Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why Is This OK???

I am an unabashed foodie! I love food. I love going to restaurants and I love trying new dishes. Because of this love, I read tons of restaurant reviews so that I can find new and interesting places to go to. I even plan my  For many year's,  there would be no mention of the accessibility of the establishment. Today it is much more common to see accessibility addressed in the article. This is a step in the right direction and I applaud the writer's who take the time to include this information in their work.

Here is where my question comes in. It is 2014 and I still see many reviews where the answer to the accessibility question is a resounding ...NO! Why is this OK? I understand that The Americans with Disabilities Act as many exceptions and loopholes that allow places of business to operate without actually being accessible. These include the size of the business, number of employees, historical impact of the building and even the cost of the renovations themselves. All these exceptions aside, what this comes down to is a basic case of discrimination. A business choosing not to serve people with disabilities, whatever the reason, simply boils down to discrimination.

Imagine a restaurant refusing to serve any other group. Would that be acceptable? Obviously not! A Steakhouse not serving Asians. A Sushi Bar not serving women. A Tapas place refusing to seat Black people. None of these would fly in the face of public opinion. I also doubt that these policies would be allowed to continue for very long. A restaurant that chooses to be inaccessible, faces very little public criticism and is usually allowed to continue this policy indefinitely.

Along the same line, would newspapers publish a review of a restaurant that refused to serve Black people? Not only would they refuse to do this, but they would probably write an expose' of the situation that would put the place out of business.

We don't have the power to change the ADA, but Newspapers, Magazines and Websites like yelp.com could help the situation by refusing to publish reviews of restaurants that are not accessible to people with disabilities. Lets see if it ever happens.






Wednesday, September 25, 2013

No More Promises!!!

A myriad of health and other problems have kept me from writing for awhile. I am not going to make any promises about how often I am going to write...To Much Pressure!!! Besides, it seems that every time I do, something bad happens.  No more tempting fate. I am just going to write when the spirit hits me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Long Time Gone!!!

For many reasons... I have been gone for a looooonnnnnggggg time! I am back and better than ever with a new goal of at least one post per week. How long can I keep it going? Check in often and find out.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Back By (Semi) Popular Demand!

I have been persuaded by several friends to re-enter the blogosphere. I am going to start by giving my quick opinion on a few topics that have come up since my last post.

PENN STATE
I feel bad for the players, but really, there was no other choice but to penalize the football team. If there ever was a Textbook example of "Lack of Institutional Control" this was it. I was actually surprised the NCAA wasn't tougher on them.

THE ELECTION
This Presidential election is a quandary for me. In 2008 I enthusiastically supported Obama and was eagerly awaiting a strong liberal voice that would stand up to the Republican Party and lead us into a new age of opportunity for all.  What I got was a leader who at times seemed afraid to stand up to the obstructionist right wing leadership of the Republican Party. Obama could actually have learned a lesson from his predecessor. Did I actually just say that??? Yep! I mean Bush used the "mandate from the people" thing when he actually lost the popular vote! Obama should've used the same argument to push his agenda more forcefully!

If there ever was a time that the Republicans could have stolen my vote this was the year, but what do they offer me? An out of touch millionaire corporate raider who dismantled American companies and shipped jobs overseas. Worse than that, his economic policies are nothing more than retreads of the old trickle down policies that were proven ineffective and unfair in the past. His social policies would take the country back to the 1950's. I find it hilarious that a Party that is so against Government regulation of business and the Economy, is so gung ho about the Government regulating women's uterus's and who free citizen's can marry.

 SIKH TEMPLE SHOOTING
It is almost surreal to think that such a senseless act of violence could take place so close to home. My heart goes out to the Sikh community. My only hope is that somehow this tragedy will teach us the value of acceptance and respect of different cultures.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Political Ramblings on a Day Off!



I have decided that I am much more liberal, left, subversive, radical, socialist or, as one friend put it "crazy", than I ever thought. I just can't stand where our country is right now. The Ultra Conservative, rich, intolerant, bigoted, faux christian robber barons that have seized control of this country have done a masterful job of convincing the masses to vehemently support policies that are designed to oppress them and fill the pockets of the few instead of benefiting the many. I know that sounds Socialist to some, but for a moment, let's take a look at the definition of the words Socialism, Communism and Capitalism:

Socialism

A theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

Communism

A system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party.

Capitalism

an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

Of these three definitions I find the least troubling to be that of Socialism. I also feel that it fits in best with the basic beliefs that all men are created equal and that we should provide for the weakest most downtrodden of our brothers.

In my view, Communism and Capitalism (at least our current corruption of it in the US) are actually much more closely compared than people would like to admit. At least Communism admits that all economic activity is controlled by Politicians. In the US, the most Capitalist of all societies, all social and economic decisions are controlled by politicians and the Corporations and Billionaires that control them through power of the Almighty Dollar. This is illustrated by the fact that the richest 400 individuals in America now control more wealth than a full 50 per cent of our population! How can a gross inequity like this come about, or be allowed to perpetuate itself? Worse yet, the"powers that be", have convinced us that this ok, even desirable! In a truly just society, this would not be allowed to happen.

The most astonishing aspect of this is that most of those in power in our country profess to be extremely religious, yet avarice (greed) is considered one of the Seven Deadly Sins. In my opinion, greed is one of driving forces behind the whole philosophy of Capitalism.

I know I have rambled on a bit here, but I encourage all of you to think outside the box, question everything and never just accept what they try to shove down your throat!


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Only Me (Or Someone Like Me)!

Yesterday, two things happened to me that could only happen to me. First, I was waiting for the DON'T WALK Signal to change so I could cross the street when the turning car stopped in THE MIDDLE OF THE INTERSECTION, honked their horn at me and motioned for me to cross. I pointed at the signal and waved them through, because I was following the Signals and more importantly, just because he stopped doesn't mean the other cars are stopping too! He was creating a very dangerous situation! As the driver finally went by me he gave me the finger! All I can figure is that the driver was freaked out by my wheelchair. Since he flipped me off, I am not going to give the possibility he was just trying to be nice much consideration. A tip for driver's out there...people who use wheelchairs can handle crossing a street!

Situation 2: On the way home from my walk a car pulled over, the driver got out, ran up to me and asked me if I needed help. I waved her off and kept going. I know I am not as fast as I was in my racing days, But come on. I wonder if non wheelchair users out for a walk on a beautiful day, ever have drivers pull over and ask them if they need help?A friend of mine had a great comeback for me to use the next time this happens. She said to say, "My Mom told me not to talk to strangers!"

I think both of these situations come from something called "spread of disability". The idea that if a person has one disability, they must have other things wrong with them too. Both of these people assumed that since I used a wheelchair I couldn't handle a simple everyday task like walking home or crossing a street. I am closing in on 50 and have been dealing with incidents like this my whole life. I just hope that in the near future, other people who use wheelchairs won't need to anymore!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The End of the World...Ok, Maybe Not!

Happy No Rapture Day!!!!
As far as I can tell, the world did not end yesterday. Harold Camping was wrong again. That makes him 0 for 2 the sport of Apocalypse predicting. Hardly Hall of Fame numbers. Seriously, I am glad he was wrong, but it does make me wonder why people are so enamored by End of the World prophets like this crazy old loon. Are they all just crazy like him? Are their lives so hopeless that this is only thing they can find that gives them purpose? Or is it something else?

Whatever the reason, I hope his followers can regroup and use their energies to make the world we have a better place for all. Maybe this day can be used to encourage everyone to remember what a precious thing life is and that we should use our time and energy to make a positive impact on those around us! I know this is a little "touchy, feely" for some, but hey, the end of the World only comes once. We just don't know when.