Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday Blog

Thursday blog

You know, I never used to consider myself a radical.  But lately and increasingly there seems to be So Much to Object to!  I don't like always being political, there Should be and Is more to life.  But What am I to do?

The stock market has gone higher than before the crash, big banks are Still sitting pretty,BP Still made a profit even after "settling" with the people whose lives they may have destroyed,  college loans are set to possibly legally be allowed to Double their interest rates, if Congress doesn't act, disabled people are either losing or in danger of losing medical care, many Hard Working Americans Have No Medical Care, GMO foods Japan won't import and Europe marks so that consumers have a Choice of whether or not to eat them, but nothing like that happens here, and now This!  I thought large multi-national corporations ran the Government, and I seem to be finding More and More evidence of it each day. 

So many people are afraid because the life they Used to know is gone.  Sure, I'm scared too, but this isn't a reason to trash our only home, Earth, and one another!  It Could be an opportunity for us to Help one another With our fears.

I thought those on Neighborhood Watch duty were supposed to carry Radios, not guns.  Shouldn't the Police have been called if Treyvon Martin was doing something perceived as unlawful? 

Who is it ok to beat, rape, and kill in the U.S.?  Is it fine to kill or abuse someone for their sexual orientation?  How about Native American women, like the first U.S. soldier  to die in Iraq?  Is it ok to kill or beat her sisters here at home?  How about immigrant women or women who are here without documentation?  None of them?  I agree.  Then Why the Blazes is This about to happen?

Congress may actually fail to renew the Violence Against Women Act.
Can you sign the petition demanding that Congress reauthorize it right away?
click here Click Here
Dear Friend,
True story: Congress may actually fail to renew the Violence Against Women Act because
right-wing politicians are concerned that it protects too many people.
Really. Senator Grassley (R-IA) told reporters that he opposed the legislation because
it "creates so many new programs for underserved populations."
The reauthorization bill pending before Congress right now includes expanded provisions
that protect victims of abuse across the LGBTQ, undocumented and Native American
communities. Reporting of domestic violence has increased by more than 51% since
the Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994.
Yet domestic violence still kills 3 women each and every day.
3 Let's be clear:
Victims of violence and abuse deserve protection--regardless of their ethnicity,
immigration status or sexual orientation.
Congress is getting away with this shameful attempt to water down the Violence Against
Women Act because hardly anyone is talking about it and most of their constituents
don't know this is happening. But the media is starting to pick up on this story
and if we speak out together loudly we can make it crystal clear: Voters are not
going to stand for politicians who play politics with women's lives.
Can you sign this petition telling Congress to pass the Violence Against Women Act
right away?
 We're joining with allies across the progressive movement to wage a major campaign
and make sure they hear from hundreds of thousands of outraged voters.
The Washington Post
 editorial board put it best: "A comprehensive committee report convincingly details
gaps in current programs as identified by law enforcement officers, victim-service
providers, judges and health-care professions. No one—gay or straight, man or woman,
legal or undocumented—should be denied protections against domestic abuse or sexual
violence. The proposed changes are by no means radical."
Here are some key facts about the Violence Against Women Act:
Before its passage in 1994, not all states had stalking laws, and many states had
weak laws against sex crimes.
Today every state makes stalking a crime. Every state has also strengthened its spousal
and date rape crime definitions.
The Violence Against Women Act has provided billions in funding to help training
and collaboration between law enforcement, shelters, and medical professionals. In
fact, funding from the bill trains more than 500,000 of these professionals every
Rates of homicide resulting from domestic violence for both women and men have dropped
dramatically. And incidents of domestic abuse have declined by as much as 67% over
the years.
The Violence Against Women Act has never been controversial before. In 2000 the reauthorization
passed the House 371-1, and the Senate 95-0. The last reauthorization was in 2005,
where it passed the Senate unanimously and the House vote was 415-4.
But now, because the bill is updated (and it gets updated and expanded at every reauthorization)
to protect immigrants, Native American communities and LGBTQ people, the right-wing
is opposed.
This is a matter of life and death. Congress needs to hear from you that you want
them to quit playing politics with people's lives and pass the updated Violence Against
Women Act right away.
--Nita and Shaunna, UltraViolet
Women Figure Anew in Senate’s Latest Battle,
 New York Times, March 15, 2012
The coming fight over violence against women,, March 20, 2012
Strengthening the Violence Against Women Act,
 The White House, April 25, 2012
Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act,
 The Washington Post, April 23, 2012
Factsheet: The Violence Against Women Act,
The coming fight over violence against women,, March 20, 2012
Violence Against Women Act faces unprecedented opposition, little support from Texas lawmakers,
 American Independent, April 19, 2012

I Still want my Webstore, so, for what will hopefully be a bit of fun, I have a doll ID. Question.  This doll is a natural looking blonde, and just where a "tramp stamp"  would be is written "1987 Hasbro China H-22".  She has blue eyes and a healthy looking complexion.  Thanks for any help you can offer.

Labels:  multi-national corporations do well, violence against women act Not renewed?  Interest rates on student loans could Double this Summer?  Doll ID. question

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Many Subjects for Blogger

Many Subjects for Blogger

First, Blogger has stopped working altogether with my version of Internet Explorer!  Thanks one Hell of a lot!  Facts:  1.  most people with disabilities are poor,  2. services are being cut for us, including those who work or are starting businesses every day, 3.  NO accessible technology, not speech for those with learning disabilities who cannot process visual info., or blind people, or deaf-blind people with enough hearing to use it; not Braille for those who use it:  not most programs to enlarge print Very large, (often supplemented with speech: and not voice command technology where the computer user may not be able to type so  tells the cursor what to do; I repeat, NONE of these works with Internet Explorer Nine, 9!

I don't even get speech feedback on what version of IE I have.  So tomorrow I will ask a friend to help me find this out.  If it is IE 8 which I already have, I'm Screwed from using Blogger!  If I have IE 8, maybe I should start a petition to Microsoft on "Some of" or one of those sites, which ARE accessible,to Get With the ADA (which has only been law for 21 years) and Stop setting us up in conjunction with Other companies like Google.

The deal is:  Microsoft comes out with product NOT accessible to disabled computer users for Years.  Then Google and it's pets like Blogger stop using old technology, software, so they can force you to choose or BUY the newest version.  Only 1.  you can't Afford it.  And 2.  It isn't Accessible Anyway, so Why would you Want it?

I will either have to stop blogging (which helps keep me as sane as I am) or wait until a sighted person comes over to copy and paste my blog into blogger.  That makes me feel Very independent, don't you think?  What a Great stride toward writing what I want, When I have the time!

Wonder if I can still get comments people leave on Blogger for me?  Don't know.

New Subject:  Good News for Blind of Mo.  With a Two vote majority, we got our Medicaid benefits restored!  THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO HELPED, Including some Compassionate People who honor me by reading this blog!  All Right!!

As a cancer survivor I must find out if Hospice, wheelchairs, and other necessities Were cut.  Immoral, Especially cutting hospice!
Will let you know!

New subject:  I find myself developing two writing styles.  One is for deaf-blind and leaves out unnecessary English words.  Sometimes I forget and use it when writing to hearing people.  It just takes common sense to figure out most of the time, but it is definitely different and no English teacher would pass it.  An example given by my ASL instructor is:  instead of saying "I'm playing with my cat."  ASL is:  "me play with cat" or "me play with my cat." 

One of the things I couldn't figure out was why so Many signs started around the face.  Some of them Feel very close together, too.  When I mentioned this to a sighted friend she reminded me that for a sighted deaf person this would be very Helpful, as added to the sign would be the facial expression.  There would be raised eyebrows to ask a question, a look conveying expression, a frown or smile, etc.  I have facial expressions, but not nearly so strongly or as many as a sighted person. 

I used to teach Braille to a man who was losing his sight.  He had worked for years at a school for the deaf and knew ASL.  I never quite got it until today, but he used to tell me Braille was terribly confusing.    Each letter in contracted Braille, in which all books are written, stands for an entire word.  Mostly the words begin with the letter representing them.  First five letters of alphabet:  a but can do every.  This what a single a-e stands for in Braille.  The letter X stands for "it" because I is just i.  So when this man learned X stands for "it" he would sometimes get mixed up and use X in ASL which doesn't stand for anything I know of at the moment except the letter X.

Today I had to stop myself from doing Braille ASL.  I will contract the sentence above as it would Be in Braille.  Letters which can be represented by a single sign will be put in quotation marks.    Lrs "wh sign for WHICH c be repress"en"t"ed" "by"a s"ing"le sign w be put "in" quot"ation (is two signs)" m"ar"ks.  Today I found myself wanting to sign TD for "today" because that is what is written in Braille, which is Brl.  Tomorrow is tm.

The reason for this contraction in Braille is that a thing must be much larger to be read by touch than by sight.  You can see smaller things than I can feel.  A Braille Bible takes up between 20 and 25 books and five feet of shelf space.

The signs I'm learning are ASL, but in a much smaller field of space than is normally used.  Remember the piece on deaf-blind bullying?  One problem was that other deaf people with sight would not shrink their signs (language) into a small enough space to be understood by a deaf-blind man.  Most deaf-blind people have Usher's Syndrome, a combination of deafness and an eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa, which gradually shrinks one's field of vision down to nearly nothing or in some cases nothing.

I often feel afraid at awkward moments when I don't know what is happening.  My ASL instructor has limited vision and must experience many more of these moments than I do.  My instructor   cannot hear at all, so far as I can tell.

I think ASL may be strengthening muscles to compensate for serious tendonitis in my right wrist.  Today I able to use one hand all time, not switch off from pain.  See, you understand this writing.

Every lesson something which makes each of us laugh happens.  Today I was signing "door" to tell my instructor someone at door.  She sign "who".  But when I try explain she sign "no no no" mean I have the word wrong.  We confused.  Then I understand she want Me sign "who".  I give sign and answer is "yes".

Deaf-blind people who use both print and Braille  have mastered two written languages, print and Braille.  They have also mastered a visual language and some master verbal language also.  I am Impressed!

I will be Very glad to get my Braille display up and working so I Won't have to type out each letter of a word!  You will still see it in print.  Yeah!

New subject:  My dog is Better!  I took him to a different vet for second opinion yesterday morning.  The vet cleaned out his ears So well his head around them was wet for half a day.  There was still wax, with ear med. On top of it.  He says the tests recommended by another vet will be needed If my dog gets worse, but he's Better instead!  GRATEFUL!  He isn't where he was before I used the med., but second vet said he could improve throughout the week.  I Hope so!

New subject:  Due to encouragement of friends, have decided to go ahead with  small online store, featuring visual art by disabled artist I know, and my dolls, mostly for adults, small kid's corner, some Fair Trade, as much from people with disabilities as possible.  I am on shakier ground, selling mostly to adults, but it seems CPSIA has frightened so many Fair Trade small importers that this is the Only safe way to go.Still waiting on specific answer about selling older fashion dolls to kids, do they meet current phthalate regulations or not?  CPSC hasn't answered.  Does anyone know anything about this?

Labels:  Blogger and unusable technology trap for disabled,many languages confusion and mastery by deaf-blind,  dog is better YEAH, Mo. Medicaid restored for blind, by TWO votes, what about Other Medicaid cuts?  CPSIA and online store will do.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Deaf Hearing Dog? Scary!

I have a dog whom Ann and I adopted. Since she died I have trained him to bark at anyone knocking on the door, ringing the door bell, and he comes to get me. He also hates and fears the sound of a smoke detector going off, so wakes me up if it happens at night. No fires here, just low battery warnings. A couple of weeks ago he was having dreadful allergy problems and his ear was very red, according to a friend. I took him to the vet. I was given some steroid medication, told to use a lot of it each day, (one time per day) and that I couldn't hurt the dog by putting the long part of the tube to be inserted into his ear all the way in. Since a dog's ear is shaped like an L, I did this, turning tubed of med. upside down, then masaged ear and underneath ear. My dog has lost hearing. I am scared! He doesn't hear knocks at the door, doesn't hear me getting his food ready, unless I bang Very hard and for some time on bottom of his stainless steel pan. Doesn't hear smoke detector at all. When I called animal clinic I talked to a different vet who said the steroids can damage auditory nerve. What the hell? Then vet who prescribed med. with instructions for its use wants to do tests, after all, he is an older dog, might have a disease process (diabetes, Kushing Syndrome) happening to cause deafness. Tests will cost Another $100, Plus office visit, don't Think so! This dog was Badly abused before we got him. If he's sleeping and I trip over him, he thinks I'm Punishing him, I want to cry. When he could hear I didn't trip over him. He is scared of other dogs, uncertain. I try to make sure there is plenty of light in a room where I am, so he can see me. Glad I trained him to Seeing Eye Dog hand signals, adding some for "sit" and "up," meaning it's time to go up the step into the house and stop nosing for now. I have tried speaking and he ignores me. But when I use hand signals, he does what I'm asking. He can't hear verbal praise, so I pat him more and give more bits of treats. I have a vibrating pager, and if I remember to place a sound monitor by the doorbell, it signals me. But I feel grief and a lot of fear at this change. Did online research and if his hearing loss is caused by steroids, hearing doesn't recover after med.s are stopped. I stopped med.s and called vet when I realized my friend-dog was losing hearing. Will try to take him to different vet tomorrow and have ears examined, he was Fine until steroid use. I am no DVM. and can't say if he has some other problem. But he Still seems Fine, only he can barely hear the Loudest of sounds. On the more pleasant feeling side, my sister gave me a long leash and I can either keep my dog with me or at least lead him into the room where I am, so he will know where to find me if he needs to go outside, etc. I have to go looking for him to feed him. Wonder if stomping on kitchen floor at food time would help, he might come to feel the vibrations, if I do this and bang on pan. Another moore pleasant thing is that I may have discovered some legal exceptions to CPSIA, for small batch importers of Fair Trade, who have Gross revenues of Less than a million dollars per year. They may not sell items to kids containing "black jacquard dye" but all other fabrics which are dyed Before being used for dolls, and all embroidery thread and yarn Seems to be ok. The problem may come with Painted fabrics, yarns, etc. Bright paint often contains lead. Metal such as snaps, zippers, hooks and eyes or metal buttons may be painted and so contain lead. A small batch importer Must comply with CPSIA, (please check Government CPSC website for ways to comply) but Does Not have to do Testing. A good resource is also: One way to test for paint on metal or children's jewelry is to scrape it and see if paint comes off. If it does, you may be dealing with lead paint, Not Allowed. Hope this info. helps someone. Been practicing signs I've learned each day, hope my instructor will be pleasantly surprised Tuesday."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thanks, but Not to Facebook

First, as one of the "newbies" who reads the posts of a certain Phily Collector, I'd like to say Thank You for your post about selling Barbies. Also, thanks to all of you who left comments, which I read.

I will look for doll club, don't know if there is one now in this area. Only Barbie resale shop takes Just White dolls, can you Believe this? Or at least that was true last time I called. Most of my dolls are ethnic or mixed race. I grew up at blind school in large city. And I love studying faces. If you have to study faces by feel, better use dolls. Also the more diverse and realistic the faces, the more I learn. The variety fascinates me! Always has.

I have "white" dolls of course, but even the ones of them I chose have differing faces, Joey Benetardi, Blossom and Six, Club Seven or 7, Holly from a group called "Dream" Becky (in the lousy wheelchair) Very Velvet Barbie, Raquelle, these all have differing faces and or hair.

I agree with interviewee (sorry about spelling) in Phily Collector earlier post, would like to see some Asian guys. I wish I had bought more than one General Li Shang when he was around. He's pretty cool with modern clothing and hairstyle.

New subject: My dog bell, (dog I have trained to find me and take me to door while barking) is sick and not working. Worried and scared about what I will do when I lose him. He''s probably about 11, and hac very hard .life before going to "no kill" shelter, then coming to Ann and me. I've worked out substitute which relies on me remembering to move a sound monitor from alarm clock to doorbell, so it will trigger pager I wear. Rather have a dogbell.

New subject: Facebook. I don't like this, though what I write would bore military, unless they disliked some action figure I liked. But this is Too Much, I think.

Facebook supports gov't spying -- turn on images
It seems like Facebook will do everything they can to sacrifice your online privacy
-- even going so far as to publicly support a bill pending in the US Congress that
would allow Facebook to hand over your data -- and the data of Facebook users around
the world -- to other corporations or the US military, without a warrant.
Can you sign our urgent petition telling Facebook to drop its support of US government spying on its members?
If the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) passes, companies could
intercept your text messages and emails to share with each other and the government
-- giving the US military the power to track, control, and share almost all of your
online information without the use of a warrant. They could even block access to
websites, or cut off your internet connection altogether. Like SOPA (which Facebook
CISPA is a major threat to internet freedom
and gives the government broad power to protect big media companies at your expense.
Facebook’s opposition was instrumental in shutting down SOPA, but
now Facebook is fighting FOR CISPA
. That's why we're teaming up with our friends at Demand Progress to get Facebook
to side with its users instead of military spy agencies, and in the process start
a powerful, organized opposition to this dangerous bill.
Sign our joint petition to Facebook now, telling it to stand up against government intrusion into our online privacy rights.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has said “We can’t let poorly thought out
laws get in the way of the Internet’s development.” Yet with CISPA, he is supporting
a far-reaching law that could dramatically limit our freedom on the internet.
CISPA strips away previous privacy laws, and by creating a broad immunity for companies
against both civil and criminal liability, it robs citizens of any means of fighting
Today vast amounts of our information is routed through the internet -- our shopping
history, our Google searches, our love letters and personal communications, and much
of our activism -- and all of it would become a fair target for the US military under
a definition of “cybercrime” so broad that anyone could be a suspect.
Tell Facebook to get serious about protecting our privacy from US military and government intrusion.
Thank you for all you do.
- Taren, Claiborne, Emma, Becky, Kaytee and the rest of us
More Information:
Cyber Intelligence Bill Threatens Privacy and Civilian Control
", The Center for Democracy & Technology, December 2011
Cybersecurity Bill FAQ: The Disturbing Privacy Dangers in CISPA and How To Stop It
", The Electronic Frontier Foundation, April 2012
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Business Down the Tubes? What now?

Unless I hear differently from the USPSC (U.S. Product Safety Commission) it looks like my dream business is down the tubes. I could open an online store for adult doll collectors, no porn intended, but there are easier ways of selling fashion dolls to grownups. My interest in sewing beautiful modest original clothes has taken a nose dive. And I Want very much to buy from Fair Trade businesses. Originally, I wanted to sell dolls and doll clothing. But CPSIA has got them removing dolls from their online catalogs, as they can't afford to test each component of a doll to prove its level of lead and phthalates comply with CPSIA. So now what?

I feel so Angry or Frustrated! It wouldn't surprise me if a number of safe and unique dolls and doll clothing sets are going to be removed even though they Are safe for kids, (and great educational toys besides) Because neither the artisans who make them nor the small businesses which import them can afford the cost of testing.

Almost always I avoid the "if onlys". But I have been dreaming this dream for years and If Only I had Ignored Everyone who told me I would fail, I'd have been Doing what I Wanted to do for several years now.

When Ann was alive, I saw part of my purpose in life as helping her and taking care of physical chores about house and garden which she couldn't do.

When she died last year, after all of the shock and misery began to clear a bit I decided that if I failed, I'd be the only one to suffer and I was Going for it! I sewed furiously and delighted in the variety of fair trade products I had to choose from. I bought dolls I Would not have purchased, if I had known what was coming. The CPSIA was Never mentioned by any online Fair Trade Business, I never heard about it on NPR, though I may have just missed the report. I cannot read news papers and Rehab. people had not heard of this law Either.

I find myself in a painful and deep search for something Meaningful, to Me. Of course, there are always things to do and I have some kind friends. But without anything Personally Meaningful to My heart, what's the point?

I find myself missing Ann very badly, missing a friend who died of ovarian cancer in 2008, missing my old neighborhood and the house Ann and I rented, and missing a friend who has withdrawn, with whom I shared many interests and had many meaningful conversations.

Something new has come along, but I do not know where it will lead, if anywhere. Still, when an opportunity presents itself to teach me something, who am I to Waste it?

With long, strong flexible hands she speaks to me. They move fast as a bird's wing, but with many parts.

I have Finally found an instructor for ASL. My instructor is deaf-blind. A friend works here in town, from a more rural community, and drops off my teacher at 6:30 Am., then goes to work. I am in Immersion ASL until my instructor is picked up at about 3:45 P.M.

Now I can stay Up until 5:00 A.M., (with a nap for an hour in the afternoon) but Getting Up at 5:00 A.M., That is Hard. I don't usually fall asleep early, Even if I go to bed early.

After my first "class" this week I ached all over. My head ached from trying to remember so much, my neck and back ached from sitting up stilll and perfectly straight for so many hours, my eyes hurt from being Open so long, BUT, I Learned! I now have a vocabulary of about 60 words and numbers, practiced each day. My instructor is excelent! And a slave driver! She has more energy than me.

Since my first language is spoken English I am learning ASL signs but am using them in English word order. ASL IS a different language, with its own syntax and world view.

In the past I have encountered deaf people who refused to converse with me because I didn't know Their language. I already leave out many unnecessary words when signing, "the" in "Close the door" etc. But I have to wonder, with most deaf-blind people being deaf first and their first language being ASL, how many people will communicate with me?

I can understand the problem, like when most political candidates butcher Spanish in their attempts to speak it.

But I did Not choose the order in which my disabilities would occur. I don't know how refined my ASL will become, or how long I can run on this treadmill, one day a week for ASL means other activities, especially those using my hands (everything, I don't have a dish washer, gardener, electric can opener, etc.) must be pushed onto another day. My hands hurt most of the time now. But it is something which might be helpful both for me and to others if I learn to communicate well enough.

I hope to get at least to the stage of using what the founder of the National Theater of the Deaf, in Washington D.C. called meslish, a mix of ASL signs, some English word order, and some fingerspelling. But right now, even though I am Dedicated to doing this, it just seems hard and physically painful, when combined with the loss of both Ann, others, and the thing I want most to do.

But working with someone deaf makes me Very thankful for the hearing I have! I can still use audio books, turned up loud and with headphones,still hear music, birds if they're close, and conversation with one person at a time, if they are willing to repeat a few things.

We worked out our communication ok, my instructor knows some Braille and I know fingerspelling, though the way each person makes the letters is a bit different, depending upon length and shape of hand and fingers. Also, there are some regional variations in ASL, just as there are with any language. When either of us got too frustrated we'd grab the Braille writer and write a short phrase, "don't understand" or "When is lunch?" So that's what I am doing right now. I just Hope someone will talk with me when I have learned more.

You who are kind enough to read these posts know some of my objections to Facebook. I feel like Facebook invades my privacy, My next post will contain another reason Not to like it. But if I had been able, or will be able to begin an online store, I will have to set up a Facebook page, Bummer!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Would You Eat Half of an Agent Orange?

The article below may seem to have a misleading title. Of course it is meant to grab your attention.

But I don't want to eat and drink this stuff, on Top of Round Up! In Europe all foods containing genetically modified ingredients are Marked, so I don't have to buy them if I choose not to. This is Not the case here or in Canada. In Japan they are waiting to see what Americans Look like after about ten to fifteen years of eating genetically modified crops, which require Specific pesticides and herbicides.

I have been asked, "Haven't crops Always been genetically modified to increase yield?" It's a good question and here is the difference.

Throughout history women and men have noticed what plants produced the most food or the best tasting food. They did cross polinate the best Plants to get the best harvests. Animals were and are bred because they produce the richest milk, the most meat, etc.

But genetically engineered crops or Organisms, (GMO's) are genetically manipulated plants into which the geens of a bacteria not normally found in that plant may be added. They may contain genetic material from a plant which will Not naturally cross polinate (breed) with them, or genes from a fungus or virus not normally found in the plant or its normal soil. These plants may yield more corn, but sometimes experiments withsome plants, (such as potato for example) turn out plants toxic to humans in the third or later generations. Such plants have to be withdrawn from the market before being sold.

GMO's are also often fragile, requiring specific chemicals (made by the same companies which engineer the plants) to protect them from weeds or common garden and farm pests.

Another problem with GMO's is that when protected with large quantities of such chemicals, they Will cross polinated with Non-genetically Modified crops. Some farmers have been taken to court by these same chemical companies and accused of "stealing" their GMO crops, infringing on GMO Patent Rights. Sometimes these farmers Never Wanted anything to Do with genetically modified grain or soy.

For these reasons and those in the article below I respectfully ask you to consider signing the petition. I have had cancer twice, we had a dioxin (sorry about spelling) superfund clean up here in Southwest Mo. (it was the Whole of Agent Orange) which made farmers and animals sick, and who can say Which chemicals in Agent Orange took the health of our veterans from the Vietnam War?

Next week, the USDA will decide whether to allow Monsanto and Dow to introduce one
half of the chemical mixture Agent Orange into our food supply.
Widescale use of Roundup has led to a new generation of resistant weeds, and the
next step in the pesticide arms race is
2,4-D -- a chemical linked to cancer, Parkinson's and reproductive problems.
Farmers that sign up to use genetically-engineered 2,4-D-resistant corn will be required
to spray down their fields with both 2,4-D
Roundup, double-dosing our food, our soil and our waterways with the toxins. Some
experts estimate this will increase the use of 2,4-D 50-fold, even though
the EPA says the chemical is already our seventh-largest source of dioxins -- nasty,
highly toxic chemicals
that bioaccumulate as they move up the food chain and cause cancer, developmental
damage, and birth defects.
We can stop this
. The use of 2,4-D is banned entirely in parts of Canada and Europe, and right now
the US Department of Agriculture is accepting public comments on 2,4-D to decide
whether or not to approve the widespread industrial use of the toxin.
Add your name to our letter to the USDA urging them to deny approval for Dow's 2,4-D-resistant GMO corn.
This is part of a growing problem, an escalating herbicide war going on across America’s
heartland. From 1996 to 2008, herbicide usage increased by 383 million pounds. Nearly
half of this took place between 2007 and 2008 after the introduction of another strain
of herbicide-resistant plant pushed by Dow.
Like Roundup before it, 2,4-D is only a temporary solution
that will require more and more tons of toxins and more and more potent chemicals
leaching into our food supply.
2,4-D is nasty stuff and has been linked to a number of health problems, such as
tripling the rates of non-Hodgkins lymphoma in Nebraska farmworkers
exposed to it and causing reproductive problems -- birth defects and high rates of
miscarriage -- in both mice and men exposed to it in the lab and field.
Tell the USDA - we don’t want Monsanto’s toxic pesticide.
-Kaytee, Claiborne Taren and the rest of the team
Citations and further reading:
Overview of the toxic effects of 2,4-D
, Sierra Club, January 2005.
A Case-Control Study of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and the Herbicide 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid (2, 4-D) in Eastern Nebraska
, Epidemiology, 1990.
Reregistration Eligibility Decision for 2,4-D
, EPA, June 2005
chemicalWATCH Factsheet
, Beyond Pesticides, July 2004
GM Crops Increase Herbicide Use in the United States
, Institute of Science in Society, January 2010
Study Links Weed Killer to Reproductive Problems
, Los Angeles Times, September 2002
Agent Orange in Your Backyard: The Harmful Pesticide 2,4-D
, The Atlantic, February 2012
'Agent Orange' Corn: The next stage in the chemical arms race
, The Center for Food Safety, February 2012
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accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy.
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Monday, April 16, 2012

CPSIA, What to Do?

What I want: not to make children sick, to make some money and supplement my disability check, to give others, especially those with disabilities who are very marginalized a chance to Earn some money with Dignity; to use up cloth otherwise consigned to the dumpster or the land fill, to offer mothers who care what their kids play with an option for buying reasonably priced dolls which aren't dressed like sex workers, to educate others about the variety and beauty of dolls and clothing for dolls from around the world, to help just a bit to end suffering for people who are hungry, homeless, abused, don't have adquate clothing, need medical care, through Fair Trade. I also want to create and sell my own designed one of a kind doll outfits.

But there is CPSIA. Each time I ask a question, about phthalates in older dolls, about using cloth which Might have been sprayed with fire retardant chemicals Including phthalates, I feel like I'm damning myself to failure. It is very Depressing.

I am threatened with the loss of Medicaid, don't know if my landlord will raise the rent, am sometimes the butt of "welfare bum" jokes, but Cannot conduct a ligitimate business! I have an inventory Ready to sell, dolls of all ethnicities, with clothing which I have designed, some with Ann's help, and sewn and beaded. Sure, the beaded stuff goes to adults, no problem.

But the Fair Trade business people with whom I was looking So forward to orking with are all in a tailspin too. They can't afford ten thousand dollars per test to prove that one product line is safe. I can't either, obviously!

Sometimes I think I should just shut up, "don't ask, don't tell". But then I may be checked to see if I have certificates from each of my Fair Trade Suppliers, (at ten thousand bucks a pop) showing that a particular Batch of a product line is compliant with CPSIA.

It is to the advantage of huge multi-national toy companies like Mattel to drive smaller competitors Out of business. If we Avoid completely, lead based paint and opt for less bright colors, and if we work with Cloth and rubber for children's products, shouldn't That be Enough? Some Fair Trade businesses have ignored my letters of inquiry about CPSIA compliance, while others have panicked and are Trying, like me, to sort out What to do!

I was ready to purchase my small business license and get a Federal tax ID. when I heard about CPSIA. Now I ddon't know What to do. I don't think the adult doll collector's market will be large enough to sell to.

I have read, but Not on a Government website, that yarn, and cloth are exempt from CPSIA. If the yarn or cloth are Not Painted in any way, does Anyone know if this is true?

What I know logically is that I must comply with an unworkable law, or not run a tiny business at all. How I feel emotionally is "Thanks for trashing my dream of making enough money to not consider a purchase of laundry soap very carefully Before making it, and thanks for trashing my dream of being a deaf-blind person who has Done something she loves, and taken other people with disabilities up the ladder of hope with her!"

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I think bullying is a part of human nature. This Does Not Justify it and I am Not Condoning it!

When people are afraid they strike out. When they are insecure or not confident themselves, some try to get self-confidence at the expense of others. When people are beaten up some learn that this is the only road to power.

I think it amazing just How Much Bullying goes on under the noses of those responsible for the care of children and goes unpunished and ignored. Parents of kids who are bullies don't usually believe that Their son or daughter is bullying others.

It's not something an adult who was bullied severely wants to discuss. But when I got the E-mail below from our deaf-blind listserv I couldn't help but relate. I attended a school for the blind where the primary bullies were partially sighted boys. This young man attends or attended a school at least including deaf students. His bullies were those who were deaf and Sighted. Many common experiences.

One of the reasons I dislike Facebook is that so Many people use it to publicly humiliate or harrass one another. One would Think they Wouldn't Want to put their Worst foot forward. Then there are innumerable situations where person A says something via social media intended for person C. But person B or D or E, thinks it is intended for Them and gets hurt, scared, offended, strikes back. What a way Not to communicate.

Sometimes I think we humans who have lots o technology have used it so we can Avoid discussing Anything unpleasant face to face. This seems to lead to an ignorance of tactfully Trying to discuss anything face to face. It Is possible to say what's bothering you without grinding the other person into the dirt!

And where should the line be drawn between obnoxious "communication" and bullying?

I think deliberate attempts to cause physical or emotional pain or humiliation are bullying behaviors. When I was a teenager I hung around with a partially sighted guy because he could defend me from others, even though he hit me sometimes. There Was no alternative! So I played it like a game. I would set him up for public insults, he would hit me, but sometimes I still felt like I won. He would publicly humiliate me, I would bide my time for the next verbal volly. Part of it was just being a tough kid in a tough situation, which was the only kind I knew. By the time I was seven, (or younger) I must have had "victim" written in ink visible to bullies all over me.

Evidently it has Finally washed off, as I''m Not in those kinds of situations now. The principal and teachers watched and sometimes laughed as we kids hurt one another. And it still goes on.

All I can say to anyone considering suicide over constant misery inflicted by others is that neither school nor home will last, you Will get free! And No other person's opinion, no matter Who they are, is as valuable as your life can Become!

Hi all,
I just saw this video of a young man with Usher 1. He shares his feeling about being
bullied because of his vision loss. It's powerful. There are two versions. This
first link is just signed.
This second link has written subtitles.
I cannot find one with audio link but maybe your JAWS or other programs will provide
that for you. Beth

A friend read subtitles to me.

P.S. Blogger is throwing stuff into my "Labels" from Past posts, I do not know why, sorry.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Searching for a Book for How Long?

Last week I heard about a book by a journalist who had traveled across Africa, following the line which roughly divides Muslim from Christian communities. Evidently this line roughly corresponds to the tenth parallel, as that is the beginning of the book title. First I googled it, beginnin my search with "audio book" then the title. No problem, Amazon had it and So, allegedly, did

So I went to Audible and spent nearly Two Hours looking for it. The only title given on the BBC was, "The Tenth Parallel" and a description of the book. I kept trying to search for this as the book Title. I got Sci. Fi., love stories, history Other than the book I was seeking, etc. I filled out all of the categories I could find. This was a Nonfiction History book, I knew Part of the title, I wanted it Unabridged, in my particular reading format. Zilch!

My last try was just to type in "The Tenth Parallel" and see what happened, with no other info. GOT IT!

So, when I'm done with a couple of other books I'm listening to as I do house work and sewing, I will read This book. For a long time I have thought that more often than not religions get violent when they are used for political reasons. If there is a dispute over land, water rights, corrupt officials, occupation of a country by another, or over settlement patterns or the ways in which former colonial powers carved up the lands they ruled, with no regard for the composition or wishes of the local population, then Religion is used as a Political Weapon to get people enraged over these Political differences and ligitimate issues of Political Dispute. The thing I can't ever figure out is, do believers, both Christian and Muslim, Really think that Their God is a Separate one from the God of the other faith? If not, then Why would Their God want them to kill or burn places of His worship which are used by the other faith? The ones I distrust Most in this kind of situation are Politicians, both here in the U.S. and elsewhere, who Use Religion as a rallying cry to stir up fear, hatred, and to get votes. If they Truly Believe in God they might have a Lot to answer for on the Day of Reckoning, or Judgment Day.

But are my ideas wrong? That is why I want to read this book. Maybe I will learn some things I did not know which have Nothing to do with politics, past or present. I want to find out.

You would think an audio book company would make the search for a book easy, wouldn't you?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Government by Multi-Nationals?

Whether you agree or disagree with the laws discussed below, the part I Disagree with is the overbearing influence of multi-national corporations on our Government. That makes the article below interesting to me. Also, it makes me wonder which political changes I favor are being Blocked or Supported by corporations.

Johnson & Johnson funds ALEC, a group that wrote the law Trayvon Martin's killer
is hiding behind, as well as hundreds of other pro-corporate, anti-citizen laws in
dozens of states.
turn on images -- ALEC SMASH
Tell J&J and other ALEC Sponsors: stop funding right-wing legislation and stop writing
our laws.
Sign the Petition

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) may be the most powerful organization
you’ve never heard of. Their mission is simple:
ALEC helps corporations write laws for state legislatures to pass verbatim.
ALEC is behind everything from “Stand Your Ground”/”shoot first” laws
-- which George Zimmerman is using as his defense for shooting unarmed teenager
Trayvon Martin --
to Arizona's "show me your papers" immigration law
, written by for-profit prison companies to make even more money by putting more
people behind bars.
And who funds ALEC?
It’s not just who you’d expect -- Koch Industries, Exxon-Mobil, and the NRA.
It’s also Johnson & Johnson and dozens of other “family-friendly” brands.
Tell Johnson & Johnson and the rest of ALEC’s funders to stop supporting attacks on their own consumers.
ALEC can no longer hide out in anonymity. In the last few months, The Washington
Post, The New York Times, and NPR have all chronicled ALEC’s outsized influence.
Boasting membership of 2,000 state legislators and 300 corporate sponsors,
ALEC has come to dominate legislative agendas across the nation, presenting state
legislators with bills pre-written by the corporations themselves, many of which
are voted into law word-for-word.
Has your state adopted a “Stand Your Ground” law as well? Thank ALEC. Pushed for
laws making it harder for minorities and the poor to vote? That’s ALEC too. Attacked
unions? Undermined the President’s health care legislation? Weakened environmental
regulation? Passed tax breaks for corporations? Privatized government services? These
laws were all written by the very corporations or special-interest groups that they
But we are fighting back!
One by one, progressive groups are peeling off corporate support for ALEC. Under
pressure from consumers like you,
Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, Intuit, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have all
fled from ALEC.
Now let’s take the fight to Johnson & Johnson -- which makes everything from Band-Aids
to baby shampoo -- AT&T, State Farm and the rest of ALEC’s donors.
Add your name to our petition to ALEC sponsors telling them quit now, before they’re the only one left.
Thank you for all that you do.
Claiborne, Kelsey, Kaytee and the rest of us
More information:
Corporate interests fuel group’s desire to shape Va. legislation, critics say
", Washington Post, 21 Dec 2011
EXPOSED: The Corporations Funding The Annual Meeting Of The Powerful Right-Wing Front Group ALEC
", ThinkProgress, 5 Aug 2011
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Selling Older Dolls

I have gone to the CPSC Government website and looked up recalls back to 2003. Except for a couple of small action figures and some fast food toys, there is NO recall of Dolls, just their accessories. Sometimes their kitchens, houses, etc. Are recalled due to Excess lead paint. And Plastic clothing is a No NO. But there are not recalls of fashion Dolls alone.

I have read that there is some concern about phthalate chemicals leaking out of older fashion dolls, but don't have any claification on this point. I've written the gentleman, Mr. Neal Cohen, who gave the webcast on CPSIA on April 5th. He has been very helpful, as I couldn't get some of the links to work which he suggested, and had to enlist the aid of a kind sighted friend toget info. from them.

Does anyone else know about laws concerning the resale of older fashion dolls to children? And is there a problem either with silk drapery scraps or upholstery brocade samples? I would appreciate info. being shared and will share any which I receive. Thanks.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Purpose of Fair Trade?

At this point it looks like I will have to sell dolls and their accessories ONLY to adults, not because they are pornographic, but because they May not meet CPSIA standards and I do not have the money to conduct expensive testing.

The fact is: we already Had our Industrial evolution, children chewed on lead paint, no one but major manufacturers knew what phthalates were, and now we're "post-industrial."

The Buddha, about 2500 years ago outlined what a person's duty to their parenst was. It was to provide: medical care, shelter, food, and clothing. Even in the West today these four basic elements are not always met, not only for Seniors but for children.

The Purpose of "fair trade" was and is to provide some of the poorest people in the world a chance to have these four basic needs met through the work of their own hands, and to better the lot of their children by providing education. I am Not saying "fair trade" was founded on Buddhist principles. People of many religions chose to purchase "fair trade" items because they want to help others profit from their work in Fair working conditions.

I am also not saying it's ok to poison children with lead paint or any other toxic substance.

What I Am saying are the following three things. 1. Some "fair trade" products may be quite safe and we, who might purchase them will never know. We won't know because the testing of all component parts of a product is SO expensive that neither the artisans who produce it nor the small importers who bring it to us can Afford Required testing. 2. We Had our industrial revolution. Now other countries are having theirs. It is simply a fact that quality is often sacrificed in favor of quantity and profit when any country is in the grip of major industrialization. "Fair trade" tries to combat Profit as the Only driving motive of manufacturing by working largely with rural, illiterate, ignored, and disabled groups of people. 3. I wish microfinance loans could be given to groups of "fair trade" artisans to come into CPSIA compliance, so that the artisans and their children could be as safe as our children are supposed to be under CPSIA, and we who wish to begin or continue small "fair trade" imports would not Lose our businesses. This means, of course, that the artisans in developing nations lose a part of their market share, putting them at greater risk of lack of shelter, food, education, and clothing.

I asked a friend who has relatives in Greece to see if he could contact them and find out if there was a way I could participate in helping disabled people their to sell things they had made here. They have lost many "safety net" aids since the austerity measures Greece has been forced to take to remain in the Euro Zone. Now I am wondering what Euro Zone regulations are regarding lead and phthlate content for items "appealing" to children agees 12 and under. Do they make an exception for "fair trade" items when Greek people could afford them? I'll have to try and find out what the Euro Zone reg.s are.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Great Books to Learn From

Last night when I couldn't sleep I finished reading an audio book by Geraldine Brooks, Australian born journalist and historical fiction author. It was the fourth book I was able to find in audio written by Ms. Brooks. I would recommend each of the four to readers. I didn't read them in chronological order, but I learned from each and Enjoyed the learning process.

I first read "The Year of Wonders", the story of a woman's battle to save as many people in her English village from the bubonic pleague as possible. I then read "Nine Parts of Desire" which described the lives of Muslim women in different countries and Ms. Brooks' conversion to Judiism. Then I read "People of the Book" the story of a North African Muslim girl and how she came to appear in the illustrated book of a Jewish religious ceremony. "Caleb's Crossing" the story of the first Native man to graduate from Harvard, is the book I finished last night.

In each of these books I have learned about the mind sets common to various groups of people, and Ms. Brooks' attention to accurate detail without becoming boring is a wonderful way to learn. Being historically accurate means not necessarily being pleasant, but what I have learned has given me a better understanding of the cultures and times Ms. Brooks has written about.


This week has been incredibly busy. It's always annoying when people ask "Well what do you do with all of your free time?" Free Time?

Logically I know this question comes from their assumption about themselves, "If I were totally blind and had those hearing aids I just don't know how I could have a life." But when I am tired and sore from work, it feels Very annoying.

The fact is, most of us, disabled or not, do what we have to because we Have to or if we're lucky, we Want to.

A couple of friends and I have been building an organic garden in my back yard so that we can have a permanent place to grow healthy food. All of us have some disability or other. Like with Ann, I'm the "step and fetch it". But I can't keep up with the 20 something friend who put the wood frame for the garden bed together.

None of us is physically strong enough to strip back the sod, so, black plastic contractor bags weighted down with the garden frame and the layers on top to kill it out. Sand for drainage, spagnum moss to hold water until there is enough that it needs to drain, 1700 pounds of dirt, oops, forgot the grossest part, compost from food cores, coffee grounds, and science experiments from the fridge. Then cover with dirt. A friend who hadn't worked with compost before asked for a bandana for her nose. Then she asked if I minded if she threw up in it. I laughed and told her to barf in the garden, more compost. Then said I didn't care, so long as it got into the washer without Me having to touch it. She didn't throw up, but she had good cause for the question.

Above the dirt, bails of straw. We haven't decided, or I haven't, about plastic bags either held down with rocks, (best crop in the Ozarks) or heavy wire we shape like staples, for the top. I like doing this because it keeps bird droppings containing seeds from having the seeds sprout. I Hate weeding and this usually keeps a garden nearly weed free.

I fell while hauling a bag of sand and sprained my wrist. And I had an eye infection from a sty which went Under my eyelid, to the Inside. Never had that before, gave me headaches.

So, this week I went to Dr. made big batch of sugarless granola with only some dried fruit in it, cooked batch of sweet potatoes, added veggies and more hot spice to Delicious curry a gardening friend donated to the cause and cooked that, went to Sam's Club with someone who has a membership, stocked up on dish soap, (I'm often the dish washer, no machines) TP, stuff like that.

The canary was/is sick, takes an hour a day to do his medicated seed and water, plus feeding cat, dog, taking dog out, and giving dog his meds.

Listened to a very helpful and informative webcast from Consumer Products Safety Commission, Thank You, Lynn, for the info.

Still much research to do, may have to sell fashion dolls for whom I've made clothing to Only adult Collectors, which may slow down any business I start Considerably. This is due to fact that they don't meet newer lead and phthalate content standards. So, If I should ever get a business off of the ground, you grownups Stop Chewing on the dolls!

As for Fair Trade from wholesalers employing people with disabilities? What a Mess! They are some of the most Shut Out, Marginalized people in the World, but if their products aren't compliant with our safety laws for kids, goods must be sold Only to people Over 12 years in age. I don't know if it will ever happen that I Can supplement my income and help other disabled people survive.
The difficulty of working with disabled people here is that I cannot read the print forms and don't have the resources to document that, yes, this person has a real disability. With Fair Trade wholesalers overseas, they tend to have a work place for only deaf people, blind people, people who cannot walk, etc.

So I ask myself what constructive thing I can do instead, and I don't know. First, more research to see if there is Any way to do what I have dreamed of for years and was about ready to begin when I heard about the newest regulations. I have no wish to harm kids. But I have a Great wish to assist disabled people here and elsewhere.

Medicaid cuts in Mo.? We're waiting to see what the Senate and the Governor do, the House has already passed them. "If Onlys" are a waste of time. But I DO wish I had ignored all those people who told me I was doomed to fail and started my business Sooner. I believed them for too long.

Without Medicaid, wonder what I would have done about the infection inside my lower eyelid which hurt each time I blinked, scraping that lid across my artificial eye.

And I keep thinking of Treyvon Martin. Why hasn't something been done about arresting his Killer? If I do not spell his name correctly, it is Not out of disrespect. I haven't seen his name written in Braille. I heard an NPR story yesterday about Seatle (how do you spell that?) Police shooting a Native homeless man who was carrying a knife and a piece of wood. He was told to drop the knife and didn't, so they shot him. He didn't threaten the police with the knife, just hung onto it and died. And Treyvon Martin carried Tea and Candy! In Seatle a shop lifter was punched in the ribs and held while pepper sprayed in the face, according to the NPR report. And I always wanted to visit there bedause there is a large deaf-blind community there. Now I'd be afraid to go there. If I failed to hear a police command would I be shot?

Is the conservative movement which would "Let Steve die" and is balancing budgets on the backs of the poor feeling so afraid that the fear is turning to rage? Or is it just that no one who is Importannt enough Cares?

Walked the dog this week, (as usual,) with help from healthcare aide (may be gone with Medicaid cuts if they pass) read through mail and paid rent and other bills, and looked through grocery adds to see if anything I needed was on sale. There were also some garden clothes which needed spray spotting before washing. I knew the General area that needed it, but was thankful for the help of someone who could thoroughly hit the right areas.

On the positive feeling side, I received a Braille Display f if I cannot hear the difference between an F and an S in computer speech, or a D from a t, a B from a V, a B from a P, a D, from a T, (this often happens) I'll be able to Read it in my One Language, instead of spending time going Over and Over it with speech. When reading words via speech it isn't a problem all the time because, like most people with a significant hearing impairment I pick up a lot from context. If I can't understand a word the computer speaks I just reread the sentence or paragraph and can usually figure it out. But this take time.

It is crucial when spelling someone's name, dealing with an E-mail or physical address, to get the letters Right and this is an area where the context isn't much help. I already know I'm working with an address, but whether it's Suite D or Suite T could make a crucial difference.

I read through the manual and am excited about learning to use the Braille Display. Another advantage is that I can type in the contracted Braille books are written in, and if I send you mail it will show up on your monitor as ordinary print. Writing in contracted Braille is much faster for me than typing out everything letter by letter.

But for some reason, those who designed "computer Braille" didn't use the ordinary Braille punctuation, like I do when taking personal notes. So I'll have to learn a new system. It will be like when I learned Spanish Braille. There are only six dots to make Braille with, so when Braille is used in another language than English symbols have different meanings. The same is true with computer Braille. An example from English to Spanish Braille is that a symbol standing for the letters "er" (made by one symbol in English) becomes the symbol for the "ny" sound of an N with a tildeor in Spanish Braille. Complex but workable.

Another thing which happened this week is a friend with a computer with much more memory than mine and added features is replacing his computer and has offered his old one, which is six years, (at least) newer than mine. to me. If this happens I can donate my computer, which is quite old but still working, to an organization which rehab.s computers for blind people who fall through the cracks and have no computer access, or I think I can.

Thank you AGAIN Blogger! Had to answer phone and you Lost a chunk of this post, then required me to sign in to find what was left and edit it. Oh yah, in my free time I try to keep a blog going. No time this week to read those of others. And when I'm not doing any of these things I am sewing or beading, one bead at a time.

The fastest sighted readers can read between 20 to 25 pages an hour, out loud. So adds and bill paying are Quite time consuming!

Ann and I used to buy a piece of lamb, every couple of years. I bought some this year and already miss Ann to share it with. My hope is that I can still enjoy it. It was a huge treat for the two of us, as we both love the taste, but it is so expensive.

May those of you who celebrate Easter have a very Happy one!