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hopeless cat lover


  • Get Social Security Checks

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Michael Schultz
    • Narrated By Ryan Barker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Everything you need to know to get the most Social Security checks you are entitled to - as fast as possible. Ex Social Security claims representative (30 years with the agency) "pulls back the curtain" about what it takes to get approved for retirement, disability, SSI and Medicare. Cuts through the bureaucratic red tape and obfuscation and tells you in plain language what the law says and - most importantly - what the law MEANS and how it may apply to you and your situation.

    DMB says: "Dangerous views for those with psych disorders"
    "Dangerous views for those with psych disorders"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I was hoping for a more objective, academic, and factual body of knowledge. I am a social worker and a Social Security Advocate.The book promised a broader coverage of this subject than I normally have time to pursue. I have to give two stars instead of one because he did cover a very broad spectrum of services with great detail. I was impressed that he gave the URL address for every form or publication he recommended. He was clearly a seasoned and knowledgeable pro in this field. He came across more as jaded and condescending. I struggled to get through the first half and can't listen to any more.He seemed to have little clue that SSA can be a brutal bureaucracy for people that are less verbal, more isolated, or more emotionally sensitive.Left out of his message completely is all that needs to be said to people who are disabled by the psychiatric disorders. He obviously holds little regard for the psychological disabilities and less regard for attorneys. Though he does admit it is very unwise to hire an attorney who does not practice exclusively in this field. The author (or speaker) makes a very sarcastic declaration that if you hire a representative at the initial level you must have a mental disability because that is such a foolish decision to make! Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to know there is an emerging field of non-attorney representatives (NARs). Because he doesn't know that, he doesn't know there is a legitimate and necessary role for ADVOCACY at the initial claim level. The SSA reviewers (like the author of this book) are trained to detect overstated claims and manipulation of the system. However people with mental disorders are far more likely to overstate their functional abilities. They often just can't bear speak the words that would most honestly describe their limitations. Therefore they mis-represent themselves but in the opposite direction from the anticipated malingering. People with psych disorders also have difficulty remembering or recognizing where their best documents can be found. There is no way the SSA staff is appropriate to help people who are so disabled psychologically that they cannot work.The fact is people with mental impairments need to hire someone who can genuinely escort them through the claim process and assist them with their form completion. In the ideal world, SSA would have staff trained specifically to handle the claims of people with mental impairments. Then this author's position would have some merit. He says reps don't do anything at that stage and SSA staff will assist people for free. My God! I see the forms that the SSA staff 'helped the claimant with'. I also see times the claimant hires an attorney at the initial stage and that attorney does absolutely nothing. The attorney will say they can't make any difference at that level. I agree they should not be engaged at that stage if they do not intend to assist aggressively. A legitimate representative at this stage spends a great deal of time identifying and obtaining supportive documentation. Because there is so much misinformation and mistreatment from every corner in this field, a much more compassionate and objective book would serve the readers and this country well. There are so few books available in audio format, a precious opportunity has been missed here.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm still looking for an audio book that objectively explains the structure of the SSA field and the complexity of its procedures. The books produced by the Nolo group are much more balanced and consumer-friendly so I'll watch for them to publish in audio format.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The speaker gave far more opinion than I needed to hear and many of those opinions were hostile to attorneys with no apology. There are many ways to be hurt and mis-treated in this field. This author doesn't seem to know that a great deal of that mistreatment comes from the examiners and adjudicators. More importantly his opinions are so hostile to the psychiatric population I felt compelled to write far more than I have time to spare.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I am deeply disappointed and concerned to see an otherwise substantial book feeding into the dis-information campaign that has befallen this country in regard to the Social Security Disability system. The delivery was somewhere between harsh and dispassionate. The content was terribly consistent with the skewed interpretations of the white male right wing conservatives seeking to dismantle the entire National safety net. A bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing,

    Any additional comments?

    I came into this field a few years back with much of the usual suspicion toward attorneys -suspecting they have been exploiting and gouging this population.I have found instead that as a field the Social Security attorneys are unsung heroes. SSA regulates all payments very tightly and administer the payments - often very slowly. In many situations the regulations make it very hard or impossible for attorneys to be paid fairly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By John Bradshaw
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm

    Cats have been popular household pets for thousands of years, and their numbers only continue to rise. Today there are three cats for every dog on the planet, and yet cats remain more mysterious, even to their most adoring owners. In Cat Sense, renowned anthrozoologist John Bradshaw takes us further into the mind of the domestic cat than ever before, using cutting-edge scientific research to explain the true nature - and needs - of our feline friends. Tracing the cat’s evolution from solitary hunter to domesticated companion, Bradshaw shows that cats remain independent, predatory, and wary of social contact.

    Victor says: "Stereotypical English Academic"
    "Excellent and essential- though not as expected"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Cat Sense to be better than the print version?

    Yes. This could have been more boring in text though images would be nice to complement this kind of information. I thought this would be about how to handle or live with cats effectively (for all). It ended that way but was mostly about the history and evolution of the cat and it's relationship with humanity. Therefore most of the narration was about the history of cruelty and brutality visited upon the cat by humans for centuries at a time. When I realized the whole book would focus on this history I went to turn it off but then decided I really should know more about this history. And I noticed this presentation was more palatable than when I have read of this dark history.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Cat Sense?

    The discussion about PENDING inadvertent harm to the cat species due to 'blanket neutering' was alarming. Points out that when we neuter all pet cats before they reproduce, we prevent all human-friendly cats from reproducing.Therefore only more feral and untamable cats will be available for reproduction leading to a return to mutual hostility between cats and humans. This can only bring a return to cultural acceptance of the brutal treatment of cats. He points out that unthinkable cruelty from humans has returned to regions that had grown in affection and respect for cats. Therefore the cat's acceptance by humans is very shallow culturally across the globe. This suggests humans are more likely to reject and abuse the more wild cats we are grooming genetically.He suggests only a global collaboration between cat advocates and breeders (who are now adding to the problem) can turn the current tide to avoid a most unfortunate future for cats as well as the humans who love them.

    What does Graeme Malcolm bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He did a nice job of keeping the information unemotional as well as frank and compassionate toward the cat. He continually spoke of the cat's personality (as well as cultural ignorance and hysteria) as the driver as well as victim of its mostly unfortunate history.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    What we think we know about the cat and how wrong we are.

    Any additional comments?

    WE SHOULD ALL HEAR THIS INFORMATION BECAUSE THE CAT'S WELFARE CONTINUES TO BE ON THIN ICE. Most of the recent writings about cat behavior are introducing awareness that has been missing in most of the common lore about cats. Those of us who love cats the most must update our information and participate in correcting public consciousness. We still have a long way to go even for the cats we now care for.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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