Category Archives: Disability and Elderly Issues

Army McCarthy hearings

Wikipedia: Army Mcarthy hearings 1954

The Army–McCarthy hearings were a series of hearings held by the United States Senate‘s Subcommittee on Investigations (April–June 1954) to investigate conflicting accusations between the United States Army and U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy. The Army accused Chief Committee Counsel Roy Cohn of pressuring the Army to give preferential treatment to G. David Schine, a former McCarthy aide and friend of Cohn’s. McCarthy counter-charged that this accusation was made in bad faith and in retaliation for his recent aggressive investigations of suspected Communists and security risks in the Army.

Army–McCarthy hearings
McCarthy and Cohn during the hearings

Joseph McCarthy (left) chats with Roy Cohn at the hearings
Event Senate hearing derived from Senator Joseph McCarthy’s hunt for communists in US
Time April–June, 1954
Place Washington DC,
Participants The two sides of the hearing:

  • US Army (accusing their opponents of blackmail)
  • Joseph McCarthy, Roy Cohn and G. David Schine (accusing the Army of communism)
Chairman Senator Karl Mundt
Result End of the McCarthy era

Chaired by Senator Karl Mundt, the hearings convened on March 16, 1954, and received considerable press attention, including gavel-to-gavel live television coverage on ABCand DuMont (April 22–June 17). The media coverage, particularly television, greatly contributed to McCarthy’s decline in popularity and his eventual censure by the Senate the following December.

HealthSouth is the largest rehabilitation hospital in the U.S.

“We are the nation’s largest owner and operator of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals in terms of patients treated and discharged, revenues, and number of hospitals.”


Eerily relevant. Stay tuned for how it is relevant.


“We provide specialized rehabilitative treatment on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. We operate hospitals in 30 states and Puerto Rico, with concentrations in the eastern half of the United States and Texas. In addition to our hospitals, we manage five inpatient rehabilitation units through management contracts.”


A minority stockholder takes on the crooked board of directors at a billion dollar corporation.

The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956)


“Our inpatient rehabilitation hospitals offer specialized rehabilitative care across a wide array of diagnoses and deliver comprehensive, high-quality, costeffectivepatient care services. As participants in the Medicare program, our hospitals must comply with various requirements that are discussed below in the
“Sources of Revenues—Medicare Reimbursement—Inpatient Rehabilitation” section.”




“Substantially all ( 92% ) of the patients we serve are admitted from acute care hospitals following physician referrals for specific acute inpatient rehabilitative care. Most of those patients have experienced significant physical and
cognitive disabilities or injuries due to medical conditions, such as strokes, hip fractures, and a variety of debilitating neurological conditions, that are generally nondiscretionary in nature and require rehabilitative healthcare services in an inpatient setting. Our teams of highly skilled nurses and physical, occupational, and
speech therapists utilize proven technology and clinical protocols with the objective of restoring our patients’ physical and cognitive abilities. Patient care is provided by nursing and therapy staff as directed by physician orders while case managers monitor each patient’s progress and provide documentation and oversight of patient status, achievement of goals, discharge planning, and functional outcomes. Our hospitals provide a comprehensive interdisciplinary clinical approach to treatment that leads to a higher level of care and superior outcomes.”


In the beginning, there was the Word. The word provided here is an excellent 252 page 10-K document on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Produced by high-priced attorneys who write well, the 10-K provides a form of truth serum for patients, like me, who need the services all too often HealthSouth fails to make available for a comprehensive recovery. As both an inpatient four times and a current out-patient, the HealthSouth facility here in Pleasant Gap, PA is beautifully located and filled with skilled and dedicated occupational and physical therapists. Its resources, however, are not being used efficiently to provide badly needed services. Details forthcoming. Meanwhile, enjoy the read. Next year, as a consequence of merger, HealthSouth will be called Encompass. If only…



Randall Jarrell’s Letters





Randall Jarrell (May 6, 1914 – October 14, 1965) was an American poet, literary critic, children’s author, essayist, novelist, and the 11th Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, a position that now bears the title Poet Laureate.



90 North

At home, in my flannel gown, like a bear to its floe,

I clambered to bed; up the globe’s impossible sides

I sailed all night—till at last, with my black beard,

My furs and my dogs, I stood at the northern pole.

There in the childish night my companions lay frozen,

The stiff furs knocked at my starveling throat,

And I gave my great sigh: the flakes came huddling,

Were they really my end? In the darkness I turned to my rest.

—Here, the flag snaps in the glare and silence

Of the unbroken ice. I stand here,

The dogs bark, my beard is black, and I stare

At the North Pole . . .

                                        And now what? Why, go back.

Turn as I please, my step is to the south.

The world—my world spins on this final point

Of cold and wretchedness: all lines, all winds

End in this whirlpool I at last discover.

And it is meaningless. In the child’s bed

After the night’s voyage, in that warm world

Where people work and suffer for the end

That crowns the pain—in that Cloud-Cuckoo-Land

I reached my North and it had meaning.

Here at the actual pole of my existence,

Where all that I have done is meaningless,

Where I die or live by accident alone—

Where, living or dying, I am still alone;

Here where North, the night, the berg of death

Crowd me out of the ignorant darkness,

I see at last that all the knowledge

I wrung from the darkness—that the darkness flung me—

Is worthless as ignorance: nothing comes from nothing,

The darkness from the darkness. Pain comes from the darkness

And we call it wisdom. It is pain.

Randall Jarrell, “90 North” from The Complete Poems. Copyright © 1981 by Randall Jarrell.  Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Source: The Complete Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1969)



Laura, the Woman Who Helped Me Survive Cancer When I was 28

YEARS LATER, Laura said, “Are you ever going to get me out of your system?” It was a rhetorical question, the kind one asks when too many events have passed to make an answer possible. In this case, however, the answer is that I will never get her out of my system. I will always love her in a way that makes my heart beat faster and my palms sweat. Some people—either by accident or fate—enter our lives and we are forever different. For me, Laura remains one of those people. We never could learn how to live together, but we will always love each other. It is, of course, impossible to describe such a relationship. Most who experience it have the good sense not to try.

On that day in late April, as we sat in that poorly lit bar with cheap red tablecloths, our love affair was at its most intense period and, as it would turn out, its most fragile.

LAURA TAUNTON SHELBY CONSTABLE. She is 5 feet 41/2 inches tall and weighs 112 pounds. She has green eyes and shoulder-length dark-blond hair. She is beautiful in a way that defies classification. Her long angular face with its high cheekbones and rigid jaw causes strangers on the street to stare at her. Her figure is lean; her long legs graceful, and she dresses and frequently acts with a flamboyant carelessness, as if saying, “I don’t care what men think of my looks.”


Sex with her was the most exciting thing either of us had ever known.


But she cares intensely. An old boyfriend once called her Iron Jaw, and she remains sensitive to comments about her appearance. Often she is ready to rebuff remarks that never come. When we first met she wore blue jeans and dark turtlenecks, like a uniform. It was what she called her “tough-guy period.” Recently she has begun to “soften her image,” wearing cotton and silk blouses which reveal her braless breasts. The best restaurants in town have not yet adjusted to blue jeans, and each supper presents a new challenge to headwaiters to decline to seat her, a challenge she always wins. When she is alone, she goes off to spend hours in exclusive Georgetown boutiques, trying on outfits she rarely buys and never wears—imagining she is throwing a society party at which she devastates her guests with her looks and her wit.


YEARS LATER, trying to keep my reportorial objectivity, I interviewed her about what she thought in 1976.

“How did you feel about me?”

“I loved you.”

“Why did you love me?”

“Because you were attractive and exciting and a young man on the rise, and because you treated me well.”

“Wasn’t I conceited?”

“Yes, and you were arrogant too.”

“Wasn’t I self-centered?”

“You’ve always been self-centered.”

“Then why did you love me?”

“For the reasons I listed.”

“Did you think we were going to get married?”


“Did you want to marry me?”


“Were you frightened about what might happen to me?”



“Listen, you idiot. I loved you. I cared what happened to you. I was worried that something might be wrong with you. I loved you and didn’t want you hurt. I loved you and didn’t want to lose you. I was scared and I was frightened and I was angry that something might happen to you. Does that answer your dumb questions?”

She was the most honest woman I’d ever met. I was used to manipulative women, who tried to control me and do so indirectly. I once married a woman like that. Laura was direct, often abrasively so. She was not interested in manipulating or controlling me, and she wouldn’t put up with my periodic attempts to manipulate her. Sex with her was the most exciting thing either of us had ever known. There was passion, energy, screaming, and tenderness.

We were funny together, sparring with each other verbally, getting drunk and laughing at jokes that only we understood. Even when we were sober, everything seemed funny in a cynical, offbeat way.

ABOUT A MONTH before that Friday afternoon, Laura got the final decree on a long and sticky divorce. She worked her way through five lawyers, trying to find one “mean and vicious enough” to deal with her husband. Now in the spring of 1976, after two years of waiting for the divorce, it looks as if we might finally live together and get married. There is, however, the lump under my right arm.

Early that morning I mentioned my lump for the first time and she had one of her frequent bursts of temper. “Don’t you know that there are people dying of cancer around here all the time? What are you going to do, wait until your arm falls off before you see a doctor?” I calmed her down, saying that I had an appointment that afternoon. She apologized, telling me that her mother and her former husband always delayed medical attention until they manipulated her into pushing them to the doctor.

As we drink, I tell her what happened at Aaron’s office. There is not much to say. We both know that further information awaits the outcome of the operation. We are both frightened, both intent on reassuring each other. It doesn’t matter what we say. What matters is that we are together. I need to look at her, to know that she is with me. Holding her hand makes me feel less afraid.


Click here to purchase:

Learning to Live Again: My Triumph over Cancer

Not only does Trump’s NYC monstrosity debase Columbus Circle, but it fails to protect cancer patients from the rain

Originally shared by e-architect, August 17, 2015

Donald Trump, the New York City real estate magnate with shockingly bad  taste is running for President of the United States in a crowded Republican primary field. Trump is in first place. Last week’s New York Times headline read: “Trump Says He’d Be a Smarter President Than His Competitors.”

Trump cites his credentials to hold the highest office in the U.S. to his hands-on approach to solving business problems. Attached here exclusively for e-architect is a photograph I took in June of the disability accommodations at Trump’s luxury condominium at Columbus Circle. Instead of less expensive universal design, this photograph shows the accommodations Trump makes available to those of us who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices for locomotion.

Insult to the mobility disabled.

Returning back to my lodging after treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, it began to rain. At Columbus Circle, I tried to get in from the rain, but Trump’s disability elevator did not work. I got wet; soaked, indeed.


This is how The New York Times described the building in April, 1996:  “Fancier than Trump Tower. Glitzier than the Trump Taj Mahal. Pricier than Trump Palace or Trump Parc. Its glossy brochure trumpets Trump International as ‘the most important new address in the world.’

“Hmmm. Anyway, it’s big.

“Buyers (more than half the 166 condominium apartments have been sold, sight unseen, Mr. Trump says; the 168 hotel suites went on the market last week) are the kind of people who like their windows tall (nine feet), their ceilings high (10 feet), their living spaces sprawling (up to 5,500 square feet) and their prices steep ($8.4 million buys a five-bedroom penthouse).”

I have just returned from two weeks in the hospital and am especially sensitive to disability issues relating to architecture. Trump’s decision to unnecessarily use inaccessible steps for grandeur and then meet federal ADA requirements with an expensive elevator that does not work dependably may very well indicate the kind of President he would make.

As a partisan Democrat, I hope Trump wins the Republican nomination. He would be sure to be defeated in the general election. A comparison to Trump and his architect’s approach to disability access will appear in the next Joel’s column–part three of the four-part Piano Whitney series.

Joel’s Column will assert that Renzo Piano and Zaha Hadid are examples of architects who would not make the mistakes Donald Trump forced his architect to make.