Saturday, March 03, 2007

Walter Reed: Another victim of the "Privitization Fetish"

The Neoconservative fetish for privatizing (eg, outsourcing to companies who support the Administration) has come home to roost again.

Even those who honestly support the idea in theory must be wondering how the theory failed to translate into practice. For them, I shall willingly supply the answer, one that generally eludes theorists of all ideologies.

"Human Factors."
Army Secretary Ousted - "The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued a subpoena yesterday to compel Weightman to testify at a congressional hearing Monday.

The committee also released an internal Army memorandum reportedly written in September in which the Walter Reed garrison commander, Col. Peter Garibaldi, warned Weightman that 'patient care services are at risk of mission failure' because of staff shortages brought on by the privatization of the hospital's support workforce."

Or in other words, a large proportion of the support workforce at Walter Reed are not within the Commanding General's chain of command. Only one word for that, in my little green book:


It's unacceptable from a performance standard, obviously. It's unacceptable from a command perspective, and it should be damn well obviously unacceptable from a security standpoint; if I were a terrorist looking for a high-value but poorly secured military target, it would have to be Walter Reed. It has a great deal of symbolic value, it's packed with people and I will bet you money that damn near anyone can get a job with one or another outside contractors.

This, of course, neglects the other obvious means of access - joining the Army itself. But at least there are procedures that should limit that option - and limiting options is what security is all about.

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), a member of the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense and a close ally of a leading war critic, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), said Bush's new commission is too little too late. "He's the executive," Moran said. "This has been six years, and now six years later, after an awful lot of neglect, he's going to get around to putting a commission together, a study to tell him what to do. . . . I think he's feeling politically desperate."

White House officials said politics played no role in their decision to form the commission, saying that Bush is genuinely outraged by the conditions at Walter Reed and that he learned about them from the recent news reports. "Once the Walter Reed stories ran, there was a collective feeling in the building, and certainly from the president, that whatever reasons or excuses, it was unacceptable," said Tony Fratto, deputy White House press secretary.

Cough. Choke. Sputter!

First: Can you think of a more damning statement than "the President learned of this through news reports?"

Well, George, what DID you expect, given your habit of expecting the incompetent sociopaths who are willing to give you their personal fealty to perform up to the standards of those who have a professional grasp of reality and the resources to deal with it? What makes you think that they'd do anything other than blow sunshine up your ass, given your shining example?


Mission accomplished?

Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley thought so. After the media tour of Building 18, the Army's surgeon general gave a news conference. "I do not consider Building 18 to be substandard," he said of a facility Priest and Hull found full of "mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses" and other delights. "We needed to do a better job on some of those rooms, and those of you that got in today saw that we frankly have fixed all of those problems. They weren't serious, and there weren't a lot of them."

Kiley might have had a stronger case if men wearing Tyvek hazmat suits and gas masks hadn't walked through the lobby while the camera crews waited for the tour to start, or if he hadn't acknowledged, moments later, that the entire building would have to be closed for a complete renovation. The general also seemed to miss a larger point identified by other officials: Walter Reed's problem isn't of mice and mold but a bureaucracy that has impeded the recovery of wounded soldiers. [emphasis added]

This situation is utterly predictable, given George Bush's approach to command and consequences - or more to the point, his approach to those who take exception to his approach.

As a result, wounded soldiers who cannot be "recycled" back into combat have exactly as much "mission value" as a discarded MRE packet. That should have been apparent given the Administration cuts to funding for Veteran's health care, but for some, those dry facts were apparently a little too abstract.

This, however, is what those budget decisions translate into - a situation that does not even get a coat of paint until it becomes public knowledge.

One wonders what other indignities and shortfalls our troops have to endure on a regular basis because their needs and the needs of their families are being neglected.

But I do have an idea, and I think it's a powerfully GOOD idea. I think our state Governors, (or in some cases, Lieutenant Governors) with the support of their legislatures and their State Congressional delegations, should take the initiative in addressing this issue. Whether or not George Bush and the Pentagon is on board they should pass whatever State and Federal legislation is required to put competent, ethical and accountable leadership in place.

I would suggest that these facilities be placed in the hands of State Guard and Reserve units, supervised by people with both civilian experience and military rank and a decent regard for public opinion and their professional reputations.
This matter that is, very much within the moral authority of a state Governor and I doubt that anyone will grudge what monies need to be shifted, donated or raised to address it. I cannot see a real downside to the House and Senate giving such moral authority cover of law, either. Not for anyone of any party.

This is indeed a failure of leadership, at the very highest level and the leaders of the House and Senate, as well as the leadership of the various States need to realize that. Waiting for our current Commander in Chief to collapse under the weight of his own conscience bears an unacceptable price in human life and dignity, aside from being wishful thinking.

But it's well within the power of Congress to fix this, and fix it quickly, with a simple, two-pronged approach. The first is to reassert State's Rights in the matter of command authority over Guards and Reserves. Guards should NEVER be under the Pentagon's authority; Reserves should only be under that command when activated and deployed in time of war.

"In time of war" being "a state of war having been formally declared." The framers of the constitution - being wise and prescient folks - realized that large standing armies were problematic, and required the Congress to reauthorize the existence of any standing force once every two years. This has not changed.

Do we need a standing force? Of course we do. There are a lot of things our armed forces do that require that degree of commitment, and that level of professional competence, especially within the more technical areas. But it needn't be as large as it is, what it does need is a greater emphasis on training and maintaining the expertise of Guards and Reserves, while fostering and developing a relatively large cadre of experienced officers and noncoms.

The second fork is eliminate the entire redundant military health-care system. NOT specialized hospitals, particularly, and not the security of military staffing - but the clerical and record keeping aspects need to be rationalized in the same way civilian medical care needs to be, so why not address both at once?

The most straightforward way of assuring both quality of care and appropriate record-keeping is to enact universal health-care legislation. As the situation is fairly urgent, both politically and as a matter of practical reality, this is not a good time to "reinvent the wheel."

An entire proven software and administration infrastructure and exists in Canada and it works well. Despite what critics may say, it's not a particularly socialist solution, other than it being partially taxpayer supported. (Individuals do pay premiums and you can opt out in favor of private coverage - which is handled in precisely the same way.)

It will work fine whether or not the money is directed by the system from the DOD, the VA, the Treasury or individual insurance plans, and particularly in the case of Vets with both military and civilian coverage, this would vastly simplify matters for everyone. The truly important thing is the accounting, record keeping and cost-savings a single, secure, nationwide medical service delivery system can achieve.

Let's import it, and I bet it will save everyone involved - including the insurance industry - enough to pay for a much improved taste in beer, as well as a vast national sigh of relief that will translate into a great deal of political capital for everyone smart enough to get behind and push.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Fuckin' A-MEN

via Shakespeare's Sister:

Because I prefer pottymouths to pearl-clutchers

Everything You Need To Know About Fox "News" in a Single Image
: The Rude Pundit

The homepage of the Fox "News" website has the following as its top stories this morning: A story about the new sell-off on Wall Street. A story about proposed legislation in California to start savings accounts for babies, even if they are from the wombs of illegal immigrants. A story about a fall in the sales of rap music. And the money shot: a story about a 23-year old teacher arrested for banging a few 14- and 15-year old male students, an act generally known throughout the history of literature and film as "coming of age." And the smug fuckin' face of Dennis "Will Blow O'Reilly For Quarters" Miller.

There you go, Fox "News" lovers: pro-rich people, pro-has-been comedian, anti-minority, and very pro-sex story exploitation. Like there's no wars, no ongoing White House chicanery on intelligence and U.S. attorneys, no...fuck, no nothing but fluff, nonsense, and money.

Ayup, that's a pretty durn graphic truth. The Rude Pundit rocks.

It's better tor be obscene than absurd.

Gateway Pundit: "Seven words you can never say on television"... but which are said on the Internet. A lot.

Talk about potty-mouths.

The Net's not always a kid-friendly place; there is plenty of foul language out there. And of course, the blogosphere is no different.

But how different are the Rightosphere and Leftosphere when it comes to "dirty" language? Which side produces the most profanity-laced diatribes? Via Instapundit, I happened upon this interesting challenge from InstaPunk:
I propose an exercise to be performed by those who have the software and expertise to carry it out. The exercise is this: Search six months' worth of content, posts and comments, of the 20 most popular blogs on the right and the left. The search criteria are George Carlin's infamous '7 Dirty Words.' [Click this link for the list of expletives.]
And this is what I found, using what I deemed -- through a mix of TTLB and 2006's Weblog Award lists -- to be the 18 biggest Lefty blogs, and 22 biggest Righty blogs. (Not counting this one. :)) I couldn't account for the 6-month time period, and I even gave the Lefty blogs a 4 blog advantage. But it didn't make much of a difference.

So how much more does the Left use Carlin's "seven words" versus the Right? According to my calculations, try somewhere in the range of 18-to-1.


Ok, let me get this straight: while THIS was happening, rather than chasing the story down and doing something to really support the troops, you were constructing methodology to count naughty words?

Words fail me. And aside from that, what's your point, fuckwit?

All this very precious pearl-clutching is utterly pointless in a quest for "civil discourse" if you do not also consider the impact on civil discourse of statements such as these: (via Instaputz)

Ohhh-kay. Let's do a trial run.

Putz: What we really should be doing is killing Iranian civilians. Heh.
Malkin: Exactly. And the NY Times publishers should be locked up for treason.
Denny K: Yeah! Let's hunt them down and find out where their kids go to school.
Coulter: My only regret is that Tim McVeigh didn't blow up the NY Times.
Misha: Forget the Times, I want the Supremes. Five robes, five ropes, five trees.
Lefty Blogger: You're all fucking crazy.

InstaPunk: See? The lefty bloggers are more hateful.

…[W]hy not run a few chapters of Mein Kampf or The Turner Diaries through your little Shrill Detector, and then compare those results with a Richard Pryor set from the '70s.


Now, I'm not a leftie - I'm just an uppity libertarian with not much respect for foolishness and a decent regard for semantics.

Therefore, I have something in common with Shakespeare's Sister The Rude Pundit and indeed The Ace of Spades.

A man-portable un-powered entrenching tool is a fucking spade.

More Vicious Left-Wing Mockery

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A Rebuke for the Miserable Failure

Shakespeare's Sister:

Scout Prime:

Bush will be in New Orleans today. A Rebuke of Bush is planned at 2pm. Via Humid City is the statement of rebuke from Katrina Survivors....

(Near Freret and Napoleon)

New Orleans Needs Federal Aid, Not Presidential Photo-Ops.

Mr. President: Katrina Survivors Do Not Welcome You, We Rebuke You!

We live in a devastated city and you are a big part of the reason why it sill sits in ruins. Your administration has abandoned our children by savaging their public schools. Your administration has tortured our working class people by refusing to reopen the city’s public housing developments. And your administration is fully complicit in placing our uninsured in harms way by ruthlessly pursuing the privatization of local public healthcare in the aftermath of Katrina. And, finally your administration is guilty of sending our sons and daughters of to war for oil and empire just when we need them most to help us rebuild our community.

Mr. President, we, Katrina Survivors all, do not welcome you to our city, we rebuke you!
Sponsored by Survivors Village, United Front For Affordable Housing.
If you have a blog please consider posting this today.
Pass it on.
As widely as possible.

No Complaints, No Problem

BREAKING: (CNN) Maj. General George Wightman Relieved of Command; Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley to take over command at Walter Reed. Or, rather, resume command over conditions that were the same on his watch as Walter Reed's previous Commandant.

The Army responds to reports of hideous conditions and contemptible treatment of vets at Walter Reed by punishing and silencing the vets! PHILIP RACUEL (pracuel) writes:

Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media.

from the Army Times article

"Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media," one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

It is unusual for soldiers to have daily inspections after Basic Training.

Soldiers say their sergeant major gathered troops at 6 p.m. Monday to tell them they must follow their chain of command when asking for help with their medical evaluation paperwork, or when they spot mold, mice or other problems in their quarters.

They were also told they would be moving out of Building 18 to Building 14 within the next couple of weeks. Building 14 is a barracks that houses the administrative offices for the Medical Hold Unit and was renovated in 2006. It’s also located on the Walter Reed Campus, where reporters must be escorted by public affairs personnel. Building 18 is located just off campus and is easy to access.

The soldiers said they were also told their first sergeant has been relieved of duty, and that all of their platoon sergeants have been moved to other positions at Walter Reed. And 120 permanent-duty soldiers are expected to arrive by mid-March to take control of the Medical Hold Unit, the soldiers said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Army public affairs did not respond to a request sent Sunday evening to verify the personnel changes.

The Pentagon also clamped down on media coverage of any and all Defense Department medical facilities, to include suspending planned projects by CNN and the Discovery Channel, saying in an e-mail to spokespeople: "It will be in most cases not appropriate to engage the media while this review takes place," referring to an investigation of the problems at Walter Reed.

The Washington Post has been all over this, and everyone and their dog is jumping on board. The outrage is understandable, given the facts, it's hard to imagine how this situation is anything less than deliberate policy, originating at the highest levels of the Army and the White House.

In 2004, Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and his wife stopped visiting the wounded at Walter Reed out of frustration. Young said he voiced concerns to commanders over troubling incidents he witnessed but was rebuffed or ignored. "When Bev or I would bring problems to the attention of authorities of Walter Reed, we were made to feel very uncomfortable," said Young, who began visiting the wounded recuperating at other facilities.

Beverly Young said she complained to Kiley several times. She once visited a soldier who was lying in urine on his mattress pad in the hospital. When a nurse ignored her, Young said, "I went flying down to Kevin Kiley's office again, and got nowhere. He has skirted this stuff for five years and blamed everyone else."

Young said that even after [Lt. Gen. Kevin] Kiley left Walter Reed to become the Army's Surgeon General, "if anything could have been done to correct problems, he could have done it."

Heckuva job, Kiley!

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A few more good Pokez in the eye.

The Pokez story rolls on.

Off the top, best comment ever:

Also contact a lawyer, because the restaurant's policy is against the ADA by a longfuckingshot.... As part of that, go into the restaurant sometime, and record all the time that nondisabled adults or kids are allowed to take a long time or be outright disruptive. I would bet she's one of those assholes that thinks it's okay to abuse someone because they look autistic -- the fact that we're the ones put through years of psychologically damaging "training" to hide what we are so people like THAT are more comfortable makes me really angry.

And proof that Jay - the father, is WAY cooler than I am:

I'd still be OK with just 3 things from the Pokez owner: a written public apology for David, a statement that the manager was incorrect in his reaction then to support the waitress's abuse , and something (either staff training or personnel changes) to prevent this from happening again. But apparently the restaurant is claiming that we were asked to leave because *we* were rude (LOL.. we were actually reserved and probably the quietest table in the place that night, and I was incredibly polite-but-firm to the manager afterwards), and they are saying that it doesn't matter because David isn't really autistic because he can talk (?!?). Apart from them being utterly incorrect on both counts, even if David was a *neurotypical* child, that still doesn't somehow make it OK for the waitress to grab him and scream in his ear! (scratches head)
I can't think of anything more likely to cause me to commit a physical indiscretion, and way past the point where my "don't hit girls" programming would override my urges.

But this isn't about me and my imperfections and flaws - other than the obvious, that sometimes consequences are direct and other times they catch you flat-footed from behind. In other words, this is about ethics, what they are, why you should have them, and using this unfolding mess as beautifully horrible example of people who believed in their own "spin control."

Allow me to illustrate consequences:

Ducksnorts - dedicated to Padres Baseball, not autism (although there's probably no sport more suited to aspie fandom and autistic perseveration) says:

... I hesitate to mention this because it takes the focus away from baseball and the Padres, but a story on one restaurant’s treatment of an autistic child disgusts me (more here) to the point that I have to say something: I’m recommending against a place called Pokez (hat tip to San Diego Blog).

Who says:

Pokez, (and myspace) the venerable lefty hippy arty cool vegetarian-friendly Mexican restaurant downtown is practically an institution among the hipster set. I myself loved eating there back when I was working downtown.

Well, all is not well in Pokez-land. Here’s an allegation of an autistic customer being assaulted for not ordering fast enough: “Assaulted at dinnertime in SD

And they got it here: (11 comments so far), and they got it here, (13 comments so far). Figure that LJ isn't a lot different than Blogger, and the odds of a comment are one in a hundred - to pick a number out of the air.

This is what happens when assholes insist on being assholes in the New World Disorder. People notice, and each person tells all their friends... and it can reach critical mass in hours, in exactly the same way as a nuclear reaction going critical. You just have to piss off one, wee tiny insignificant little neutron enough...

Well, the world-wide-web has made it impossible for "responsible authorities" to choose what you insignificant neutrons should or should not get radioactive about. And that has implications in the land of practical ethics and the situational morality of getting caught with your pants around your ankles.

Since nobody - not Dick Cheney and certainly not some waitress at Pokez can predict which neutron will choose to go feral, cannot control all the communications of everyone, everywhere, it's now getting to be very difficult to casually lie your way out of trouble, now that the group mind has a permanent, accessible and indexed memory that anyone can feed.

Now, as karma and consequence are sometimes distressingly imprecise, it's even more strategic to be careful, not just about your own actions, your own ethics - but those you happen to be around a lot. This appears to be what other Pokez people bitching about right now; how "unfair it is that they have to bear the consequences of the actions of people they supported at the time.

And you know how much complaints of that sort are worth.

Therefore, we all have a great interest in what ethics are in a practical sense. That's what I write about, most often, and I could not ask for a better illustration of the consequences of operating (as Pokez seems to) outside of the bounds of accepted ethical standards. Or in the words of one
Yelp review:

"Good For Kids: No"

Shame on them. Their snotty service and bad attitudes from the servers went TOO FAR and look what they got themselves into.

I hope Cynthia, the waitress in question, resigns immediately.

Ethics are all about behaving rightly in all situations. It's more than morality. Morality is about proper behavior in particular, common situations, and while morals should also be ethical, it's not wise to bet on that if you value your karmic balance. If you prefer to go without any mystical component; people expect a certain ethical standard of certain places and certain people in particular situations, and if those expectations are violated badly enough, there might just be hell to pay. If you make a habit of being unethical, sooner or later, "might" becomes "will."

Most often, ethical consequences are not as easily visible as this. For instance, for every time a customer is treated rudely, there are probably ten people exposed to that scene, and clearly silence does not imply approval. Check out the reviews from before the alleged assault. You will find a lot of disgruntled folks supplying details that make this incident seem entirely plausible, and certainly not an "isolated incident."

Here's one ethical statement I use a lot: "My right to make a fist ends at the tip of your nose."

I've spent a great deal of time working on my ethics, because like many people on the autistic spectrum, I have no other recourse; I have found that going back to the very basics is the only way to figure out how to act for myself, and how to figure out where I stand when neurotypicals have what are to me inexplicable fits of drama while loudly proclaiming their right to not be held accountable for nose/fists interactions. As in, well, this case.

And being "counterculture" is no excuse. Indeed, it means there's far less excuse.

In many countercultures, and particularly alt-sexual countercultures, "Straight" morals are rejected and the violation of "straight" conventions is a given, but part of pulling that off with style and grace is realizing that those morals and conventions are being rejected for a good reason; because of their soul-destroying hypocrisy and ethical vacuity. It is not a license to be a dick, it's a statement that you aren't going to hide behind convention.

Here we have some little hipster wannabe Republicans, going by the very Down South "my house, my rules, if you don't like it, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out" paradigm. It's' so very Blue Collar Comedy.

Oddly enough, I have no issue with that, so long as they don't have any problems with not whining about the potential problems of being petty authoritarian dicks, and post the policy clearly in the window. Go ahead, BE a "soup nazi." But it's a high wire act. If you fall off, no whining.

I can't think of anything more uncool, less punk, more totally ungoth than pissing in someones cornflakes for fun - and claiming the right to get away with it.

I mean, seriously. Even worse, I have the feeling that if I been there in my silks and my leathers, with my AS kid, it would not have happened. Why? Because I am counterculture, I look like an elegant punk, (when I go out) and I can clearly and wordlessly communicate that I have no trouble whatsoever turning some twink wanker into a whimpering pretzel, and would rather enjoy doing so. Therefore, I suspect I would get excellent food and excellent service at Pokez. Indeed, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if one of those little tramp-stamped packages of attitude called me "Sir." And that pisses me off, because it tells me that they don't actually respect anyone, and most of all they don't even respect themselves; they merely disrespect others to the extent they think they can get away with.

Those are the values of James Dobson and Pat Roberson. It's Focus on the Family values. It's values. In other words - Red State values. Values any self-respecting counterculture member rebelled against starting in sixth grade when they shoved a safety pin through their My Little Pony's nose.

Counterculture is not about pulling crap and getting away with it. It's about questioning authority and poking it until it goes away or gives you a sensible answer. It's mocking it when it tries to make contemptibly stupid unenforceable rules - and proving that you can live outside those rules without bursting into flame or being struck down by Jehovah's lightning bolts. It's about rigging your OWN parachute, thank you very much.

You own your own shit; compost or wallow as you choose.

The lamest thing of all is to hide behind the slack-ass San Diego police, or cower behind stupid lies. That's contemptible.

Cynthia, go back to the 'burbs and live in mommies basement, because clearly, a couple of tats and an attitude does not bring that elusive quality known as "street smarts."

Watch that happens, exponentially, as those others chime in, people who are, or could be punk, or goth or otherwise counterculture because their wetware just is not designed to live in the suburbs and go to the Church of God with the other sheep. And a lot of them are incredibly protective of children who seem rather like themselves. We wetware-driven "freaks" are the core of many countercultures. Believe it or don't, I'm not about to hand pointers to voyeurs as proof. Collectively every day, in every way, we are reminded of the many small advantages and comforts we have abandoned as the price of our dignity and our liberty.

Is it worth it? Hell, yes. But there is a price to pay, and one of them is self-awareness, self-discipline (in a somewhat elastic but very real sense). People who live outside the lines better damn take care of their own and correct one another with "grandmotherly kindness" BEFORE shit like this happens, because when the straights come in, it's either to do nothing, or it's the Stonewall riots.

Meanwhile people like
Lenny Schaefer will be raking in the bucks by using this as an example of what can happen when you don't torture your children into maintaining an acceptable facade of normalcy. Yep, for people like Lennie Schaefer, it is always the fault of the child for attracting the attention of bullies, always the fault of the parents for not teaching their child how to suck up and take it, to accept the truism that "shit rolls downhill" instead of wondering aloud what sort of damn fool would play "king of the hill" on a crap volcano.

Me, I much prefer telling bullies and social game-players how very painful it will be for them if they continue to expect me to play their games of status and dominance. Five gets you ten that's what this was; Cynthia was trying to impress someone kewl at David's expense. If you ever watched Tool Time, you KNOW how this ends. So if you know, don't go. Because really, saying no will hurt a lot less.

One of my very favorite moments in life was standing up to four bullies, each twice my size, who surrounded me at my locker in front of the Principal's office to tell me they were going to beat me up after school, and I was required to attend. I wrapped my hand around my big brass combo lock and informed the Four Stooges that it was right here, right now, if they wanted to go that route, I was gonna eff-bomb-kill one of them.

This was in the early seventies, when a good F-bomb was worth a fuck of a lot more than it is today! Hell, I kinda recall it freezing the entire first floor, but memory probably exaggerates. However, Authorities who were mysteriously absent before (despite having a clear line of sight through plate glass windows) appeared as if by magic!

Oddly enough, I was expelled as a "troublemaker." See above reference to "stooges." But what I didn't get was beat up. Not ever again.

Here's another ethic for you: "An it harm none, do as ye will." The part before the comma is not optional.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Amanda Baggs: in My Language

Watch this all the way through - and then realize this is the sort of thing Lennie Schaefer fears so much he'd like to eliminate it entirely, through genetic screening, abortion and if need be, the torture that behaviorist approaches can be.

As for the social issues that autistics to all degrees suffer - I think what we really need to do is cure this:

IWasFelt (14 hours ago)
blah blah blah whatever, retard
(Reply) (Spam)

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Greetings from Ayn Rand

I've often said I'd be an Objectivist if I could believe in a single, objective shared reality. This was untenable for me even before the '04 election.

What if Ayn Rand had gone into the greeting card industry? Imagine the artistic potential of applying Objectivism and the moral system of rational self-interest to a field notorious for being whimsical and/or maudlin… here for hysteria...

Washington State to Washington DC: IMPEACH!

I'm proud to have grown up in Aberdeen, Washington,
Impeachment: Breaking the Dam in Olympia, Washington | "If the state of Washington ends up passing a joint legislative resolution next month calling on the US House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney, it will because 900 people who crammed into Olympia’s Center for the Performing Arts last Tuesday evening, and countless others across the state, pushed them into it."

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