During this past fiscal year of 2016, our illustrious Governor Malloy (D) has brushed off all responsibility of the financial crisis our State is in. Between April and June 2016 he laid off 1,064 State Employees. He plans 2,000 more positions to be eliminated. and more budget cuts. All of this to cover his mismanaged $960 million deficit. That he created.

I’m not talking about froufrou State jobs like calling someone in to give the Governor a toilet seat filled with coins and dollar bills in his private bathroom. I’m not talking about dragging around a coffee and fruit & bagels cart on every floor, or cutting back from six assistants to only three. Not that those jobs aren’t important to the people who hold those jobs. I love coffee. That’s very well established. I love a great barista. And I would kill for a good assistant. But I’m talking about jobs that are providing services to people in dire need.

People that have disabilities are the ones who are suffering the most, with children and families not far behind. Aging population that have disabilities. When I say disabilities, I mean significant disabilities. Families and caretakers of disabled individuals. So, we’re talking about people who need and will need services like this for children, youth, young adults, adults, and aging adults:

 

  • Sign language interpreters were just cut from services provided.
  • Health care workers at UCONN Health Center
  • Social Workers, already short staffed
  • Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services; mental health assistants; caseworkers;
  • Department of Developmental Services
  • Department of Children and Families
  • Education Employees in several important Technical Schools

And just for fun…

  • Department of GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY
  • Department of Corrections
  • The Judiciary Department
  • Military

 

People like this young woman Jenny are being affected immediately. Dangerously. But Governor Malloy’s response is that while it’s unfair, it’s our state’s economic reality.

 

Connecticut’s largest health care workers union took to the airwaves Thursday to protest ongoing state employee layoffs.

The commercial launched by SEIU, New England 1199 and airing on Connecticut stations and the internet, features a woman, identified as Jenny, who is living with cerebral palsy.

In the 30-second spot, Jenny, who “speaks” using a computer that reads her eye signals, makes a direct appeal to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to restore her state-appointed speech pathologist, identified only as “Mallory.”

“My name is Jenny,” she says to open the ad. “I was born with cerebral palsy. This computer is the only way I can communicate. Mallory is the only worker employed by the state of Connecticut who knew how to customize this computer so my voice can be heard. On May 3, Mallory was laid off. Governor, please bring back Mallory and all of the laid-off state workers. We need them.”

Malloy and the legislature built big savings in salary accounts across most state agencies into the $19.76 billion budget adopted last May for the fiscal year that began July 1. Officials cut spending more than $800 million below the level needed to maintain current services to craft a plan that does not increase taxes.

More than 250 of the speech pathologists and communications therapists New England 1199 represents at the Department of Developmental Services have received layoff notices.

(Cont.)

Source: Union ad features disabled woman’s appeal to reverse state layoffs | The CT Mirror


I don’t write about this often even though I’m sure a lot of you could empathize. Fibromyalgia and weight issues often go hand in hand.

The thing is, it’s usually not for the reasons you might think. There are many who have Fibro that are underweight, and can’t seem to gain no matter how much effort they put in to make sure they get a calorie packed diet. There are many who are overweight and can’t seem to lose no matter how healthful and active they are in spite of the pain.  I don’t know if people realize just how hard it is to have an appetite when you’re in moderate to severe pain 90% of the time. Pain suppresses the appetite. Many medications suppress the appetite as a side effect. With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as a co-diagnosis, it’s hard to eat if you’re so fatigued you can’t even chew or blink, let alone cook a full meal or go grocery shopping very often.

The fact is that no matter how healthfully we eat and are active in spite of the pain and fatigue, we have to deal with the biology of the disorder and additional health issues and co-diagnoses that are part of the very real chronic disorder that has a mind of its own. We do the best we can when we can as often as we can. We just hope it’s enough.

I’ve been fat, and I’ve been slender. I’ve been in between too. People treated me better when I was in between than when I was fat. People treated me far, far, far better when I was slender than when I was in between or fat. Because due to Fibromyalgia, my weight blew up to 280 lbs on a 5’4″ frame.

Give me a moment to digest the fact that I’m divulging this sort of information.

When I was That Fat, people treated me shamefully in public. People, nurses, treated me shamefully in doctor’s appointments. People feel obligated to say nasty things about food intake and exercise, and apparent lack of willingness to conform to anything healthy yet have the nerve to complain about being heavy. It’s still acceptable to fat shame here in America because A.) people think it’s helpful to point out the fat and ugliness of it and B.) they think it’s motivational to be rude and mean and C.) some people just think it’s funny to shame people due to their size and act like bullies.

Since I started to lose the weight, in the typical Fibro start and stop fashion, I have dropped 85 lbs so far. This number is accurate as of 1 1/2 weeks ago. And let me tell you, I’m thrilled over breaking that 200 lb barrier. It took me six months to do that with tripled efforts, which means for me trying to fit in 2500 calories a day with as much full fat in whole foods as possible. I try listen to my body when the fatigue takes me down. Managing the pain, managing the relief so that I could move more easily has helped. A few months ago we got a wonderful new mattress so being more rested helps.

During all of time, with each 15 lb mark of weight loss, I see and feel a difference.

Oh, not a difference in how I feel physically. My pain is still there in full force and in fact I’m in far more pain than before I started to lose the weight I gained. That weight that never belonged there.

There’s a difference in how people are treating me and looking at me. People are offering me their places in line again. They’re smiling at me again, more smiles with each pound I lose. More doors being held open for me, where when I was fat, people made it a point of looking me in the face and letting the doors close.

There are people asking me if I need help. People are complimenting me out of nowhere lately on my clothes when I run errands after work. Strangers.

People are noticing my pain now. They are actually seeing my face. They see the pain in my face AND my body, and then they see my cane, and they’re kinder.

I’m not behaving any differently. I’m still me. The only real difference is my weight. This all feels good because I never realized before how kindly people treated me when I was slender. I sure did notice while at my fattest how poorly people treated me. I was invisible to many, less important. Even certain family members. Slimming out somehow is legitimizing.

That angers me a bit, but saddens me more. I think maybe I don’t need to explain why. You guys are pretty intelligent.

But guys… I’ve lost 85 lbs. I know I’m poopooing it, but I am happy about it. Maybe my pain isn’t better, but I know that my risk of Diabetes is down; my risk of Heart Disease is down; and even though I have very low cholesterol intake, my body was producing more bad cholesterol on its own while heavier. I was also drinking more coffee, though, which raises the bad cholesterol readings. Yes…. yes…. while still a coffee fiend I did reduce my coffee intake to two cups tops a day.

My next goal is 25 more. I know it’ll be slow, and that’s okay. If I never lost another pound but suddenly magically had Disney Princess hair, I’d die happy in old age (somewhere in the far future, I hope).


And there you have it.

 

NeverLetThemForget


This article below from The New Yorker is a must read. All of the things discussed in this article are verifiable. In fact many, many of the things discussed in it are things I’ve found in my own unprofessional, layperson’s research over the past year. There’s nothing that’s really surprising in this article: Trump is an immoral, uneducated, dangerously selfish, unfeeling, pathologically lying, psychopath.

If you’re a Trump Supporter or you’re on the fence, please read this New Yorker article, and let it help you understand how immoral it would be to vote for this individual. Your conscience would not be clear, but marred.

It’s so very easy to find unbiased information about him that’s factual and none of it, literally none of it is good. He’s playing everyone for a fool, running a game show. A man who hasn’t evolved a single bit since fifth grade.

Just like it’s very easy to find unbiased information about HRC that’s factual and not put out by the GOP. HRC, who has evolved somewhat and who has a proven track record of helping people and establishing humanitarian works even if she’s made some questionable choices, would be a vote that allows me to sleep well at night.

Even pretending to consider voting Trump? Gives me anxiety you wouldn’t believe. A fear I can’t describe. Nausea in the pit of my stomach that won’t go away.

 

In “The Art of the Deal,” Tony Schwartz helped create the myth that Trump is a charming business genius. Now he calls him unfit to lead.

Source: Trump’s Boswell Speaks – The New Yorker

 

And let me just say… this whole fucking thing with Melania and that damn speech. It really does get worse and worse. I take back what I said. Let’s not gloss over the fact that she outright plagiarized the speech. Whether you like or hate Michelle Obama, her speech was plagiarized from eight years ago. And no, Michelle Obama didn’t magically create a time machine that brought her here to 2016 to plagiarize Melania Trump’s speech. Sit the fuck down. And no, it’s not Hillary Rodham Clinton’s fault that Melania Trump plagiarized the Democratic First Lady’s speech.

She plagiarized, a criminal offense. Okay? That happened. She refuses to admit it happened or even apologize. In fact, she and her husband are doubling down.

So today, this happened too. Let’s just try to absolve Princess Melania.

 

A staff writer of the Trump Organization, the company owned by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, has claimed responsibility for inserting passages in a speech given at the Republican National Convention by Trump’s wife Melania that resembled parts of a 2008 speech by first lady Michelle Obama.

The woman, Meredith McIver, released a statement on Wednesday apologizing for using the language, which she said Melania Trump recited to her in a phone call, without checking to see how closely it matched Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention eight years ago.

Source: Trump staff writer takes responsibility for Melania speech controversy

 

Read between the lines there. Melania Trump recited what she wanted to say in her speech. The speech writer, Ms. McIver, failed to fact check and edit the speech properly to make sure that Princess Melania wasn’t plagiarizing. Therefore she’s taking the fall for Melania. Yeah. Very up and up goings on over there, yeah?

 


LEO, 9 weeks old, we think

“Leo” Leonardo Thor

Yes. It’s true. I caved. ::sigh::

The biggest campaigner to add a dog to our family was my eldest, the Dear Girl of 15. The other two girls would pipe in occasionally, but not as excitedly. I think that they were content either way. I played along by researching which dogs would be good for families and older children. I checked local rescues occasionally to see who was available to adopt.

Then 11 days ago, I woke up that lazy Saturday morning and made my coffee. I opened up the computer to see which beaches were open as there were warnings about on the news regarding bacteria counts. As it happened I hadn’t used the computer in a couple of days, and the tabs were all open to different rescue sites. The first one was opened up to Connecticut’s Newington Humane Society. They didn’t have many dogs available but they did have a new 3-male litter of German Shepherd-mix puppies who were just that morning adoptable. The girls saw and told The Mister, and instead of going to the beach that day (which turned out rainy anyway) we went to see the puppies.

There were the three puppies, and two were already meeting with other families. While there, they were being adopted into those families. There were two female puppies, a bit older than the litter we were there to see, who were only just intakes and becoming adoptable immediately.

We were lucky. We got to meet with the third little boy in the litter I found on the site. They had named him Zeppelin. I knew already we would change his name.😉 He was sweet, energetic, cuddly, and had a great personality. We talked about him as if we already had him in our home. That was it. We needed him.

He was, they said, eight weeks old and had just had his neutering surgery and micro-chipping surgery the day prior and would need to avoid very energetic exertions for a week or so. He was, they said, about ten pounds. TEN  POUNDS at eight weeks. He is, they said, a German Shepherd mix. He is beautiful.

I think I see some Labrador Retriever in him, particularly his coloring and shape. It’s really early to tell, though. He’s already exhibiting shepherding behavior. A Shepherd. I always said that if we rescued a dog, it wouldn’t be a German Shepherd. I had bad experiences with a neighbor’s GS when I was child. They let it run loose in the neighborhood, and he wasn’t a very nice or good dog. He was a biter, and mean. Hanzi. I hated Hanzi. I used to have to run away as fast as I could from him into the neighbor’s house or my  house. He scared the shit out of me. I hated him.

Anyway, we brought this darling puppy home knowing he’d be a handful. We named him that same day after much thought: Leonardo Thor. We call him Leo.

It’s been nearly two weeks and he’s definitely part of the family. We’re house-training him really well. We have a routine for him that he relies heavily on, and you could run a clock on him. He knows the routines. He’s learning to let us know when he needs to go outside. There’s a lot of Shepherding behavior… he likes to nip and tug on clothing to bring you where he needs you to go. That’s got to stop but it’s instinct.

We’re about to sign him up for puppy kindergarten classes. It’s required as part of the adoption contract. We’re crate training pretty successfully since obtaining the crate this past Friday. Yes, we went almost a week without a crate. The weekend was spent on getting him used to having it around. The serious crate training began Monday, and it’s working. He’s learned it’s his and it’s a nice place to rest. He needs to sleep in it. He eats in it. He sleeps next to it, near it, in the same room as it, but not IN IT.

We’re using a lot of distraction techniques and using the train of thought that all behavior is communication. It’s hard to think that way when he’s hyped up and thinks that nipping, biting, and climbing is fun play and showing love. We’re trying to use yelps and whimpers as a dog would to signal when something hurts.

He’s learned the words and meaning of:

  • Mommy
  • Daddy
  • Leo’s Crate
  • Sleep
  • Water
  • Eat
  • Treat
  • Outside
  • Home; Leo, Home
  • Heel; Leo Heel
  • No, plus the ASL sign for “no”
  • Yes, plus the ASL sign for “yes”
  • Good Dog
  • Good Leo, and the ASL sign for “good”
  • Down, Get Down
  • Sit, although we’re working on that one, he’s spotty with “sit”
  • Where Is It?
  • Leo, Come

 

He loves the grass. LOVES IT. Especially in the morning, when it’s cool and there’s still dew on it. He likes to stick his snout in the grass and inhale, even when he gets dirt in up his nose or ants. Sometimes he’s rewarded with a worm.

He loves cat poop way too much. On walks he actually looks for bird poop on the sidewalk. I think he looks for rocks to eat out of spite.

But those eyes. Oh, and his ears. And he loves his Mommy. He loves to play. He loves walks. He loves face kisses and meeting new friends. EVERYONE is his friend. The cats are his friends, but they’re still getting used to him. They won’t admit they like him yet. They’re at the curious stage except for the barking. It’s loud, and is presently making them nervous.

What’s funny in regard to the cats is that Leo likes to “chase” them because they run. That’s playing to him. When they’re sitting in front of him, he wants to play with them. So. Very. Badly. He lays down prostrate in front of them so that they don’t hiss, and he’s barking, play growling, and saying,

“Look! You’re the boss! But I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed you to play! I looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove you so much! Pleeeeeease!”

The barking startles them, so they hiss and get puffy, and if he gets too close he barks some more and they take back up. He then play nips and essentially, he tries to herd them into playing with him. They take off in a cloud of puffy cat tails and puffy body armor.

Clearly, Leo didn’t get the memo that you can’t herd cats. Not even the Myth Busters can herd cats. <—- Seriously.

I’m in love with this little boy, it’s true. He’s part of the family, and here to stay. He has, however, proven that I’m a cat person. Cats were far easier to housetrain. And quieter. Easier to play with. Easier all around. Easy to snuggle with. Portable. I’m slowly, slowly, slowly becoming a dog person. But that’s not entirely accurate.

I can clarify.

I’m a Leo person.


Holy pickles. While the news stations cover the music band and attendees opinions of Trump; while they cover the Big Big News of who isn’t attending but should be; while they cover all of the B and C list actors and washed up has-beens who are attending and speaking on behalf of Trump in order to HRC-Bash; they’re covering up the real problematic stories. I don’t care about Donald Trump’s ridiculously pompous, supposedly brilliant, and wildly privileged children and their opinions on their father.

Even discussing Melania Trump as a headline is covering up the fact that the convention is only a platform for promoting the HRC-Bashing and worse, White Supremacy.  Yes, her plagiarism of Michelle Obama, First Lady is ridiculously wrong to the point of almost being silly, but it’s one of those things that’s hiding another bigger story. Maybe Mrs. Obama should take the plagiarism as a compliment at this point, because it’s becoming more and more clear what a twit the current Mrs. Trump is.

This is the headline we ought to be seeing all across the television right now:

Representative Steve King Makes Obscene Racist Comments on National TV, Thus Becoming Newest RNC Darling

The muck and sickness oozing out of this vile man’s mouth… the fact that he feels so comfortable saying it in front of a Black American woman AND on national TV is disgusting, vile, vicious, twisted. I’m embarrassed.

I’m embarrassed because I’m American and I have some humanity, compassion, decency, and dignity. I love my multicolored friends and neighbors, and I’m horrified and embarrassed because what sort of tripe is this to wake up to today? As a white woman, reading what Representative Steve King said sends my heart into my throat in a roar of anxiety. I’m angry, so much so that I’m tearing up and shaking.

And yet… it’s nothing compared to what my neighbors and friends feel daily as they go to work, for errands, to the park with their children, to the bank, walking their dogs, driving to college, taking their kids to school. For all of my efforts over the past several years, I realize that I can’t actually empathize… I’m better equipped to sympathize.  I have no option but to try to sympathize. I can sympathize because of some parallelism with the disability movement and women’s rights, but that’s not the same as empathy.

I get that now. Maybe now I can be a better ally. I’m so sorry. I’m so embarrassed. I’m so angry.

This Republican National Circus is NOT what being a white, Christian, middle class American is about. It’s not what being an AMERICAN is about.

American campaigning and politicking is not being represented in this Republican National Circus. It’s not being represented at all in Trump’s campaign.

There’s nothing normal about it, nothing acceptable about it. Absolutely nothing. There’s rage, hatred, anger, in a nest of vipers who aren’t bothering to talk about positive points in their supposed candidate.

It’s a larger, more chaotic version of The Apprentice.

Representative Steve King can try to make his words below sound educated and flowery in stark contrast to Trump’s crass uneducated blathering, but it’s still ugly, rude, bigoted, racist, and vile. Something that ought to be called out as such in headlines; something Paul Ryan ought to be condemning vehemently.

Paul Ryan has lost control. THAT ought to be a headline.

It is not.

 

During the Republican National Convention, United States Representative for Iowa’s 4th congressional district Steve King, who has served in congress since 2003, shocked Chris Hayes and April Ryan with his white nationalist statements.

“Go back through history, Charlie, and ask yourself ‘where are these contributions made by these other categories of people that you are talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization,’” King asked.

Chris Hayes sought clarification, by asking, “Than white people?”

King continued, “Western civilization itself, rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States, and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world.”

Chris Hayes, the witty and usually quick-on-his-feet host was stunned. The comments clearly caught him off guard. April Ryan and Chris Hayes went on Periscope after the interview to discuss what happened with Joy Reid. Chris Hayes correctly noted that the statement was “self-refuting.” However, false statements,illogical arguments and invalid conclusions characterize Donald Trump’s campaign best, along with racist and sexist comments that are unprecedented for a major party presidential nominee. Thus, to be surprised by the statements made by Representative Steve King is actually absurd.

(cont.)

Source: America And White Cultural Superiority: Representative Steve King


Yesterday, ASAN’s Ari Ne’eman announced he was stepping down at the end of the year. That was important. Here’s the announcement.

Organizations go through many stages. One of the most challenging and important are transitions in leadership, particularly when they involve founding members. Over the last ten years, I have had the honor and privilege of building and directing the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. That experience has been one of the single most important and impactful …

Source: A Message from ASAN President Ari Ne’eman | Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Then, prompted by the announcement, an entry was posted on ASParenting Blog by Melody. I credit and thank my friend Nora for making me and others aware of this disappointing report. Nora writes the blog A Heart Made Fullmetal.

I’m sharing Melody’s post about ASAN because as a mother blessed with an autistic daughter, I’ve looked to ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network) as a guiding hand. I’ve shared them as a valuable resource to other parents and to autistic individuals that come into my workplace.

While I realize that the majority of experiences of employees are likely possibly maybe positive, if any of what is reported in this blog is true and a pattern, and indeed is policy then I don’t believe I could support that sort of agency.

In fact, I know I can’t. I wouldn’t encourage my daughter or friends or consumers in my agency to take advantage of them with what I now know, and therefore I wouldn’t encourage you. You are just as important as someone face to face with me when it comes to accurate, compassionate, gentle representation by people who are being treated well in their employment.

If it were ever guaranteed and proven that changes were made, that Autistic people were being treated with dignity and respect, being paid fair and competitive wages, being give reasonable accommodations, I might change my assessment. Trust is cornerstone. I know that. Accountability is, as well, and so far, ASAN has not taken accountability or responsibility.

I should warn you that there could be triggers in this blog article below as it mentions abuse tactics towards Autistic people, but it’s important to read. It’s a tough read.

With Ari Ne’eman’s announcement that he will be stepping down at the end of the year today, I knew I was out of time to find a large source to post what you are about to read. Please sh…

Source: ASANs Past Abuse and Moving Forward – ASParenting

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