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Marta Russell: “Wither on the Vine” Medicare Strategy

Newt Gingrich vowed in the mid 90s to see to it that Medicare would “wither on the vine”. What he attempted to do then was to divert Medicare’s public purpose, to euthanize it by funding starvation. The Medicare rollback plan raised the hackles of disability groups then. Now congress is game for a replay. This Read more…

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Marta Russell: Boarding Buses and Getting a Job: Civil Rights Missing in Action

Around the 13th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (July 26, 1990) Anthony Trocchia, President of Disabled in Action in New York, found it necessary to hold a public bus hostage for an hour in 95 degree heat by sitting in front of it. This was the 7th bus that had Read more…

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Marta Russell: Nothing About Us Without Us: Human Rights and Disability

Citizenship can be seen as the realization of certain rights. When states can be held responsible for the treatment of their citizens, much can be gained. The United Nations has a role in setting global standards but so do disabled persons ourselves. In June, a milestone effort culminated in New York at “The 2nd Ad Read more…

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Marta Russell: Clusters of Bombs

In a truly “developed” world where diplomacy reigned over brute force and the wealth of a nation was used to better the lives of its citizenry, the US military would be stripped of the billions of the people’s tax dollars it wastes. Militarism would be sidelined, if not outlawed. I got arrested at the March Read more…

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Marta Russell: Bush Billions To Turkey: Screw The Govs, And The Poor Too.

Governors, who’ve been told by President Bush to go home and stare at their own budget spreadsheets, ought to take a look at the president’s spending plans and start screaming bloody murder! Because it seems that many states – foreign states – are going to get the dollars they so badly need to save so Read more…

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Marta Russell: “The People” Speak Out

I was home on January 18 watching the DC anti-war coverage on CSPAN. I was not home because I wanted to be. “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” This quote was attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr. by one of the speakers at the DC demo. Yes indeed it does. I am not about Read more…

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Marta Russell: Extinguishing Frida

Usually I leave Hollywood alone. Dramatic film has not been a medium of historical accuracy. Getting around to seeing the movie “Frida,” however, put me in a comment-making mood. No, it drove me to speak up as a fan of Kahlo’s. Julie Traymor’s film “Frida” is based on Hayden Herrera’s biography of Frida Kahlo, a Read more…

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Marta Russell: Coining Keller

Alabama has a new state quarter bearing the image of Helen Keller. To be so coined, Keller out-rated a moon rocket and a Cherokee chief. This quarter will be the first US coin in circulation to include Braille! How come that took so long? Less cause for celebration are the articles announcing the coin where Read more…

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Marta Russell: No Nursing Homes On Wheels

The subject of this panel is the 1999 Olmstead Supreme Court decision that declared “unnecessary institutionalization is discrimination” under the Americans with Disabilities Act and that directed states to provide services in the “least restrictive environment” Because disability emancipation has not received as much attention as other liberation movements I will take a few moments Read more…

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Marta Russell: Bourne: Not in Our Name of a Different Sort

At the turn of the last century, Randolph Bourne could have been writing for our times. Disabled people have claimed him as one of our own. Radicals can claim him as both an accurate historian and timeless prophet in that his writings consist of an exceptional critique of militaristic barbarism applicable to today and his Read more…

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