Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Deepest Appreciation To The Idiots Who Made The "Homeless" Blind Possible.

If you haven't caught it, I'm raging angry. I have been angry for years over legislation that came about in the mid 90's. The Americans With Disabilities Act. In theory, we (now liberated) blind would "force" the able-bodied to "fairly accommodate" us. I still remember the yoga-like chant which rose from all quarters: "With the properer accommodations, we (blind) can do anything". Do you mean, you would be willing to have a totally blind neurosurgeon, auto, train, or plane jockey? Then I was mocked, as one who was just not "getting it".

Friends, I tried to live the lie of "everything is possible", my religious friends not withstanding. There is a rule in life:

Everyone Has Limits!

I hate to break this to some of you, but life involves circumstances and choices. No, we did not choose to be blind, but we have choices to make about dealing with being blind. From what I've seen of the post-ADA world, that little gem has and is causing a world of unanticipated and unintentional hurt, which could have been prevented, if people had really thought it through.

Take a look at this article. Note how this blind man is HOMELESS, and the reasons sited as to WHY. All the ADA has done is put more money into lawyers hands and stripped the blind, of what used to be "available" housing. This is one of those times I hate being correct. Read this and weep, NFB! (National Federation of the Blind)

You want to come after me with a law suit? I'm unemployed, live in a twelve foot by twelve foot room with a sink, no bathroom, heat, or closet. Don't qualify for subsidized housing because the "homeless" and the "aids" patients always bump me down the list. Oh, come on, you want to sue me? I'll put up the daily court transcripts on this blog to show the world, who, at least, some of you are, and what you are really about. By-the-way, that palatal estate mentioned above costs almost half of my total social security income. I CHOSE these circumstances, because I no longer have to sleep with a hammer under my pillow at night because of the crime INSIDE the building! Oh, thank-you all so much for the ADA!

He said, they said: Did trolley cops do a blind man wrong?
By Kelly Davis
San Diego CityBEAT, CA,August 23, 2006

Emmett Smith's not sure exactly where on the wall he was sitting when it
happened-could have been one section over, he says-but it was close to the
midway point along Imperial Avenue between 13th and 14th streets. He was
sitting on the 3-foot-high wall that surrounds Petco's "tailgate park"
parking lot, underneath the ivy-covered awning on the lot's perimeter. It
was July 18, around 7 p.m., and the Padres were about to take the field in a
game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

On his lap Smith had a Tupperware container with a mix of high-grade and
lower-grade marijuana; he was mixing it up, breaking up the larger pieces by
feel. He says he heard a man's voice say, "Whoa, look at that," and then,
Smith said, the container was jerked from his hands.

Smith has glaucoma, one of the ailments listed by name in the text of
Proposition 215, the 1996 voter-approved ballot initiative that allows
people to use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. Marijuana, Smith
says, cuts down on the painful inner-eye pressure glaucoma causes. Smith is
also legally blind-a detached retina, the result of a boxing injury, left
him with no sight in his right eye and his glaucoma is too far-gone to
correct. A doctor told him he'll likely be completely blind within six
months. He has no peripheral vision in his left eye, and when pressure
builds up, he sees only shapes and shadows.

The downside to using marijuana for glaucoma is that it requires a person to
smoke a lot to get relief-something Smith, who hadn't used marijuana until a
year or so ago, isn't happy about. But, he says, the marijuana helps him see
clearer, "like you're adjusting a camera." Smith, who bears a resemblance to
Jack Nicholson-but with longer hair-wears large, dark wraparound glasses and
carries a mobility cane. He's also homeless. He worked up until he lost his
sight three years ago, managing a club in Las Vegas. Now he gets by on
Social Security and lives at St. Vincent de Paul Village, just a block over
from the parking lot. He's been looking for a place to rent since
September-he can afford up to $600 a month-but no one will rent to him, he
said, because his impaired vision makes him a liability.

St. Vincent de Paul, an enclave for the homeless and working poor, doesn't
allow drug use, medicinal marijuana included, on its city-block-size East
Village property, so Smith found what he thought was a safe spot to smoke
marijuana, down the street from St. Vincent's-he's had joints ripped from
his mouth elsewhere downtown, he said-at a spot that doesn't get too much
foot traffic, especially not families and kids. Smith says the San Diego
police officers who patrol the area know who he is. He's been ticketed once
for possession, but the officer, Smith said, came back later and tore up the

"The [San Diego Police Department] has been nothing but nice," Smith said.
"I show them my [doctor's recommendation], and they walk away. They know I
don't sell, and they know I don't share."

When he felt someone grab the container from his hands, Smith's boxer's
instincts kicked in. He thought he'd just been robbed and he jumped up,
ready to fight, but one of the men-Smith says he could make out three guys
who he assumed where heading to the baseball game-pushed him back down. As
Smith remembers, one of the guys said, "We're undercover."

"Undercover who?" Smith asked. "They wouldn't tell me where they were from."

Smith says he followed the men across the street and into the transit
station at 12th and Imperial. There they told him they were undercover
trolley security and cited Smith for possessing marijuana on Metropolitan
Transit District property (the wall Smith was sitting on when the marijuana
was seized is not within MTS jurisdiction).

Smith says he showed the officers his doctor's recommendation, which, he
says, he carries with him at all times in his knapsack. The security
officers told him it wasn't valid and threatened to handcuff him, Smith
said, when he demanded they return his marijuana.

Dennis Jackson, a security captain with the San Diego Metropolitan Transit
System, confirmed that the incident occurred but said he couldn't comment on
Smith's version of events because it's a pending court case. "That's his
version; my officers have a different version," he said. As for MTS policy
on medical marijuana, "If you have a doctor's slip on you, then it's fine.
But you can't use [medical marijuana] on our property." Smith, Jackson said,
was arrested on MTS property.

An attorney at St. Vincent de Paul referred Smith to Patrick Dudley, a San
Diego lawyer who's represented medical-marijuana users. Dudley says it's
likely the San Diego City Attorney won't prosecute Smith, who's been charged
with a misdemeanor and is scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 29. But Dudley
will have to ask a judge to order MTS to return Smith's marijuana. Dudley
says he's talked to a witness who corroborates Smith's version of events.

"If my officers were wrong," Jackson said, "then his marijuana would be
returned it and that would be a training issue that we would discuss with
the officers in the future."

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