Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Good Man Indeed . . .

I went to a conference last week for an organization that I’m on the Board of Directors for . . . Housing California. Naturally, the conference was on affordable housing. I’m not a big fan of conferences, but this conference was very good (and that has nothing to do with me being on the planning committee).

One of the highlights of the conference was hearing Andy Goodman speak to a general session of the conference. He spoke about the power of story telling, and along the way, told some amazing stories himself. I highly recommend checking out his website, which you can find at www.agoodmanonline.com. Mr. Goodman told illustrated to the audience how simply telling a story can be more powerful than any stats, numbers, or figures. People can relate to stories better than they can relate to stats. Based on my experience, Mr. Goodman speaks the gospel.

Mr. Goodman was the writer and co-producer the ABC-TV show "Dinosaurs". If you don’t remember the show, you’ll be interested to know the series was just released on DVD. If you’re like me, and were a fan of the show, you’ll be interested to know the series was just released on DVD.

Mr. Goodman helps non-profit organizations develop their message and their stories, so they can more effectively communicate with the public. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the resources on Mr. Goodman’s website.

Kosher Ham

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Debtor Nation . . .

The U.S. National Debt Clock is a great place to remind yourself the true cost of the Bush Administration. Amazing, when you think that Republican once touted 'balanced budgets' and were known for 'fiscal responsibility'. Of course, these things were never true, but if you say something often enough, people will believe it.

Kosher Ham

PS - On a side note, the City of Long Beach should really question the idea of bonding Community Development Block Grant funding. The federal government isn't a stable funding source. I know my Council Member, Patrick O'Donnell thinks it's a bad idea . . . I think I'd have to agree with him on this.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Does This Really Work . . .

This website was passed my way a few weeks ago. Zillow.com offers ‘instant valuation and data for over 65,000,000 + homes”. In layman’s terms: they tell you how much your home is worth, with no string attached . . . you don’t even have to enter any personal information.

As I do not own a home, I don’t know if this is accurate at all . . . anybody care to share?

Kosher Ham

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pelosi-fied . . .

Who does Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi think she is . . . and why does she suck?

That’s the question I pose to you. You may be asking in return . . . why would I even ask you that question in the first place. Shouldn’t Democrats support Democrats?

Well, mostly yes . . . but sometimes we have to root out own to preserve the values and longevity of the Party. I think the Party has incredible leaders, but Ms. Pelosi is currently failing to be a leader . . . so . . . she shouldn’t be Leader anymore.

My disgust started when I read she was teaming with House Speaker Dennis Hastert to decry the FBI seizing of Congressman William Jefferson’s records from his House Office. I don’t want to jump to conclusions . . . but . . . Mr. Jefferson appears to be less than scrupulous. So, I’m not sure we should protect him, rather we should dump him to show what are Party won’t stand for from our own Members.

While Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Hastert have certain valid points with regards to searches and seizures of the records of Members of Congress, I hate that they stand up more for Member’s right’s than they do our rights. Where is the bi-partisan effort, when we are spied on, and have our rights violated?

When I read the story that Ms. Pelosi was aligned with Mr. Hastert to protect Member’s of Congress . . . I just started to think something’s rotten in DC. So, I wasn’t surprised when the next article I clicked on was about how Mr. Hastert is now under investigation by the FBI for his involvement in a potential bribe scheme with Jack Abramoff.

Okay. Now I understand why he’s opposed to record’s being seized from the offices of Member’s of Congress . . . because he’s afraid he’ll be next.

But why Pelosi . . . who is she protecting?

Pray to whomever you pray to, that Democrats don’t get further caught up in this mess.

After defending the Party last week, they’re making me look like an ass (no pun intended). Again, there are good leaders within the Democratic Party . . . I’m just not sure if our Leader is such a leader.

Kosher Ham

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Traveling Man . . .

I’m currently at a Best Western in Sacramento.

I’m here for the Housing California Annual Conference.

I will be part of a panel tomorrow morning on condominium conversions.

I got here yesterday, and I go home tomorrow.

I don’t really ‘enjoy’ traveling for business. People at my work think I’m lucky. I wouldn’t exactly call myself lucky as I sit here by myself watching a load of crap on television.

But I do consider myself fortunate for being able to have the opportunity to be involved with this conference, and all the amazing people who are working to provide choices and opportunities for the many who don’t have any choices or opportunities when it comes to purchasing a home.

In addition to the many things I’ve learned at this conference, I did learn one thing in particular . . .

Apparently, if you stick me in a hotel room with nothing to do . . . I’ll actually sit through an entire episode of House . . . I’ll doubtfully check out the cantankerous doctor again.

Kosher Ham

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Parting Shot . . .

With a great deal of dignity, out-going Long Beach Mayor, Beverly O’Neill lashed out at President Bush yesterday. Picking up on a common theme, Ms. O’Neill criticized the President for not being, “open to the ideas of mayors.” I don’t know the particulars, but based on how open to ideas the President has been for the last five years . . . I’m going to have to support my Mayor here.

Referring to the Bush Administration as, “not being a full partner”, Ms. O’Neill charged the federal government with not investing in urban areas. This is where I’ll have to disagree with Ms. O’Neill.

Baghdad is an example of an urban area that has received substantial investment from the Bush Administration. Also, Kabul comes to mind as another urban are to be substantially invested in by the Bush Administration.

All kidding aside, Mayor O’Neill is well within her rights to charge that the federal government has neglected Long Beach. Since Bush has been President, Long Beach has moved from the 37th poorest city in the nation to the 6th poorest city in the nation.

Like Mayor O’Neill stated in her address, “The people in our communities are making real financial decisions as they deal with the ripple effect of this crisis in our country."

People aren’t going out to dinner as much, not taking as many trips, not seeing as many friends, not visiting family as often. Beyond that, some people are deciding between food, medicine, rent, and clothing.

Good for Mayor O’Neill for saying something about it. When people criticize her for being ‘middle of the road’ I’ll point this out to them.

Kosher Ham

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Liberal Media . . .

In this Tom Hennessey column, he criticizes the Democratic Party, quite heavily, for failing to make ‘political hay’ out of Republican failures. That’s an easy charge to make, but, it’s not accurate, nor is it fair.

Mr. Hennessy’s first criticism of the Democrats is that they did not seize on a story of a student and teacher in North Carolina who had their first amendment rights shredded in front of their faces. As if this has been the only case of American freedoms being scotched by the Bush Administration. I’m sure if this incident happened in California the story would have gotten a lot more attention. Instead of slamming the Democratic Party, Mr. Hennessey should be questioning the ethics of Wal-Mart and the employee who turned the student into the police.

But, Mr. Hennessey is correct in once sense . . . it seems we hear more from the Republicans than we do from the Democrats. Well, there are some very basic reasons, and none of them have anything to do with the Democrats being “lethargic, languid, lifeless, leaden, [or] lackadaisical”.

For those of you not schooled in American politics, the Republican Party controls the US House of Representatives and US Senate by having a MAJORITY in BOTH houses of Congress. They have a majority on EVERY committee and EVERY sub-committee in Congress, and they Chair ALL of the Committees. Of course, it should go without saying that the Republican Party also controls EVERY facet of the Executive Branch – read: The President of the United States is a Republican. The MAJORITY of the Supreme Court Justices are also Republican. So, EVERY branch of the government is controlled by the Republicans – read: They have ALL the power and control. When you have ALL the power and control, one thing you can do is dominate the media.

Just check out these stats regarding the number of guest appearances by Democrats and Republicans on the Sunday morning talk shows. Elected Republican appearances far outweigh that of Elected Democrat appearances.

2001 R = 65.1% D = 34.9%

2002 R = 62.4% D = 37.6%

2003 R = 59.9% D = 40.2%

2004 R = 53.8% D = 46.2% (note: Presidential Election Year, so ‘equal time’ came into play)

2005 R = 61.6% D = 38.4%

So you can see from these numbers that you are far more likely to hear the Republican point of view over and over and over again . . . and the same goes for the radio talk shows which are overwhelmingly Conservative, and supporting a Republican point of view . . . it’s called the Elephant Echo Chamber. If you want to charge that Democrats haven’t established the institutions (media outlets, and think tanks) at the pace and level that Republicans have, that’s fine and fair. But to charge that Democrats don’t attempt to make ‘political hay’ is a little lot narrow.

So, the story shouldn’t be about what the Democrats aren’t doing, though that’s what Mr. Hennessy chose to dedicate his 543 word column to. Rather, Mr. Hennessy should be discussing the Republican failures (to be fair, he does from time-to-time). Instead, we’re offered up this gem, “For all the opportunities they have had, the Dems show no leadership, no initiative.”

I guess Mr. Hennessey has never heard Representative John Murtha, a one time supporter of the war, and decorated military veteran who is now calling for a withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by the end of the year. I guess Mr. Hennessy has never heard of Senator Russ Feingold, who made an effort to get the US Senate to censure President Bush for his abuse of power in spying on American citizens. He did that knowing that the Democrats were the minority in the Senate, and that his measure would not pass . . . that didn’t stop him from trying to do the right thing. When we look back on this situation, he will be considered one of the few heroes to emerge. While they may not be enough leadership for Mr. Hennessey, to say there is none, is just plain balderdash.

Since the Democrats do show leadership, and initiative with no power, it does beg the question: What the have Republicans done with the power that they posses? Mr. Hennessey readily admits that Iraq is a ‘mess’, the response to Hurricane Katrina was ‘botched’, that Republicans in Washington are part of a culture of corruption, Republicans have leaked national security documents and information, and that Donald Rumsfeld is incompetent. Personally, I think that’s a mild description of the total and complete failure of the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress. Mr. Hennessey doesn’t even mention the greatest legacy that Republicans will leave behind . . . the largest budget deficit ever laid on the American people. The Republicans have basically maxed out a platinum credit card by buying a bunch of shit we don’t need . . . except they won’t be paying the bill . . . we will.

Mr. Hennessey says, “Democrats or Republicans, neither of us can be terribly proud of our party these days.”

I disagree, my friends.

We most certainly have not yet achieved our goals, and we must admit, we have much work to do if we are to achieve those goals. Nevertheless, we have much to be proud of. We didn’t start this war, we didn’t screw up the Katrina response, we didn’t appoint Donald Rumsfeld (we’ve asked for him to resign), we didn’t run up the deficit (Clinton left them with a surplus), we didn’t create the policies, and appoint the leadership responsible for the international embarrassment called Abu Ghraib, and Democrats aren’t being indicted on a monthly basis for crimes which you and I cannot ignore.

So while, this isn’t the ‘golden age’ for Democrats, the only thing we should be hanging our heads about is that we don’t have the power to stop this madness. That could begin to change this November.

And if it did, what would we have to look forward to . . . According to the New York Times, if “Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, the Democrat who would become chairman of the Judiciary Committee if his party recaptured the House” would call for “an inquiry into the possible impeachment of President Bush over the war in Iraq.” Or take the example of Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. “Mr. Leahy vowed in a recent interview to subpoena top administration officials, if he got the chance, to answer more questions about their secret eavesdropping program and what he considers faulty prewar intelligence.”

Hopefully, the American people are tired of being urinated on by the Republican Party.

Kosher Ham

PS – I managed to write this without mentioning Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham, Tom Delay, Scooter Libby, Jack Abramoff, and the mess at the CIA.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Albino Outrage . . .

With all of the furor surrounding the release of Ron Howard’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’, you might have missed the piece about people with albinism who are upset by the portrayal of one of the films characters. One of the film’s main villains, Silas, is a person with albinism – or more commonly referred to as an albino. Here it should be noted, that the preferred terminology is ‘people with albinism’. I hope I don’t have to explain this to you.

According to this AP article, “Critics cite a long list of albinos cast as heavies by Hollywood: The dreadlocked twins in "The Matrix Reloaded," a powder-haired hit man in the Chevy Chase-Goldie Hawn crime romp "Foul Play," the pasty zombies in "The Omega Man," a sadistic killer in "Cold Mountain," even the wicked executioner in the fairy-tale comedy "The Princess Bride."”

In the article, Michael McGowan, an albino who heads the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation said, "We understand that millions read it and when they go to the movie, they're going to want to see the albino monk-assassin," McGowan said. "It's the cumulative effect of having one evil albino character after another that was disturbing to me."

All I can say is if people that looked like me were constantly playing the villain in movies, I’d eventually get pissed too. I might even form an organization to raise awareness about the issue. Check out skinema.com . . . you may just get a different perspective on the situation.

I’m still gonna see the movie.

Kosher Ham

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

What’s Next . . .

On Monday, President Bush announced that we’ll be sending 6,000 ‘troops’ to the border. Those quotations are for me, not the President. I call them ‘troops’ because that’s what we call them in Iraq. So, why should they be different now? Don’t get me wrong, I respect these men and women greatly. But, the President can’t have his cake and eat it too. He can’t say he’s not militarizing the border by sending the National Guard down there. I mean, that would be like saying that wherever the National Guard is located in Iraq isn’t actually a war zone.

So that gets everybody spinning Monday into Tuesday.

Yesterday, the Pentagon released video of American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon. So, everybody’s watching that yesterday into today.

So, I wonder what will happen today?

I suspect the Bush Administration will say/do anything to try and make you forget they’ve been illegally spying on you.

Kosher Ham

UPDATE - The DOW fell 200 points today, and Bush also singed tax cuts for the wealthy . . . please, please, please forget your being spied on.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Treat Your Mother Right Foo . . .

Yes, yes, I know Mother's Day was yesterday, and it was well spent watching the LA Clippers win. My mom was sporting her Mother's Day gift, an autographed Elton Brand hat to the game, and so far the Clippers are undefeated with her wearing it to the games (1-0).

But, if you didn't get your mother anything, or didn't come up as clutch with a gift as I did . . . don't fret.

Just click the link below . . . and I'm sure you and your mom will be smilin' soon.

Treat Your Mother Right - Mr. T

Kosher Ham

Sunday, May 14, 2006

More Ink . . .

Last week, the Press-Telegram printed this editorial, slamming the Housing Trust Fund, and the City Council delaying, what would have been an ill-fated vote for the residents of Long Beach.

Here's my response, which was printed in today's Press-Telegram:

"The reason the Long Beach City Council delayed voting on the Housing Trust Fund is actually very simple, though the Press-Telegram tries to use the smoke-screen of "not enough cops or library hours" any time the City Council is about to spend money on something they don't agree with ["Delay in a housing vote," Editorial, May 5].

In this case, the council intends to join the growing list of California cities to establish a housing trust fund, and provide some relief in the area of housing to local residents who are being priced out of the market, and away from family members and jobs.

The Press-Telegram says they can't follow the logic of the City Council, so we thought we'd try to help, even though it may be in vain, as the Editorial Board continues to show a decided bias [bigotry] against building homes, condos and apartments that Long Beach residents can afford.

In fact, the only reason the P-T says Long Beach should provide funds for affordable housing is because it's the law. That really misses the point, and is a truly illogical statement. That would be like saying the only reason we shouldn't commit murder is because the law forbids the act. Obviously, that's a pretty narrow, dangerous and callous way of thinking.

While on the subject of logic, the council postponed the vote because the proposed ordinance contained a fallacy. The ordinance that the council was set to approve made the following claim: "The California Legislature has declared that there exists a severe shortage of housing affordable . . . [for] above moderate-income households."

That's simply not true. The state Legislature has never declared there to be a housing shortage for people who are living at the "above-moderate income" level. In addition to the fallacy, if Long Beach were to establish a housing trust fund with 80 percent of the funds going to the "above-moderate income" folks, the city of Long Beach would be shutting itself out of most state matching programs.

Given how small the fund is proposed to be, Long Beach needs to maximize any potential matching opportunities. With the delay, the City Council now has an opportunity to revisit the discussion of targeting the funds in the Housing Trust Fund.

Housing Long Beach believes that a greater portion should go to the "extremely-low income" people in our community. Doing so would not, as the Press-Telegram states, "increase the ratio" of poor people in our community." Long Beach is ranked sixth in poverty in the nation. In 2001, Long Beach was 27th, and it would be a mistake to blame this disturbing trend on the amount of affordable housing being built in Long Beach."

Other than changing the work 'bigotry' for 'bias' the editorial changes they made were minor, and made for a better read. The word bigotry means something -- and that's what I meant.

Kosher Ham


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Don't Supersize, Just Modernize . . .

If you read this space, than you know that a month or so ago I was clamoring on a bit about the need to improve the terminal at Long Beach Airport. The airport is a bit of a touchy subject in Long Beach . . . to say the least . . . although not quite as touchy as airport expansion is in is Mexico City.

I’ll simplistically sum it up as such: Side A, generally backed by business interests, including those who directly profit from airport business, desperately want the terminal improved. Side B believes that the only reason Side A wants the airport improved is so that eventually the number of commercial flights can be expanded beyond the current limit of 41. The expansion of the number of flights is something Side B is adamantly opposed to.

I think both sides have drawn such a hard line on their positions, that they are probably too entrenched to really figure out a meaningful solution.

I guess I’m of the opinion that the airport needs to be modernized. Just look at the picture. Is Long Beach a major leaguer or a minor leaguer? We have a minor league airport, and that what a lot of people see when they see Long Beach – the minor leagues.

I think we’re a major league city, and we deserve a major league airport. I hope all sides can come together and give Long Beach the quality looking airport we deserve. As it stands, ‘Terminal 4’ is a bungalow, just like my 6th grade classroom. And, when you walk to the plane, make sure you follow the ‘walkway’, which is really just a bunch of scotch-taped arrows on the ground. Oh, and the kicker, you get to go on one of those 1970’s style stairways up to the plane . . . it’s kind of cool . . . but it’s time to modernize.

We don’t need a massive airport in Long Beach . . . but we do need a modern airport.

Kosher Ham

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Black Jew(fish) . . .

I was out at lunch today on Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach. The friend I was having lunch with happen to know the owner of the restaurant we were at, and wanted to introduce me to the owner. He thought, given the advocacy work I do, that it would be good for me to meet some business owners in hopes to develop some relationships. You see, the downtown business community is quite organized, and somewhat influential. In fact, they have an association called the Downtown Long Beach Associates. I know the Director, Kraig Kojian. He’s a good guy, whom I enjoy talking to, and he’s helped turn downtown Long Beach into a pretty cool place to hang out.

Unfortunately, my experience today on Pine was not so positive.

I was speaking with the owner of the restaurant, a white gentleman, about Long Beach, and I mentioned that one of the things I liked the most about the City is the diversity. Not knowing I’m African-American (I’m bi-racial, and it’s not obvious to all, clearly) he said, “Well, except for those people.”

So, I responded by saying, “‘Those’ people? What do you mean?”

He replied, “Well, you know, black people don’t like to work, and they all think they are entitled to things.”

You should’ve seen me. I was kind of shocked. So, I responded by saying, “Well, I’m black, and my father’s black, and in addition to disagreeing with you, I find your remarks personally and highly offensive.”

After trying to explain to the man how the word works, and that are things are not equal he finally said to me, “I didn’t know you were black, I thought you were a Jew.”

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

MYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

I am Jewish. Things went from bad to worse.

What a day.

Kosher Ham

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

If You Comply, The Lawsuit Won't Fly . . .

This Press-Telegram editorial basically tells us that some lawyers ‘abuse’ the ADA by filing mass produced lawsuits, which they claim are ‘boilerplate’ lawsuits, meaning that they are virtually identical to each other. In the editorial they praise a group titled, 'Lawyer’s Against Lawsuit Abuse’, located in San Diego, which fights such ‘abuse’ of the ADA.

I’ll offer up some praise for Lawyer’s Against Lawsuit Abuse as well. When I visited their website, I found a multitude of resources for business owners. Apparently, and I know this is going to sounds crazy, but it you comply with the law, you’ll protect yourself against unwarranted lawsuits.

Here’s what you’ll find at Layer’s Against Lawsuit Abuse:

  1. View a pictorial guide "The ADA Top 40" which shows the most common issues on properties which lead to ADA/access lawsuits. Many of these items cost less than $100 to resolve.
  2. View our article "Some Inexpensive Ways to Reduce Your Risk of ADA/access lawsuits." We believe the average small business can reduce the risk of these lawsuits by 90% or more by spending less than $1,000, so what are you waiting for? Well, this rose a bit of a brow from me, as they instruct businesses might want to consider purchasing a video camera to deter lawsuits from people. Another idea, which they suggest, the better idea, is to hire a qualified access specialist, and bring the business into compliance with the law.
  3. Download an ISA symbol (International Symbol of Accessibility) you can email to a Kinko's or other print shop and have them print a 36" x 36" template you can cut out and paint as part of your disabled parking area.
  4. View our article "Ten Questions to Ask Any Prospective Lawyer".
  5. View a simple explanation of why your property is probably not "grandfathered" or otherwise exempt from compliance with access laws for the disabled. This is a popular misconception, and many government officials and building inspectors have incorrectly stated that the "grandfathering" which applies to building codes also applies to these civil rights claims.
  6. View our article "Who's Responsible for ADA Complinace-- Landlords or Tenants?" which has surprising information many landlords, tenants and attorneys have misunderstood about the unique issues of access lawsuits and renovations on commercial property.
  7. View our article "The Top 10 Mistakes Which Lead to Lawsuits".

I guess these tools exist because despite what some might consider the ‘uncomfortable’ nature of how the lawsuits are sometimes filed, the lawsuits do have merit. But, as the website tells us, there are some easy ways to fix the problems for not a lot of cost.

Like I said yesterday . . . Education . . . and a willingness to comply with the law.

Kosher Ham

PS - Oh yeah . . . and civil rights and all that.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Grabbing Some Ink . . .

So, I was walking through my office today, when one of my co-workers says, “Hey! Did you see your name in the paper this weekend?”

I replied, “It’s only Monday, too early in the week for bull shitting around.” But, low and behold, he pulls out the Sunday (May 7) edition of the Press-Telegram and shows me the front-page article about ADA violations in and around the Long Beach area. I had completely forgotten about this interview I did a couple of weeks ago.

The article is headlined, “Disputed ADA Lawsuits Target Small Businesses”. I guess, conversely, the article could have been titled, “Small Businesses Deny Civil Rights to People with Disabilities”, but that wouldn’t anymore fair than the first headline.

So, before I get into the part about me, the headline tells you the slant of this piece. The story isn’t about the lack of access that people with disabilities face on a regular basis. The story is about the lawsuits. I guess lawsuits are ‘sexier’ than the denial of civil rights.

Once you read on about the business owners complaining about the cost of providing equal access, the allegations that the man who filed the lawsuits only did so for the money, and people with disabilities who say that lawsuits are the best way to deal with such problem’s . . . you finally get to me.

Still, the thing that frustrates Josh Butler, chairman of the commission, is that there is merit to these suits in the first place.

"The ADA was passed in 1990, and (businesses) have had almost 16 years now to become compliant," Butler said. "It bothers me that there are businesses that aren't accessible."

Long Beach is home to thousands of disabled residents, Butler said. And while there is no way of knowing how many businesses are ADA-compliant, it's clear that many aren't.

The majority of the city's disabled population, he said, suffer in silence when they can't use a public bathroom, or open a door by themselves, or enter a store because there is no wheelchair ramp.

But business owners, large or small, are not the real victims here, disabled activists say. And, in most cases, the solutions are simple for those who take the time to know the law. In addition, tax breaks and grants are often available to offset the costs.

"I guess, ultimately, being in compliance becomes a win-win for everybody," Butler said.

The reason I said, wasn’t necessarily articulated in the article. You see, if a business is accessible to people with disabilities, than in my opinion, they are expanding their customer base, while at the same time following the law by providing access to people with disabilities. Thus, the ‘win-win’ situation comment.

I had done this interview a couple of weeks ago, and I felt I was very well prepared. I like the way I came across, even though that was only about a tenth of my interview with Wendy Thomas Russell. That’s good, because the article isn’t about me. Ms. Thomas Russell did a pretty good job on the piece, even with what I consider to be a little bit of a slant in the other direction. At one point in the interview she asked if I was ‘glad that these law suits were filed?”

I responded my saying I thought that was a bit of a loaded question. Why would I be glad? I think that’s when I offered up something about it being a shame that it was possible, and the lawsuits had merit. If the businesses had been accessible, the suits would have no merit . . . but . . . the business aren’t accessible . . . and so on and so forth.

The local Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Building Industry Association, and Restaurant Industry Association, should spend less time fighting to change access laws, and more time educating their consumers about the law, and the need to follow the ADA. I guess that would be too simple.

Education. That’s all it takes . . . and a willingness to comply with the law. For me, after spending almost my entire life growing up around the disabilities community, and now working professionally in the disabilities community, thinking about all kinds of access for people disabilities just becomes second nature . . . plus if it didn’t . . . my colleagues would kick my ass . . . and the people I know don’t need use of their arms, legs, or eyes to do it!

Kosher Ham

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Return Of Clipper Pride . . .

Like I have time for two blogs, but what the hell? I’m going to make a second attempt to keep a blog on the Los Angeles Clippers. My family members and I are long time Clippers supporters, and we’re so proud of the way this season has gone. I new this was going to be the year at the beginning of the season, and my intention was to keep an on-going blog throughout the season. Of course, one thing led to another, and the blog dried up in January. Well, we’re in playoffs, in fact we’re in the second round of the playoffs for the fist time in Los Angeles Clippers history. I’m lucky to be seeing history in the making, and I’ll do my best to keep you posted . . . just check the ‘Clipper Pride’ link on the left.

Kosher Ham

PS - That's Clipper Nation pictured above.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire . . .

Today, Donald Rumsfeld was asked some pretty direct questions about why he lied to American public about the existence of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons*. Of course, it was not a member of the media who asked the question, and more importantly, the subsequent ‘follow-up’ questions, and remarks.

CIA veteran, Ray McGovern, demanded to know why Mr. Rumsfeld lied by saying that he knew where the weapons were located in Iraq. If you want to see the video, and you really, really, really do . . . check it out at ThinkProgress.


Kosher Ham


* Using the term 'WMD' doesn't really have the same impact as the term 'nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons'.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Scary Thought . . .

Don't ask why, it's too long a story, but I was at VOLPAC, the Politial Action Committee run by Senator William Frist.


Here's what I learned: "By the end of his Presidency, the President will have appointed 1 out of every 3 of the 871 Federal judges in this nation. All of them mainstream conservatives and thoughtful minds who are committed to fairly interpreting the law, not acting as unelected policymakers."

I don't know about you, but I find that thought terrifying.

Kosher Ham