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MLK’s dream burning bright

But promise of equal opportunity ‘great unfinished business’

Freelance writer/editor

Standing in the shadow of the great emancipator, President Barack Obama on Wednesday stood exactly where slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. did 50 years earlier to “awaken the slumbering conscience of America.”

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Obama borrowed heavily from King’s 1963 “I have a dream” speech to chronicle the rapid societal changes the landmark oratory set in motion for America’s excluded minorities.

It wasn’t just a black thing. It was a Latino thing. An Asian thing. A women thing.  A gay thing. A Catholic thing. A Jewish thing.

And it was a people with disabilities thing, the President of the United States told tens of thousands of Americans from all walks of life on a rainy day in Washington, D.C. Continue reading

Global Disability Treaty

Obama: “It’s the right thing to do. We need to get it done.’

Freelance writer/editor

In a 42-minute, tag-team speech with First Lady Michelle Obama, the President of the United States this month affirmed to disabled Americans that global barriers to opportunity must be shattered.

Passage of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities is an important global priority, PresidentBarack Obama told Disabled American Veterans in a speech at the Orlando Hilton.

“It’s the right thing to do,” the President said to an enthusiastic crowd. “We need to get it done.”

But that didn’t happen last December when the Senate refused to pass the CRPD treaty designed to extend the rights of the Americans with Disabilities Act to all corners of the globe.

The treaty failed 61-38, just five votes short of the super majority needed for passage. Eight Republicans and all of the Senate’s Democrats favored ratification.

But it wasn’t enough. Continue reading

ONE OPINION : Americans with Disabilities Act turns 23

Landmark U.S. civil-rights law must now take root across the globe

Freelance writer/editor

Last week marked the 23rd anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, a bipartisan civil rights leveler allowing people with disabilities an even shot at life. It’s great for U.S.

But sadly, three out of four of our Kansas City area senators — Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts of Kansas and Roy Blunt of Missouri — all Republicans, voted down a United Nation’s treaty on Dec. 4 that would export the ADA globally so that a paralyzed young girl in China could attend school to receive an education.

Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley also was a thumbs down, as was at least three other GOP Midwest senators: James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mike Johanns of Nebraska and William Johnson of Wisconsin. Continue reading

Happy 90th birthday, Sen. Dole

Now let’s give him a lasting gift: Pass U.N. global disability rights treaty

Freelance writer/editor

Members of the disability rights community were shocked and hurt eight months ago when the U.S. Senate failed to approve a treaty expanding the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act to the rest of the world.

But no one was more surprised than the venerable U.S. Sen. Robert Dole, who turned 90 years old Monday and celebrated a quiet day with an inferno of candles and a secret wish to see Congress pass the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

On Dec.  4, the Senate voted 61-38 — five votes short of the super majority needed for passage of this significant global treaty. Continue reading

And guess what? They did it again

Fact: The cost of a barrel of crude oil at 9 p.m., Kansas City time today, Monday, June 18, is $83.

Fact: OPEC in the past several months has increased oil production.

Fact: There is a world surplus of oil, especially in the United States.

Fact: There is a surplus of gasoline in the United States. Continue reading

Government spending chart; why not an oil-gasoline chart?

Third District Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder, on his facebook page has provided information and a link to 50 years of government spending on defense, Social Security and debt. It’s interesting. It has some good information, and for a government graphic, it’s not that difficult to understand.

But that spending and those issues are out of the control of the average, every-day American consumer. Continue reading

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