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Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:58 pm

This post is the result of some discussion on this site a few weeks ago, on the issue of ostomates being shamed for using the accessible washroom. I decided that I would write to my federal government, to ask them to consider an awareness campaign, much like the one ongoing in the UK, on this problem. The following letter is a draft of one I plan to send to Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion, for Canada. Unfortunately, this site won't allow me to post her email address (I tried), but you can easily find it if you Google her. The letter is meant to be used by anyone on this site, verbatim, or changed as you see fit, to send to your own elected officials. While I have tried to keep the letter as concise as possible, I welcome comments, particularly if I have left anything out. Who better to raise this issue, than we, who live this experience?

Laurie

 

Dear Minister Qualtrough, 

Not all disabilities are visible. While this fact may seem obvious, and I know that you understand it, the unfortunate reality is that it is far from obvious to most people. 

I have an ostomy. While I am generally able to function well in my life, I have special needs when it comes to toileting. That means that sometimes I need to use the accessible washroom. However, because my disability is invisible, I, and many others like me, have been shamed for using the accessible washroom, or worse, denied access to it altogether. Minister Qualtrough, I ask you to imagine how demeaning it is to be forced to clean up a feces leak, and change an ostomy appliance in the public washroom, in full view of others using the same facilities. It's enough to discourage an ostomate from going out in public. Indeed, that is sometimes the unfortunate result. 

I believe that people generally want to do the right thing, but sometimes they need help understanding what that is. This is why I am writing to you. I am asking your Ministry to facilitate an awareness campaign that will help inform people that not all disabilities require a wheelchair.

An awareness campaign, much like one ongoing in the UK (https://www.noteverydisabilityisvisible.org.uk/) could help people understand that those with invisible disabilities may still require accessible facilities. We should never have to explain or justify ourselves to strangers.

An awareness campaign of this nature needn't be cumbersome or expensive, especially if partnered with private industry, much like the UK campaign has done. Signage or stencils for washroom doors could be made available as a PDF download. Encouraging businesses, especially in the retail, food and service sectors, to present themselves as disability friendly, could pay off for them in public relations.

Educating the larger population about invisible disabilities would be beneficial to many, not just to ostomates. Minister Qualtrough, leadership from your Ministry on this issue could go a long way toward eradicating the stigma, exclusion and discrimination that many of us with invisible disabilities face every day.

Thank you for your consideration.

Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:01 pm

My compliments, Laurie.  Very well written and thanks for the initiative.

Sincerely,

Mike

Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:51 pm

I will be contacting Qualtrough's office next week to try to get a meeting with her and will report back here on my progress.  I just looked at the U.K. site and it's fantastic.  It would be great if we could get something like that going.  I really encourage all of you (Canadians) out there to send a copy of Laurie's (excellent) letter to Qualtrough with any personal experience you might have had added.  As for those of you in the U.S. and elsewhere I don't see why this letter  couldn't be sent to your own government representative.  Let's get those letters going!

 

Terry

Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:55 pm

Hi Laurie,

  Super interesting post!  So bear with me here........but I need some help understanding what it is you are specifically asking for.  Let's assume your Government does in fact launch an educational campaign..........and everyone comes to understand that not all disabilities are visual. Then what?  Sounds like you're asking for any "restrictions on public washrooms" to be relaxed? But then those without scruples will also get access and screw things up. So you'd need to somehow "authenticate" those with true invisible disabilities from the fakers and a-holes. How do you envision that happening......ID cards or a code on your license?  It's getting complicated (and expensive). So I'm just not understanding what the end game is that you are trying to accomplish. Not to mention that those who really need to understand what you are trying to teach them won't be paying attention. So after the education.....what happens next?  Again, not poo-pooing your idea......just trying to think it thru to the end.

 

Thanks,

Bob

Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:58 pm
w30bob wrote:

Hi Laurie,

  Super interesting post!  So bear with me here........but I need some help understanding what it is you are specifically asking for.  Let's assume your Government does in fact launch an educational campaign..........and everyone comes to understand that not all disabilities are visual. Then what?  Sounds like you're asking for any "restrictions on public washrooms" to be relaxed? But then those without scruples will also get access and screw things up. So you'd need to somehow "authenticate" those with true invisible disabilities from the fakers and a-holes. How do you envision that happening......ID cards or a code on your license?  It's getting complicated (and expensive). So I'm just not understanding what the end game is that you are trying to accomplish. Not to mention that those who really need to understand what you are trying to teach them won't be paying attention. So after the education.....what happens next?  Again, not poo-pooing your idea......just trying to think it thru to the end.

 

Thanks,

Bob


Bob, good questions.  I see this as a long process, ultimately, but it has to start with education. So, what I am asking for is just step one along the continuum. What I would like to see, at some point, is a federal consistency - an overall plan that strives for leveling the field. What we have here is probably much like what you have - a provincial responsibility to oversee the day to day details of how things are implemented.  That is fine to an extent, but it creates some inequities too. In Ontario, where I am, we have the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act,  and everyone who is employed in the province must, by law be trained in the subject of inclusion of people with disabilities. One of the issues covered in the training is invisible disabilities. But people forget. And not everyone is employed. So a refresher in the guise of an awareness campaign is another nudge to remind us. While I don't think I could legally be denied access to an accessible washroom here in Ontario, it might be different in another province. So I think some consistency is warranted. I have never encountered a locked accessible washroom here - that doesn't mean they don't exist, but I don't think they are that common. It is also quite common here to see people lining up to use the regular washroom, even as the accessible washroom is vacant. Again, that doesn't mean it never happens that people use the accessible washroom when they shouldn't, but I think generally, it isn't a very big problem, at least at this point. If it becomes a problem, then I guess we would have to address how to deal with it. But hey - we're Canadian. Politeness is our national trope, eh?

 

Laurie

Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:44 pm
w30bob wrote:

Hi Laurie,

  Super interesting post!  So bear with me here........but I need some help understanding what it is you are specifically asking for.  Let's assume your Government does in fact launch an educational campaign..........and everyone comes to understand that not all disabilities are visual. Then what?  Sounds like you're asking for any "restrictions on public washrooms" to be relaxed? But then those without scruples will also get access and screw things up. So you'd need to somehow "authenticate" those with true invisible disabilities from the fakers and a-holes. How do you envision that happening......ID cards or a code on your license?  It's getting complicated (and expensive). So I'm just not understanding what the end game is that you are trying to accomplish. Not to mention that those who really need to understand what you are trying to teach them won't be paying attention. So after the education.....what happens next?  Again, not poo-pooing your idea......just trying to think it thru to the end.

 

Thanks,

Bob


I second everything that Laurie said and would just add that we aren't trying to make huge changes here, something as simple as having signage on the handicapped washroom door (or the one that also doubles as 'family' washroom) saying "Not All Disabilities are Visible" would help.  You are never going to change the minds of the entitled Aholes out there who will use whatever facility they want whenever they want, but there really is a lack of awareness in the general public, most of whom are decent people.  In the case of businesses that deny access or question the need for access to people who don't "look" disabled, it's a simple need for education.  

Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:10 pm
Padfoot wrote:
w30bob wrote:

Hi Laurie,

  Super interesting post!  So bear with me here........but I need some help understanding what it is you are specifically asking for.  Let's assume your Government does in fact launch an educational campaign..........and everyone comes to understand that not all disabilities are visual. Then what?  Sounds like you're asking for any "restrictions on public washrooms" to be relaxed? But then those without scruples will also get access and screw things up. So you'd need to somehow "authenticate" those with true invisible disabilities from the fakers and a-holes. How do you envision that happening......ID cards or a code on your license?  It's getting complicated (and expensive). So I'm just not understanding what the end game is that you are trying to accomplish. Not to mention that those who really need to understand what you are trying to teach them won't be paying attention. So after the education.....what happens next?  Again, not poo-pooing your idea......just trying to think it thru to the end.

 

Thanks,

Bob


Bob, good questions.  I see this as a long process, ultimately, but it has to start with education. So, what I am asking for is just step one along the continuum. What I would like to see, at some point, is a federal consistency - an overall plan that strives for leveling the field. What we have here is probably much like what you have - a provincial responsibility to oversee the day to day details of how things are implemented.  That is fine to an extent, but it creates some inequities too. In Ontario, where I am, we have the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act,  and everyone who is employed in the province must, by law be trained in the subject of inclusion of people with disabilities. One of the issues covered in the training is invisible disabilities. But people forget. And not everyone is employed. So a refresher in the guise of an awareness campaign is another nudge to remind us. While I don't think I could legally be denied access to an accessible washroom here in Ontario, it might be different in another province. So I think some consistency is warranted. I have never encountered a locked accessible washroom here - that doesn't mean they don't exist, but I don't think they are that common. It is also quite common here to see people lining up to use the regular washroom, even as the accessible washroom is vacant. Again, that doesn't mean it never happens that people use the accessible washroom when they shouldn't, but I think generally, it isn't a very big problem, at least at this point. If it becomes a problem, then I guess we would have to address how to deal with it. But hey - we're Canadian. Politeness is our national trope, eh?

 

Laurie

Hi Laurie,  I'm surprised you have not encountered locked handicapped washrooms in Ontario because they are very common here in B.C. or at least in metro Vancouver, in fact they are practically the norm.  Locked washrooms in general are not that uncommon which may be because we have the dubious distiction of having the highest rates of drug addiction in the country!  We are also talking about the use of handicapped parking spots.  I regularly see people using those spots who may or may not be handicapped but they don't have the little placard hanging from their rear-view mirror.  I don't have one of those and have just used the regular parking spots.  I keep meaning to look into how you get one of those placards.  This may be another thing that is inconsistent across the country.  I'll do a little more looking before speaking to Qualtrough (assumming I get to).

Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:21 pm

Well done, Laurie. Good effort towards a good cause. Incidentally, I read that Japan has some transparent public toilets. The glass turns opaque when you lock the door. Wont be seeing too many of them around here anytime soon I guess!

Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:09 pm

Thanks everyone, for your comments. I will send the letter tomorrow, and will let you know when I get a reply. I expect it will take longer than usual; everything takes a back seat to Covid. 

Bowsprit, I saw those Japanese toilets on the news! Quite unique - I wonder if they look opaque from the inside too? That might instill some confidence in the user.

Terry, I actually don't use the accessible washroom very often, but no, I have never encountered a locked one. Maybe that will change as the opioid crisis worsens. 🙁 My father, who is 87 and starting to have some mobility issues, has a handicapped parking sticker for his car. I know he had to apply to the Ministry of Transportation (provincial), with a recommendation from his doctor. I don't know exactly what the criteria are, but it may vary from one province to another. Your discussion with Carla Qualtrough will be very interesting, and I look forward to hearing about it. Let's hope the confidence vote this fall (no pun intended) doesn't give us a change in government!

 

Laurie

Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:10 pm
Padfoot wrote:

Thanks everyone, for your comments. I will send the letter tomorrow, and will let you know when I get a reply. I expect it will take longer than usual; everything takes a back seat to Covid. 

Bowsprit, I saw those Japanese toilets on the news! Quite unique - I wonder if they look opaque from the inside too? That might instill some confidence in the user.

Terry, I actually don't use the accessible washroom very often, but no, I have never encountered a locked one. Maybe that will change as the opioid crisis worsens. 🙁 My father, who is 87 and starting to have some mobility issues, has a handicapped parking sticker for his car. I know he had to apply to the Ministry of Transportation (provincial), with a recommendation from his doctor. I don't know exactly what the criteria are, but it may vary from one province to another. Your discussion with Carla Qualtrough will be very interesting, and I look forward to hearing about it. Let's hope the confidence vote this fall (no pun intended) doesn't give us a change in government!

 

Laurie


Hi Laurie,  I found out it's the Social Planning and Research Council of our province who gives out the handicapped parking permits and the process is having your doctor complete their application.  There is a $25 fee and I imagine many doctors also charge their patients a fee for completing the application.  The process is probably similar across the country. Just another example of how it costs to be disabled.  Well, I guess that's why we get the tax credit!  I'm not having much luck with statistics, got a call in to a government department in Victoria.  I wonder how many of us members there are on this website, anyone out there know?  Or know a way to find out?  I realize it's worldwide but the number would still be interesting.  I might call Qualtrough's office tomorrow to see what kind of reception I get.  I've never been afraid of being a squeaky wheel and don't think it's ever been to my detriment.  A little diplomacy goes a long way.  Yes, Covid may throw a wrench into this whole thing, but we can try.  Heaven forbid we have to go through an election this fall.  I don't want to see a change in government either but you don't want me to start a political rant!

Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:23 pm

Terry, I would never stand in the way a good political rant! 😄 No worries - if the government falls, we will just petition the new one. We'll both be crying, so maybe they will take pity on us. 

Laurie

Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:26 pm
Padfoot wrote:

Terry, I would never stand in the way a good political rant! 😄 No worries - if the government falls, we will just petition the new one. We'll both be crying, so maybe they will take pity on us. 

Laurie


Hi Laurie,  I just had a great conversation with a very helpful lady from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.  I've completed an online request form and she is going to try to help me get some stats, but she warned me I may only be able to get stats for B.C.  That's OK, better than nothing.  She won't be available again until after the long weekend so I think I'll hold off on calling Qualtrough's office until then. Cheers,  T

Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:35 am

Just a reminder to any Canadians who are considering writing to Carla Qualtrough - please include your mailing address in your correspondence. You will be asked for it anyway. I also included my home phone #. Terry, the automatic response I got said that her office is closed due to Covid, so you aren't likely to schedule a face to face with her. But, you may be able to speak to her through zoom or FaceTime, so you might ask for that. 

Laurie

Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:26 pm

Hi to anyone still following this thread,  I thought I would relate an experience I had yesterday as it is an example of what we have been talking about here, accessibility to washrooms for ostomates.  I stopped at a mall on my way to my appointment with my ostomy nurse.  This is a medium sized somewhat upscale mall in the seaside retirement community of White Rock.  I needed to use the washroom and although it wasn't necessary, all I needed was a pee, I decided to check out the facilities for "handicapped".  There was a dedicated "handicapped" washroom but it was locked and a sign on the door said to ask a staff member in the food court which was right next to the washroom facilities.  I went to the nearest vendor, a sandwich shop, and asked for the key.  The young woman said I could get the key from "one of the cleaning ladies out in the food court" and that I just needed to look for them.  Well I proceeded to look for the cleaning ladies and saw no sign of anyone who looked remotely like a cleaning lady.  I went to another vendor and tried again.  I was told this time that if they weren't out cleaning the tables in the food court that they were probably cleaning one of the washrooms.  Now I needed to go search the washrooms, including the men's room I assume.  I was on my way to start my search when the sandwich shop lady saw me and pointed to a woman who was approaching from another part of the mall.  This apparently was one of the cleaning ladies!  When I  told her I needed to access the handicapped washroom she accompanied me to it and opened it for me.  This was just a test, but if I had had a full or leaking pouch and had needed immediate access to the washroom I would have been in big trouble.  I am particularly surprised to find access to a handicapped washroom so difficult in a municipality with such a large senior population.  I am adding this to my list of things to mention if/when I get to speak to Minister Qualtrough.  

 

Terry

Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:08 pm
Padfoot wrote:
w30bob wrote:

Hi Laurie,

  Super interesting post!  So bear with me here........but I need some help understanding what it is you are specifically asking for.  Let's assume your Government does in fact launch an educational campaign..........and everyone comes to understand that not all disabilities are visual. Then what?  Sounds like you're asking for any "restrictions on public washrooms" to be relaxed? But then those without scruples will also get access and screw things up. So you'd need to somehow "authenticate" those with true invisible disabilities from the fakers and a-holes. How do you envision that happening......ID cards or a code on your license?  It's getting complicated (and expensive). So I'm just not understanding what the end game is that you are trying to accomplish. Not to mention that those who really need to understand what you are trying to teach them won't be paying attention. So after the education.....what happens next?  Again, not poo-pooing your idea......just trying to think it thru to the end.

 

Thanks,

Bob


Bob, good questions.  I see this as a long process, ultimately, but it has to start with education. So, what I am asking for is just step one along the continuum. What I would like to see, at some point, is a federal consistency - an overall plan that strives for leveling the field. What we have here is probably much like what you have - a provincial responsibility to oversee the day to day details of how things are implemented.  That is fine to an extent, but it creates some inequities too. In Ontario, where I am, we have the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act,  and everyone who is employed in the province must, by law be trained in the subject of inclusion of people with disabilities. One of the issues covered in the training is invisible disabilities. But people forget. And not everyone is employed. So a refresher in the guise of an awareness campaign is another nudge to remind us. While I don't think I could legally be denied access to an accessible washroom here in Ontario, it might be different in another province. So I think some consistency is warranted. I have never encountered a locked accessible washroom here - that doesn't mean they don't exist, but I don't think they are that common. It is also quite common here to see people lining up to use the regular washroom, even as the accessible washroom is vacant. Again, that doesn't mean it never happens that people use the accessible washroom when they shouldn't, but I think generally, it isn't a very big problem, at least at this point. If it becomes a problem, then I guess we would have to address how to deal with it. But hey - we're Canadian. Politeness is our national trope, eh?

 

Laurie

 

Hey Laurie--

Years ago I experienced the rudeness, ignorance and lack of compassion that you are attempting to mitigate with legislation.  God, if only it could be so easy.  I used the necessary public facilities to correct an issue I was having.  Three "ladies" outside at the sinks and mirrors quite loudly voiced their opinions as to my "right" to use the "handicap stall.  I listened from inside as I was lambasted for my "arrogance" and my "sense of entitlement"  for using a stall that was NEEDED by folks with disabilities. I was embarrassed, but NOT for me.  I finished my business and proceeded to exit the stall, walking up behind the three at the mirrors.  I had "accidentally" left my pouch clearly visible and I elbowed my way to a place at the sink in front of the mirror.  I commented to the room in general, "it's refreshing to witness true understanding and compassion, thank you".  I must admit that I took advantage of their obvious embarrassment and took the opportunity to provide a limited education as to just who gets to determine what gets to be called a disability. At least they had the graciousness to apologize and blush.

However, considering the last few years of a world on fire, my faith in humanity has been SORELY SHAKEN.  I've always respected our right to different opinions. I've accepted there will always be some self absorbed lack of concern for others, a shortage of understanding and compassion, a lack of societal responsibilities and equality.   I must admit that my belief that these qualities and traits are out there has come under a new eye opening assessment.  I'm discovering that there are apparently far more selfish people in this ole world of ours than I imagined. Our world has become so divided about so many things that I fear our ability to compromise and come together on ANY front is being severely tested, and we are failing miserably.  I have found myself preferring NOT to engage and for me, that is pretty unusual.  I will always enjoy intelligent discourse, but my desire for it lessens with each day's news and angry battles, with each day's antagonistic attitudes about all things not about "self".  I am hoping that disengaing temporarily will at least allow me to decompress, reassess, and once again actually WANT to participate in growing the place that we are working so hard to create as the perfect world. I am choosing to remember this beautiful country that I have travelled extensively, marvelling at our geographical differences  I want to  acknowledge and appreciate our differences, those traditions, accents, behaviors, quirks and eccentricities that are singular as well as universal, instead of being afraid of them.  These things highlight our differences AND our similarities and we NEED them to be accepted.  I will pull from the photo album in my head the myriad of beautiful locations, national lands, small towns and large cities to enjoy, instead of the burned acreage, flooded communities, and fire bombed, looted buildings that litter the landscape of our world today. I WILL continue to hope that humanity finally comes to our senses and remembers that we ALL count in the grand scheme of things and we must be treated that way.  I truly hope that the next generation does a better job and has better luck than we boomers seem to have had.  Millenials have just overtaken boomers as the largest number of members, and I hope they've been paying attention and are not already so disillusioned that they give up before they get started.  They've got a big job ahead of them and I'm hopeful they are up to the task.  I wish them GOOD LUCK.

PEACE

Nancy

 



Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:00 pm

Nancy, I hear you. I can get disillusioned at times, but I refuse to go down without trying. I may not always get what I want, but I will be heard. Just like you were in the washroom story. Good for you for making yourself heard - those ladies learned something that day. That is all we can do - try to educate people. We aren't going to win them all over, but we can make some changes. You didn't change the world that day, but you did change how those ladies defined disability. They have been educated. You made a difference in their lives. I'm just trying to convince the government to try to do that on a larger scale. And no, we won't convince everyone - there will always be intolerance in the world. But when I can, I will push back. Just like you did. We need more people like you.

 

Laurie

Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:32 pm

Laurie,

Sorry for the disillusionment in my response. I honestly DO still have faith in most.  I think my negativity to that particular post is most likely a run over from the lawlessness that seems so pervasive today.  I agree that a nation's legislature is the most effective way of educating and creating applicable effective rule of law.  It's just that right now here in America there has been a RIDICULOUS GLUT of lawlessness.  This is not just the citizens who are reacting to ongoing situations, but more so the lack of respect shown by the administration of our nation.  We have suffered a leader and his friends whose belief is they are above the law, and the fact that our laws are being so blatantly ignored speaks to the lack of civility and morality in our citizens. The intentional disrespect of our Constitution, our rule of law, our humanity, and our moral compass, has damaged America in such a way that I finally recognized WHY so many foreigners have such a low opinion of Americans.  We seem willing to sell our souls (or at least the lives of fellow Americans) for the almighty dollar.  It is simply stunning how many folks actually believe THEIR money is more important that any human lives.  I'm still hoping for resolution, but I fear we are very far from an amicable solution.  Who would have EVER thought that ANY AMERICAN would think it was OK to mess with the election system that we have used to show the world the real value of democracy, when we have a leader in place who really believes he should be in charge for life?  Who would have ever thought that ANY AMERICAN would be accepting of a leader who is documented as a pathological liar and ADMITTED SEXUAL PREDATOR?  Where has America gone?  Still looking.....

PEACE

Nancy

Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:33 pm
dadnabbit wrote:

Laurie,

Sorry for the disillusionment in my response. I honestly DO still have faith in most.  I think my negativity to that particular post is most likely a run over from the lawlessness that seems so pervasive today.  I agree that a nation's legislature is the most effective way of educating and creating applicable effective rule of law.  It's just that right now here in America there has been a RIDICULOUS GLUT of lawlessness.  This is not just the citizens who are reacting to ongoing situations, but more so the lack of respect shown by the administration of our nation.  We have suffered a leader and his friends whose belief is they are above the law, and the fact that our laws are being so blatantly ignored speaks to the lack of civility and morality in our citizens. The intentional disrespect of our Constitution, our rule of law, our humanity, and our moral compass, has damaged America in such a way that I finally recognized WHY so many foreigners have such a low opinion of Americans.  We seem willing to sell our souls (or at least the lives of fellow Americans) for the almighty dollar.  It is simply stunning how many folks actually believe THEIR money is more important that any human lives.  I'm still hoping for resolution, but I fear we are very far from an amicable solution.  Who would have EVER thought that ANY AMERICAN would think it was OK to mess with the election system that we have used to show the world the real value of democracy, when we have a leader in place who really believes he should be in charge for life?  Who would have ever thought that ANY AMERICAN would be accepting of a leader who is documented as a pathological liar and ADMITTED SEXUAL PREDATOR?  Where has America gone?  Still looking.....

PEACE

Nancy


I can hear the anguish in your words. I don't disagree with a single thing you've said. I wish there was an easy solution, but I think we both know that there isn't one. All you can do, Nancy, is keep pushing back when you can. Remember that Nero badly; unfortunately Rome was destroyed too. Hopefully, we have learned some things since then. 

Laurie

Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:39 pm
dadnabbit wrote:

Laurie,

Sorry for the disillusionment in my response. I honestly DO still have faith in most.  I think my negativity to that particular post is most likely a run over from the lawlessness that seems so pervasive today.  I agree that a nation's legislature is the most effective way of educating and creating applicable effective rule of law.  It's just that right now here in America there has been a RIDICULOUS GLUT of lawlessness.  This is not just the citizens who are reacting to ongoing situations, but more so the lack of respect shown by the administration of our nation.  We have suffered a leader and his friends whose belief is they are above the law, and the fact that our laws are being so blatantly ignored speaks to the lack of civility and morality in our citizens. The intentional disrespect of our Constitution, our rule of law, our humanity, and our moral compass, has damaged America in such a way that I finally recognized WHY so many foreigners have such a low opinion of Americans.  We seem willing to sell our souls (or at least the lives of fellow Americans) for the almighty dollar.  It is simply stunning how many folks actually believe THEIR money is more important that any human lives.  I'm still hoping for resolution, but I fear we are very far from an amicable solution.  Who would have EVER thought that ANY AMERICAN would think it was OK to mess with the election system that we have used to show the world the real value of democracy, when we have a leader in place who really believes he should be in charge for life?  Who would have ever thought that ANY AMERICAN would be accepting of a leader who is documented as a pathological liar and ADMITTED SEXUAL PREDATOR?  Where has America gone?  Still looking.....

PEACE

Nancy


Hi Nancy,  I can understand your feelings of hopelessness but you just need to keep fighting against them.  There are bad people everywhere, it's just that Trump has given those people permission to crawl out of their holes and make themselves heard.  I believe there are enough people in your country who feel like you and won't let that man do any more damage.  As soon as there is a new administration in that does not tolerate hate and does not promote division, there will be hope for change.  The rats will have to crawl back into their crevices where they belong.  Hang in there. 

Regards,

Terry

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