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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thought For Today

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

Mr. AOW has not driven a vehicle since his brain hemorrhage of September 15, 2009, and frequently makes use of MetroAccess, the paratransit service here in the D.C. area. Fares for door-to-door service range from a minimum of $3.60 each way to a maximum of $13.00 each way – in a limited service area.  

The service is heavily subsidized. Those vans are expensive to purchase and to fuel!  In addition, the drivers, who work long shifts, must be specially trained and paid a salary.

Mr. AOW and I are grateful for MetroAccess.  We used the paratransit service with frequency for over four years so that he could go to doctors' appointments, physical therapy sessions, and, occasionally, to social events before we purchased our own handicapped van.  And we still use MetroAccess even now, albeit only occasionally.

Yes, the fares for using MetroAccess put a dent in the wallet and are not covered by health insurance.  Fares for a private handicapped taxi are much more expensive, however: a minimum of $10.00 each way even if the distance traveled is a mere two miles. As far as we know, there is no cap on the maximum fares for private handicapped taxes.

It never ceases to amaze me that most people who are not dealing with a physically handicapped member of the family believe that the services provided by MetroAccess service are free to those using the paratransit system! Why should a paratransit service be free?

I am disappointed that so many political conservatives have bought into the entitlement mentality — even though these same conservatives vociferously condemn most entitlements.

Cultural Marxism is everywhere and manifests itself in numerous forms!


  1. As you indicated, the MetroAccess service is heavily subsidized.

    Doesn't that mean that taxpayers are footing a high percentage of the cost?

    The fees quoted seem very modest and eminently affordable to anyone who qualifies as a member of the middle class. I can see no reason whatsoever for complaining about them.

    HOWEVER, for the truly "dirt poor," who ALSO suffer horribly from dread diseases and the crippling results of strokes, heart attacks and automobile collisions, etc., the costs -- modest to "us" -- would be PROHIBITIVE.

    This is, of course, the dilemma we face as a society who prides itself on being "advanced."

    Just because "The Rich" can afford to have themselves carted to and from appointments in a private jet or chauffeured limousine does NOT mean their "privileges" should be forcibly removed on pain of death by an almighty, overreaching Marxian State.

    On the other hand, I see it as ENTIRELY reasonable that access to public transportation SHOULD be provided either FREE of CHARGE or GREATLY REDUCED cost for those whose situation must deal with tragic incapacity and whose income falls below a certain mean.

    We MUST stop thinking in ABSOLUTE EXTREMES, recognize and respect our common HUMANITY, and try to reinstitute the rule of Common Sense and Common Decency once tacitly agreed upon by all.

    1. FT,
      The fees quoted seem very modest and eminently affordable to anyone who qualifies as a member of the middle class. I can see no reason whatsoever for complaining about them.

      Normally, that is the case. However, for a few years -- until Mr. AOW qualified for Medicare -- costs of his monthly premiums, hisdeductibles, hisprescriptions, hiscaregiving equipment (wheelchair rental, hospital bed rental, AFO brace, therapy), hiscaregiving supplies (bed sheets, diapers, pureed food(, etc. -- were well in excess of $1500/month. In addition, I had medical expenses of my own.

      For six months following Mr. AOW's stroke, he had zero income; at the six-month mark, Social Security Disability kicked in. Medicare followed 24 months later.

      What saved us: the savings we had accumulated since 1972, when we married. We were avid savers. Thank God!

    2. PS: Apologies for the spacing errors. In a hurry because I'm off to work in a few minutes.

    3. Well, dear friend, your post seemed to focus more on the underlying PRINCIPLES that should apply to ALL regarding this issue rather than your individual circumstances, so I responded to that. You must know that no one could be more sympathetic -- or more understanding -- of the situation both of you face than I?

      Still, I believe it's always best to count our blessings as opposed to complaining of our griefs and losses. As you know, I've f recently lost about 50% of the eyesight I had three months ago -- eyesight that was already compromised and painfully limited. Naturally I don't LIKE it, bu I make a point of thanking God each day that -- so far -- I have enough money to hire transportation when it's needed. Of course I wish this weren't the case, but if I've learned anything at all in 73 years of trlal and error, it has to be that there is NOTHING to be gained from LAMENTATION.

      "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning."

    4. FT,
      The point of my long response to you: that even those reasonable fees can be onerous if certain circumstances are in play.

      We here in the D.C. area are very fortunate to have MetroAcess, and Mr. AOW and I get fed up with the whiners at the stroke club.

      There are, of course, inconveniences with the MetroAccess service. At times, the service strands the riders! One time, Mr. AOW and a disabled friend were abandoned and locked outside of the facility for over two hours.

      Another time, MetroAccess didn't show when Mr. AOW and I were at a winter concert at National Cathedral. There we were -- locked out in the rain -- on Wisconsin Avenue for over an hour late at night. MetroAccess has a policy for such circumstances (late pickup outside the 30-minute window), so Mr. AOW got several free rides for a time.

  2. More about those MetroAccess fees...

    Once a month, Mr. AOW attends a stroke club meeting. All the other attendees are very well off and live very close to the meeting place ($3.50 fare, each way). Yet, they bitch and moan that MetroAccess costs them anything at all! This attitude is what comes of the thinking that health care is a right. Never mind that a stroke club meeting is not medical care per se.

    1. I can well understand your irritation. Too many of us Americans have become so spoiled, so arrogant, so self-indulgen, and so imbued with this damnable ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY, we really are long overdue for some sort of COMEUPPANCE - a classic Rude Awakening.

      Just remember, "God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth that also shall he reap."

      However, it is not our job to punish the foolish. God will take care of them in His own good time.

      O, rest in the Lord
      Wait patiently go Him
      And He shall give thee
      Thy heart's desires.

      Cimmit thy way unto Him
      And trust in Him,
      And fret not thyself,
      Because of evil doers

      O rest in the Lord
      Wait patiently for Him ...

      Contralto aria from St. Paul by Felix Mendelssohn

  3. People are generous and open to helping other by nature, but when we see people scamming the system, it stifles charity.

    I think (just a hunch, I can't prove it) most people would have no problem paying taxes to help those who truly cannot help themselves IF our stupid feral government could identify the bums and moochers and lock them out of the system, and IF the feral bureaucracy didn't skim off such a large share for itself.

    I saw various news articles about public opinion in the congressional district that includes El Paso, Texas. A majority of this overwhelmingly Hispanic district believe the US is being scammed.

    I can't stand the Alex Jones, Whirled Nuts Daily and Alex Jones types, but I can't help but wonder what's really going on.

    1. I suggest you cultivate a more tolerant, open minded approach to the Alex Joneses, Joe Farahs, Glenn Becks, Mark Levins, Andrew Napolitanos and Michael Scheuers of this world. Their strident, abrasive, alarmist tone may repel a sober, reasonable, mild-mannered guy like you, but I assure you what they attempt to expose is WELL worth considering.

      If ever we lived in a time when strident alarmism, summary judgment and a strong groundswell of vigilante action was called for, surely the early twenty-first century in these United States qualifies.

      "O, Judgment, thou hast fled to brutish bests, and men have lost their reason, Fie on it! O fie! 'Tis an unweeded garden. Things rank and gross in Nature possess it merely ..." ~ Hamlet

    2. Yes, thank you, FT. I meant to mention that drama queen Glenn Beck instead of mentioning the charlatan Alex Jones twice.

      There is no way Alex Jones can believe what he is peddling. A man that stupid never would have made it that far up the food chain.

      I recommend a re-watch of Elmer Gantry or A Face in the Crowd.

      Yes, these men proceed from a grain of truth, but they stray into such outrageous territory and engage in hyperbole and histrionics to such an extent that it damages their credibility.

      About the only thing we share on this front is a love for good ol' Doc Savage. He's egotistical, he's not always right and he will contradict himself, but there's a gestalt about him, and I love his passion. I don't think it's an act, and I think he's one of the few sincere people out there.

      So please don't take my comments personally, old friend.

    3. Silverfiddle,
      I think (just a hunch, I can't prove it) most people would have no problem paying taxes to help those who truly cannot help themselves

      More than that!

      A lot of my homeschool moms don't donate for MetroAccess riders to use the service because these homeschool moms assume that the service is free. As much as the church where I hold classes is involved in an outreach ministry for disabled children, it surprises me that church members don't even know that there needs to be a fund so that those children can attend events, classes, etc.

  4. Maybe you're wising up. Conservative don't give a crap about those in need. Everyone is a moocher to them. And I'm sure you are benefiting from Obamacare yet you condemn it at every opportunity.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. FreeThinke: You make the mistake in assuming Lester Libreralmann can read

  5. Sadly those who have scammed the system have hardened the hearts of many who otherwise were more than happy to give those truly in need. Growing up in a rural area, we took care of our own. No transit system, no meals on wheels. No nothing but good hearted folks who made the runs for those in need. Churches were the main stay of keeping our seniors in their homes. Oh, how I long for the good old days.

  6. I suggest you cultivate a more tolerant, open minded approach to the Alex Joneses, Joe Farahs, Glenn Becks, Mark Levins, Andrew Napolitanos and Michael Scheuers of this world.
    That's right FT, those are the guys we need to deal with the issue of a conjecture that people feel handicapped transportation is free.
    I guess all I can really speak for is Boston and people have a good idea of the pricing. There are disagreements on whether or not the piice is "fair" but it provides good service and has wide support.

    Yeah, I think Silverfiddle brings up a valid point. I've seen The Ride dropping folks off at bars but you'll never completely eliminate abuse at the margins.

    Mind you, the service provides gainful employment and be increasing mobility may in fact help manage the cost of disabled care.
    But let's let freaking jerks like Alex Jones manage our discussion of important issues. And if you oppose a position just call it Marxist,. There, all better.
    It is intensely sad.

    1. Duck,
      the service provides gainful employment and be increasing mobility may in fact help manage the cost of disabled care

      Yes, those are also valid points.

      I don't believe that the occasional trip to a bar via the paratransit service is an abuse of the service. Does The Ride prohibit such trips?

      I see from The Ride's web site that fares for that service are very low.

    2. The fare was raised recently, AOW. There wasn't a lot of resistance.

    3. Fares were recently raised here, too. There was a lot of squawking -- but certainly not from us!

  7. Yesterday, for a total of $28, Mr. AOW and I used MetroAccess so as to visit the National Museum of American History.

    If not for MetroAccess, we wouldn't be able to visit the D.C. museums as often as we do.

  8. Speaking of individual charity, I must mention The Merry Widow, a former blogger who used to frequent this board.

    When she realized just what I was up against shortly after I brought Mr. AOW home, she dropped everything and flew here from Florida to help me. She stayed a full six weeks and got us "over the hump."

    I was at the point of collapse. Those five loads of laundry a day on top of my working outside the home would be enough to fell Hercules, I tell ya!

    She and I had never met in person before.

    Yet, out of Christian charity, she came here at no pay. I did pay her air fare -- and, of course, housed and fed her. In return, she potty trained Mr. AOW, fixed all meals, did all laundry, helped me get him to medical appointments, take him on an occasional outing for mental stimulation (an essential part of stroke recovery), etc.

    Veterans organizations (the VFW and the American Legion) also provided essential help: building the wheelchair ramp, for example.

  9. Conservatives are usually only conservative about things they've never personally experienced.


    1. And a liberal is someone who has not yet been mugged by reality, or who has but is too dense to realize it.

    2. There are pie-eyed liberals, Silver, and there are street smart liberals. Guess which one of those things a conservative, by definition, is not. My life has been a hell of a ride. I started out as essentially a libertarian, and very quickly came to realize what a selfish and shortsighted view that is. And I always knew conservatives were just plain wrong. Sometimes the nicest people you ever met, but so very often just plain wrong.


  10. Well, on one hand we could take care of everyone who truly needs it and not work up a sweat. I compare that to the kind of unbelievable crap we spend $ on now. How about octomom. Has 6 kids, gets free fertility treatment, has 8 more kids for free, living free for life. And that's a mild example I believe.

    I would sign up for providing free basic services with tax $$ at least for the handicapped if we chucked all the rest of this ^$%#%$$#@^$^$^ nonsense.

    1. Very Expensive fertility treatments...

    2. Kid,
      the kind of unbelievable crap we spend $ on now. How about octomom.


      Rearing a child costs much more than fertility treatments themselves. If someone cannot afford the treatments, how will she afford a child?

  11. Of course it's our tax dollars subsidizing that service and this is something we should all be happy to participate in. We could all need it some day, God forbid. I'm glad Mr AOW has this opportunity. MUCH cheaper than a cab, that's for sure.

    1. Z,
      There much fewer handicapped cabs than MetroAccess vans.

      The advantage to the cabs is they run on time. MetroAccess has scheduling issues -- understandable, but still a problem for some doctors' appointments. Neurologists and other specialists insist upon prompt arrival for appointments and are not understanding if a patient is late to arrive.

  12. oh, that's too bad. I didn't know that. I still think it's a great service, but.....I'd never even heard of handicapped cabs. I do remember waiting a very long time for a bus for elderly folks to pick up someone I was trying to help!


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