Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Lame excuses from a crippled regime

Of 180 countries in the world issuing currency, only the United States prints bills that are identical in both size and color for all denominations. After losing a four-year lawsuit over the matter, the "Justice" Department of the Bush Administration is retaliating against the American Council for the Blind, appealing the ruling with the argument that introducing modifications to the currency would be an unbearable hardship for the US mint and the all-important vending machine industry, and that the burden really should fall on the blind, who can buy and carry currency readers or just use their credit cards. Yes, that is what the US government is actually arguing: "Let Them Use Credit Cards!" and "Let Them Buy Portable Currency-Reading Scanners And Carry Them Everywhere!" (Marie Antoinette Lives!) After all, the (multi-million-dollar) cost to the US government would be equal to several hours of (multi-billion-dollar) Iraq spending. How did Nepal and every other country manage to be able to handle it but the poor little United States just doesn't have enough money? And doesn't the vending machine industry want the business of visually-impaired persons as well? Do they have the luxury of just rejecting potential customers? It is hard to imagine happening in Japan, where Universal Design is well-established. America is left behind even the most regressive countries in the world again. Sometimes I just don't get the United States. I suppose we should be thankful that America is ruled by "compassionate conservatives." If these are the Compassionates, I hate to imagine what Regular (Original? Classic?) Conservatives would be like. Your government at work, fighting the blind. It's hard work. Stay the course.

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