Disability cuts will hurt deeply

My daughter is brain damaged. Cuts to disability funding will devastate families like ours and cost society more in the long run

Cuts to social programs including those for the disabled by Conservative UK Prime Minister Cameron are sending shock waves through the disability community and their caregivers.

Stacie Lewis

By Stacey Lewis, Guardian.co.uk – A year and a half ago, my daughter, May, was born severely brain damaged. After a healthy pregnancy, her injuries sent me into a paralysis of fear.

Staff at the hospital reassured us. When we left the special care ward, there would be a team of professionals, equipment, funding and respite care. We would not be alone. Continue reading Disability cuts will hurt deeply

UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities and all is not well in Canada

Two decades of neglect by government leaves many living with disabilities further behind and living in poverty

The UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities may be a publicity stunt or a grim reminder to many of the 4 million Canadians living with disabilities that they are locked in last place in the Canadian experience.

The UN press release says “The Day aims to promote a better understanding of disability issues with a focus on the rights of persons with disabilities and gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life of their communities. The goal of full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society and development was established by the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1982.” UN Enable

How good is life for people with disabilities in Canada?  Continue reading UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities and all is not well in Canada

Favourite Dylan song from 1960s – It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

Dylan’s grim masterpiece from 5th album hits the right note for fan

It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) from Bringing it All Back Home

Dylan fan Dylanblues from Birmingham, UK enters contest with this pic.

Choosing your favourite 60’s Dylan song is a bit like trying to choose your all time favourite pint of beer or bacon sandwich, it’s just not possible.

However, the purposes of this comp I will suggest the above. The song stands out in my memory from first listen and I never tire of the insights and imagery it conjures.

No one has ever produced such a tapestry of existential angst in song form and I can only imagine the effect it would have had on me had I heard it as a contemporary. I think of it as the moment that heralds the complete disintegration of the line between song writing and poetry; though I appreciate there are other contenders, for me, many years after hearing it for the first time, I still chew over lines and marvel at the insight and brutal summation of mid 60’s society.

With it’s ‘sister’ songs Gates of Eden and Not Dark Yet, it’s the tune I always keep in my saddlebag when riding into a town of ‘non-believers’.

By Dylanblues

To enter our contest for a free copy of Bob Dylan’s Concert at Brandeis University enter here before November 30, 2010.  Continue reading Favourite Dylan song from 1960s – It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

Favourite Dylan song from 1960s Like a Rolling Stone

My favourite Dylan song from the 60s is ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ – enter to win free Dylan CD

Bob Dylan recording at Columbia Studio A

From the opening snare hit to closing bars, it is the best and most revolutionary pop song of all time.

The lyrics speak with an intensity unknown to pop music at the time.

The music is ethereal, moving like an oceanic force of nature.

Added to this is Dylan’s supreme vocal performance which batters the listeners senses with yet more intensity.

Many songs have been influenced by ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ since, some have even copied the song, yet none have come anywhere close to topping this masterpiece.

Angus Gibson, Glasgow Scotland

To win a free copy of Bob Dylan at Brandeis University 1963, enter here.

Video follows the story break. Continue reading Favourite Dylan song from 1960s Like a Rolling Stone

Mumbai The Plot Unfolds Lashkar Strikes and Investigators Scramble

Part Two of in-depth report on the attack on Mumbai, India

Mumbai attack on Taj Mahal Hotel image, Israpundit

by Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica

This is the second part of ProPublica’s investigation into the plot behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Read the first part . Both were co-published with the Washington Post.

David Coleman Headley seemed like a gregarious, high-rolling American businessman when he set up shop in Mumbai in September 2006.

He opened the office of an immigration consulting firm. He partied at swank locales such as the ornate Taj Mahal Hotel, a 1903 landmark favored by Westerners and the Indian elite. He joined an upscale gym, where he befriended a Bollywood actor. He roamed the booming, squalid city taking photos and shooting video.

But it was all a front. The tall, fast-talking Pakistani American with the slicked-back hair was a fierce extremist, a former drug dealer, a onetime Drug Enforcement Administration informant who became a double agent. He had spent three years refining his clandestine skills in the terrorist training camps of the Lashkar-i-Taiba militant group. As Headley confessed in a guilty plea in U.S. federal court this year, he was in Mumbai to begin undercover reconnaissance for a sophisticated attack that would take two years to plan.  Continue reading Mumbai The Plot Unfolds Lashkar Strikes and Investigators Scramble

Amazing Chilean mine rescue played out on TV

Never before seen on television says Larry King of CNN

image CNN

We stayed up until 2 am last night to watch the first two miners rescued from 2,000 feet underground.

The whole world is watching the rescue on TV, their cell phones, and on the internet.

The new president of Chile Sebastián Piñera appears to be an genuine human and not the typical posturing politician. He is swept up in the emotion of the moments like all of us.

The CNN live link is here.

The television coverage is first class as it should be. The telegenic President of Chile owns the network. He is also a billionaire and one of Chile’s richest men.

As I write this post, the 12th miner has reached the desert plateau, saved from the depths of hell in the mine.

He hugs his family, fellow workers, the President of Chile and other officials and dignitaries at the mine rescue site.  Continue reading Amazing Chilean mine rescue played out on TV

Controversial MS treatment works for Island woman

Despite lack of support from Health Canada and medical establishment Donna Farrell feels better

Donna Farrell feels better after Zamboni treatments (photo Eastern Graphic)

A Peters Road woman traveled to Poland to get the controversial treatment for MS and says she feels better. The trip and treatment cost her more than $9,000 but she doesn’t regret it.

The MS Society, Health Canada and Health PEI did not support her operation.

“I just know I feel great. I’m a lot happier.”  Mrs Farrell told the Eastern Graphic

Donna Farrell contracted MS in 1997 and the disease made her fatigued, often in pain and created a walking disability.

She now feels energized a month after the treatment, walks without a cane and has less pain. She is taking physiotherapy to make her leg muscles and tendons more flexible after years of little use.

“I could feel the blood pumping through my body,” Mrs Farrell said about the operation’s effects.
Continue reading Controversial MS treatment works for Island woman

Obesity In Later Life Leads To Increased Risks Of Disability

But not of dying and to a ticking time bomb for health and social services

Editor: Obesity can make disability worse for neuromuscular disabilities which have skeletal problems or muscular weakness as a factor. Carrying extra weight with hip problems, MS, MD or post polio syndrome makes the disability more severe.

Imagine carrying around a 30 lb turkey in your arms all day. That’s the same as being 30 lbs overweight. The puzzle is that the disability encourages inactivity thereby increasing the likelihood of weight gain. Rigorous control of food intake is a practical answer.  Continue reading Obesity In Later Life Leads To Increased Risks Of Disability

New Zealand earthquake map with hundreds of aftershocks

7.1 Richter earthquake in Christchurch followed by more than 300 aftershocks

Christchurch, NZ earthquake map (click for animation)

The earthquake that hit Christchurch, NZ September 3, 2010 has not stopped ringing aftershocks.

The animated map shows how many, where and how fast they have been coming.

More than 100,000 homes and 500 buildings have been damaged. The repair estimate is as high as $4.5 billion.

Hospitals in the area report double the number of heart attacks as people succumb to anxiety from almost endless aftershocks.

Experts predict the shallow 7.1 earthquake will continue to have aftershocks.

No deaths were directly blamed on the earthquake which destroyed some Christchurch neighborhoods and left others more or less intact.

See BBC for more details.

UN: Replace Rhetoric With Action on Disability Rights

Include Persons With Disabilities in Planning and Implementation

Human Rights Watch – Governments meeting at the United Nations this week to discuss implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) should focus on effective strategies and good practices that benefit persons with disabilities, Human Rights Watch said today. The convention went into effect two years ago.

“If governments are serious about their commitment to people with disabilities, they need to turn the laws and policies on paper into meaningful programs and services on the ground,” said Shantha Rau Barriga, researcher and advocate on disability rights at Human Rights Watch. “Efforts will fall short unless governments include people with disabilities in planning for these programs and monitoring them.”   Continue reading UN: Replace Rhetoric With Action on Disability Rights