Monday, December 20, 2010


Twenty years ago California passed a laws to make our total environment accessible to wheelchairs and other disabilities. This included all apartments and commercial buildings. Money was no object. The Feds followed soon after following California’s pioneering efforts. The concept of “Cost Benefit Ratio” is an unknown concept with our government entities. These laws are always easily passed, as no politician would vote no on such a controversial law. I’m not bitching about the fact that such laws are passed, but how such laws are written and interpreted as a zero tolerance concept. Such laws as the ADA (Americans with Disability Act) , are so complicated and fuzzy the spawned groups who made a good living off it.
Initially no one knew who was in charge of enforcing these laws. Building officials didn’t know much about the law, but it soon became prevalent in all aspects of our lives, buses, trains, streetcars had to retrofit in a hurry to avoid huge penalties from individuals & groups who had their rights violated.. There is virtually no way to win such a lawsuit for a small business but cities & large corporations scrambled to conform.
The concept of the ADA is that all people, regardless of their infirmity, must be able to use all facilities like the rest of humanity. They make absurd claims that 40 million Americans are handicapped. This means partial blind, deaf or just a broken leg from your skiing accident.
Let’s take a look at the area that really upsets me, the replacement of all curb ramps in all intersections in all the cities and towns of the U.S. I’m not complaining about a curb ramp has to be installed where there is none. My problem rests where I see a ramp being jack-hammered out after five years in order to install the newer, upgraded design. You’ve seen these replaced with a slightly different slope, a nice bright yellow feely pad, plus a level area at the bottom fills up with water when it rains.
The costs of the upgrades add up to an astronomical amount. I’ve checked with various cities and I’m told each one costs about $5,000, if there are no problems or infrastructure to change. Does anyone not believe that a powerful lobby pushed thru these new versions that require the yellow pads, which cost about $350 each. Just do the math, Sebastopol has about 100 intersections times four ramps equals a couple of million dollars. Meanwhile our roads are falling apart due to lack of funds.
Nobody seems to be upset by these costs, as they say, well, the Feds pay for all this. But I see that my taxes pay for all this. I don’t mind doing it once, but changing ramps every 5 - 10 years is plain crazy. Zero tolerance is also part of the problem, 1/4" tolerance in most cases. Well, the world is not made that way. If not, the Department of Injustice will see to it that you are punished.

Democracy People meet & exercise the government in person
(For small areas only)
Republic People assemble & administer it by their representatives & agents
(Large areas only)
Senate Two reps/State
House of Representatives By population. About 30,000 per rep.?

So you see, we don’t want to impress Democracy on the world, we want to get everyone to form a republic. Let’s get with it, Talibans!

But Sparta, Athens, Rome & Carthage were Republics, although they didn’t let the riff- Raff vote, only landholders.

Recently, I finished reading THE FEDERALIST, 85 essays written by Madison, Jefferson and Jay (Who’s he?), in about three months just prior to the ratification of the Constitution in 1888. It has become the classical interpretation of the Constitution. I had always wanted to read it and lo & behold, there it appeared at the Graton Post Office where we leave and pick up books.
I had always thought the Federlists were people who wanted too much power for a Federal government, but it turns out they were just rational , intelligent beings who wanted to have a government of all 13 colonies. There’s all kind of interesting shit in there, like, some states wanted to break up into 3 nations, or two nations instead of just one United States. (North and South, for instance).
These gents gave detailed arguments pro and con for all the issues of our proposed Constitution. For instance, if the House of Representatives consisted of one rep for 30,000 people of a state, how do you figure in the slaves, as they represented about 20% of the population? Well, they finally considered that they weren’t exactly chattel or all human so they figured each slave was about 3/5th of a person.
These short essays appeared about every two days for months, considering such things as how long should a president serve? Two years? Four may be best. How long for Senators? For Representatives? For Judges? Interestingly, the president was not voted by the popular vote, but by the Electorial College, who were representatives of the people, maybe they still do, I can’t tell. Also, the State Legislatures woere to elect the Senators. What happened to that? A lot of stuff came from the structure of some states legislatures and governors. But our division of power into thirds: Executive, Legislative & Judicial was unique in all of history. Adams seemed to be the heavy when it came to researching the history of republics, including Greece and such.
They spent lot of time on how to pay for a Federal Gov., and the thought of a personal Income tax didn’t enter their minds. A Bill of Rights was defeated but finally added in 1791 as the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution..
What is really amazing is the Constitution is only seven pages long.
Think about that.

We’ve lost it. Culture doom. Pets with Disabilities Act. It has come to my attention that when your pet has a major health problem, we have unlimited options for assisted living. Owners (Only in America) will go to any extreme to facilitate their pet’s mobility and health. In lieu of “putting them down” or “euthanizing” , no matter how painful it is for us, we can’t call it “killing the little sucker”. Old dog become paralyzed in his hind legs? His spine has collapsed? You can choose between a vet bill of several thousand dollars or buy a canine Cart from Eddie’s Wheels. They will ship out a wheeled gismo for your cat, dog, bunny, goat, sheep or alpaca for only a couple of thousand bucks. Who in hell in his right mind would buy a pet from “Pets with Disabilities”? Independent Animal Rescue in North Carolina paid $2300 for surgery on a CAT that had a broken leg! We spend $48 BILLION on pet products per year! That may be more than we spend on our kids! The pet food aisles in our markets are larger than some European stores!
Even worse! ‘Three Dog Bakery’ franchise will prepare a “Feast fit for the Beast” of Lamb Wellington, Kibble, spinach dip & pumpkin pie all for $20! I’m not even going to get into Pet psychiatrists, Massues & chiropractors. Does anyone here think we are pampering our pets too much?
After all that, I have a confession to make. My first wife, Joyce came with a male red cat named “Red”. While living in Malibu he got run over on the Coast Highway, which resulted in his two back legs broken to smithereens. We didn’t have much income at the time but Joyce, who probably would have thought twice before paying for my hospital bill of broken legs, paid hundreds of dollars to her vet to fix up old Red. I have to admit, he faired pretty well during a long convalescent period with his entire hind end wrapped up in a cast with the tail sticking out of it. It wasn’t long before he mastered the art of walking on his front legs, his rear end up in the air. He even was able to hop up on chairs with his balancing act. After he got out of his cast he walked with hardly a limp. Of course, he only lived another couple of years so Joyce really didn’t get her money’s worth.