Saturday, October 17, 2015

Being Bullied Is NOT Perky

My anger at discovering a recent article written by one @KarenSisto [if you are on Twitter r, tm, no copyright infringement intended] or Karen Kabati-Sisto if you aren't

published by Autism Daily News also known as autism daily newcast dot com go look it up in your search engine yourself if you want to I am not linking to this piece of trash article

which was recently moved from some page or other to the "opinion" page

does not quite cut it for adults who identify as being autistic, aspies, on somewhere on the medically induced spectrum of autistic disordered and puzzle pieces of a certain other organization that does not speak for us, period

has prompted me to write this response.

As a very young child, I was diagnosed. My dad rejected the recommendations of the examiner. Instead of the usual route, I got the things that I needed and an excellent academic education beside.

Social situations were always difficult for me and still are.

That my dad worked hard in order to afford the much smaller classes in private schools saved me from the much worst bullying that I would have received had I been thrown into public schools and what passed for "special education" in my times.

Dad also worked hard with me. I owe much of who I am today to my father.

This rant is dedicated to him. Dad died in December 2014. I will miss him forever.

Being Bullied Is NOT Perky

The autistic teen in Ohio who was tricked into having a bucket of body fluids thrown on him-- --would beg to differ with you, Ms. Kabati-Sisto.

So would the teen in Wales left paralyzed after being forced to jump off of a bridge--

Ask the twelve year old from Missouri who was beaten in the school cafeteria and suffered a fractured skull among other injuries. His mother had send a letter to the principal a month earlier stating that she thought her son was in danger. The student who "allegedly" beat her son weighed two hundred pounds and had other suspensions on his record. Nuff said?

Yahoo has images of "kids severely injured by bullying" to show you mixed in with stuff that clearly isn't. Look at their faces and tell me again about the perks.

There are zero perks associated with bullying of autistic kids, period.

It is easier to quantify physical damage than emotional scars. We can give kids antibiotics and bandages and fancy wheelchairs and casts and put them in traction and make operations but we cannot heal a society that persists in justifying monstrous acts done to us by "the good that can come out of raising awareness" at the expense of our pain. 

There is no good bullying. There is only bullying. If your school system isn't working on inclusion and community building for everyone every day all day, then a feel-good article characterized in the comments as click-bait isn't going to fix anything. 

Going into survival mode for twelve years plus of school time is the opposite of true self-esteem building. Acting out of desperation is what we've learned to do at school for years. It's more of the same old same old. This article suggests nothing new, adds no new knowledge, contributes nothing constructive to a conversation that needs to happen in a meaningful inclusive way. Inclusion means having us sit down at the table as equals. That won't happen for as long as applied behavioral analysis and its damming history exists. The fish stinks from the head back.

radical sapphoq says: If something is not acceptable to say or do to a child or adult without a label, then it is not acceptable to say or do to us. Get out of our headspaces. You don' know how to interpret what you are looking at anyway. Quit spreading the big lie that autistic people "lack theory of mind." It is articles like "10 Perks Kids with Autism Get from Bullying" that demonstrate exactly who lacks what. And it ain't us.

Friday, March 27, 2015

This Was Supposed to Be All About Phil Robertson But

     Something happened as I was attempting to write an open letter to Phil Robertson. I am a Duck Dynasty fan and I am an atheist. Those of you who find that to be contradictory-- tell someone who cares. Not all of us non-believers are liberal or progressive or democrats or some combination of the three. I digress.

     The thing is, I was reading through the ton of media and blog coverage on Phil Robertson's remarks to the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast that took place on Friday morning, March 20th in Vero Beach, Florida. Yeah, I listened to the recordings and watched the videos too.

     Phil Robertson is entitled to freedom of expression, just like every civilian in the United States is. Within that protection, he is allowed to be rude and crude and shocking and controversial. Talking about castration during a breakfast might have made me lose a bit of my appetite had I been there. But I wasn't there. Didn't know about it. Could not have afforded to go if I had been invited. Wasn't invited. Might have preferred to hang on the beach or at a bookstore instead had I been in Florida that morning.

     The rest of us civilians are entitled to freedom of expression too. Some folks have supported Phil. Others have not. And some people have pretty much exercised their freedom to not give a damn. Because as my good buddy Jeremy Crow points out, freedom of speech is not equivalent to freedom to be heard. We cannot fight all the battles there are or attend all the celebratory parties either.

     At first, I thought I hope Phil isn't suffering from some sort of neurological condition or disorder that would make inhibiting his dis-inhibitions tougher. [Between the changes after my brain injury and watching dad getting swallowed up by Lewy Body Dementia, there remains no mystery as to why I would think that almost immediately]. Then I thought, Geez, Phil Robertson doesn't think that we atheists have morals or values. Finally I said to myself, "I don't really know what he thinks. He is a dude on the teevee on a show that I love."

     Where his comments outrageous? Sure. Shocking? Yup. Do I approve of his parable about the atheist family? Nope. Does that mean he ought not to have said that stuff? Nope. Could he have expressed his point better? That's an opinion question. Will I continue to watch Duck Dynasty? Yep.

     Detractors talked about Phil Robertson having some kind of sick fantasy life. Defenders talked about moral relativism. I wasn't sure about this moral relativism stuff so I had to look it up. Some percentage of Christians are opposed to moral relativism. So Phil Robertson is a Christian who is opposed to moral relativism. Okay. Fine. I get that. Cool. And then I discovered that I fit-- somewhere-- into that scale of morally relativistic, although I am not sure of exactly where. Because there are things that I recognize as being wrong. I wanted to be some kind of Ayn Rand when I grew up, or at least a Nathaniel Branden. Instead I discovered that I am a sort of libertarian anarchist with decided ideas about less government being more fun. Which perhaps borrows something from each of them but with a slightly different spin.

     Christians who believe in absolute morality e.g. "God said it's wrong so it is" have a hard time understanding that atheists too possess morality. Rejection of a personal belief in any gods does not mean an automatic rejection of any sort of moral standards. Wherever morality and conscience come from, believers say the deity of their choice delivered the laws to live by and gave us individual consciences. Non-believers may cite Hammurabi's Code and then go on to talk about the evolutionary process and perhaps cultures and stuff like that.

     Then I ran into this article about The Islamic State training kids in the fine art of beheading people.  Uh. That there is wrong. The Islamic State or ISIS or those other initials that I can never remember indicate people following a version of Islam which is also caught up in the usurption of power and lives from a bunch of other nations and people.

     From there, my brain and my fingers jumped to some articles on the National Prayer Breakfast held on Feburary 5, 2015 in Washington D.C. at the Hilton. Not your average local diner or small restaurant. The guest list included the Dalai Lama dude in spite of protests by China over interference of other nations in the affairs of Tibet.

     Whether or not the current president is a "secret Muslim," he is doing a piss-poor job of convincing people otherwise. And then I made a judgement call. What President Obama said at the National Prayer Breakfast was far, far worse than what Phil Robertson said at the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast. Obummer's appeal to the religious to remember that no one's god wants them to go whupping ass at random did not have any good effect on me. His stunning revelation that Christians did the Crusade thing back in the Middle Ages left me coldly shrieking in rage. Yo, the Crusades were a response to the Muslims of that time doing invasions. And many more people have been slaughtered by the uh extremist jihadists who we aren't supposed to believe are true Muslims than by the Crusaders. Besides that, the Crusades ain't happening now. 

     We are living in a world where people get beheaded and stuff gets blown up. A world where some little kids strap on suicide vests and other little kids learn how to behead their perceived enemies. A world where Islam itself has not yet proven that it can take a seat at the prayer breakfast table. 

     There's gangs of young people roaming around London imposing Sharia law at will. And other places too are getting thrust into this sort of stuff. What gives them the right? Every time we try to play nice with the ruffians who are endeavoring to take over the sandbox, we give them that right. Our president-- America first and all of that, home of the brave and the free-- gives them that right when he preaches his gospel of denial.

     Mr. President, your denial is threatening our way of life. The Islamic State or ISIS or whatever you wish to call it is composed of people following some version of Islam. They are Muslims. Not all Muslims want to implement or live under sharia law. But and however, the ones making the most noise right now are. Your failure to address this current event-- the attempted takeover by those favoring Sharia law-- sucks. 

     Furthermore, I am still not over the notion that you visited Saudi Arabia recently in order to pay homage to both a dead king and a live king. Saudi Arabia, country of public beheadings. Don't you dare tell me that the folks in charge over there are not Muslims.

     And by the way Mr. President, some of us still fervently believe that human lives are far more important than big oil. Some of us acknowledge that we as a nation need to become independent of and and all oil that originates in other nations apart from this one, and that we need to develop technology for transportation that does not involve consumption of oil-- in that order, period. We need to make some tough decisions as a nation. If you are incapable of doing that, then you deserve to be voted out next time or not to run at all.

     You've encouraged (and that is putting it mildly) the N.S.A. and those other agencies to collect metadata on everyone everywhere to the point where sifting the threats and the possible threats from the non-threats is a daunting task (to put it mildly). Our fundamental right to some privacy has been eroded. You have cut the military defense budget. That is the height of stupidity given what is happening all over with the proponents of Sharia law. Then you tell the U.N. that ISIS is not Muslim and you tell a prayer breakfast stuff about distorted faith. 

     Maybe Phil Robertson can pound some sense into your head, Mr. President. At least he is clear about exactly what the Islamic State is composed of and exactly what their aim is. And he has a plan for ISIS too. Phil Robertson is not living in a fairy tale world Mr. President. You are.


This is wrong:

Sharia Law:

Obama and the Christian vs. ISIS thing: [National Prayer Breakfast 2/5/2015]

Phil Robertson at Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast 3/20/2015
mostly supportive reactions, or attempts to be neutral:
   ~ part of Phil Robertson talk as broadcasted on trunews radio ~
   ~ Phil Robertson's acceptance speech at C.PAC

Moral Relativism:

morals: where do they come from?

mostly against Phil Robertson's morality illustration:


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pay Attention: Medicare vs. ObamaCare and "Free Home Visits"

I took the photograph, tubed it, modified the background, and added the phrase. You can save it to somewhere on your computer and you can also re-upload it to any social media site. Link-back to this blog is not required.
If you are a copyright troll, I have no use for you so go away.

Obama is planning to take some Medicare funds slated to pay for Medicare medical insurance things and transfer that over to help pay for ObamaCare type stuff. I recently got a form letter from my medical insurance company [the insurance company from where I get my Medicare replacement insurance] telling me that they have "partnered with" a firm which is offering me the wonderful and thrilling privilege of having a nurse practitioner visit me in my home "for free." This nurse practitioner from the firm is able to take my blood and my pee sample, perform a "non-invasive" medical exam, and I can talk to him or her about any  medical concerns that I am hesitant to tell my physician about.

I researched the firm offering me this service. The firm is called Matrix Medical. What I found was that several of the larger medical insurance companies are targeting their Medicare old people, Medicare disabled people, and their Medicare old disabled people for visits by Matrix Medical [and comparable other firms].

During this "free" visit [I found the form also], the nurse practitioner will be asking stuff like:
     You got a health care proxy?
     You got a living will?
     Have you ever drank too much?
     Have you ever taken drugs not prescribed for you? Which ones?
     When was your last _______________ ? [medical tests and exams]

and he or she will "inspect your home" for anything that indicates a risk for falling. And so on.

But see, the thing is, Matrix Medical is not offering this service out of the goodness of its corporate heart. Oh no. This is being offered to "us" to pick up more codes on what is wrong with us a.k.a. our medical conditions because each diagnostic code is worth money. Money that would otherwise be transferred to help pay for ObamaCare. Money which the Medicare replacement insurance company could get once the nurse practitioner calls our primary care docs in order to have them include these extra codes on our patient charts. It is basically a scheme to keep any "extra?" monies within the Medicare replacement insurance company system rather than have it be line item transferred to the ObamaCare system. Head spinning yet?

Of course there is also the collection of health data, and the tracking of old/disabled/old and disabled people into disease management and/or case management.

We had one hang-up call. The number when reverse traced belongs to Matrix Medical. Apparently when I didn't answer the robot thingy that was calling me fast enough, the connection terminated. Reports on the scam phone call sites indicate that this number allegedly called some people more than once. Then someone wrote that Matrix Medical is legit. But the old people are getting called repeatedly and harassed to allow the home visit. Once an old/disabled/old and disabled person says no to the home visit, they may be offered an appointment at some facility instead or pressured to sign a form that does not have any filled in information on it and send it back to Matrix Medical.

The comments on the "what is it like to work for ___________ ?" sites indicate some employees are happy at Matrix Medical while others acknowledge that the telemarketing job in particular leads to nowhere and that the nurse practitioners are overworked unless they are among the management favorites. One or two of the telemarketers feel badly that they were hired to pressure the old people into accepting these appointments.

A few news articles and investigative journalism pieces indicate that the firms offering this home visit "service" fought when Congress wanted to ban this crap and so it is currently still allowed.

Another article admitted that people in ObamaCare may be subjected to this same sort of code-inflating hunt thing but not for two years. Because ObamaCare wants to be evaluated without inflating the codes first. Great, huh?

Meanwhile, the medical insurance companies have targeted the old/disabled/old and disabled folks on Medicare replacement medical insurance part of their businesses for now and several of the larger medical insurance companies  have "partnered with" these firms.

radical sapphoq says: No, these people will not be allowed into my home, to make an appointment with me, or to pressure me into signing any sort of paper for them. I've included links so you'll can look up this stuff too if you want to. If you do nothing else, you should read some of the articles about this over at The Center for Public Integrity website listed at the end of this post.

References  Matrix Medical calls.  Matrix Medical calls.  Matrix Medical calls.  Matrix Medical calls.

       *Medicare Rights site* Matrix Medical form to be filled out by nurse practitioner. employees assessments of working conditions at Matrix Medical. employees assessments of working conditions at Matrix Medical. 2nd blurb down; another company to acquire Matrix Medical. Trademark search for Matrix Medical Network.  Why lax coding is bad. Matrix Medical C.E.O. speaks. dated Feb. 2013 announcement of one partnership with Humana. Humana's spin on Matrix Medical, for their medical consumers.  Humana derives 70% of its business from Medicare.

     *list of articles re: Medicare Advantage Money Grab from The Center for Public Integrity*

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Hunting for News

     Almost everyone has at least one opinion and I suspect that bloggers may have more opinions than most people. Whether that is true or not, I often hunt up some newsy type stuff to write about, particularly for radical sapphoq and sometimes for healing t.b.i.

     I thought it'd be cool to list some places I go when seeking out stuff to write about. I like to read news from a variety of sources that often do not agree with each other ideologically. The links below reflect that. Just because I've included a link on this list, it does not mean that I could possibly agree with everything written there. Nor does exclusion mean that I have vile feelings toward any one site. 

Disclaimer: This post is not part of a link farm. None of the sites that I have listed have ever heard of me and don't link to my blogs, yanno? So get a grip.

     As of just before publishing this post, all of the u.r.l.s save one were working. The one that wasn't appeared to be down temporarily.

radical sapphoq says: Do you have any favorite news sites that aren't included here?

Some of my favorite places to hunt for news and stuff in no particular order:

     FOIA requests and other things that a government might wish to keep secret.

     Ask a question or search for documents.

     A list of online resources for writers (and bloggers too!).

     Get edumacated for free!

     A list that is careful to include both conservative and liberal think tanks.

     Conservative news first recommended to me by Jeremy Crow. I love this one.

     Variety of news items. Be sure also to check out their links section.

Techie and Hacker news-stuff and a few resources:

Other news sites:

A few lists of news sources:


Monday, February 16, 2015

Why I Am Not a Fan of Obama Part One

I have not been happy with Barack Obama's performance in office for quite some time now. Two of his egregious offences concern the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and his recent visit to Saudi Arabia. In this post, I will deal with the T.P.P.

In truth, the T.P.P. has been in the pipeline for some time now. Its progenitor was known as Pacific Three Closer Economic Partnership according to Wikipedia and first reared its head as near as I can figure in 2002. []. Obama seems to be involved in the summits which have occurred since 2010 in some way that I cannot figure.

The thing is, the T.P.P. is comprehensive and lacks transparency unless you happen to be a Big Corporation. The rest of us, the public, have pretty much been left in the dark. This monster has proceeded and gained momentum without any input from those of us who are the public. Fortunately, Wikileaks has obtained a leaked document [] which was released in November 2013. Regardless of what you think about Julian Assange, if you care at all about intellectual property laws, the criminalization of D.R.M.-ripping devices in order to make copies for one's own use, the monitoring of your activities on-line by your I.S.P. and more, then go here [] right now and download your own copy of the thing. Then read it. At least read the parts pertaining to copyrights.

Copyrights are not the only thing at stake in the T.P.P. Concerns have also been expressed about benefits to Big Pharma at the detriment of specifically New Zealand. Doctors Without Borders [] and The Lancet [] have raised concerns about what the T.P.P. will do to drug prices.

Also at stake are product safety rules [] for agricultural products coming into the United States. They will not be as stringent as the current safety protections that we have are. There is concern about jobs [], and a lessening of "environmental and health safeguards" [].

After the T.P.P., watch out for the T.T.I.P. [] Trans-Atlantic Trade Investment Partnership which will be more of the same geared at Europe.

radical sapphoq says: The T.P.P. is due to be fast-tracked in D.C. sooner rather than later. There will be zero amendments or alterations allowed. Quite frankly, I intend to vote out of office any rep in my geographical region that votes yes on this monstrocity.

References [in no particular order]:

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Bullets in a box. Yes you may save the pic to somewhere in your computer, caption it if you want to, and upload it to social media. Link back to this blog is not necessary. As usual, copyright monopolist trolls are unwelcome here. I took the photo myself and I can prove that. So go away.

     Measles Outbreak: I noted with interest the measles outbreak, particularly in California. I suppose that the reason is actually "reasons" and therefore multi-factorial. Having said that, I have to admit that my first inclination was to blame the "Vaccines cause autism" crowd in general and Jenny McCarthy in particular. [To be fair, hers is the only name that I associate with this issue]. I was also horrified to discover that one of the Wahlberg brothers married her and that they now have their own show. I remember hearing or reading somewhere long ago something like "Love is blind and marriage is an institution for the blind." On the other hand, politics and mystical false medical beliefs aside, I know nothing about Ms. McCarthy the human being so I will stop myself here. Except to note that I am no fan of the organization that I associate with her-- something about autism squeaking-- and that's all about that.

     I am Charlie Hebdo: I'm not Charlie Hebdo. My take on this as an American is absolute horror that twelve people lost their lives over cartoons in a magazine that regularly publishes satirical cartoons. Seriously, if you don't care for the material that a magazine publishes then quit reading that magazine. To persist is a form of mental masturbation.

     Disability Services: It's a continuing saga which appears to be full of disconnects and non-connects, at least for me. Hey, if you aren't going to help me, then don't hinder me. Get out of my way.

     "Free" Community College: It's a nice thought. I want to know more about how Obummer is planning to have this one paid for. Dad used to tell me that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The other problem is the sense of entitlement that this sort of thing will foster in a society that is already full of people thinking that they are owed that free lunch.

     Guns: I like guns. I think hunting is cool so long as the hunters et. al. actually eat the animals they shoot. It's people that need control, not guns. And not all people either. Just a few people. 

     The Government: Less government, more fun. The government should stay out of healthcare, out of the marriage business altogether, out of spying on the citizens. And now Obummer [once again] is calling for "hackers" to be prosecuted under RICO. The political insanity does not end.

                                      radical sapphoq