Nice People Read The Ordinary Citizen

Dear Jeff,
I just had the extreme pleasure of reading your article, Temporary Insanity. Your piece reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and his uncanny talent for making his reader laugh and cry simultaneously. I thank you for seeing into our hearts. What an extraordinary gift!
In case you're wondering, I found The Ordinary Citizen on a link provided at, a very conservative site owned by my very conservative son. I'm a liberal, and I have no idea, as a parent, where I went "right". :)
I look forward to reading your other articles, and will be sure to forward them to my friends.
The best of luck to you,
Nancy Bates

Dear Nancy,

Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, I've visited your son's forum and put my two cents in on a couple of topics. I enjoy forums wherever I find them, and I think they're one of the last remaining bastions of citizen liberty for a self-governing society like ours.

Thank you for taking the time to comment, and as far as your son's conservative leanings, (aside from imagining that your house is rather lively at holiday time) in a long career of talking to people, I've found that most of us agree on a whole lot more than we disagree on.

All we can do is to keep the discussion going.

Again, many thanks!

An ex-cop's view

Interesting article on your arrest, I am truly sorry to see that you were not only victimized by crime but also by law enforcement. However I feel it is only fair to look at the position of the responding officers in this situation.

As a former Deputy Sheriff I certainly do not condone the language used towards your wife however I can somewhat empathize with the police. They are coming into an unknown situation, a "burglary in progress", to them that means bad guys are trying to break into a home with people in it. This is a "guns drawn" scenario for the responding officers. They have no idea what they are about to encounter, how many bad guys, and if they have weapons. If I had pulled up on to the scene someone with a baseball bat would most certainly have been "secured" and they would have been secured very quickly, with whatever force necessary.

However in hindsight, I also would have released you once I realized you were the homeowner, and probably gotten you any medical attention along with an explanation of my actions in securing you, but that's just me. Despite any "reputation" your city's Police may have, not all of us act that way. However under duress and high stress calls adrenaline and survival take over for responding officers. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts with everyone.

Again, I am truly sorry for your misfortunes with this event; you shouldn't let it stop you from notifying law enforcement about any further issues though.

Good luck.
Bob M.
Ensuring Equality and Rights for people with disabilities.

Please do not publish my email or last name thank you.

Dear Bob,

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

You have my assurance that your name and e-mail will not be publicized. I didn't write this story to bash the cops, nor am I a cop-hater... it's just a tale about something that really did happen to me.

The mitigating circumstances are: I'm pretty well known in Canandaigua... many of the cops have met me, and also, the lack of training our City provides for our officers is an issue with me. With a VA hospital located here, we have lots of disabled people in our city, and 6 hours a year training in dealing with people with disabilities is hardly adequate.

I'm pleased to hear your viewpoint and opinion. While I'm not saying I would have liked it any better, once my wife said 'he can't hear you', if they had stood me up and dusted me off, we could have talked it out right then.

The cops could have gone back to work, and I could have gone back to bed. As far as the profanity towards my wife, what that shows me is again, lack of training as well as lack of pride in one's profession. I'm no prude, and I'm not going to tell you I've never used that word. But, I would never say it to one of my clients, just as I'm sure you wouldn't use it to your clients in your current line of work.

The reason I was outside at all was that the previous year, we had had a home invasion. Four men had come to our house, one of whom actually forced his way inside. It was myself and my two sons who were home at the time. A terrific fight ensued... there was blood everywhere. One of the men held my youngest son down on the ground and cut his hand open with a box cutter, leaving him with permanent nerve damage. To this day, even though my son identified one of the attackers in a line-up, no one has been arrested for this crime. How many home invasions are there a year in Canandaigua? I'm not an advocate of vigilante justice, but I wasn't sure I could count on our police to protect my home.

I do have a right to protect my home and defend my wife. Like anyone, I want effective, humane law enforcement in my city. I have extremely high opinions of many people who work in law enforcement, and I'm glad they're my neighbors here in the city. I most surely will not tar all law enforcement people with the same brush. With law enforcement, some people are VERY qualified to be officers, and some are JUST BARELY qualified... that's not saying much, as you can apply this yardstick to any profession you might name. I'll guess that in your career you must have worked with some people who might have made a greater contribution in some other field. In the end, all you can do is set high standards of training and performance, and try to limit the degree of failure.

Just the fact that you took the time to comment says volumes about the type of officer you must have been for your department and community. Thank you very much for your comments, Bob, I do appreciate them.

Well, since you asked...

Hey Jeff,

Just getting around to reading your article "Hire the Handicapped" and I enjoyed it very much.

I know Bill & the work he & his group does, very deserving organization, Oh and they do a great job too!

My one comment and I guess there's now way to say it other than - how do you consider your hearing impairment a disability like those you describe in the article?

I suppose in the truest definition of deaf or hard of hearing, your technically correct but I for one would certainly say that some of the physical and mental handicaps these people work with far and away exceed your "disability".

Not to minimize your problem, but I would say the challenges you face could never be as severe as those faced by most mentally or physically challenged people.

Heck, Most people don't even know you have a problem, so you don't have to face the bias you mention in your article!

Overall, another great piece just my thoughts on placing yourself in their shoes.

Keep it up,


I fully agree. I have never considered myself handicapped, because I can do lots of things other people can't do.

But... people who would never go up to someone in a wheelchair and say, 'Hey, what's wrong with you?' have asked me, 'What's the matter with you? You deaf or something?' I've had people consider me rude or get angry because I was 'ignoring' them. Some disabilities are pretty obvious, others less so.

My dad was a shop teacher at Jefferson in Rochester, a tough inner-city school. When I was little they didn't know what the problem was... didn't know if I was retarded, etc. My kindergarten teacher, a little grandmotherly type lady, said, 'No, I don't think he can hear very well.'

My dad's response was to get involved teaching disabled students. He built one of the first accessible classrooms in NYS. He built ramps so the students could get their wheelchairs up to the machines. He had one girl who could move her neck, and could move her arm a little. He built a brace for her to wear on her head with an aluminum rod that stuck out from it, and taught her how to type. He taught her how to iron clothes. He found someone to hire her.

My dad died when I was a boy. I wish I could spend an hour with him and see what he'd think about the way I turned out.

I interviewed for a job once and mentioned to the lady that I couldn't hear very well. She asked me 'if I had anything else wrong with me' and if she would have to buy special equipment for me to work there.

In 1994, Governor Mario Cuomo honored me by naming me New York State's Entrepreneur of the Year for Individuals with Disabilities. When you find yourself in a position like that, whether you want it or not, you're going to be an advocate for folks with disabilities, which is something I've taken pretty seriously.

The stuff I write about will hopefully be things maybe that people don't think about much, or maybe might make them see something in a different way than they did before.

I appreciate your feedback and I'm glad you took the time to write. One thing I've learned is that most disabled people are angry. It just goes with the territory, I guess.

I was angry a lot when I was younger, but I’m much less so now.

Thanks, Ferris. Keep in touch.

Actually, there’s more than one...

Just what is your problem anyway????

(anonymous note mailed to me)

Well, Shucks

Mr. Marinelli shows extraordinary courage and commitment to exposing hypocrisy and bringing light to bear on topics and issues the local government "leaders" would prefer stay in the dark. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword but don't think the politicos and power brokers in Canandaigua won't seek to muzzle Mr. Marinelli.

He is articulate, extremely well read and fearless in the face of oppression hence they fear him. Sure he's weird but nobody ever initiated meaningful change in our society that wasn't considered "odd" or out of the mainstream. I know I'll be visiting The Ordinary Citizen web site regularly for news and information I won't find anywhere else.

Frank Manfre

Ferris Buehler reads The Ordinary Citizen on his day off

Jeff M, Really enjoyed the article. I thought it was pretty interesting.

Now I feel better about my tax dolllars going to the County :)

Did you look into the County graveyard behind the County Complex? I believe that the poor used to be buried there, behind the animal Shelter way back near the woods. Check it out.

Urban legend is that the County employees used to bury the people themselves, before unions I guess)

Let me know if its true or legend.

I also wanted to let you know the site is great! Very impressed. I'm sure it will be better than the original & I hope somehow you make a ton of dough from it (I know you didn't start it for the $$ but what the heck!!)

Not sure I'll join up but I may comment from time to time to you.

I was disappointed to read the terse response on the old Forum. I guess I had too much faith in the system. The response to me was the old hammer/fly response. Oh well.........I was part of the problem I guess but I still feel that it really wasn't all that bad. A little on the edge but no death threats or language you don't hear on TV every night.

Good luck & contined success. I hope to send you some ideas for future articles & interviews you can do.

See ya!

Ferris Buehler

From the editor:

Alert reader Mr. Buehler is correct. If you turn by the Animal Shelter and drive down the road you'll go up a small hill and come to the old County Cemetery, or 'Potter's Field'.

The headstones have all been taken down, and now form a large cross on the ground. There is (or was) a sign there that listed the names of all the people buried there.

Death and the Poor


Great website. Very interesting subject for the lead-off article.
Good luck and I wish you well with "theordinarycitizen".

Skip Oliver

Noted, with all due modesty

Having little idea as what the "The Ordinary Citizen" might contain, I  was extremely and pleasantly surprised at the length and breadth of subject material and the excellent writing style. The articles are engaging and the humor rampant throughout the site.
Not only is Canandaigua lucky to have the community spirit and artistic talent of Jeff Marinelli, it appears we have also been blessed with a talented and thoughtful writer.
This is a great site and a wonderful addition to Canandaigua.
My congratulations to Jeff and wishes for billions of site hits.
Friend, Co-conspirator, and
Editor of Canandaigua-News
Steven G. Poyzer


Can America be destroyed?

A Composition of viable historical facts, which are taking a strong foothold in the United Sates of America, show, that it is indeed possible to destroy this country.

The attempt is a prolific one, with total disregards for the laws of this country.
Even the puppeteer facade of the so called Homeland Security Office under the Leadership of Tom Ridge, whom even the Pennsylvanian's, did not trust anymore to be governed by, is unable to stem the flow of about 800,000 illegal aliens, who walk, crawl or tunnel their way into this country across the Mexican Border annually.

It is astounding to see how fast this Administration and Congress, dismantle the American dream for the average law abiding citizen.
One Million high tech job have been taken from the American worker thru the issuance of H1-B and L-1 visas.
Supported by the President and Congress, over three million jobs have been outsourced and driven offshore. Another three million jobs within the next four years will be outsourced to countries like Brazil, Mexico, India and China.

California, being the role model, shows how immigration both legal and illegal is destroying the whole state of California.
Very soon this destructive mechanism will start to march across the whole country, and in its process will destroy all of the American Dream.

Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall. Not one Nation has ever withstood the onslaughts of time. All great Nations have committed suicide, in one way or another.
As History teaches us, this is how it is done:
America has turned into a multi-lingual and bicultural country. No Nation can survive the conflicts of two or more languages and cultures.
Failing to assimilate, and the turmoil, tragedy and tensions which Nations suffer, is shown in many parts of the world. From France, Belgium, Pakistan and Cyprus, to Canada, Malaysia and Lebanon, which are countries that show us the crises of a Nation in existence, where minorities fight for autonomy or independence.

Benjamin Schwarz of the Atlantic Monthly reported recently:
"The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentrically and what it meant to be an America, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together."

We allow various cultural subgroups in America to reinforce their differences, rather then as American, emphasizing our similarities.

One point that seems to have been established, is the fact that we somehow managed to make most minorities belief that their lack of success is the fault of the majority.
By having established this phenomena, I believe that most minorities engage more in counter productive behavior, then in the once successful practiced form of the American Dream.

As America has become a bilingual, bicultural country, its Statue in the World as a United States has become a mockery. Let us all help to make the United States of America what it was once before.


Peter Markwort

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