Can I tell you something. Got to tell you one thing. If you expect the freedom that you say is yours prove that you deserve it. Help us to preserve it or being free will just be words and nothing more.
Kansas, 1974

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Shut Down Shenanigans

Apparently communicating with the people you were elected to represent is a "non-essential" government function. The following are the messages I got when went to email my senators. So not impressed.

As of midnight on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, the federal government is no longer funded to operate. Due to this government shutdown, we are sorry to inform you that Senator Schumer's office will no longer be able to perform non-essential functions. Below, is a list of information on how the government shutdown will affect the services that Senator Schumer's office normally provides. 

Will I be able to call or fax Senator Schumer's office?
During the government shutdown, Senator Schumer's offices, both in Washington D.C. and across New York State will be unable to receive phone calls or faxes. 

What will happen with the letter I sent to Senator Schumer?
Mail delivery in the United States Senate has stopped. If you have sent Senator Schumer a letter prior to the shutdown, this mail will be held at a sorting facility until such time as the government re-opens. Mail that was sent and delivered to Senator Schumer's office has been sorted and will be replied to in a timely manner once the government shutdown is over. 

Can I e-mail Senator Schumer?
If you have e-mailed Senator Schumer, this mail will still go through the normal process, however Senator Schumer's office will be unable to respond until such time as the government shutdown is over. 

Senator Schumer's office is helping me with a problem I'm having with a federal agency. How does the shutdown affect this?
Unfortunately, during the government shutdown, work on any outstanding help with a federal agency that Senator Schumer's office may be assisting you with is suspended. This includes, but is not limited to; problems with your Social Security, Passports, Visas, Medicare Assistance and Veterans Assistance. Work on these problems will continue immediately after the government re-opens. 

I have previously scheduled tours in Washington D.C. Are these tours still happening?
Federal buildings, including the Capitol Visitors Center, the Smithsonian Institution and the monuments, will be closed during the government shutdown. Along with these locations, other museums or attractions may also be closed. Please check with the individual museums or attractions on their operating status before your trip. Unfortunately Senator Schumer's office will be unable to provide you tours of the Capitol building or schedule any tours for you and your family during the shutdown. Please contact Senator Schumer's office after the government re-opens to schedule any upcoming tours and our tour coordinator will do their best to fulfill your request. 

Senator Schumer and his staff are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to serving the people of New York again as soon as possible.

Dear New York State Constituents,
Thank you for visiting my website. Unfortunately, due to the recent temporary lapse in government funding my Senate office has been shut down.

What this means:

·        Our offices are not staffed and phones will not be answered

·        Emails sent to individual staff members will be responded to at the conclusion of the shut down

·        Letters and emails addressed to my office will be responded to at the conclusion of the shutdown

·        With the closing of all federal offices, our constituent services team will not be able to work on any cases for you during this time, but will continue with your case after the shutdown.

I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to resolve the funding issues. The current situation cannot stand and New Yorkers should not be asked to endure this funding lapse for any period of time.
Thank you for your patience,

Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hope, Faith, Love, and Mental Illness

This is something that I've been wanting to do for a while now. I'm finally step out to see what happens. Come join me in this new endeavor.

Hope, Faith, Love: Faith based support for friends and families living with mental illness
Sunday, September 15, 2013 5-6pm
Westcott Community Center 826 Euclid Ave, Syracuse, NY 13210
Sponosored by NeuroDiversity Consulting LLC

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Christian blogger on mental illness.

Evangelical Christian blogger and psychiatrist Adrian Warnock has been doing a series of blog posts about mental illness since news broke in April about the the death of Rick Warren's son. The young man had suffered with mental illness for many years and took his own life as a result. I've finally gotten around to reading the work that Warnock has posted thus far and I find myself very moved by it. The first post asks a question that I think has a pretty obvious answer but that nonetheless gives Christians endless grief, Can a Christian get depressed? The answer is obviously yes. But as is pointed out in the post we get wrapped up in arguing about whether Christians should get depressed. That focus then warps what Christians think they are supposed to do about depression. I've been told that I should have been able to pray myself out of my depression. Given after I had my gotten my depression under control such advice was merely a nuisance. Had I received it at any time before I had gotten my depression under control I can't imagine how it would have helped. It has been my experience that that sort of approach to depression, and other mental illnesses, leaves people who need the support of their church family out in the cold.

Warnock's approach to the subject matter as a clinician working on a Christian foundation is refreshing. Not enough Christians evidence a strong understanding of the subtleties of mental health. I wish someone would have followed the advice Warnock gives here and here with me years ago. Thankfully I ended up getting the help I needed thanks in large part to God's good grace, and probably the prayers of my good Christian brothers and sisters who may have realized that something was wrong but didn't know what else to do. If you've been wondering what to do for someone in your life with concerning mental health issues I would recommend reading the posts in Warnock's series.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

FAA Furloughs and Flight Delays

You know, it occurs to me that if the leadership of this agency can't figure out how to give employees one day off each week without completely screwing up the functioning of their agency maybe it's time to replace such obviously incompetent leadership with people who know what they are doing.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that:

  1. Friends who stop in with coffee, donuts, and meds when I'm sick.
  2. The internet. I can do all sorts of research in my pjs from my sickie camp out spot on the couch.
What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Fracking War in NY

I wonder if the folks protesting hydrofracking in New York State know, or care, about this.

COVERUP FAILSFracking Safe in NY State, Says Leaked Report. “Thanks to a leak from an anonymous insider, we learned Thursday that a report commissioned by the State of New York has given fracking a clean bill of health. The insider ‘did not think it should be kept secret’ and released the document, which is now nearly one year old, to the New York Times.”

Gas Drilling Is Called Safe in New York (bit of an awkward headline but okay I can work with it).
"ALBANY — The state’s Health Department found in an analysis it prepared early last year that the much-debated drilling technology known as hydrofracking could be conducted safely in New York, according to a copy obtained by The New York Times from an expert who did not believe it should be kept secret."

NY State Health Department Report Says Fracking Could Be Done Safely
"A document from Governor Cuomo’s Administration assessing the health impacts of hydro fracking, written in early 2012, says the gas drilling process is likely safe if proper precautions are taken by the governor’s environmental agency.
The document, obtained by New York State public radio and other news organizations, outlines potential health risks associated with hydro fracking in New York. Those include possible exposure to chemicals used in hydro fracking, potential contamination of drinking water sources, and health impacts from naturally occurring radium that could be brought to the surface through the gas drilling process.

While the report says there are potential health risks involved in hydro fracking, it concludes that in each instance, proper mitigation measures that will be required by the state Department of Environmental Conservation will minimize any potential harm and reduce risks. The report, written in February of 2012, says “significant adverse impacts on human health are not expected from routine HVHF (hydro fracking) operations."

The report appears to have been intended for inclusion in the state’s ongoing environmental review of fracking. It also advises against trying to do a site specific quantitative risk assessment of fracking, saying there are too many variables and that too many assumptions would have to be made.

A spokeswoman for the DEC says the report is “outdated," and that no conclusions should be drawn.
I'm sure this will be explained away in short order as the DEC spokeswoman comment above suggests.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Thankful Thursday

So we'll see if I make a blog come back in 2013 for now I am thankful for/that:

  1. Warm wool socks. They kept my toes nice and toasty on this frigid day.
  2. The Horde is fully outfitted with scarves, hats, gloves, mittens, and boots so I can say yes when they beg to play in the snow.
  3. Inspiration.
  4. Friends!
  5. One more day to live my life.
What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that:

  1. A visit from one of my favorite sisters. She helps me keep it real.
  2. A really good visit with my adviser. Spring graduation is on the horizon.
  3. No snow yet, my sympathies to those of you who got buried this week.
  4. God is in control and in it for the long haul.
What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that:

  1. Syracuse dodged a major bullet, or the bullet dodged us, with super storm Sandy.
  2. We have the resources to help those now in need.
  3. Election season is almost over.
  4. I found my ASL class DVD! Now to catch up to the rest of the class.
What are you thankful for?