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Feb. 23rd, 2007

New Podcast is up part 1 Meeting Ronnie Milsap

Well, part 1 of Meeting Ronnie Milsap is up.

It's really a listen in on an amazing series of sound checks in a 22 thousand seat arena, and then some snippits from the concert itself. Be warned, you need to keep hands on the volume control, for shall i say, I show my enthusiasm lots and lots!

Listen in and buckle your seatbelts, it's a great concert!

Part 2 will show up soon.

Please feel free to share this with anybody you like. I had a lot of fun that night, and I hope you do as well while you hear this. O, and Ronnie will be on the Marlaina Program this Easter Sunday in North America. My program is heard on ACB Radio each Sunday night, so check it out.

Happy Listening!

Marlaina and Agnes, the A#1 Guide Dog
It's all about Agnes

Jan. 18th, 2007

Show Us The Money

From: "Justice For All Moderator" <
jfa@jfanow.org
>
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2007 2:13 PM
Subject: Show Us The Money
Show Us The Money
America's Paper Currency Shortchanges the Blind
By Cyrus Habib
January 18, 2007
Blind Americans may soon find themselves able to use money just
like anyone else. That is unless the Treasury Department is
successful this month in its appeal of a recent federal court
order that paper currency be made recognizable to the blind, who
are currently unable to distinguish one denomination from another.
I, for example, rely on the generosity of cab drivers, baristas
and store clerks each time I make a purchase with cash. That I
have rarely been ripped off is a testament to their honesty or my
charm, but I cannot help but protest the perpetual necessity for
either. After all, there are 180 countries in which this is not
the case, because their currency is designed to be distinguishable
by all.
U.S. District Judge James Robertson asked the Treasury Department
to determine the best means of making money distinguishable by the
blind, citing the myriad solutions proposed by the organization
that filed the lawsuit, the American Council of the Blind. These
included using raised ink, modifying the size of certain bills and
producing a tactile mark to indicate a bill's denomination. The
Treasury Department has objected to all such solutions, claiming
that the $75 million price tag is simply too high.
Of course, Treasury's lawyers fail to mention that the cost would
have been far lower had the department acted voluntarily when the
$20 bill was redesigned in 1998 and the $10 bill was modified last
year. Instead, it has decided to spend our tax money fighting the
blind in court, appealing Judge Robertson's decision even before a
final judgment on the nature of a solution could be reached.
Blind people in the United States suffer from a staggering 70
percent unemployment rate, and a disproportionately high
percentage of those who are employed occupy jobs in the low end of
the service sector. There is no question that the catastrophic
poverty of America's blind requires a solution. Why not begin by
giving us access to money at the most atomic level? How can blind
Americans become truly independent, achieving the success we
deserve and leaving behind the stigma of federal and state aid,
without being able to differentiate between a dollar bill and a
fifty?
The Treasury Department suggests using debit and credit cards,
disregarding the fact that the lives of many blind Americans hinge
upon financial exchanges for which plastic is often useless, such
as catching a crosstown bus, purchasing a cup of coffee or getting
change for laundry.
These basic day-to-day experiences may not constitute reality for
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and his team, but they certainly
do for millions of blind and low-vision Americans.
Some have called the lawsuit frivolous, arguing that blind people
have managed to survive for years by relying on others for help.
Such reasoning does more than ignore the overwhelming poverty and
hardship that plague the blind community; it dishonors the
sacrifices millions of disabled Americans made to help bring about
passage of the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act. Money is
essential to a person's participation in society. Its
accessibility to blind people should be considered as important as
that of wheelchair ramps or Braille in elevators.
When it comes to accommodating disabilities such as blindness, let
us continue to lead the world in practice as well as in principle.
More important still, let us tell the world that we, too, believe
that blindness should not be an obstacle to financial
independence. In doing so, let us also take a significant step
toward ameliorating the living conditions of blind Americans, now
and for years to come.
The Treasury Department should obey Judge Robertson's order and
show us the money.
The writer, a Rhodes Scholar and JD candidate at Yale Law School,
is preparing an amicus brief on this case with Dean Harold Hongju
Koh.
Source: Washington Post
________________________________________________________________
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Jan. 15th, 2007

last leg of the trip

We are now awaiting our wheelchair lift van from super shuttle, then it's off to lax for our flight home. I've just made reservations for the csun conference in march, where I'll see many wonderful longtime friends. My cold is very bad, so when I get home, I'll go to bed after little madeline returns from her visit with our puppy raiser friends. Best to all, and thanks for reading! And, thanks for responding as well! Love f all 3 Liebergs as they journey home on Southwest Airlines!

Jan. 14th, 2007

Back In The U S efA

We are now at ! Lng Beach Westin, and doing well, but I have a nasty cold! I got in, had lunch1 watched useattle lose its playoff game to Chicago, then went to sleep for several hours. I am now about to have some tea after dinner1 then will hit ! rack again for more sleep. We had a wonderful cruise, met new friends with whom I think we will remain in touch long after the cruise, and generally had a wonderful time. What ui most valued, other than the good times we had, is the fact that Agnes did beautifully with her first cruise! I was a bit worried, but she exceeded my highest expectations!

Tomorrow, we will leave for ! airport at about 12:20 pm2 our flight leaves at 3 with a stop in ,oakland.Our next cruise is planned for Sepjember. I cannot wait! Gary is playing with the new watch I bought him as I write this. I am s grateful for my Braillenote pk, which has proved to be flawless in its performance for me all during this trip! It is tiny and functional, and it has been just great.

I will share more info when I am home, sitting with a nice cup-a at my pc! We get Maddie back home tomorrow night1 and Agnes can't wait to see her2 o, did ui mention, neither can we!!!

Much love to all, f all ! ,liebergs now in Long Beach, Californie!

Jan. 13th, 2007

the last word

Well, this is our last day at sea. We are headed in a North Westerly direction, and the temperature at sea is 53, the water temperature is 73. It is always sad to end a cruise, but I look forward to our next one in September.

Jan. 12th, 2007

another dispatch from the pacific

Today we are at sea, wending our way back to California. I've caught a nasty cold which is no fun, but am making the best of it anyway.

Jan. 11th, 2007

Puerto Villarta Mexico

As I write this, I am sitting outside in a cafe at the port of Puerto Villarta Mexico. I have just done some shopping, and it's a lot of fun to barter for the best price, though I always feel I shouldn't do it too much because I know many of these people are very poor.

Jan. 9th, 2007

Ola de Mexico

Today we are in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The sun is shining brilliantly, and the temperature is close to 80 degrees.

Dec. 21st, 2006

The double standard of the voice goes on and on

With even more pride than I ever thought possible, I again say the Voice of the Nation's Blind does not speak for me! Here's the latest believe it or not from the National Federation of the Blind, who may I remind you, oppose the concept of video description, accessible pedestrian signals and accessible currency. After all, we don't need those as blind folks, but we, according to the Voice of the lack of reason and concern for the nation's blind, sure do need this:

Breakthrough Technology Provides TV Listings to the Blind
PR Newswire, via Yahoo
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
By National Federation of the Blind
Wednesday December 20, 3:04 pm ET
Free, On-Demand Service Available to Millions
BALTIMORE, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Federation of the Blind
has partnered with Tribune Media Services to add television listings to
NFB-NEWSLINE®,
the nation's largest on-demand news service for the blind. Beginning
today, blind and visually impaired Americans will have independent access
to their
local TV listings, all in one place, only a telephone call away.
Eric Duffy, a Columbus, Ohio native and blind parent of two children,
said: "It is so important to find quality television programming for
young children.
Now I can choose appropriate TV shows for my children, just like any
other sighted parent."
Garrick Scott, of Atlanta, Georgia, hosts a weekly sports talk show.
"Watching sports is a huge part of my life, and this new capability makes
it infinitely
easier to find what I want to watch," Scott said.
By simply entering the zip code, source of TV reception, and time zone,
blind users will have quick and easy access to their local TV listings.
The listings
are interactive, as the user can navigate and choose between date, time,
and/or channel listings. After a user enters the local zip code, he or
she is
presented with a list of cable and satellite providers in the area. The
user can also indicate the use of a television antenna.
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind said:
"The sheer volume of information that blind persons will now have access
to is
astonishing. Finally, blind television viewers can find out what's on any
channel, at any time, and within seconds."
Over 50,000 NFB-NEWSLINE® subscribers already enjoy the free electronic
newspaper service which carries 242 newspapers and magazines to 41 states
and the
District of Columbia. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today,
and AARP The Magazine are among the many national and local newspapers
offered.
Subscribers have access twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week,
through a local or toll-free telephone number.
NFB-NEWSLINE® uses the Zap2it television listings, a product of Tribune
Media Services and the leading source of entertainment listings in the
country.
Individuals who are unable to read print due to a physical disability are
eligible for this free service. To register or to request more
information, call
the National Federation of the Blind at (866) 504-7300, or visit them
online at
http://www.nfbnewsline.org/
About the National Federation of the Blind
With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is
the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people
in the United
States. The NFB improves blind people's lives through advocacy,
education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence
and self-confidence.
It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the
nation's blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of
the
Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the
United States for the blind led by the blind.
Source: National Federation of the Blind
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/061220/cgw052.html?.v=75

Dec. 20th, 2006

The Voice Goes On and On and On and . . .

Mister Mark Maurer, the President of the National Federation of the Blind, is still writing his edicts describing why accessible currency is not necessary. I wish there was a way to get through to Mister Maurer, but I fear you can't change the minds of those who will not listen. So we have the voice of the nation's blind, but certainly not the ability to listen to the nation's blind. I understand that even a few of Mister Maurer's members are not in agreement with their leader on this issue.

What saddens me
here is the pettiness of the NFB position. Why does an organization which purports
to be the voice of the nation's blind insist on keeping the nation's blind under
the thumb of the nation's sighted when it comes to complete independence with regard
to handling paper money. And, why is the voice of the nation's blind so myopic and
so arrogant as to think that such a change would only benefit the nation's blind
when in fact, I have been approached by more than a few of the nation's sighted who
have said they are in support of this for their own reasons--reaching into a wallet
to grab money at a drive-through food window, reaching for money in a darkened taxi
at night, etc. How sad the voice of the nation's blind is so woefully out of touch
with something that would so clearly benefit the nation's blind and many others not
blind who live in the nation. AndNow remember, these are the same folks who have
previously argued and demonstrated and written letters regarding their belief that
the nation's blind should have the right to sit in exit row seating on aircraft;
this is apparently more important to the voice than is the concern that even one
of the nation's blind could be ripped off by one of the nation's unscrupulous sighted
giving incorrect information about the denomination of a paper currency. Ah but
wait, apparently with proper training, this will never happen; poppycock! I have
yet to know one blind person who hasn't been lied to about the denomination on money,
or who is so organized as to never ever ever, even without proper training, make
an error and think one bill is a denomination it isn't. If I were blind and lived
in another country using accessible currency, I'd be insulted by the attitude of
the voice. Call it a passionate issue with me and perhaps it is. I often do agree
with issues the voice takes on though perhaps not the strategies often used by the
voice. But this time, well let's just say my respect for the voice is gone. As
I've said before, I think it's shameful.
Marlaina, who must not live in this nation for the voice does not speak for her.

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