Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Criminal Idiots Steal Radioactive Equipment in Mexico

New this week, apparently a couple of real class crooks stole a truck in Mexico. On this truck, packed in a crate, was highly radioactive medical equipment being transported to storage. This equipment was used in cancer therapies using  a synthetic material called Cobalt 60. Fearful thoughts spreading say that this could be used to make a dirty bomb that could kill a lot of people. Uh, no.

Let me just put your thoughts to rest on this.

1: No one's ever made a Cobalt bomb before. Sure, there are theories all over, but no one has ever pulled it off. In truth there are way easier ways to make a dirty bomb than with Cobalt 60. So, theories are all over, but no one has ever done it. You may wonder why not, well...

2: Too much work to get to it.  Look at the picture. See the casing? That's going be damn hard to open. It's got inches and layers of metal shielding including steel and lead that won't be a fast job to cut through. It certainly won't be a job for a couple guys in a back alley shed (yeah they might be smarter than that, but hang on to that thought). Even once they do, they have a whole new problem on their hands.

3: Too hot to handle. What good is a bomb if you're dead before you can even deliver it, or finish building it? Think about that for a second. There's a reason this stuff is totally shielded without so much as a window to peek at the thumb sized portion inside. That's because it's gamma radiation and that stuff goes through glass, plastic, and yeah, pretty much all shielding like it's not even there. Even with all the shielding already on it, it's still radioactive. But that's just it, look at how much shielding it takes just to let it sit there. Trying to build a bomb with it means that you have to handle it directly. Even with robot arms and a plastic container, you may as well be working with it NAKED. Yes, naked; because none of that stuff will  protect you at all. Even then...

4: Likely to fail: Reports on Cobalt 60 state that it would be "extremely difficult" to get it to disperse over a large area. It's just a very difficult to work with compound for anything except its radioactive properties as they stand. Again, there are theories on getting it to dissipate, but no one has managed to pull it off. No one has tried that can be found. There are simply no reports at all. You can say "cover up" if you want but what's the point in that? Haven't we used and tested way meaner stuff on our own soil before?  If this could do that kind of damage, I strongly doubt it could be covered up or would be. It would leave a helluva mess (if it could even be done).

5: They probably just wanted the truck. That's what's most likely. These guys probably don't know they are carrying their own untimely deaths in that truck. Once they do realize it, they'll probably just dump it. The truck had a crane on it and other machinery. They may have wanted it to sell for scrap. Who knows. And what supports this theory?

6: Not the first time this has happened. Actually there is a long list out there of losses and thefts of medical equipment. None of them involved a bomb. In these cases, the thieves had no idea what they were in for. In one case, it was sold as scrap and several people got sick and a couple died. In another case, Petco had to recall metal dog bowls that had been made from scrap containing Cobalt 60 and were giving off dangerous levels of radiation.

And before you get all smart and ask why people didn't die making the dog bowls... that was all made by machinery after smelting processes and machines don't get radiation poisoning. Further, going through all that without killing a whole city of people just goes to show that Cobalt 60 just doesn't work that way. Otherwise, there would be a whole smelting plant of dead workers out there and, nope, there isn't. Never happened. Not going to. Now let's just watch the news and see what happens to the idiots.

(image from World News NBC)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chris Cox Rox on Multiple Sclerosis and YOU can help!

I was just about to go and work on an art piece I have scheduled when I saw that an online friend needs a hand. This isn't just any online friend by the way. This is Chris Cox.

What? You want to know who that is? He's the lead singer of Mudd Farm, but that's not all. Oh, you think this is just some Youtube band going for glory? You're wrong there, buddy. He's done been there and back again. He's been rocking the stage since before 1993.

He was even on MTV!

So he's not some wannabe or just some ranter online. He's the real deal. And he's gotten the moral support of people every bit as real if not moreso...

Yeah, Dee Snyder as in Twisted Sister fame from the 80's. Don't tell me you don't know who that is! Oh fine;

If that's still not enough to convince you, check out his page where he has tons of supporters doing this:

Now that's moral support!

So what does Chris have to do with MS? Well, in 2006 he was diagnosed with this nerve eating disease. I know how he feels because I have it too. Since then, well, check THIS.

Chris wants to make a documentary about living with MS to educate others. He's currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise the needed funding. Now I just wish I had the capital to help him out like deserved, but I don't. So I'm doing this. You may further as why I'm kickin this blog article off the way I am. Well let me tell you about something else, something I stand against.

Seems like some people on Facebook still have twitchy spam fingers. Rather than drop someone from their page and just walk away, they have to call down the FB Police to have his freedom of speech messed with. So I'm posting this because I want you to see that Chris Cox is totally for real.

He could be doing a lot worse than something as positive as this. He's doing something right and I'm standing up for it right here and now. YOU can help. Tell people about his rocking Kickstarter campaign or toss a few bucks in yourself. You'll be supporting an education that really does ROCK.

Living with MS is no picnic and way too many people don't understand. They prove they're lack of understanding by telling us to go be mushroom people, sitting in the corner, sucking up our benefits; just to get out of their way. They prove this by then saying, "Hey you don't LOOK sick"! The misjudgment and stigma are hurtful and degrading. It's time for it to stop. Here's another tidbit for those of you who just want people like Chris and me to shut up; by today's statistics you have a whopping 50% chance of being just as disabled as me by my age. I'm 43 as I write this, so good luck to you.

And it's not just MS that we need to show some respect to, there's more that wind up leading to Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and then there's Autism, and way more. The numbers are growing, and it's time to start caring.

So rock with Chris Cox and be a hero. Help spread the word. It's not spam, it's a worthwhile project and way better than just sitting around waiting to die. What would you do? Never give up, people, never give up. Now come on and let's get the word around.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Why you should read Chessmen: Opening Moves

Hey, it's shameless self promotion time! But have no fear, I plan to make points of significant interest. So give me a chance here and have a good time.

It's a fair question. Why should you read Chessmen? You aren't interested in Chess anyway. Well, fortunately, it's not actually about chess. Click on the opening image to see what the back of the book has to say. Now I'll give you some supporting points on why you'll find this cast of heroes very interesting. The Chessmen are the Royal Guard of the planet, Chyssia. Imagine if Chess actually came from another planet and you'll immediately get the idea behind this amazing world. There are 8 members of the Chessmen (technically 9) and that brings us to our first point because:

In order for the most powerful member to appear, one of them has to die.  How's that for an opening point? And how does that work out? You'll have to read the book to know because telling would be a huge spoiler!

One of them could kill an entire planet. He's sealed in a containment suit of armor that can never be taken off; because he's a virus. Again, to see how that works out, you have to read it. I promise you he's one heck of a character. How does someone like that wind up being part of any Royal Guard?

Faith really can  move mountains.  One of them has a power you don't see in stories very much. It's the power of pure faith. You won't believe what he can do with it.

The comical doofus is one of the strongest members. You'll enjoy his amazing power and hilarious behavior.

The accused will earn your sympathy in spades. The member accused of actually killing the King, is permanently bonded to bladed gauntlets. He doesn't remember why he has them. For that matter, he's not even from Chyssia. He was found in the mountains with a severe head injury. Just what is his story?

A mystical falcon is in love with her partner. But how can such a creature pursue love with a humanoid?

It goes beyond just clearing their name. They discover that they have to save their entire solar system and the first book is only the beginning.

How can you read this?  Check out my author page and bookmark it   LINK

You can also keep up with all of the Galaxy Zento universe at my FACEBOOK page.

You can get it for Kindle cheap and paperback the same way. So I do hope you'll check out my universe and give Chessmen a read. I think you'll be glad you did.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Heroes of Cosplay causes online war

Heroes of Cosplay, the SyFy reality television series has caused an online war between the “stars” of the show and some cosplayers from the season finale. If you don’t know about the series, it follows a select group of people as they pursue contests in various conventions for the sake of their careers and reputations. 

Yes, they tell us that Cosplay is about having fun, but the producers don’t support that very much with how the show plays out. YaYa Han, a noted cosplayer and judge says the word “reputation” more than any other in her entire vocabulary. If we are to believe the commentary (even though she says it’s about having fun) every single thing she does is of utmost importance because of her reputation. Also, before I get too far:

Cosplayer: One who dresses up as iconic characters of various fantasy or science fiction genres (nutshell explanation, because there is lots more to it than that).

In the season finale, the cast goes to Planet Comicon in Kansas City, MO. In the second part of the finale, we get to see what looks like a group of “locals” making nasty comments to the members of CrabCat Industries and their partner Becky. But all is not as it appears and it has exploded into an online war that just makes everyone look bad.  Check out these two links (and those attached to them) for both sides of the story:

Now I’m going to use some quotes from Chloe (Sorry, Chloe) to hit a few highlights and make some points. Chloe’s response missed some essentials that I think bear pointing out. Let’s start with this:

What if I told you those judgmental Doctor Who cosplayers were plants? That Syfy told them they needed to cause drama with some of the cast so it would be a more interesting competition?
That’s not true, but you’d believe me, wouldn’t you? Because guess what, you want to demonize a dumb reality show.”

Aaand stop right there. While the following points of that paragraph are fine for showing that the cast were real people doing real things, this statement essentially calls us a bunch of idiots and haters.  Actually, and this may come as a surprise, you’d be shocked to find out just how many people watch reality shows and believe everything they see. Not because the want to “demonize” anything at all. It’s because people are people. Something that should have been remembered here. But alas, it doesn’t get better from there.

Syfy didn’t tell the Doctor Who girls they needed to cause drama. It happened all by itself because of three things:
1-People don’t like things like TV shows invading their small community (understandable).
2-People don’t like when the odds are stacked against them in a way that feels unfair (though the cast entirely made their own costumes and paid for almost everything). Either way, they won something.
3-Cosplayers tend to tear down their own kind when they feel threatened. All people do. Especially the cosplay community, though, as I’ve noticed A LOT on Tumblr during the airing of this show.”

I just plain don’t agree with this and you’ll see why as you read on.

The way it started was that someone from the audience identified my friends as “Syfy plants”.”

Ahh, but that’s not what really blew things up. You leave out the fact that the comment was dubbed and what we, the viewers, heard was: “Out of towners go home!” Something tells me you didn’t watch your own finale. Worse yet, they made it look like the Who Girls were the ones who said it, and you know they didn’t. These girls are somehow supposed to take it and shut up when they are directly accused of saying something they didn’t say. One of them admits she lost her temper, so it’s not like they are denying the skirmish even happened. But that’s okay, because, as you later say no one could make them sign a waiver (so it must have been all their fault).

Worse yet, dubbing that comment into something it wasn’t, made the whole convention look bad. I’m sure when they agreed to filming, they weren’t looking for the chance to make themselves look like hateful small town hicks. The fact that I haven’t seen a single member of the cast admonish this behavior is highly disappointing. So maybe you should be upset with your own producers, because they made you and them look bad as a result.

No one can make you sign a waiver. It was their choice to appear on the show.”

This totally dismisses the fact that the cast were not the only people to feel stressed out. It also suggests that the layman who is put on the spot by surprise should automatically have their eyes wide open going into this. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Let me tell you something:

It was totally unfair: Chloe points out how people get when they “feel” something is unfair, but wait, it totally was. Compare the facts. Take the cast who knew they had skits to perform and had more than a day to rehearse, with props and assistants, and stage hands, etc. Now take everyone else who got the information, not just on the spot, but for some it was minutes before going onstage. That’s like taking a heavyweight prize fighter and putting him in the ring with someone who’s never thrown a punch before. Sound like a fair fight to you? Sound fairly informed to you? It’s not. It was unexpected at a capacity that had to feel ridiculous to everyone else, who hasn’t been touring around on a reality show. For any member of the cast to dismiss the feelings of people who were wrongly taken completely by surprise on the details, is just poor form.

Don’t expect laymen to act like professionals: You’re right, no one can make you sign that waiver. But you dismiss the human factor of others again. You aren’t considering the fact that these girls spent a year of planning only to be surprised on site with “oh by the way, if you want to compete you have to do this.” So for them, on the spot with NO warning, they have to decide to either throw away a year of planning and work, or suck it up and go ahead. This also dismisses the fact that the cast has been doing this all year long, but these girls get it tossed in their faces at the last possible second. So you of the cast knew what you were in for… they had no clue at all.

To top it off, expect them to have no feelings: Ignore the fact that they were there for shoots and reshoots that the cast are used to and likely PAID FOR. Ignore the fact that they were every bit as exhausted as you were. Don’t tell me that they won 500 bucks and should suck it up because everyone there knows the whole thing went into about 5 hours of overtime (and what’s 500 divided by 11 again?). Overtime on a Sunday when things were supposed to close around 4pm. Overtime that could have even jeopardized someone’s job because they had a shift to go work. Overtime only expected by the cast.  Then label them as cruel and support a horde of negative comments about them online because they had feelings too.

I think you’re getting “cruel” confused with “just as tired and upset as you could ever be”.

The cast of the show knew what to expect 100% more than the Who Girls could dream of because of sheer lack of consideration and information. Now they get to be the villains, hated on by the internet and the cast is willing to support that. Not only is that not a fair fight, but it’s something else in words I don’t use here.

Friday, September 6, 2013

California school wants to pay to keep autistic child OUT

(Credit to photo: Sydney Lupkin, World News)

It never ceases to amaze me, the horrifying leaps that school systems will take to cover their own spotted rear ends. When they think it's just too much trouble for them to do their jobs and give someone their right to education as written in law. Well, today's story really takes the cake and takes a big steaming dump in the middle of it. Get the details here and I'll explain. Yes, that's a link to the news story!

Okay? Did you get it all? Now some of you, as you are sitting there are probably shaking your heads. There are a couple of things about this story that will cause that. However, they don't matter in the grand scheme of it all.

Like the fact that David Swanson is 21 and his time is about up for what the law allows. But the law is the law, people. If this is allowed to slide, who's kid will it happen to next? As it is, David has severe autism, diabetes, and is non-verbal. The law says he has a right to be there. And why is the system so worried?

They force fed him his own gagged up food.  Apparently this was to teach a child with severe disability some kind of twisted life lesson. I can think of a number of life lessons I would like to teach the lady that did that, but I risk really losing composure. This is grotesque and cruel. It's abuse, plain an simple. And so his mother, Heather Houston, did what any parent should do. She filed complaints. That didn't sit well with the uppity school system that could do no wrong. Of course it didn't.

They offered a settlement of $86,000 to basically go away. Let's face it. That's exactly what it is. It comes with stipulations that she drop all complaints and may not file complaint against them again. Yes, the said the money is to take him to a private school, but here's what makes this an exceptional smoking pile of bull:

The law says they have to do that anyway, stipulations not included. Think about that for a second. The law says, if the school finds they cannot provide FEPA that it falls on them to place the student in the alternative educational setting and pay for it. It is not supposed to be "throw money at the parent and kick them out the door (with a list of stupid demands)". Her complaints will more than net this for her without their worthless offer. Yes, I said worthless. It comes no where near what would be needed to pay for the costs of a private educational setting with all his needs met. And their stipulations are especially garbage because they are supposed to do this anyway. Leave it to some stuck on themselves group of educators to try and make what they're supposed to do by law sound like some big generous thing on their part.

Heather Houston does not want their money. Apparently this comes as a big surprise to some of the commentors on the link above. They still accuse her of it even after the article says she didn't want their money. What she wants is what her son has a legal right to. It's also what your child has a legal right to. Should a year's difference make it okay to treat your child like that? Do tell.

Hold them accountable. That's my message to Heather. Don't give up. Don't take their pitiful dodge attempt. Don't let them get away with it. The educational system needs major changes for things like this. For example, it's almost impossible to fire a teacher. That's the most ridiculous thing in any job field ever. I realize everyone needs job security; but if you force field a child his own coughed up chunks until he vomits, you should be out of a job and being prosecuted to boot.

Now Heather and the nurse, Annette Armstrong have chimed in on their position in the comments. I applaud them. Keep up the good work, ladies and God bless!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My own cosplay adventures and lessons learned

I've spent a considerable amount of time comparing opinions on Heroes of Cosplay. After watching the most recent episode where Monica (?) slams a fellow cosplayer saying "You're the last person I would ever want to cosplay with" (following that up with further degrading remarks); I realized just what a dark shadow this show casts on the cosplay and costuming community.

Now a bunch of you are going: "Wait a minute, Dave does cosplay?"  Yes, actually, I have. But let me tell you what Heroes of Cosplay taught me.  First, check this out:

That's a pic of my son when he was 2. He won the child's section of the GenCon Costume contest. He won because he was cute as cute could be and went on the stage rolling dice. We did it for fun. After watching Heroes of Cosplay, I realize we didn't even belong there. It has taught me that, if you enter these contests for fun, you are stepping on some elitist's toes. If you win the contest they way my kiddo did, you are slapping everyone else in the face.  You see, we didn't make that costume (and we told the judges that). We found it at a yard sale. Someone made it, but we had no idea who. That means our kiddo won over people who spent laboring  hours on their costumes, possibly just like the people on the show. Don't get me wrong. I'm damn proud of my kiddo's accomplishment with his power of cute and rolling those dice. He rocked. But we didn't make that costume. And again, don't get me wrong, no one mistreated us over it. The point is, the show causes me to reflect and realize that we must have been so out of place, or that's how they would have it look the way they are going.

"But, Dave, that's your kid cosplaying, not you."

Oh fine, here:

Hey, not bad for a firsts time doing it at a con. Later that night I did Zombie Joker and that turned out pretty wild.

 I always tried to make myself pull off a look as completely as possible (before this I did halloween stuff a lot, but can't find any of my old pics). I knew it would entertain. You know that's more the purpose of the full cosplay experience. You're supposed to enjoy yourself, share a talent and interest, and just have a really good time. There are a lot of very important sides of cosplay that the show doesn't bring. It's not about being superficial and shallow. It's not about bashing other peoples looks because you didn't place in a stupid contest where the bag was just a grand (yes I know what title means, but if you do your stuff well, your appearance says it all).

I would rather do the fun things, like charities and special events. No thanks on the contests. And I don't think that everyone who goes to contests is an elitist snob, but that show seems to want you to think so.At least where one or two of them is concerned. And I realize that I'm not trying to make a living at it. But if you are, and you can't handle it when you don't win a contest, maybe you shouldn't be there. Maybe that's not a good living for you. Seriously, if you are going to test minefields, you can't get all mad when you get blown up.

So, no contests for me. I like what you aren't getting to see. I like the heartwarming side with the freedom and acceptance. Oh, but I will say that Ya Ya Han does an awesome job of showing what craftsmanship means.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Autism: Dealing with Ignorant Comments

You all know what I mean by ignorant comments. It's the witty things people in public say without forethought regarding us or our children an autism. They typically do the same thing for people with disabilities too. It's a never ending headache that some special in-duh-viduals seem bent on delivering. Well, enough. No more Mr. Nice Guy. It's time to at least put a humorous spin on this migraine that is public ignorance. I've also considered that maybe it's not their fault. Maybe they're addicted to the taste of their own feet. Try this next time someone walks by and delivers a stupid comment. Imagine them having to bounce around on their buts because they have both legs in their throat up the knees.

Now for a few favorites from the public blather mouths.

1-"He (or you) looks normal to me."  I hate this one. Time to put this person in their place hard:

"Oh, where did you get your medical degree?"  Watching them bumble in response to that is funny every single time.

"And what did you think we'd look like?"  Again, funny every time.

"I left my hockey mask at home." Watch their eyes grow three sizes.

2- "Oh what's his special skill?"  Because we love having our children referred to like sideshow attractions.

"Knife throwing." Say this with a perfectly straight face regardless of your child's age and get set for a look of sheer terror.

"Putting up with other people's ignorance." To be said casually as if you knew the question was coming the whole time.

"Why, do you want to buy tickets?" If they say yes, charge them 50 bucks and say it's non-refundable.

3- "Maybe you should spank him."  Or some similar idiotic phrase.

"What? You want to spank my child?" Said loud enough for the rest of the public to hear. Then watch that idiot make tracks in a hurry.

"Maybe you should get a lobotomy." Hey one stupid suggestion deserves another.

"Thank you for your useless advice."  If they are even halfway listening, it should get their goat.

4- "Shouldn't be in public." Comments like this one are usually said from one idiot to the other about you or your child. Of course they seem to want you to hear them.

"Neither should you." If they can't handle what the public has to offer, they should stay home.

"It's rude to talk about people like that."  The old "call em out" routine has a pretty good track record of shutting people up.

"Wow, you're helpful." Because no, no they aren't. And this one makes a good comeback for several situations.

Now, you probably shouldn't actually be mean to these people and some just can't be taught anything. But it sure can relieve some stress to think of some snappy comebacks to try and kick start their poor addled brains. In any case, here's hoping you got a chuckle. Don't let public ignorance get you down.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Letters that target the disabled are sick

Let me jump right in with the link, because until you've seen it, you won't be as boiled over as I am right now.


Go ahead, it will open in a new window. Then come back, I'll wait for ya.

Now, as an added piece of asshattery, did you read the letter itself? No?

I so very much hope and pray they find this person. Who ever this is, she's the one with the problem, not the autistic boy she's targeting. Anyone who suggests to me that I euthanize my child is likely to lose some teeth. Yes, I'm a weak man, and that would be about enough to make me say "Oh screw this!". 

The person who wrote this letter is a either a hateful idiot or has a whole encyclopedia of her own problems (likely both).  But I tell you what, they are looking for her and really, it shouldn't be that hard to find her.

1. She's close by. Very close in fact. Walking distance judging from the fact she "hears" the autistic boy's noises outside. 

2: She has children as in plural. She even says so in the letter when pointing out that the noises scare her "normal CHILDREN". I'm pretty sure, only a handful of Mom's in the area are going to fit the bill.

Another point. Look at the paper. It's either previously used xerox paper or came from a printer with a toning problem. Either Mommy has a bad printer or uses paper from the recycling bin, or Mommy did this at work with paper form the recycling bin. If that's the case, Mad Mommy works in an office setting. 

Now I'll go out on a limb and say that this isn't the first rager Mad Mommy has been on. I would say, not only does she have her own severe mental illness issues, but may also have a record. No one tells you to off your own child unless they are cruel trolls or severely mentally ill. It's just that simple. 

Now, she's a coward; so she's going to put on a really big "Nice Mommy" act when spoken to. She'll sound just like the parents who really are shocked and disgusted, only with her, it will be fake. 

So, for you folks in the neighborhood manhunt, let's recap:

She has two or more children, is severely stressed out and bad tempered, lives in close walking distance, may have a record (may even be a problem neighbor already), and either works in an office setting or has a really crappy printer and uses scrap paper.  

I'm here to tell you, it would not take me long to find this person. Of course, no one would want me to do this.

What is wrong with people? Because this isn't a rare issue. It's happening in more and more places. People deciding to go all nasty on families who have enough to struggle with. Psycho's who somehow think they are the disability police will leave notes to harass and even threaten.  Earlier this summer I saw a case where someone put a letter on a lady's steering wheel, nagging about parking in the disabled spot. According to the author of the note, the lady didn't "look disabled". Well isn't that nice?  Too bad they're such cowards. Even the jerks in Portland who claim they will out people with disabilities for some psychotic political rampage.  Look it up.

But, people, if you get a threatening letter, don't be weak like me. Call the police and file the complaint. Put them on the news. Press charges. Don't go to jail for them. That's more where they belong.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Article tries to link Autistic MEN with Child Porn

I am sick to my stomach. My blood is boiling and I could burst into flames any second now. Yes, I could spontaneously combust with the disgust I am experiencing right this second. What has me so bent? This article:

Autism and Child Pornography: A Toxic Combination 

Go ahead. It opens in a new window. It's an article by none other than Eustacia Cutler, Temple Grandin's mother! It's written for the Daily Beast (not sure what I think of that combo) and it's getting more than a few autistic adults up in arms. Before I explain why, I'm going to come right out and say this article is irresponsible and dangerous. If you go by just the bold print, sure, child porn is a toxic combo with anything. It's practically the most heinous of the heinous. It's a level of crime that gets you murdered in prison just for being there. And this article wants you to believe there is an alarming trend of autistic men viewing child porn.

So what's wrong? First lets take the author's credentials into consideration:

Eustacia Cutler is a published author. She has a Bachelor of Arts (in what I don't know). Her research in retardation and autism established the basis of two television documentaries. And finally, she wrote school programs for television. That and she raised the most famous and popular autism icon we can mention; Temple Grandin.  Add all that together and it's reasonable to say that this woman's word is going to be taken at face value as rock solid fact by people who don't know enough about autism themselves.

And I want to add, I'm sure she knows plenty about autism, but this article is bad news with a capital B-A-D!

The article starts out with a single case of a young man being caught with child porn on his computer. This young man has autism. Now it's important to note that Eustacia did not interview this man, did  not examine him or read any of his psychological records (at least she says nothing about any of that). Therefore, everything based on this  man as an example is absolute speculation. By the way, this is the only case she offers to support her theories or "facts". She presents all of her information as fact, by the way. Never does she say "in my opinion".

That brings us to what the whole of her article is really "supported" by. Yes, I mean "supported" as in using matchsticks to hold up a brick building. She states in the article that her years in studying autism have given her "insight to autism's social hurdles".  I want to point out at this point, that she is specifically talking about autistic MEN. Just the men. She doesn't say "in such and such circumstances" she says "autistic men" period. What does she say?

Autistic men have the minds of ten year olds: She doesn't say that certain types of autistic men are like this, she just says that we have the minds of ten year olds. "They look like grown men but inside they're only 10 years old."  I will agree that immaturity (to varying scales) is commonplace in autism (to both sexes!) but we do grow up. Amazing thought eh? I'm 43 years old, have an IQ of 145, have had jobs since I was 14 (until disability in 2008), managed to survive on my own since I was 14 (in the streets), now have 4 children and a loving wife, and I harbor an intense hatred of crimes against children. You might call me a special case but get this; in my 9 years of study, research and advocacy, in talking to hundreds of different people with autism (my Facebook page has over 4000 people connected to it) I have traded words with exactly ONE person who was arrested for child porn. That was Dr. Nick Dubin and he admitted he knew it was wrong and is now presumably serving time somewhere. And he should be! Even for Dr. Dubin, while he may have had immature thinking, is not 10 years old nor does he have the mind of a 10 year old. At least there's no research evidence to prove this and that brings us to the next point.

She admits there's no supporting data: That's right. Right in the middle of the article she admits there's no data available to support that autistic men are any more prone to becoming pedophiles than any other classification of human being on the planet. But she continues to present her "insights" as "facts". Mind you that won't matter one wink to the layman who's trying to learn about autism and stumbles across her article. Posting an article like this, expecting to to be accepted as fact without supporting data (studies, research, crime statistics) is extremely irresponsible. The layman is going to look at this article and go "OMG, autistic men become pedophiles!" or "Oh yeah, I bet that weirdo down the street is one of these."  And my next point doesn't  help because I'm quoting her directly when I say:

"They don't want to be taught by adults, they want to be taught by 10 year olds": Dear God! When I was dating at 17, 18, and 19 on up... I had an age requirement that I was very serious about. If you couldn't go where I go because of age... we didn't date, PERIOD. I wouldn't go more than a year backwards at 17.  A couple years ago I gave my daughter grief for dating a guy a bit older than her. And for the record, I was taught by a woman older than me. I wouldn't have had it any other way. You can bet I plan to teach my son what's appropriate too! All of this article is so sadly generalized it's frightening. There's no way to misunderstand highlighted points like that unless you just can't figure out basic English. And what studies do these words come from. What supports the idea that adult men with autism (spectrum not withstanding) would rather mess around with 10 year olds? Well, according to Eustacia, adult autistic men are retarded and infantile and don't know any better. According to her, we're slaves to our sex drives and stunted in the brain. But this article targeting autistic men doesn't stop making leaps into madness there. 

She takes a slap at Tony Attwood that's not even related to the article: You read that right. What does Tony Attwood have to do with any of her article. Oh, I know, he's a man and has autism! But her slap actually has nothing to do with the article at all! 
 I asked Tony Attwood, an internationally known autism counselor who works directly with those young men with Asperger who despair of finding their way in the world—or of even understanding it.
“Were you ever able to stop a boy from suicide?”
He turned from me, his face taut: “I think maybe I did ... once.”
Wha? Suicide? What does Tony Attwood saving some kid from suicide have to do with child porn? What does Tony Attwood have to do with the article at all? I can only call this a personal slap or stab. Apparently she doesn't like Tony Attwood. What better place to bring out the slapping glove than an article about autistic men going pedophile? 
I can safely tell you that I am not the only person who feels this way. Check out this article by Emily Willingham. She breaks it down quite nicely.
The autism community has enough stigma problems. We're associated with being retarded, weird, or violent. We get labelled as school shooters or fanatical whackos. The last thing in the universe we could ever need is to be associated with pedophilia. I've said it before and I'll say it again: having autism does not make a person any more likely to be a criminal than anyone else. It does not make for instant psychopaths. 

I believe we need to teach our children about sexuality and how to protect themselves from predators. We need to teach them internet safety and the law. I don't believe my child having autism automatically makes him a risk as a pedophile. In closing, I submit that, just because you're a celebrity (Jenny McCarthy anyone?) or raise one, it doesn't make everything that comes out of your mouth gold. It doesn't make you an expert. Eustacia Cutler is not a doctor in any form of psychiatry. She posted flamboyant information with no supportive facts or studies to back it up. If I were Temple Grandin, I would be really pissed at my mother about now.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

People with autism have no empathy?

I've heard this myth before, but apparently there are "professionals" give it strength and growth. This essentially groups people on the spectrum with the like of outright psychopaths. To me this is becoming slap-worthy. Someone needs to slap some sense into these people.

There is a great big difference between being able to show feelings and being able to feel them. Just because someone has problems showing you how they feel, doesn't mean they are incapable of feeling anything. And yes, I'm talking about for other people. This is a hurtful classification that spreads stigma.

As a high functioning adult, when ever I see someone in trouble, the first instinct I have is to help them somehow. That's not because I'll get some reward for doing it (I don't), but because that person needs help. Since that's my first instinct, I would assume I have some empathy for how that person feels in their plight. I actually care about peoples feelings very much. This might be why I did over 19 years worth of work in protection and law enforcement jobs. It might be why I'm very protective of my family. I love them.

People who take the time to get to know me also know that I care about others very much.

I've also personally met several on the spectrum who voice that they have feelings too.

The lower the functional ability of  a person on the spectrum, the harder it is to interact with the world around them. That doesn't mean they are incapable of caring or feeling. I can remember when people used to think there wasn't anyone inside of those people at all. Studies have proven that wrong.

So what's the problem with our showing empathy? Living with any level of autism is awkward and difficult. We care what people think, but have a hard time interacting with that. Recognizing social cues is extremely hard, but that doesn't mean we don't care. You might have to explain things to us a little extra so we can get it, but again; that doesn't mean we don't or won't care. It doesn't mean that other peoples feelings don't matter to us.

In reality, we want to function, we want to fit, just like anyone else. When I realize that I missed how someone else felt about something, I get angry with myself. I think: "Dammit, how could I have missed that?" And then I want to apologize. People with no empathy don't want to apologize.

These "professionals" who write us off as having no empathy are doing just that; writing us off. To them, Asperger's or any autism is just like any other mental illness or psychosis and that's dead wrong.

So, next time you hear someone saying that we have no empathy; look them in the face and say: "I'm sorry you feel that way, but you're wrong." And then just walk away.  I know not all of use can do that. I also know that there may just be enough of us who can. Let's blast this myth out of the water, shall we?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My thoughts on racism after the Zimmerman trial

The purpose of this post is not to debate the Zimmerman trial. So please, I'm not looking for any rage on my page. Okay? However, all the raging and debating I have seen has finally brought me to writing this. Also, I was inspired by a fellow on Facebook. Time to bring this to light.

Racism is wrong.

Now that I've said that, let me point out that it's wrong no matter who it's against. It's time to get past the idea that the color of a person's skin makes them what they are. It's time to get past the idea that color is a reason to condemn. If you stop and actually think about it, what you really don't like about anyone is their behavior. It's time to cut away the link of race to behavior.

To me, the color of your skin is nothing more than a means of physical identification. That's it, that's all. I prefer not to mix the color of your skin with your culture either. Let's go with Black Culture for a second. What is that? And better yet, which one? African Culture? Hip Hop Culture? Yes, I've had people tell me that Hip Hop is a Black Culture, so I'm only quoting them (and they were African American people too, so argue with them). The point is, that if you just say Black Culture, you could be referring to several ways of thinking on several ways of life. I've seen this first hand. Isn't it interesting that in all the persons of any one color of skin across the whole planet, there are still dozens of cultures? Hundreds even. That's why I don't care to use the color of your skin to associate with your culture.

When it comes right down to it, it's the cultures that clash, not the color of skin. Behaviors and beliefs clash, not the color of skin.

Here's what we all are above all. We are the Human Race. We are a species. Once you look past the color of skin; we all have the same types of organs. We are inter-mixable. A man of any color can make a baby with a woman of any color. We all get the same diseases, have the same emotional capabilities, and can commit the same atrocities. So, when the most powerful forces in the universe don't discriminate, whey do we? I'll tell you why.

Because the human race has a lot to learn to accept itself as a species of intellects instead of just a bunch of colors.

Here's another thought for you: Polar bears are white and Kodiaks are brown. Neither of them give a damn. BOTH of them will KILL you no matter what color YOU are. You see, while we use color to identify them for science; all we really need to remember is their behavior. In the case of bears, we need to remember that, no matter what color they are, we need to stay the hell away from them or risk getting mauled.

I can even take it to the inanimate. If I pick up two rocks that are the same size and weight, but are different colors, and I throw them at you; can you tell me which one hurt more? Probably not, but I've just assaulted you with rocks. That's a behavior that lands me in jail, regardless of why I did it.

I'm all for abolishing racism. Unfortunately, if you go at it too hard, you can become a racist yourself. It's a vicious double edge sword that will poison you if you aren't careful. So I'm going to make a risky example:

If you go around saying: I hate all  you white supremacists. That's a racist comment. As soon as you interject color as the basis of your anger or hatred, it's racist. What you really hate, is the behavior of some people in profiling others based on color. Behavior, people, that's what the deal is. Remember that or risk being a hypocrite. I also don't think they should be called "white" supremacists, just racial supremacists. Take the color right out of the equation and the wind right out of their sails.

So, there it is. My thoughts on racism as spurred by the riots and rage. (Come on, looting a Wal-Mart? Really?). Also spurred by people hating on each other on Facebook. What are you really achieving with that? Nothing.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

With a special message for autism

It's finally available; my second book. It's a collection of 12 short stories that will make you laugh, gasp and wonder. While I need to advertise my book, this time there is something special I've added.

At the end of this book is a special note from the Author (me) regarding living with Autism, Aspergers, MS and other conditions. We are such kin in our comparable medical issues that it felt right to be inclusive.

It means a lot to me to inspire others, especially our youth, with my work. I know, not everyone can do the same things, but we can all do something to enrich ourselves. As I've said before, I'm not talking about going out and getting some back breaking job when you may be unable to serve on an employed position. I'm talking about doing something just because you enjoy it and it's good for you.

I grew up without anyone knowing that I had/have Asperger's Syndrome and Bipolar disorder (yes you can have both). In my age and demographics it wasn't even a consideration. So I was never tested for it. I was only tested for my IQ. Being ahead on IQ and considered a borderline child genius (yes, I was) didn't help with the severe bullying in Jr. High. I went home bloody at least twice a week. I had to hide that too. I had to clean myself up somewhere on the two mile walk home from school so my Step-Mother wouldn't know. Why? Because she abused me too. I fought back a couple of times and wound up with police at my door and more trouble than it was worth.

My Stepmother only knew how to scream and yell while downing one beer after another. I could tell you more about her daily manner, but I'm afraid it would trigger some of you. Suffice to say, I wound up having my own PTSD from the things she did.

So I left home at age 14, wound up in another state and then out of school at 10th grade. I had to join Job Corps and get my GED to make my way forward in life.

Despite all these things, I carried myself forward. I had jobs and relationships. I got married (thought not always for the right reasons) and now have four wonderful kids. Let me just say that those kids have made anything that went bad in my past relationships worth it 100x over.

Now, I get to add Multiple Sclerosis to the mix. My knees don't want to hold me up most days so I have to us a four pod cane. I get dizzy spells and exhaustion at ridiculous times and often without getting much done. I have to pace myself around my household chores and I'm losing the coordination in my hands (as well as the rest of my body). I walk into freaking walls, people. Not fun.

But now I write and do my illustrations (in spite of my hands) and refuse to give up. My son needs to know, that just because Dad is on a cane, doens't mean he's helpless or can't do anything. On top of that, I want others to know that they can do things too.  I make my heroes and write my stories that have been in my head since childhood. But now I do them with a new purpose. And I'm not going to stop.

If you or your kids wonder what they can become because of their conditions and difficulties, please share my story with them. And I'm not the only one out there who can do this either.

And you don't have to be some prodigy that gets famous, okay? Do it because it enriches you and makes you feel the power of accomplishment. If that's reading a hundred books a year, do it. Shooting baskets and learning sports, do it. Just do it.

I plan on sharing this often, so I apologize in advance for anyone that offends. For the rest of what I do, visit or my Facebook page under the same name. Free reading for GZ Legends and lots of illustrations that I do, no matter what my head and  hands are doing to me. I know there are a lot of you out there who can relate.

So, what are you doing to do?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Is it puberty mixed with Asperger's or something worse?

Seriously, I don't know.

Last summer, my had a friend we will call L. They were inseparable and he wanted to play with her more than anyone else he ever met. Sadly, L lived a life that was unstable. She moved away at the end of last summer quite suddenly. The results were catastrophic. Today, I got a severe glimpse of just how much.

A terrible school year didn't help him at all and there was so much to deal with; we couldn't give enough attention to one underlying problem. Today, my son told me he has no true friends and never will. Think about that for a second.

On top of that, he's taken to talking to an imaginary form of her. He just told me he dreams about her every night and it wakes him up. Then he burst into tears.

So, he's created an imaginary friend, that has everyone thinking he's hearing voices that aren't there. He's obsessing over a girl who moved away almost a year ago. And what's sadder yet; he's right. He has no true friends on this block. He has no one that he feels wants to play with him.

Every day, he goes to houses down the block and wants to play with the other kids. He gets the brush off and he knows it. How must that kind of rejection feel? What he showed me today, just how much he's suffering. Now, what do I do about it?

We're on the lookout for summer programs, but once those end, what next? My son needs a friend. He just wants someone he can get silly with, play games with, talk video games with.

Today, the bottled emotions blew. Now what do I do?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

You will always be criticized

In an effort to make a positive from a negative; lemonade from lemons, I write this. Recently I posted this message for my Galaxy Zento page of heroes that I write about and draw.

With your help and sharing, my project to inspire others with my Galaxy Zento project has been growing, slowly, but growing. I know it can grow more. The simple truth is, the more people who click like on Galaxy Zento, the more people it will reach. The more who share it with its message the more likely that will happen. I have a modest goal that I would like to reach by the end of next month. I would like the page to reach 1000 "likes". Can you help? Do you know anyone who loves original content, characters, and stories? How about practicing artists? Anyone who just wants to practice their art skills and get posted as a guest artist? As I'm preparing to post GZ Legends 50 (a milestone post!) I want to spread the word. I want people to know that you can still do what you love, or find something to love doing even with disabilities. You can still grow as a person. You can still inspire others. I will always support autism education and projects that help people grow as human beings. You can help me make this grow. What do you say folks? Its not enough that I share to you, when you share it reaches your people. So, give it a twitter and give it a share. Let others know that a guy with multiple conditions is striving to inspire. This week, I go to see my second oldest daughter graduate. So there will be some delays on other postings. A great time for your help. Love you all! Be blessed and inspired.

I also posted this:

So I posted a very special message on my wall. You know, growing up with Asperger's or any similar condition is not easy. I grew up with no support system because no one knew what was up with me. They didn't know what was "wrong" with me. Now that I grew up through that, I want to use any success I have to inspire others (especially my son as most you know, has Asperger's/autism). I want to give back for every step forward I make. So I hope you'll visit my page and check out what I'm doing. My goal is to get my project page Galaxy Zento and its heroes up to 1000 likes in the next month. You can have a livable life. You can do great things. It will get better. Let the inspiration carry on.

On the same day that I posted that second message I was accused of doing what I do, solely for personal gain. 

On that I will say that if personal gain was all I wanted, you wouldn't be able to go to the Galaxy Zento blogspot and read my stories for free (now up to part 49 of an ongoing story). I wouldn't bother scheduling to talk to college classes about what it's like to grow up with or have autism. I wouldn't bother. I wouldn't make videos, I wouldn't do anything but say "buy my book". That would be it and that would be all. No, I want all my success to do something more. Those who don't believe me will just have to wait and see. 

As you go forward in life, this is something you will have to remember to. Your best efforts, best intentions, and anything else you do will always be misunderstood or criticized by someone. Still, you must never give up. You must go on in spite of these people. Shut them out. One of these people will never have to be bothered by my posts again, because I blocked them. You don't have to block people, unless they are harassing you. But, you don't let them steer your life and ambitions. Don't let them mess with your goals because they don't understand you.

Look to history and see how many famous innovators ignored the criticisms and achieved great things for the world around them. 

Martin Luther King Jr. was told he couldn't do it.
Ghandi was told he couldn't do it.
Even Mother Theresa was told she couldn't do it. (Yes I know I'm not any of these people)

What do they have in common? None of them listened to the naysayers. Don't you listen to them either.

So what if my way involves selling some low cost books? Doesn't everyone have to do something in this world? Would I set a better example from my couch? 

I have yet to complain about my book sales, and I won't. The book is there and I would be stupid not to advertise it. I would be stupid not to try and take myself further in life. What kind of example would I set for my message if I did nothing? Writing a book was a great accomplishment for me and I refuse to let anyone come throw a big soggy blanket on it because I want to inspire others with my work. 

Also, I  never claimed to be some non-profit benefactor in this. I did say that I want to give back and that will continue to be my plan ever forward. As I said, those who don't believe me will just have to wait and see. They don't know me and their assumptions cast a shadow on them more than me.  That is how you must move forward too. 

So, want to write a book? Do it!
Want to ride a bike? Do it!
Want to take up golf? Do it!
Want to paint pictures? Do it!
Want to make videos about taking sledgehammers to wrecked cars? Well, yeah, do it!

And, if you do get paid for it, what would be wrong with that? I would call you lucky! Then, show others your success, especially if you have a disability! Let your accomplishment inspire others to live too! That's my goal!

Now.... what are you going to do?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Persevering with Disabilities Spotlight: Donna Bell

Living past disabilities takes guts. Today I am going to tell you about someone who must be some kind of commando on that point. Her name is Donna Bell of Louisiana. 

When Donna was 19 she was in a terrible car accident that sentenced her to life in a wheelchair without use of her arms or legs. She has no movement from the shoulders down. I'm sure there was a gut-tearing transitional period for her, but she's become something far more amazing. Look at this:

I love Groo the Wanderer and she did this picture with her mouth. That's right, her mouth. Now, I tried this. I put a pen in my teeth and tried to write my name. I won't even post the result. It was less than chicken scratch. Learning to do this is not easy by any frame of the imagination. I would have an easier time becoming left handed. And yes, I'm an artist. But you know what? She doesn't stop at drawing:

Yeah, crochet. She crochets with her teeth. I showed this to my wife who does crochet and she couldn't fathom it. But there it is and she's been recognized and seen in action by her town's media. Over the years, she's developed into an artistic dynamo and she's right here in Louisiana.

Okay, all that being said, it's time for the turn off section. This is the section where I tell you what's up and you say "oh not again" and walk away. But I challenge you  not to do that. These times of ours call for humanitarian efforts and the deserving should get the assistance. Some people just deserve to be rewarded in life. Yes there is a fundraiser. It's to get this awesome woman a wheelchair accessible van.

Still here? Good! I commend you. I know there are fundraisers a billion out there and we seen ten of them every day. Much as we would like to, we just can't help them all. That being said, I ask you to consider this being one of those times you pitch a five spot into the bucket to help someone deserving. Someone who's been a hero for themselves at the very least. She's never had a powered wheelchair even and look at all she's done. She deserves it people. Now, in order to put a face to the name and see the details, I have to give you a link to my friend Rodney Pike's page. He has even more details, more art and believe me; it's amazing.

And if you can do nothing else... SHARE THAT BLOG. Not this one, the one in the link! Come on folks, show some compassion for a fellow artist and someone who's not just crying and whining in life. She's a trooper and she deserves this! My man, Rodney can give you any other information you need.

Thank you for your consideration!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Why we need Autism Education more than ever

Do you call it "awareness"? Maybe you prefer "acceptance"? Whatever term you prefer to use, you're going to be close to the same mark. You can't have one without the other and you can't have any of it without education. This is more important now than it's ever been and that's not a issue that will decrease with time. I'm writing this to provide a list of reasons that prove what I'm saying. I'm even going out on a limb to say they're irrefutable. Let's see what  you think:

Because it's on the rise:  Right now the national averages put autism at 1-88 children. In some places it's more like 1-60, others it's 1-100, but 1-88 is the average ratio. That is an increase in cases from just 5 years ago when the average was 1-100 with the variation being more 80's to around 110. It's hard to say just how the new DSM is going to affect those numbers, but I don't see them dropping. Asperger's as a term may have been dropped, but it's being called simply "autism". That actually could raise the numbers even higher as the forms are lumped together and measured by severity instead of name. Further proof comes from a simple truth that supports the increase in numbers. It's a force of Nature because:

It's hereditary: Children with autism are growing into adults with autism. Just like I did, they are having children with autism. It's the cycle of life and nothing is likely to stop it anytime soon (save a planetary disaster). While all factors of this are in controversy, the hereditary nature is agreed upon. Check out this Wikipedia article. If you hate Wikipedia, maybe the Mayo Clinic is enough to convince you? As both point out, autism has a "strong hereditary factor". So, as long as people grow up and have kids who grow up and have kids, this won't be stopping anytime soon.

Because it's controversial: Autism brings controversy in ways never seen by a medical condition in history. It's the most controversial medical condition ever. You see it in commercials, talks online, in groups, and at gatherings. The autism community is split into factions as much as religion or politics with people who defend their beliefs with equal tenacity. Just look at all the fights over Autism Speaks. There are thousands of supporters to Autism Speaks and just as many who hate them. Someone who reads this will hate me just because I mention their name. Speaking of that, the division of the community is so bad that groups will resort to borderline racial slurs of each other. So autism, not only has it's own scale of belief systems but; for some, it's almost its own ethnic race. All of this goes to the level of picket lines and huge demonstrative gatherings for each side. If there's one thing that shouts for education to save the day, it's this! Further controversy goes into the fact that there are still hundreds of people out there who don't believe autism is even real. That includes some doctors.

Because kids go to school: IEP's are going to become even more common than before. Some public school systems complain that they are overrun with IEP issues. It gets worse because most states seem to think that this is the time to cut funding to schools across the nation. Thanks to population growth and the fact that autism is on the rise as documented, they couldn't make a worse decision if it involved drilling holes in their heads. Kids with autism have vastly differing needs. That means more IEP's. That means more costs. They need more funding, not less. So there's another entire group of people who apparently need educating (and they're supposed to be educating our kids).

Because autistic kids become autistic adults: In recent years a genius leap was made where people realized that kids actually grow up sometimes. That created a whole new scale of needs, support requirements and need of education on its own. Strides are being made forward, but more is still needed. As the autism community grows you can bet the need will.

Because of the Media: Let's face it, the media hasn't always been an ally to autism. Sometimes they fudge it up and wind up creating an image for autism that's completely off mark. Some small efforts have been made to change those mistakes, but they are small. I'm talking about the mention, clear at the end of a segment about Adam Lanza that pointed out; "people with autism are no more prone to violent crime than anyone else".  Yep, one whole sentence. I'm glad they said it. Still, keep the media properly educated takes a constant and diligent effort. Not only is there the news to deal with, but an explosion in "autistic" characters in television and movies. That means we have to work even harder to make sure people understand that we aren't all like Dr. House or Sherlock Holmes. We aren't all like Will Graham (of Hannibal) or the boy from Touch. While they're interesting characters, they don't hold a candle to what all of our community is like.

Because of insane costs: Families with autism still face way too many out of pocket expenses. Some of this comes from difficulty getting the professionals to see how much help is needed. Some of it comes from insurance companies not covering all facets of treatment. Insurance companies need education like anyone else, and it appears they still  haven't got it all. Google "autism costs" and get ready for a reality check. With numbers growing, you can bet costs won't be going down.

Because of social ignorance: Where couldn't I go with this? How about the shocking unemployment rate among autistic adults? The reports of difficulty getting halfway considered for jobs are out of this world. It's ridiculous. Good people are falling through the cracks of equal opportunity. Other disabilities still take a hit, but it's harder to prove with "invisible" conditions. Well, employers are in for a wake up call in coming generations, aren't they? Then we can look at bullying and abuse that still happen because it's chaos growing up with autism. It's all over the internet and national news somewhere every day.

Because of apathy in emergency services: Not just apathy, pure lack of education. While there are programs touring to help police, fire and ambulance work with people who have autism; they're going to have to up the ante. Where you once had one autistic child in a household, you now have a whole family on the spectrum. As long as there are people being beaten, pepper-sprayed, and tazed for little more than having a "quirk", education will be a top concern. Obviously, someone didn't know enough and a tragedy happened. People are dying from this.

Finally, autism isn't the only community growing by leaps and bounds with hereditary issues. Bipolar is keeping a steady pace. Mental illness is on the rise in our country and around the world at alarming rates every year. Along with that is an equal increase in discrimination and stigma. It's not a fun life for people with these conditions. For those who say "just lock up all the crazy people", they best be careful. One day that might just be everyone.

Friday, March 29, 2013

How does this comment on autism grab you?

First of all, credit to for all commentary I am about to quote from them. I'm a big fan of Cracked, so this is not a hate blog. Cracked has a solid reputation for putting real facts in their comedic writing. They have a knack for showing us how absurd the world really is when it comes right down to it. So, when I saw they had an article on some of the truths about guns, I had to read it. With issues of gun control in media hysterics, it's a perfect fit to the times.

5 Mind Blowing Facts Nobody Told You About Guns

That's so you can read the whole article at your leisure. And you should.

There's another fit to the times that I'm not sure they fully noted when they wrote the section I'm going to share with you today. I was reading through the section on mass shootings when one sentence brought the entire flow of the article to a screeching halt in my head. I literally had to stop reading right there and re-read the sentence again. Then I read it again. And I read it again. Then I re-read the whole paragraph. Then I finished reading the section and re-read the last two paragraphs. I actually had a hard time reading the rest of the article because I was so flummoxed in how this sentence read.

NOTE: I don't think this is what Cracked actually thinks of people with autism. My reading constipation comes from how the sentence makes its impact. The way it comes across leaves you wondering what they mean by the comment. It stands alone and its direction is unclear. If you, like many in the autism community, have been outraged by the idea that autism made Adam Lanza go on a killing spree; you'll understand why it could be such a raw nerve. That's why I think some expansion should go into the article on that.

So before I go any further, this is what I would like from you, dear reader. I would like to know how the content reads to you.  Here it is in it's full paragraph form:

"Let's play criminal profiler for a minute. Describe the next school shooter. We know he's out there; the stats prove that. We know he's a he. But we know more than that, right? If you pay attention to the news, this shouldn't be very difficult: These guys are all nerdy or autistic loners who get bullied at school and play violent video games at night until they can't tell the difference and finally lash out. The Columbine shooters are the poster boys: goth outsiders who even made a Doom mod to simulate the shooting. These kids get picked on and can't defend themselves, and they see guns as the only way to get even."

Now, the context is hard to grab until you get clear to the next paragraph where they share facts about the Columbine shooters you probably never knew. But nothing more is said to say that none of them were autistic. That comment floats unresolved forever. However, they do state there is "no typical school shooter profile", but you know how we like clarity and resolution. Check the next paragraph:

"Except it turns out that the Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, weren't bullied and weren't "goth" loners. In fact, they boasted about bullying the "fags" in school themselves. They didn't target bullies or "jocks" who wronged them (the bombs were supposed to kill everyone, including their friends). It turns out that Eric Harris was simply a psychopath -- an intelligent, charming mass murderer like you've seen in a dozen bad serial killer movies. Dylan Klebold was just a depressed kid who went along with it -- so even the two people involved in the same shooting had totally different reasons for doing it."

So, while it specifies that these guys weren't bullied and thus resolves the idea of bullying as a cause, it doesn't do that for the mention of autism; one of the hottest nerves in the community today.

Let me repeat myself, that I don't feel it was their intention to slam autism in any way. I don't want people to plague the site with ugly comments (they get plenty of that and are quite used to it).  I want to know if I'm alone in how this hit me. How does it connect to you?  I do strongly recommend that you read the whole section to get a full feel for it before making any decision. In fact, I beg that you do so.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My autistic view of equality in marriage

Maybe that's all this is; my autistic view. Maybe it's just a rant. I've had my attempts at autism education viewed as rants before; not that it stopped me. Maybe there's a hundred ways to diminish what I'm about to say, to dismiss it, belittle it. Maybe this is a bad time for me to take a stand on what I see, but I've seen too much.

There's this red equal sign for marriage equality exploding across the internet right now. I've decided I finally have something to say about this. It's like this:

We need to stop putting our hatred into things like this and turn to actual and real problems.

I'm sure I just ticked off a lot of people by saying that, but you know what... it's true and I have the comparisons to prove it.

Are you worried about your children seeing gay couples who are married? How is that any different from just being a gay couple? It's really not. They were gay before they got married and will be afterward. If you are that worried about what your kids see out in the big bad world I have a novel idea for you: EDUCATE THEM. I know, Heaven forbid we actually talk to our kids.  Apparently it's a better idea to form picket lines at funerals of gay soldiers who died for your right to congregate on the matter in the first place.

Well, before you tell me the evils of being gay I want to know something. What do you think of prostitution, drugs, gangs, drunk driving, murder, national job loss, failing educational systems, and freaking starvation in our own streets?  Maybe I'm on another planet, but it seems to me (by raw statistics) that any of those does far more damage; destroys thousands more families, and (some) even kill thousands of kids every year. Just one of those examples causes way more destruction, financial damage, and heartache than all the gay couples of our nation put together.

Oh wait, maybe it's a religious issue. Well, besides the obvious issue of separation of church and state I'd like to ask you about The Ten Commandments. You know, the ten rules set by God that we are to follow at all costs? Again, I'll point you to my bolded question above to compare which issues are actually worse.

How about the Seven Deadly Sins? You know; LUST, GLUTTONY, GREED, SLOTH, ENVY, PRIDE, and WRATH?  Where in those is there anything remotely attributed to being gay? None. Zero. Zip. Oh sure you can tell me it's an unnatural thing and a "lust" of some form; but I'll trump that with prostitution that destroys families and involves gangs, drugs, guns and murder.

Better yet, if you want a real problem in the sanctity of marriage, why don't you try tackling the national DIVORCE RATE? You know, the one thing that breaks 50% of all marriages today. You know, where some of these same people stand in a church and swear an oath to each over before the Eyes of God?  You know, only to break those oaths within two years? If you really want to "preserve the sanctity of marriage" it seems to me that would be a better place to start.

So gay people want the right to get married. What does it say about us, that we will take up picket signs and congregate is mass groups in offense at this when there are 15 far deadlier snakes in our own back yards waiting to strike us? What do you think might happen if we put that much energy into just one of those other problems? I find it mind boggling.