We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, September 24. 2013
Trust me, Wall Street bankers are not Tea Party Republicans.
Let’s end the drug war by declaring amnesty on all drug war prisoners currently incarcerated for non-violent drug charges
What does the OECD do?
The central planning solution to evil
Six Principles Of Propaganda Lenin
Politico: Obamacare: One blow after another
Americans' Belief That Gov't Is Too Powerful at Record Level
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Ted Cruz may not succeed in defunding Obamacare but if Demoncrats can be made to vote for it (or against it), that could be a victory in itself.
I have written my congress critters and Senators (including the Demoncrat) as well as Speaker Boehner asking why they can't craft a message about defunding a law that is costing jobs, will increase the cost of health care - especially for the young who are already having trouble finding jobs - and that is unpopular to begin with. Of course, I left out that the IRS will be in control of your healthcare (and all the political opportunities that that opens up), that the government will be seeking to know the intimate details of you health and behavior, and that there is very likely to be a shortage of doctors in the near future because many will decide that it's no longer as rewarding (in any way) when you're a pawn of the government.
McConnell and Rove don't think that is a fight worth fighting? Whose side are they on?
Besides the slanted poles (60% of Americans are FOR Obama-care from WaPo and NB(S)C????),Cruz can benefit far from it than Graham or McCain, by showing the 'old guard' is out of step and not in touch with the current feelings with their constituents. Its time the Loyal Opposition (tm) get a swift kick, and get their heads (and backsides) in the game.
And, I read one interesting tidbit - you have to request access to your medical records once the IRS gets their grubby mitts on it - and, this is to enhance medical care? I guess they are no longer your property....
Our Health care provider already sent the "Health Suitability questionnaire" for my pending visit, with the wondrous warning of "failure to accurately complete and document all needed fields could be subject to a fine and jail to be determined" on the front-face. I guess privacy is now optional... And, the one question in the paper - are there any firearms or other weapons within the household at this time? I REALLY want to answer - NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS!!!
Land of the free and home of the brave, indeed....
I forgot to mention that Congressional staff is apparently exempt from Obummercare. Another reason this is a BAD law.
That's really chilling about asking if there are firearms at your house. To my mind "NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS" is the accurate answer.
I have 3 autistic (truly autistic) nephews. Each is different, and have varying levels of the disorder.
One is probably closer to the brainy intellectual type, though his anti-social behaviors and certain repetitive behaviors are a clear break from the standard. Still, he is the most social of the three, probably a high functioning Asperberger's.
The oldest is also a high functioning Asperger's. He is now 23 years old, lives at home and is working walking dogs at a medical facility where they do testing on the animals. His affinity for animals is such that he also works as a guide at the local Aquarium. Unfortunately, it leads to occasionally uncomfortable situations, since he has no filter. "These are the reef sharks, and while it's not mating season for them, their sexual behavior is very interesting...."(goes on to describe the act to a group of 11 year old schoolchildren as another guide hurries over to interrupt).
The third is low functioning and highly ritualistic. I'm not sure what will become of him (age 21), since he has not managed to learn many skills at all beyond simply caring for himself. He suffers from seizures, particularly when stressed, which means the family must remain on schedule at all times. Any deviation can lead to an episode, unless that deviation is discussed at length prior to the change. However, he has a photographic memory, which is often uncomfortable for people who don't know him and have only met him once. I've seen him walk up to a girl working a booth at a vacation spot, say hello to her by name, and begin asking her about her hometown - all information he'd picked up the prior year when we'd visited. It's fascinating to watch, and sometimes uncomfortable.
Autism was off the radar for me until my nephews were diagnosed. Since then, I've become fascinated by the concept and its diagnosis. It's clear to me it is being overdiagnosed, and this is leading to some bizarre political reactions. A fellow worker, who has a child diagnosed with autism, spends hours warning people about not eating healthy foods and how it can lead to autism, or how pollution causes it, or how other mundane things should be banned to prevent autism. Another family I know will not vaccinate any of their children, and have suffered some rather uncomfortable and dangerous results for making this decision.
These people all fear something that is, relatively speaking, rare and are willing to exchange that fear for many other potential situations of incredible danger thinking they are less rare. All because of the overdiagnosis.
My wife and I are fond of saying about the recent uptick in autistic diagnoses that "you always had that funny kid on the bus." We all had him, the one who did weird things, had weird habits, repetitive behaviors. Sometimes we made fun of the kid and were scolded for it. Other people were often cruel to the kid, though often he didn't seem to mind or notice.
Back then, they were just weird. Today they are autistic.
Thank you for sharing your family's experiences. I did have to laugh as every family has a few people who simply act outside the cultural pattern...oh well. The sad part is when that difference explodes into tragedy, the other end of being "different" that we don't address.
I would enjoy more information on your progress (or lack thereof) to help our community better personalize treatment. Thank you.
Since they aren't my kids, the extent of my involvement has been to engage fundraisers and raise awareness.
As a kid, seeing (or being part of) the group that makes fun of, teases, or bullies another child simply because they are different takes on a new perspective when that victim becomes part of the family.
I don't honestly remember bullying another child (I was bullied, actually), but certainly I teased or made fun of others. It's part of the hierarchical framework of a child's mind - I was bullied, and while I wasn't interested in hurting anyone, I sometimes felt the need to show a level of superiority (until mom stepped in and made me apologize and make amends).
It was all part of the learning process.
Today, I am more likely to provide advice or support to those I know with afflicted children. A very good friend of mine had a child with certain tics and behaviors that my wife and I recognized from our nephews. While I would never have suggested his child was autistic, he saw an article about autism, and began asking me questions since he knew our nephews were autistic. From that conversation, he realized his kid was likely Aspberger's and brought him in. Turns out he was, they got treatment and while there's definitely 'something' off, with him, he's still a great kid.
Our local school board was recently overrun by a parent with a child that had autism. I say overrun because she got elected, then became president, then began pushing her personal agenda down people's throats.
I'm sympathetic to her needs, but she went about it the wrong way. Asked for too much, too quickly. Actually demanded it and tried shoehorning the stuff in. She was quickly ousted and eventually moved to a district that focused on special needs kids.
It's a tough row to hoe. My sister-in-law is going straight to heaven, I'm sure. She has more patience than I've ever seen in a human.
The Etruscan prince find was pretty cool. Thanks. I would have missed it. Probably.
Autism diagnoses is rewarded. The schools get more money for autistic children. The parents get various forms of aid and special rights. The cadre of medical and mental health professionals who benefit increase everyday. The simple reason there is more autism being diagnosed is because we are rewarding it. If we choose to reward normal behavior in the same way we would miraculously find more children being diagnosed as "normal". This is exactly the same reason why the war on poverty didn't just fail but increased poverty. We reward it. The federal government hides 2400 different welfare programs within the budgets of 5 cabinet level departments at a yearly cost of about $1.2 trillion (does not include Social Security or Medicare). If instead of rewarding poverty we simply provided a single program where anyone could work public service jobs for minimum wage poverty would drop dramatically as the social and economic benefit dried up. We simply have to decide as a nation if we want solutions or Socialism.
This is absolutely true. In my school district, the focus is on raising overall performance, so they ship out the autistic kids to other schools.
Down by my nephews (part of the reason their family moved there), the schools want the money and ATTRACT autistic families. (I wonder when someone will do a study and say that region is an "Autism Cluster" and blame it on the environment?)
Their funding has gone up dramatically over the years - but there is a limit, too. In the last few years, the funding may be continuing to rise, but so are costs. As a result, they've hit the ceiling of what they can handle and make it cost efficient.
It's an absurd game they are playing, and it's going to have detrimental effects for those on the losing end. But no worries, there's a government program for them, too.
You don't have to go back too far in history to determine a motivation for Cruz. Milt Friedman was famous for saying you don't vote the bums out, you make them do what they don't want to. You will just get different bums if you vote them out.
He said you have to be ready with a plan for when the next crisis happens. Cruz is not alone, he understands the value of publicity. It helped Paul get national attention and respect.
No one respects someone not willing to defend their positions.
As the ancients shows, human nature doesn't change. I am encouraged by these demonstrations of bucking the Washington crowd's comfort zone. They need a couple dozen in each house to keep people on their toes.
"Let’s end the drug war by declaring amnesty on all drug war prisoners currently incarcerated for non-violent drug charges."
OK by me as long as they don't qualify for the dole. I know it costs money to keep them in prison, too, but at least there they can't spend the dole on drugs and then demand more dole to cover food and rent.
Social Good Summit: A Gathering of Leftists--how could it be other than a hatefest?
Politico: Has Barry lost Politico?
Cruz: Go, Ted, GO!
"So, you're a vegan and you're mad that you can't drink Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte. Well, maybe you want to skip this post because your day ain't going to get much better. You see, almost everything in the world contains something made from animal parts and by-products.
Don't believe us? Here are 5 things in the world that you wouldn't believe are made from or contain animal by-products or use them in the manufacturing process:"