored a goal or two against a family that doesn’t deserve a daughter. And they’ll have to lose when they die, realizing that they could ruin the lives of their grandchildren, a man their “daughter” loves, and the man’s family.

That List on Facebook: Preexisting Conditions Revisited

Dear Readers,

Around the country of the United States of America, there are millions of Americans with the preexisting conditions on Facebook that everybody’s talking about. Trenton stole and pasted the list from a friend, and I’m going to go in depth about why the GOP government must not pass this new healthcare legislation.

Remember Ashley and her autistic daughter? The daughter will require special education, which will become severely underfunded because of preexisting conditions, and the state might opt out of covering her daughter’s condition, autism. Remember that most of my friends on Facebook are blind. One of the most vocal critics of healthcare reform under the president is someone I know well. Reina Brown is a very awesome advocate of those with disabilities, and she has preexisting conditions that stack up to the ceiling, but healthcare reform under President Trump could bar Reina from receiving pain meds she requires, things she needs because of mito. Mitochondrial disease is a female only disease for the most part, and pain and inability to walk are some of the many things that can happen to a “mito warrior” as Reina calls herself along with thousands of countless others. Mito disease doesn’t seem to be the only thing she has to worry about her insurance dropping. THey could stop covering things like Autism, which she has the high functioning form of, and disabilities would also not be covered. For Reina’s future children, adopted or not, they would end up losing coverage if they’re disabled in any way, and pregnancy would not be covered for Reina should she decide to, for example, choose to become so if she wanted to or could. I think Reina has made up her mind but her boyfriend can’t be the only provider in the house, and she thankfully works two jobs. However, working and dealing with healthcare issues is not easy.

There are many others like Reina in the world, especially here in America, who need to be able to cover their medications and do so in an accessible format. The insurers who drop preexisting conditions under this new law would be violating people’s right to live. Trenton and I have preexisting conditions, and thanks to Medicaid, I also have dental benefits. The dentist stuff has to stay, and if I don’t go to the dentist, I might need more expensive dental work because let’s face it, I’m getting old. But because of preexisting conditions like blindness and possible anxiety and depression, I might not get that coverage. I could be refused for many reasons, including that it’s too expensive to keep me alive. WHat I have to say is, well, bullshit. I call bullshit on this because nobody is worth more than the other. If Reina were poorer or not able to work, she should still be kept alive through the pain meds she needs, the other things she must have in order to keep herself stable, the premiums being low since she works. I hope that others can learn from the poorest of the poor, however, and realize that we are valuable and meaningful people with names, lives, and numbers of friends.

Meet my buddy Caitlin. She has a pile of preexisting conditions, and lives in Georgia, which could freeze the expanded Medicaid and cut her benefits. Caitlin uses an aid and a service dog to complete basic tasks such as cooking, nuking things in a high mounted microwave, or turning on and off lights. Caitlin has a more severe form of CP, is wheelchair bound, and needs some help with the most basic things that most humans take for granted. Caitlin is great, has the bubbliest personality, and can make a person laugh at the drop of a hat, but if an insurer drops her aid and coverage, she could get pretty mad. IF I were to ask Caitlin about what she really wishes for this healthcare reform, I bet she’d just say it like it is. Caitlin cannot pay out of pocket for her care because it costs so much. If she changes staes, where her husband to be, or should I say her husband, Michael Angebrandt, lives, she could face the same crap. Who would take care of the basics while Mike is not with Caitlin in her home? Caitlin has to use her aid, aids, whatever, especially with the hubby not being home. Tennessee and Georgia cutting Medicaid benefits to disabled people would put Caitlin in grave danger. I now have a closing message for Trump.

Do not pass the healthcare reform bill. The American Healthcare Act is a joke, will be a dangerous bill for people with disabilities, and folks like Caitlin and Reina need healthcare that covers all comprehensive things, including maternity care and preventative medicine, things like the kids’ shots and other things. Caitlin will want to someday take her kids to the dentist, though without much pomp and circumstance, but the kids will need dental care coverage without need of factoring in their future mom’s preexisting condition. Reina wants to have a pain free life, able to work and all, and though she’s working, needs to be able to afford her medication. Please take these stories and run with it, President Trump, and don’t repeal and replace the healthcare bill that saves lives.

Homelessness and disability don’t go together

Dear Readers,

I just recently ran across a post in which a friend of mine, Amy, and her husband wrote a reporter about being homeless due to housing crises in their state. I wish there was a way they could find a more progressive human services department, but there is no shelter for a handicapped couple, and they’re in great danger. If you’re in Oregon and reading this, know that this couple is blind/deaf and physically handicapped and can’t work due to their social barriers. I know what it could have been to be homeless, but Amy and her husband need a place to stay by next Monday because of a sixty day no cause eviction in their home front building. The building was sold to a manager that obviously didn’t care. They now cannot find low income housing in their community, so I recommended a change of state because of the way they exhausted their resources in Oregon. So they would have to either go live on the street, usage indeed, or find another place in another state to live. Denver so far has a coalition for the homeless, but they have so many homeless guys who get into it. Would they accommodate a couple? I do’t know. All I can do is pray, but GoFundMe was recommended. Who’s going to set up a crowdfunding account for those guys? I don’t know who’d do this given social attitude toward people and disabilities in general. If you read this, and you have a home situation that allows indefinite stay, please help Mark and Amy, or get to either of them. If you have them as friends on FB, message one of them and see what they say. Remember, tell them where you live. Perhaps you’ve got a house or something you can loan them for a while. Homelessness should never touch the lives of disabled people, and I’m determined to help Amy and her husband find a home. Mark is a cool dude, and Amy has done loads, even after falling while hiking, I read their story on FB, and it truly should inspire others to help in this cause. Thank you all for reading and please consider my instructions, and only good friends should contact them.

A Request for Bard

Dear Readers, and especially BARD subscribers,

I am writing you all about an important book, especially because this book involves exploitation of disabled workers who have low IQ. Sadly, this book is not available on Bard, but it is available on Kindle for purchase. I personally rarely ever buy purchased books, and the Barnes and Noble Nook book store has the books usually, but as a blind person living on only a mere $700, plus a thirty extra and some change etc., all of it goes to survival. I like the idea of checking books out from the library, but here’s the problem: this book is important and unavailable because a publisher may have forgotten its value or the NLS may not have been interested. I feel this book should be added to the Bard collection because it pertains to not only the men in Iowa, but to all of us with disability. It could serve as a companion book in a social work training class, but look what opportunity could fly out the door if even I can’t get a hold of the book. I’m not bitterly complaining that SSI is bad, etc., but libraries except for the talking book ones like that up the road from my house, most libraries don’t have accessible books and e-books to check out. Kindle is working hard to make books accessible, has a huge library of millions, and though had a colorful history, still has more improvements to do with the already pretty good start to accessing books for blind people. Some blind people simply don’t have money or a local library near enough for them to check out regular books, or can’t read regular print. Nowadays, tech has changed, but let’s do a synopsis of this book: the titlte is “The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Salvation and Servitude in the Heartland and it is by a legendary NY Times reporter. I found out through a year old podcast that some of the men died, some of them live in Waterloo, but then, the remaining rancher died, Kenneth Henry. I had no clue he had died so recently as last year. That’s crazy. OF course, the writer included the guys in telling their own story, which doesn’t often happen with disabled people. For instance, I want to write me a book but don’t know best on how to get started. If I write the truth, set the records straight, can’t remember the experiences, etc., then people won’t know what went wrong. That’s the argument that the writer made in including the men in their own story.

In any case, I’ve been exploited for my high IQ, and nobody talks about it, but whatever. This book is a breakthrough, and these guys couldn’t even read a book in some cases, in others they could. In any case, I think you guys should read this book, published in publishing year 2016, and check out the narrative behind the men of Atalissa, listen to the accompanying documentary done by the same writer, thirty minutes long on YouTube. This is a special but very heart wrenching book, according to Pro Publica, so it should have good reviews. Disabled people need voices, and I plan to be one of those voices, though on a different subject. What this writer did was truly amazing, and I applaud him for his work but would like to see it on the National Library Services BARD website for all to see and read and remember. We must remember things like this have happened.

I will provide contact info for the NLS Bard folks in charge of requesting books, etc., that is if you guys want.