Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy Independence Day ....In Congress July 4, 1776....

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with one another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We are at a great crossroads in our nation’s history. It’s not about the amount of taxation and the ineptitude of the government. That can be changed with the power of the vote and honest elections. Our issues lie in the fact that too many in our nation take for granted the guarantees within the Bill of Rights and the Constitution without truly understanding them. Remember... our rights given by nature and nature’s God.

It is time that We The People understand once again our responsibilities as citizens of a free country and demand that our government adhere to the Constitutional principles that they have so casually desecrated.

Freedom and the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God (originally posted May 9, 2014)

…Our rights come not from other men, but from an omnipotent all-powerful ruler of the universe who has decreed right from wrong, good from bad, justice from evil. No one human being can deny another these rights. Hence, the usurpation of these rights is a just cause for revolt against your government, ruler or liege lord….

What happens when rights are not given by virtue of existence, but with the largesse of the political class? These rights then are not rights as delineated in the US Constitution (Bill of Rights), which as rights cannot be taken away and can only be denied under a limited scope of governmental authority. In fact, rights that come down to us by virtue of the good will of a ruler are not real rights at all, but a grant of favor by a dictatorial government. As long as you stay in good stead with the power elite then you are entitled to your humanity. But as soon as you cross that threshold of noncompliance with these overseers, then your rights, property and even your life become forfeit.

Moreover, to actually believe that mankind itself defines the ultimate reality in the Universe is the modern hubris of a limited, vacuous mind and an outreach of malignant egos. To say that in the vastness that is the Universe humankind is the epitome of what can and does direct TIME itself calls into play the rationality and sanity of the purveyors of a God-less world. It does not even have to be about an Omnipotent being as much as it is about Nature and the power of the Universe and the acknowledgement of the unknown.

To say that there is no deity above ourselves is to give ourselves the moniker of almighty God. We can now decide what is right, wrong, good, bad, justice and evil. We, the human beings of this world, are now the sole masters of all that is before us without boundary, limit or consequence. To say that God is an anachronism and that humanity is above the immutable forces that have created the galaxy, is to advance upon the human race powers that belie the mortal human being.

When we turn from the concept of something, or someone, greater than ourselves, we have no rights beyond that which we bargain for within the context of our daily lives. Life becomes a merchants market, a bazaar of old. Where for  the right argument, and the proper coin, you can buy yourself freedom for the time being. If you are lucky enough to be allowed manumission at all.

In such a world, our rights are defined by those in control of the world, rather than rights being defined by those that live in the world. Therefore, if you believe that humans are born free and that it is only mankind that created the chains of slavery, real or virtual, the concept of giving your self-worth to those who are devoid of righteousness, or honor, those who convolute democratic action with obsequiousness, demands an act of revolution. However, in the end, you need the foundation by which to challenge your servitude when you live in a world of political class tyranny, oligarchical triumphalism and identity tribalism. Therefore, you need Nature and Nature’s God. You need to understand that your humanity, your freedom, your existence is yours by right and not something you need to bargain for against an evil specter.

That foundation of the right to freedom comes from the acknowledgement that all within humanity have rights inherent in their humanity. Given to them by their uniqueness as unique individuals. It is Nature, and Nature’s God, that defines these rights so necessary for society to flourish, grow and develop. The right to proceed with your own existence and humanness in a way that is both beneficial to the self and society becomes the task of the free person and those free enough to think that it can and must be done.

It is not the fault of Nature’s God that humanbeings throughout history have perverted the gift of choice and thought that they were given by the Universe.

It is not the fault of Nature’s God that humanbeings revert into barbarism and decadence when given freedom. It is that same human weakness that causes mankind to destroy itself and then ask to be relieved of all responsibility for the choices made.

It is not the fault of Nature’s God that humans throughout history prefer an infantile existence of dependency and supplication to the hard work inherent in the existence of free expression and self-governance.

It is not the fault of Nature’s God that humans have allowed themselves to be led by the inadequate, the cruel and the profoundly evil.

It is not the fault of Nature’s God that when confronted with evil’s challenge, most times throughout history humanity has faltered, in the end thereby losing all that it means to be human.

It is not the fault of Nature’s God that humanity perverted Nature’s message in order to enslave, dehumanize and destroy other humanbeings.

It is not the fault of Nature’s God that it is easier to invoke the yoke of tyranny than it is to travel the path of Nature’s truth.

Responsibility for ones actions, distancing yourself from a scapegoat and taking the reigns to an uncertain future is frightening. On the other hand,  it is a sign of profound weakness to cower in the dark, allowing others to decide your fate, your reality and your worth. It is sheer cowardice to succumb to the fear of the unknown and allow your children to be enslaved because of your own ineptness.

We learn that democracies are the rarest form of government in the history of human kind. For each democracy born was short-lived, either due to corruption, mendacious leaders or complicity in the destruction of that with which we are endowed by the virtue of the human soul. Humans allowed fear to win over freedom. Humans allowed fear to win over individuality. Humans allowed the political classes to declare themselves above Nature and Nature’s God. Humans allowed the political class to manipulate the true blessings of Nature and Nature’s God in exchange for bread and circuses and life without responsibility.

Those who wish to make a Godless society, those that wish to deny Nature’s blessings upon humankind are the enemy of freedom, of liberty and justice. Those that decide that our rights come from the will of a self-perpetuating narcissistic ruling class rather than the exigencies of humanity’s right to existence are the enemies of a free people.

Those who presuppose that they are more powerful than the Universe run roughshod over humanity’s inherent rights. Those that denigrate the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God, denigrate our greatest gift. Be careful of those that put themselves above the wonders of the Universe. For they will laud themselves over you, making of themselves a new deity while decrying the freedoms we hold so dear.

Elise  on this Independence Day 2014

Reasons to Love the USA

I wanted to wish everyone a joyous Independence Day. Let us not forget those that sacrificed so much so that we, their posterity, would enjoy the freedoms to which we are entitled under the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God. By the way, just one of those obnoxious asides, the vote on the Independence Resolution, aka the Lee Resolution, actually took place on July 2, 1776. The Declaration was not read to the public until July 4, which is why July 4th is the day that we celebrate our Independence.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
John Hancock
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Friday, June 26, 2015

Should Your Autistic Child Learn a Second Language?

I know, I know this is a ridiculous post.  Or is it? The idea of our children being able to learn two languages simultaneously when they can barely speak one seems counter-intuitive. But considering that science has finally acknowledged that even non-verbal autistics are not only able to understand, but in so many cases are highly intelligent, does lend itself to the idea that not only could our children function, but maybe they could even thrive, in a dual-language environment.

I remember when MrGS was little, he was reading before the age of two. They now have a name for that and they call it hyperlexic. In fact, he was not only hyperlexic, but he understood what he was reading. Something that the first psychologist I engaged when he was three years old refused to acknowledge and chastised me that he wasn't reading, but only mimicking like a "monkey." She completely ignored that he was also writing and drawing his own stories into books. (Yeah, we didn't get along and that was our one and only visit with that dumbass.)

In the meantime having no idea that I was dealing with autism, and having noone to tell me I shouldn't, I decided to introduce him to Hebrew.  I had also received the Hebrew version of Sesame Street as a gift, which I was more than happy to play for him, over and over and over again. So by the time he was four, MrGS could also read Hebrew and sing the Cookie Monster song in Hebrew as well. I suspect that if he lived in a bi-lingual home he would have also spoken that language.

Just as an aside, if you asked MrGS to read Hebrew today he wouldn't even know where to begin. He decided post bar-mitzvah that he was done with all that and focused on other things. (You know the old saying, if you don't use it, you loose it. Well that definitely applies to a non-cradle language.) But his failure to use Hebrew  has more to do with the Holocaust, anger at God and associated religion, and not because he specifically wouldn't read Hebrew anymore. Of course, he tried his hand at Spanish in college, which ironically turned out to be somewhat of a disaster. Happily, the school allowed him to take sign language as his foreign language to complete that requirement in order to graduate.

Yet I wonder, considering the video below, if at some point being able to learn and immerse himself in more than one language at a very young age, helped MrGS in the long run. It's just a thought. Nothing specific. But an idea. Meanwhile, those of you who are looking for something to do over the summer and were wondering what new therapy you might add to your child's daily life, why not try a basic foreign language course.

Of course I wouldn't necessarily try a language with an entirely different alphabet. That is without a doubt a rather unusual thing MrGS was able to do. On the other hand, if you want to give Chinese, Russian, Greek or Arabic a shot, go ahead. Maybe it's part of your culture, so there is a huge connection to the language. Or as Jung postulated, humans have a kind of genetic memory involved in nature and intellect, so learning one of these languages, that is so different than your primary language, will not be as difficult as you may think.

On the other hand, how about a fun program in Spanish or Italian? Spanish is great because they even have children's Spanish language programming on American TV. It might be enjoyable for them to see Sesame Street in Spanish. And since Spanish is spoken widely throughout the US (and yes I know many of you who read my blog do not live in the US) it might not be a bad thing to learn Spanish in order for our children to have something in common with their new neighbors.

Personally I think Italian is fun because all children love pasta. Yes, I know pasta originated in China and was brought back to Italy by Marco Polo. Except now historians are saying that that never happened.(And no I am not being difficult, however, perhaps as usual I am being politically incorrect.) Remember a child should have a tactile connection to learning a new language and  I am not certain many young children would be caught up with the history of the Renaissance, the art and history of Florence, or Rome and the uniqueness of the city of Venice, in order to entice them to learn Italian. So pasta (unless your child has recently visited the Vatican) could be the connector.

Meanwhile watch this interesting video from TED. You never know. We try every therapy they throw at our kids. Maybe something that the vast majority of people do worldwide, could actually help.

From TED

Additional Resources for you to Explore
Amazed by what you have learned about having a bilingual brain? Then, start learning another language now! This website has tons of free lessons, games and quizzes to get you started! Pick one language or even two languages and get that gray matter growing.

Speaking more than one language is like exercise for the brain? Read Radiolab blogger Chris Berube discusses the advantages of speaking multiple languages in his post “Mapping the Bilingual Brain” Want to know some more of the advantages of having a bilingual brain? Visit bilingualism expert Francois Grosjean’s comprehensive website and investigates numerous aspects of multilingualism! Delaying dementia is a possibility? NPR’s New Study Shows Brain Benefits Of Bilingualism and how it may delay the onset of dementia! also has more bilingual brain facts for you to check out! Finally, watch Bilingual Brains Are Better!

Love all this brain talk? Go to TED Ed and search BRAIN and start exercising those neurons and glial cells.

Want to learn another language (or two or three or...)? There's an app for that! Duolingo lets your learn dozens of languages for free right on your phone.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Get Free #SummerMeals for Hungry Kids @nokidhungry

If your child has been receiving free meals at school you can get them fed over the summer:

School is out + millions of kids don't have access to meals. @nokidhungry can change that: Text FOOD to 877-877 to find free #SummerMeals

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fight Song

Take back your narrative...don't let others write your or your child's life story...never give up and never give in...keep going...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The forgotten history of autism

Steve Silberman gives a brief history of autism.

Steve Silberman is a writer and contributing editor for Wired who covers science and society. His newest book explores neurodiversity and the link between autism and genius.

Why you should listen

Steve Silberman is a writer and contributing editor for Wired and other national magazines. In 2001, he published "The Geek Syndrome," one of the first articles in the mainstream press to probe the complex relationship between autism and genius. The article was praised by experts in the field like neurologist Oliver Sacks and author Temple Grandin, but as time went on, Silberman was haunted by the biggest question that he had left unanswered: Why have rates of autism diagnosis increased so steeply in the past 30 years?

This question has become particularly pressing in the face of a resurgence of measles, mumps, pertussis and other childhood diseases worldwide due to parental fears of vaccines, despite numerous studies debunking their alleged connection to autism. To solve that medical mystery for his new book, NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, due out in August 2015, Silberman went back to the first years of autism research, where he uncovered a series of events -- some long forgotten, and others deliberately buried -- that will require the history of autism to be rewritten.

A former teaching assistant for the poet Allen Ginsberg, Silberman has won numerous awards over the years for his science coverage in the New Yorker, Nature and many other national and international magazines.

Decades ago, few pediatricians had heard of autism. In 1975, 1 in 5,000 kids was estimated to have it. Today, 1 in 68 is on the autism spectrum. What caused this steep rise? Steve Silberman points to “a perfect storm of autism awareness” — a pair of doctors with an accepting view, an unexpected pop culture moment and a new clinical test. But to really understand, we have to go back further to an Austrian doctor by the name of Hans Asperger, who published a pioneering paper in 1944. Because it was buried in time, autism has been shrouded in misunderstanding ever since. (This talk was part of a TED2015 session curated by Pop-Up Magazine: or @popupmag on Twitter.) 

Millions of parents worldwide still fear — needlessly — that vaccines cause autism. How did this dangerous false myth become so prevalent? As writer Steve Silberman shows during Pop-Up Magazine’s session at TED2015, it’s just another milestone in the decades-old history of misinformation and misunderstanding about autism.

In 1943 child psychologist Leo Kanner wrote about his eleven patients who seemed to inhabit private worlds. By the 1950s he was the world’s leading authority on autism, and he claimed it was incredibly rare, that he had seen fewer than 150 cases worldwide. But Kanner’s definition of autism was incredibly narrow: He classified it as an “infantile psychosis caused by cold and unaffectionate parents” and rejected any diagnoses of people who also had seizures, though we now know it’s common to have epilepsy and autism. He also wrote off special abilities that he saw in children with autism, like a child who could distinguish among eighteen symphonies before he turned two.
“As a result,” says Silberman, “autism became a source of shame and stigma, and two generations were shipped off to institutions ‘for their own good.’”

But in the 1970s, English psychiatrist Lorna Wing decided Kanner’s theories “were bloody stupid.” She dug up a 1944 paper from an Austrian doctor, written in German and buried in the aftermath of the war. The author was Hans Asperger. To Wing and her collaborator Judith Gould, Asperger’s research “made clear that Kanner’s model was way too narrow, that the reality of autism was much more colorful and diverse.” Asperger didn’t blame parents, and he called his patients his “little professors.” Indeed, he viewed autism “as a diverse continuum that spans an astonishing range of giftedness and disability.”

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, there was, says Silberman, “a perfect storm of autism awareness.” Wing and Gould began working with the American Psychiatric Association to broaden the criteria for diagnosis of what they called the autism spectrum; Rain Man was released and there was an autistic hero in every movie theater across the country; and at that same moment, the first easy-to-use clinical test for diagnosing autism was introduced.

Today the CDC estimates that one in 68 children in the US are on the autism spectrum, and indeed people on spectrum make up one of the largest minority groups in the world. As Silberman shows, there’s no benefit to the stigma of autism. Silberman quotes autism activist Zosia Zaks: “We need ‘all hands on deck’ – as much diversity as possible – to right the ship of humanity.” After all, says Silberman, “We can’t afford to waste a single brain.”