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Dillen and the DMV

TO: CT Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner, Chief States Attorney, Attorney General

FROM: Dillen Dye’s Employer

8/16/16

RE: Some apparent non-compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act; common courtesy, civil respect; freely accessible pursuit of health, happiness, and prosperity

I don’t know where the States Attorney Officers and the administrators of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) were hiding when the Americans With Disabilities Act issued regulations protecting us from things like bullying, intimidation, failure to disclose information, discriminating to the disadvantage of those who have more than their fair share of disadvantages pursuing those values our Constitution explicitly mentions as meriting our mutual protection.

One of my employees now has a five year troubled history with Officers of Other People’s Peace and the DMV. The latest episode is a denial of his application for a Work Permit, submitted with a nonrefundable $100 application fee, which he can ill afford, especially given this denial requesting the great privilege of driving himself to work during the duration of his currently suspended driver’s license.

How his license became suspended is a long and troubling history of miscommunication between DMV and State Attorneys who seem to assume it is their job to represent the healthiest interests of everyone in the State except the one resident they are currently fleecing, but also troubles between Dillen’s hyper-deficited mind and right foot.

A quick skim of the American With Disabilities Act might cause reasonable people to take the position that Dillen should either receive the Work Permit that the State Attorney told him he would get if he would simply bother to apply, or have his application fee refunded. After all it does seem difficult to justify he received fair value for his $100 investment in a public system that has at best ignored, and at worst messed with, his private system, getting through each day and night without further suicidal ideation.

This past May, the State’s Prosecuting Attorney was a surprisingly happy young person, probably not all that long a member of the Bar, and it was getting late in the afternoon on a perfectly lovely late Friday afternoon. She came close to begging Dillen to pay a bargain basement reduced moving violation fee of just $400 if he would just agree to cancel his date with the apparently beleaguered, and perhaps not in such a great mood, judge. In fact, if he would sign up for a guilty as charged notice going to the DMV, so they could suspend his license yet again, but not to worry because they would surely jump out of their collective skins to give him a free pass to drive to work and school whenever he needed, because after all we are all good people and we want those good things to be happening in your life, if he would sign up for this line of bullshit right now, she would knock off another $100 because she could see he was such a cooperative kinda guy and wouldn’t it be nice to get out of here and enjoy the rest of his day, if not maybe quite so much his life?

She didn’t mention any problem about now having 7 violations on his DMV record so investing $100 in the Worker Permit application would be delusional, at best. She didn’t mention that AfricanAmerican 20-year-old Dillen, driving a beat-up looking van in a rather lavishly comfortable ecopolitical environment, had cars in front of him and behind him also going 45 mph, but apparently he was the only one unaware he was driving on a suspended license, because, after all, how could the DMV send him a notice through the mail that would actually get to him—although email would have most certainly worked—due to his nomadic ways.

So, yes, Dillen has more than three moving violations, but probably would not, if he had been told, upon his first Suspension, that he could apply for a Work Permit to drive despite Suspension. This was news to him, as he was about to begin his third Suspension, although he has yet to receive his first Suspension Notice.

Apparently no one, except perhaps the person whose digital signature appears at the bottom of the Denial?, knows about this three strikes and you are out of a $100 non-refundable application fee. He saw no notice specifying possible reasons for denial. Nothing in red, or even black, ink saying: WARNING, If you have four or more moving violations do not waste your money!

Yesterday, Dillen had an appointment with yet another State Attorney. This, a few hours before receiving the denial notice from DMV. When Dillen told him that he was waiting to hear back from DMV about his application for a Work Permit, this Attorney too was remarkably sanguine, saying something like “Look, you have no DUI on your record, we want to get you on the road for work and school.” So they continued his case, hoping this latest Suspension would be over, license restored, and Dillen could move on, put this self-propelling mess behind him.

Dillen, State Attorneys, and I are all surprised and disappointed to learn of this covert restriction on issuing Work Permits. And I am his employer. Or was, but now that he has no way to get to work or pay his rent, I suppose my reaction was supposed to be: Well, who’s next?  I believe you should give him his permit or at least refund his extorted application fee. What utter stupidity to increase homelessness and risks of serious mental health issues when we could simply issue more Work Permits!

Not to blow this out of all reasonable proportion, but to add larger and longer perspective, this denial of Dillen’s application for a Work Permit is only the latest episode in his five-year troubled history with driving safely and responsibly as part of his moving into independent adulthood profile. Dillen’s level of sensory-neural challenges and his motivation to live a reasonably accommodated life, without intimidating-bullying Police Officers and inscrutable labyrinthine DMV communication issues, and fee extortions that could not possibly pass any discriminatory effect legal challenge, are concerns we might all approach with better implemented concern and integrity.

Other than that, I hope you are having a blessed day.

Warmly,

Gerald Dillenbeck

 

 

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Family Therapy

Multisystemic feminist ecotherapists,
deeply immersed in permacultural eco-logic,
a systematic teleology of cooperative economics,
remain rarely flushed out from their camouflage.

A self-isolating,
often eremetical,
subspecies,
with shamanic nature-as-spirit tendencies,
our most articulate mentors often wander off
to pray for,
breathe and suffer and dance and sing
with Earth and all Her polyculturing species and seasons,
spaces and times,
outside glaring spotlights of media networks
and shallow soundbites.

That said,
perhaps I can share lessons from my children
about internal and external landscapes of justice
and passion,
passion for justice.

Spencer is my cooperative networking
transgenerational
post-millennial polypath.
At 18, he remains with me,
has not yet wandered off into his camouflage,
in part because I am a slow learner
in comparison to his lightning networked intuitive consciousness.

I am a more thorough and systematic teleologist,
but also ponderously detailed,
like Thomas Aquinas and Buckminster Fuller,
unwilling to leave any paradigm untouched,
producing a cooperative ecosystemic thesis
and antithesis of cognitive dissonance,
that remains undecipherable
except to those few who already speak
and hear
and feel
and see,
absorb polypathic nutritional polycultures.

What does justice look like for my 20 year old African American son
who graduated from special support services at Entitled Upper Middle Class High School
with a fourth grade cognitive and affective functionality,
no marketable skills other than his physical strength
which shows decreasing likelihood of endurance
due in part to horrid nutrition
lack of self-care
his preference to self-medicate
away from his internal dissonance.

He prefers THC,
although he is angrily aware this means state and federal employment protection laws
form a moat around his buzz,
with all the opportunities on the outside
and far too many of the long-term risks on the inside of his bleary silo of despair.

Dillen, my loyal handsome young adult son,
recognizes discrimination,
marginalization,
poverty
in comparison to outcomes for self-medicating with alcohol.
It’s a cultural thing that old people do to his Transmillennial Generation,
like declaring wars so they can learn to fight each other,
while elders suck our fat wealth deposits into
sport cars of shifty ludicrosity.

Dillen’s skills do not include multiplication,
much less division,
but he knows when justice divides his population of young adults
looking for their first jobs,
so they don’t have to live under the tyrannical oppression
of their parents.
Self-medicating with alcohol can easily pass a drug screen test
with one day notice from Human Resources,
while Dillen watches from the other side
of this divide.

Can he get through at least eight weeks without medication
that actually does seem to help him feel and think better
of and with himself,
and,
given any doubt that any of this makes any sense,
how long before he stops bothering to apply for any hope of a full life?

Dillen understands the justice and injustice of attending a horribly designed State contracted job training program,
to sit for eight unpaid training hours,
for at least four weeks,
probably six or even more,
in a summer classroom with no windows,
with 29 other ADD and ADHD medicated trainees,
to face the dismissive derision of their trainer
for being who they are,
losers who will never actually be sent through to the paid employment stage of this card-shark process,
violating perhaps every justice principle intended by the Americans with Disabilities Act,
while drawing full Job Coach Trainer pay at my tax dollar expense.

Dillen was not outraged that the State had no record of contractual oversight,
no evidence that anyone who did eventually get paid could not have done so with one week’s unpaid training,
no evidence that there were no other training contractors with the capacity to avoid violating the civil rights of those supposedly receiving a service with positive outcomes,
rather than rejection and dispossession and dismissal and further hopelessness outcomes.
Dillen was not alarmed that the Commissioner,
his own State Senator,
his US Senator,
the ACLU,
did not seem to raise so much as one eyebrow
to a misuse of public dollars and trust
with outcomes that could not even perform at the thinnest level of justice:
If you cannot do any good,
at least be sure you cause no harm.

Dillen has become used to an economic and cultural ecology
that does not include him,
and others who look and act and perform and breathe and beat their hearts,
and try to balance their bicameral hemispheres as best they can
in a “Business-As-Usual-Means-You-Do-Not Matter” environment.

So, Dillen reminds me of what I recognized long ago,
growing up gay male in a homophobic
hetero-dominant
culture.
I am reminded of what it means to have no economic right to employment
and no ecologically supported right to love,
to be valueless human nature
intrinsically mendacious
negatively deviant from all that is universally orthodox goodness,
that justice could not include any marital relationship within a Beloved Community,
could not include acceptance as a healthy soul
or body
or identity,
as the appropriate offspring of socially acceptable justice.

Dillen’s bottom line,
“If they wanted to abuse us,
then I wouldn’t have minded so much
if they were at least going to pay me.
I’ll be The Man’s whore if I have to,
but I won’t be his bitch.”

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