I wish the political pundits down

September 8, 2007 at 7:37 AM (Uncategorized) (, , )

here in America would realize the huge dimension of how *silly* they are…worrying the idea of a black or woman President to death….

Up north, they’ve simply moved the bar a bit quicker…

Read this post and smile!

I believe longtime amazing disability rights person Justin Dart said it best:

“Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it. It does.”

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Now *There’s* an Idea…( For those with a Yahoo Account or Live Journal)

December 18, 2006 at 5:30 PM (Uncategorized) ()

for anyone with a Yahoo adress and/or a LiveJournal who is both a person with impairments and a US Politics junkie, there’s a new discussion group at Yahoo called 40 million. The LiveJournal group has the same name. Their mission might just make it worth it to sign up for LiveJournal or Yahoo, if you haven’t already.


What would happen if, in 2008, we *forced* disability issues to be a top domestic issue? With 40 Million, we are striving to force politicians to recognize disabled Americans. Our main goals are to educate people and motivate them to vote. If we want to better this world for us and for the next generation of disabled American’s, we need to force society to see us as individuals and not a medical problem to be shoved aside and ignored.”


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Offline seismic activity

June 30, 2006 at 4:22 PM (genetic testing) (, )

in my life at the moment. Won’t discuss it.

Have a happy Fourth

and, enough about me.

Check and see if your town has the following resources: Free Windows Excel and Powerpoint classes at the local library….I say thanks to DPL. They’ve got other great resources too.

And yay, only cigar bar patrons and casino gamblers will be able to smoke in Colorado starting tomorow.

Ambivalent about more genetic testing for Colorado’s newborns…in about five years, I figure someone wanting to scare us needlessly about genetic conditions will use the stats to say, “Why have reported incidents of [pick the illness they are now testing for] risen so dramatically in the last five years?”

Because you started all-newborn testing for them in 2006, dim-bulb.

It reminds me of the ad run by Senator Wayne Allard to court seniors/the disabled sometime back…

Paraphrased: Social Security has risen every year since Senator Allard took office.

When confronted with the fact that Social Security has automatic cost of living raises written into it, the Senator’s staffer pulled a Dan Fielding and said : “What’s your point?”

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A move towards political and

November 12, 2005 at 7:35 AM (Uncategorized) (, )

economic visibility…

I was reading the comments this morning on the blog, and there are more people with disabilities writing and commenting all the time.

It got me wondering.

It’s my perception that the policymakers and politicians in the US either don’t really *see* the disabled as a part of of society with specific needs that need to be understood, addressed and *accepted*…or that if they do, they still put us in that “charity begins at home” place in their head, and believe it is the duty of local charitable/religious organizations to step up, and meet our needs when the aforementioned policy makers decide to take the budget ax to those existing safeguards, and quash any newer ones like Money Follows the Person. Government cannot legislate effectively if it doesn’t acknowledge that we’re out there, living,writing,dealing with limitations,having families,working.

Are these blogs the flashlight? Will *someone* in authority stumble across them, and begin to read them and have one of those moments where they connect the raft of legislation they vote on to the effect of their vote on disabled people?

(Oh and by the way the Tennesee governor, Bresden, who engineered massive cuts in his state’s TennCare health system obviously hasn’t had his epiphany yet..[snort].)

I hope so. I hope everybody keeps writing about anything and everything, and that someone in government begins to make it their business to check such things and communicate their findings when they *get* it to more and more local, state and federal policy and lawmakers.

And my idea that the disabled as a group are presently socially and economically invisible would get more and more outdated as time goes on.

Here’s hoping.

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I’m glad I’m not the only

September 28, 2005 at 2:48 PM (Uncategorized) (, , )

one who went ‘Huh?’ when this communication came out from www.aapd.com

“September 23, 2005 Dear Senator:

We write on behalf of the American Association of People with Disabilities(AAPD) and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) to express ourserious concerns about the nomination of John G. Roberts Jr. to replace thelate William Rehnquist as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the UnitedStates.

Previously, we wrote to Senate Judiciary Committee members on September 1,2005 to urge that they closely scrutinize the record of Judge Roberts in the area of disability rights at his confirmation hearings. We appreciate the bipartisan efforts to obtain a deeper understanding of Judge Roberts views concerning the rights of persons with disabilities and the recourse available to persons with disabilities when they encounter discrimination. In particular, we appreciate:1) The attempts by Senator Feingold to obtain clarification about JudgeRoberts approach to issues around definition of disability in the Americanswith Disabilities Act (ADA);2) Efforts by Senators DeWine and Specter to impress upon Judge Roberts theimportance of not second-guessing Congresss prerogative to develop legislation to remedy discrimination, as the Supreme Court unfortunately did in the 5-4 University of Alabama v. Garrett decision. 3) Senator Kennedy’s efforts to ascertain Roberts views on the precedent established in Tennessee v. Lane and to impress upon him the importance ofthe courts affirming the civil rights of persons with disabilities.

However, a number of questions remain unanswered. Does Judge Roberts agree with Justice Clarence Thomas that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is not a civil rights law? To what degree will Judge Roberts grant deference to Congresss legislative findings, rather than treating our elected legislature like a subordinate court? Does Judge Roberts agree with or reject the Olmstead majority holding that reasonable accommodationis sometimes necessary to achieve equal opportunity? Why did JudgeRoberts consider the lower court decisions in favor of a deaf student in theRowley case to be examples of judicial activism, and does he continue tohold the attitudes towards disability rights litigation that he expressed inthe memos about the Rowley and Wyatt cases? After four days of hearings, westill dont have the answers.We remain deeply troubled by Judge Roberts record on access to justiceissues. If he insists that Congress needs to explicitly declare a right tosue, it would undermine the right of individuals to hold authorities accountable for violations of their civil rights under the Medicaid statute and other federal laws. We are disturbed by the fact that his interventionsin and comments about a number of civil rights cases tend to reflect a desire to restrict legal remedies under a wide range of civil rights laws.We are further concerned that his references to judicial modesty and restraint could actually suggest that he is reluctant to impose federalenforcement upon states for violating the civil rights of individuals with disabilities.However, we do note on the positive side that in WMATA v. Barbour, Judge Roberts cast the deciding vote in favor of a decision written by DC Circuit Judge Merrick Garland upholding the constitutionality of the Section 504 requirement that state entities receiving federal funding not discriminateagaint persons with disabilities under the Spending Clause. Though we have no assurance that he would rule the same way at the Supreme Court level, weare encouraged by his willingness to affirm the validity of Section 504 inthe Barbour case.”

Here comes the “cave” moment. What did the two signatories or their organizations gain by saying this?

“If Judge Roberts were still being nominated to replace Justice Sandra Day OConnor, a perennial swing vote on disability and civil rights cases, our concerns about his disability record would take on even greater weight. But this is not the case. Though we continue to harbor serious concerns andmisgivings about Judge Roberts, he is now being nominated to replace the late Chief Justice Rehnquist. Since replacing Chief Justice Rehnquist with Judge Roberts is unlikely to result in a decisive alteration in the SupremeCourts ideological balance, we have decided, after considerable deliberation, that our serious concerns do not rise to the level of opposing his nomination.As you decide your vote, we urge you to give serious consideration to our concerns about Judge Roberts views and record on disability rights. Thankyou.

But, over at ADA watch:

“So because Roberts’ represents “business as usual” from a Court that has repeatedly ignored the intent of Congress and greatly weakened the ADA, we should not oppose him?
And never mind that Roberts has declared that the Rehnquist Court – despite repeatedly narrowing the scope of the ADA and weakening the civil rights of millions of Americans with epilepsy, diabetes, and other disabilities – was “not conservative enough.”
As a community, it is when we act as advocates rather than political strategists that we are truest to our cause. We must expect the same from those organizations whose mission it is to give voice to our movement.
Deciding that we will give a nominee a pass because he is of the same mold as his predecessor is simply an endorsement of the status quo of a Court that has repeatedly undermined the rights of Americans with disabilities.
Our greatest strength is the bipartisan nature of the ADA. If we stay true to the vision and values of the ADA – rather than political strategy and posturing – we will fight a stronger fight.
Many of us hoped that this nomination – especially juxtaposed with the failings of our government in responding to the poor as well as people with disabilities in New Orleans – would create the opportunity to start a national dialogue about the role of government in creating equal opportunity for all.
Fortunately, many Senators – both Republicans and Democrats alike – used the Roberts hearings as an opportunity to speak out against the Rehnquist Court’s savaging of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other civil rights protections. Sadly, however, the majority of their votes did not match their rhetoric.
With so much at stake for people with disabilities, the passing of the torch from one ideologue to another is not the time for silence from our community.
So – again this is not your usual action alert – continue to contact your Senators. Tell them what we have already lost and what continues to be at stake for us. (Contact info at http://www.Congress.org)
Use this process as a time to educate Senate staffers about our issues and about what we are facing in the courts.
Oppose Roberts and use his record to demonstrate the crucial need for a more moderate nominee to replace Justice O’Connor.
Contact your national disability organizations. If they don’t take positions on judicial nominations, tell them to do so. (IRS rules show that taking positions on judicial nominations is no different than advocacy on legislation).
If they do take positions, tell them to ignore the political strategy games in Washington and to simply support nominees who support disability rights and oppose those who don’t. ” [italics mine]

Next post I’ll grab a distillation of his record from ADA Watch

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