Skip to main content


US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the latest statistics show 1 in 50 US kids now has autism.

Fifteen years ago, 1 in 10,000 kids had autism. Ten years ago it was 1 in 1,000, then 1 in 150, 1 in 88 and now 1 in 50. This means there is one child with autism on just about every school bus (one school bus holds about 50 children).  

Autism Spectrum Disorders:

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.
More below.
Continue Reading

NRA steps up lobbying efforts against Connecticut gun proposals

SUSAN HAIGH reports that

The National Rifle Association helped bus hundreds of supporters to the Connecticut Capitol on Monday, the latest sign of its stepped-up presence in a state that hasn't typically posed a challenge to the gun rights organization's mission.

Since the shooting, which left 20 first-graders and six educators dead, the NRA had not been particularly visible in Connecticut until Monday. Hohenwarter said the group has hired two lobbyists for this year's legislative session but has followed the debate from behind the scenes, working with lawmakers and keeping a low public profile.

Monday's "lobby day" was co-sponsored the Connecticut Coalition of Sportsmen, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Connecticut Citizens Defense League.

The NRA helped fund buses to transport gun rights activists from Cabela's to the State Capitol.  Dailycaller.com helped recruit attendees.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) senior vice president Larry Keane told the Daily Caller that he
 

does not expect too much resistance to his group’s efforts, but conceded, “I’m sure there will be legislators who are hardcore anti-gun who will not be receptive to this information we’re giving them.”
The NSSF is claiming that an assault-weapons ban would cause approximately 1,700 job losses in Connecticut alone.   Connecticut gun manufacturers are Colt’s Manufacturing Company, Stag Arms, and O.F. Mossberg & Sons.  The NSSF rolled out a $50,000 ad buy for tv commercials in targeted Connecticut areas, including the cities of New Britain and Bristol, in opposition to the ban.

My blood is boiling.  Of course, the gun rights coalition is threatening lawmakers with firing workers if they can't continue to manufacture and sell military weapons and ammunition.  Don't worry about any innocent people being wounded or killed in the future.  The right of wealthy people to make more money is always more important than human life.  The rights of gun owners to own anything they desire is more important than the rights of others to live.  What kind of country do we live in?

Meanwhile:

According to Marty Issac, President of CT Association Against Gun Violence:

The Public Safety and Security Committee has decided to hold a Public Hearing this Thursday, March 14, at 10:00 am in Room 2C of the Legislative Office Building.  

A number of gun bills will be heard. All of the proposals fall short of what we want. But this gives us the opportunity to testify in favor of a comprehensive bill that is based on our agenda as well as the Governor’s proposal and the Task Force Democratic subcommittee report.

 
If you live in CT and can make the hearing, please testify.  If you can't attend, call AND e-mail members of the Public Safety and Security Committee. Tell them you want nothing less than a strong ban on assault weapons and you want magazines of more than ten rounds removed from the state.

The agenda of bills to be discussed at the hearing is broad – but the bills themselves are inadequate. Our message is simple. We want comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation and we want it now!
The "Connecticut Effect" needs to be strong and comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation.  Connecticut has Democratic majorities in the General Assembly and the Governor's office.  They need to do the right thing.
Discuss

Tom Harkin's  

late brother, Frank, lost his hearing at a very young age, so he knows firsthand the challenges facing Americans with disabilities. Harkin is a longstanding champion of persons with disabilities and a national leader on disability policy.
As a family who lives with someone living with autism and intellectual disability, our family thanks you Senator Harkin.
Working with Senator Bob Dole and others, Tom Harkin authored the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landmark legislation that protects the civil rights of more than 54 million Americans with physical and mental disabilities. The day the bill was signed into law was one of the proudest moments of Tom Harkin's life. The principles of the ADA -including equality of opportunity and independence - provide the foundation for all of his work on disability policy.
The pursuit of equality of opportunity and independence, to the best of her ability, has been the cornerstone of my advocacy for my daughter for the past 20 years and will be into the future.  Without ADA and IDEA, none of the rights afforded to her would have been possible.  Thank you Senator Harkin.
He helped write legislation reforming education for children with disabilities, with a special emphasis on early intervention.
At a time when autism was rarely diagnosed and understood by a few, my daughter began receiving early intervention services because of ADA and IDEA.  I studied those laws to the best of my ability and fought for services for which she was entitled.  Although limited at the time, she received Birth To Three intervention services.  We were able to obtain a full day Pre-School program for her when the school system only offered a few hours for three days a week. We pushed for sensory integration therapy when few occupational therapists had even heard of it. That was only the beginning.

Thank you Senator Harkin, because ADA and IDEA have given my family the support to fight for my daughter's right to a free appropriate education.  Without these laws, I couldn't imagine what our lives would have been like.

Read on if you're interested

Continue Reading

President Obama's campaign to move his plan to begin mitigating gun violence in America has begun.

whitehouse.gov:

Our nation has suffered too much at the hands of dangerous people who use guns to commit horrific acts of violence. As President Obama said following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, "€œWe won'€™t be able to stop every violent act, but if there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any of these events, we have a deep obligation, all of us, to try."€

Most gun owners are responsible and law-abiding, and they use their guns safely. The President strongly believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. But to better protect our children and our communities from tragic mass shootings like those in Newtown, Aurora, Oak Creek, and Tucson, there are common-sense steps we can take right now.

While no law or set of laws will end gun violence, it is clear that the American people want action. If even one child'€™s life can be saved, then we need to act. Now is the time to do the right thing for our children, our communities, and the country we love.

If this effort to reduce gun violence is to succeed, it'€™s going to require all of us coming together and calling for a safer country.
It's up to all of us.  Let's begin here.  Sign on to show your support for the President'€™s plan to protect our kids and communities.
Discuss

Kerry Magro, a 24 year old with Autism, posted the following video on his Facebook page and on the Autism Speaks website.  He speaks for himself, but he also says many things that as a mother of a daughter who lives with autism speaks for me.  Thank you Kerry for being so eloquent.

Many people living with autism are feared and misunderstood because they may act, learn and think differently.  It hurts each and every time someone recoils or glares when my 20 year old daughter does something atypical.  Isolation for those living with autism and the families who love and support them is already prevalent.  Distorted media reports and the potential for scapegoating the autism community will only hurt an already vulnerable population.  With the gun control debate resurfacing in the nation and Congress, we need to be careful not to marginalize a population of people who are generally the victims of bullying and abuse.

Difficulty with communication and social skills is the hallmark of autism.  They have difficulty communicating and are misunderstood frequently, in a social world they tend to be isolated.  Too many people living with autism are lonely.  Instead of fearing or turning away from those who are different, we need to take the time to learn more about them.  All of the individuals I know that live with autism have wonderful abilities and unique perspectives in the way they look at and approach life.

There is much we don't know about autism and with 1 in 88 being diagnosed with autism, we need to do a better job learning about them and making room for them in our society.

With great sadness and grief, for all of the victims, those who were lost and those who survive, may we do a better job of living together in our diverse society.

Discuss

If Linda McMahon is truly the "Pro-Choice Candidate" she claims to be, then why has the National Right to Life PAC given $7,625 in support of her candidacy?

According to National Right to Life PAC:

National Right to Life Political Action Committee (NRL PAC) is the largest and by far the most effective single-issue pro-life political action committee in the country.

NRL PAC actively supports candidates for federal office who will work to further the goals of the pro-life movement. An important component of this assistance is educating candidates, the public, and the press so that myths about the abortion issue and the electoral process can be dispelled.

The capacity to consistently deliver votes to elect pro-life men and women to Congress explains why the National Right to Life PAC is held in such high esteem.

According to OpenSecrets.org another PAC supporting her candidacy is the conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce with $700,022.

But wait, there's more.

 

Continue Reading

I practiced a version of that phrase in my high school typing class.  That phrase keeps replaying in my mind whenever I think about the radical GOP agenda, lies told about President Obama, voter suppression and intimidation.  Additionally, I think of that phrase when I think of President Obama's American Job's Act stalled in Congress by the Republicans.

I come from a long line of Democrats.  When I was growing up, my mom told me that one of the reasons she was a Democrat was because Republicans were for big business and Democrats were for the people.  That description rings truer now more than ever.

My mom died last year.  She was a woman of character, integrity and conviction.  She taught my family to live by "The Golden Rule" and that kindness matters.  She was a nurse, a political activist, an animal lover and a humanitarian in the truest sense of the word.  She was a proud Democrat.  FDR and JFK were two of her favorite presidents.  Her support for President Barack Obama never waivered.  I miss her deeply, but she lives on in me, my siblings and our children.  

Recently we found a letter that my mom's father wrote to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1938.  He wrote:

April 19, 1938

Dear Mr. President:
     On behalf of my family and myself, I write this letter to you that we are thoroughly in accord with your recommendations to Congress in regard to the appropriations for the WPA and the PWA.
     Fortunately, neither now nor in the past have I needed aid but I cannot remain indifferent to those who are unfortunate.

                                                        Yours respectfully,
                                                         XXXXXXXXXXXXX

My grandfather understood that his tax dollars would be used to invest in people, to give others a hand up and to rebuild America.
The Public Works Administration (PWA), part of the New Deal of 1933, was a large-scale public works construction agency in the United States. It was created by the National Industrial Recovery Act in June 1933 in response to the Great Depression. It built large-scale public works such as dams, bridges, hospitals and schools.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) focused on smaller projects and hired unemployed unskilled workers.

The following is the response my grandfather received from President Roosevelt's office:
April 21, 1938

My dear Mr. XXXXXX:

     The President was delighted to receive the recent letter and has asked me to assure you and your family of his appreciation of the thoughtful spirit which prompted you to send it.
                                                       Very sincerely yours,
                                                       W. H. McINTYRE
                                                 Secretary to the President

My grandfather took the time to express his support to an embattled President, even though he wouldn't directly benefit from the enacted policies.  He demonstrated the best of the American character.  The response from the President's office was equally valuable because my grandfather was heard, acknowledged and appreciated.  Reading those letters made me cry with pride.    

Not knowing about these letters at the time, when President Obama was inaugurated, my daughter (then 7 years old) drew a picture and mailed it to him.  He responded with a letter the following August.  We framed his letter and its hanging in her room.  

My grandfather's letters told a story about the roots of our beliefs and my daughter's letters tell a story of our future.  They symbolize the connectedness of our personal history and that of our country, the communication between citizens and Presidents and that each individual can make an impact in some way.

Now in 2012, just like in 1938, President Obama faces challenges similar to FDR.  He needs our support, our voices and our votes.  He needs a Democratic Congress that will support his policies and state governments that will partner with the federal government to benefit all of the people of this country.

Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of our country.

Americans have a very clear choice on November 6, 2012.  

Discuss

Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:47 PM PDT

Job Opening: POTUS 2012

by Foundmyvoice

Hey Republicans: So you want to fire Obama?  Let's take a look at the job description.

Job Opening: President of the United States of America

Start Date: January 20, 2013

Term: Four years. The president cannot serve more than two terms.

Job Description: The Constitution assigns the president two roles: chief executive of the federal government and Commander in Chief of the armed forces. As Commander in Chief, the president has the authority to send troops into combat, and is the only one who can decide whether to use nuclear weapons.

As chief executive, he enforces laws, treaties, and court rulings; develops federal policies; prepares the national budget; and appoints federal officials. He also approves or vetoes acts of Congress and grants pardons.

Qualifications: Natural-born citizen, 35 years of age or older, has resided within the United States for at least the previous 14 years.

Salary Requirements: The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.
     Note: Emolument is a legal term which refers to all wages and other benefits received as compensation in return for holding an office or performance of an employment.

Continue Reading

Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM PDT

If..., then...

by Foundmyvoice

If Mitt Romney gives 2 answers to every question, then how do you know if you agree with him?

If you don't know if you agree with him, then how can you support him?

If Mitt Romney will not provide his tax returns for public scrutiny, then how can you not conclude that he's hiding something?

If Republican Presidential Candidate Romney has his money in off-shore accounts and Swiss banks to avoid paying more taxes, then why should any American pay more taxes?

If no American pays more taxes, then how does the United States of America survive?

If Mitt Romney believes that only the wealthiest shouldn't pay taxes, then why should the remaining 98% of us take care of the wealthiest?

If the GOP and Mitt Romney believe that the wealthiest Americans should continue to pay less taxes than the middle class Americans and more of the middle class is falling into poverty so more people need to use the social safety net, but the social safety net is being shredded due to budget cuts due to the deficit and partly due the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, then what happens to those who are hungry, sick, unemployed, homeless?

If you ignore a problem, then does it disappear?

If the employees and their labor are what create a profit for a corporation, and profit is the reason a corporation exists, then why aren't the employees compensated more fairly?

If profit is the reason a corporation exists and the United States government (Federal, State and Local) exists for the common good, then the only way to run the government like a business is to consider people as commodities, some having more value than others.

If the GOP believes that government should be run like a business and Democrats believe that government exists for the common good, then where does that leave you?

If you are not considered to have as much value as an older white male (the majority of the GOP), then why would you vote for people who devalue you?

If you are a woman and you believe that you are equal to any male and that he doesn't have the right to tell you what to do with your body or pay you less for equal work, then you need to vote for Democrats.

If you are maligned by the Republican Party because of who you are or who you love, then you need to vote for Democrats.

If you are a "working" person (from lower to upper middle class) and you believe that you deserve to be fairly compensated for your labor, to work in a safe environment and not have your productivity exploited, then you need to vote for Democrats.

If you are a person who uses the social safety net or love/take care of someone who uses the social safety net, then you need to vote for Democrats.

If you believe that this is a nation that was founded on a separation of Church and State and is not a "Christian Nation", then you need to vote for Democrats.

If states run by Republicans are trying to suppress the vote with Voter I.D. laws that disenfranchise the elderly, the young, minorities and Democrats, then you need to ask, why do they have to cheat?

If Republicans need to hide behind anonymous donations to shadowy organizations allowed by Citizen's United, then you have to ask what are they afraid of revealing?

If Republicans repeatedly lie, confuse, mislead and use racism to get people to vote for them, then how can they be trusted to do what they promise? Then you need to ask the 112th Republican Congress, where are the jobs, jobs, jobs that they promised?

If Republicans said “no” to everything President Obama proposed, then how can they blame him for the economy not improving more?

If they cheat, hide, lie, use hate to win, then how are they more moral than those they cheat, hide from, lie to and hate?

If they have nothing to hide, then why are they hiding everything?

If we work as a coalition of Americans by seeing that we have more in common by what brings us together rather than what drives us apart, then we can do better, do more for each other and the common good.

If the Republicans don't represent the people, their constituents, then they don't belong in government.

If there are more of us than there are of them, then we have to make sure that the Republicans don't win the next election.

Vote for President Obama, vote for more and better Democrats, help GOTV.

Discuss

I don't claim to have a deep understanding of Bain Capitol and leveraged buyouts.  However, from what I do comprehend, it seems as though the following analogy would be logical: what Mitt Romney and Bain Capitol are to corporations, will be President  Mitt Romney (with the help of Republicans) to the United States of America.  Former President Bush/Cheney and crew already began the process with passing tax cuts for the wealthy, starting two wars, and passing Medicare Part D without paying for any of it and the Republicans in Congress have already continued the process of bankrupting America by opposing every proposal President Obama and the Democrats have put forth.  

The Bush Administration with the assistance of a Republican led Congress, ran up the credit card.  As soon as President Obama took office, he was blamed for the deficit, simply because he used more honest accounting practices.  Who benefitted from those Bush policies?  Bush's cronies, Bush's base.  Who suffered from those policies? Everyone else.

The combination of propaganda, corporately funded lies, racism and Republican obstructionism has led us to a place where a President Romney is possible.

Continue Reading

What's the end game in amassing so much wealth that the majority of people have so little? What happens to all of those people without jobs, homes, food, not to mention healthcare or education?  

What happens when America becomes a privatized country and only those that can pay, receive services?  Who is going to provide those services if the majority of people can't afford education?  How much can be outsourced?  If America becomes the new low wage economy and China and India become the new consumer economies, then how will the freedom loving, anti-government, anti-regulation workers respond? What happened to the jobs that the job creators were supposed to create with their tax cuts?

If the Republicans win in 2012 by using SuperPac money, lying, voter suppression and intimidation, then will that be the last election held in the United States of America?

What happens to all of the "non-Christians" if America officially becomes the "Christian Nation" that so many Republicans claim it is/should be?  Which Christian religion will be the state religion?  Do we all convert?  What happens to those that refuse?

If a female can't receive sex education, use contraception or seek a safe abortion in any circumstance, then what will happen to all of the children?  When females die young from illness or childbirth and children die from starvation or disease, is that what is meant by the sanctity of life?

If we continue to poison the Earth and each other to the point of extinction, then did the most powerful and wealthiest go too far?  By then it will be too late.

There are more of us than there are of them. Inspite of our diversity or because of it, I hope we can work together for a more suitable end game - making America work better for "we the people" as it was originally intended.

The election of 2010 gave us a glimpse of their end game. In 2012, the Republicans and Conservaties are doubling down. Americans need to vote in huge numbers for President Obama, for Democratic majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate, for Governors and State Assembies and in municipal elections. That should be part of our end game.

Discuss

After citing CDC's statistics of 1 in 5 chldren having learning disabilities, a nine year old boy with autism asked Mitt Romney, if elected president, " What's happening to America's most precious resource our children and what you plan to do about it?"

I attempted to transcribe the best I could to obtain the quotes below:

One of the places we will spend our funds wisely is on research and science where we think we can make a difference in the lives of our citizens... we will cure disease and cure conditions that cause disability and at the same time creates new science and opens up new enterprises for our economy.
My daughter's autism is not going to be cured.  What is his plan for the millions of people that are living with autism and other disabilities now?

New enterprises = privatization.

Where I will spend money if President of the United States will be on science of health and science of research. It will be determined not by the politicians but will be determined by the scientists and by people who measure where the impact will be the greatest.
Impact or profit?  In the cost benefit analysis, which disability or disease will be selected for funding?  

 

I'll ask the American people to sacrifice I'll end some programs, some you like and some you don't like, like Obamacare I'll end day one...
End coverage for screenings, pre-existing conditions, and insurance coverage for young adults to stay on their parent's plan until age 26.

And although Mitt Romney likes Big Bird, he thinks that there should be advertising on PBS.

And he's

not willing to borrow billions from places like China to pay for things we don't absolutely have to have.  So I'm not going to promise a lot of stuff that will have to be paid for by my grandkids  I'll promise we'll be on our way to a balanced budget, that we do spend funds on health, science and research, and based upon need not on politics.
The budget will be balanced by cutting funding for PBS, The Endowment for the Arts and The Endowment for the Humanities and what else?  If the Chinese don't lend us the money for the Bush Tax Cuts, who will?

There you have it, the serious and far reaching issues surrounding America's fastest growing disability will be solved by advertising on PBS, eliminating "Obamacare" and investing in research and science that will lead to new enterprises in our economy.  

If you're interested in learning about President Obama's "plan" to deal with autism, please continue reading.

Continue Reading
You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.

RSS

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site