*From the NYTimes
*From the NYTimes
My brain works in bullet points on mornings I haven’t had enough sleep but, for whatever reason, can’t go back to sleep. Consider this a cleaning session.
See? That’s my brain waking up, and there’s typically anger involved in the clearing of the fog. Kind of like learning.
Okay, now I need to edit, edit, edit, work, get hair cut, go to library, go to bank, etc. etc.
I know, shocking, isn’t it? The Times is full of good articles today*, including one on an amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act from 1990. The way the law was originally set up placed the burden of proof of disability on the disabled person, and if that person managed her disability well–with or without the aid of medication or other services–the government could argue against the claim of disability, particularly in a case of employer dicrimination. Here’s a brief exerpt from the article:
Lawmakers said that people with epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis and other ailments had been improperly denied protection because their conditions could be controlled by medications or other measures. In a Texas case, for example, a federal judge said a worker with epilepsy was not disabled because he was taking medications that reduced his seizures.
In deciding whether a person is disabled, the bill says, courts should not consider the effects of “mitigating measures” like prescription drugs, hearing aids and artificial limbs. Moreover, it says, “an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.”
Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, the chief sponsor of the bill, said: “The Supreme Court decisions have led to a supreme absurdity, a Catch-22 situation. The more successful a person is at coping with a disability, the more likely it is the court will find that they are no longer disabled and therefore no longer covered under the A.D.A.”
This is such a positive step. Much of the body of laws and agencies set up to protect and assist people who need help are skewed against those who want to help themselves, but still need a safety net. Representative Jim Langevin calls the bill “one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation of our time.”
Hooray for good news!
*I know, the financial crisis. I don’t have a damn dollar invested in these failing banks, mutual funds, etc., and like high gas prices, this development will only be good in the long run. Read Roger Cohen’s Times article today, titled “The King is Dead,” for one perspective on potential effects of the meltdown.
Is everyong going to watch Palin tonight? I’m going to try. Even though conventions are just pep rallies, and the debates are the public appearances that matter, her convention speech is still her official introduction. I don’t think a large amount of people watched the speech she gave when she accepted the Republicans’ offer (lest we remain comfortable with the notion that McCain chose her; he wanted Lieberman, but the party people said they’d throw their full support behind him only if he chose Palin).
I tried to watch some last night. PBS is, without a doubt, the only station to watch. Not only do they cover all of the speeches (at least in the evening; I’ve never checked to see if they run anything during the day), but they avoid the endless garbage coming out of the mouths of most of the network folks.
Anyhow, I turned coverage on during GW’s satellite speech and, well, noun-verb-9/11. Then came Fred Thompson’s speech, which made me run from the room and hide behind a closed door. He was the initial GOP candidate who scared me during the primary–until he showed even less spunk than McCain. He still freaks me out; I know it’s irrational, but ET still freaks me out, too. The speech (even though I couldn’t see it, I could still hear it) wasn’t very good, but Republicans don’t like good speeches–they don’t trust anyone who might be smarter than Joe the cable guy–so it was a roaring success. While watching the Dems at their convention, I often wondered at these “true believers” in the crowd, but the true believers in the GOP are a whole other beast. And I mean that quite literally; these people are absolutely alien to me. Barack Obama will eat your babies!
And then came Lieberman. Not a baby-eater, but one weird dude. I sat and watched his whole speech, tepid applause and all. I found myself not disagreeing with many of the ideas he mentioned, things like putting country before party, and caring about our fellow citizens without the encouragement of a natural disaster, but these aren’t values the GOP stands for. He got virtually no applause for the mildly Democratic notions he put forth, but rousing applause whenever he raised the volume of his voice and said “McCain!” or anything about defeating Obama. I can’t help but feel that racism is the entire foundation of the GOP. Maybe I’ll explore that idea in another post.