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KosAbility is a community diary series posted at 5 PM ET every Sunday by volunteer diarists. This is a gathering place for people who are living with disabilities, who love someone with a disability, or who want to know more about the issues surrounding this topic. There are two parts to each diary. First, a volunteer diarist will offer their specific knowledge and insight about a topic they know intimately. Then, readers are invited to comment on what they've read and/or ask general questions about disabilities, share something they've learned, tell bad jokes, post photos, or rage about the unfairness of their situation. Our only rule is to be kind; trolls will be spayed or neutered.
This year, Kosability and the Netroots Nation staff have undertaken to make NN13 our most accessible yet for persons challenged by limited mobility. To this end, I have volunteered to serve as an accessibility coordinator (although the inimitable peregrine kate has already taken much of this task in hand).

I am seeking a corps of volunteers.

The only requirements absolutely necessary are an empathetic nature, good people skills, and the willingness to help those experiencing challenges in mobility for any number of reasons to fully participate in our community. All of these people are motivated, independent individuals who have taken the trouble to get to NN. But sometimes large venues filled with escalators, heavy doors, hills, curbs and staircases can pose problems. Large rooms with poor acoustics make it difficult for some of us to hear. Individuals with dietary limitations imposed by health issues may have difficulty finding meals they can eat. And convention centers without guidance for the visually impaired can present special challenges and dangers.

Please jump below the fold to find out what you can do to help.

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http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object.cfm?key=35&gkey=100&objkey=5961
Tierra o Muerte, bytegirl24, flickr
It was a sunny weekend morning about fifteen years ago. Here in Rio Arriba County, northern New Mexico, occasional bombs were still going off in remote mountain villages. Every now and then, a stolen, charred, formerly pale green US Forest Service truck turned up by the side of the road as a reminder: Tierra o Muerte.

Land or Death.

These were the last of the Land Grant skirmishes.

When the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago was signed in 1848, the US pledged to honor Spanish Land Grants, and the communally held land within their borders.

Of course, that didn't happen. In Rio Arriba, much of the communally-owned land wound up in the hands of wealthy Anglo land barons or the Forest Service. Various all-Anglo environmental groups were waging lawsuits, keeping indigenous Hispanic and Native American subsistence farmers from grazing small flocks of sheep or cattle on allotments their ancestors had worked for centuries. Hence, the sporadic property damage.

I worked for Rio Arriba County, a hotbed of land grant activism.

It was a weekend. And my phone was ringing.

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Happy morning after everyone! Those of you who know me realize that breaking down the digital divide has always been a passion. In the past, I have worried that many minorities lack access to the internet and to communities like DK because they either lack infrastructure, or just don't know about them. But now I am dealing with a challenge that is not only effecting my community: it's impacting me.

What do you do about a bad ISP, especially if it enjoys a complete monopoly on service in your area?

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A Senior Citizen awaits her immunization
While everyone's been knocking doors, I've been implementing a new GOTV strategy: vaccinating elders in remote villages to get Rio Arribans to the polls.

Almost everyone in my extremely rural Hispanic and Native American county is a Democrat. I can't politic for candidates while on the job, but I can campaign for health care. I can encourage citizens to register to vote for the Española Hospital Mill Levy, and to call our Republican Governor in support of the ACA. If they happen to blacken a bubble for Heinrich, Lujan or Obama while they're out to support the hospital, well that's their business!

Judging from the fact that Rio Arriba was the only county in NM that increased voter participation since 2008 (76% of Rio Arribans voted compared to 62% statewide), it appears this strategy worked!

Video and audio below the squiggle.

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IGTNT Forget Me Nots Logo
As of today, 2,121 US military personnel have been killed in or near Afghanistan. Marine Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible, 40, of Huntingdon, PA., and 27-year-old Marine Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell of Kokomo, IN. were two of the most recent casualties. Both will be deeply missed by their family and friends.

As an IGTNT diarist, it is impossible not to notice the increased frequency of troop losses being suffered in Afghanistan. I have always signed up for one diary a week. In the past, I was rarely required to write one of these sad diares  more than once per month. Now, regularly, two or more casualties are listed on each of my selected dates.

Today, for the first time, I am diarying the deaths of two men killed by individuals wearing US uniforms.  So much has been made of this ominous change, that it is difficult to find information about the brave men who passed on. I rarely make personal statements in IGTNT diaries, but I find it impossible to not note the impact of these tactical changes on our men and women in uniform. God bless our troops and their families, and keep them from harm!

I Got The News Today (IGTNT) , which is among the oldest continuous series on Daily Kos,  provides members of this community a venue to pay their respects to those who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   The IGTNT  title is a reminder that nearly every day the family of an active duty service member receives the terrible news that their beloved has died.
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IGTNT Forget Me Nots Logo
As of today, 2,114 US military personnel have been killed in or near Afghanistan. Staff Sgt Jeremie S. Border, 28, of Mesquite, TX, and Staff Sgt. Jonathan P. Schmidt, 28 of petersburg VA were two of the most recent casualties. Both will be deeply missed by their family and friends.

As an IGTNT diarist, it is impossible not to notice the increased frequency of troop losses being suffered in Afghanistan. I have always signed up for one diary a week. In the past, I was rarely required to write one of these sad diares  more than once per month. Now, regularly, two or more casualties are listed on each of my selected dates. Both of these young men were killed in the same attack.

I Got The News Today (IGTNT) , which is among the oldest continuous series on Daily Kos,  provides members of this community a venue to pay their respects to those who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   The IGTNT  title is a reminder that nearly every day the family of an active duty service member receives the terrible news that their beloved has died.
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Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT

IGTNT: They Loved to Serve

by TheFatLadySings

IGTNT Forget Me Nots Logo
As of today, 2,107 US military personnel have been killed in or near Afghanistan. Sgt. David V. Williams and Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Coater B. Debose were two of the most recent casualties.
I Got The News Today (IGTNT) , which is among the oldest continuous series on Daily Kos,  provides members of this community a venue to pay their respects to those who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   The IGTNT  title is a reminder that nearly every day the family of an active duty service member receives the terrible news that their beloved has died.
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I live in remote northern NM. In communities like mine, climate change means extreme weather events. We all watched the unfolding of Katrina, and now know that an extreme weather event can be compounded in severity by unfair allocation of resources, and that people of color and indigenous communities often see the shortest end of the resource stick.

In the past two years, I've blogged two extreme local weather events: the (then) largest fire in New Mexico's history which was threatening a national nuclear lab; and an artic freeze made even more deadly when someone in Texas decided to shut off our supply of gas for a week.

In the case of the fire that threatened Los Alamos, we were immediately allocated two Type One Incident Response Teams, thus diverting a potential nuclear disaster. But during the cold snap, no labs were threatened. The gas stayed on there. Someone in Texas decided to shut off the gas in my community instead for a week. Neighboring wealthy counties retained service.

Local leaders discussed the disaster and grilled Governor Martinez over gas in this video:

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IGTNT Forget Me Nots Logo
As of today, 2,010 US military personnel have been killed in or near Afghanistan. Pfc Andrew Keller, and Pfc Michael R. Demarsico II were two of the most recent casualties.
I Got The News Today (IGTNT) , which is among the oldest continuous series on Daily Kos,  provides members of this community a venue to pay their respects to those who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   The IGTNT  title is a reminder that nearly every day the family of an active duty service member receives the terrible news that their beloved has died.
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It's not a coincidence that the Affordable Care Act has spawned a host of bills in states dominated by the religious right masquerading as anti-abortion legislation, but in fact punishing women (and especially women of color) for being able to bear children.

In the last year, attempts have been made in the US House of Representatives and the state of Arizona to defund Planned Parenthood (and pap smears). "Personhood bills" have been introduced in the same time frame in Virginia, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Colorado seeking to ban both birth control and abortion. Bills were also recently introduced in Georgia and Tennessee to criminalize miscarriage, potentially making it a capital offense. And who can forget Virginia's effort to force medically unnecessary vaginal ultrasounds on females with the temerity to seek medical care? The same folks who don't want the ACA "shoved down their throats" don't mind forcing my doctor to shove things up my patootie!

The ACA may be the most important piece of civil rights legislation effecting women since we gained the right to vote in 1920.

Sadly, the value of the ACA to women remains America's best kept secret. (Cross-posted from the blog of the Rio Arriba Community Health Council).

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While the nation's eyes are on Wisconsin this weekend, skirmishes are being waged across the US to take back state legislatures from their corporate overlords.

I haven't yet donated to Wisconsin because my contributions have all been local. I am campaigning in NM State Senate District 5 for a candidate who does not accept corporate donations and has worked all his adult life for clean air and water, good education, affordable health care and social justice. His name is Alfredo Montoya.

The incumbent has raised $100,000 in corporate donations to maintain his seat in this remote rural county. But Alfredo has something he hasn't got. Me. Lots of me's. A small army of dedicated volunteers.

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As of today, 1,974 US military personnel have been killed in or near Afghanistan. Staff Sargaent Brian L. Walker, 25, and Pfc. Richard L. McNulty III, 22, died together in Bowri Tana, Afghanistan, on Mothers' Day, May 13, 2012 when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.
Photobucket
  ~ Photo Credit llbear

I Got The News Today (IGTNT) , which is among the oldest continuous series on Daily Kos,  provides members of this community a venue to pay their respects to those who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   The IGTNT  title is a reminder that nearly every day the family of an active duty service member receives the terrible news that their beloved has died.
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