Elder Law Workshop

Hey Seattle People!

Legal Voice and Qlaw are coming together this month to host a forum on elder law and the LGBT community. It’s going to take place at the Capitol Hill branch of the public library.

Here’s the flyer. Download it and pass it along, or just copy this blog post and share it.

Rape Victim Suspended for Telling

The longer I’m alive in the United States, the less and less we seem to value women and girls. Men think they’re expendable, and now women get in on it by being complicit in lies, coverups, or even procuring victims.

I thought I had heard everything. But this story made me so sick I had to pass it along.

I first happened on it in a post by Boing Boing. A seventh grade special education student was expelled during the 08-09 school year. The reason? She reported being raped by a classmate. School officials didn’t believe her, and suspended her for filing a false report. When she was allowed to return to school the following year, she was provided with no protection from her alleged attacker. During that year, the harassment continued, leading up to another rape in the school library.

The girl was suspended again for, among other things, PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION. The suspension came even after her mother took her for an exam, found evidence that a sexual assault had occured, and DNA matching the boy in question was recovered.

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Should We Declare Bankruptcy August 3rd?

This whole debt ceiling show off showdown hostage situation has me furious, sad, worried, and a ton of other things. I think about this every single day. It feels like there’s not much any of us can do to stop it. We’re contacting our folks in D.C. in such droves that we crashed their systems. We call in to shows, talk to each other over social media, and make all the preparations we can out here in real world. And still, the Un-American brats in D.C. vow to steal from veterans, disabled people, and the elderly because the suffering of the rich would just be too much to bear. Impeachment for treason should be the order of the day, but somehow it’s not.

What are us real Americans to do? We’re the ones out here trying to build lives for ourselves, our friends and our families, no matter what ridiculous slaps in the face they give us. Our civil liberties have been eroded in the name of national “security”, those of us who are poor have been blamed for everything, and politicians across several states are doing their best to make sure that “undesirable” people cannot vote in the 2012 elections.

And then this afternoon, I saw something. A comment on a New York Times article that has some potential. Let me put it up for you:

If the US defaults, guaranteeing interest rates go up, I give up. And by that I mean, if my own country is refusing to pay its bills, I’m refusing to pay mine. I’m declaring bankruptcy on August 3rd if they don’t raise the debt ceiling by August 2nd. I’ve been slowly and steadily paying my credit cards bills down, even as my bank has hiked my interest to 29.99% APR. It’s taken me five years to pay off half of my debt, and probably will take me another five years to finish paying it off. Believe me, it’s hard, but I thought it was the right thing to do. By why should I bother if my own government won’t pay its bills?

Also, if they’re going to put social security and medicare on the table, programs I’ve paid into for 20 years, and they’re not going to be there for me when I retire, I’m going to need to start saving for retirement right now. It might destroy my credit rating to declare bankruptcy, but… that won’t matter if I can’t ever afford to buy a house or a car anyway. I am sick and tired of politicians protecting the wealthy while income inequality gets worse, and the middle class struggles harder and harder with fewer and fewer safety nets. Middle class income has been flat for 30 years while the fruits of our labor were enjoyed by the wealthiest. Our protections against banks have been stripped away, and we’re losing unions, access to affordable healthcare, and benefits we paid for to be there for us.

I think we should all immediately contact our congress person and say if the US is defaulting on its bills, so are we. That might be the only way to get some pressure from Wall Street to raise the debt ceiling. If Republicans can threaten to ruin our economy, we can threaten to ruin the bankers’ profits. If that’s a fair negotiating strategy for Republicans, bring it on from the rest of us.”

So the basic idea is to drop our debt if our Congress thinks dropping their’s is such a great idea. I have to admit, as much as I’m for personal responsibility, this would be something I’m in favor of. After all it may only get harder to declare bankruptcy in the next few years anyway. We all saw how the laws allowing us to do that got tightened as things got harder financially.

Perhaps a complete reset is in order. I’m going to turn the comments back on so there can be discussion back and forth. But let’s have real talk about the costs and benefits of it ok? Not just basic superficial soundbites about “the need to be responsible not matter what” or “yeah, man *&%$ the GOP!”.

Tawk Amongst Y’selves, dawlings! 🙂