Things that Bring Tears to My Eyes: A Continuing Series

Wednesday, August 31, AD 2016

Remembering my son Larry, this choked me up:

Michelle Malkin tweeted this story out earlier and I have to say it really is the best thing I’ve read all day. Maybe you’ve seen the photo already but what’s important is the story behind it.

FSU large

Florida State University football players visited a Middle School today. During lunch, wide receiver Travis Rudolph noticed one student, Bo Paske, who was sitting off on his own and decided to ask if he could join him. When a picture of the two sharing lunch made it back to Bo’s mother, Leah Paske, she posted it on Facebook and explained why it was such an emotional moment:

Several times lately I have tried to remember my time in middle school, did I like all my teachers, do I even remember them? Did I have many friends? Did I sit with anyone at lunch? Just how mean were kids really? I remember one kid on the bus called me “Tammy Fay Baker” bc I started awkwardly wearing eye liner in the sixth grade, I remember being tough and calling him a silly name back, but when he couldn’t see me anymore I cried. I do remember middle school being scary, and hard. Now that I have a child starting middle school, I have feelings of anxiety for him, and they can be overwhelming if I let them. Sometimes I’m grateful for his autism. That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him. He doesn’t seem to notice when people stare at him when he flaps his hands. He doesn’t seem to notice that he doesn’t get invited to birthday parties anymore. And he doesn’t seem to mind if he eats lunch alone. It’s one of my daily questions for him. Was there a time today you felt sad? Who did you eat lunch with today? Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it’s nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets. A friend of mine sent this beautiful picture to me today and when I saw it with the caption “Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son” I replied “who is that?” He said “FSU football player”, then I had tears streaming down my face. Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver at Florida State, and several other FSU players visited my sons school today. I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten. This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes. Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life! #travisrudolph #autismmom #fansforlife

I’ve read this three times now and it still gets me.

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10 Responses to Things that Bring Tears to My Eyes: A Continuing Series

  • Amen!

  • I don’t know you other than through your blog. I don’t know Larry other than what you have shared about him. You, Larry and your family have been in my prayers because I got to know you all somewhat by your blog. I saw this story as a headline earlier today somewhere and didn’t read it. Then I saw your blog headline and your mention of Larry and I had to read. And you’re right, it is the best thing I have read all day. Maybe the guy just needed a place to sit and eat, but how many others saw that same open place with the same need and for some stupid reason went somewhere else.

    By the way, the best things you have shared among many very good things have been your reflections about your son. Please share some more and make our day again.

  • Thank you Steve, your kind comments mean a lot to me.

    Larry was extremely patient during the endless visits to bookstores that punctuated his life, and the lives of his brothers and sisters during their childhoods. It used to be a saying of our daughter that something was amiss if we didn’t go to at least one bookstore on our outings. Larry would normally be by my right side as I browsed, although if there was a play area at the bookstore he would take advantage of that when he was a small boy. One day when we were at the Barnes and Noble in Kankakee an older gentleman I had never seen before or since came up to me and praised Larry’s demeanor and behavior, and how he reminded him of his son. I thanked him, and it struck me then that his son must be autistic also. My wife and I would often tell well meaning friends that Larry was no burden to us, which was the simple truth, but rather only a source of sheer joy. Seeing the other older father I could see that he understood this, and I have always remembered his remarks because of it.

  • Heart rending and uplifting story reminding us of how we need to be in situations like this. Thanks Don for all you do and all you share. This helps make your blogging unique and valuable. Blessing to you and your family.

  • Beautiful story.
    “What so ever you do for the least of my people, that you do unto me.”
    Jesus found in you is a stone falling into a still pond. The ripple effect reaches outward, moving the still waters, stirring souls to imitate the stone.
    Great story Don.
    Larry, pray for us.

  • Donald, I am the mother of a 51-year-old autistic son who brings us great joy as you said of your Larry. Times can be difficult occasionally, less now than in the past, but he is a treasure and a source of price and inspiration in ways difficult to describe. This piece by this mother expresses what all parents of children with disabilities feel whenever attempts are made to accept and engage in normal behavior with our children. I have felt it and I thank God for such kindnesses for I know that my man/boy understands his difference and appreciates all attempts by others who offer him a token of normal friendship. Your little vignette about your book store trips remind me of my own son’s patience as we browse the library stacks, greeted by the librarians who have come to know him and his obsession with arranging books ‘just so’ considering him their help mate. I truly feel blessed to have him in my life.

  • Anna, we parents of children born with disorders like autism, understand that the treasures of God come often time in the most unlikely manner. There is not a day gone by when I do not thank God for the 21 years and three quarters he game me with my Larry boy.

  • I’ve shed a tear more than once from reading about Larry — his quirky pivot when receiving communion, his midnight snacks, his running ahead of his family “like a gazelle”, his orange room at you office. He has also enriched our lives and will continue to do so as you remind us of the treasure of his life. Thank you, Larry, and thank you, Mr. McClarey. I’m reminded of “All things work together for God’s glory.”

  • Thank you Ginny. Larry was the most unique individual that I have personally known in this life and as I told my wife after his passing, he was our great and grand adventure. Our life seems prosaic without his physical presence among us.

  • Note: the story of the lunch made it in today’s NYTimes. Nice to know the gesture is recognized and appreciated.

Dear Future Mom

Saturday, March 22, AD 2014

Hattip to Pat Archbold at Creative Minority Report. A very well meaning person once told my wife and I that she understood what a cross we had to bear due to the autism of our son Larry.  I responded by stating the simple truth:   that Larry had never been anything but a blessing from God for us.  So he was, from his first day to his last, and continues to be as he went ahead of us to the next world.  In this Vale of Tears many terrible things can happen to us, but the birth of a child, no matter what, is never among them.

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17 Responses to Dear Future Mom

  • Couldn’t have said it better myself. My own daughter, now 18, is autistic as well, and while there are certainly many difficulties there are also some difficulties that parents of “normal” children have which we have been spared. Just one example, she couldn’t care less about the toxic swamp of youth/popular culture and is content with far fewer material possessions than I suspect most young people her age would be.

  • Innocence is always beautiful.

  • A deeper love, a perfected love is revealed to the parents and society when embracing a child of God such as yours Donald and Elaine.
    God bless parents like you.

  • My father passed away last night. Life is beautiful, it’s temporary, and it’s followed by something better. Praise to the Author of Life!

  • May he now be enjoying the Beatific Vision Pinky.

  • Pinky.
    I’m sorry for your loss.
    It’s been just over 4 months since my father passed on.
    May your dad share in the company of the Holy ones forever.

  • Pinky, prayers for the repose of the soul of your father. I will try to remember to pray for him tomorrow at Mass.

    We recently found out that my wife is pregnant. I am 50. She will be 45 next month, so this is already considered a high risk pregnancy. We will accept what God gives us.

  • Thanks. As Don can tell you, it may be true that none of us are worthy of Heaven, but there sure are some good people up there. Penguin, congratulations. Yeah, nervous about it I’m sure, but congratulations.

  • That should have been “thanks all”. Thanks all.

  • “We will accept what God gives us.”

    Prayers on the way PF for a good result! That phrase has been a saving grace for me during last year.

  • God never makes mistakes. Children such as these are God’s gift to us, and how we welcome and care for them is our gift back to God.

  • Don and Penguin’s Fan: ““We will accept what God gives us.”
    Prayers on the way PF for a good result! That phrase has been a saving grace for me during last year.”
    .
    Make me as holy as I am to be holy.
    .
    Victor R. Claveau, MI: “God never makes mistakes. Children such as these are God’s gift to us, and how we welcome and care for them is our gift back to God.”
    .
    Thank you.

  • Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts and kind words. I am in need of them and I am grateful.

    I knew some of this before getting married or even before I met my wife – that children belong to their parents – in one sense – for as long as the live, but in a larger sense, for only a little while. It is an awesome task to meet the everyday responsibilities of caring for young children and to work to prepare them for the world that awaits them when they reach adulthood. I had some sense of this as my three brothers are younger than I am and, not being a completely average kid, saw and realized what goes on. My wife was an only child. She had no brothers and no cousins her age. It is a greater challenge for her to deal with a two year old boy that is high strung and a kindergartener. She thought she would homeschool and then found out that she does not have the temperament for it.

    The local parish has a Catholic school. I became unhappy with the way Mass is celebrated there and I have the nagging suspicion that this school is no better than the Catholic school I went to in the 1970s.

    One thing I have developed is a greater sense of understanding and sympathy when people take their young children out in public – be it a dinner (usually at a family restaurant), at Mass, shopping for groceries, traveling, you name it.

    One develops a special kind of anger at crooked politicians, inept clergy, mindless bureaucrats, selfish people and foolish businesses who embrace silly current fads that will have a long lasting and damaging effect on the world that today’s children will inherit.

  • Dear Future Mom was beautiful and heart warming. There is so much ignorance about these exceptional children. I hope it was and will be broadcast on network TV as a public service announcement.

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  • First of all, to Pinky: my sincerest thoughts and prayers with you and your family on the occasion of the loss of your father. Requiem aeternam, dona eis, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis.

    Secondly, to Donald, thank you for describing the gift of Larry, your son. Every situation is different: I learn of more and more people every day it seems that have a “special-needs” family member in their lives. We are the fortunate ones.

    My autistic brother, of whose care and custody I have, now that our own father has passed, is a daily occasion, yes, DEFINITELY sometimes of frustration and annoyance, but predominately, of happiness, liveliness, and unbelievably zany humor that only, we the fortunate ones, can know about.
    ******************
    So, I thought, here are 8 things that are the unique gifts of having an autistic child/sibling/family member in your life:
    8) Strange little humming noises can be very pleasing and satisfying.
    7) Harley Davidsons are the most exquisitely Awesome Machines on land. MUST STOP AND WATCH.
    6) Forget Frank Lloyd Wright and Mary Jane Coulter: Some telephone poles are true works of art.
    5) The pipe organ is the most exquisite instrument of music—and esp, the music of JS Bach, Julius Reubke, Maurice Durufle, and Jehan Alain make it talk!
    4) Boeing makes the most Awesome Vehicles that Fly: MUST STOP AND WATCH.
    3) Certain people’s voices, either speaking but especially singing, are Very Annoying.* (*and watch out for them, I have learned he is telling me…)
    2) Nirvanic Rocking can be very soothing to anyone, especially after a very stressful
    day: try it, while you think about what to do next.
    1) And finally: Blessed are the pure of heart, for of such is the Kingdom of God.

Love Conquers All

Wednesday, October 2, AD 2013

 

Commenter Sywink sent me the above video.  My response:

 

Well that brought tears to my eyes.  My twins had a similar relationship.  When my non-autistic son was praised for helping my autistic son, he would always respond:  “He’s my brother.”  He got back in time from college to act as a chaperone for his brother’s class to a zoo.  When I asked him if he would do this he said, “I would be honored”.  This was on the Tuesday before Larry’s death.    Numerous photographs were taken of this outing.  His class after my son’s death put together a collage of the pictures that have Larry in them.  One shows his brother hugging him.  Needless to say that these pictures are now priceless family heirlooms.  Love conquers all, even death.

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4 Responses to Love Conquers All

Euthanize Your Autistic Kid!

Tuesday, August 20, AD 2013

 

 

Charming.

The letter demands that Begley take action over her “retarded” son Max.   The Ontario mother said she had no idea who would send such a hateful  letter, which left her family shocked and devastated.

She tearfully told City News: “Who would do this to a child?”

The letter goes on to criticize Begley for allowing Max to play outside and  says: “That noise he makes when he is outside is DREADFUL!!!!!!!!!! It scares  the hell out of my normal children!!!!!!!”

The letter also tells Karla that she has a “retarded kid” and “should deal  with it properly”.

“What right do you have to do this to hard working people!!!!!!!! I HATE  people like you who believe, just because you have a special needs kid, you are  entitled to special treatment!!! GOD!!!!!!”

The writer finishes by demanding the family “go live in a trailer in the  woods or something with your wild animal kid!!!” and asks the family to do the  right thing and move or “euthanize him. Either way, we are ALL better  off!!!”

Go here to read the rest.  As the father of an autistic son, Larry, who I loved more than my life, and who died on May 19, 2013, I can imagine quite clearly the pain of the parents who received this hateful diatribe.  The author is a true spiritual descendant of the murderers of the Third Reich who gassed autistic kids.  In this vale of tears we all have travails and tragedies to endure, but none are more terrible than the petty hate that so many people carry within their souls.  Those are the humans that are truly handicapped.

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12 Responses to Euthanize Your Autistic Kid!

  • Hopefully the writer of this expressive note will be identified and named. No one who does such a hateful thing should be allowed to hide behind their anonymity.

  • The “author” of this letter must have gotten confused. This garbage is what I frequently see in comboxes -on those rare times when I take a deep breath and “click” to read the vitriol contained therein. I hope, and pray, she has an epiphany and realizes how ugly her statements were and seeks forgiveness.

  • “Go here to read the rest”? Why in the world would I do that? Nothing would make me do that, and I’m sorry that you did.

  • There are several equally frightening possibilities WRT to this letter:

    1. It was written by an actual parent (“pissed off mother!!!”) living in that neighborhood.

    2. It was written by a teenager with a really, really bad attitude, sick sense of humor and penchant for bullying who posed as a “pissed off mother”.

    3. It was a hoax composed by the parent of the autistic child, or a friend or relative, as a way to get attention and sympathy, or to cast suspicion on a neighbor she doesn’t get along with. I know that sounds cruel, but such things do happen (staged “hate crimes”) and the possibility has to be considered.

    All that said, I’d put my money on #2.

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  • I also have an autistic son, so no flowery language will do; this a-h@1* really pissed me off. However, because of His infinite mercy, when we step back and let God back into the driver’s seat we do receive graces.

    When I read “noise polluting whaling” I immediately got a visual of my son, out in the yard dressed as Captain Ahab, yelling “…to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee!”

    That would indeed ruffle the neighbors.

    Thanks be to God the Father of Mercies that I can now regard the author rightfully – as a pitiable wretch who is tremendously more in need of prayer and Christ’s love than of scorn and derision. I can only imgaine what he/she must have gone through to create such a hateful soul. Were it mine to do, I would create whatever conditions necessary for he/she and I to spend a day volunteering at a special needs school. Or a week. Or a lifetime.

    St. Joseph Cupertino pray for us.

  • I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a hoax.

  • I’m autistic myself, and I’ve been dealing with this attitude, quite common among neurotypicals, since I was 5 years old, a quarter century before I was diagnosed, long before anybody knew what was wrong with me.

    I’m now a rather successful (well, if you can call any computer programmer “successful” , this is not the most stable career in the world) 42 year old adult, and not on government assistance. I did this by taking advantage of my OCD and learning to make money with it.

    I see this as the logical outgrowth of the hidden eugenics in North American (both Canadian and USA) culture. Neurotypicals in general are superficial bigots, it is not surprising that given legal abortion and euthanasia, that the attitude of “if you aren’t useful/profitable, you should be killed” is becoming disturbingly common.

  • A hoax and/or some variation of Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome does seem the simplest explanation for this. I’m not sure if believing that makes me more jaded, or less.

    Assuming the letter is genuine, it seems to my untrained eye that there is something organically wrong with the writer, to the extent that they are literally in genuine need of medical care. That being the case, I can understand why such a person would be insecure and hyper-sensitive (as opposed to more understanding) regarding any perceived assault to decorum brought about by those who are mentally challenged in other ways.

    (Then again, it is certainly possible to be pitiably and clinically pathological, and also just plain evil, not to mention stupid.)

  • One of the worst tragedies of our time is people’s unwillingness to accept tragedy along with its redemptive possibilities. Few systems outside the Christian faith make sense of tragedy and find purpose in it.

  • Therefore, being an atheist – lacking the vital faculty of faith – should be seen as an affliction, and a tragic deficiency: something akin to blindness. Which makes Richard Dawkins the intellectual equivalent of an amputee, furiously waving his stumps in the air, boasting that he has no hands.
    –Tom Knox (quoted by Donald R. McClarey)

    So, will this angry anonymous letter writer demand “euthanize him!!!” upon encountering an atheist?
     

    The arc of Communism in the last century…
    –Donald R. McClarey

    …was a long, difficult trek from capitalism all the way to capitalism.

  • .

    On Dateline NBC a few years ago, they showed a case where
    the police were investigating similar notes being received
    by a teacher at a school (and the notes were designed
    to look as of they were sent by another teacher).

    It was later found that the ‘taunted and tortured teacher’
    had actually sent the notes to herself as a cry for attention
    and public sympathy due to feeling overwhelmed with her
    life (and no other ‘teacher’ or ‘outsider’ had sent it to her).

    Also, a couple of years ago a man claimed that he began
    to receive ‘religious hate mail’ our of nowhere from “an
    unknown neighbor” (even though there was no history
    of any of the neighbors having harassed, disliked or
    shown bigotry or hatred toward his family before) and
    within a few weeks his wife ended up “attacked by an
    unknown stranger, possibly the “neighbor”, and killed”.

    It was later found that he felt his wife was a “burden”
    and had composed and sent “the mysterious letters”
    himself as a set up and cover for the crime he was
    planning in order to “set himself free” from someone
    that ‘he’ (not his neighbors) saw as a “burden” in life.

    In both cases, entire innocent-communities (even if
    it were seen as just ‘one’ phantom-person within that
    community) were placed with suspicion and blame for
    something that they did not do and would never have
    even thought of doing — simply because someone who
    felt they wanted to ‘escape’ their own “burdens” in life
    were setting up both the communities and the family
    member from whom they wanted to be set free.

    In addition, there have been story after story of
    late of the many parents and caregivers of autistic
    children who — feeling overwhelmed with taking
    care of a person with severe needs and yet also
    wanting to gain public attention, pity, sympathy,
    support, and a type of victim and/or hero status
    — have plotted for weeks, months and even years
    to ‘get free of their burden’ in such as way as to
    look both innocent and pitiable (and this is often
    done by pointing-the-finger at innocent-strangers).

    My point is that — UNTIL the police investigate to see
    IF this “mysterious note” is actually LEGITIMATE —
    this community should NOT be seen as having
    some sort of hate-monger living in it’s midst.

    This ‘mysterious note’ seems to have a far “too personal”
    touch to it to have been composed by any ‘man’ and / or
    even by ‘woman’ who would have been a ‘stranger’ or
    a ‘near stranger’ to this family — and, until it is PROVEN
    that it IS IN FACT from “someone in the neighborhood”,
    it seems unreasonable to assume that the neighbors are
    not (possibly) being set-up just so that someone who
    may feel overwhelmed with life can literally ‘script’ a
    situation in which to garner both pity and attention.

    It’s not that I’m not trying to be ‘sympathetic’ toward
    the family to whom the memo was directed … it’s just
    that … the situation of “setting things up in order to
    get public sympathy and attention” has been found
    to have occurred so frequently in the past number
    of years that — unless someone has a video of
    a situation occurring — many times it should be
    considered as possibly “one of the usual suspects”.

    http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/munchaus.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victim_playing

    http://www.salon.com/2008/06/04/exhausted_caregiver/

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/08/20/letter-telling-ontario-family-to-euthanize-autistic-son-not-a-hate-crime-police/

    http://www.post-journal.com/page/content.detail/id/609417/When-Feeling-Overwhelmed–Caregivers-Should-Seek-Help.html?nav=5208

    .

Dipping a Toe in the Dark Side

Monday, March 14, AD 2011

As faithful readers of this blog know, I am a devotee of the true faith.  I am not  referring here to Catholicism, which of course I would refer to as the True Faith.  I am referring to the true computer faith, PCs.  I have been worshiping in the House of Gates since my bride and I purchased our first PC in 1988.  CGA graphics, no hard drive, one floppy disk drive: 1200 bucks, on sale.  You could heat a room with it after it was on for a few hours and it was only a little less loud than a vacumn cleaner.  Love at first sight.  Then of course there was the joy of learning the cryptic MS-DOS and all the arcane symbols to make the computer function, which would have made a medieval alchemist scream in frustration at the complexity.  A true man’s operating system, although my bride somehow mastered it first and imparted the secret knowledge of the PC Craft to me.

Over the years at my home and office I have owned so many PCs I long ago lost count, and we have followed them through all of their transmutations:  Windows 1.0, Windows 2.0, Windows 3.0, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP, Vista (Don spits) and Windows 7.

I will turn this over now to my bride of 29 years this coming December, who will explain why we have brought a Mac product into this PC home:

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16 Responses to Dipping a Toe in the Dark Side

  • Come to the dark side! My family is following my lead into the Mac world, and we’re also getting an iPad for our 16 year-old autistic boy (who dearly loves his iPod touch). A great device, gratefully received.

    PS: first computer, an Olivetti M-80 in 1985, with TWO 5-inch floppy drive (ooooooh!), amber-colored, not green, lettering on the screen, and daisy-wheel printer that could do—wait for it!—proportional spaced printing. Oh, and DOS as the OS, and Edix/Wordix as the word-processing system.

  • Mark, our first computer was a C64 in 1987, and, for my money, the best home computer available at the time with a whole, whopping 64k of memory!

  • I can totally relate to this Don. We don’t have an iPad yet, but we will probably get one after the hype dies down and maybe the price comes down a bit.

    We did recently get an iPod Touch, which is basically an iPhone without the phone (though you can use Skype with it as long as you have wi-fi). Our daughter (autistic, but verbal and not in need of PECS, though I do remember those from her younger days) loves it so much she frequently will hang onto it until the battery runs down completely. My husband put some game apps on it for himself. I added an e-book app and even splurged to put a Divine Office app on it. (Haven’t tried the “confession” app yet, though, and don’t plan to.)

    In our house, the One True Faith is in Macs for a number of reasons — a big one being that they are immune or resistant to a lot of the viruses that plague PC/Microsoft products.

  • Now, Don, I don’t want to be one of those who sees Calvinists hiding in every corner, but surely someone has told you that Macs are Catholic while DOS is Protestant… 🙂

    (Which I suppose means, given the age of Eco’s article, that the point when Macs became white and all the hipsters started buying them was a sort of Vatican II.)

  • “The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and users of MS-DOS compatible computers. I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counter-reformist and has been influenced by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory; it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach — if not the kingdom of Heaven — the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: The essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation.
    DOS is Protestant, or even Calvinistic. It allows free interpretation of scripture, demands difficult personal decisions, imposes a subtle hermeneutics upon the user, and takes for granted the idea that not all can achieve salvation. To make the system work you need to interpret the program yourself: Far away from the baroque community of revelers, the user is closed within the loneliness of his own inner torment.
    You may object that, with the passage to Windows, the DOS universe has come to resemble more closely the counter-reformist tolerance of the Macintosh. It’s true: Windows represents an Anglican-style schism, big ceremonies in the cathedral, but there is always the possibility of a return to DOS to change things in accordance with bizarre decisions: When it comes down to it, you can decide to ordain women and gays if you want to.
    Naturally, the Catholicism and Protestantism of the two systems have nothing to do with the cultural and religious positions of their users. One may wonder whether, as time goes by, the use of one system rather than another leads to profound inner changes. Can you use DOS and be a Vande supporter? And more: Would Celine have written using Word, WordPerfect, or Wordstar? Would Descartes have programmed in Pascal?
    And machine code, which lies beneath and decides the destiny of both systems (or environments, if you prefer)? Ah, that belongs to the Old Testament, and is talmudic and cabalistic. The Jewish lobby, as always….”

    I wonder who Sean Connery will portray in the film version of this?

  • “Our daughter (autistic, but verbal and not in need of PECS, though I do remember those from her younger days) loves it so much she frequently will hang onto it until the battery runs down completely.”

    I am in high hopes Elaine that my autistic son will have a similar reaction over time. I think the tactile touch screen control of the Ipad will appeal to him.

  • If Mac is Catholic and DOS is Protestant, does this mean that Unix/Linux is SSPV?? Perhaps I should consider ‘coming home’ to Macs…

  • Don, I cut my teeth on a Vic Commodore.

  • Really, DOS? I suppose if you’re one of those new-fangled guys who wants white letters on a black screen. Me, I’ll take green letters on a black screen, “hex” addresses, and the soothing sounds of a dot-matrix printer.

    The funny thing is, I really have grown soft. I probably couldn’t handle machine language anymore. Still I’d rather play Zork than World of Warcraft.

  • Seeing as my husband’s primary job is working with computers, and we both like video games and don’t have a lot of cash, we’ll stick with PCs.

  • I’ve been struggling with this as I will have to buy a new machine soon. I strongly dislike buying new hardware when the old hardware hasn’t broken. I have never replaced a toaster just because a new version came out. I still think a yellow pad and pencil with eraser is advanced technology and seem pretty happy with it – I guess am a traditionalist.

    Nevertheless, there is something called software bloat and it forces the purchase of new hardware even if the old hardware is still working. I think it is a scam. Of course, this comes from an industry that intentionally sells defective products in ‘beta’ version and tells you they’ll sell you an upgrade once the bugs are worked out. Then every other .version has its own unique problems. The PC industry habitually delivers about 80% of what it promises and everyone seems OK with that. Would you buy 80% of a car or house? How about a round-trip on an airplane with only an 80% chance of success. Again, I say scam. The computer industry is more like a cult than any authentic religion. It looks pretty, promises a lot, but delivers a hollow shell.

    Any way, I need a new one and since now it takes about 30 minutes after spyscans, virusscans, malware scans, root-kit scans, updates and who knows what else to boot the thing up I have become convinced that PCs are very cavalier, flip, impure and unchaste. DOS is pagan at best. How else do you explain the numerous diseases and viruses it picks up and the myriad of inoculations the PC with DOS needs? It certainly gets around. I have resisted Macs, primarily because most of the software I have to use is not written for Macs, but I am going to go in that direction – they don’t get sick as often, so they seem more pure.

    I confess my first PC was an Apple IIc with a whopping 128K. Then Apple sold me on the idea that the color Mac was available and it wasn’t even a Mac it was an Apple II! So I bought the Apple IIgs only to find out that they actually were working on a color Mac and scrapping the Apple II all together. I was lied to, jilted and mislead, so I made the leap over to DOS. Not knowing at the time that Gates is nothing more than a copy-cat, groomed for his role by his daddy’s connections and a rabid globalist and supporter of ‘population control’. Sprint did the same thing to me in the DC area with the Sprint Spectrum – the first digital phone network and then scrapped it and went nationwide with a system on which my phone didn’t work. I know we are supposed to be forgiving, but as a conservative with libertarian bent, I feel I must use my power in the market to signal to the corporations when they fail to meet consumer demands!

    Thanks for pointing out that Macs are more Catholic, I’ll feel better making the switch. However, they seem to be as Catholic as pro-abprtion catholics, which is to say not catholic at all, since they supported so-called gay marriage in California. Or am I mistaken?

  • I’m just not buying the whole Catholic vs. Protestant thing as a comparison and if I did, I would challenge the assertion that Apple is Catholic. If a religious analogy was to be had, I would liken it more to Puritan vs. Scientology. Apple being Puritan, providing its adherents a neat, orderly, all too confining box to play in, all the while the followers are having their very souls stifled. MS would be Scientology. Basically anything goes, an the only real order is that you’re obliged to donate large sums of money for the appearance of a functioning system.

    Android however (and I know this is limited to mobile) was off to a great start as a Catholic OS. Solid, built on first principles, orderly, free, enabling, and free from the bondage of theocratic despotism of Apple and the (a)moral relativism of MS. Unfortunately the cell phone manufactures like power-mad princes of the past started smoking the Apple crack, and have made great efforts to thwart both the faith and the dignity of man. Even Google now is starting to get a contact buzz and may soon fall into a heresy of it’s own making.

  • Oh, just get Linux. Why bother spending all your money to feed the animals because of intellectual property laws that are contrary to reason and the natural law?

  • Next you’ll be drinking caramel macchiatos and eating veggie wraps while reading the NY Times on your iPad.

    I’m more conservative so I drink black coffee and eat steak and eggs while reading TAC on my Thinkpad.

  • Kyle –

    Unix/Linux is Dominican – elegant, but requires deep knowledge.
    Apple is Franciscan – simple, visual, unbounded.
    Windows is Jesuitical – instructing the uneducated masses through simple illustrations.
    DOS is Carmelite.
    Vista is Pelagian – it promises an easy-to-reach Heaven, but follow it and you’ll end up in Hell.

  • I knew I was making a mistake when I opened the door in comparing computer operating systems with religions! 🙂

3 Responses to Do Vaccines Cause Autism?

  • Amen. THE best data out there shows no link whatsoever. I’ve seen a number of children die from diseases that are preventable by vaccines. Never have seen a child who I thought got autism from a vaccine.

  • If you think that vaccines cause autism, it’s not a very good sign that your biggest advocate is someone who made a career out of being a blonde bimbo (Jenny McCarthy). Repeat after me, Jenny: Correlation does not imply causation.

    Let’s put this horrible, unscientific idea out of its misery and move on.

  • I don’t believe in the vaccine/autism link either. My daughter didn’t really show obvious signs of autism until she was past the age of 3 anyway, and she was not diagnosed until age 4. She received all her vaccinations albeit after some careful thought and consideration on our part.

    Unfortunately it isn’t only kooks like Jenny McCarthy who try to promote the vaccine-autism link. Apparently there are now some pro-lifers trying to imply that the use of cell lines in vaccine development that originated with children who were aborted decades ago could be linked to autism:

    http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2010/04/new-stanek-column-vaccines-made-with-fetal-cells-causing-autism.html

    Now, I understand completely the opposition to use of ethically tainted vaccines and I fully support the use of alternatives that have no connection to the destruction of human life.

    However, to state that these vaccines “use aborted fetal tissue” is in my opinion far overstating the case. It implies that a continuous supply of tissue from aborted babies is required to produce such vaccines, that it creates a “demand” for ongoing abortions, that use of such vaccines makes one directly complicit in abortion, and that actual fetal tissue is injected into one’s body with the vaccine — which is NOT the case at all.

    Now, add on top of that the implication that autism is some kind of consequence, or perhaps even a “punishment,” for such complicity in abortion, and I fear the author may have given pro-aborts yet another reason to write off pro-lifers as fear-mongering anti-science kooks.

13 Responses to Culture of Life

  • Thanks for a good post on Palin. For what it’s worth, I seem to have been banned by Henry over at Vox Nova, because I dared to say that he had no evidence for his claims that Alaskans “realize they had been had with [Palin]; when looking for a way out of corruption, they got someone WORSE.” Oh well, it’s all for the best; commenting there is like trying to wrestle with a pig.

  • You are more than welcome to comment here SB.

  • Don Mac- ad multos annos to you and your homies. When I sniffed out at Dale’s blog that you were part of this dance party, I rejoiced. Your wisdom and uncompromising nature on All Matters Life-Oriented have always been of great admiration by me. May you and the boys continue to cry aloud and spare not. 48.5 million lost souls are counting on us.

  • High words of praise Gerard for which I thank you. I have always stood in awe of your skill in whipping mere words into elegant creatures of your will in comboxes! We will win the struggle for the unborn no matter how long the road or how uphill the fight.

  • Dear Donald,

    Please don’t t think ill of me for saying this, but Sarah hasn’t always been a friend to the “special needs” community.

    Shortly after she took office, she slashed the SN budget by 60%.

    Perhaps, blessing her with a special needs child of her own was God’s way of making her see that our children really do matter.

    Based on her change of heart, I’d say that His plan is working beautifully.

    Sincerely,

    Adonya Wong

    Author/Autism Warrior
    “In My Mind: The World through the Eyes of Autism” (Tate Publishing, 2008)

  • Actually Ms. Wong she didn’t. Here is the truth of the matter:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2008/09/newest_palin_smear_she_cut_spe.asp

  • Humorous post.

    My wife and I just had a kid yesterday under the Canadian system. Feel free to email me for details on what a “culture of life” really looks like. I’m willing to share.

  • Congrats on the new birth, Michael! Meant to say something at VN, but this works, too.

  • Congratulations on the child Catholic Anarchist! Kids, in my humble opinion, really do put so much zest in life! I know mine do, and I can say that even after my daughter, and youngest, tied with me in a “bowling for babies” event yesterday to raise funds for the crisis pregnancy center in my county. I figure that next year when she is 14 she will complete my humiliation on the bowling lanes!

  • What kind of sick mind dismisses this post as “humorous”?

  • Come on SB, give the Catholic Anarchist some slack. Anyone who can attempt to mix Catholicism and Anarchism with a straight face obviously is engaged in some sort of comedy enterprise that we in this frame of reality find difficult to comprehend.

  • What kind of sick mind dismisses this post as “humorous”?

    The humorous part is the insinuation that Sarah Palin is pro-life.

  • To insinuate that Palin is pro-life is not inherently any more humorous than insinuating that you are pro-life, Michael.

    You are in no lesser need (indeed, given the pride your studies give you — perhaps somewhat more) than far right wing pro-lifers of recalling that the definition of pro-life is not “agrees with me on every conceivable issue”.