this was done earlier this month but maybe you haven't seen it yet. it's good. I wrote a big ol' blog post with plenty of angry polemics but maybe the posters here can come up with some good stuff.
Soto is paralyzed from the shoulders down but does not let that keep her from doing advocacy work for people with disabilities at a Los Angeles independent living center. Using her mouth, she can operate a computer trackball and type numbers into a phone with a Popsicle stick. Several times a week, an aide helps her into an electric wheelchair so she can take the train to work.
Most of the $800 she earns a month goes toward work expenses, including paying someone to feed her lunch. She has relied on $723 a month in SSI to cover rent and utilities. In July, the state reduced its portion of the grant for single beneficiaries like Soto to the federal minimum, shaving $15 from her income.
The same month, the state began charging Medi-Cal beneficiaries copayments of $5 for prescriptions, $50 for emergency room visits and up to $200 for hospital stays. Soto has five prescriptions and went to the hospital four times last year. “That can really add up,” she said.
But the cuts that worry her most are those to the In-Home Supportive Services program, which is paying for about nine hours of care a day. The two women who have been assisting Soto for more than a decade have told her they will have to look for other jobs if their hours are cut again. Without them, she fears she would have to go into a nursing home.
“Oh, my gosh. That’s no way to live,” she said. “I wouldn’t be able to continue working. I would lose my quality of life…. I think I would rather just die.”
- From LA Times
Does anyone have any ideas? There’s a movement from Adbusters of all places to occupy Wall St. on September 17th. Yet Wall St. is more fortified than the White House nowadays. The rich of this Gilded Age are isolated and live in jets and fortresses. They don’t just hire security – they hire media firms and think tanks and create a culture of docile security. Our prisons are overflowing and our heads are empty. We elected a man who ran on “change” and he delivered us more of the same but in the way of a grotesque pornographic minstrel show for the rich. Do we see how tight the noose gets before we start thinking how to get out of this? I’ve been toying with ideas around grassroots democracy at local levels, community (re)building on small scales as the Great American Federal Age fades to a fiery sunset. Youth empowerment, that sort of thing. There needs to be a foundation of civil society for that to work, though, and I fear it’s all been shot to hell by secular self-medicated psychiatry. At least, this is what my mother tells me as she grades papers. It’s what I see in the educated, unemployed, and going-nowheres, the depressed and dejected activists who had to move back home. So, seriously… does anyone have any ideas?