Eyes, but cannot See

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”  -Helen Keller

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I just heard about this article last night and ….I’m waaaay confused.

Here’s the scoop from the Sacramento Bee:

The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday that it and the National Federation of the Blind have reached a settlement with the Sacramento Public Library Authority to supply e-book readers for blind people.

The settlement resolves allegations that the library violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by using “inaccessible” Barnes & Noble Nook electronic readers in the library lending program.

The settlement agreement calls for the library not to acquire any more e-readers that exclude blind people, who need features such as text-to-speech functions or the ability to access menus through audio or touch options.

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Before I comment on this, my lawyers have asked me to state for the record: “No one here has anything against anybody who is blind, deaf, mute, tall, short, red-haired, skinny, squinty, furry, or smells funny” (…ok, I may be fibbing about that last one).

All set? On we go.

This is an actual case (which was just settled), brought by the Department of freakin’ Justice about Kindles, Nooks and assorted E-Readers? Seriously? THIS is what they’re doing instead of “investigating” Fast And Furious? This is why they dropped the charges against the New Black Panther Party from the 2008 election? To allow them the time necessary to sue….the LIBRARY?

Two words: Ri. Diculous.

Adding to the dichotomy between what the DOJ should be doing and what they evidently are doing is: isn’t the Public Library, ..well, …Public? Meaning: aren’t they largely funded by our tax dollars? So isn’t this basically one arm of the government suing another one? And we’re on the hook to pay for ALL of it? You could almost say it’s inconceivable.

And another question: what if I’m blind AND deaf? A talking Kindle wouldn’t do ME any good then. In order to not discriminate against me at that point, the libraries (all of them, remember, not just some) would have to go purchase BRAILLE E-Books. Sure, they only exist conceptually right now, but why would that stop Big Daddy? It’s not as if the government has never set standards which are physically impossible before this.

I get that everyone should have reasonable access to everything. But the key word is “reasonable”. Everyone already has access to the libraries, for free, and every book within. Also, in most libraries they already have a plethora of services for the visually impaired. I will further posit that every single book in the library is likely not available on E-Readers. So what then? Should those books be taken off the shelves until they eventually make it into Nook, version 9.0?

The library was merely trying to add a new technology for their patrons, and they’re vilified for it. Next time someone questions how too much government stagnates innovation, you might want to bring up this example.

The EPA, DOJ, and virtually every other government agency seem to have a conspiratorial approach when dealing with the general population (and now even each other). I realize that “conspiratorial” may be too loaded a term for some folks, so you may substitute “totally-hive-minded” if you’d prefer.

I’ll ask you: do you think this was the biggest hot-button issue facing us today? Does every facet of our life need the government’s “wise intervention”? I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic when I say: Every time another government ‘edict’ is announced, it always seems to cost money. A LOT of money.

Our money.

That’s probably just a coincidence, though.

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8 responses to “Eyes, but cannot See

  1. And to celebrate the frivolous spending (JUST in time for the kick-off of the Dems’ National Convention), the debt tally hit the $16 TRILLION mark. It was probably those Kindles that put us over the milestone…..

    • Pgh,
      See my reply to GBL below.

      Also, have you noticed the complete lack of ANY acknowledgment of our dire economic situation from the Dem Convention thus far? It’s almost like Obama is running for the White House for the very first time.

      if it weren’t so sad, it’d be laughable.

      • I’m just waiting for the Republican ad that shows then candidate/Senator Obama saying that we can’t finance our future with a credit card issued by the Chinese government, and saying that Bush 43 was “irresponsible and un-Patriotic” for a $9 Trillion national debt. Then, show the debt “clock” hitting $16 Trillion as the Dem’s national convention kicks off.

        If $9 Trillion is those things, what would you call a man who added at least $5 Trillion more in just 3 years?

        Glenn Beck aired a very interesting piece the other day. It was candidate Obama making promises for his first term, if elected, and then the same, and I mean, THE SAME words coming out of his mouth now, as promises for the next 4 years.

        The comparison was made that it was like having a contractor come to your house in 2008 and tell you that it would take “X” dollars to do the remodeling you wanted. Then, 4 years later, with no work having been done (but excessive funds spent), he tells you he needs another 4 years, AND MORE MONEY to do what he had originally promised.

        I wonder if you’d keep him around?

  2. I suspect that most of the actual BOOKS in the library are not available in Braille, either…But maybe we shouldn’t point that out…someone might decide to just close the place altogether. Congratulations on giving me my eyes-crossing, teeth-gritting moment of the day, bro.

    • I’m there for ya, Sis! ;)

      Although, a computer that turns written pages into Braille has been around for a few years now. Of course, they only cost between $5,000 & $10,000.

      Each.

      I’m confident that Obama’s DOJ will be mandating one of them in every library, ….right after the election.

  3. It’s all a search for absolute equality, which is a fantasy. This reminds me of the short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut. It’s a story about the future where everyone is finally “equal.” Stronger people have weights attached to them so that they will be as weak as the weaker people. Smarter people have buzzers implanted in their ears that interrupt their train of thought. Etc etc etc. Very creepy story but somehow almost believable when you consider stories like this and the sorts of “equality” people seem to be seeking.

    You can read it here. It’s very short.
    http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html

    • Read it years ago, partner. You’re absolutely right: it is the ideal where everyone is equal, meaning no one is truly special, in any way.

      It is the death of the individual and should be abhorrent to our country.

      Every time this subject comes up (and I’m usually discussing Progressives when it does), I always keep coming back to my oldest son’s favorite movie, The Incredibles. I don’t know if Pixar actually meant to make the catch phrase so incisive, but it was:
      “When everyone is Super….NO ONE will be.”

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