People Pusher Beliefs

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King

Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. - John F. Kennedy

Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake. - Henry David Thoreau

The Mission of the People Pusher

It's about the people, stupid.

That's a campaign slogan I wish someone had adopted. In our world today, so much is focused on "platforms" and ideology that is not about the people. The People Pusher wants you to think about that.

At the end of everyone's life, what are they thinking about? Some are seeking redemption for the things they know they did that were "bad." Others are thinking "did I leave my mark on the world?" Still others haven't figured out yet that you can't take the bank account, high profile career, McMansion, or any of that with you.

In the end, the hope is that we are all thinking about who was loved, who we helped, and how we behaved in the community of humanity.

This blog is focused on people issues. And the mission of the People Pusher is that you will think about the people, too.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

5 Things President Obama Can Do to Make up for the Special Olympics Gaffe

As most people know by now, President Obama made an off-handed comment about Special Olympics that has many people talking. He apologized immediately, but there are many people who are still quite unhappy about it. Here are 5 things he could do to make up for his gaffe:

1. Meet with the Arc of the United States as they have requested in a press release today.
2. Fully fund Medicaid waivers to end waiting lists for services people with disabilities.
3. Give a speech to the nation like his famous speech on race that calls all Americans to stop using the "R" word and stop treating people with disabilities and their families like second-class citizens. Help the public to understand why his comment and the use of the R word hurts.
4. Take that Special Olympics bowler up on his offer to teach him how to bowl better.
5. Get the entire Democratic party involved in addressing the problems of people with developmental disabilities.

All you have to do is search "Special Olympics" and "Retarded" in Twitter, and read the hateful comments by people responding to news articles about his gaffe to know that it is time for everyone to learn from the President's truly terrible mistake.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bonuses, Schemes, Pouty Quarterbacks, and Lost Newspapers

While the words in the title of this story today may not seem to relate, they do. All of the subjects of this article are about how our society has gone far astray. They all speak to why money and power have ruled our country far too long.

We need to take America back.

AIG rewarded employees for failing using $450M in taxpayer money - loans from the government to save a company that is insuring many people's lives. The people simply must rise up, screaming, for that money to be given back. It's just that simple. Without the people, the government doesn't act strongly. Let's take back that money in any way necessary.

Prosecutors are having trouble getting the assets of Bernie Madoff's wife because she claimed that money didn't come from the scheme. I argue that the money can be claimed. During a divorce, a couple has to divide property and debts 50/50 because all assets gained during a marriage are jointly owned. Apply that law to the case and her money and assets are fair game.

Quarterback Jay Cutler, who earns a gozillion dollars a year, is pouting because he thought his coach might trade him - trade him to another team who would most likely pay him ten gozillion dollars to play a game. Aweeeeee, I am just stunned! I feel so bad for Jay Cutler. He has been wronged! (Oh come on, people, what is the matter with us? This deserves 45 minutes of air time on the news?) People are losing their homes and can't feed their kids. Why does this get any more than a mention on the air? Something is so very wrong. Let's take back our airwaves. And while we are at it, let's take back sports.

Newspapers are going under all over the country. Now why is that? Could it be that corporations took over OUR media for profit? Could it be they have controlled both print and airwaves and put themselves in the hole because the people weren't all that interested in news that has been filtered by the corporate office? Let's take back our newspapers. Set up a PBS type of model and have city newspapers that can sustain themselves by public contributions.

My hope for America?

That we wake up and take our country, our airwaves, our sports, and our money BACK.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What Do Ann Coulter, Angelina Jolie, Blago, Drew Peterson and Head Football Coaches Have in Common?

Answer: Full, unbridled, easy access to the media

For years, I have been lamenting about why the local news spends nearly 15 out of 30 minutes worth of public, valuable air time on the sportscast. Why does the head coach of the professional or college football team and the quarterback get to take all that time saying nothing? Why does anyone want to give Ann Coulter even the briefest moment of time? Why is Angenlina Jolie's international work so remarkable? Why do narcissists like Blago and Peterson get to call the Today Show and get an "exclusive interview." Why do we give Hollywood prime time so they can give themselves awards? Why do we allow so much TV time to be spent on honoring deceased, famous people?

When not-so-exceptional people consume air waves that belong to the public domain, why aren't we asking why and demanding change?

How could our public TV air time be put to better use in this era of change?

Imagine what it would be like to devote the majority of TV air time on educating people. PBS does this fairly well but people don't watch it as much as they do prime time networks and major cable channels. What would happen if so-called "ordinary" people were intereviewed on TV about their contributions to society? There are thousands of nonprofit organizations in this country doing "the dirty work" of our society. They cannot get prime air time the way the people mentioned can. There are so many people who have done extraordinary things without the benefit of fame and money. Why aren't they being interviewed?

The answer is because we are not demanding it. In case you didn't know, the airwaves are public domain. They are not owned by the people who have used it for personal gain and to tout their fame. We have allowed this extraordinarily valuable tool to be taken from us. And we need to take it back.

President Obama could seize the day on mass media to truly impact America by using mass media as a way to set an example and to inspire people to get involved in the world around them. Normal, everyday people should be talked about on TV. Obituaries of people, like grandmothers and teachers should be on TV. Celebrations of average lives are still news. It sets an example if mothers have the opportunity to talk about raising children in this day and age.

Frankly, I am already tired of hearing about how we need to "volunteer" in America to do good things for our country. I am a 100% supporter of the President, but I think Washington and everyone else is missing something. The reason it seems like average Americans need to "give back" to our communities is because mass media ignores the people who are actually doing it.

I want Ann Coulter to shut up so that time can be spent on positive words and actions.
I want the media to stop acting like Angelina Jolie's international accomplishments are more special than those of the people who do that work with no money and no publicity.
I want Blago and Peterson to get exactly what they deserve - no attention whatsoever.
I want to see the 5-15 minutes of sportscasts and interviews with quarterbacks given to local nonprofits who are saving lives, feeding people, helping at-risk youth, providing amazing art programs, etc.
I want to see the time spent on celebrity obituaries spent on touting the ordinary lives of people who raised their kids, worked hard, paid their taxes and volunteered at the school.
I want to replace the Academy Awards with prime time coverage of awards for people who have started nonprofits, saved a life, raised great kids, taught middle school, taken care of old people...

Most of all, I want to see Americans wake up and say - those are OUR airwaves.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bailouts & Bonuses: Out of the Mouths of People who are Elderly, Disabled, and Young

The dominos have continued to fall throughout the country and the bottom line is this:

Bank bailouts and bonuses have come directly from the elderly, people with disabilities and young people.

Colorado, facing a staggering budget shortfall is cutting its budget in the only places the state has any discretion to cut – programs that literally provide home meals for senior citizens, health and community-based services for people with disabilities, and education.

If this isn’t an example of “trickle down” economics, I don’t know what is.

Robin Hood at least had the good sense to steal from the rich to give to the poor. But the “American Way” is to steal from the poor and promising to give to the rich and powerful. As a result, thousands of people will be without healthcare, community programs, and any chance to go to college. What this means for our future is that those affected by the cuts will have greater needs in the future. Again we are putting off the promise of America so that no African American young of low or even middle income has a prayer of becoming a future president. Again we are ensuring that people with disabilities will continue to be under “house arrest” as inmates in their own homes because there are no supports for them to live and work in the community. Again we are treating our senior citizens like throw-aways – after all they sacrificed for us.

Colorado is only one of many states making such cuts. Not only that, but we are told that Colorado’s budget crisis isn’t nearly as bad as other states. Twenty-two states are facing enormous budget short-falls (Colorado isn’t even on the list shown, which was published in April 2008).

And don’t forget for a moment how this all started. It started on the backs of people of color, low to moderate income people, and senior citizens who were scammed into taking risky mortgage loans while Wall Street began making bets on their future. Their bet was that the products would make enormous amounts of money for them until they failed – and their backup plan was for the government to not allow them to fail.

But the government seems to have no problem allowing your granny, my sons, and your daughters to fail. Not only to fail, but also to take food right out of their mouths, education out from under them, and community living is off the table.

Why aren’t we angrier? What can be done to make them pay people back?

Monday, December 15, 2008

End Waiting Lists-Fuel the Economy

I have posted a link to vote on the issue of ending waiting lists for people with developmental disabilities to the blog today. Please take a moment to cast a yes vote on this issue and change the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Cruelest People on Earth

It has taken some time for me to be able to post this message. The reason is because I am the parent of a person with a developmental disability and, because of that, I frequently experience bouts of grief and pain. It may be difficult for parents of typical people to understand this, but when you have a child/adult with a disability, much of the pain they feel from not being accepted is felt by we parents as well.

Recently, Colorado's Amendment 51 failed by a landslide. Amendment 51 would have provided all of the funding necessary to provide important service for people with developmental disabilities. Throughout this process, I have learned more about exactly how cruel people are than I ever really wanted to learn.

Throughout the campaign, many articles were written about the Amendment to which many people responded. The worst of these responses were people who said that people have no business giving birth to children with genetic disorders that can be detected prenatally and then expect taxpayers to foot the bill for their children. Others kept referring to these individuals as a "special interest group," and many of them said that "charities" should be providing the services, not taxpayers.

I guess I was ill-prepared for these cruel people. I'm not sure why. But it was, indeed, personal and it is taking a great deal of time to get over it. I look at my son and I wonder why people would want to deny him any kind of meaningful life. They would say "we're not denying him anything, he just needs to pull himself up by his bootstraps," but of course I don't even have to say why that theory doesn't hold water.

My question to the world is this: what's the point of life on earth if it isn't for one another?

Our country has a very long way to go before we reach equality or the high goals of our forefathers.