Enabling Acts by Lennard J. Davis

book jacket

Enabling Acts: The hidden story of how the Americans with Disabilities Act gave the largest US minority its rights by Lennard J. Davis (2015)

Fascinating history of the ADA but somewhat boring to read. Worth the read to gain a full understanding of the background and significant too for the behind the scenes kind of wrangling by opponents and their ilk. BTW, as the Rethuglicans gained power in the White House and Congress, they sought to undo the good things of the ADA as they are currently no doubt planning to do as well. The amended statute was signed into law by George W. Bush just before Obama was elected in 2008. The ADAAA changes the way ADA cases could proceed, protecting business and harming plaintiffs of course.

I am finding it amusing (per the “I used to be disgusted, but now I am amused.” coping mechanism), when I read historical material AND now know the level of scum that were doing bad deeds on the side while holding themselves as holier than all else. In one case, the now disgraced sexual predator and pervert¬†Dennis Hastert “hammered away at people who were testifying.” (p. 182) As always, the Republicans did not want to do anything that would help people for any reason. It should be their party platform: “We’ve got ours, you can hurry up and die.” Terrify to think he served so long as Speaker of the House and thus 3rd in line for the presidency. There really has to be better vetting of candidates for office!

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Pharmageddon by David Healy

book jacketPharmageddon by David Healy (c 2012)

About 20 years ago, I began having trouble eating. I wan’t even particularly hungry, so that made it hard. I began losing weight, which was okay by me (seems my weight has been a constant seesaw and not in a good way, usually always something bad causes it). The doctors said “stress” and maybe “ulcer” from stress. Watchful waiting was the course of action they opted for, and that, I think, is code for your health insurance won’t pay for any tests and we haven’t a clue without doing an endoscopy or something, and you’re not dying (because no one dies from an ulcer – usually not anyway), so it will be fine. About 30 or 40 pounds later, I continued to express concern that something was seriously wrong. Still, no one seemed concerned; maybe because everyone wants to lose weight?

Looking back now, I cannot decide to laugh or cry. Doctors were telling me stress was causing me to become sick and my employer at the time ended up fighting my sexual harassment claim based on their opinion that stress did not make me sick — because, they claimed, stress does not make you sick.

It was common knowledge at the time, and for many decades before that, that stress does, in fact, make you sick. However it turned out that it does not cause ULCERS, the single most common diagnosis for ulcers was, for many years, stress.

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Inequality by Anthony B. Atkinson

inequality what can be done title with math symbol for no equalInequality: What can be done? by Anthony B. Atkinson (2015)

This is a FABULOUS book. Well written, very understandable language given that there is some economics and statistics and such covered. Actually a darn good read, a page turner, so well organized and fluid were the transitions.

I have been reading a lot of material on this subject for some time now, and this book presented about as complex of range as one might imagine with the variables involved. There was only one lack I perceived, and that is the failure to address gender inequality of pay, both in exact same jobs, and in the apparently forgotten comparable worth sense that I vigorously supported back in the 1970s. For example, since private sector refuses to cooperate making up such lame excuses as mommy tracks or leadership skills, or whatever makes it seem like they aren’t discriminating, it is time for the government to do some equalizing. The IRS has the data and they could make some determinations and proceed by either taxing non-compliant companies and refunding pay discrepancies directly to the employed women, or some other scheme to force equity. Such as only tax women at a rate 70% of that of men. Ever so briefly the author touches on universal basic income but principally in relation to child poverty and making a child payment. Again, just briefly discusses, maybe one sentence, the fact that paying women to have children is inherently discriminatory against women who cannot or choose not to bear children, but who would be taxed to pay for OTHER PEOPLE’s children.

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