Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday April 27th 2010

Well,today's post is going to begin with some commentary on the national news and then i will try to get to some family news as well.The first thing i would like to discuss is the immigration law that was put into affect in Arizona.It requires Police to request papers from anyone who is suspected of being an illegal alien.This is not only an unamerican law,i hope it is struck down as unconstitutional.The State government of Arizona is reacting to some very conservative activists who are unhappy with the 500,000 apparent illegal mexican immigrants who are in their State.I am personally disgusted with State and Federal authorities who go after these mexican immigrants with such fervor,but leave the GIANT corporations alone who hire these immigrants so they can abuse them as they have no protection from anyone in the workplace.From giant global food conglomerates to other large corporate businesses who hire these folks so they can avoid worrying about State and Federal labor law,workers compensation and other issues like mandatory overtime without time and a half pay,our Government is giving these companies a pass and are going after the workers themselves.As these companies continue to break federal and state labor laws by hiring illegal immigrants,the Federal Government has decieded to agressively go after the workers and leave the businesses alone.This is more than a travesty of justice,it is an absolute tragedy in my opinion.For our Government to send armed ice enforcers to arrest and deport workers from their beds in small trailer parks and low income housing,while at the same time allowing these global corporate titans to continue illegal hiring practices without any fear of Government crackdown is unamerican and disgusting.These companies have legions of attorneys and huge Washington lobbying firms pressuring Federal Representatives to ignore these practices and go after the illegals instead.These companies need to be boycotted by all americans,republican or democrat alike,because they are a MAJOR reason we have the problems we do related to illegal mexican immigrants coming over the border to look for work.As long as these companies continue to be allowed to hire illegals,break State and Federal labor and workers compensation law,the people from other countries who sneak into the U.S. seeking a better life for themselves and their families will continue.Until both sides of the political spectrum realise that we are all on the same side and rise up against this rediculous contradiction in federal enforcement against poor immigrants who just want a better life,it matters little what we are bickering about because the problem will continue.I think these companies need a wake up call by the federal enforcement of their unfair and illegal practices of hiring illegal workers so they will start to address the problem we face as a nation.As long as the feds continue to try to look like they are doing something by arresting these folks who are NOT criminals,these giant global conglomerates will continue to abuse the labor pool of illegals.They will use whatever tools they are given to furthur their profit margins while keeping labor costs low.This seems to be so widespread in our nation that if they really deceided to crack down on these corporate criminals it would have a tremendous negative affect on an already weak economy.Even during one of the worst economic downturns in history it is our obligation as a nation to be a leader in the enforcement of safe and honest labor practices by giant rich and powerful global corporations.If they deceide to move out of the U.S. because of this so be it in my humble opinion.I would rather watch these jobs go overseas than continuing to allow these companies to get away with these horrible human rights violations.The United States is supposed to be a world leader in regards to workplace safety,yet the truth behind the numbers shows exactly the opposite,that we allow rich and powerful companies to abuse the labor pool of illegal immigrants in the name of capitalism.As a father and a citizen of this great nation i must admit a level of disgust with our current political environment,and cannot just sit by and watch as the Politicians continue to pander to these global corporate powerhouses,accepting massive campaign donations while at the same time pretending to be an honest broker of the public good.As the record shows,many of these very politicians whom it just so happens used to work for these same companies as executives,now get to make decisions that will directy affect their former employers profit margins.This was held in stark relief as a supreme court justice who used to work for the same company as an executive,authored the majority opinion that allowed his former employer a pass on labeling food that has genetically modified ingredients.This decision directly affected the food we feed ourselves and our children,yet the court decided it was the companies profits that were more important than the public good.This is happening on a daily basis in our courts,the fact that whomever can pile enough money on lady justices scale wins.Many of these companies will continue the unfair and illegal labor practices regardless of the State and federal laws currently on the books to prohibit it,because they know if they continue to contribute huge amounts of cash to lobbying and campaign coffers they will be allowed to continue breaking the law without any fear.The People who run our Government would much rather use Federal Law enforcement against the poor immigrants than against Giant Global Corporations whom contribute literally millions of dollars to get them re-elected.This rediculous contradiction will continue no matter what industry it happens to be,unless we the people can put up enough of a non-violent protest that they actually feel like their re-election would be in jepordy if they do not act.Many of the Federal elected officials from both parties would love for this subject to be put off,as this is an election year and they do not want a backlash from the growing voting block of hispanic legal citizens.This is as toxic as the political environment has ever been,and another stone on the load just may cause the whole wagon to topple over.As we as citizens have seen in the past,the political winds can shift faster than anyone can predict and can sweep one party or the other into or out of power.This new Arizona law will hopefully,in my opinion,force the immigration issue front and center at exactly the wrong time for both parties.Because Immigration reform legislation is an issue that affects so many States,I foresee a great storm of press releases from Federal Representatives regarding this issue.As our President looks into his options to block enforcement of this new Arizona law,we will see Mexican border state officials continue to push Washington aggressively toward Federal enforcement of the laws already on the books against the large group of illigal immigrants across this great nation.The number of illigal immigrants in the United States is estimated to be around 14 million,and any realistic legislation would have to include some sort of amnesty program for these folks already here.This is another reason that both sides can continue to avoid any truthful discussion,because the far right of will absolutely fight any type of path to citizenship,with conservative media talk shows fanning the flames of intollerance using very insindeary language to get the strongest negative backlash as they can possibly can prevoke.The far left on the other hand will use the exact same tactics to attack conservative ideals in the name of freedom and democracy,and we will end up at the same place we always end up in these contensious issues,nowhere.Alot of finger pointing and name calling but absolutely no progress on the issue.Do i have a solution to suggest?Of course i do,but i will abstain from bringing in my opinion on how to solve this as i am in no position to make a difference either way.I am nobody with an opinion,and we can be found anywhere you look.What i do know for sure is that this new law in Arizona is absolutely unconstitutional and will eventually be struck down as such.In the meantime it will distract us even more from the issues that are vital to our survival as a free and democratic nation,our involvement in an unjust and illegal war in two nations.This "war on terror"as it is known,is the longest war in American history.When television commentators say these are two different wars,they are just plain lying through their teeth.It is one global offensive that our Government has engaged us in because of the attacks we suffered as a nation on September 11th,2001.I would like to mention that i believe going after terrorists is a noble goal,but to undermine the very freedoms they are supposed to protect in the name of fighting an enemy that has no uniform or governmment is not only unlawful and unjust,but absolutely Unamerican.I totally support our Military men and woman,but i am completely and totally against this war we are currently engaged in.I would also like to mention the fact that our government has decieded to allow very unconstitutional practices of warrentless wiretapping of american citizens,and also very sweeping searches of our homes and businesses in the name of this "war"which by the way has no foreseeable end.I personally would like to say that if i were to ever be killed in a terrorist attack,do not use my death as an excuse to remove freedoms that all prior wars have been fought to protect.This "war" is going to go on and on until we the people force our government to stop it and bring our brave troops home and to abandon the unfair unamerican unconstitutional practices that were put into place following those awful days after 9/11.The new law in Arizona is just another over reach by Government officials whom see an opening to gain more power over their constituancy.To pander to the groups who are against illegal immigration has always been an election year stategy in border States with a large anti immigration populations like Arizona,and will continue to be until we as a nation can address seriously the problem of needing the immigrants to preform many jobs that ordinary americans will just not do.
The family news is mostly normal boring family news relating to school,work,ect.and i will try not to blab on and on about mundane topics so as to keep readers attention.Our son Matthew had his 8th birthday on the 21st of April,and we had some cupcakes and juice along with a few small gifts of beanie babies and books,and writing material such as a journal with space to draw at the top of each page.Matthew,as i have mentioned in prior posts,is in the autism spectrum and has a few issues that hamper his social abilities.To try to help with these and other issues we continue to support any interests he has,including his need to read and write to express feelings otherwise stiffled by his autism.His beanie baby collection continues to grow and his love for them grows as well,as they are very real friends to him.I must say to all the folks who have helped him amass this collection that every single one is loved and cared for and will continue to be .Our other son Jeromy continues to struggle with school,and i continue to advocate for him related to his abilities and the help he needs to address these deficiencies.I am going to continue to push the system to get him the help he needs and deserves to help him move forward with his education.My wife continues to be the breadwinner in our family,and we are doing our best to get another car for her to drive to work. The lease on our current car expires on the 9th of May and we are hopeful we will qualify to get another new car,but with the credit markets so tight we are not so sure it will happen.I personally would be very happy if we do as i believe my wife deserves to drive something she is proud of,and something that has a proven safety record to keep the children safe when they are riding in it.The one we picked out may not be the one we end up with in this tight credit market,so i will refrain from mentioning the make or model until we are actually parking it in our driveway.As far as me and my personal health related issues,i continue to battle the backpain with the tools i am provided.While they do a fairly good job of masking the underlying problems,the real problem continues to remain untouched.So more surgery is what they suggest to get at the underlying problem of the failed fusion and the collapsed disc above it. I have family members who are very adamantly against me having such an extensive elective surgery.As time goes on and my pain gets worse,the dibilitating nature of chronic pain may end up forcing me to accept the risks and go for the surgery to try and regain some sort of quality to my life.The pics today are two veiws of camp,one of the kids in the water in front and the other is of sunset looking off the bow of the family fishing boat.Anyways i will end here for now,until next time,thank you for reading. spacewalker

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monday April 26th 2010

Todays post i am going to begin by talking about a recent epiphany i had regarding what i eat and what i feed my family.I am a lifetime omnivore,but then i viewed the footage on this great documentary called "Food Inc."by Michael Pollan.This man is a blessing to the planet and he is a fantastic author and an amazing advocate for change to a broken corrupt system.I recommend all of his books as must reads,and if you possibly can watch the documentary as well.The books are"an omnivore's delemma","in defense of food" and "the botany of desire".My older sister whom is herself a brilliant scholar graciously gifted me two of these books,and i cannot thank her enough for her love and support.She has given me many of the books i recently have read and has always supported and encouraged me to write and read as much as possible.I also must say when my sister and i get a chance to talk i always learn something new and enjoy her wit and wisdom tremendously.To return to the subject currently consuming me,i cannot bring myself to eat meat anymore after seeing that movie.I want no more of this unhealthy and unnatural food to go into my or my families mouth.It was eye opening to say the least to see how executives of giant food conglomerates go directly to high ranking government positions at the FDA and make regulatory decisions over their former employers.This kind of egregious conduct was just discussed by me about the financial corporations and their executives being former federal officials and visa versa.This kind of revolving door between our government and any and all large corporations from the food industry to the energy industry to the financial industry and on and on and on.It is an unbelievably corrupted and broken system run by two political parties entangled and entwined with all of the whole of the worlds corporations.The food industry alone is going to be the example i will address now in this post,but they all need to be discussed in an open public forum on a national scale for we the people to debate and discuss a realistic way forward.No longer can we sit by and watch as money consumes any and all chance for our government to the business of the people.As they sit back and do nothing our food system is being systematically consolidated into a small but giant group of global corporate control.I could not believe how giant food conglomerates send legions of lawyers after small farmers and put them out of business if they don't use their product.Because food has been legally given a patent in the form of seed stock that stops farmers from using anything but what the company has to sell.This corruption has permeated every aspect of the whole of the food system from top to bottom,and the problem this country has related to obesity can be directly traced back to the giant food conglomerates and their desire to bring as much profit to the shareholders at the expense of the health of our nation.The companies would like us to believe that it is a crisis of personal responsability in our nation,that we are a bunch of overindulgant americans gorging ourselves on way too much unhealthy food.This is not the case at all,when most people are looking for a family meal they must try to get the best for their money,and the industry makes sure it is easier to buy sugary drinks like soda and high calorie and sugar laden snacks like chips and cookies,ect...For an average family of average income it is much easier to go to the drivethru and get a big bag of burgers and fries to feed the kids than go to the grocery store and buy fresh vegtables and fruits or unprocessed food like locally raised poultry,pork and beef.It is not hard to desire a better diet for your family,the hard part is finding out how to go about finding food that meets the criterea of low environmental footprint,low carbon emissions and locally raised and in season foods.
The more research i do the more scared i become from the overwealming chokehold these giant global food conglomerates have on our entire food system.Trying to trace your food from seed to store shelf,or from farm to table is almost impossible at this point in our history.The government agencies in charge of overseeing this billion or even trillion dollar industry,have put the profit of these corporations way up and above the safety and well being of our nation as a whole.Along with all the other different markets and industries i have mentioned besides the food industry,the unchecked growth of a capitalist marketplace has destroyed any vestiges of a once great and powerful free nation into a corrupted group of billionaires doing their best to squeeze every last recource available to enhance their own positions.The whole of the Political system of this nation is beyond repair and in my humble opinion needs to be addressed as an national emergency.Non-violent public protest on a massive scale from coast to coast must take place,people need to throw open their windows just like in the famous movie,and shout "i'm mad as hell,and i'm not going to take it anymore!!!!"We cannot sit idle and watch as the decades long practice of corporate lobbyists using corporate money to buy our elected officials off to continue any longer.We need to DEMAND that public financing be the way our elections are financed,especially due to the recent Supreme Court ruling related to corporate financing of elections being free speech and covered under the first amendment.To give a faceless corporation with the unlimited resources available to it the same rights as an individual citizen with very limited recources is just stupid in my humble opinion.This must be a priority of any citizen of this nation who believes in freedom and true democracy,because the world we leave our children is how we will be judged in the end.The poison processed food that fills the shelves of this nations grocery stores must be discarded like the useless harmful garbage that it is,and we must replace it with healthy organic unprocessed food.This noble goal is very obviously pie in the sky and not possible,but the more people who become aware of the true nature of the inner workings of some of these global conglomerates and how they have a choke hold on every bite we take the better off our children will be down the road.They put it best in the movie in my opinion,saying that we can vote on this subject three times a day at each meal.The more of us to stop supporting companies who want nothing but the highest profits possible at the lowest cost possible at the expense of our collective health,the less they will be able to harm our children.When you peel back the ugly truth of the system it doesn't matter what party affiliation you may have and what causes you may support,i am convinced no one would forego the health and well being of the people they love to benefit some executives and shareholders whom only hunger for more of our hard earned family budget.All of the suffering being endured worldwide because of this current economic crisis is being felt at the lower middle and bottom of the economic ladder,which is where most of the health related issues from unhealthy diet are suffered as well.When you are rich it is currently very chic to be "green"to buy organic and eat healthy,have a low carbon footprint and put up a facade of caring for the world and your fellow citizens,but when you struggle to meet your obligations and the daily domestic tasks of a family impose on your abilities to be "green" it becomes much more difficult to do.I believe the lack of healthy food and the challenge of finding it being everywhere from inner citys to rural countryside forces people into bad habits.If all there is to eat in your neighborhood is on the shelves of convienience stores or small market type corner stores,then the fast food option becomes an easy way to cheaply feed the family with bags of chips and soda being snackfood in between.Subsidised commodity crops like corn and soybeans create problem products like high fuctose corn syrup and other products that are horrible for your health.The longer we sit by and not collectively get up to do something about it the worse it will become and the longer it will take to fix.When you look at things from the standard of basic scientific theory,which entails hypopthosis,experiment,analasis,it becomes fairly obvious that in the analasis of the way our system has functioned over the last two or even three decades the experiment has failed.To continue on the same path expecting a different result is the exact textbook definition of insanity.Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.I am personally going to change my and my families eating habits.I am going to do whatever is within my abilities to feed my family food that is locally grown and harvested,organic when possible,and stop buying from anywhere but farmers markets and places that sell real unprocessed food.Our family is on a tight budget and it is going to be a slow and gradual change so as not to shock the children into rebelling against it while at the same time not breaking our bank.I have a great family and i am very lucky to be able to attempt this change and my heart goes out to those who are not able to make this choice.I will end here for now,but before i go let me again thank my sister for her wonderful gift of Michael Pollens books and for imparting her knowledge and wisdom to me.I posted a another pic from the gov't mule concert i went to with my son jeromy,this is another of Warren Haynes and Jackie Brown jamming during the encore.I will continue working on eating healthy,exercising,and doing my best to battle back the pain.Without a positive attitude and a good outlook on life pain is the ultimate foe,and will take its toll quickly if left to linger unattended.The fact that laying down is most comfortable can result in isolation,so getting up and moving is key to my personal situation.I will end here,until next time thank you for reading. spacewalker

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thursday April 22nd 2010

Today i will begin my post with some updates on family news and personal issues and then move on to commentary on news events.The days since my last post have been difficult due to my medical issues,but on Tuesday of last week i had a pain clinic visit.This was a normal scheduled visit to access my current situation and i am happy to report that i was able to get the medicine adjustment i needed without any of the usual problems i normally encounter.The resident i saw as usual was new to me and my file,but helped me more than any of the visits in the prior four months.It is a very difficult thing to try to explain,but the chronic pain is so debilitating and it literally controls every aspect of my life.My children are on vacation this week and we had planned to take them somewhere fun,but my medical issues have put that on hold as well.They were so lookin forward to it and i am very unhappy to have to disappoint them.It becomes more and more difficult to endure my issues as i see how it negatively affects my family.The surgery planned to give me relief is such a long and complicated one that i am very reluctant to participate.It is an elective surgery that takes 10 or 12 hrs and can go wrong in many different ways.I am very sad that this is my only alternative at this point in my life.I am 43 years old and hopefully have a long life ahead of me and the thought of being worse off after the surgery is a real hard thing for me to think about.As i continue to contemplate my options it becomes very difficult for me to get my arms around it.Anyways i will continue to update as this developes and will happily accept any advice readers may have.
Things with the kids school are no closer to resolution as yet,but i am continuing my advocacy for them with the district and hopefully after this vacation week i can get the situation with Jeromy resolved.With my younger son who is in the autism spectrum,Matthew,the situation is much more complicated.The school district plans to "declassify"him and mainstream him into regular classes with no support or therapies,and my plan is to fight them with every available resource i have.He has an autism diagnosis and they cannot,in my opinion,over rule his specialist and remove his services.I plan on using whatever means i have at my disposal to ensure both my children have the best education the "system"can provide.As i learn more about what will happen as we move forward i will post more.
Today i am going to write a bit about the national news,including some personal opinions that some readers may disagree with.Please feel free to comment on what i say if you feel so inclined,as i need input to understand your point of view.The first thing i am concerned with is the financial market regulation legislation currently being debated in Washington.The committee in charge of authoring this new and unwelcomed (by Wall Street)legislation is the financial services committee on the house side Chaired by rep.Barney Frank(d.mass.).Personally the problem i have with the way this works in Washington is this:after being involved in in drafting the legislation on regulating the over the counter dirivatives market,which were a major role in the market collapse of '08,a senior aide named Peter S. Robertson,was hired by dirivatives clearinghouse to lobby against the exact legislation he helped to craft.The company who hired Robertson,IntercontinentalExchange,the worlds leading clearinghouse for dirivatives,put him in charge of opening their Washington offices.Because the House has already approved the legislation authored by Frank,he won't need to worry about breaking house rules against former staff members becoming lobbyists.He can lobby anyone in the Senate,as well as other committee's considering the derivatives part of the legislation he helped to draft.So this proves that rules in place to deter former staff or elected officials from becoming lobbyists are inadequet at best,and purposely weak at worst.The list of people who are former senior staff or actually former elected officials who are now lobbyists is staggering.I am going to point out just a few as examples of how this blatently corrupt system allows this unfair and unjust job switching to take place.The migration from Congress to these finacial services firms seems like it should be illegal for many reasons,but it's not only legal,it is fairly common practice and happens all the time.One of the authors of the Sabanes-Oxley Act of 2002,former Rep.Michael G Oxley,is now a senior advisor to the Nasdaq stock market.New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau wrote a great column sunday the 18th about this and i gleaned much information from his reporting.Another few names of note now lobbying congress on behalf of the Financial Industy are Trent Lott and Bob Dole and Richard A.Gephardt and Dick Armey.Former Congressman Richard H.Baker,a republican from Louisiana who left Congress in '08,is now President and a registered lobbyist for Managed Funds Association.This association represents the largest trading firms in the Hedge Fund industry,and it reported spending 3.5 million last year alone to lobby federal officials on regulations for hedge funds.This current legislation being debated and touted as a solution to avert another crisis has minimal regulation of Hedge Funds and no real solutions to the risks involved in the buying and selling of securities like morgage backed securities or collaterized debt obligations.Needless to say if the former staffer of rep.Frank has at minimum advised the exchange at a very least how the legislation was worded,it will be riddled with loopholes they will exploit to avoid being affected by the new law.The way these corporations abuse the lobbying ability is really sickening.They use money to change the way they are affected by new laws by finding and paying the folks who actually are supposed to be working for the public good.They will leave their government jobs and make millions lobbying former congressional co-workers who are just as guilty as they are of putting personal private gain above the interests of our nation.I can go on and on writing names and former job titles of these folks but i don't really think it will make any difference.Until we as a nation can stand together against the corporations who are raping our nation of its natural resources and financial oportunities,we will be doomed to suffer the consequences of the actions of these faceless corporations.Since the Supreme Court is so rampantly partisan and corrupt we have no redress but to stand together against these Goliaths.As i continue to research this i will post more.
The pics are of a great score,a toy Jerry still in the box!It will have a special spot in my toy collection.until next time,thank you for reading.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday April 9th 2010

Today began as the last several days have,getting the kids ready for school and trying my best to push through some early morning problems i am used to.With my pain issues the morning is tough because of the current dosage of my medicine is still on a 12 hour dosage schedule that just does not work.I addressed this with my pain clinic doctors and they made a mistake on the change that forced the pharmacist to revert to the prior dosage after an unsuccessful attemp to explain to the pain clinic doctors the problem with the new presciption.What they had done was wrote the script for an unavailable dosage,and for some reason were unable to come up with a solution with current available dosages,so they reverted it to the prior months dosage to simplify it for themselves.The problem i have is the reason they had changed it to a different dosage in the first place was the 12 hour dosage does not work,it wears off after around 8 or 9 hours and the last 3 hours or so are so difficult to endure it is hard to explain.twice a day the medicine wears off to the point where i am actually crying out in pain and sobbing.I try my best to control it with heat and rest,but it is becoming very hard to put up with.The nice N.P.at the pain clinic actually said to the doctor right in front of me that she has never known the 12 hour dosage to work for anyone.So i am very frustrated that they just continue to leave it the same 12 hour dosage for another two months until i have another office visit to again explain,probably to another new resident doctor who has never seen my file,that i need the dosage changed to an 8 hour interval to maintain pain control to a level that i can at least function at some level.These pain control meds are strictly controlled substances and the pain clinic is under tremendous pressure due to risks of abuse involved with the large amounts their office prescibes to their clients.We as patients are closely monitored and screened to weed out people who have track records of diversion of meds for criminal intent and still they are subject to high malpractice insurance coverage and intense scrutiny by Federal DEA officials.The problem with this is patients with real issues like mine sometimes get sidelined temporarily to ensure all other avenues have been persued prior to any increase in dosage.I am confident the problem will eventually be addressed and solved,but in the months it takes to get there i am allowed to,in my humble opinion,"swing in the breeze "so to speak.Anyways,i will move on to other subjects as i am sure readers are bored of me speaking about personal medical issues.
In other family news i had a parent teacher conferance yesterday with Jeromy's 6th grade team of teachers,and i must say it went much better than the last meeting which i spoke of in a prior post.There was alot to address due to the fact they are trying to get a proccess going to test Jeromy for learning delays that may be caused by some kind of a undiagnosed learning disability or impairment he may have.The process has steps in place they are required to follow which include an 8 week period in which they employ different interventions to try to address the issues they see as his major impairments.His reading and writing skills are way behind grade level,and his comprehension of science,social studies and math are also behind.The team brought some great ideas on how to move forward,but the one thing i was sad to hear is that retention may be unavoidable at this point.He is failing four subjects and two or more means automatic retention.Our only option to at this point to avoid this is to get him labeled learning disabled by the end of the year and get services started.This would allow him to move ahead with his class and recieved support services at the same time.This is my hope as the best option for Jeromy,as i believe social interaction with his peers is important and he would be embarassed if retained.I will support him and advocate for him with the district to ensure he recieves all available recources to be a successful student.We arte very lucky to live in one of the first cities with the "say yes to education" program which allows students who maintain an 82 average to go to college for four years at any institution they enroll in and are accepted.This includes all students in the district regardless of income,and is privately funded.
Matthews current situation is unchanged at this point,i am awaiting the letter from the district for his next hearing in front of the district panel in charge of IEPs.An IEP (individual education plan)is for learning disabled children like Matthew who have diagnosed medical disabilities that affect their learning,in Matthews case a diagnosis in the autism spectrum,specifically PDD-NOS.This means pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified,and is one of the higher functioning autism diagnosis from what i in my limited capacity as a parent and not a professional, understand it to be.I get my information through experiences as a parent with a child with this diagnosis,not through educational degree and job choice,which can be restrictive in scope as i am only focused on my child,while someone with a degree and a wider group of people and experiences to gather their information from may not agree with my opinion.They intend at this next meeting to declassify Matthew and mainstream him into regular student status with no support services at all.I am not in agreement with this,as i believe his current success is related directly with the services he recieves. If those services are removed his academic and social abilities will suffer and he may really be subject to poor progress if not maybe even regression of his acedemic and social abilities.I will provide all the tools for his success that he needs,and will bring all information and recources at my disposal to this meeting to show not only is it neccesary to continue support services for him,but it is absolutely essential to his success as a student.
The pictures i am posting today are of me in my trout fishing gear,before i went out for a few hours to stream fish on a friends 14 private acres on one of the best trout streams in the state.The trip ended up being much shorter unfortunately,as my back issues forced me to cancel and return home before i even wet a line.I will post pics of my catch when i do get to fish,which i hope will be very soon.The other picture is a necklace that a friend of mine from the deadnet chatroom that she made using my favorite stone,a bloodstone.Her excellent work is a privlige to wear and i appreciate it very much.Let me say a public thank you to my friend and fellow deadhead "Geeky Mcsquare"a very kind and talented sister who generously made this for me after hearing me casually mention it was my favorite in a routine conversation.I thought this was very kind and i am grateful for the very cool gift,and will wear it with pride.Thank you again for this handcrafted piece of quality work geeky!
The national spotlight politically today is the historic treaty signed yesterday by Russia and the United Stated reducing the collective nuclear stockpiles by one third.Many conservatives are decrying this as a dangerous and foolish move on the part of President Obama,and are using it as yet another thing to portray him as week on national defense.Even though he has the full support of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs the conservatives are saying this will endanger the nation.As the next election draws nearer by the day,the atmosphere in Washington remains sour and no cooperation on any legislation is possible in the near term.After the healthcare debate sucked the oxygen out of the room it is very unlikely anything will get acomplished before the elections in November.Another Supreme Court Justice anounced his pending retirement,Justice John Paul Stevens,the leader of the Liberal wing of the court.This will probably have no affect on the outcomes of cases as the sharply divided court will still remain slanted to the conservative side for the forseeable future.There is,coming up very soon,a decision coming related to incorporation of the second amendment under the fourteenth amendment,applying it to the states.It is widely expected to come down in favor of incorporation due to the conservative dominance of the court.This is not the outcome that progressives or liberals want,and i imagine they will decry it as bad juriceprudence as they did with the last decision related to the second amendment,the Heller decision.This decision established an individual right to bear arms,a horrible developement in the eyes of progressive liberals.When the decision related to the incorporation argument is cemented by the court,frivilous infringments on possesion of personal firearms for individual defense by State and Local Governments will be unconstitutional and therefore illegal under the law.The Supreme Court has for decades practiced what is called "selective incorporation"of the bill of rights to control its effects on,in my humble opinion,the power of the Federal Government.This coming decision,if it falls in favor of incorporation,will be a huge victory to individual liberty in an era of huge growth of the size of government,and also very sweeping changes in our governments power over individual citizens rights to privacy and a free press.I will end here for now,until next time thank you for reading. spacewalker

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Monday April 6th 2010

I will begin my post today with the usual commentary on news and events of interest to me and then a few comments on the family.Yesterday was Easter so to those of you who celebrate this holiday i wish you a happy easter.It is a very important holiday to the christian world,and growing up in a household with a greek orthodox father(not practicing)and a irish catholic mother i did celebrate this holiday as a child.It is difficult to discuss religon and politics without offending folks on one side or the other,but i hope i can keep the discussion civil.I have been watching the developments in Washington with a keen eye towards my states representatives in the house and senate.As the debate over health care reform heats up,the rhetroric on both sides has really gotten rediculous.As the far right of the republican party drags on the rest of the members,bringing them down to a slow crawl in their march toward winning back seats,the other side is not doing that well with their members either. As the media at large mostly focuses on the stuff that sells papers or brings in revenue,the truth sits in the dark recesses of the halls of power.Our system,which is the shining example admired and looked up to by many around the world,is rampantly corrupt by lobbying money that is unchecked now due to the recent Supreme Court decision giving corporations the same rights as citizens.No powerful Senators or Congressmen will propose a law that will negativly affect the very companies that are financing their campains.They like to say there is no "quid pro quo"here,that no one gets favors for contributing money to their campaigns ,but we all know that is a lie.Just look at two very powerful men in charge of committees that oversee the banking and financial markets, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.These men are responsable for making changes to ensure nothing again ever happens that can bring the world to the brink of financial collapse,and what have they done?NOTHING!They make excuses and continue to accept millions in donations to their campaigns from the companies they are supposed to reign in.How do we the people believe in a government that is so openly and blatently accepting what can really be considered cash bribes from giant corporations with one motivation,keeping profits high and operating costs low.When you look at the donations to campaigns of people like Mr.Dodd and Mr.Frank,you see names like Bank of America and other financial giants at the top of the list.Insurance companies and Banking giants are very wealthy and can spread their money around where ever it will help benefit their bottom line.The money spent on to lobby on behalf of faceless corporations is staggering,and to pretend that it is just "free speech"protected by our founding documents is just offensive.I have blogged alot about the financial crisis and the fallout of it,and i truley believe the people in charge of the committees responsable to ensure future stability and transparancy in the banking system are unreliable untrustworthy and too connected to the system they oversee to change anything.Government officials who accept millions of dollars from these corporations should be ashamed of themselves.All the anger in our country manifesting itself in unruley and sometimes violent outbursts must be redirected to non-violent politically aimed actions to change the way our two party system has failed us.For too long has these two political parties excluded too many independant free thinking citizens to the detrement of our democracy.As a nation i believe it is time for us to come together and correct what is wrong with the way our democracy conducts its business.Constant partisan rancor must give way to civil discussion and real results oriented lawmaking on behalf of the people of this nation.We can no longer sit back and ignore the way Washington in broken unless we want to be known as the generation that oversaw the destruction of the first free and democratic nation on earth.Another financial collapse can only be averted if we collectively reject all incumbant politicians and replace them with new people that are willing to do the peoples business in a fair open and free manner.We must institute an across the board public financing of all national,state and local level political elections to remove the corrupting free flow of corporate financing of elections.There are so many different ways for the market to crash again it would take me hours to attempt to describe them all.The major things that are unsettling about the fact that no real changes have been made to correct the problems that caused our last bubble to burst is that nobody has been held accountable for the collapse.As the situation continues to fall farther and farther into the past,less focus on the causes will develop into another catastrophe in the markets.Anyone who has watched and listened to the experts since the markets collapsed in September of last year knows doing nothing will result in another bubble bursting somewhere in the markets.It doesn't matter if its commercial real estate or morgage backed securities,or unregulated things like credit default swaps and hedge funds,something will cause what they call a "correction"to occur and financial devastation will of course follow closely behind.The folks to bear the brunt of market losses will again be the taxpayers,while when the markets are stable and profits are gained,only the shareholders and employees of the corporations will benefit.I hope this next election will begin a change that will continue to sweep our nation,removing incumbants being the main goal.This is just wishful thinking on my part i know,but it doesn't hurt to wish for a better future for my children.
Speaking of the children,both boys are doing alright,working hard at their studies and helping me around the house.The spring vacation is coming up and i know the kids are expecting to go somewhere fun,but i am not sure if my back can handle anything more than a short car ride.This would limit our choices,but i am doing my best to find a safe fun and affordable place to go.I prefer Florida attractions like disney theme parks,and i know the kids would enjoy them as well.I also look forward to going upn to our summer home on lake ontario,which i posted a picture of,along with a picture of Jeromy fishing on our family fishing boat on sandy pond,where the camp is located.Until next time,thank you for reading. spacewalker