A friend on Facebook shared this article about an artist’s rendering of Donald Trump: it’s a statue of him in his birthday suit. I’ll spare you the images, but here’s the article source I’ve chosen to use (rather thsn the one my friend shared) with an excerpt:

 

Source: 11 photos of NYC’s naked Trump statue | The Verge

Five identical statues of a nude Donald Trump have appeared overnight on street corners in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle, and New York City.

The Washington Post reports that the anarchist collective INDECLINE is responsible for the statues, and are calling this project “The Emperor Has No Balls.” The name is ostensibly a reference to the famous fairytale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” in which a narcissistic emperor gets conned into strolling amongst his people in the nude. Mr. Robot fans might liken the stunt to the one pulled by the show’s anti-capitalist fsociety, who symbolically removed the testicles from the iconic Wall Street bull statue.

An anonymous spokesperson from INDECLINE told the Post, “like it or not, Trump is a larger-than-life figure in world culture at the moment. Looking back in history, that’s how those figures were memorialized and idolized in their time — with statues.”

 

The question came up the particular article she shared and in other places on my friend’s FB as to whether or not it’s body shaming. 

Nope. Not even remotely. It’s shaming him, all right, but it’s shaming his behavior, attitudes, personality, and proclaimed beliefs.  According to the artist/s as we can see from the project’s name, it’s 100% politically motivated, and it’s not necessarily intended to be unifying. 😶

We know what it means when we say that someone “has no balls.” Not all art is Deep Thought, after all.Other interpretations and how people feel about artistic renderings is something else entirely. 

Many people are under the false impression that art is supposed to be happy, joyful, touchy-feely, feel good stuff that’s colorful, pretty, aesthetically pleasing, and non-controversial. Many people seem to think that art is supposed to be an expression of one’s inner soul, one’s inner beauty, and an expression of the great ideals of our inner and outer worlds. 

That when we spark creativity in our children, it must always come out positively, sparkly, colorfully, joyfully, happily, beautifully. When our children express themselves in their art showing sadness, anger, and other emotions and thoughts that we find uncomfortable to deal with we stifle them.

We don’t teach our children (or anyone) that art isn’t supposed to please everyone. We don’t teach them that:

  • Art can be offensive
  • Art can be ugly
  • Art can be messy
  • Art can be crass
  • Art can be ballsy
  • Art can be ungraceful
  • Art can be hateful
  • Art can be sad
  • Art can be morbid
  • Art can be inept
  • Art can be prickly
  • Art can be void of color and sparkles and glitter
  • Art can be disorganized
  • Art can be more honest than you want it to be
  • Art can be undiplomatic
  • Art can be political
  • Art can be uncomplimentary
  • Art can be distasteful
  • Art can be uncomfortable
  • Art is a device for communicating things in a way that words are inadequate for expressing
  • Art is a device for instigating discussion and different ways of thinking versus the echo chambers we become so used to being in

 

It’s a fantastical political statement, which of course art has done for centuries. Art has a way of humbling the individuals, its subject matter, in a way that no other representation can manage. It’s not the first time that art has stripped an individual down completely in such a manner, in such a statement as already mentioned in the article that I chose to share.  As an artist, I think that it’s important to allow and view any artist’s impression of ANY public figures, as art is part of our freedom of expression ie. freedom of speech. It’s protected. 

I find the statues to be crass and ugly, but I think it was wrong to deface them while removing them from immediate public view. They could have been safely removed and privately housed.

This group, INDECLINE, intended this to be a political statement targeting D. Trump, and for it to hit below the belt, but it’s serving other purposes.On top of the political statement that was intended, people are remembering how to be silly. 

We all take ourselves so seriously during the election seasons, and we all hold so fast to our opinions and our candidates that we forget to laugh sometimes. We forget to strip the candidates bare, including our own chosen candidates. 

These statues stripped Trump bare politically and “literally” in a figurative representation of his birthday suit (let me point out quickly that I know something that’s figurative can’t be literal). 

It’s stripping Trump bare without the brass, hype, fandom, bank notes, gold-plated everything, or the noise that bursts from his face; without the pomp and circumstance and finely tailored clothes, he’s just a typical pudgy 70 year old man with a cranky face and intimidating posturing.

Do I think D.Trump literally looks like that under his clothes? Do I think about what he specifically looks like? Do you care what I think about that? 😂 I’ve no clue and I never took time to think about it until now. I’ve always wondered why women found him attractive, but different women find all kinds of men attractive… and with him I always figured that his perceived power and his money came into play. 😉

What I think regarding how INDECLINE chose this representation is: They found an average 70 year old man and used him as their model for the body of the statue.

I’m not talking about the average fit 70 year old movie star that works out with a trainer at the gym and a nutritionist, and looks dashing in a bathing suit and people comment on how he looks 15 years younger… such as Tom Selleck and Sam Elliot. They aren’t your average 70-something year old men, and it’s safe to say that they ie. someone who looks like them wouldn’t have been his body double models for the statue.

In reality, Stephen Root (yes, granted, he’s only 64 years old but I thought he was a little older) is likely a far more accurate representation and and much more similar to the model that was used. That’s practicality. That’s having sat in several college art classes in which I had to draw from a real life aging nude male model.

And why? Why that pudgy representation in addition to the small balls? Because apart from swimming in a pool of bank notes, can you really picture D. Trump working out in a gym? Even if it’s one he had built in one of his homes? 

I think it’s more realistic that the only time he sweats is when he’s lying (as he stands) underneath the lights of the cameras. And that the reason his suits, expensive and tailored as they may be, are a little too big and ill-fitting in order to hide the fact that he’s no Sam Elliot underneath. As someone who used to be thin, and then hovered around 280 lbs for far too long and is only now back below 200 lbs, I know the tricks to hide weight that I’m ashamed to have.

Or perhaps he’s lost weight and really is just too cheap to buy a new suit or have his current ones tailored.

I know I’ve said multiple times in my blog that I find him to be vile for things he’s said and done, and I’ll admit straight out that the ugliness I believe to be in his soul (if he has one) affects my visual perception of him apart from the bright orange skin and questionable squirrely hair. 

The fact that the statues were damned orange and included his iconic hair, real or toupee, is exaggerated and made the statues’ identity undoubtedly recognizable to the entire world even if nothing else about those statues can?

That’s funny.

That’s funny because the statues are 3-D caricatures, which happened to have been crassly naked. Caricatures are a worldwide phenomenon, and they’re traditionally funny. We got to fairs and circuses and carnivals where there are artist vendors who’ll do your caricature for $5 as a keepsake. We laugh at them, because they capture the parts of us that are most recognizable, even that parts we might not want to be so recognizable. They’re also traditionally used in political cartoons, which are hardly ever flattering (that’s being kind). It’s not such a huge jump for someone to sculpt one.

Please note… I’m not remarking at all about my personal unbiased opinion is about his physical appearance as a human being because a person can’t help the genetics they’re born with. I think to do so is an ugly thing. The rest is fair game. That’s the point of the statues. They’re not about his outward appearance.

That means that any artist anywhere has a lot to work with.


You know what I just realized? I write a lot about disability and advocating for disabled individuals. I write a lot about acceptance in disability, whether you’re a parent, friend, coworker, or even someone who has never met someone with a disability (that you know of); and yet I’m not sure that I’ve ever explained in the simplest of terms what a disability is.

I just get so fired up.

Disability is a physical, neurological, or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities. It may cause impairments, infirmities, and disadvantages, to performing activities in society due to the barriers that exist.

What I try to address is this:

Barriers exist not because someone is disabled, but because society as a whole hasn’t figured out how to:

  • Fully accept disabilities as normal and nothing to be ashamed about
  • Fully accommodate all disabilities and invest in the people who have them
  • Incorporate Universal Design so that ALL PEOPLE may participate in ALL ACTIVITIES equally

And those things are important because people who have disabilities are PEOPLE. People who are deserving of being treated with dignity, respect, grace, and equality to be viewed as valued members of society that contribute as equally as anyone else can.

This is a lesson that you’ll learn well when you become disabled through an accident, illness, or age if you’re not presently disabled.🙂

 


Are you a Cat Person or a Dog Person?

I get all sorts of answers with this question offline, and usually stories to go with it. Hence the poll! I’d love to see your stories along with your answers.

There doesn’t seem to be a true middle ground anywhere for a lot of people. Most people care about their answers, and people who care about the answer are SO! EMPHATIC! AND! PASSIONATE! That’s great, I love passionate. I’m passionate about my animal companions. I love them, so I should be passionate about them and I like to see that same emotion in others.

My answer is complicated. I’ve had hamsters 🐹, and I like hamsters but they’re fragile. I’ve had fish 🐟🐠🐡, but fish don’t cuddle and I always end up killing them in spite of my best efforts.

I’ve always loved cats and took the plunge nine years ago. As a child, I was somewhat allergic but my dad was Seriously Allergic. No cats in the house. I still knew I needed cats in my life. I’m most emphatically a Cat Person. I’ve always taken pride in being a Cat Person. I’ll have cats for the rest of my life. I need them. 🐱

Now that our family has a dog, and I was a willing participant in adding Leo to the family, my answer to “are you a cat person or dog person” is more complicated. I thought that having a dog would teach me that;🐶

  1. I was also a Dog Person
  2. I’d learn some innate truths about dogs that would help ease my anxiety about Other People’s Dogs
  3.  I’d learn to love all dogs equally
  4. Training would get easier as time went by

So far, nope, nope, nope, and nope.

I’m not a Dog Person. I don’t love every dog. That’s what would make me a Dog Person. I haven’t learned any innate truth about dogs except that they can assholes just as much as any cat can, except it’s kind of funny when cats are assholes. I will always have anxiety about Other People’s Dogs. I love MY dog, and dogs that I’m relatively close to who are well behaved.😉 Training is going well, but it’s often slow going and it’s not getting easier. I know he’s essentially a toddler verging on adolescent, and he’s teething, but holy HELL that boy ate the Bible this morning. And he did it because I didn’t give him the attention he wanted when he wanted it because I needed coffee that I never did get to make.

No, as a matter of fact, Leo has NOT learned the benefits of coffee ☕ yet. He knows it smells delicious and he always tries to steal it from me, but he doesn’t understand that my coffee saves his little life every morning. He’s willful with a huge personality and a ton of intelligence, but he hasn’t figured out the coffee thing. The cats figured that out right away, almost as quickly as my children did.

I’m a Cat Person who loves her own dog. There’s no doubt I love him. He’s silly, bright, energetic, happy, healthy, but he’s becoming a teenager at 12 1/2 weeks old.

Now, I enjoy silly puppy videos as much as the next person. I enjoy seeing friends and family share their photos and stories of their dogs. I enjoy learning about my dog’s breed, and a couple of other breeds I’m interested in. I’m developing an interest in learning about the history of dog ownership and training in America. But I’m not at a point yet where I can say that I’m a Dog Person.

My cats are definitely not Dog Cats, but they’re handling him a bit better now. It’s the barking that gets to them. They like to watch him and they’re learning everything they can about him. They’re just waiting for him to grow large enough so that he can’t fit through the dog gate that has a cat door in the bottom.

Here’s the maniac… errr… Leo.

Who did this moments earlier…

Which okay, fine, it’s NAS but still. It’s a Bible. 😋

 

 


I’ve been sitting on this because it hurts my heart as the mother of an autistic daughter. It kills me inside. It makes me angry, sad, and wonder at the human race. It also makes me fearful and gives me those damned little worry lines.

I HATE wrinkles.

I hate it when ridiculous situations like this occur for absolutely no good reason. None at all. There’s no winner, especially when there was either improper training, completely inappropriate biases and prejudices, or both.

When One is Autistic and One is Black How Could the Officer NOT Try to Shoot Them?

/end sarcasm

 

Here’s the gist of it, because I assure you, no laws were broken and no one was disobeying any law enforcement.

An autistic man left the day facility with a toy truck, and decided to play with it sitting in the street. Where else do trucks belong, right? In the street. Logical and linear. The man’s therapist from the facility came out to help him back inside without incident. A seemingly good Samaritan called the police to come help, except it wasn’t just to get a disabled man from being injured.  It was how there was a dangerous disabled man from the facility had a GUN! and please protect the neighborhood. The therapist immediately puts himself flat on his back, hands in the air, and explains to multiple officers the actual situation, front to back. Except Mr. Happy Trigger decides he HAS TO fire his gun and aimed for the autistic person because hey, why not? He was playing with a toy truck in the middle of the street. That’s super dangerous when he’s not paying attention to anything because you know, it MUST be civil disobedience and worthy of being over. He aims his gun at the autistic man, he says, and he fires his gun three (maybe four) times at the autistic man who’s simply sitting there. A sitting target, mind you. He misses the disabled man and hits the black therapist in the leg. Who the hell knows where the other bullets landed.

Read that part again. The officer was actually aiming for the autistic person because he was playing with a toy truck in the middle of the street. And when the autistic person was ordered to get out of the street and was literally unable to comply, and behaved as if he couldn’t understand or hear the commands because he literally couldn’t, he wasn’t committing civil disobedience, he was behaving as a disabled person because he is disabled, Mr. Happy Trigger fired his gun.

At first he told the man he shot that he didn’t know why he fired the gun and shot him. Later he stated that he felt he personally was in mortal danger, and he needed to shoot the autistic person. He felt he had no choice but to defend himself.

He claims.

Yes he claims.

There’s a major problem here.

That officer’s trousers are ablaze, and everyone is choking on the damn smoke because that’s what happens when you speak untruths all over the place.

That police department has some serious issues and they need to decide which end is up because either:

  1. That officer was lying about regarding how he felt his life were in danger from the disabled man, and he fired at him anyway because he’s filth and is a really, really, really bad shot in which case why on God’s green Earth is that man allowed a gun?
  2. That officer was lying about trying to hit the disabled man and was really aiming for the therapist, in which case he was still lying about feeling as if his life were in danger since the therapist was laying on his back prostrate with his arms in the air and hey, he’s STILL a really bad shot
  3. That officer was afraid of a black man laying on his back in the street with his arms up, and an autistic man playing with a truck? A truck he knew wasn’t a gun?

 

If he was telling the truth… are we really that decayed as a society and still that unevolved that our police forces are AFRAID of disabled people that play with toys in the street? Or was it that the disabled man was autistic? Was that the magic word that made the officer afraid for his life? Autism?

I go there because I HAVE TO GO THERE. I go there because I have disabilities, and I go there because I’m a mother to an incredible autistic daughter. My brain has no choice because I don’t live in some fantasy land.

I know what the world is supposed to be like. I know what the Federal Laws are, and State Laws that supplement them and aren’t allowed to override Federal Laws. I know the fight that continues for Civil and Human Rights for disabled people, and the fight to be recognized as fully human versus being seen as Other and Less. I know the nightmares that people face every day in spite of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title 9. I know that people can’t behave as if those Federal Laws fix everything, and society has fully accepted those laws.

I see people all the time who don’t even know that these laws exist, that give them rights to stand up to their parents and police officers and neighbors and landlords and employers. They don’t know that there are protections in place. They believe they’re really second class citizens because that’s how they grew up. And there are people who treat disabled people that way their entire lives.

There are police departments who train their officers that any appearance of disobedience, ignoring, noncompliance is tantamount to breaking a law and they’re allowed to respond to someone who isn’t even a suspect with force. Lethal force. Except lethal force is not supposed to be the go-to behavior.

I know far too many people who say,

“When the police ask you a question or tell you to do something, you do it. You be respectful. You obey no matter what. You obey anything an officer tells you to do at all times no matter what.”

It’s easy to say that, but it’s not how law enforcement is supposed to work. There’s supposed to be leeway. Compliance is not always an option because it’s not always possible.

There’s supposed to be compassion and understanding in spite of the officer’s past experiences of being an officer that excels in service. Having a previously spotless service record doesn’t absolve a public servant of an abominable act towards a marginalized person.

There are different reasons someone may not respond to an officer; there are different reasons someone may have awkward movements and motions. There are reasons someone may appear drunk and disoriented that have nothing to do with drugs and alcohol. Behaviors that might appear “shady” and facial expressions that might “look guilty” are often misread. There are different reasons that it appears someone isn’t obeying an order.

For people with disabilities these things aren’t a matter of choice. They’re a matter of disability. We can’t just shut off disabilities at inconvenient times, and yes, we’re allowed to leave our homes. After all, we don’t want to be a drain on your tax dollars.

Many people are not in the moment for one reason or other due to their disability. Interactions happen on the street when people think the disabled person is “being strange” and. People are paranoid and intolerant, and assume the worst. People are impatient with differences, physical slowness, and seeming intellectual disability. People don’t take care of others feelings, but expect their own to be catered to constantly and so they think that they’re being victimized by being looked at. Or they just notice weakness and take advantage. They steal more easily from disabled people. They make fun more easily. They get disabled people to do inappropriate things more easily making them think they’re going to be friends. Then, if caught, they blame it on the disabled person who has no idea what just happened. They think a toy truck is a dangerous object.

Someone who has particular physical disabilities could appear drunk even if they don’t have a single medication in their system if they’re made to try to walk a straight line. Or speech difficulties due to speech delays can make it difficult to answer questions quickly, or without slurring, in a manner that’s clear and concise. Compassion for none.

This is the kind of nightmare I have as a mother to an autistic daughter that is often unable to follow directions in the immediacy of giving them, especially if they’re presented in a way she doesn’t understand or by a stranger. She often needs things explained a different way than initially presented, but a lot of people who don’t know her are impatient at first. A police officer certainly would be. They would think she’s being impertinent if she thought to ask, “Could you ask that another way?”

As a young woman with disabilities, it turns out she really has no rights at all when it comes to the immediacy of being face with law enforcement if law enforcement doesn’t realize she’s disabled and they’re not keeping the ADA in mind. Her disabilities won’t be accommodated or even considered. If she can’t speak it won’t matter; her being non-verbal won’t matter a single bit. It will be viewed as noncompliance and therefore a danger to someone’s life. That will be justification enough for her to be cuffed or shot. And it will be her fault, of course, for being autistic and therefore dangerous.

It’s not our fault if we have disabilities; mental health, cognitive, intellectual, physical, TBI, chronic pain, hearing, anything. Anything at all. We can’t put our disabilities away into our purses, or into a drawer when we leave. We’re not being rude or thoughtless when we can’t overcome our disabilities like a rockstar.

We can explain as soon as an officer comes to introduce themselves and ask us our name, and it may not matter if they decide ahead of time that we’ve done something shady. They may have decided that a behavior they witnessed was “off” and needed their intervention, but it was actually due to disability. It could be explained to them but they’ve made up their mind. If a command literally… LITERALLY can’t be performed, it doesn’t matter. You’re DISOBEYING.

Do you know how many disabled people have been beaten and killed by officers because officers believed, and didn’t listen to the victims, that they were being disobeyed intentionally? That the disabled person was really a perp because they weren’t… couldn’t comply? There’s no difference between “won’t” and “can’t” because there isn’t any leeway for it.

There are in fact some police departments that care and are training their officers. It depends on the town and the departments. Some believe that the training and funding are worthless.

They have no idea that disabled people are far, far more likely to be bullied than non-disabled people; to be victims of abuse; to be victims of crime; to be involved in incidents with law enforcement. And when involved with law enforcement, disabled people are far, far, far more like to be victims and not the perpetrators. The reason it’s likely a higher percentage is because of abuse by law enforcement and misjudging situations where they assume that the disabled person is the perp because the real perp is manipulating the situation; and the disabled person is in a far weaker position if they’re being abused or the police are the ones exerting power. I want to say the percentages are in the 75% and 80%’s.

These fears are real. These things happen frequently. Yes, in this day and age in 2016. People are not enlightened, and they most often don’t really care. This is why parents fear for the day they pass away before their children and solid services aren’t in place; this is why parents fear when their governors cut funding to services that they federally don’t have the right to cut; why parents fear when siblings have washed their hands of their disabled brother or sister; or there aren’t any siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins willing to help out.

We fear that we won’t be around if our children become entangled in a situation that involves law enforcement in some way, especially if we have disabilities of our own whether we’re still young or as we age. We fear that our children won’t have an advocate at all; won’t have a good enough advocate; won’t know how to advocate for themselves.

It’s hard to trust a law enforcement system, a justice system, and a social system that repeatedly prove that disabled people are worth less than non-disabled people. When funding is removed forcibly and put into nonessential areas, such as bulking up a state official’s salary, it’s hard to trust.

 

 

Victim was therapist attempting to defuse situation with autistic patient.

Source: Black Man Shot By Police While Lying On Ground With Hands Up » Second Nexus

 

And:

Study Reveals Significant Overlap Between Police Brutality Deaths And Disabilities | ThinkProgress

And insufficient media coverage of these cases isn’t helping.

Source: Study Reveals Significant Overlap Between Police Brutality Deaths And Disabilities | ThinkProgress

 

 


I saw this on the news on Tuesday in a brief world news update. I’m going to give the trigger warning that this is about disability and harm, injury, and murder of disabled individuals. If that is too much for you to handle, please don’t continue reading. It’s taken me a couple of days to write this because A.) it’s emotionally traumatizing and draining and B.) I’ve been sick for the better part of three days and sleeping, but am feeling better today.

All they initially said was that a man stabbed over a dozen people in a home for disabled people.

When I heard this, I immediately went online to see what had happened. A man who was a former employee at a home for disabled people and aging people intentionally went in there to kill as many people as he could. This horrifying event happened in Japan.

It was initially reported that he was fired, but he actually resigned. More on that later.

He tied up the employees after he broke in during pre-dawn hours. All of the residents were sleeping. His intention was to kill as many disabled residents as possible, and so while they were sleeping, he murdered 19 people. He seriously injured 26 more people, some very severely. Oh… but not the non-disabled workers.

What’s outrageous is that he wrote a letter several months prior to the incident expressing his intent. He essentially wanted all disabled people with severe difficulties socializing and physical disabilities to be euthanized.

He was even committed to an institution earlier in this year, 2016, to prevent him from harming others after that letter. He resigned when he was committed. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he was discharged from the the hospital in March and the hospital never informed the care center for the disabled people even though it was requested that they do so.

So. In a country where there are hardly ever any mass murders (thanks to not being allowed to own guns), and where this is the worst mass murder since WWII… that’s what, 70 years? and this is only a blip on the U.S. radar? It’s only being kept up with updates on CNN? Really?

Do we only have compassion for people who are mass murdered now if there are bombs and guns involved? If they’re in a European country? If they’re non-disabled?

Why aren’t we outraged?

This could easily have been in the U.S. considering the attitudes people still have regarding disabled people. Anyone who is Other isn’t worthy of notice, services, or the rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Anyone in a marginalized group is Other. This has been made especially clear in Connecticut lately, if you’ve read my recent post on our Governor Malloy. There’s more to come on that ridiculousness if I remember to post about it, since that jackass spoke at the DNC, and he decided to use his disability to promote his political career. Oh hell, why not now. Governor Malloy, the governor of Connecticut, ranked tied for the worst governor in the entire United States, has mismanaged funds in the state so badly that we’re in a major deficit. Yes, he mismanaged the money. He’s ignoring that fact and telling us that it’s the “new economic reality.” He’s cutting funds everywhere he can for disabled people and aging people. For the Centers for Independent Living, the disability centers? He just cut our funding by 45%. Last year he cut us by approximately 35%. Five centers were running on only almost $500K between them in order to serve a growing disabled population due to a growing aging population. Just one center alone saves the state millions… MILLIONS of dollars a year. But he cuts the budget annually, and we have to justify why we should be allowed funding.

He gives lip service to disability rights and services. He talks about caring for us, tries to pretend he’s one of us. Except he doesn’t become OUTRAGED over the crisis of lack of services, and he doesn’t make damned sure that we stay in place to provide services in the agencies or social services or human services.

And no one is OUTRAGED when disabled people are murdered or harmed. No one is outraged. No.

Think about the sheer audacity it took to murder as many disabled people as possible at that Japanese facility, with the belief that their lives aren’t worth as much as non-disabled lives. That man believed he was performing a kind act… Euthanasia. What a nice, polite, kind-sounding word. Euthanasia. What a kind word to use in place of what he really did.

What he performed was an act of mass murder, there’s no doubt of that. Those people simply had neurological differences, emotional differences, physical differences, differences due to being aged. They weren’t animals that couldn’t be rehabilitated and needed to be put down. They were HUMAN BEINGS. They were murdered for being different and having needs that were different, accommodations that were different. This was Eugenics at work, people. Eugenics.

Euthanasia is a tool of Eugenics. Because is most instances, euthanasia isn’t carried out on a willing party. It’s carried out by someone who presumes that they’re doing a kindness to someone based on their own judgment of what someone else’s quality of life is. They assume that someone’s quality of life and value of life is worth less… worthless… if it’s not the same as someone who isn’t disabled. And somehow that gave him the power and the right to decide who lives and who dies. And there are doctors and family members who try to make this decision for other people every day based solely on the disabilities people have.

And who is outraged? Who is speaking out about this? Why isn’t this being condemned for the horror that it is? Mothers, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, sons, friends were murdered in cold blood. For no logical reason.

Oh… do I seem upset? It’s because I am. It could have been people you know living in any disability facility. It could be you when you’re infirm and disabled as an elderly person or after a car accident when you’re convalescing.

But the story hasn’t been about them. The story has been about the man who used several knives rather than guns to commit this crime, a crime so severe that it’s been 70 years since anyone did something so heinous in that country. Not the human lives that were actually lost. Not the fact that he callously chose disabled people and chose the time of day when they would all be sleeping.

Sleeping. Please let that sink in.

The murder of 19 disabled people and the severe injury of 26 more disabled people occurred during the pre-dawn hours when they were sleeping by a man who broke into a facility where they were supposed to be safe and protected. Because they were disabled. They were targeted because this man felt their lives weren’t worth living.

Be outraged.

Do you know what happens instead of outrage at the marginalization and murder of disabled people? Do you know why no one is outraged when rights and accessibility is taken away unwillingly? When services are defunded and ignored?

Because society still believes that disabled people don’t belong in society sharing housing and services. That disabled children don’t belong in their childrens classrooms, sharing space and air and teachers attention. Because society doesn’t believe disabled people are competent to make their own decisions just because they may need some extra physical help, medication, mental health service. People who don’t have disabilities tend to believe they “know better” than disabled people; that what they believe is for the benefit of the disabled, it’s for their own good, even when, especially when the disabled person is completely competent.

People tend to believe that any disability means someone is less intelligent, less competent, less capable of making decisions for themselves. Why? Why is that? Because they’re biased about their own disability? Of course we are! We know ourselves best.

I have chronic pain disabilities, and so do you know the first thing people say to me when I reveal that to them? They assume I’m addicted to pain pills and that narcotics were my first go-to treatment, and that I MUST BE addicted to something that I MUST GET OFF OF with their advice. Because nothing is worse than addiction. Nothing is worse than relying on medication to feel better, because THAT is apparently a step towards addiction. And of course chronic pain = doctor shopping for narcotics because I’m a pillhead looking for a fix because hey, chronic pain isn’t real y’all! And y’all know better even though I’m the one with the disabilities.

Nope.

I’m an educated woman, and I’m educated about my illnesses. I keep my brain active and remain educated. I work as homeopathically as possible to relieve as much pain as possible. I work with a respected specialist who monitors my pain management. I’m not on narcotics. I have a team of doctors I see regularly for check ups, just as everyone ought to do. I know my own mind. I know my body.

But no one believes any of that because I’m disabled.

No one presumes competency. No one presumes someone with disabilities has a good life.

That means that no one presumes to know that it’s insulting to feel sorry for people who have disabilities.

No one realizes that disabled individuals aren’t sitting around feeling feeling sorry for themselves.

No one realizes that disabled individuals are productive members of society; valued members of families and friendships.

No one presumes to understand that disabled people aren’t living in spite of disabilities, or to prove something to non-disabled people.

No one thinks about how ridiculous it is to believe that disabled people’s lives are less valuable than any other life, no matter how disabled they are.

No one realizes that it’s horrific to believe that life isn’t worth living if one has disabilities.

No one realizes how absolutely soulless and outrageous it is to believe someone is better off dead than alive if they have disabilities.

 

 

 

 

Former employee of Japanese facility for disabled people turns himself in after killing 19 people in a stabbing spree at Tsukui Yamayurien facility in Sagamihara, officials say.

Source: Japan knife attack: At least 19 dead – CNN.com

 

 The suspect in a stabbing spree in a facility west of Tokyo that left 19 people dead wrote of his “ability to kill” disabled people.

Source: Japan knife attack: Suspect wrote of wanting to kill disabled people – CNN.com

 

 


Double-Chocolate-Chip-Swirl-Cookies- from Sally's Baking Addiction Blog

Double-Chocolate-Chip-Swirl-Cookies- from Sally’s Baking Addiction Blog

Let’s Play Pretend

You’re a nutritionist.

You’re a nutritionist that’s advising clients about how to choose healthy and healthier foods when they’re out and they have very limited options. You teach them about basic ingredients; whole ingredients and whole foods; which ingredients are all right when refined and which aren’t; which ingredients to always avoid; how to read ingredient labels; how to prepare meal plans and meals. How to shop for groceries.

Your client knows that fruits and veggies are the best choices. Include them in as many meals as possible. Find fats and oils from as many natural sources as possible. Avoid low-fat and low-calorie labels. Avoid sugar-free labels and artificial sweeteners. Avoid artificial dyes and high fructose corn syrup. 100% whole grains. Real ingredients. Real food. As much as possible.

All in preparation for how to be able to choose between poor options, and when to refrain from any options at all; and when it’s not healthy to refrain from making a choice.

The Day Comes

One day they’re at a party and there’s a cookie table. Let’s say it’s a political party. An election, even. At the back of the table, the fruit and veggie trays are out of reach and wrapped up and not an option. Apparently the best options are for later.

There’s a plate of cookies that are simple sugar cookie. They look fabulous.

There’s one plate of cookies that are sugar cookies with caramel in the middle. Also pretty delicious looking.

There’s another plate of cookies that appear homemade, and they have some chocolate chips; in fact, these cookies have chocolate chips on one half of the cookie and white chips on the other half, but your client dislikes chocolate chips. He thinks they’re disgusting. They also have some sprinkles on top. The sprinkles aren’t completely natural or healthy, but that’s ok. It’s just sprinkles. You can flick those off if needed.

There’s another plate of cookies, but they’re clearly not homemade. They’re supposed to be pumpkin cookies with white chips, but they’re so bright orange they had to be pumped full of dye. There are fire-hot cinnamon chips in them, so hot they’ll make you gag, and Lemon War Heads and Jawbreakers on top. Clearly these cookies are vile, and not worth another look because every ingredient will make your client sick. There’s nothing natural at all in them. They’re completely toxic.

Your client walks away for a while to see what’s happening at the party, but when he comes back he notices that the cookies he really, really wanted, the sugar cookies and caramel cookies, have been completely eaten up. He was too late. All he’s left with are the chocolate-white-chocolate chip cookies and the pumpkin-nasty-ass cookies. He knows the pumpkin cookies will make him incredibly ill, and even have far too many ingredients in them that will make him sick and even have ingredients he’s allergic to… but he desperately hates chocolate chips.

So he eats the whole plate of fake pumpkin cookies stuffed with nastiness, just to avoid the chocolate chips in the chocolate chip half of the cookies.

And he’s so violently ill, he’s vomiting orange for four years and regrets every damned bite wishing he had eaten the half and half cookies.

I completely understand that cookies, on principle, are not healthy. That’s entirely the point I’m trying to make in what I hope is an obvious parallel. And I must note on a personal level that Sally’s Baking Addiction has the most bang-up amazingly awesome cookies you’ll ever bake whether you have a nutritionist or not. You’ll bake your own just so you have an awesome choice at a political party.


I don’t get paid to write this blog. I’m not good enough. So take me at my word when I say, as a very hyper-critical caramel-in-coffee-but-I-love-it coffee drinker that this is THEBEST salted caramel… nay, caramel creamer for your coffee. 

I say this, admittedly, as someone who already enjoys Natural Bliss. It’s the only one besides pure organic cream that I can drink in my coffee without contributing to pain issues and migraines.

I was skeptical about the flavor before buying because so many caramel creamers leave a weird aftertaste. No worries. I’m not buying any other caramel creamer brands now.
COFFEE-MATE Natural Bliss Salted Caramel Creamer 

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