Leaving Treadmarkz Across the Universe

Posts Tagged ‘Obama

Enough Outta Me, Let’s Have Some Discussion: No Child Left Behind

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by Treadmarkz

Since I am starting to re-develop a following here at “Leaving Treadmarkz Across the Universe” I’d like to pose a question to kind of get to know the readers a little better. So, leave me a comment and let me know what you think. So here is my question:

How do you think the discontinuing of “No Child Left Behind” in 10 states will affect school age children with learning disabilities?

The Next Big Questions for the United States of America

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Treadmarkz

One of the biggest, most deeply debated questions in the U.S. has been answered. Will we ever have a Black President? Well, Obama is half Black and half White. So I guess technically “Will we ever have a Black president?” is still the big question. But Obama’s election is considered to be a huge step in the right direction by millions of Americans as well as many millions of well wishers around the world. In many ways this has nothing to do with Obama’s race. The goodwill he is receiving certainly owes much to Obama’s ideas; his policies and his outlook for the future of this country and how it relates to the rest of the world.

But we also must keep in mind that his election has shown the world that the U.S., supposedly so far ahead of the rest of the world, has finally made a concrete statement to the rest of the world about its “open-mindedness.” After all there have been female heads of state all over the world, including many places in the supposedly-backward Middle East, for a long time. Not in the States, though.

In 2012 – or 2016 when Obama is no longer eligible for the Presidency – will it be considered a step backward if a White male is once again elected president? Certainly it will not be a step backward if Obama makes good on his ideas and becomes a well-respected president, and the next president continues where Obama left off.

Is this the crossroads of history when we can start asking not if, but when will there be an Asian U.S. President? When will there be a Hispanic, “Native American” or Middle Eastern, or Jewish or Muslim or Atheist U.S. President, or a president who is a “little person”?

When will we have an openly homosexual President? (see James Buchanan). Certainly the debate over “gay” marriage in the U.S. right now makes this an unlikely atmosphere. But the Civil Rights movement came to a crescendo 40 years ago, and Barack Obama has been elected. Will we see a gay president in 2048?

When will we have an openly disabled U.S. President? (see Franklin D. Roosevelt). The Americans with Disabilities Act empowered millions in 1990. Will we see a president who is blind, or a president who will without reservations appear on television in his wheelchair, or, let’s say, without his prosthetic in the year 2032? John McCain has a minor disability due to a war wound which he spoke openly about when the issue came up about him not using the Internet. And he came close to the White House.

These are just some of the possibilities that the election of Barack Obama has brought closer to being a reality. Now all we have to do is watch how history plays out.

Why It Takes More Than A Disabled War Veteran and the Mother of a Child With a Disability To Win My Vote

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by Treadmarkz,

I have encountered fellow citizens of the U.S. who were shocked that I would not be voting for John McCain/Sarah Palin in this year’s election. Astounded, really.

“Don’t you think Sarah Palin, as a mother of a disabled kid, and John McCain, as a disabled War Veteran, would do everything they can for disabled people?”

I have endless respect for McCain’s sacrifice in War, and I know from listening to my mother talk about raising me what Palin must go through to get her child what he needs to live the life she wants for him. So this is a valid question. Sure Palin is the mother of a child with Down Syndrome. But I don’t know what she would do as a leader. I mean if my own mother were in the White House, I have a good idea of the laws that she would want changed and I would trust her judgement. But I don’t know enough about Palin to know if I trust the things that she would have pushed for as VP. And nobody can know what’s best for all the different kinds of disabled people. So you have to vote for the overall best choice you have available. And I believe I did.

And besides that, any change that was made on behalf of disabled people would have to be voted on by the law-making bodies of our government, not just installed by Palin OR McCain. I know that is how it works under Bush/Cheney but we are back to reality now. In that respect I know that disabled people are just as well off under Obama as we would have been with Palin or McCain.

I told the person that asked me this that sometimes it is better if people that have a little distance from the issue make the decision. And what I meant was that if we want this to be a fair and balanced country, the laws and “changes” need to be made by people without self-interest in the issues.

And speaking of self-interest, despite an earlier posting in which I noted that Obama was the only candidate that mentioned disabled people on his Web site, I know that there are issues that are infinitely more important to this country than whether I get accessibility to certain buildings, etc. Such as the issue of whether I get to keep getting my health care for free while others don’t have health care at all. Such as whether my president is going to stop or continue isolating us from the rest of the world. Whether he is going to take the time to read the CIA reports about potential attacks. Whether my president is going to make education a priority for everyone. Whether he is going to tax the people who have the money to spare (the facts don’t lie, if you actually paid attention to what McCain and Obama were saying). The list goes on and on.

The point is that I am a citizen of this country and I care about the things that everyone else does. So it took more than two people with direct connections with disabilities to get my vote. That is why I voted for Obama.

Thank God Almighty

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by Treadmarkz

I have not felt the sense of Patriotism, the sense that America is a beautiful place to be, that I have tonight, in a long time.

Disabled People: Don’t Vote Absentee Unless You Absolutely Must!

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by Treadmarkz

It’s probably a little late for this but I just read that absentee voting costs the county – at least the county that I am living in – about $10 per ballot, which is about twice as much as each ballot costs the county on Election Day. I don’t know why that is, but I also know that many of the people that are casting absentee votes are giving “disability” for a reason they need to vote early.

Since this election is about ceasing the unnecessary spending in government and getting back to pooling our resources into things that are important, I implore you if you are disabled, please do not vote absentee, unless you really need to, to avoid the crowds, which is completely understandable. And I ask that anyone else who may attempt to fabricate a reason why they need to vote early, to avoid doing so. Show that you really believe in changing the way we do things for the greater good!

Since there isn’t much time until Election Day, please pass this on to anyone you think should read this.

I am Treadmarkz, and again, I approve this message.

Biden: “Stand Up, Chuck!” – Gaffe For the Ages or Just a Poorly Delivered Compliment?

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by Treadmarkz

Anyone who frequents YouTube has probably seen the video of Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Joseph Biden speaking on the campaign trail recently when he mentioned Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham’s name. This prompted Biden to say to Graham “Stand up, Chuck, let ’em see ya.”

One problem: Graham is in a wheelchair.

I will not post the video here, but I do want to comment on the incident.

Some are saying that it is proof that Biden has never met Graham, and is therefore not as much of a Washington go-getter as he’s supposed to be or whatever. Possibly. But does it really prove anything? Gaffe for the ages, they are saying! But is it?

I have written previously how a co-worker told me once that he hadn’t ever really noticed that I was in a wheelchair. He maybe did at first but the importance of the fact grew dimmer and dimmer over time as we worked together and he saw me as a person on the same level as himself. The same principle may have been at work between Biden and Graham.

Plus Biden covered his tracks so well after the “error”, by making everyone else in attendance stand up. Over-correction? Maybe. Classy off-the-cuff move though, considering how I am sure Biden felt after making the mistake.

People are saying it is appalling that if Biden had never met Graham that nobody briefed him that Graham was in a wheelchair. I say it’s great that nobody briefed him that Graham was in a wheelchair. That proves that they did not really notice it either.

What Would America Be Like For the Disabled Under McCain? Here is a Preview.

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by Treadmarkz,

I saw this video on another person’s blog so I just linked to it because I think it is important to people to see this. Click the link and then play the video that comes onto the screen. I think it is telling of John McCain’s attitude toward the disabled and the issues we face. Listen carefully to what the woman in the video is asking and of course to McCain’s response.

The woman is asking McCain to support a bill giving disabled people more complete freedom of choice when it comes to public housing.

Surely I don’t expect him to say yes to everything he is asked, just so he looks good to as many people as possible, so I respect him for being honest. But he shot down the legislation the woman referred to, and then was not very specific about alternatives. Did not give the issue a lot of time. By “continue to upgrade the Americans with Disabilities Act” I just wonder, for whose benefit will these “upgrades” come?

How To Run a Smear Campaign on Your Blog While Cutting Out the Self-Deprecating Nonsense

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by Treadmarkz

“Mindless nonsense”

“a blog about nothing”

“rambling, incoherent fluff”

“pointless yammering”

We’ve all seen them. They are taking over the blogosphere. Self-deprecating blogs written by bloggers who attempt to set themselves apart from the pack by insisting, right out in the open, in the title of their blog that they have nothing to say.

Unfortunately I think the whole mad cycle begins with WordPress itself. If you are a WordPress blogger you will remember that when you started your blog, before you gave it a proper title, the subtitle read “Just Another WordPress Weblog”, something like that. Some people have chosen to keep that sub-heading. Generic, lifeless, non-committal. Bloggers may start their blog with high hopes of putting on display their original opinions, concepts, and points of view, only to quickly find that they are just one of millions. And it quickly turns them negative. Why?

I mean, sure, we aren’t necessarily aspiring toward professional journalism here, but at least the goal should be credibility. Or at least to have a concrete point. This is not to say that these people actually are without a point or lack “something to say”. But these titles do not help convey that. Not at all.

God knows I am as self-defacing as the next guy in my everyday dealings with family, friends, etc. But this… I’ll give you an even better example. I saw a blog posting one time with the title “Don’t Even Bother Reading This.” You know what I did? I didn’t read it.

It reminds me of the “negative campaigns” that U.S. Presidential candidates are often accused of running against each other. Only in this case, bloggers are using these smear tactics against themselves. If you are going to do it, I say why not do it to smear your competition? To bring into question the credibility of a blogger who runs a blog similar to yours?

For example, on this blog, I usually discuss a wide variety of disabilities, usually focusing on issues regarding those of us in wheelchairs. So, suppose I decided to run my smear campaign against “Disabilities Blog X”. In that case, I might say “Disabilities Blog X: They haven’t got a leg to stand on.”

It would take something much better than that, I am sure, but you get the idea. And, no, that slogan would not be self-deprecating just because I am in a wheelchair myself. I am merely using what I know about my competition and spinning it to my advantage.

How about “Disabilities Blog Y: At Least It’s Not Mindless Rambling Rubbish Like Disabilities Blog X.”

Well now that I’ve shown you the way, stop smearing yourselves, and get out there in the blogosphere and play to win! And, you know, don’t go making any enemies, for God’s sake, but set yourself apart from the rest

Obama’s Got a Plan for the Disabled

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by Treadmarkz

(I wrote this commentary just before Super Tuesday, but the facts remain the same and hold true)

As I write this, Super Tuesday is one week away and I am doing some final “soul-searching” while researching the candidates. Beginning with the leading Democrats, I noticed something. Each candidate has a drop-down menu titled “Issues” on their homepages. Though Clinton’s covers health care, and she clearly makes it a high priority, nowhere on her list do I see anything about the disabled. Barack Obama has a similar drop-down list and “Disabilities” is the second item on the list. Check out Obama’s campaign video here.
Granted there are much bigger issues to tackle in ’08. I understand that. The war and the economy are big problems that the new President will need to work hard to sort out, and it is important to know who we want leading us in these endeavors for the next four years. However it bothers me that even though Republicans John McCain, Mitt Romney and Michael Huckabee all have a detailed section on health care, none approach the subject of the disabled, and even health care seems to be slipping down the ladder of importance for these GOP candidates.

The internet is where the candidates should be reaching out to the masses with their entire message. So if the disabled are part of the agendas of these candidates, where is the proof? Health care and Social Security is going to be a big issue for all of us one day. For some it already is. Some disabled people are completely covered by Social Security and hope to remain so. But Obama tackles issues that are the keys to keeping disabled people thriving, successful members of society such as education and employment for the disabled, discrimination against the disabled (contrary to my experience, it IS out there), and independent living.
Give it some thought before you cast your vote on Super Tuesday and in November!

I’m Treadmarkz and I approve this unbiased, factual message.

Written by treadmarkz

January 30, 2008 at 5:01 AM