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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Freaky Videos

As y'all have probably noticed, I've not been on-line much lately...well, at least not blogging. Finals week is over, but I'm drained.

Yet, I do have a question...in story form.

My son, Alex, loves Veggie Tales. It's a cute Christian video series that teaches moral lessons in a fun, cartoon style. However, it started out pretty strapped for cash, and has become a big success. As I said, Alex loves watching them...unless we switch between contemporary videos and the original ones that were released. Then, he freaks out. Total autistic meltdown style. It's something that's difficult to describe, but there's something about the difference between the old stuff and the new stuff that's setting him off. Whatever it is nobody else seems able to perceive it.

Does anyone have a clue to what it may be? If it helps, he reacted the same way to a U-Tube video that was "editted." Does anyone who reads this know enough about videos to have a clue what might be setting him off, if so, some explanation would be very much appreciated.

As for me...I've been watching "Ever After," "Everything You Want," and "Never Been Kissed" a lot...which tells you something about the world my mind has vanished to if you recognize any of those movies.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Same Old, Same Old in Iraq

Despite my general blasé with political discourse of late, I saw this and I couldn't resist:

Senate rejects Iraq redeployment motions

It was politics as usual on Capitol Hill. The Dems put forth two different motions that basically said, at least as presented here, "Get out of Iraq." The Reps said, "No." Not the least bit surprising in and of itself.

Personally, I don't like the way Iraq is being handled and I don't think "Stay the course" is a very good idea when the "course" in question is murky at best, however why is the only other option presented cut-and-run?

The only good justification I can see for leaving the Iraqis to handle this mess we created is if we were going to "redeploy" our troops to our own borders, effectively securing our country. That is not the intention of the Dems or the Reps. The Reps, apparently, want to stick it out no matter how badly the war is going, or seems to be going. The Dems want to cut and run, leaving the Iraqis to fend for themselves, thus abdicating their own responsibility for casting their votes in favor of this whole mess to begin with.

"Redeploying United States troops is necessary," said Kerry, D-Mass.

Most senators didn't agree, and the proposal fell on a 86-13

Let me take a moment to yawn. Kerry voted for the Iraq war, but one has to wonder why. It seems to me the only probable explanation is that Kerry voted in favor of the Iraq war so he could complain about it later, but then again, understanding that man's, um, thinking has never been something I could do very well.

Then there's this pleasant bit of quotage:

Despite the Democratic defections, Reid said his
rank-and-file were united. "Every Democrat agrees that the direction of the war
in Iraq must change, and change now," he said.
--emphasis added

So, now anyone who disagreed isn't a Democrat, despite being a Democrat..? What does that mean, really? It is quite possible that every Democrat agrees a new direction is needed. However, obviously every Democrat did not agree on what that "new direction" should be.

Here's another quote, one exemplifying why I object to this whole thing:

At a Pentagon briefing, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said he expected
reductions in U.S. forces this year but did not agree with congressional efforts
to put a timetable on the effort.

"I don't like it, I feel it would limit my flexibility" and give the enemy a schedule to focus on, said Gen. George Casey.
--emphasis added

Can we stand back for a moment and say, "Duh!" please? Despite the way both the Dems and the Reps are playing this, it's not a game, it's a war. And we'd be doing a whole lot better if those on Capitol Hill could remember that once in a while. Good strategy is not announcing what you're going to do and when you're going to do it.

In a fiercely partisan debate over two days, Senate Republicans opposed any
timeline and painted Democrats as reckless with national security.

Reckless with national security...hmmm... It's seems bizarre for them to bring that up, considering both sides want to keep our own borders wide-open so anyone who's willing to brave the desert can walk right in. And, you know, come to think of it, our enemies don't really seem to mind the desert all that much.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Allergic Reaction?!?

10:30 am: Willy tells me he itches. I take a look and see some mosquito bites on his arms and legs. A bit excessive, but it has been rainy and this is Wisconsin. Granted, I hadn't seen any mosquitoes yet, but... I kiss him on the forehead, and tell him to cover up and try not to scratch. Granted, not the greatest advice, but they're mosquito bites, right?
11:30 am: Alex's therapist tells me Willy is scratching. I take a look and the mosquito bites have gotten bigger. A lot bigger. Mosquito bites, for those who may be unaware, look like small, puffy bumps on the skin with a little prick in the center...and they itch. I hadn't checked for the little prick. But, now I do and do not see any little pricks. Just big puffy patches...that itch. After looking in our cupboards, I find we have no anti-itch supplies. So, I head off to the pharmacy, find that 90% of the available anti-itch products contain either zinc products or lydocaine...both of which Willy is allergic to. So, I choose three of the remaining products and try the first kind, which relieves some of Willy's itchiness.
12:30 pm: Willy's therapist comes over and tries to engage Willy in some play therapy. Willy isn't having any of it, so I try to help. Willy says he hates his therapist, which we all know he doesn't. After about a half an hour of dragging a pillow and blanket around, we decide Willy can rest. Luckily the therapist also works with Alex, who was scheduled next. By now Willy's rash is getting visibly larger within five-minute intervals and I'm definitely concerned.
1:10 pm: Willy wants to talk to Noni (grandma) so I call her. I talk to her as well; she says if it gets any worse to take him to the doctor. I'm thinking, "Duh." I talk to Willy about the doctor, whom he continues to fear due to the whole ear-wrestling thing. He cries; I wait.
1:20 pm: Willy screams! "I burn!" He says it over and over again. Now the rash is spreading visibly...no time delay. I pick him as he is and head for the door.
1:30 pm: We make it to the emergency room where Willy tells the nurse, whom he names Nurse Nellie, that he wants his shot now. We wait about twenty minutes before we see a doctor, which is a family record for speedy emergency room visits.
2:15 pm: Willy gets him shot. Within minutes he's feeling better. What does the doctor tell us? "It's an allergic reaction?" "Yes, but to what?" "Well, it's hard to say. But it's allergic reaction, not poison ivy or anything like that."

Willy is now doing fine. Along with the shot we got a bottle of Bendadryl type stuff, and it cleared up more and more with each dose. So, he's better. But, it begs some questions:

How is poison ivy not an allergic reaction? What is the good of knowing it was an allergic reaction if you have no idea what it was a reaction to? Wouldn't you think knowing what it was an allergic reaction to would be important considering the severity of the reaction? It took three hours for it to go from small bumps to an all-over-the body screaming painful nastiness. I want to know what it was!!! Does that seem so unreasonable?

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Remembering My Bathrobe

One of the most bizarre aspects of having children with diagnoses of Autism that I rarely discussion is the invasion factor. Generally I'm on good terms with our children's therapists, because if I'm not... Well, they don't stick around long. But that's rarely an issue.

However, now that my sleep schedule is practically non-existent, meaning I am asleep or awake with absolutely no predictable time-table, sometimes a therapy session or two is in full-swing when I get up in the "morning." This has been an interesting issue, especially since we now have a male therapist.

My husband wears full-length, rather conservative pajamas. While it's not recommended that he go around the house in his p.j.s all day, it's not a big deal either. Even if there are anywhere from one to three young women in our house that are not family members throughout the day. He's covered, so it's fine.

However, in the summer time I am a little less clad. I'm not talking about anything slinky or anything, it's not like I wear lingerie to bed, because frankly I wouldn't get much sleep if I did. It's just when I'm first waking up in the morning, wearing white capri pajama bottoms and a decent, if rather thin cami for the pajama tops, I don't want to walk into my living room, barely awake, and look my son's male therapist in the eye. It's just not kosher!

In the winter time, or even the fall, it's not an issue because I just wear a sweatshirt and flannel bottoms. I've taken my kids to school in that stuff. But now... There's definitely a price involved that I hadn't fully considered when I decided to go with the dainty, feminine lacy stuff. So, next time I went to the store I gave a reluctant nod to the whole my-house-is-not-my-own thing and bought the matching bathrobe, which is still white, lacy and feminine, but it's got long-sleeves and is much more, um, modest. Now all I have to do is remember to put it on before I go downstairs.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Reconciling Fiscal Conservatism...

...and a Bleeding Heart!

I've wanted to do this post for a long time, though it is not of any immediate relevance. And, perhaps, that's the trouble. Something always came up. Anyway, here it is:

Fiscal conservatism, in layman's terms, is basically taking away the government's credit cards. Without it, the government cranks up the national debt and then we are forced to pay for it. Bush, of course, has taken it one step further by cranking up the national debt, and letting our children or their children worry about paying it off...somehow...someday. With fiscal conservatism, that's a no-no. You tax light and you spend light.

Oh! But what about the people?

And that's where the Constitution comes in:
"WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION for the United States of America."

You see, our federal budget is all right there, believe it or not. We only have to work out the minutiae.

  1. establish Justice
  2. insure domestic Tranquility
  3. provide for the common defence
  4. promote the general Welfare
  5. secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

And there you have it.

1) The federal government should fund that which is necessary to maintain justice, i.e. the federal court and law enforcement system.

2) The federal government should fund that which is necessary to insure domestic tranquility (use the find tool to search for "tranquility," interesting stuff if you don't know what this phrase originally references), but I would personally consider this to cover things like federal roads (because not funding the interstates would make for some very un-tranquil people), corporate controls (which might fall under justice anyway), and maintaining federal buildings, federal memorials and federal parks -- which are not only a part of our national heritage and therefore could also fall under securing the blessings of liberty, but also not funding these would make for some very un-tranquil people so here it is -- not to mention, securing our borders, which is definitely something that fits squarely with the description in the link above.

3) The federal government should fund that which is necessary to provide for the common defense, i.e. the military and their weapons.

4) The federal government should fund that which is necessary to promote the general welfare, i.e. those people who cannot provide for themselves should be provided for.

5) And, finally, the federal government should fund that which is necessary to secure the blessings of liberty, and liberty cannot be maintained by an ignorant citizenry, thus education must be funded.

Now, how hard is that?!? While I'm sure our "representatives" could find a way to make covering only these priorities break the budget, they should NOT be allowed to say they cannot fund all of these things because they already broke it.

They raise our debt to pay for sports stadiums, yet they cannot fund education. They raise our debt to pay for fancy weapons that are NOT currently useful to our military, yet our soldiers who are currently at war with our enemies are under-supplied. They raise our debt by pouring money into the multitude of research projects that hold their interest (at least long enough to sign the budget), but they cannot provide basic healthcare to those who cannot access it. In short, our government is NOT living up to their Constitutionally required expeditures, yet they're still spending our money faster than we can make it!

Does anybody who frequents this blog doubt that these guys just gotta go!?!

The government could, if it wished, afford all the things this country actually requires from our federal government. But, instead, they rack up debt we can't pay for things we don't need that they shouldn't be focused on anyway.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind social programs -- by which I'm referencing the money the federal government pours into things like museums, art endowments and the like -- it's just that I think society should pay for such things the way society used to pay for such things, i.e. a bunch of people get together, promote their cause and raise the necessary money from other people, not from the federal government. Unless it's a federally-owned, federally-operated, American history museum, then it's not something the federal government should be involved in. If it's not art that is going to be used in a federal memorial or at a federal park as a monument, then the federal government should have nothing to do with it. It's that simple.

All the those things which truly lie within the proper grasp of the federal government could be funded affordably, if they tried (yes, I do realize that would require critical thinking, which they're not so good at, which is why they need to go!). Our taxes could be decreased and we, the American people, could actually get more for our money! What could be better than that!?!

Ah, but then the politicians couldn't pay back all those "supporters" who funded their way into office. And that's what this comes down to. Special interests, those who divert our federal funds from their proper purpose, make for some pretty big money...and big money donors to boot.

I guess, my point is two-fold (the second time I'm using that today, what's up with that!):

1) I'm a fiscal conservative, yet I'm also a -- dare I say it! -- bleeding hearted liberal when it comes to people and the social programs that directly benefits them. These are NOT mutually exclusive, no matter how many Dems and Reps want to tell you otherwise. Basically, we, the American people, can afford our cake, and the poor amongst us can eat it too.

2) Our current batch of "representatives" suck when it comes to fiscal conservatism. They suck when it comes to federally funding that which is, imo, required by the Constitution. And they especially suck when it comes to understanding what the poor actually needs to help them, and funding the welfare that will actually provide that help. And, frankly, I'm sick of it.

I'm sick of the Dems taxing us raw, raising our debt, and buying votes with hand-outs. I'm sick of the Reps taxing us raw, raising our debt, and buying votes with hand-outs. That's not fiscal conservatism and it's NOT a democratic republic.

No, you did NOT read that wrong. The only difference between the Dems and the Reps is who they tax worse and who they buy votes from. That's it. They both have got to go!

I don't know about you, but, as a one of those pesky "Posterity" people, I'm telling you I want my government BACK!!!

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Monday, June 05, 2006

My Week From Hell

Yes, I know it could have been worse, but the past week still merits a little profanity. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. I took Mark to the emergency room.
  2. My largest project yet, for computer applications, was due Wednesday.
  3. Alex officially became a segregated student.
  4. Mark and I took Alex and Ben to the zoo the very next day.
  5. I had my final project due on Saturday, for my 4-week class.

It wasn't all bad. Over at GTL, I met a new blogger, James of Killer Is Me, and we had an intriguing debate about Individualism. We're pretty much polar opposites when it comes to that, but that's all part of the fun of it!

After you check James out, be sure to stop by my VOID post and take a little test. It's short, I promise!

As for me, I just bought Zuma, a game I've been playing on-line for quite a while. It's fun, if rather mindless. The game you buy is much cooler than the on-line game, but you can try it for an hour for free!

So, now I'm going to have some mindless fun before I have to do anything too strenuous, like save the world!

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Guard the Border Blogburst

Foreword by Heidi at Euphoric Reality

From Spanish-speaking illegal workers, to angry tenured professors and arrogant politicians, we are hearing more and more tenets and demands from a movement called Reconquista. The movement, once dismissed as extreme racist rhetoric, has rapidly gained traction and momentum among millions of ill-educated illegal aliens and well-established Mexicans alike. Reconquista gives voice to the angry demands of present-day Mexicans who mistakenly think they have indigenous rights to the land of the Southwestern United States - which they claim was "stolen" by an imperialist American government. The centerpiece of their agenda is the mythical Aztlan.

In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its proud historical heritage but also of the brutal "gringo" invasion of our territories, we, the Chicano inhabitants and civilizers of the northern land of Aztlan from whence came our forefathers, reclaiming the land of their birth and consecrating the determination of our people of the sun, declare that the call of our blood is our power, our responsibility, and our inevitable destiny.

"From whence came our forefathers...?" Nothing could be further from the truth - not that the facts matter much in their efforts to further "La Raza" - or The Race. Using racially-charged arguments to batter at the traditional guilt mentality of Americans, proponents of Aztlan aim to "reconquer" the Southwestern United States as their due. Apparently, they fail to understand that the tribes of present-day Mexico never inhabited the Southwest U.S., nor for the most part did Mexicans themselves - it was mostly open land [frontier] except for northern Native Americans (as you will see below).

A manifest destiny has been embraced by many within mainstreamed advocacy groups in America such as La Raza, LULAC, and most commonly MECHa, the radical student organization which has specifically embraced the tenets of Atzlan. "Por La Raza todo, Fuera de La Raza nada," is translated as "For the Race, everything, for those outside of the Race, nothing." Though that singular statement seems to sum up the demands of today's angry illegal Mexican aliens, there is much more to their Plan to restore Aztlan:

Aztlan belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans. We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent

Love for our brothers makes us a people whose time has come and who struggles against the foreigner "gabacho" who exploits our riches and destroys our culture ... Economic control of our lives and our communities can only come about by driving the exploiter out of our communities, our pueblos, and our lands and by controlling and developing our own talents, sweat, and resources.

Education must be relative to our people, i.e., history, culture, bilingual education, contributions, etc.

Self-defense of the community must rely on the combined strength of the people ... For the very young there will no longer be acts of juvenile delinquency, but revolutionary acts.

A nation autonomous and free - culturally, socially, economically, and politically- will make its own decisions on the usage of our lands, the taxation of our goods, the utilization of our bodies for war, the determination of justice (reward and punishment), and the profit of our sweat.

So there is a Plan for Reconquista. But do these emotional and racial claims have any historical basis?

Clearing Up A Misconception About Reconquista
by Loma Alta


Spain conquered what was to become modern Mexico and part of the southwestern United States in 1521. Spanish rule lasted 300 years until 1821 when Mexico gained independence. Mexico ruled what is now part of the southwestern United States for a very, very short time. Mexico ruled Texas from 1821 until 1836, some 16 years. Mexico ruled California from 1821 until 1846, 26 years. Mexico ruled most of New Mexico from 1821 until 1848, 28 years, and the southern most portions of Arizona and New Mexico until purchased by the United States in 1853, 33 years. The United States began ownership of these territories in 1845 (Texas), 1846 (California), and 1848-1853 (New Mexico and Arizona). Thus the United States has owned this land since 1845-1853, 153-162 years.

The ownership has thus been: Spanish 1521-1821 or 300 years; Mexican 1821-36 to 1853 or 16 to 33 years; and American 1845-1853 or 154 to 162 years. Almost all development and modernization came under United States ownership. Please see Spain, Mexico, Texas, California, and New Mexico-Arizona for more details.

Comparison of Ownership Time and Development.

Spain owned the area for 300 years and operated it as a colony. The central area, and most developed part was around Mexico City with much of the current southwestern United States being the frontier, relatively undeveloped, and subject to Indian raids and predations. The situation was much the same in the very, very short period, 16-33 years, of Mexican ownership. With the United States ownership, 154 to 162 years, beginning as territories, exploration and development proceeded rapidly and modern civilization came with, or shortly after, statehood.

The Absurdity of Reconquista.

Whether by time of ownership or degree of development and civilization, Mexico had virtually no temporal or civil weight of authority in the southwestern United States. Mexico never really established military or civil control over the area and it was never really a normal part of Mexico, but was always the frontier with vast expanses of nearly unexplored and lightly inhabited regions far from Mexican rule and authority. So tenuous, unpopular, and corrupt was Mexico’s presence and claim to the areas, and the Mexican government so hated by American and Mexican pioneers alike, that they only lasted from 16 to 33 years.

Thus, Reconquista is another myth, promulgated for racist reasons (it is the spawn of Mexican supremacist groups such as La Raza - literally “the Race”) much as the Germans’ “Lebensraum”, or living space, was for the master race. And, Reconquista is equally racist and equally the deranged product of irrational hate groups.

Therefore, we can dismiss the concept of “Reconquista” as a racist, hate group concept that has no place in America, or in any other just and tolerant society or country. There is no need to give any credence whatsoever to the false and meritless claims of any moral attachment to territory by radical, racist groups. They are as phony as last year's bird's nest.


This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It is syndicated by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we’re going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration in our country, join the Blogburst! Send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

And I Cry

I'm not usually a big crier. Not that I have a problem with crying. I just don't do it much. Certainly not in public. It's the whole "composure" thing.

So, we'll rewind a bit:

Today I participated in the IEP for my son, Alex (middle child). IEP, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, means Individual Education Plan. It's a requisite of IDEA, a piece of legislation that was recently renewed that helps to give children with special needs access to appropriate free education (another buzz phrase in the world of special needs).

Anyway, so these meetings consist of a team of people who are involved in my sons' educations. Each child has their own team and their own meetings, though there's a lot of cross-over. *sigh* Or, there was.

At this meeting we were supposed to determine two things. 1) What my son needed to succeed within his education. 2) Where that successful education would take place.

Now, I'm not saying this because I'm mad at the other people on the IEP team. Many of them have been there for my family since this whole "special needs" thing got started. However, I'm truly very disappointed...just without the blame thing.

Okay. This is what happened:

We determined that Alex would need extensive support to get an education. Um, duh. He's almost completely non-verbal, i.e. he doesn't talk and doesn't use language to communicate very often or very well. He's seems cognitively delayed, but we can't tell if that's because it's not there or because we cannot access it. The "it" being his knowledge.

*sigh* So, we acknowledged that he'd need a lot of help and academic modifications. Then, we had to decide where?

My husband and I wanted Roosevelt. That's where our other two sons currently attend school. That's where Alex currently attends school. That's where he'd be integrated with his peers in school.

That's not what we got. Roosevelt doesn't have the resources, the personnel, or the ability to adjust that it would need to accommodate Alex's needs after he passes out of the Early Childhood program which he currently attends. As much as they would love to have Alex at Roosevelt, they can't.

Instead, Alex is going to Kennedy. It's a good school. For what it is. But... It's a segregated school. Alex will visit the regular Kindergarten class, but that will not be his primary classroom. He will be segregated in a special education classroom. And, right now, there's just nothing I can do about it, except deny him any peer interactions by homeschooling him, which would be even worse.

When they made it perfectly clear that there was no way they could accommodate Alex's educational needs at Roosevelt, I bowed my head and I cried. Right there. And, honestly, right now.

It is so hard knowing what could be, what should be and being totally unable to do anything to make it what is for you're own child. How many times does America need to learn that segregation is wrong? What will it take to make our government and our people realize that "separate but appropriate" is the same b.s. that "separate but equal" was?

Children with special needs can be accommodated within a regular education classroom. All the children benefit from the experience, including the reduced child to staff ratio that makes it work. It's possible. And, it's right. And, I can't tell you what I hate more: That I'm so naive as to think that knowing it is possible, right and beneficial would be enough to make it happen; or that the reality is that it is not enough to make it happen. But I can tell you what I hate the most: I have betrayed my son by not preventing it from happening to him and it breaks my heart that there are thousands of children all across America being treated as second-class citizens because they are different. It's still happening. And I hate it. And I cry.