You’re not a little anything, Newman.

My mom taught me a trick when I was a young girl to help build up my confidence.  It involved visualizing what I want to change.  It helped with team sports.  (I still sucked, but I sucked confidently.)  I’ve decided to employ this technique with 45 and the complicit GOP members.  I plan on making a graphic a day to help visualize 45 going away.  Please feel free to play along.  I just pictured 45 in an orange prison jumpsuit.

I hope they can find one to fit his rapidly expanding girth.  (Stress eating is a bitch.)  Now I see him floating around like in the movie, Dune, as Baron “45” Harkkonen, since he’s also not a walker.  Interestingly, they share a personality, too.

Okay, now feel free to picture Sting coming out of the steamer.

I know, right?  (Snapping gum.)  Where was I?  Right.  At this point, my inclination is to visualize Putin dying in a fire.  (Thanks, Pussy Riot!)

I remember a time when I would have been hesitant to wish ill on anyone.  Not in this case.  As I’ve repeatedly stated in this blog, I’m a protector.  I despise those who live to destroy, murder, and terrorize.  Putin is a danger to the living.  He’s expendable.  All fascists are expendable.  Die in a fire, you fucking Hitler wannabe.  You’re evil and pathetic.

45 is probably unwell.  However, he’s still accountable for his actions.  The GOP is complicit.  All my representatives are complicit members of the GOP, which clearly stands for Groupies of Putin.  Or Gluttons of Power.  Disgusting.  Naturally, they haven’t commented on the latest White Terrorist attack.  They’re complicit in the increased racist violence, too.  45’s normalization and participation in white supremacy are complicit.  The people who continue to support him are complicit.  They’re normalizing his disastrous reign and cheering him on.  Some of them are incapable of recognizing their error.  Others are just evil.  Some don’t care and enjoy being deplorable.  Every one of them who shares their support on the internet will be remembered for their treachery, although, the vast majority believe they’re not accountable for what they say when (they think) they’re anonymous.

Nobody is anonymous on the internet.  Just like there’s no such thing as hacker-proof software.  The footprints made on the web today will be easily retraced tomorrow, with faster and more powerful hardware.  So go ahead and be a troll.  Just don’t cry when it comes back to bite you in the ass.  I’ll be the one pointing and laughing.  Karma’s a bitch, too.  Off to visualize.

You have nothing better to do at 3 o’clock in the afternoon?

If everyone always agreed with me, I would be horrified silently.

I don’t believe in imaginary friends, like Safety and Security.

I won’t stand on your shoulders, but beside you in unity.

We must observe and witness carefully.

There’s a demon on an evil spree.

It’s going after the vulnerable, and free.

What will come will come, and be what be,

it will all be remembered in history.

 

A World of Fragile Things

I haven’t been sleeping well for the last few nights.  My brain wants to do other things, so I’ve been indulging.  The Depression Monster is banging on my door, trying to break in.  The weather is supposed to be really nice today, so I’m planning on going on a long run.  I’ll break in my new shoes, and make a new playlist.  I’ve been watching the weather in Denver for a while now.  It’s consistently warmer there.  That will be nice, as it’ll allow outdoor running year round.  My weight has gone up 5 lbs., finally.  I feel a little bit stronger, and I can feel the muscles in my legs rebuilding.  It’s a good pain most of the time.

I read something this morning that let the Depression Monster get his foot in the door.  A man in Yemen married an 8-year-old, and he murdered her.  I refuse to look into further details, as it’s already more than I can take.  I’ve seen too much hate and vileness in my life.  My first thoughts about the 8-year-old child were that it’s probably a good thing she died, rather than living to endure the wickedness of her “husband”.  Death is too often the only mercy.  I feel sad and angry that this happened.  It makes me want to scream.  It makes me want to cease existing in a world too horrible to even comprehend.

I force myself to recognize the goodness in the world.  I see it.  I know it’s there.  I just have a hard time believing that any amount of goodness can balance out the evil.  I know intellectually that those who commit such acts do so because they want to do so.  They have decided that the consequences of their behaviors either don’t exist in their case, or they don’t care.  They aren’t some odd part of humanity with a defect that leads to their extreme misbehavior.  They are the same as any other person, only they have decided to do what they want regardless of laws or morality.  The only thing separating a good person from an evil person are their choices.

I need to step back from activities related to the news.  The news is digital sadism.  I’m not fond of ignorance, but in this case, it’s necessary for self preservation.  I’m going to focus on my work and my projects.  Isolation is my refuge.

Autism Requires No Cure

I read a tweet yesterday about an organization called Autism One alleging “cures” for Autism through diet.  These “remedies” including forcing an Autistic child to ingest bleach.  It’s complete and total bullshit.  This is child abuse.  This is monstrous.  Any parent who is seeking a “cure” for their Autistic child is already on the wrong track.  Autism is a variety of human being.  If your child is Autistic, or has the diagnosis of PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder), your child requires you to become creative, not evil.  Your child is not broken.  Your child thinks differently, and experiences the world differently than the neurotypical variety of human being.

The desire for a “cure” is a selfish inclination.  The desire is to force their child to become something that they are not.  The desire does not lie in creating a better life for your child.  The root of the desire to “cure” Autism lies in the selfish desire of an ignorant parent who wishes their child to be what they consider normal in order to make their own lives easier, not that of their child.  It’s ignorant because normal is a setting on a washing machine, not a variety of human being.  An Autistic child requires love, patience, and a sincere desire to connect with them in their unique way of connecting.  There are lots of books and websites about Autism, but few are by people who are actually Autistic, and therefore an expert on the condition.

Trying to “cure” it is like trying to “cure” Down Syndrome.  It’s a ridiculous notion.  The time and energy wasted on this futile task could be better served by loving your child as they are, and discovering how your child communicates and learns.  This is the case with all children.  They are all beautiful beings that are new to this world, and need gentle guidance in a manner with which they can comprehend. But above all, they require your love.  If you are the parent of an Autistic child, seek advice from the true experts.  Adult Autists.  We understand better than anyone how to live with Autism.  We vary in many ways, but we are the true experts.  Many of us use alternative means of communicating, such as typing on a computer.  We are human beings who have the ability to feel joy and sorrow.  We feel empathy.  We have a sense of humor.  We love and desire to be loved.  We understand what it’s like to feel like we’ve been dropped off on an alien planet at birth, forced to struggle in order to connect with our families.  We know several creative ways to accomplish this task.  We are human beings with the full range of emotions, levels of intellect, and personalities.  We are part of humanity.

So stop seeking “cures” that don’t exist.  Stop falling for the misinformation that claims harming your child will help them.  And most of all, stop killing Autistic children.  This is monstrous behavior.  Nobody has the right to murder a child for being Autistic.  I hate that this happens.  I hate that one of my childhood neighbors murdered her daughter, and then took her own life with a shotgun in their basement.  There was no honor in this action.  It was a vile act of selfishness, ignorance, and evilness.  There are organizations that have the audacity to sympathize with parents who commit this atrocious crime, such as Autism $peaks.  They view Autistic people as burdens on their parents, and broken children who will never experience a joyful life.  They are not in the business of helping people who are Autistic.  They are in the business of collecting money from the ignorant, and using it to increase their personal wealth, and that of their friends.

Autism $peaks is the “charity” endorsed by Ed Asner.  They spend the majority of the money they gather from the unwitting people who intended their donations to help those with Autism for advertising.  Here is a link to their financial statement for 2013.  You will see that they are not only making a profit in excess of $1.5 million dollars, they spend the vast majority of their funds on advertising, and research to find the cause of Autism, potential “cures” for an incurable condition, and treatments for Autism.  I boycott this “charity”, because it’s clear to me that they are not in the business of helping people with Autism.  They are in the business of spreading misinformation, such as claims that vaccines cause Autism, which is scientifically proven to be untrue.  They are in the business of sympathizing with evil parents who murder their Autistic children.  They are in the business of ignoring the advice of Autistic people, which makes the name of this supposed charity ironic at best.

Any supposed charity that raises the ire of those it’s supposedly trying to help is a red flag.  When said organization deliberately refuses to heed the advice of the people they are supposedly trying to help, they instigate boycotts, and represent a fraudulent predatory organization in the eyes of those of us who are Autistic.  Among us, Autism $peaks is infamous, and only gives 4% of the money they collect to services and supports for Autistic people.  That’s not a typo.  4%.  This organization sees Autistic people as burdens, and promotes a center that is under investigation by the FDA for torturing Autistic people.  It’s despicable.  This link to Boycott Autism $peaks gives further and more detailed information.  Here is a link dispelling the misguided correlation between vaccines and Autism.

I’m Autistic.  I was born this way.  I’ve served in the US Army where I earned awards such as the Army Commendation Medal for excellent service.  I’ve earned a PhD in Software Engineering, and am currently a freelance programmer, as well as the CEO of an independent gaming company that hires Autistic programmers exclusively.  I’m a human being.  I am one example of an Autistic person.  I had loving parents who were patient with me.  They did not waste time seeking a cause or cure for my condition.  They loved me.  They figured out how to communicate with me.  They helped me learn and become a person who loves learning.  They accepted me as I am.  They never saw me as a burden, or considered murdering me.  They didn’t torture me, or force me to ingest vile potions in an effort to make me “normal”.  They were loving parents, and because of their willingness to be loving people, I am now an adult whose goal in life is to be joyful.  There is no better ambition, in my opinion.

Never Again

I don’t understand how land can be holy.  This baffles me.  I don’t understand how thousands of people have shed their life’s blood or that of another in an effort to defend or obtain a specific patch of land, merely because someone they see as holy in the distant past walked there.  What I want to know, is how they can believe the noble holy ones of the past would condone all of this bloodshed that leads to retaliatory bloodshed, rinse and repeat forever.  It doesn’t make sense.

People are posting a lot of tweets empathizing with the Palestinians, and calling the Jews evil.  I’ve been on an unfollow binge.  I have no tolerance for antisemitism.  I grew up in BFE and only knew two Jewish people, and they were related.  There probably were more, and I just didn’t know.  I don’t know how anyone can tell without asking.  One was a local news anchor and friend of my Mom’s.  The other was her son who was a year behind me in school.  I saw him a few times in the halls in Junior High.  He had a step-brother in the same grade whom I also saw in the halls.  My younger sister knew them as they were her age.  That sums up my experience with Jewish people prior to my service.

I watched Schindler’s List, as it was mandatory viewing.  They broadcast it on one of the network channels, and I remember thinking it was the first time I had heard an f-bomb on TV.  The film was gut wrenching, horrifying, and painful to watch.  Another cinematic masterpiece by Steven Spielberg.  But hard to watch, nonetheless.  When I was stationed in Germany, I went on a day trip with a couple who attended the same church.  We intended to go to Munich, but on the way, we stopped at Dachau.  I was not prepared for Dachau.  I don’t think I will ever be prepared for what I experienced there.  It broke a big part of who I was.

Before I set foot in the memorial and concentration camp, I didn’t have any idea what I was about to see.  I never know in advance unless it’s something I’ve experienced before.  I had no idea I was about to experience the worst day of my life.  The couple I traveled there with had a newborn baby.  We weren’t close friends as I hadn’t been in country very long.  Friendly acquaintances  is accurate.  We were first led into a room with kiosks that contained photos from when Dachau was an occupied concentration camp during WW2.  We walked slowly to each one, looking at the photos and reading the accompanying text. Then we stepped further into the building and were seated to watch an old film of the camp during the war.  It was in black and white.  It showed men so thin they looked like walking skeletons.  There movements were labored and slow.  Their eyes gaunt and hopeless.

They looked nothing like the walking dead we see in so many comic books, TV and movies.  Many were wearing just white boxer shorts that were far too large for the cachectic body they enclosed.  Then they showed a pile of gold that consisted of jewelry, watches, and teeth.  It was a big pile.  I remember thinking to myself, “omg they took their teeth!”.  Then they showed a pile of bodies.  They all looked the same.  You couldn’t tell gender.  They were all skeletons with white skin pulled tightly over them.  It was difficult to comprehend.  These were human beings who were tortured, mentally and physically raped, and then systematically executed.  Because a meth addicted mad man told them it would make Germany strong again.

When the film ended, we were ushered outside to walk the grounds of Dachau.  It still had a tall fence with concertina wire on top, and some dilapidated guard towers that were mostly wood that hadn’t withstood weather and time very well.  There was a crematorium and a gas chamber.  They outlined the places where the barracks stood with wood, and left one barracks intact as it was at that horrific time.  I walked outside and noted that it must have rained the night before.  We didn’t walk together.  It was too intense to tolerate another human close by.  I looked at the memorials erected in memory of those who died there.  One was made of black metal, and looked like a wall of twisted bodies.  Another had flowers resting on the ground in front of it.

When I saw the flowers, I looked around, beyond the fences.  I noticed I could see houses that were obviously old, and were probably there when all this horror took place.  There is no way they could have been ignorant of what went on there.  It made me angry and incredulous.  Helen Keller would have known what was going on had she been in one of those houses.  It was not a secret by any stretch.  I stepped inside the crematorium, and almost gagged.  I could still smell the stench of burnt flesh.  I’m not sure if it was an hysterical reaction, or if it was because of the recent rain.  I quickly looked around, then exited.

I next stepped into the gas chamber.  It looked like a communal shower for short people.  The ceiling was probably 6′ high and it was tiled inside.  It felt claustrophobic, and I don’t normally have issues with small spaces.  I stepped out and began walking along the perimeter fence.  In the film, none of them were anywhere near a fence, and the towers had bright lights atop them.  It felt surreal.  It was a feeling I’d never experienced before.  I felt heavy and lethargic as I walked around.  I was holding in a scream.  I felt a little bit dizzy, and decided to look inside the remaining barracks.

I walked in and saw 3 level bunk beds in rows taking up most of the room.  They were more narrow than a twin bed.  There was a ladder on each end, but those who slept in the middle had to climb over other bunks.  I lay down in one of the middle level bunks and cried.  In my mind, I was screaming at God.  “How could you allow this to happen?  How could you allow such evil to exist?  Why didn’t you save all these people?  Don’t you care how horribly they suffered?  Are you even real?  Why should I worship a God that is obviously indifferent to the worst suffering I’ve ever seen?”  I felt my innocence flee.  I understood what evil truly meant for the first time.  I had seen hints of it before, but I still believed that there was good in everyone.

I was 19 years old when I visited Dachau.  It changed me forever.  It murdered my innocence and forced me to look evil in the eye, and acknowledge it’s existence.  I still can’t talk about that day without crying. I thought over time I would be able to pull back a bit, and not be as emotional about it.  I no longer believe that will happen.  I think I will cry every time I tell about that day for the rest of my life.  I’ve had some bad days in the past, but none compare to this.  Before, bad things happened only to me.  This was worse things happening to over 60,000 people.  It was the first day I vowed to myself that no matter what horrible torture and death I may one day face, I will not commit atrocious crimes against humanity.

I repeat that vow every day and have since.  I’m mentally preparing myself for the day I might have to lay down my life for what I believe.  I don’t want to hesitate or waiver in my resolve when it’s my turn to refuse.  When it’s my turn to do whatever I can to make sure that never happens again.