Trump’s House of Cards

cardsThe implosion of our current administration is imminent and patience is necessary for those waiting in the wings. President Donald Trump hit the ground running on his first day with a to-do list that stoked the fire of his base. One thing we can say for sure is that what we see is what we get. Everything being signed by the president is consistent with what he promised. The attitude is also no surprise. He was tweeting before and he will continue to tweet. Many Americans knew about the character of Donald Trump before the election, which is in part why they did not vote for him. It is the character, not the politics or policy that is dangerous.

A simple clue as to what type of person our President is can be seen in his reaction to situations. When called upon in public life to behave in a certain way, follow a particular protocol or honor a tradition, the expectation of decency and respect are accepted norms. It has become quite obvious that our new President does not care to adhere to these norms and continues to use that rogue attitude to fan the fire of his supporters. Though this is disappointing and frustrating, if it were only misogyny or non-nonconformity we might still be okay. The danger is that the vulgar lack of decorum is just the tip of the iceberg. We also have a man in the oval office that is not a fan of facts.

So how do we deal with a President who refuses to read, study, listen or adhere to basic protocol? What can citizens, agencies, officials and the press do to monitor an elected official who is paid by the people but refuses to allow transparency and follow guidelines? Normally the press would inform the citizens of all activities, the laws and protocols would ensure fidelity, and voting would make the changes when necessary. The difference in 2017 is that President Trump is attempting to block the ability of the press, citizens, law and protocol to do anything that might interfere with his agenda.

There is, however a weakness in this administration. It is the need to be “the greatest,” and a strong drive to be on top which elicits emotional reaction to any obstacle or opposition. The aftermath of this weakness is public tirades, poor judgment and decision making or revenge. While a bit scary regarding international affairs, rest assured that the obvious and most egregious missteps will not be allowed to come to fruition by the seasoned members of the administration.

The typical result of continued unchecked reactional behavior is an implosion as self-control becomes difficult and outbursts become regular. The only defense for the person is excuses, blame and untruths which become difficult to manage. Once their defense begins to unravel the person must create diversions with unsubstantiated accusations or fabrications that bolster their own cause. Here then lies the weakness. The same ego that drives the madness will also refuse the rules that maintain integrity. Security involving communication, language that may be misinterpreted, delicate relationships that have been built over time all become the weapons that eventually turn on the irrational user. Additionally, the tendency to use vocal and written propaganda that rallies the base will also become a weapon of self-destruction after reacting inappropriately to baiting by those with more intelligent and shrewd strategic skill. Patience and strategy are not the strong suit of one who operates through uncontrollable reactionary emotion.

How do we deal with this new administration? Just keep telling the truth, pushing the buttons, throwing out the fishing line loaded with bait, show a rising number in opposition and build an army of qualified individuals to wait in the wings. @womensmarch  @indivisible @factcheckdotorg are just a few of the watchful entities that are doing what is necessary to monitor the situation. As citizens we must stay informed, be patient and allow the ego driven administration to implode. Much like a neutron star, what will be left is a harmless but heavy mass to be moved aside and replaced by a strong and steady balanced system.

 

Should the disabled have jobs?

Should the disabled have jobs? Does that question make you uncomfortable? Are you not sure how to answer or do you immediately know how to answer? Equal opportunity says yes, they sJoe1hould be allowed and certainly have the right. If you own a business or are a manager in charge of hiring, would you hire someone with a disability? What if their methods were different but the results were the same? What if they did a near perfect job of completing the task but it took a little longer than a worker without a disability?

These questions and more are important for you to ask and have answers to right now. There is a bill being pushed in Congress regarding the 14 c Subminimum Wage law. The bill, introduced by Rep. Greg Harper  known as H.R. 831, is being touted as a way to free people with disabilities from being taken advantage of.  It will do away with 14c and require that all people including those with disabilities be paid at least the minimum wage rate.  At face value, especially if you are not familiar with the world of vocational training and employment for adults with disabilities, this seems like an easy decision. Yes, of course, why shouldn’t they be paid minimum wage like every one else?

In 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed.  In the law was a provision for allowing special wages for populations under particular circumstances.  The section known as 14c stated that certificates would be granted under strict guidelines that allowed a sub minimum wage to be paid to workers with disabilities. The intention was to encourage companies to employ these workers and be able to pay them according to their productivity.

Since that time, at least in my state of California, agencies have popped up to assist individuals with developmental disabilities (Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome, etc.)  in vocational training and job support. With funding through the state Department of Rehabilitation, thousands and thousands of adults through the years have benefitted from employment. The benefits include many things such as a paycheck to use for whatever they want, development of social as well as vocational skills, healthy activity for mental and physical well-being, etc.  The programs provide opportunities for the most challenged individuals who could work at a piece rate in a Work Activity Program (also known as a sheltered workshop), and also for those individuals who have the potential to work independently with just a little support to get started (known in the industry as an Individual Placement).

The state funds provide the wages for the instructor or job coach, the insurance, administrative costs and transportation as needed. Agencies work with local business owners in a variety of industries to hire the differently-abled workers.  In its original intent, this seems like a great win for all. Unfortunately, some agencies have become top-heavy with highly paid administrators and low paid staff. Some of those agencies hesitate to move the individual (known in the industry as a Consumer) forward into independent employment because it means losing that person’s funding.

As the mother of a 20-year-old with severe Autism, I do not expect to place my son in a work program. At least not until he fully understands what work and a paycheck means. That being said, I also understand as a former business owner that when I hire someone, I really need to get the most work for my money. To hire a person with a disability may be frightening to many business owners or managers because they are not convinced that the productivity will be worth the hourly wage paid out.  This is an understandable concern, but not impossible to solve.

What is needed at this time is for both sides of this issue to come up with solutions. I for one do believe that 14c is antiquated and certainly does not protect those with disabilities. I do not, however, believe it is smart to suddenly pull the rug out from under those individuals who rely on their jobs for social interaction, spending money and personal growth.

Most of the adults I work with in our company are receiving full disability, housing, medical and transportation funding through the state. The amount they receive is fully dependent upon the amount of money from outside sources.  This means that if you have a trust fund set up by your family, that fund amount will affect your benefit amount. If you have a job and make over a certain amount you may lose your medical or disability support…permanently.  There needs to be a permanent safety net for these individuals. They would be much more inspired to work independently at a regular minimum wage job if they knew that their benefits would reactivate should they lose the job.

Rehabilitation was set up as just that…RE-habilitation. The individuals we are discussing have lifelong disabilities and their vocational skill level or employability is usually dependent upon the severity of the disability. Some would be able to go toe to toe with a worker without a disability. Others would require many accommodations, adaption, special treatment and possibly less productivity expectations.  That is a reality. Employers need to be willing to take a step back and look at the value of each individual.

We must change what we are doing and how we are doing it. Many people with disabilities are being held back and not challenged to grow because of the fear of a loss in benefits or an agency’s concern for the bottom line. Let’s consider looking at the strengths and work toward a truly equal opportunity for everyone.

The New Dawn

There may be some dispute over the timing of the Age of Aquarius, but the fact that change is afoot seems indisputable.

In Astrological terms each age is the mark of time under a specific constellation of stars. The span of time for each age is approximately 2,150 years, which represents the movement of the vernal equinox from one constellation to another in the Zodiac. The numerous calculations for the exact time of the arrival of Aquarius range from 1447 AD to 3597 AD.

Aquarius is associated with great change that ushers in a shift in cultural tendencies. It is generally associated with electricity, computers, humanitarianism, philanthropy and other major societal influences.

Any shift in consciousness throughout the ages has come along following great discovery. Many advancements in technology, medicine and the like have shaken the traditions of cultures by introducing new thought about our relationship to the universe at large. As our self-awareness expands and our consciousness moves to a great understanding, change is unavoidable.

For several generations humankind has pondered the coming of the “new age.” The Mayan calendar theories and speculations about the Dec. 21, 2012 end times have stimulated conversation and philosophic musings about the post apocalyptic world. Interestingly, we have witnessed changes in society and cultures throughout the past decade with exponential frequency.

Advances in technology has allowed us to map the entire human genome, made computers faster and more powerful than ever imagined possible, moved cell phone and video communication to become a part of every day life, brought the very outer edges of our universe into view, and exposed truth in many corners of the world which produced uprising and regime changes in places with generations of dictatorship. We’ve seen a movement toward a new understanding of freedom, civil rights and the definition of equality. We’ve seen a change in attitude toward the importance of earthly stewardship…and so much more.

Such changes began with the subtle nudging of people who saw the potential for a better world, and has grown exponentially as a result of changes beginning to take place. The more we see changes, and the more acceptable the changes become, the more rapidly they will occur. Our youngest generation will always become more accepting of the change, and help move it along.

Whether we are reacting to the movement of the stars because the position of our constellation produces changes in our consciousness, or we are shifting our thinking because of the generations of belief that something would happen at this time in our planet’s existence, the truth is change is happening. Call it growth, call it evolution, call it spiritual revolution, whatever we choose to label this time of humanity there is no arguing that change is happening.

The actual Age of Aquarius may have passed or is still to come, but the spirit of the Aquarian influence is definitely upon us.  It is the dawning of a new age for human kind.

A Season for Giving

Tis the season, so they say.  We all try to do our part but when organizations take up the challenge to make positive changes a little goes a long way.  Today Google recognized just such organizations.  I was impressed by the activities and the acknowledgement.  Small steps by many people will lead us to a better place as humans.

Google’s Global Impact Awards recognized the following organizations:

Charity: Water

Bar coding Life

U.S. School Donations

Equal Opportunity Schools

Promoting Positive Image For Women

Direct Giving

World Wildlife Fund

When we provide a platform for the individual to make a difference, that individual will use it.  As technology in communication and media transfer expands people move closer together.  By putting the power of action in the hands of the people we are changing our world into a more cooperative, supportive place which promotes peace and overall health.

I applaud Google’s effort in bringing attention to these organizations, and I applaud you for taking the time to read about them.