Advocacy is tedious, patient and lonely

But every once in a while you win: Ten tips to success

Freelance writer/editor

Instant gratification is a trait not often found in the souls of the good people who advocate for making the lives of people with disabilities better.

Fellow advocates, you know who you are.

All have embraced the hare-and-tortoise pace of change early in their disability civil-rights’ careers. And know that steady wins the race.

Advocacy is behind-the-scenes, unheralded, long-hours work that generally doesn’t get you on the evening news. It’s early morning trips to the state capitol or cramped flights to D.C. to meet with congressional leaders whose only goal is to get a picture with a person in a wheelchair. Continue reading

Talking is better than bombing

Chuck Kurtz

Chuck Kurtz

Third District Congressman Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas, says he has “grave concerns” about the nuclear deal negotiated in Geneva, Switzerland, between Iran and the P5+1 — the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, which includes the United States, plus Germany.

If that’s a surprise to anyone, well, you better pull your head out of the political sand and  get back into the real world because the political BS just never ends. Continue reading

Earmarking the can to kick down the road

If I hear one more congressional numbskull refer to Wednesday night’s congressional approval to fund the federal government and avert a government default as “kicking the can down the road,” I’m going to scream.

Of all the elected officials from Kansas, only Sen. Jerry Moran and Second District Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins voted yes to re-open the government and increase the debt ceiling so the government wouldn’t default on its payments. Continue reading

‘Squeaky Wheel’ column makes its national debut

Together, grassroots disability advocates can make a difference

Freelance writer/editor

OVERLAND PARK, KAN. — Grease is the word.

But don’t mistake this for a 1978 ode to John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as two 1950s high-school lovers, the highest-grossing musical to date in the United States.

This recurring column — the “Squeaky Wheel” — is dedicated to the free flow of information affecting the global disability community in our ongoing push for change — the “grease” to lubricate the gears of society to level the playing field and remove the physical and attitudinal barriers standing in our way.

For as we all know, it is the “Squeaky Wheel” — — that gets the grease. Case in point: Continue reading

Who does your congressman listen to: Koch brothers, Cantor or you?

Do something you idiots!

It’s the third day of the government shutdown and stock prices are plunging, down nearly 180 points at lunchtime.

Now, I’m not a smart politician like those folks in Washington, all who say they are listening to their constituents and doing what they can to put the government back to work while pointing fingers at, well, at anyone who happens to be near. I’m not part of the rich and powerful who say they know what’s best for me and other Americans, especially those poor furloughed government employees who now have to try and figure out how to put food on the table for their kids and pay the monthly bills while the majority of our elected officials continue to draw their monthly paycheck.

Even Congressman Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., a conservative who is about as right-winged as a person can get politically, obviously is totally out of touch with what’s going on because of the shutdown. In a television news interview, Huelskamp told the reporter that the sun has come up, people are going about their business, the stock market hadn’t closed, and everything is just fine. Continue reading

Congressman Yoder’s eco-devo venture

Freelance writer/editor

A guy named Ben recently earned $10,000 on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

The question: What U.S. Kansas representative was exposed for an August 2011 incident while on an official diplomatic mission to Israel? The answer: U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder.

It seems a group of Congressional leaders and staffers took a late-night dip in the holy Sea of Galilee after drinks at a posh hotel — a place Christians believe Jesus walked on water. Continue reading

Telephone Town Hall with Yoder Wednesday, July 17

Do you want to participate on a live telephone town hall meeting with 3rd District Congressman Kevin Yoder, and ask questions about the issues most important to you?

If so, click here to enter your phone number and you’ll receive a phone call tomorrow, Wednesday evening, at approximately 6 p.m. Simply stay on the phone if you would like to participate. The Telephone Town Hall will last one hour, and Yoder will answer as many questions as possible.


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