Sunday, August 31, 2008
Please do me a favor before you write about Governor Palin's son Trig. Do your damn homework like you would on any other issue you would post about. A couple facts:
1. It's Down syndrome not Down's syndrome or Downs.
2. He is not Down syndrome or Downs he is a child with or happens to have Down syndrome. He is a person first!
3. He is not suffering from, afflicted with or inflicted with Down syndrome he just has Down syndrome which is a genetic disorder. Does this define him.....nope and is just one thing that will make up his personality.
4. Parents of children with Down syndrome are not different then any other parents. We are just normal folks with the same variety of beliefs as everyone else.
5. If you need info please check out these two links:
National Down Syndrome Society
National Down Syndrome Congress
In Indiana please see:
Down Syndrome Indiana
I have been amazed at some of what I have read and heard on television......do your home work.
Or just drop me a note or give me a call and I can advise you if you like. Or better yet I can send Nash over.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Obama and Biden
McCain and Palin
Much thinking to do on my my end as Governor Palin is a personal favorite of mine. Hmmmm
Off to think for the weekend.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Obama may have edge with disabled
By:Ben Adler August 17, 2008 05:41 PM EST
The Democratic National Committee is hoping to drive a rift between John McCain and voters with disabilities. It’s a group whose size is difficult to quantify, but one that both candidates have deemed important enough to devote time to courting.While McCain and Barack Obama both support the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and a current bill in Congress that would strengthen its implementation, a key selling point for advocates for the disabled, they disagree on the Community Choice Act. That bill, proposed by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and co-sponsored by Obama, would expand government funds presently available for institutional care to also cover home-based services.McCain opposes the bill, and on July 25 the DNC quickly pulled together a conference call with reporters to attack McCain on the issue. “He has refused to listen to us on a critical issue to our community: the right to live at home in the community,” said Marca Bristo, former Chair of the National Council on Disability. “The Community Choice Act would allow that. Obama will give us choice and help us liberate the people in nursing homes.”
The conference call may have been partly a defensive maneuver because it happened the day before McCain addressed the American Association of People with Disabilities conference via satellite, on the July 26 anniversary of the passage of the ADA. Obama dispatched Harkin, a longtime leader on disability issues, as a surrogate. McCain told the conference that he supports the idea of returning people to their own homes, but is concerned about the potential cost, a stance his campaign has since reiterated. The jockeying by the candidates and parties surrounding the AADP conference was just part of the candidates’ ongoing efforts to reach people with disabilities. Both Obama and McCain have staffers working on outreach to the community. Obama has released a plan for improving the lives of people with disabilities and issued a lengthy statement commemorating the anniversary of the passage of the ADA. McCain enthusiastically praised the ADA in his speech. Both candidates have online groups for supporters with disabilities, and both have pledged to create a position in their administration focusing on disability issues. But while it’s clear that both candidates see the community as one worth courting, it’s unclear just how many people with disabilities are actually voting on the basis of that identity or what affect the outreach will have. The American Association of People with Disabilities claims that there are 37.5 million disabled people who are eligible to vote, using a very broad definition that includes learning disabilities. But historically, people with disabilities have not necessarily identified or voted primarily with that identity. Since disability occurs across all demographic groups in the United States, the disabled generally mirror the population as a whole in their political preferences. In 2004, a post-election Zogby poll commissioned by the New York State Independent Living Council, a disability rights advocacy group, found people with disabilities voted virtually identically to the population as a whole. Eighteen percent of disabled respondents said that their vote was “based on a candidate’s support or opposition to an issue that impacts people with disabilities.” The poll also found that nine percent of people without disabilities said the same. The poll, though, did not ask how this concern compared to more mainstream ones, such as the economy or the war in Iraq, or break down what respondents took the phrase “an issue that impacts disabilities” to mean. To many it may be funding for research of their own condition or for embryonic stem cell research. Many disability rights activists oppose assisted suicide for the severely disabled, and spoke out against it in the case of Terri Schiavo. Pollsters normally do not use disability as a demographic sub-group, so there is no publicly available data on the disability community’s leanings in this election, and both campaigns declined to discuss their internal polling. None of the independent pollsters or consultants contacted for this piece had ever polled disabled people or were aware of others having done so.
“I have never heard of anybody doing this,” said Brad Bannon, a Democratic pollster. “It would require asking very sensitive questions in a survey which would lead respondents to hang up.”Mark Mckinnon, who was until recently a senior strategist with the McCain campaign, said that he had never polled people with disabilities and that he didn’t think their voting priorities would differ from anyone else’s. “I think people with disabilities vote just like anyone else does,” said McKinnon. “I think they vote on big issues like war in Iraq and the economy like others.”Jim Dickson, vice president of government affairs at the AADP, says that as with any constituency, whichever candidate speaks most forthrightly to the community’s issues has historically gained their vote. “It goes to the candidate who talks most about disability,” said Dickson.In 1988, both candidates said they would sign the ADA, but after George H. W. Bush made a priority of it by pledging to do so in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, the disability vote shifted from Dukakis to Bush, according to Harris tracking polls conducted with the National Council on Disability — which also claimed that the disabled community made up a full 10 percent of the electorate.McCain, who is partially disabled by injuries he received in Vietnam, may also benefit from a sense of solidarity within the disabled community, a subject McCain did not raise in his AADP speech. “I think the more people know that he has a disability, the more it is likely to help with this community,” said Dickson. However, issues are likely to trump identity, according to advocates such as Dickson, who point out that Bob Dole, who was disabled and who sponsored the ADA, lost the disability vote to Clinton.“It was surprising that given Dole’s ADA sponsorship and disability [that he did not carry disabled voters],” said Dickson. “I think that was because Clinton was the first president to establish an office in the White House to work on disability. He had a very strong record. It was the first time we had seen anything like that.”The DNC has been quicker to appeal to the new identity politics in the disability community than was its Republican counterpart. The DNC has a disability caucus and has a rule encouraging state delegations to bring a proportional number of people with disabilities to their national convention as delegates. Although the RNC has neither of those things, a spokesperson, Amber Wilkerson, said that they are working closely with the McCain campaign on outreach to the disability community.“Many people with disabilities have domestic policy needs,” said Brad Williams of NYSILC. “The only party that is really addressing that is the Democratic Party and everyone in our community knows that.” Williams ticked off a long list of issues on which he says Democrats are more responsive to the disability community than Republicans, including housing, transportation, employment, education and, most importantly, he said, health care.Congress spent $1 billion under the Help America Vote Act of 2002, making voting booths more accessible to people with disabilities. Advocates say that will pay off in higher turnout this fall.On Thursday, Disaboom, an online community for people with disabilities, announced that it would be putting on programs to raise awareness of disability issues at the Democratic National Convention. They hope to schedule programming at the RNC as well.Although Disaboom's leaders identified mostly issues that tend to favor Democrats as the most important for the community — high unemployment, healthcare reform and the Community Choice Act — they said those issues have potential bipartisan appeal."Mainstreaming people with disabilities into the workforce means taking them off of welfare and into taxpaying," said Kim Dority, vice president of content for Disaboom. "Republicans could embrace that. It's not simply an opportunity for one party."
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Thank you for contacting me by e-mail. Due to the extremely large volume of e-mail my office receives daily, we have begun sending an automatic response. However, I want to assure you, your concerns matter to me. I read all e-mail I receive from our district and I will certainly keep your comments in mind as Legislation is introduced on matters that concern our district and state.Again, thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with me.Sincerely,
Wow, was my first response. Does this elected official really get that much email from the people that elected this person? I have read many many times how little response it takes on an issue to get the attention of an elected official. Has this changed? Have Hoosiers and Americans gotten so motivated and active this season that we have overwhelmed our elected officials with questions from the folks they work for?
Well I really don't have any idea how many emails this elected official actually receives but I do know one thing I get quite a few on a daily basis. Maybe I should set my office assistant on my email to send something out like this. Think my customers would mind?
Heck I have a better idea on how to save my tax dollars and lower my taxes. Stop right now sending out news letters from elected officials offices at tax payer expense. I get alot of junk mail everyday and this would cut down on that junk. It would save dollars, ink and paper which would be good for the environment.
Now there is a way to reduce my taxes.
Friday, August 15, 2008
I have been more then miffed about the so called negotiation between the Obama and Clinton Camps about their role at the Convention and making the Clinton Supporters happy. Sorry to say to my friends in the Clinton box but SHE LOST! But now the guy I decided to support has cowed down to the "Clinton, Dean, Democrat Politics as Usual gang" and I am not happy.
I defended Senator Obama with my Republican friends when he states that we needed to use Diplomacy and talk directly to our enemy's as well as our friends. I reminded them that President Reagan has similar beliefs. While they argued with me about that issue deep down they knew I was right. Well I am not so sure now.
After weeks of negotiations which is what much of the Obama platform is about with the Clinton camp this is the result from Jack Cafferty at CNN:
The Democratic National Convention is shaping into quite some party for Hillary Clinton.
Her name will be placed into nomination. She'll give a prime-time address, introduced by her daughter Chelsea. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will get his own plum speaking slot on a separate night. She will also have her own production team to create the introductory video that precedes her speech – the same people who produced Bill Clinton's biography video "The Man from Hope" in 1992.
And, there's now language in the party's platform that refers to the "18 million cracks in the highest glass ceiling," and suggests that media sexism contributed to Hillary's defeat. All this makes it easy to forget that Hillary Clinton is the loser.
Barack Obama and Clinton say they agreed to put both of their names into nomination after weeks of negotiating. It's meant to help unite the party and head off potential embarrassing problems at the convention from Hillary supporters.
Now I have to ask myself a question if this is the result of the Obama teams negotiation power then how the hell can I expect him and his team to negotiate good results for our nation with our enemy's? If he can't negotiate a power position against Bill and Hillary how can he negotiate with Vladimir Putin? Iran, Iraq, China, Mexico or Cuba?
I am so very disappointed that the same person that motivated me with the Thunder of " We are not red states and blue states but the United States". Where is the change I believed in?
I am not saying I have given up on Senator Obama just yet. But I am pretty damn mad. As I told our county organizer tonight after our lengthy discussion that I have gone into a holding pattern until after the convention. I want to see how the Clintons and their folks act. Then I will make up my mind as to whether I roll up my sleeves to campaign like hell for Senator Obama.......or for Senator McCain.......Or Senator Barr......
I can't believe I am sitting here watching the Clinton Machine still run the show!
Oh my friends in the blog world like Circle City Pundit and Hoosier Pundit are gonna raz me....
We must restore the power to the people!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
If you have read my past posts in regards to the upcoming release of DreamWorks latest movie "Tropic Thunder" you will know my opinions of the movie. If you have not please scroll down the blog and you can read a few posts on the subject. As I write this there are many decisions being made by disability organizations about a boycott. I support their decisions but I have made my own decision. Here are a few points I would like to make:
1. DreamWorks has the absolute free speech right in the USA to make this movie and I defend them from that point first and foremost.
2. I have read many opposing thoughts on this issue from blogs supporting the movie and the fact that it is satire. That the movie is based on the fact that this is Hollywood making fun of themselves. Ok, I will buy into that for a minute. But what is the point of Mathew McConaughy's scene below?
In a conversation with his agent, played by Mathew McConaughey, Stiller’s Speedman talks about his plans to adopt a child. “At least you get to choose yours,” says the agent, looking sadly at a photograph of himself with a slack-faced teenaged boy who appears to have an intellectual disability. “I’m stuck with mine.” (The teenaged boy turns up with his father on an airplane later in the movie, staring vacantly out the window.)
3. In Hollywood as we see each and every day all publicity is good publicity. I think DreamWorks and the gang are all excited as hell about this brewing issue as they can see the cash rolling in.
4. I believe in this country all things are ruled by MONEY and POLITICS.
With those item covered here is "The BigDawg Challenge".
The only thing that matters in Hollywood is the money. As Tom Cruise made famous in "Jerry McGuire"......."SHOW ME THE MONEY"!
While I trust that each of you are really good people even if we don't agree on everything I am going to ask you to make a commitment. I am going to ask everyone of the millions of people in this country that have a disability or are the family and Friends of someone with a disability or a reader of this blog to just stay home from the movie theatres this week. Let's send a message to Hollywood, The Movie Theatres, Coke, Pepsi, the popcorn and the candy folks that enough is enough. They only understand the money folks plain and simple.
Now if it costs the average family $50.00 to go to the movie what should we do with that money?
Here are a couple ideas:
1. Have a great dinner at home around the table with the whole gang.
2. Have a party and invite your Friends.
3. Take the family out to eat.
Donate the money you would have spent on the movie, popcorn, coke and candy at the movie to the political campaign of your choice and I do mean of your choice. To all my Democrat, Republican, Independent and Libertarian friends.....write a check! Support the person you believe in and the expense of DreamWorks and the movie industry. Not sure who to send the check to.....I will help.
Senator Barack Obama or Senator John McCain or Senator Bob Barr
Governor Mitch Daniels or Jill Long Thompson
or a few of my other favorites
Governor Sarah Palin or Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers who both just happen to have children with Down syndrome.
Greg Zoeller for Attorney General
YOU DECIDE but make sure you tell me about who you choose. And I hope you have taken the time to know why you support your choice. Or if you don't want to donate to a campaign then how about:
National Down Syndrome Society Government Affairs or The Arc of Indiana
Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome
Ok, you get the drift!
I hope you will post links to this on your blogs or forward it in an email to each and every person you know. Just imagine the look on the faces of the theatre managers and the DreamWorks folks when the MONEY does not show up....
And even better the look on the face of the campaign finance chairs at the campaigns above wondering where all this money is coming from. Or the development folks at the above mentioned groups trying to figure out how to take credit for the cash influx...lol
Together we can make life better for individuals with intellectual disabilities TODAY!
Peace Dude and Thank You for your Support.
This blog post has been approved and paid for by The BigDawg himself.
Well this is the kinda political stuff that drives me crazy.
Take a look at this post over at the Hoosier Pundit:
Scott come on......give me a break. While I respect your belief on abortion do you really believe that only left wing liberals terminate pregnancies? Do you really believe some of the companies on Wall Street that continue to develop earlier prenatal testing are all left wing Lib's? Do you really believe that no good hearted religious Republican has ever terminated a pregnancy?
You see as the Father of a son with Down syndrome I spend much time emmersed in this issue. The one thing I have learned over the years on this subject is I am not God and it is not my job to judge people. So I and the many groups I am involved with spend a great deal of time trying to get accurate information to the medical world and expectant parents. And guess what the termination rate for a positive prenatal test for Down syndrome is 90%!
Scott do you really believe that those 90% are all left wing liberal Obama folks? If you do then I can share the data with you to prove that is not the case by any means. I can share stories of good hearted right wing, pro life folks that have chosen termination based on these results and the info shared with them from their doctor. And we continue to push the envelope on earlier and earlier prenatal testing.
Scott this issue is not a right vs left issue....Roe v Wade may be but termination is not. It runs across the board and we need to fix it.
Now if we want to talk about real political issues on this subject let me ask this.
Why is it the R's want to overturn Roe v Wade but will not live up to thier own promise of fully funding their share of IDEA? They continually promoise to live up to their 70% of the additional cost yet have never done more then 17%?
How about NCLB which has no funding but very much puts kids with disabilities at a disadvatage....now if you don't think this is fact based on good soundbites come spend the day with me and you might be surprised what you find out.
Why is it we can't get good legislation that would allow people with disabilites to be able to retain the services they need while pursuing full time employment? Instead we paint them into a corner of poverty so they don't lose the services they need.
And I could go on and on.....
But let me ask you this Scott, will you join me in supporting a boycott of the new movie "Tropic Thunder" which spends almost 30 minutes making fun of individuals with intellectual disabilities? Will you not only support kids with disabilities right to be born and not terminiated but will you support thier rights across the board through out their lives?
Come on you can do it!
Friday, August 08, 2008
No, I had expected it. It was actually less than I thought would happen and I was prepared for more incidents than we encountered. But they were incidents nonetheless. And every one was shocking. Nothing happened to me directly, but things happened to my cast, my crew, and I would hear about it the next morning.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Patricia Bauer Website
Depending on how this all works out I am preparing to ask everyone I know to not only not see Tropic Thunder but to stay home from all movie theatres the week of the opening.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
If you have read my blog for awhile you will know that I lean to the left but also support many Republicans for office. You will also have read that I enjoy and listen regularly to The EIB Network and Host Rush Limbaugh!
As you read in my post yesterday the entertainment world is out of control with so called comedy at the expense of folks with intellectual disabilities and mental retardation. It seems to have become the comedy slur of choice. Today I learned of a new slur that I had not heard of before. Rush Limbaugh introduced me to the new word Celebretard!
Here is the definition from The Urban Dictionary:
A demeaning and insulting term for a celebrity that is not liked. Often found on websites referring to hated celebs. Refers to a "retarded celebrity" although not retarded in the classical sense; retarded in the sense they are ridiculous, pompous, divas, demanding, fashion disasters, in rehab, generally disliked by the media or fans, or have a reputation of being snotty and difficult.
Well El Rushbo decided to use the term today in referring to Paris Hilton's ad in response to John McCain's ad comparing Senator Barack Obama to her and other celeb's. I have listened to Rush for years on a pretty regular basis. I have always had respect for Rush's insight and entertainment humor. I even was on his radio show years back supporting him when he was the spokesperson for Florida Orange Juice while I was in the packaging machinery world. Yes, orange juice sales and production actually increased while he was their spokesman. With that said I also fully understand that Rush is an entertainer first and foremost but today I think he blew it.
Before I wrote this post I actually called the show today and talked to his screener and explained the issue I had with Rush using this new wave word and why. I was told my concern would not fit the format of the show today even though today was the day the word was used. But I was more then welcome to call back on Open line Friday! Well geez thanks!
I expect more from you then that. You are the one that has advocated for years that words mean things. For you to use a word invented in the celebrity world to slam Hollywood types by using this word comparing them to individuals with intellectual disabilities as negative crossed the line and really let me down.
Rush, you are much smarter then that and I expect more from you then becoming lazy in your use of the English language. You need to say it was not really very wise on your part to fall into the trap of using a word with this negative connotation. When I tune in to "The Excellence in Broadcasting Network" I expect to be educated and entertained in an intellectual fashion not to get a political version of "Entertainment Tonight".
In regards to calling in on Friday for "Open Line Friday" I think I will with the Nash man in mind. But in all honesty I doubt I will get back on the show.
In the meantime Rush, make it right and keep this fan listening and prove to me you are not a Celebratard but a Celebrellectual.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
By MICHAEL CIEPLY; Compiled by Julie Bloom
Published: August 5, 2008
DreamWorks executives have agreed to talk by telephone and in person on Wednesday with representatives of more than a half dozen disabilities organizations to discuss the groups’ concerns about the portrayal of a developmentally handicapped character in the coming movie “Tropic Thunder.” “We want to be really plain about what our issues are with the movie,” said Anne Sommers, the policy counsel for the American Association of People with Disabilities, who helped organize the meeting. Debate has centered on the film’s approach to a character named Simple Jack, right, who is played by Ben Stiller’s character, an actor, in the movie. Movie and marketing materials refer to the character as a “retard.” Ms. Sommers said the groups, which include the National Down Syndrome Congress and the Special Olympics, had not yet formulated specific requests for DreamWorks. DreamWorks executives have said the film, a movie industry spoof, aims its humor at the industry, not at disabled people. The company, a unit of Paramount Pictures, plans to release “Tropic Thunder” on Aug. 13.
I am not thrilled about this in any shape or form. Just as I was not thrilled when the "R" word was used in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". With that being said this movie is going to be rated R but come on. Dreamworks can keep smoking what ever they are smoking to make them think that are making fun of themselves and not people with disabilities. Ben Stiller should know better.
But with all that said here is my big question:
WHERE ARE ALL THE PEOPLE THAT WERE SCREAMING FOR DON IMUS'S HEAD?
Where is Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson and the other civil rights folks on this? Is it ok to use the "R" word just not the "N" word? Where is Whoopie? Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh talked about the Imus thing for days, have they even mentioned this? NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC?
No, and they won't because those with a disability and family members like me are just not important.
Well it's time to change that starting right now!
Ladies and Gentleman there are 65 million individuals with a disability in this country not counting mom, dad, brother, sister, aunts, uncles and cousins. You do the math what does that add up to?
If this movie is released as scheduled then so be it. But let's ask everyone connected to a disability to stay home from ALL movies for that week. Not just that movie but all of them. Think the movie industry and others might get our point then?
It's time the largest minority population in this country got listened too.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
In the distance they could see Coach Bryant's legacy Coach Stallings walking John Mark across the end zone one more time.
It was then that John Mark could hear the Crimson Tide fight song growing louder in the distance. As he walked close to that sound he saw hundreds if not thousands of "bama fans" on the other side of a bridge behind some beautiful gates. As he started onto the bride he saw a beautiful sign with the simple phrase "Roll Tide" and "Welcome Home John Mark".
John Mark was greeted by Coach Bryant with a firm hand shake and a hug. "The Coach" looked him in the eye and thanked him for his years of service to the University of Alabama and "The Bryant Museum". He said "son you have been a role model and made us all proud".
With that, John Mark asked "Coach is this Heaven?" Coach Bryant, tilted his hat just a bit and said " Naw son this is Alabama, ole Rockne just thinks it's Heaven, Welcome home".
With that Coach Bryant walked John Mark through the crowd toward a beautiful stadium. The Coach looked at John, a fine specimen of a "Bama Quarterback" and said, "Come on son, we got a game to play".
Copyright Jeff Huffman 2008
John Mark Stallings passed away yesterday and his Obituary is on the link below. Goodbye John Mark, well done.
From the Montgomery Alabama Advertiser
I now ask DADS from around the world to show our respect for John Mark and to lift up The Coach and his entire family in this hour of reflection. I only know of one way...all together now...
Peace Dude and rest in peace my friend!
Saturday, August 02, 2008
I see a lot of people yelling for peace but I have not heard of a plan for peace. So, here's one plan.
1.) The US will apologize to the world for our "interference" in their affairs, past & present. You know, Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, Noriega, Milosevic and the rest of those 'good ole boys,' We will never "interfere" again.
2.) We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany, South Korea and the Philippines. They don't want us there. We would station troops at our borders. No one sneaking through holes in the fence.
3.) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and leave. We'll give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder will be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of who or where they are. France would welcome them.
4.) All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90 days unless given a special permit. No one from a terrorist nation would be allowed in. If you don't like it there, change it yourself and don't hide here. Asylum would never be available to anyone. We don't need any more cab drivers or 7-11 cashiers.
5.) No foreign "students" over age 21. The older ones are the bombers. If they don't attend classes, they get a "D" and it's back home baby.
6.) The US will make a strong effort to become self-sufficient energy wise. This will include developing nonpolluting sources of energy but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for a while.
7.) Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel for their oil. If they don't like it, we go some place else They can go somewhere else to sell their production. (About a week of the wells filling up the storage sites would be enough.)
8.) If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we will not "interfere." They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds, rain, cement or whatever they need. Besides most of what we give them is stolen or given to the army. The people who need it most get very little, if anything.
9.) Ship the UN Headquarters to an isolated island some place. We don't need the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, the building would make a good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens
10.) All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no one can call us "Ugly Americans" any longer.
The Language we speak is ENGLISH....learn it...or LEAVE...Now, isn't that a winner of a plan.
"The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying 'Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.' She's got a baseball bat and she's yelling, 'You want a piece of me?'"