RUSH: We have Mike here from Cape Coral, Florida. Mike, welcome. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, thank you so much for giving me that latest quote from Joe Bite Me because I was worried I was gonna articulate incorrectly and make a fool of myself. So that eased my mind quite a bit.
RUSH: Yeah, I also was worried I’m gonna lose my Americanism.
CALLER: Yeah. That might be hard to find nowadays, especially with the left. Anyway, it is an honor to speak to you, sir. I have been blind for the past 15 years. And I’ve done a lot of —
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. You just can’t — you just can’t — you’ve been blind for the last 15 years? How did it happen? Do you mind if I ask?
CALLER: No, not at all.
RUSH: How did it happen?
CALLER: Diabetic retinopathy. I was a type 1 diabetic since the age of 17.
RUSH: Oh, okay. That’s the worst kind.
CALLER: Yeah. Age 41, the diabetic stuff hit the fan, and I ended up on dialysis and blind.
RUSH: How fast did your sight go?
CALLER: Over the course of two years.
RUSH: Wow. I lost my hearing in the course of three months.
CALLER: Oh, wow.
RUSH: I know. I know what you’re going through. Anyway, you’ve been blind for 15 years, type 1 diabetic is why. What’s life like now? You adapt to it?
CALLER: It’s excellent. Oh, yeah. It took me probably three years to adjust. I went through what I called my blue period. I almost painted the ceiling. I just didn’t think I’d amount to anything. I’d always worked construction my whole life. And there’s not much you can do without — well, here’s the thing. I got through it. I do more now than I ever did without sight, by the grace of God. But — sorry. I get choked up.
RUSH: No, I understand. A lot of people are gonna question that, though. I mean, I know what you mean ’cause I have some commonality with you. But you say that you’re doing more now than you ever did without sight. And the reason for that is that you have a different level of appreciation and you have a new way of sensing things, and so your sensitivity is aroused and you’re able to appreciate and associate more of your surroundings rather than take so much for granted, right?
CALLER: Well, that and, thanks to you, I finally bought an iPhone. I cannot tell you — you’d be amazed at what I can do with my iPhone as a blind person.
RUSH: Oh! Believe me, I know. The accessibility features that people can use on that iPhone, and iPad as well, are stunning. People are gonna be shocked to hear that you can use — people don’t know you can make your iPhone read to you, you can have your iPhone read your emails, your text messages. It can follow gestures with your hands over the screen. That’s great.
CALLER: Oh, yeah.
RUSH: That’s great.
CALLER: Oh, yeah. But I hate to get sidetracked here, but I was calling in, you mentioned the crazy lady with the horse as a so-called comfort service animal.
CALLER: I can tell you, I’ve done a lot of work for an organization of the blind, for the blind here in Florida. So I’ve been all across Florida by myself. I am pretty mobile. But the consensus I know for a fact is that all of the blind guide dog users are vehemently against all these faux service dogs. I mean, anybody can go on eBay and buy a harness and buy this, buy that, and a business can’t question it. They can ask two questions. Is that your service dog? What service does it perform? So a lot of these blind people who use bona fide service animals, they want to put in place where there’s a certification process.
RUSH: Well, now, I’m not sure this woman was blind. Was this woman blind? I think this woman just needed her horse to feel safe on an airplane. I could be wrong. I must confess, I only looked at the picture. I don’t know if this woman’s blind.
CALLER: Well, she could be using it as a comfort animal. She’s sighted.
RUSH: Well, obviously. But how does this happen? A horse? Now, look it’s a miniature horse. I mean, we’re not talking about Flicka on this thing. It’s not Roy Rogers’ horse. It’s a small horse, but still the idea that somebody is gonna be allowed to bring a horse on a plane. And other people seemed to be totally oblivious to it.
The horse is not strapped in with a seat belt, it doesn’t appear.