Showing posts from June, 2008

Oh No He Didn't

You knew it was coming (and if you didn't what have you been doing for the past six months?). Obama says Republicans will use race to stoke fear "We know what kind of campaign they're going to run. They're going to try to make you afraid. "They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?" Via Baldilocks . Uh huh. Alright Mr. Post Racial Hope and Change. It was only a matter of time before we started the getting vote for me or you're a racist type of messages from Obama. The fact of the matter is that Mr. Obama is a political lightweight claiming to be above "politics as usual" who is really just inept at playing the political game. Obama has even managed to alienate members of his own party with his race issues, Why Clinton voters say they won't support Obama They are mad that everyone believes them to be old, white and racist. They are mad at

Faith, Politics, Evangelization

This is a distinction I wish more people would comprehend, The pope, the president and politics of faith A religious leader must say, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," while a head of state must follow the maxim, "Do unto others before they do unto you." There are also the following observations, For the first time, perhaps, since the time of Mohammed, large parts of the Islamic world are vulnerable to Christian efforts to convert them, for tens of millions of Muslims now dwell as minorities in predominantly Christian countries. The Muslim migration to Europe is a double-edged sword. Eventually this migration may lead to a Muslim Europe, but it also puts large numbers of Muslims within reach of Christian missionaries for the first time in history. The Lord works in mysterious ways, no? Muslims are in dialogue with a pope who evidently does not merely want to exchange pleasantries about coexistence, but to convert them. This no doubt will offend Mu

Thankful Thursday

So I'm late again but still thankful for/that: Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, bleach, soap, all the stuff that I can use to kill germs. Hugs and kisses. Conversations with the kids. What are you thankful for?

Arguing with Teacher

We had a most entertaining time at Isaiah's kindergarten graduation yesterday. He trooped across the stage and took his place in front of his chair along with his classmates. The most entertaining part of the whole thing was when Isaiah began arguing with his aide, in sign language. He had decided that he wanted to sit down but it wasn't time to sit yet. His aide tapped him on the arm and signed for him to stand. He looked at her stood up and signed that he wanted to sit. We watched them sign back and forth, "stand" "sit" "stand" "sit" "stand," with Isaiah occasionally whispering "sit down," for perhaps a minute before Isaiah decided to remain standing with his classmates. We watched the kids sing/sign the songs that they had been learning all year long. I don't know if they were taught the signs for Isaiah's benefit or if they would have been taught them even if he hadn't been a part of the class. I hope t

The Autism Divide

This post was sparked by this post at Stop Think Autism, High Functioning? Then Shut Up! There seems to be a persistent effort by some to segregate the autistic community into "high functioning" and "low functioning" with the main marker of high functioning being the ability to utilize verbal communication and/or computer/internet tech to communicate. I have always found the high/low functioning distinction disturbing. Even before my children were diagnosed I found the distinction unpalatable. I steadfastly refuse to discuss my children or anyone else in those terms. I very nearly cringe when other people insist on using the terms high and low functioning with regard to autistic individuals. I'm not the one who finds the distinction problematic, Verbatim: Levels of functioning in autism . When I first encountered the high/low divide I was initially put off by the tone of superiority that came from some who classified their children as "high functioning.&qu

Nickle and Dimed

Depending on which survey you believe New Yorkers bear either the highest or second highest tax burden in the country. There is currently a bill making the rounds in Albany that would essentially tax most potable liquids sold in the state. The bottle bill is supposed to be an incentive for people to recycle more. It smells more like a money grab by the state to me. The new law would also turn over unclaimed deposits, which are currently kept by distributors and bottlers, to the state's Environmental Protection Fund. The bill has already passed in the state Assembly . Should it pass in the state Senate New York residents will be required to fork over an extra 5 cents for water, juice, iced tea, and sports drinks.

Just Why?

Why is it that the one solution to high gas prices that politicians are willing to put any effort into involves raising taxes? NY Assembly to consider tax on oil companies . The tax payer is supposed to be comforted by claims from politicians that the taxes they levy on oil companies won't be passed on to consumers. Right. It is pretty evident to me from perusing the various bills that I have to pay every month that big whatever does not pay the taxes that governments levy on them. Their customers do. It has always been this way. All of this talk about taxing oil companies is just more Posturing Over Oil Prices . Back in 2006 when I wrote the above post $3 a gallon was the highest we could conceive of paying for gas. Now that pretty much everybody in America is paying $4 a gallon at the pump for the "cheap" stuff we still have to put up with politicians stonewalling on things like increased drilling in currently off limit areas and increasing refinery capacity. Thanks a

Counting the Cost

Increasingly more and more business owners and religious groups are up against the wall so to speak regarding their views on gay marriage ( Gay Rights, Religious Liberties: A Three-Act Story ). More often than not in court cases religious convictions with regard to this issue take a back seat to what are deemed to be gay rights. With the recent California court decision striking down a ban on gay marriage going into effect ( Gay Marriages Begin in California ) more and more religious entities and individuals will find themselves caught in the conflict between their religious convictions and gay rights. This leads me to this question, should the current trend to put gay rights (how ever they are defined) before religious freedom continue are religious individuals and entities willing to suffer for their convictions? Is the business owner ready to loose their business rather than violate their religious convictions? Is the church ready to be beaten with whatever stick the government choo

Tornado Warning

About 30 minutes ago I'm at the bank and one of the tellers mentions something about a tornado waring for the country. As I'm walking across the parking lot I see the dark clouds and horizontal lightening hovering just about where my neighbourhood is. Right now I'm home. The boys are holed up at school and there's hail falling. The radio's batteries are good and we're ready to bolt for the basement with the bottled water. Here's hoping we don't need to. Update 3:33 PMEDT: It has stopped raining, the sky is clearing, and the boys' bus just pulled up. Obviously we didn't have to bolt for the basement. There were/are other storm watches and warnings in the area.

Saving for Their Future

Now this is a really good idea, Tax Free Savings for Special Needs . We've already been burned in terms of receiving benefits for the boys because we've been putting away money for the kids for a few years now. It's not much but it is enough to put us over the resource limit (set back in 1983 according to the fellow at the Social Security office) for SSI. It would be nice not to be penalized for not spending every penny we get our hands on.

What Not to Crochet

I had no idea that people would do such things to yarn with a crochet hook. The blog What Not to Crochet chronicles some cringe worthy crochet projects. I have to confess that I used this particular pattern . I chose entirely different colours and made it coat length. The sleeve openings do gape a bit which I haven't found a way to remedy yet. I'll try blocking as suggested in the comments. Hubby and I had a good chuckle over this . I almost promised never to make or expect him to wear anything like that but I couldn't guarantee that I would never get that angry at him. Oops, forgot hat tip to Tim Blair .

Thankful Thursday

I had to think really hard to remember what day it was this morning. I remembered that I had to pack an extra bag lunch for a field trip. I remembered that today would be cool enough for me to do some yard work. But the name of the day was not readily forth coming. Eventually I did remember so today I am thankful for/that: I remembered what day it is. The full tube of over the counter antibiotic ointment in the medicine cabinet. I had to doctor up all three kids last night and that stuff came in real handy. None if them are very good patients. "I asked Isaiah if he wanted me to push him in the swing and he said no! That's good!" Reported by one of Isaiah's classmates at the park after school yesterday. The heat finally broke. I was prepared to deal with that kind of heat in August. Not so much at the beginning of June. Garden fresh peas. They'll be ready to harvest in another week or so. I've got my computer back. I lost all of my email and music files but the

Scaremongering About Vaccines

I'm wondering how much the people who cooked up this sign (via Respectful Insolence ) actually know about the process of manufacturing vaccines. I'm guessing not a whole lot. This kind of thing is cooked up not to inform but to incite fear. What else would you do with a sign like this but try to scare people? Autism is apparently the scariest thing that some people can imagine happening to a child and they have decided (against all evidence to the contrary) that vaccines are the cause. They've started a new "green our vaccines" movement to try to further their belief that vaccines cause autism. The above signs were to be trotted out for a "green our vaccines" rally in Washington DC yesterday. I don't like repeating myself so I'm not going to say anything about the nonexistent causal relationship between vaccines and autism. But lots of others have been blogging about the "green our vaccines" movement. The Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey r

Culture of Exclusion

From Odd One Out , Culture of Exclusion I walk down corridors filled with hate-filled glances, their eyes dripping contempt for all that they deem in their minds as lesser beings. Of the hordes of moving bodies, of young adolescents, I am the least of all beings. I am nothing, except when they choose to see me. It seems that I exist in a world of extremes: I am either nothing or I am something; I am either unseen or my presence is offensive. There is no middle ground. There are no Hispanic students at my school. There is black and there is white, and one lone Japanese exchange student. 49% black and 51% white. You either are or you aren’t. I am most undoubtedly not, but technically I am. No cultural groups will claim me. My mother doesn’t have to worry about me falling in with the wrong crowd. There is no crowd that will allow me to breathe the same air as them, let alone be a part of them. I walk down the hallways with all my senses tuned in different directions, like a radio searchin

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that: All of those hours in the organic chemistry lab messing around with scary sounding chemicals that really aren't all that scary when you actually know what they are and what they are used for. All of those hours in the microbiology lab messing around with scary sounding chemicals and fiddling with various microorganisms. Conversations with the kids. They leave me speechless quite a bit but it is fun to listen. Sophia has learned how to tie a knot. This means that I spend a lot of time untying knots since she hasn't learned that step yet. She wants to move on to bows now. Gardening with an enthusiastic three year old who talks nonstop. Today she brought me a flower, with the plant and roots still attached. It's almost summer. What are you thankful for?

Difference, Deviance, and Autism

There is something not right with a paradigm that ends up placing autism in the same vein as serial killers and NAMBLA. Kristina Chew of Autism Vox discusses an article by Stanley Fish that suggests just that, An Argument about “Difference” and “Deviance” . Hubby also discusses the problems with Fish's view, Stanley Fish on Autism . Reading the comments on Fish's article gives the impression that some people seem to have a hard time understanding the concept of differentness with regard to autism. It seems that a number of "normal" people, including the parents of autistic individuals, have a hard time with the idea that autistic individuals might actually be comfortable with who they are. What these people fail to realise is that a good deal of what makes life difficult for autistic individuals is how the rest of society treats them. If you consistently choose to describe a group of people in the most disparaging terms available to you then you become a part of th