Student Activists Leave Out Disabled Population?

Dear Readers,

This post was originally written on Medium last February. I thought I’d dig through my Medium posts and show you guys that I know what people truly should be thinking about in the aftermath of gun violence. I also do indeed care about the ictims of the MSDHS school shooting at Parkland–I’m reading several books about it because it hits home personally for me–and their movement. There’s only one thing missing.

link.medium.com/aNEftrlVaW

Where were you?: Columbine and the Easter Bombings

Dear readers,

Exactly twenty years ago, on April 20, 1999, I was at private school in Titusville when the first shots rang out. There was no fanfare about that though as much as with 9/11. Columbine did however change the way high schools did things. Titusville High had bomb threats galore in the weeks after the shooting took place, and I had my thoughts. I personally don’t recommend parochial schools for anyone because of a few things, most of which I’ve covered here in the blog. One, they mythologize marriage and sex. Two, they exclude persons with disabilities. Three, they’re elitist and color barrier galore. If you look at the demographics of kids who go to parochial versus public school, not shockingly, only white children can afford the big bad price tag. Kids in private schools may seem “gentle”, but they’re still as elitist as anyone else.

I’m encountering elite culture in the Denver Women’s chorus, so the equity folks and I are working to break down these barriers. This is what equity is about. I almost didn’t make retreat which I will go to this weekend because of inequitable practices, elitist lodging fees, and so on. I think I need to address that, and say, you could have done a hell of a lot better. Unfortunately, private schools don’t have equity. And if a black/Hispanic parent who doesn’t make enough wants to send their child to get a world class education, they’re so out of luck, in other words, SOL. For parochial school students, shootings don’t always occur, but let’s face it. I was not happy at the private school because I didn’t have the supports I needed. As a blind student, the public schoolteacher in charge of Braille was not allowed to set foot in private school territory. Till a fight broke out between my mother and father and the county.

Well, parents, you wasted your time. I’m not sending my child to a run down bug riddled building where marriage is mythologized for all students, but marriage could become an exclusive thing for folks with disabilities. Later in my THS junior to senior year, my rights were stolen. What else? My parents did not have a clue how to teach me the necessary skills for independence, but sending me to private school did not help matters.

Now, twenty years later, because of Columbine, you’ve got the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas students doing “code red” drills, shooter drills, all that. Lockdown drills are equivalent to that of prison lockdowns, which stresses out kids. Is it effective? According to one news article I pulled out, no.

Twenty years after Columbine, there is one way I theorize that parents can make their children’s school experience better: let the child find himself and go to school with like minded souls. My parents could have sent me to a music school in Boston, but Florida schools did not provide the top notch schooling I needed to get a job in music. My parents’ selfish nature and pleas for Catholic education won’t go unnoticed. My mom and dad are too close to a parish that doesn’t deal with blind people and black students. America is not a whites only nation, and I’ve been great things in Denver, and I hope to see more great things come out of this good place I’m in now.But letting your child go to whatever school fits them, not your selfish religious jealousy, is paramount. It is important beyond important.

When I graduated high school in 2005, I was given too many myths about blind people, and marriage as a requirement for me to have any sexual relations was something I could no longer stand. At 22, I got my first kiss with a 19-year-old Jewish kid. Okay, his religion didn’t bother me, but I knew that incapacitation was evil, but now I have the right words to say it is. If I was a sighted child, I might well have committed myself to different activities than music. So, if anything, that’s just where I was, and where I am now.

As for the Sri Lanka Easter bombings, I had no clue they happened till I woke up on Easter Sunday in Denver. Sri Lanka was the birthplace of Rifka Barry, who converted to Christianity. I wonder what she’d say about the bombings. She’d probably blame Islam itself. And for good reason. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, prominent Somali born activist who later served on the Dutch parliament, might say the same words that were written in her book Heretic, but she’s coming out with a new book. Please go to http://www.theahafoundation.org to learn more about her foundation’s work to protect girls from culturally harmful tradition such as child marriage, FGM (female genital mutilation), and honor violence. Hirsi Ali would be very sad to see that Muslims in Sri Lanka are taking ineffective steps to remedy the Terrorism situation over in that country. Blocking access to social media is not effective. We in America are free so we won’t do that.

Stay safe, my friends.

Beth

Letter to a Long Lost Pop Princess: Britney Spears in Her Time of Need

Dear Britney,

Yes, this blog entry is just for you. I want to tell you that I’m on your side, completely. I feel your pain, and I tell you, I could have been the target of financial liquidation, reduced to a sliver of who I once could have ben, time slipping away. Britney, something should be done to get rid of your father and this awful Conservatorship. California and Florida alike have problems with guardians and conservators ripping children away from their mothers’ arms, not allowing them to see their moms and dads, abusing the adult dependents in nursing homes, isolating and punishing the adults as though they could never function properly. Britney, if you really need something, you can call me wherever you are.

You can call on me, wherever your life leads you. I have struggled with friends and making and keeping friends because of what my family did in their vile attempts to control me. Even the highest authority won’t tell my parents that the guardianship is evil and should go. Something should be done to truly outlaw what they do, what they’re doing, and how they did it.

While I live in Colorado, sing in a choir, do things in the community, you’ve been committed. Britney, I can almost cry your tears, feel the empty wallet that which once held millions of dollars, and then your sons could have benefited from your wealth and fame. Britney, guardianship puts people at a disadvantage. People aren’t educated about the process, and if my parents die, a public guardian could garnish my SSI check, and the parents’ estate could be liquidated also. Your father will likely die of an illness, and he used you to pay his funeral/sick bills. I don’t think that’s a fair trade. You may love your father, but he doesn’t truly love you.

Your mother may be a better support. Lean on her if you must. Remember this, you need to argue like hell to get out of the mental institution, and you need to be brave, strong, and have courage. As Eowyn from Lord of the Rings once told Merry one of the hobbits, “Courage.” Courage, Britney. For you, your friends, and all the people who will be targeted for liquidation of the estates that lawfully belong to the famous people. This will happen to big and small artists, people with talents that humans don’t care to acknowledge. I’m a singer and pianist, so I have many ideas for the way things should work in the world. But as a musician, I can only tell others’ stories. I want to tell your story.

Britney, have courage to stand up to those who want to throw you away. Guardians and vicious psychopaths who want to steal your money should be in jail, experiencing what they tried to inflict on you. Anyone who tries to mess your life up should be told to stay clear from your children. Those boys are yours, love them, hold them, don’t turn on them.

Britney, I know what’s coming. While pregnant, I could be told to abort the babies because of blindness, made up disability, and so on. Nobody is going to touch my children, so long as Trenton, my fiancé, and I will stay together and raise them. For one thing, I want to have children and a house and work so that they can have better clothes and shoes and food than their inner city or homeless counterparts. I will not raise my children, black or otherwise, in a ghetto full of gangs, criminalized youngsters, or worse, delinquents. I don’t want my children to see mistreatment of women and girls as okay, bullying as proper, or anything violent as normal. I want what you may have wanted for your boys, and I want my parents to be punished severely for the Munchowsen by proxy behaviors they could have exhibited with me had I stayed. They subjected me to pennilessness, strict routine, banning from the shower simply because of their stupid economics and what they called the water bill. Well? I’m a girl, and you want to tell me how long my showers will be, cut my hair, threaten me with death, and isolate me from friends and folks I come to care about.

I hate to say it, but rapper Esoteric Quality cannot be close to me, yet he buddied up with my fiancé Trenton. I feel completely insulted because he’s buddied up with people who dislike and don’t want anything to do with me. This is division, Britney. I want unity. This means that friends should be supporting both, or none. I can’t have a tiny wedding with no friends invited, and nobody coming or showing up even though they say RSVP yes or maybe. If nobody RSVP responds or everybody says no, they have no reason to go to a wedding party. Period.

My choir community will have to fill in the spaces left behind by people who called themselves friends but betrayed me. And being friends with folks who betray me should be considered a crime and a half. Why? Because if you’re in a relationship with me, you should be loyal, right? Kevin wasn’t the most loyal husband for you, Britney. I hope you can get the hell out of that stupid asylum and find someone who will love you for you, not the teenage sex symbol, not necessarily the pop princess, but you, the whole flower on the stem.

Britney, if I could, I’d ask for your presence at my wedding. Because I’m going to take my family out of the picture, they’re not invited, and so on and so forth. Do the same if you find another good man. Don’t let your father come, only your mother. Be sure the family learns a tough lesson, but let your boys give you away.

Britney, you should sue your family for what they’ve put you through. You’re hardly the only one: Heather Locklier, Amanda Bynes, Aaron Carter, Nick Carter, and so many others have been either conned or targeted. Targeting a person for financial liquidation due to their disability is predatory, and. hope you agree that it should be outlawed.

Britney, I love you. Have courage, take heart, and don’t let the bedbugs bite you. I’m fixing to go to sleep, so goodnight, sleep tight.

Your fan,

Beth Taurasi,

Denver, Colorado

Britney’s Sad Story #freebritney

Dear Readers,

Britney Spears’s story is proof that we must end the practice of guardianship and Conservatorship, one state at a time. #freeBritney fans unite. Check out this video, and think carefully about why I’m so passionate about ending Conservatorship and guardianship.

www.youtube.com/watch

An Interesting Lecture at Choir and other matters

Dear friends and readers,

Today at choir, one of our youth advocates talked about what happened today regarding Sol Paes. She was an eighteen-year-old who was apparently obsessed with the Columbine High massacre. She bought a gun legally, but because she left a rail of social media stuff and diaries and such, there was reason for her to be a credible threat. She could have killed hundreds if not millions had it not been for the police closing schools for today. Because of her, my PCP could not come do her job. Because of her, well, she’s dead.

If anyone I know needs help and thinks they’re gonna hurt themselves for some reason or anyone else, take down this information:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Or text 741-741 if in U.S. or Canada.

Also, check out the Not Okay app, available in the google play and apple app stores. It connects you to a crisis line if you need it plus five contacts in your address book.

Please, I beg of you all, before you buy that gun, before you undo your life and jump that cliff, before you take a razor to your wrists, call the number or text the number here in this blog entry. You could save not only your own life, but others with this information. Veterans, I understand you guys have struggled after serving this country. Please take advantage of these resources, here in this blog, and in this entry particularly so you don’t do anything deadly.

Thank you all for being so supportive of me, if you read this at all.

Beth

A Cautionary Tale of Deceit

Hi, boys and girls,

Once upon a time in Orlando, Florida, there lived a guy who thought he could make millions of Benjamins. He thought, I can lie to people and steal their money. Well, here’s how it all started.

There was this man, we called him Lou. Lou Pearlman, a so called American record producer, a con man, a fraudster. He was a man nobody would believe. Meanwhile, in Tampa, there was a young man named Nick Carter, and he had a group of friends who sang beautifully. There was A.J. McClane, Bryan Littrell, Kevin Richardson, and Howie D. of course. Then there were five more guys: Lance Bass, Justin Timberlake, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, and Joshua (J.C.) Chasez. These guys were full of life, and yes, sang beautifully. Did I tell you, boys and girls, I met them?

Well, here’s how it all went wrong. Lou, our so called friend in the music business, bilked the boys, all ten of these handsome and rugged young men, out of millions of their gold nuggets. So they filed lawsuits against him, then he formed a band on TV. This band was called Otown. Sadly, it didn’t last.

While Nick and his friends, better known as the Backstreet Boys, continued success without Lou, he got pretty messed up and sad. His only thought was, how can I make even more money? Perhaps Lou’s middle name should have been “money.”

Money is a hard thing to go by, children. So Lou decided to make up fake companies. He designed something of a “Transcontinental” airlines, something that never popped up on the radar. The investors got nary, and threw Lou a few curve balls.

Lou ended up in jail, where all the bad boys go, and as if this story has a happier ending, the boy bands, Nick and his friends, and Justin and his friends, they all got free of him and became millionaires and freemen themselves. They got married and succeeded, while the con man met a sad ending in August 19, 2016. Who knows why that happened? Lou Pearlman’s death isn’t a good thing,, but remember, children, if you want to make money, be honest. Pay your folks back, or you might just end up sharing a cell with guys like Lou Pearlman or worse, Bernie Madoff. You should always be on your guard, and don’t fool anyone into thinking you are the big stuff when you really aren’t. You see, boys, girls, and other children of nonbinary persuasion, Mr. Pearlman and Mr. Madoff are just two of many people you don’t want digging in your banks.

Likewise, if you want to make millions and seek your fortune, remember fortune favors the bold. But true fortune favors the honest.

Source: The Boy Band Con: the Lou Pearlman Story. Since this video is only available to premium subscribers of YouTube, I summarized this story above, and wanted to make it fun and fascinating for the rest. I’d like to dedicate this blog post to all my friends in the Boy Band business, which of course won’t include Mr. Pearlman. What I’m saying is the post is dedicated to the guys: Nick Carter and his band, Justin Timberlake and his friends, and all the people who somehow find success in spite of fortunes and their infamous pasts. Take it from these guys: while fortune favors the bold and the ones who work hard for it, it must in all its aspects favor the honest and the wise, the ones who love truth and don’t deal in evil.

Beth Taurasi,

An Honest gentlelady from Colorado

College Admissions for Dumbies: How to Get Into College

I’m going to forego the usual greeting to list the steps that ideally you should take to get into college.

1. Go to school, get good grades in school.

2. Graduate high school with competence and skills in all subject areas needed for step 3.

3. Fill out a college application.

a. Write a five paragraph essay about a topic the college picks.

B. Fill out financial info such as your FAFSA. This will give you a leg up on federal aid if you need it. If you don’t, skip this step.

C. Don’t cheat the system.

4. When you get to college, do your freaking homework.

5. Practice any craft you do with dignity, including music and sports.

In no way does this step by step include you dying your hair blonde, going to frat boy parties, and doing any sort of party activitty that could result in a date or acquaintance rape, death, or any danger. In no way does it state hat you have to be completely able to see the papers you are filling out, but the big thing is hat college should not be so hard to get into because being white sometimes earns you a trip to Yale. It shouldn’t. White males should not be the only ones in college, and the girls involved in that scandal were the sons and daughters of actresses and fashion designers.

I will write another post about how the disability experience affects college, and if anyone wants to let me use their college stories so I can point out how hard it is, please comment anywhere.