jesse_the_k: Hands open print book with right side hollowed out to hole iPod (Alt format reader)
I read from this link

Which has no graphics at all, and when you click through you're automatically in style=light

(And if a post doesn't have a title, then this displays the initial words of the body.)
jesse_the_k: unicorn line drawing captioned "If by different you mean awesome" (different=awesome)
In early January we set out in our ridiculous red van, MyGuy at the wheel. We brought lots of snackers, copious water, and scores of props to help us stay comfortable in car seats. We stopped at least every two hours to stretch. Four days through St Louis, Tulsa, Amarillo and into a rented condo in Santa Fe NM, and we're still on good terms.

Great Things

indeed five of them )

Frustrating Things

four of those )

It was fun, I'm glad we went, we would never move there.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
Every few months I'll see a call for "SFF with these sorts of characters." Kate Diamond is making it possible to generate those lists yourself, by creating and curating: All Our Worlds: Diverse Fantastic Fiction, a highly searchable database of SFF. Today there were 819 books. The more-than-twenty search criteria available now include characters of color, disability, transgender, agender, queer and many other qualities/attributes/identities. This All Our Worlds database includes older works as well as hot new titles, anthologies, and even webcomics! It just launched in December 2014, and your contributions are welcome. Kate's thoughts on motivation and goals )
jesse_the_k: those words in red on white sign (be aware of invisibility)
I was terrified in the few days before the U.S. election. Anxious and cranky and blah. Woke up bolt upright at 2:30am, had to crawl the web to see weather it would be 2000 all over again — rigged voting, suppression, &c.

Relaxed a bit after, for a good 14 hours.

Now this "fiscal cliff" is hitting home for those of us with disabilities. Easter Seals (v old brand, which I could do without, but they do a lot for families affected by disability) set up this magic letter-writer for you to contact your members of Congress. Fill out your ID info, add some fighting word to their statement, click send. According to some of my electorally savvy friends, these messages do make a difference.

Unbelievable. On January 2, automatic budget cuts from Congress will slash programs helping people with disabilities: special education, employment resources, housing assistance and more. Nearly $1 billion will be cut from special education alone.

I know we've got to make some tough decisions about the budget, but we also have to must also work to protect services and supports for people with disabilities. If you agree, send a letter to your representatives now:

Millions of people with disabilities are counting on us to speak out against these devastating cuts. I hope you'll join me and stand up for families living with disabilities today!

jesse_the_k: White girl with braids grinning under large Russian beaver hat (JK 10 happy hat)
I just filled one with summer hats, and reseeded the rack with my winter hats. It's such a thrill to see my lovely wool hats; I didn't realize how much I'd missed them.
Ho hi heee — what about a poll? )
jesse_the_k: Lucy the ACD's left profile is calm, collected and in control (LUCY gazes right)
[personal profile] jadelennox makes an elegant (and of course, funny) analogy re: religious choice and Catholic funding for contraception.

Ortho Novum 777. It's the other trayf meat.

Then s.e.smith bats the ball over the fence again in this essay about make-work "job training" which teaches poor people nothing, while draining off energy needed to find a job.
begin quote  It adds you to a list of successful statistics because the bottom line isn’t about whether your situation was improved, but whether you got a job, any job at all, so the government could strike you off the rolls. quote ends

Follow ou's great essays at [syndicated profile] thisaintliving_feed

The initial orange square icon signals a "feed" account. Dreamwidth talks to the servers where the bloggers are hosted. (This conversation is called "syndication," with dialects of RSS or Atom. Just in case you needed some more random facts in your head.)

When I read my droll* Dreamwidth grabs the info from the other blogs and shows 'em in my subscription list. This means I have one place to look for interesting stuff. If I'm moved to comment, there's just one click from DW to the blog's own page.

* (short for Dream-roll, and quicker than Reading Page)

Racilicious is a group blog devoted to the intersections of race and pop culture. Fashion is usually something I glance at then ignore, but this piece, lavishly illustrated, taught me to think about "who has the right to play with signifiers" in a productive way:

What is Walter Van Beirendonck Trying to Say? by Joseph Lamour

I see Racialious' posts by subscribing to this DW feed:
[syndicated profile] racialicious_feed

You can visit to see the top 1000 feeds or create your own.

Tell me about feeds you're watching!

The little club? easy-peasy: ♣ = ♣

p.s. This post took me two-and-one-half hours to prepare. It seems awful slow to me; I wonder how I could speed things up.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (WLKR SUX)
Because I'm a worrier, the last few months have been hard for me personally. My family's bequest has meant I'm somewhat directly insulated from the impact of Wisconsin's conservative revolution, but many of my friends and colleagues aren't that lucky.

People with disabilities interact more with government. We are more likely to be poor, and therefore more likely to need the welfare system (living expenses, housing, food discounts, medical care).
Only comprehensive, government-wide action can undo the decades of systematic oppression documented in the prelude to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Disability Advocates Wisconsin Network provides a detailed yet understandable accounting of how people with disabilities are going to be affected in so many ways by the budget just passed.

I bring up this list because it neatly reminds us all that "disability issues," like "women's issues," are pretty darn broad.

Are you wondering "Who's ALEC?" The American Legislative Exchange Council was founded in 1973 by Henry Hyde, Lou Barnett, and Paul Weyrich. In brief, they're a group of policy wonks who develop model laws based on the values they hold dear: absolute free market capitalism, elimination of governmental regulation, deployment of public-private partnerships wherever possible. Wm Cronon, a UW-Madison history professor explores in greater detail on his web site.

I bring up ALEC because the misery we're experiencing may be coming to a state like you -- and it may be letter-for-letter what we've been protesting against. Informed is always a good look on a radical.
jesse_the_k: barcode version of (JK OpenID barcode)
Think & Smell )
The air can fail us along several dimensions. In addition to being stinky, it can have lumpy bits—such as dust and particles––or toxic bits—such as poisons or radioactivity. In addition to a super-sensitive sniffer, I have reactive airways. Any bits make me cough and prevent me from breathing. Unfortunately, we're having an ORANGE particle alert tomorrow in my part of the world. I'm glad I can stay home. As is probably the case all around the U.S., and certainly in Mexico, the worst air conditions are experienced by workers waiting outside for public transportation.

Intro to Decent Home Training via The New Basic Black )

read Marina she's amazing )
jesse_the_k: Two bookcases stuffed full (with books on top) leaning into each other (books)
Barb Johnson's fiction debut is a series of linked stories set in early 21stC New Orleans. More of This World or Maybe Another tells the neighborhood stories from a canal town and how these school kids reconnect as neighbors in Mid-City New Orleans. (It's available in paper and as an ebook from Kobo, an ePUB only bookstore.) it's delicious and challenging and thrilling. )
jesse_the_k: kitty pawing the surface of Atlantic phonograph record on turntable  (scratch this!)
The song Bread & Roses was inspired by the IWW (Wobbly) organizing campaign in the Lawrence, Mass textile mills. The workers were almost all female (since the owners could pay them less) and mostly immigrants. My family history somehow intersects here: I heard fuzzy stories growing up about my Socialist Grandfather Knebel running away from the company police on the Lawrence train platform—I assumed he was in town making trouble.

March 8th used to be one pivot point of my year.
Read and hear all the details )
jesse_the_k: Slings & Arrows' Anna sez: "I'll smack you so hard your cousin will fall down!" (Anna smacks hard)
If I spent less time browsing Shakesville, I might have missed Paul Campos' excellent analysis of the offensive things men feel comfortable saying about women's bodies—even when those women are being seriously considered for the US Supreme Court.

Before you follow that link, take a gander at this picture of the current court members. Eight "white" guys, one African-American, and one tiny white woman. They all look well-nourished; Scalia and Thomas are broader than your average football player, and probably that's not due to 5 hours a day of physical training. It does seem that the current court plays havoc with one's hair--only the youngest, Chief Justice Roberts, has a full head.
jesse_the_k: Slings & Arrows' Anna sez: "I'll smack you so hard your cousin will fall down!" (Anna smacks hard)
In this week's Science Times, Dr. Pauline Chen meditates on her own reluctance to use interpreters, as well as a recent study in the Journal of Internal Medicine.
“[...] physician-patient communication is driven by the physician’s need for patient input rather than by the patient’s need to communicate. Communication is viewed as something that is supposed to change decisions that the doctor can foresee. So the use of interpreters may have more to do with how we think about communication with our patients and less to do with our views on interpreters, limited English proficiency patients or even time pressures.”
Chen provides a vivid example of the unquestioned medical assumption that what the doctor has to say is more important than the patient's needs. She decides her ability to ask Dolor? and that patient's response of thumbs'-up or thumbs'-down is adequate for "routine rounding" (i.e., post surgical check-ins).

Chen is a transplant surgeon; the patient she's routinely rounded has just had a liver transplant. As anyone who's been hospitalized for illness or injury will readily understand, there's nothing quite so intimidating, so important as those 5 minutes a day when you actually get to communicate with the doctor. This is thoughtless privilege at its most frightening. The JIM study concludes:
Although previous research has identified time constraints and lack of availability of interpreters as reasons for their underuse, our data suggest that the reasons are far more complex. Residents at the study institutions with interpreters readily available found it easier to “get by” without an interpreter, despite misgivings about negative implications for quality of care. Findings suggest that increasing interpreter use will require interventions targeted at both individual physicians and the practice environment.
The comments are interesting, if ill-informed. There's the predictable "don't get sick in a language you don't know," but most get stuck in two issues—cost and availability—for which the study controlled.

Do readers not really read? The willingness people have to defend the indefensible fascinates and repels me. Dr Chen has made a habit of bravely admitting hard realities in a national newspaper; the commenters largely want to give her a pass.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (expectant)
The Whirlwind Network of wheelchair builders was born in 1980 when Ralf Hotchkiss met a group of 4 disabled men who shared one wheelchair in a hospital in Managua, Nicaragua. They hatched the idea of setting up a shop in Managua that would build wheelchairs made from locally available parts, be locally repairable, and which would require little initial capital to get started.

This is the very best sort of appropriate technology: power in the hands of the people who need it the most.

WWI's RoughRider wheelchair WWI's RoughRider wheelchair Manual wheelchair with wide bicycle tires, very wide casters, and gracefully curving frame.

The first design was near completion by 1983, having undergone numerous prototype revisions and having been tested over hundreds of miles by many different riders. Since then, the Network has expanded to hundreds of organizations and individuals in more than 50 countries around the world and includes disability activists, rehabilitation professionals, and international development non-governmental organizations. The Network has supported the cross-fertilization of new ideas and designs generated around the world. The active involvement of wheelchair riders in design and production has been integral to the Network’s success.

The Whirlwind Roughrider is inexpensive to manufacture, made from widely available stock materials. Unlike the second-hand chrome wheelchairs donated by well-meaning first world countries, Whirlwind Chairs are designed for dusty dirt roads and easy maintenance. As Marc Krizack put in his in-depth examination of the shortcomings of first-world wheelchair donation:
Providing wheelchairs is not about wheelchairs. It is about providing people with the one thing they need to move out into their own communities—to go where the action is. It is about integrating people with disabilities into their society.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (insane smarty)
Disability-rights advocates hate institutions. Their high walls and one-way doors nurture a culture of sexual, physical and mental abuse. The most important Supreme Court ruling so far on the Americans with Disabilities Act has been Olmstead v L.C., which held that sentencing people with disabilities to institutions when they could live in the community constituted discrimination.

Almost ten years later, states are still fighting to keep large institutions open (and advocates are still suing to switch spending from supporting institutions to supporting people living in the community). As always, civil rights laws never automatically mean discrimination is over: it only gives us the legal standing to sue.

Today my invaluable Inclusion Daily Express brought news of excellent political theater necessitated by the State of Texas' refusal to implement the Olmstead decision.

As the Inclusion Daily Express Archives show: Texas Houses Largest Number Of Americans Behind Institution Walls

Shouting 'Fifty-three murders on your watch!' and 'People are dying, shame on you!' the group of about 20 protesters interrupted the meeting. They waved signs and emptied a bag of 53 toy watches, painted red, on the floor near the panel. )

jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (gopher hunter)
BoingBoing has a useful post about very appropriate technology—cardboard-based—in service of purpose-built furniture for kids with disabilities.

"Gee whiz lookit this tech" articles are a dime a dozen, but the comments on this one explore the lifecycle costs and challenges: between the huge overhead of the current health care system and the wide-spread poverty of families with disabled members, even the coolest "pilot" projects are not the answer.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (focused eyeball)
At the Madison Bead Society Show & Sale yesterday:
+ sold eleven items
+ many passersby offered positive comments
+ five friends dropped by
+ MyGuy and MagicB provided invaluable assistance in setup and display mindage.
+ shared a table with Kim, who has developed a great niche product: attractively beaded medical alert bracelets. She kindly complied with my "no scents" request.
+ show organizer thoughtfully placed me nearest the doors so I got the most fresh air. Didn't need to use my mask and only had to puff up on my inhaler three times.
+ survived seven hours in one place, interacting with hordes of strangers.
on the other hand
- overstocked by factor of five
- seven hours in one place put all my spoons in the dishwasher for the next week.
- can't imagine doing this again
- spotlights from across the aisle shined in my eyes the whole time.
- my pre-sale struggle with pricing continues as I contemplate priced items all day. I want people to be able to afford my stuff as a little luxury. I want to make enough to pay for my materials. These straightforward goals are complicated by the little voice that equates artistic merit with selling price, not to mention total income as an indicator of personal worthiness.

Phew, it's done. I'm going to try a house party next. A pool-pal is going to loan me a camera with a swiveling viewfinder. I want to see if I can come up with some decent pix in order to further contemplate doing Etsy.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (insane smarty)
As reported in this AM's New York Times, Bailout Provides More Mental Health Coverage: some politically savvy folks managed to include a very important car to the $7,000,000,000 "socializing risk" train: "mental health parity."

Currently US health insurers can and do arbitrarily limit coverage of mental-health treatments (talk therapy, drugs, or hospitalization). The parity bill means insurers must provide equal coverage for mental and physical illnesses. The article claims implementation at start of 2010. I'm betting there will be many plenty court cases before then.

One caveat: "A breakthrough occurred when sponsors of the House bill agreed to drop a provision that required insurers to cover treatment for any condition listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association." Employer advocates complained that treatment should not be mandated for some conditions that DSM mentions, such as "caffeine intoxication" or "jet lag."

Revisions to create DSM-V are scheduled in 2012.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (on guard)
Just finished Timothy Tyson's memoir of rural North Carolina in the late 60s and early 70s.

Blood Done Sign My Name
(I read the unabridged CD edition, skillfully narrated by Robertson Dean. )

A child of a liberal white Methodist preacher, Tyson skillfully blends homiletic and storytelling traditions to examine the personal and societal impacts of white privilege and racism. The cold-blooded daylight murder of a young African-American, and the wildly various reactions to this crime, provide a lens on a particular time and place as well as an opportunity to meditate on what's lost when people don't know their own histories.

I laughed, I cried, and I learned a lot. In particular, he does an excellent job challenging the whitewash of the civil rights movement -- I found it a particularly bracing antidote to the recent nonsense of how LBJ ensured black people's voting rights. He firmly demonstrates both the contributions and shortcomings of white liberals. Tyson counters the marketing of Martin Luther King, Jr into a "kind of Black Santa Claus," providing many examples of the long-standing, grass-roots, widespread, and sometimes violent foundations of African Americans' campaign for true citizenship.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
Actual triangular sign in greenage. No wording; detailed picture of person of indeterminate gender in wheelchair rolling down a very steep slope into the slavering jaws of a crocodile
Wheelchair Sign, originally uploaded by Renier & Rene.

when you just don't know what lies ahead of you.

I'm trying hard not to resent the people who complain about having to shovel their sidewalks.

I know that if I had to shovel my sidewalk, I'd be sunk, cause I can't physically do it -- I'd have to hire someone. Yet there are definitely some heroes of the revolution who do a wonderful job. The sad thing is that one slacker in an otherwise heroic block is enough to force me to turn back.

Grrr. The world just isn't going to work smoothly for me all the time. I'm not alone in this. Wish I could lose the grr, though.

about me

jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
Jesse the K

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