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Friday, October 29, 2004

"Severely normal" - Rod Love's words come back to haunt him

Ten years ago Chump Ralph Klein's head spin doctor Rod Love (see Rod Love - Where are you when we need you?) invented the term "severely normal". Love programmed the Chump to use the term at every opportunity. It was an unwise move - in the long run. Six years ago, Love went on to exploit richer conflicts of interest. This year Steve (the "Snarl") West took over as Chump Ralph's chief handler and programmed the Chump with a meaner message. On Wednesday the Chump attacked two handicapped women (in Ralphspeak "gals") who heckled Ralph (in Ralphspeak "yipped away at me"). The women received $850 per month from Alberta's Spartan AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) program. Ralph accused the two of smoking cigarettes and wearing cowboy hats and faking their disabilities. Ralph himself loves chain-smoking cigarettes (in the privacy of his taxpayer-paid Grumman Gulfstream jet). And Ralph wears cowboy hats often and proudly - after all to quote the Tory campaign slogan - he's "A Proud Albertan". The Chump has not managed to fake any kind of intelligence. Leaders of disabled support groups and disabled people and their families lashed out. But on Thursday the Chump ignored the AISH ruckus - told a Grande Prairie audience he knew they weren't interested in AISH - why his audience were, in Rod Love's words, "severely normal" - why would a "severely normal" audience be interested in AISH?

Even Peter Portlock, the Executive Director of the Alberta Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, which values the good offices of the Klein Tories, lashed out at Klein (Portlock accused Klein of hiding Klein's own disabilities) and so did every non-profit charity for disabled Albertans. 31,000 disabled Albertans receive AISH and now they, and their families, are being attacked because two AISH recipients heckled the Tories. There is a sea change in Alberta. In every Alberta pub, in every Alberta coffee shop at every Alberta water cooler, Albertans are telling each other that it's time for the Chump to go. Are the Tories going to be reelected? Rumours have it that Love's buddy, Big Mike Lobsinger, is looking at moving to Libya or Palestine or Zimbabwe.

And how about the possibility of a minority government?

AISH - Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped
  • The Lougheed Government set AISH up in 1979 to add to the incomes of severely handicapped Albertans.
  • Today the government pays 45% of AISH to physically disabled Albertans and 32% to mentally disabled Albertans.
  • The most anyone gets is $850 per month (the Tories have only increased that 5% in the last 12 years). They also get free health care, drugs, dental work and glasses.
  • Albertans can't get AISH unless their disability seriously cuts down their ability to earn a living. Family doctors decide who qualifies.
  • If an Albertan is getting paid by some other income replacement plan for example a federal government plan, their AISH payment is reduced accordingly. AISH ends at age 65 because Albertans are then getting an Old Age Pension.
  • An Alberta can work and get AISH and their spouse may work but then the government will reduce the amount of AISH payments.
  • If you own property, other than a home and car, worth more than $100,000, you can't get AISH.
  • 31,600 Albertans get AISH, but as of last Wednesday, the government will not pay AISH to Albertans who heckle Chump Klein.
  • You can get more information about AISH at the government's AISH website


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