Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Smells Like Bullshit, Part 3,456,789

There's not much meat on it anymore, but I've got a bone to pick. Maggie's mother posted this article on Facebook yesterday, and it riled me up. Actually, it didn't rile me up as much as make me sigh and grit my teeth and begin percolating. In a nutshell, California Children's Services Medical Therapy Program that serves disabled children, is on the chopping block again, and nearly 5,000 children will lose their physical and occupational therapies. The move will be carried out as part of a larger plan to balance the California budget which faces a $15.7 billion shortfall. Families making over $40,000 are being asked to pony up and pay their share.

Everyone has to sacrifice something, right? The policy-makers are said to have to make "very difficult decisions," but I smell bullshit. According to spokeswoman Michele Stillwell-Parvensky from the non-profit Children's Defense Fund of California, these cuts should be considered "cascading cuts, that have hit children -- particularly disabled -- in recent years as federal, state and local governments withhold money from school, health and childcare budgets." Just like the bone picked dry, the backs of these children with disabilities and their families are bent under the burden of incremental cuts made in the service of the "larger good."

I look around every single day and really don't see the sacrifices called for as being equally distributed. I see people driving enormous new vehicles that probably cost nearly $100.00 to fill up with gas that lasts for less than twenty miles. Many of these people believe it to be an American right to drive whatever car they desire. I see people buying multi-million dollar homes that demand enormous amounts of energy to heat and cool, their properties used as tax write-offs. Presidential contender Mitt Romney evidently has a three million dollar house in the tony coastal town of La Jolla that he is looking to tear down to build a bigger, eight million dollar one with a car elevator. But hey, here in America, if you make that kind of money, it's your right to spend it as you choose. And park it somewhere that you choose, too. The movie studio that produced The Avengers is paying one of its stars, Robert Downey, Jr., over $50 million for his role in the blockbuster, a movie that has pulled in hundreds of millions of dollars since it opened. And then there's the trillions spent in the decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the madness of bombing people and children, sacrificing young men and women with the fake objective of liberty and justice for all.

I'm not going to belabor a point that I've made over and over again. Balancing the budget on the backs of disabled children and their families as "shared sacrifice," is bullshit in this country. And if we can't come together as a people who know lives of the greatest economic and military power and luxury that the world has probably ever known and make cuts and sacrifices elsewhere, well then, we're pathetic.


  1. In 100% agreement with every word you wrote. It feels like one big game we play and it's so easy to be apathetic about it when you are losing faith that it can change.

  2. i'm so sorry. but mitt romney says the very rich are to be celebrated, as if their billions constitute proof they are somehow more clever and more worthy. the mitts of this world should be made to pay for the care of our disabled. their bank accounts wouldn't even feel a knick. ugh.

  3. Okay. THIS deserves major publication.
    You nailed it exactly.
    We are a nation of completely effed-up priorities and should be ashamed but many of the Very Wealthy seem to have no shame and until the day comes when they aren't making all the decisions, such bullshit will be the rule.
    I'm so sorry.

  4. Especially in the state that has some of the wealthiest people on the planet and they are often only moved to pitch in when they are being celebrated for it publicly or if they have children with disabilities themselves. Ugh.

  5. The way government is set up, there is very little leeway for the governor to make cuts. Just can't do it. Ran into the same situation in much smaller groups,where certain things are off limits and you absolutely have to cut or the cuts are going to be made themselves for far more.

    Somehow these programs have to be set in stone like those entitlements that cannot be reduced have been.

  6. I did write a letter to the editor after that article and just received a call telling me they will publish it. Sadly I on;y had 200 words. I had to cut it considerably from my original draft. (like 90%)

  7. Yep, I said it before and I will say it again... Zoey is screwed if this happens and thousands more just like her. Sad. And disgusting. to say the least.

    This state and this immediate area, where I live and have chosen to raise my children, is one that in some moments, that I am not very proud of. Certainly right now is one of them.

  8. Tell it to the L.A. Times, baby.
    Absolutely. Total. Bullshit.

  9. Yes, what you said.

    Then there are these feelings of guilt as a parent because I can't afford 3 hrs of private therapy a day and I should be giving up more (food?) to compensate for the school's paltry services. Where did I read that kids w/SN will eventually only be possible for the wealthy? Tokens for the kind-hearted elite? It's maddening.

  10. Very well put Elizabeth, that's the place they cut in Canada too! While they each have a personal budget that would aid a few families every year.

  11. It's intensely maddening. My initial response can best be summarized in a GIF.

    It's deplorable. Despicable. These programs aren't luxuries. Not only will they be reducing future medical expenses, they'll result in further dependence on their caregivers, eliminating yet another potential member of the workforce.

    It's not only dumping extra burdens upon special needs kids, it's downright insulting. These physical and occupational therapy programs are facilitating essential skills for daily living!

    But, i know you know this, sorry. It just makes me nauseous thinking how many of these politicians are whackjob bullies like Romney who probably think of the special needs demographic as another defenseless group of people to victimize.

    Ick. And here they are claiming they're working toward a goal of glorifying their god through their roles in political office, when right in their very own book of Matthew ch25 v 44 & 45:
    “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

  12. And i don't mean to implicate the religious right any more than anyone else in this (as California is obviously one of the most liberal states). But it's happening everywhere, at every level of government.

    It's really civil rights we're dealing with. We just need them to be recognized as such. We need to fight so these programs don't end up, can't end up on any chopping block anywhere. There's absolutely NO place for them there.

    I know first-hand the impact those sorts of services make in people's lives. It really is the difference of being able to live, and wanting to die. I've seen it. We can't let them take them away. I'm writing right now. I wish there was more i could do.

  13. Yes, Elizabeth, yes. Send this out. Shout it from the hilltops.



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