Top Ten Shows I’d Like to See on DogTV

I just became aware of an on-demand TV service called DogTV. Apparently, this channel offers programs for humans as well as their dogs, probably similar to the channel which provides entertainment for babies. I knew that television was going to the dogs but I never knew this was literally the case, until now. After giving this some thought, I have compiled a top ten list of shows, movies and music that I hope to find on this channel.

1. Game of Bones

2. Keeping Up With the Cocker Spaniels

3. Regis and Collie

4. Designated Retriever

5. My Big, Fat Fabulous Labrador

6. Toy Poodle Story

7. That zombie classic … The Walking Dog

8. In music … I Want to Lick Your Hand … by the Beagles

9. Chicago Puppies

and finally …

10. Old Reruns of the Price is Right … with Bob Barker


The Horrors of Human Trafficking

Two years ago, I tuned into an episode of "Kresta in the Afternoon"on Avemaria Radio. Al Kresta is an excellent interviewer who discusses topics from religion to politics and current events. On this particular program, Al interviewed a courageous woman named Theresa Flores, who is a survivor of human trafficking. When we think of human trafficking, we often assume that the term refers to people in far-off lands, poor women from third-world countries. However, Theresa was from an upper middle-class family in Michigan. She wasn’t taken to another country. In fact, she went to school, lived with her family and, to many, seemed like a normal teen-ager, doing things that normal teens did. One day, a boy who she had a crush on took her to his house, drugged her and then raped her. Pictures of her were taken and she was told that the only way to get the pictures back was to become a sex slave, with the threat of having the pictures sent to her family if she refused, along with threats that her family would be harmed if she disobeyed. For two years, she went to school during the day. At night, she would be ordered to meet someone from this organization who would drive her to someone who would then rape her, forcing her to supposedly continue paying off a debt which, she hoped, would eventually lead to them freeing her. She was not just a girl being forced into prostitution. She was a victim of what is known as human trafficking, a form of modern slavery which exists even in our own country.

After she and her family moved, she was free from these monsters and, eventually, learned to heal from her ordeal.

Here are just a few statistics from her Web site,

As many as 2.8 million children run away each year in the U.S. Within 48 hours of hitting the streets, one third of these children are lured or recruited into the underground world of prostitution and pornography.
–The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

300,000 children in the U.S. are at risk every year for commercial sexual exploitation.
–U.S. Department of Justice

If you would like additional statistics and to learn more about human trafficking, the Resources page from will provide you with additional information.

Tip: An Easy Way to Toggle Reader Mode in Firefox

For some time, Firefox has had a feature called “Reader mode” which is wonderful when you’re reading a blog post or news story that you’d like to declutter. It removes most of the extraneous links and other sections of the page which aren’t part of the actual story you’re trying to read.

Starting with version 50 of Firefox, we now have a hotkey which will toggle reader mode. Just press ctrl+alt+R and, if it’s supported on the page which is open, reader mode will become enabled. Pressing the same hotkey turns reader mode off.

Kaspersky Antivirus: A Review for Screen Reader Users

As I indicated in a previous post regarding screen reader accessibility of antivirus software, I felt the need to switch to a new antivirus program after Microsoft Security Essentials (Windows Defender in Windows 8 and 10) failed to stop malware from crippling my computer. I’m aware that many people have used MSE or Defender for some time and may never experience an infection but this was a choice I felt needed to be made. The gentleman who worked on my computer recommended Kaspersky Antivirus. After reading a positive review of the product in PC Magazine, I decided to give the program a try. What follows is an account of my experiences with installing and using the software from the perspective of a screen reader user. My screen reader is NVDA, running on a Dell OptiPlex 740 machine with 8 GB of RAM. The operating system is Windows 10 Pro, although I started using Kaspersky on the same system running Windows 7.

This review discusses Kaspersky Antivirus specifically with the NVDA screen reader. While I do use the free version of Window-Eyes as a secondary screen reader, NVDA has been my access package of choice since the summer of 2009. Some of what I’m about to document may produce different results with other screen readers, so your mileage will likely vary. I will eventually update this post to discuss how the program performs when using Window-Eyes. For now, this review will focus entirely on the accessibility of Kaspersky Antivirus with NVDA.

A year ago, I started out using Kaspersky 2015 after using Microsoft Security Essentials for over five years, as I was not satisfied with the level of protection offered by MSE. The installer for Kaspersky 2015 was 100% accessible, being rendered just as though I were reading a Web page. Informational text and controls were also nicely labeled and installing it was both quick and 100% screen reader friendly.

Unfortunately, the installer for Kaspersky Antivirus 2016 was completely inaccessible to screen readers. Whether I used arrow keys or screen review commands, none of the text was visible to NVDA. However, I was still able to install the 2016 version using the 2015 installer, because the installer presents a check box, which you would select if you want the program to automatically install newer versions of the software. This meant that I could run the nicely accessible 2015 installer and have it install the 2016 version.

A few weeks ago, I saw that Kaspersky Antivirus 2017 was available. I downloaded the 2017 installer, ran it and saw that it was just as inaccessible as the 2016 installer. No problem, I thought. I’ll just run the 2015 installer, have it download the newest version and I’ll have the 2017 edition of the software with no drama.

This, unfortunately, was not to be. First, when I ran the 2015 installer it told me that the installer could not complete because one of the program folders was not empty. I was a bit flabbergasted, since I assumed that the program would just upgrade my current version but I guess the 2015 installer doesn’t know how to deal with an installed 2016 version. No problem, I thought, I’ll just uninstall the program but I ran into an error doing that and I can’t now remember what the message was. No problem, I thought again, I’ll just clear out the folder which should make it happy and avoid further drama.

However, Windows wouldn’t allow me to do that, even with admin rights.

No problem, I thought, I’ll just look for the Kaspersky removal tool. I found it, downloaded it and ran it. The good news was that the program had accessible keyboard controls. The bad news was that the removal tool had a captcha, which it insisted that I solve before it allowed me to remove the software. There are several captcha solvers, such as Rumola, which I use and recommend. However, these decoders only work within Web browsers, not in other applications, making this a complete blocker for me. I sent a few tweets about this to Kaspersky Support and asked if one of their reps could do a remote session where they could access my computer and install the software. They sent me some direct messages, indicating that this could be done. However, when I called them they said that remote access was a premium support service and that I needed to pay for it. I told them that it was not right that I should have to pay for remote support, considering that I can’t even install their software independently and can’t even remove the current version due to a captcha. I finally got disgusted, disconnected the call and called the Microsoft disability answer desk. Within ten minutes the rep had entered the captcha solution, removed the old version and even guided me through installing the 2017 version with the inaccessible 2017 installer. Needless to say, while I eventually solved my problem I did so with absolutely no help from Kaspersky, who should have come through for me but failed miserably to do so.

If anyone who is visually impaired is considering installing this software, you might want to save time by just asking Microsoft for help. You might also want to tweet Kaspersky at @kl_support to express your opinions.

Here are some comments concerning the program itself. While there are some accessibility issues, I’m able to get around most of them and the majority of the settings provide accessible controls.

Parts of the application are quite accessible, and other aspects are not. If you open the Kaspersky 2017 icon from the desktop or from the start menu, you will be greeted, audibly at least, by several unlabeled buttons, with the exception of the Settings and Support buttons, which are labeled. I can’t speak for JAWS or Window-eyes but, with NVDA, you can discover the function of each button by using NVDA’s object navigation keys via the numeric keypad. Once you land on an unlabeled button, pressing insert-2 to drill down into that button’s “object” and then pressing insert-6 will clearly speak the button’s label. The buttons are actionable and so pressing the spacebar, at that point, activates the button as you would expect. These buttons perform functions such as update, scan, etc.

Once you activate the clearly-labeled Settings button, most of the dialogs are accessible. It presents you with a list of options such as settings for scanning, performance, protection, general, etc. Using up/down arrow keys moves through these different options. Once you find an option whose settings you wish to modify, pressing the tab key moves through various buttons and checkboxes for those options and is presented like a standard dialog. Most options are accessible and easy to use and understand, whereas a few are tricky and may require some experimentation and possibly sighted assistance to verify their settings, such as slider controls to increase and decrease security levels. The last option or category found in the Settings dialog is labeled “Additional” and its dialog, by contrast, contains nothing but unlabeled buttons. However, you can easily determine the function of each button by using NVDA’s object navigation commands as I described earlier.

For me, the easiest method for accessing Kaspersky’s functions is through the system tray icon. Right-clicking this icon (by using the Applications key” brings up an accessible menu, which includes items such as Run Update, Settings, and Task Manager. Task Manager is what I use most of the time to perform scans, although you can also use the context menu from within Windows Explorer to scan files, folders or entire drives.

The layout of the Task Manager is similar to Kaspersky’s Settings menu, with a list of categories which you access with up/down arrow keys, followed by repeated presses of the tab key to explore the options for each category. Task Manager allows you to perform quick scans, full scans, removable drive scans as well as a category for reviewing results of previous scans.

While performing a scan, the progress screen is accessible but it requires heavy use of NVDA’s object navigation keys to explore the information in detail. As an example, using object navigation commands allows you to see the percentage of the scan, which file is currently being scanned, etc.

One odd issue is that sometimes NVDA is able to read certain parts of the code which are not visible on the screen. As an example, there was one screen, I forget which, that indicated that the update was successful but also indicated that an update wasn’t installed and the program was rolling back to a previous update. These are messages which are obviously meant to be displayed at certain times but yet those messages are somehow being exposed to NVDA.

In spite of these oddities and varying degrees of accessibility, I continue to use Kaspersky Antivirus and do not regret my decision to do so. My reason is simple: I wanted a program which was highly rated when it comes to malware protection. For years, I used Microsoft Security Essentials because it was free, light on resources and completely accessible with screen readers. The problem was that it wasn’t necessarily very good at protecting my system against malware. When I had been hit by a crippling virus a year ago, I decided that I would no longer compromise my computer’s security for the sake of accessibility and convenience and chose to go with Kaspersky. I mean no disrespect to any of you who are using MSE or Windows Defender and who feel that the program provides good protection. Perhaps, if you’re one of those individuals, it will provide good protection and you may never become infected with malware. However, I simply no longer trust that program and feel unsafe using and depending on it. For those who are looking for a robust antimalware solution, Kaspersky Antivirus has performed well and I hope that my review will cause some of you to consider giving the program a try.

Why I Voted for Donald Trump

I do acknowledge that, in our society, asking a person who they voted for is considered to be an inappropriate question. We feel that the question is intrusive and way too personal. Voting, for many of us, is a private matter. Who we vote for is nobody else’s business, we say. I respect that perspective and I don’t plan on asking anyone who they’re voting for in this year’s election. However, while it may be inappropriate to some for me to ask that question, I do have the right to say who I voted for. People are free to agree or disagree and I expect both sets of responses and that’s fine. For me, this election is too important for me to consider my vote to be personal and nobody else’s business. The actions of our next President will affect all of us, whether you voted for that individual or not. Therefore, who I voted for is certainly very much your business and I have no reservations about sharing this information within the context of my blog.

Since I’ve already stated that this is not a personal issue for me, many of you will no doubt want to know why I voted for Donald Trump. Is it because I think the man is the best candidate we’ve ever had? The honest answer is that there’s a lot about him that I don’t like. There are so many things about him which I feel are very troubling. In light of these imperfections, why did I vote for him?

I voted for him because I believe he’ll do more good for our country than Hillary Clinton. The man is far from perfect. However, when we vote for a candidate, we’re not voting for someone without any imperfections or character flaws. If those are the qualifications to hold political office then none of us are qualified. We’re not voting for someone we’d like as our best friend or someone we’d most like to hang out with after work. We’re not voting for the next Pope or the next Mother Teresa. We’re voting for someone who is likely to adopt the best policies to advance the common good for all citizens of this great country.

For me, abortion is the most important issue that I consider when choosing which candidate gets my vote. I am hardly a single issue voter. There are many issues which are important to me: the legalization of euthanasia, the harm that same sex unions are doing to our country, the threat of groups like IS, affordable health care, ensuring a fair and just wage for our workers, etc. However, if we get the issue of how we treat the unborn wrong then we potentially get everything wrong, since the legalization of abortion is such a blatant disregard for human life. If a politician promised to increase jobs, implement affordable health care and lower taxes but felt that it should be legal to enslave African Americans nobody would vote for him, regardless of how sound his other policies might be. Abortion, the legalized killing of preborn, innocent human beings, is surely the slavery of our time.

When I vote, I have to consider which candidate will do more to fight for the lives of the unborn. Which candidate will do more to save those innocent lives? If more lives will likely be saved due to the choices of one candidate over another, then that candidate will get my vote.

Abortion does more harm than any of us can possibly imagine, not only by killing the child and by harming the mother but the harm extends to all of us, because the child who was killed will never have the right to choose what contributions he or she will make to our society. How many medical treatments and cures for diseases have been denied us due to the fact that the person who might have discovered them was never allowed to be born, all in the name of choice. It amazes me when people with disabilities support abortion. I can’t help but wonder how the quality of our lives as people with disabilities would be improved even more had our culture not made the killing of the unborn legal? What types of technologies might we have had? What types of medical treatments might exist to give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf and mobility to those in wheelchairs? Abortion not only takes a life but it means that everybody who that life would have touched or inspired will be denied that opportunity. That person, now murdered, will never have the choice to inspire someone else to commit an act or make a choice which might literally change our world. We haven’t even begun to think of the children that person might have, and the choices they could have made and how those choices may affect so many of us. I submit to you that, due to abortion, we are living in a barren and diminished world.

At this point, I would like to say that I, in no way, mean to cast judgment on women who may be reading this who may have had an abortion. I don’t blame you. Women who had an abortion did so because of pressure. They were told that they had to do it or they would face consequences. People would say things such as “if you don’t do it I’ll leave you” or “you’ll never be able to afford raising a child” or “if you don’t do it I’ll throw you out.” They did it because they felt they had no choice, pressured by misguided people who call themselves “pro-choice.” If you’re a woman who has had an abortion, I would encourage you to visit Rachel’s Vineyard, a confidential and non-judgmental organization with the goal of helping men and women struggling with the effects of abortion.

Donald Trump is far from an ideal candidate. However, he is not only pro-life but he has promised to place judges on the bench of the Supreme Court who are known to be pro-life. A President will only be in office for 4-8 years but the judges who sit on that bench could be with us for decades and their decisions will have long-lasting repercussions on our country.

The following article will provide more information concerning this topic and, to be honest, explains it better than I ever could.

In closing, I would ask that, if you feel a need to comment on this post, that you do so charitably, even if you disagree with my views. People who know me will know that I am able to discuss these topics with people who believe differently than I do and I try to do so with charity. I would ask that you do the same.