Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Sweet Smell of Creativity

All that is considered organic can and does emit gases. :] Some of those gases are more pleasant smelling than others but they all provide proof of activity. Even what begins to die, in some ways, creates new activity that we can recognize by it's scent.

The thing is that we all must contend with the activity in our environment. The activity that gives us the most joy as well as most aggravation can come from the other humans in our environment. No matter how much we may try to avoid certain people or certain aspects of how some people behave, our attempts at trying to escape the patterns that make us uncomfortable often carve a path directly to what we were hoping it was possible to ignore. This can create a new beginning for those who are in search of one.

The efforts made to protect a piece of wood with paint or stain is similar to the glazing and preservation of a piece of clay. This application does not protect the life of these things but rather it stops their life and becomes a representation of a life that once was. This memorable representation may last longer but it is no longer pliable to the elements of its environment.

People on the other hand are not only meant to be the representation of a memory that we want to keep alive but we are meant to act independently as well as respond to our environment. Doing nothing more with how we treat a living person than attempting to preserve their memory of what we wish them to be is not only futile but it creates fragile situations with breakage that can cause terrible consequences.

I think it's natural for someone whose life is chaotic (no matter how it got that way) to attempt to create structure where ever they can. If this structure can create a path of allowing for more encouraging and more creativity then I think that it is a very useful tool. Even requesting and encouraging people to respond in predictable ways with you specifically that provide boundaries for everyone involved can be a very productive and useful tool for encouraging opportunity and growth.

If instead this attempt at predictability is used to stifle or prevent growth by someone who has perceived power or a stifling method of oppression over someone else, then this will do nothing more than create rigidity and frustration for everyone involved.

Not many autistics (anymore than anyone else) probably want or need to be seen as weak or immature based on the environment we do best in. The structure in our lives can define the best ways that we can do things without needing to have some arbitrary and demeaning adjective that defines who we are as people.

Stifling growth is the opposite of providing structure. Instead, it makes sense to define the boundaries that will encourage creativity, responsibility, and the kind of maturity that allows for autistics and everyone else to provide for others in the best way we can.

When other people whose lives are more chaotic (which may include inner turmoil from undefined sources) attempt to create what they see as structure, they may have a confused view of what real structure (or the kind of structure that promotes creativity and growth) looks like. When people are feeling unnecessarily and overwhelmingly controlled by their circumstances they may focus their dissatisfaction and the disillusionment that accompanies it toward the entity they have chosen to view as the source of happiness or lack of it.

Goals then get set in rigid ways and the people who set them as well as the people expected to reach them can break under the pressure.

Everyone needs to be provided with ways to experience the fresh renewing scents that accompany structured and supported growth. Sometimes children are born without the attributes we may have hoped for or they don't achieve the goals we set for them in the way or the time that we had hoped. People come into everyones life like that at all ages. When this happens, it may be time to redefine the sweet smell of success as being more about being satisfied and happy with the achievements that we and others actually can and do make toward what we ourselves think is important instead of just depending on the attainment and achievement of unrealistic and unnecessary goals that society defines for us as our primary source of all that we call good and pleasant.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


As I have learned about the recent statements made by shock jock Michael Savage about autism, I have been thinking about how shock jocks have evolved over the past 30 years and what their appeal has been with their audience.

Growing up near Washington DC and having my first FM radio station choices as being WASH and DC 101, I must admit that DC 101 had more appeal to most teenagers I knew at the time because WASH was pretty boring (soft rock just isn't just isn't).

Howard Stern gained notoriety as the morning DJ at DC 101 during the mid-to late 1970s. The station was also home to Don Imus at around the same time. Howard Stern left his post and made room for The Grease Man who was every bit as shocking as Howard though his humor added a touch of subtlety to his crudeness.

All three of these men have been fired from jobs for going too far with who they insulted and how. I don't think any of them were what most would consider tame 30 years ago, but certainly today the tolerance level described as "too far" is higher than it was then and more gets tolerated.

In order to maintain their audience, I think it was necessary to continually strive to go a little further with their insults of any and all types of people they saw as vulnerable easy targets.

I just learned about who Michael Savage was this past week when he made his outrageous insulting comments about autistics, their parents, and several other groups.

My best guess is that Michael felt that his audience may originally feel some discomfort about his statements but agreed that there was enough validity in what he was saying to be accepting of his typically rude and crude nature.

After all, his audience expects to be shocked by what he says. Too often I hear people's comments about such speech sounding like, "I agree he went too far and how he said it was wrong, but you have to admit that what he says is all too true." That attitude is all too prevalent in today's society, and I find it very upsetting.

I see Rush Limbaugh as having the same hold on his audience as Savage does on his. It seems to me to be a type of guilty pleasure that accompanies an all too cavalier attitude toward very serious issues that are seen as "all too true" when really they are seen this way only because of the spin that they are described with.

This is my message to Savage about his comments concerning autism:

Mr. Savage,

Your insensitive, outrageous, and absurd insults about autistics and our families have angered many in the autistic community.

You're speech has been amplified, and you're right to it has been protected by the public who have chosen to listen to your show. What you may not have thought of is how many autistics and our friends and family are part of the public that purchases what your sponsor's offer.

While you may feel that it is your responsibility as a shock jock to continually find newer and more offensive ways to insult those whom you feel are inferior, you may have underestimated the resilience, strength, and influence these people have.

Choosing to find ways to validate your exclusionary, survivalist methods of self gratification and the ways by which you intimidate your listeners into emulating your behavior with attacks on those whom you choose to see as inferior targets before you all get attacked by those you define as superior will never elevate your status on the imaginary ladder that you all have been disillusioned by.

While you may see yourself as a defender and promoter of goodwill, I hope you will reflect on the ways you have been disrespectful to the autistic community and find better ways to express yourself in the future.

If the sponsors of your show and the public who are consumers of their products and services are not able to discourage you from making further insults, I hope you will at least remember that even you will eventually reach a point where you are unable to meet the unreasonably exclusive standards you attempt to set for others.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Honorable Mention

The methods that are used to categorize people can sometimes be very useful. It can give people a sense of belonging and provide the comfort of knowing that they're not alone. What isn't necessary and what creates problems is when a population of people has their category devalued in ways that can often just as easily be described as different. If different people make typical people uncomfortable, change is less likely.

Valuing difference threatens some people because what they themselves do and who they are that is more typical would also then have to be seen by them and others to be less valuable. This difference that threatens them is often really their own and they are caught up in a value system that is (at least for the moment) providing them with confidence and reassurance (however false it may be).

This unnecessary method of exclusion and oppression is very much a method that affects autistics. We are not uniquely excluded from a system that judges others fairly. In fact quite the contrary is true. I don't think any human who is in some way different than what is considered typical is not marginalized in some ways by our differences.

When the aspects of our difference gets targeted as what can and must be eliminated these unrealistic value judgments serve as justification for punishment. All human traits are present in every person, or they are potentially present. Therefore, trying to eliminate or fix what you can't completely define puts everyone at risk of being unfairly judged.

Sometimes I hear people who are advocating for autistic people describing our place in society as what I would call that of being worthy of honorable mention. I hear this being said in ways that to me sound like saying something that gives the impression that low functioning autistics can be pitied and made to be tolerable and high functioning people need to be responsible for how they act in ways that society sees as inappropriate (no matter how inappropriate this judgment is).

This is not reserved for autistics at all but this screwed up value system often gets amplified when it comes to how autistics get treated.

I have worked at jobs that paid one dollar a day or even worse. I have been shown a statement of my earnings that said my wages went entirely for my "care" while I was at work. That is not at all like going for on-the-job training. Working at such jobs is what they are training people to remain doing.

I've also been taken out of such programs when it was seen that my appearance and social skills didn't accurately describe my competency level (for people who view things in this way) and placed in another program that I couldn't even be trained for because of abilities I don't have. This amplifies their objective to me. Training and accommodations for certain types of people is often rejected because of "the gate" that it is said to open for others with similar difficulties being seen as expensive.

Of course the problem is that these people who make such exclusionary judgments waste their resources. The biggest resource they waste is the people they exclude.

Another example of wasteful exclusions based on societies wrongful methods of determining value are how the owners of companies collect cooperate welfare (often with very little of their profits that filtering down to their employees) without being shamed by the public while those who often work harder against greater difficulties are provided handouts and shamed by the public by being defined as lazy beggars.

Value judgments that determine status can also determine a lot of inappropriate punishments that are considered lawful but are quite unjust. Once a person establishes themselves in society their behavior is often seen quite differently.

A cashier at Exxon that skims money from their bank roll may be doing this to feed their family and been convicted without an opportunity to acquire the adequate counsel so that they even have a chance at defending themselves based on their financial means. On the other hand a banker who does something similar for much less honorable reasons may be excused based on their ability to acquire a defense and even if convicted only get sent to a white collar prison/resort.

I can't imagine anyone believing that there are many real "entry level jobs" or shoe string business's that provide a real hand-up as I've heard it referred to by many people. Believing in such things is silly. If more such things were available more people would eventually be employed at better jobs after using such jobs as stepping stones. These "opportunities" are designed with an entirely different purpose in mind.

If reading this seems depressing, it's not intended that way. My point is that our class system is made up of ridiculous and often harmful judgments that create the marginalization of many minorities and persons with disabilities. This is what I see as the basis for the marginalization of autistics. This can be more easily turned around than many other obstacles.

I don't think that it's helpful or wise to tell an autistic person that they can be protected by the law only if they are also seen as deserving pity. It doesn't make much sense either to provide them with a goal of attaining the opposite status of a "normal" acting person that is capable of being taught to behave in socially acceptable and clearly understandable ways either. That doesn't inspire me. Who are we really being asked to protect and who gets hurt as a result of our efforts? What types of values are we being asked to justify and who's benefiting?

All such thinking protects is a protection system that is too wrapped up in a warped set of values to see real justice as it ought to be and too irresponsible to change.

Teaching people inappropriate values does not prepare them for the "real" world. Too often those who teach such values are simply preparing autistic people to live in a world that "they" have decided is real in order to protect their own (the teacher's) image and status. You can't expect people to accept the "real" image that you define for them if your number one priority isn't building their confidence and self respect. I also believe your respect for them is shown by the respect you show for other autistics.

Autistics just like everyone else can and do abuse the privilege of being treated respectfully but also like everyone else we deserve to have the right to ruin our lives without the aid of others.

Mentioning people as valid vs. invalid based on how they are configured honors no one.

I also don't think that anyone benefits from dividing people of any configuration by seeing part of that population as being in need of pity and reform. Most people who receive more essential things like respect and encouragement never need these things. What support we do need is a natural extension of the respect and encouragement we are shown.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Human Dignity

I don't believe that anyone is born without a healthy way of seeing ourselves and all others as having intrinsic worthiness. Hanging upside down and nude in a room full of people and getting smacked on your rear may not be the best way to start things off. For those of us who were circumcised, I'm thinking that wasn't a real confidence builder either.

Throughout our lives, how we are treated and how we are taught to view ourselves and others in terms of many unnecessary and unreasonable comparisons of worth shapes our self image. How what we are provided with by nature in the beginning of our lives is nurtured will make a dramatic impact on our abilities and equally or more important our self image by which we express those abilities.

Wikipedia defines human dignity as it relates to human rights (which is how I'm referring to it in this post) this way:

When this concept is associated with the adjective "human", it is used to signify that all human beings possess intrinsic worthiness and deserve unconditional respect, regardless of age, sex, health status, social or ethnic origin, political ideas, religion, or criminal history. If violated, this can be considered discrimination. In other words, this respect is owed to every individual by the mere fact that he or she is a "member of the human family" (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, Preamble). This intrinsic worthiness is widely recognized by international law as the source of all human rights. In this respect, both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) of 1966 affirm that human rights “derive from the inherent dignity of the human person”.

There are few things that I believe more strongly than the human rights that “derive from the inherent dignity of the human person” of everyone (and especially autistic people) is too often discouraged and that there is a fundamental and very needed change for how all (and especially autistic people) are seen that will best create and provide for the respect of our human rights.

I have not seen or experienced autistic people being mistreated in less than extreme ways and extreme changes are needed. Watered down neutral views toward extreme violations of human rights is a sharp sword that people too often fall on.

I believe that many societal views of human worth are too often based on what someone can provide in the way of financial support, by way of social and networking skills, and by way of breeding stock. When someone is thought of as not being a good provider in these areas or not likely to be able to gain a lot of ability in these areas, they are more likely to be provided with fewer human rights.

If autistics fall into any or all of these categories (as some of us do) the view of our value is lessened and how we are then treated follows. First of all, fewer people need to be seen this way because too much of too many peoples potential is being wasted. Also, this system that devalues the view of peoples worth needs to change for every ones sake. We all deserve better.

When people are placed in poor housing and human warehouses, human dignity is the most valuable resource and the most difficult to attain. Financial means, education, and training can have a big effect on turning this problem around but not until people change their attitudes about people who are caught up in the cycle.

It seems to me that sometimes people look at others with what are considered the fewest tangible resources as victims of their own ignorance. It's too often thought that such people have so many personal issues that they can't be accessed on a personal level by others.

I'm not saying that such a view is not based in any kind of reality . I think that the number of relationship dynamics that divide people that have resources from others who don't would naturally seem overwhelming to both groups. What I am saying is that there is a cyclic dynamic involved that isn't necessary. Whatever combination of struggles someone has had relating to both internal conflict and unreasonable circumstances has a multitude of layers of what they have become that makes the judgment by others as to why someone is where they are to be impractical, silly, and often mean.

When society starts seeing populations of people as lacking intrinsic value and being disposable, every human trait is devalued and all humans with more resources along with others with less are devalued.

I think the view that resources of caring and providing human dignity for others being limited is the most limiting view of all. Re-creating self respect, providing, and securing more people with human dignity can solve many problems associated with all people lacking many other resources.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Behavioral Standards and Mysteries

Sometimes what or who I see is no more mysterious than the mysteriously based way I choose how to look at it or them.

If I need my what to be a piece of furniture like a couch or a chair I don't want it to move. When I go to sit down, I want things to be just the way I have known them to be. I don't want to take a lot of time to research all the aspects of a chair and how it can be creatively influenced. I want it to be a functional staple in my environment that I can depend on.

My particular sensory issues that contribute to my directional deficits often have me reverting back to something or somewhere that I know very well. As far as locations, I can get lost very easily even in places that are familiar to me. I can become easily distracted by subtle changes to my environment and then get lost.

When I visit the neurologist and am tested for knowing which is my right hand and which is my left, if I'm stressed I sometimes have to look. (My wife and I have matching wedding ring tattoos on our left hand so that's how I check).

While it may seem to the casual observer that I am obsessive about predictability, it's actually knowing where to find things that allows me to be creative. When I misplace my structural cues or others move them, I'm less likely to find a creative means for defining and therefore influencing my circumstances.

While I leave the critical evaluation of the specific formal use of ABA treatments to those who have studied all the facts about such programs, I am in a position to critique how autistic behaviors are generally misinterpreted and how that leads to mistreatment in formal as well as informal settings.

The ways that I have seen and experienced this in more formal settings has been worse than many of the informal settings because in formal settings behavior adjusters are given a license to abuse and even kill. The lack of formality and the license that it provides can at least provide the opportunity for such things to be seen as illegal.

My experience with this license has shown itself to not have many limitations and I have seen the extremes of its uses. It's not difficult for me to imagine the kinds of abuses that are reported about the practitioners of what is specifically called ABA therapy.

Sometimes I find the ways that people judge the methods an autistic person uses to determine or seek more structure in their environment as being manipulative, demanding, or selfish when it's not factored in why that person may need the structure they seek more than someone else that is more suited to what is typical.

If autistic people weren't individuals with individual circumstances that (like everyone) made inappropriate and unjust choices, then we wouldn't be human.

My point is that the key to working to be more inclusive of people who may choose different and sometimes even inappropriate ways to get their environmental needs met needs to start with understanding what their needs are and then finding out if there can be accommodations or exchanges made to provide for those needs. Trying to change reactions (no matter how amplified) to unnecessary stimulus is disruptive at best.

I think it's also important to remember that once someone who has different needs does have them provided for they may and often are very motivated to provide more of what they have to offer to others. Especially, when this is a very new and liberating experience for them. When motivation is judged prematurely and in overly strict ways, many possibilities for positive change are stifled.

Behavior analysts (professional or otherwise) need to look at more than someones reaction to any given set of circumstances that actually could just be illiminated. They need to look at what may be accomplished by removing the stimulus. Otherwise, they are likely to contribute to (or even set off) a reactionary cycle that they are the ones that need to be responsible for preventing.

Anyone claiming to be using one particular set of standardized tests to judge behavior must be very careful to also consider how the negative influences they have been exposed to of cultural bias can negatively influence their judgment.

If behavior is automatically seen as aberrant and defiant without further consideration, the analyzer and the analyzed are given few ways to creatively move forward.

In this case I'm saying with much power comes much responsibility. Therefore, if someone's status in life has been elevated to the position of setting standard rules for what behavior "should" be, judging peoples behavior based on those standards, and they are then given the license to influence the behavior of those they evaluate, their views and methods must be critiqued and challenged to prevent them from abusing their authority.

As society becomes more sophisticated with how weapons and the people who use them are designed, I think it becomes even more important to find the most peaceful and humane means of teaching and influencing people who will ultimately determine our future.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Interactive Learning

As a person develops, the need to be open and aware of our surroundings never lessens. Awareness is expressed in many ways by many different people. The awareness of interactive learning can and should be exciting in a positive way.

Sometimes I hear people speak about growing up in what I see are terribly overly strict terms. Even more so than when they speak of growing scholastically, the growth in terms of social skills is expected by a certain date and time. Maturing physically and based on the number of years that someone is alive, we decide what that person should know and therefore how they should act. This experience can be counterproductive to the teacher of these skills as well as the student when the goal becomes more important than the means.

Autistic people are highly prone to being victims of abuse.

Sometimes I hear the reason for these regulations and strict methods of teaching people to develop what they consider civilized behaviors justified by lack of time and or money that is required to provide for each grower/learner in a way that is directly according to his or her need. So they need to be uncivilized in how they teach it for expediency sake???? twisted....

This becomes a mind numbing growth retarding cycle when life is seen and taught as a cruel, dog eat dog, social Darwinist, demand for attitudes that offend in order to defend ones self. This stifles everyone's awareness and demands that we always be on stage (so to speak) and never vulnerable enough to understand what we see.

While there are many factors to consider with each person due to heredity, altering experiences and injuries, and the aspects of someone's psychosocial development, how we view learners, treat them, and allow them to learn about us and their other surroundings will make a difference in how their awareness develops. A teacher's ego can only be displayed for so long until they have to recharge. In other words, when your shields are up you may be protected from others, but you're also protected from what you need....which includes being aware of how your abuse of others hurts them as well as yourself.

Maybe the fluttering of butterfly wings changing the atmosphere on the other side of the globe is somewhat of an extreme example of how we all interact with our environment in ways that affect it. However, too often we choose combative reactionary modes of defense toward otherwise ethically neutral behaviors that we just don't understand. Mis characterizing behaviors as bad won't make them better.

Can a learners behavior indicate they are asking to get attention? I would say so. If they are starved for attention, I would ask myself why. Sometimes older teaching people and people who are considered more mature are just more skillful in their methods of manipulation. What confuses me though is if someone is attempting to gain something by manipulative methods, wouldn't being more skillful at that make them actually less mature?

What people want when they abuse someone who is more vulnerable is something they can't have because they can't see the person they're abusing. Not really. They're not aware of their victim's feelings in ways that can benefit them. This shields them from seeing what is good about themselves too. Basically what I'm saying is they can't receive what they are trying to steal. It's an illusion.

You can't teach appropriate behavior by behaving inappropriately. You can't bring about awareness in others without being aware. They may be able to see what you're doing but a teachers abuse is always a part of the process of shutting down and aggravating everyone's emotions.

There is no lack of resources when it comes to the awareness that can create positive change. When people use and abuse others to temporarily and conveniently hide what they themselves are not willing to learn....we all pay for their convenience.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Ethical Governing

I have said before and still believe that challenging policy and social rules is a way that Democratic citizenship can best be expressed. At the very least I would say that the United States as it is seen as the most powerful nation on earth must be much more responsible as the one who holds that position than it is. Whether it has done better than other nations with similar responsibility is not so much a factor to consider for me as the fact that aspects of how things are done in the United States need to be continually inspected, investigated, and challenged if necessary.

As a part of the autistic online community, I feel some obligation to others within the community to share some personal aspects about myself as to what qualifies me and my judgment as something that others need to listen to as valid. I may however be less forthcoming about such things.

Sometimes I should my way out of doing that. What I mean by that is that I don't think that I or anyone should have to adhere to all the unnecessary and sometimes ridiculous social mores that afford us the privilege of having our expressions validated. Without an expression being acknowledged or recognized as valid it makes no impact on anyone else's situation. Being constantly reminded that your expressions aren't valid often discourages people from exploring the impact they can have. This is a waste that no society can afford.

I know there may be some rules of convention that everyone must adhere to in order to be entitled to have their voice heard and I know I also don't believe that anyone who achieves this status that provides them a better platform from which to speak should be deprived of what anyone else with less unfairly judged characteristics is afforded. However, I am mainly an advocate for learning from what is expressed by anyone no matter the typical methods that are more traditionally used to evaluate whether any person is seen as worthy of having their expressions recognized as valuable.

As I hope I have made it clear in my blog posts, I have no formal education, specialized knowledge, nor do I hold any position that would typically afford me the privilege of having what I say seen as valid. I maintain the position that there are many valid expressions that are not regarded as such because of typical standards. I would like to see that change.

I do not believe that any government is rightfully in the position of issuing human rights and then deciding weather those rights will be denied by them. Instead I believe that those who were appointed or elected to positions of government are there to protect the rights of its citizens based on what they (the citizens) see is ethical. The US government contradicts the very documents they claim are the foundations for how they are to govern when they deny citizens ethical treatment and force unethical treatment upon their own people as well as people in other countries.

Beyond human rights of basic survival, the efforts that are made to discourage people from our right to earn more rights based on the responsibility we take is a way to suppress our voice and therefore our rights as people. Too many provisions for people in need can't accurately be described as the biggest part of the problem until people with less means can see their opportunities coming from responsible parties that truly want to see them succeed more than they wish to maintain and protect their bigoted view that oppressed populations choose their fate and aren't capable and/or worthy of success. At least it would be helpful if people didn't see their own government working to show our failures as what defines us as people.

I see the demand for having our severity of symptoms and hardship described constantly as a badge of being in the most need and being the most deserving of aid used as a tool to keep oppressed people from desiring to succeed or expressing their ability and talent. That is really twisted. (twisted....that's my new word. :) )

This also turns us against others who are in similar need of provisions as we are. Division can be a powerful means of oppression.

One of the rights that I feel is a human right that is protected within the Constitution of the United States is the right to free speech. A closer adherence to enforcing laws that protect that right would in turn bring about many other ethical changes that are needed as well. I don't believe anyone has that right until everyone does. Otherwise it's not a right but a privilege that is royally protected by and for royals. There are certain social standards of hierarchy that would at this point only allow for the votes of our nation's most prominent citizens.

I don't see a very broad group of people being asked to express how they feel about the policies in the United States that govern how they live, what is expected of them, and what if anything they can expect in terms of preventing their own government from violating their basic human rights. When too many people who really do care about the welfare of all others and are afforded the privilege of making decisions about the welfare of everyone are also under the mistaken impression that most peoples views actually are being expressed and factored into the decisions that govern their lives, dangerous exclusive decision making habits are formed. Just as fewer voices can take a negative path, encouraging more can have a positive one.

I don't see the provision of civil liberties as a type of treatment that is needing to begin at home (home being defined as the U.S.). If people don't stay at home then they don't really have one do they? While agencies like the United Nations have often not acted in ethical ways, neither have many governments who had the power to change things and didn't. World agencies don't need to dissolve borders in order to make and enforce policies that protect human rights and no nation or agency should enforce policies on others who just think differently. How overly idealistic civil liberties may seem can't be seen as a way to discard our need to try and change things for the better in the ways that we actually can.

Few are regarded as a contributing members of American society. How could a nation rise to this level of power and not regard the majority of its citizens as contributing to its success? I would say that this rise to power has often been rather ruthless and that needs to change for the very survival of our nation.

The only people who truly have rights to the land we live on are Native Americans or Indians. Stealing something doesn't make it yours. It just makes it something you have temporary control of. Many nationalities of people have come to the United States and contributed with little or no regard for their human rights. Many were forcibly brought here. Their lack of being acknowledged as valued members of this society has often afforded them little or no voice. No one in positions of power and governmental authority has been provided their position by any type of fair means that affords them the right to deny these people that voice.

I think it's clear to most people by now that our method of financial exchange does not allow for financial means to trickle down to the masses. What too often does trickle down are the attitudes of our most powerful and influential leaders that don't serve us but instead serve those leaders.

I believe that the laws that are written in the Constitution of the United States of America do provide for the ethical treatment of all people in this country. I believe in the people that are here. I believe that if the masses of people are allowed to vote on policies that there will be a positive change that allows for and encourages the responsibility that provides for all peoples well being.

Of course those who are defined as having superior intelligence and are seen as being more valuable contributing members of society do not validate the right for us all to be treated in more ethically and humane ways. The questions I have are: Why would anyone or any attribute that anyone has be needed to validate anyones ethical treatment. Why must ethical treatment be designated to any person or group of people?

I advocate for anyone who is fighting for better and more ethical and humane treatment of all people to be allowed to express this view and for it to be recognized.

I am expressing my own personal views here and they are not meant to reflect the views of anyone else.

I advocate for the rights of unfairly oppressed populations to be allowed a voice that provides for not only our human rights and our ethical treatment but also for our opportunity to be responsible for our own lives so that we can succeed or fail based on merit and our willingness rather than unclear and unfair judgments that describe our worth as people.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Crazy Consumption

Sometimes when I want to get my point across really bad I try to consider what it must be like to say something without who I am getting in the way. Maybe that's not very realistic. There aren't many ways that who anyone is won't speak louder than what they say based on most hierarchical methods people use to evaluate what someone has to offer. Few people seem to feel that there is time to look past their swift and often superficial evaluation of anyone.

It often seems that many people choose their sources of information similar to the ways they choose their clothes and the other outward symbols they use to define who they are. Whatever we see or hear that doesn't serve what we can foresee to be our immediate future is often seen as a bad investment.

We invest our time and our money in what we see as valuable. When our values get twisted it can prompt us to view some people as being not much more than a product to buy, sell, or trade and too much of how those people ARE valuable can gets lost in how they may translate their thoughts in less typical ways. It seems to me that too much of what we all can learn from gets contained within the minds and thoughts of those people whom too many people never listen to. The unique expression of those thoughts and the development of the thoughts, expressions, and people who have them are too often discouraged.

No one is without having original ideas and creative thoughts at any age or in any other ways people are categorized. The belief to the contrary makes a consumer driven society impractical and wasteful of many expressions, and ultimately it makes every evaluating member of that society a disposable product.

If all we see ourselves as being nothing more than what we can commercially and politically acquire or manipulate, it can make others with less means of this acquisition or manipulative ability seem less valuable as being someone worthy of us knowing.

While 100 years ago there was less congestion and less sophisticated forms of weaponry, I really don't believe that people were any less crazy (as in people choosing inappropriate pathological means for solving problems) or were any less impaired in cognitive ways.

In whatever ways technology or sophisticated speech has aided our impaired abilities in these areas, I believe we have also done as much harm with them as well.

What seems to be our insatiable appetite for the best of products and services has also made all services of all people a product that can then be what I see as a tool to create wide division between what is worshiped and what is disposable. Following the path of wanting to become someone that is commercially and politically worshiped can also lead people to offering themselves as sacrifices to the development of an unworthy hierarchical view of these gods.

When the lights go out a person who's blind may be the most valuable resource to site oriented people because they have had to use resources that we haven't and that are now needed.

The senses that some people with these restrictions have developed from having lived life in a very different way is sometimes a valuable resource that others can learn from. The ways that they have had to adapt to a world that was less designed for their capabilities can also aid them in developing other senses that teach them valuable life lessons that they would likely not learn otherwise.

These lessons won't have an immediate commercial price tag for those who want to learn them. Instead it can only be valued by the worth that each person places on their own time and efforts, and what they really wish to gain from how they spend those resources.

I wish this were the way that all such people with what are described as impairments were initially considered to be useful or that it was at least considered that this may at least be something uniquely valuable about them and what they may have to offer.

Unfortunately, I don't believe that's the case often enough. This is not so these people would be classified as more worthy of understanding and respect than average but at this point I see the scales dramatically tilted in the other direction.

Angels and receptacles of pity aren't respected either. That's just another method people use to avoid the entire configuration of who people are and what they have to offer without having to confront their maladjusted prejudices of the so-called defects that people have that make them (the viewer/evaluator) uncomfortable.

What people experience based on sensing life in different ways can be a valuable resource for the development of everyone's senses that can make us all more sensitive and caring for all life. These views that some so-called impaired people have developed are too often not explored and this can encourage all such others with these impairments to be seen as disposable people.

If craziness as it is seen as an impairment is more prevalent today I believe that it has more to do with the campaigns to market crazy healing and promote the careers of crazy healers. This hardly stimulates the economy when so many are left in the path of it's destruction because the ideal is used to make too many harsh and critical judgments that devalue and exclude them.

What I see as being the best way to produce better humans is to encourage more humanity within ourselves as that relates to caring about others and to learn to delay our initial commercial and political evaluation of their worth. Our sophistication can best be evaluated based on how we develop the aspects of who we are that are really important. The means we use to encourage better relationship skills and more socially acceptable behaviors (that are often nothing more than how they are defined at any given time and place) need a lot further evaluation as to what our priorities really are. This is a key ingredient to our sanity and our preservation.