Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Extracts From The Little-Read Book: Chapter 025

Wit, wisdom, pseudonietzscheanistic aphorisms, and bad jokes.

* Were I ever elected to office (ha) I would never defenestrate a lobbyist without good cause. A simple "f--k off!" will usually suffice.

* It sez here: Urgent! Senate Votes Tomorrow to Destroy 1st Amendment! (conservative-daily.com) Horsehockey. This is pure Kabuki theater. The Democrats voted for an amendment that they knew wouldn’t go anywhere simply to appease their idiot base. Happens every day.

* Democracy sucks.... less than anything else.

* Don’t vote? Don't complain. You are getting what you asked for, good and hard.

* It sez here:  Stranger Than Fiction - Flours (youtube.com) Gaah. I haven't been able to watch Maggie Gyllenhaal in *anything* since seeing *SECRETARY*, an utterly perverted hell movie that tried, and failed, to make abusive behavior "erotic".

* It sez here:  24,639,000: Record Number of Foreign-Born Hold Jobs in U.S. (cnsnews.com) So we stole 25 million of other countries' best and brightest, and you're COMPLAINING?

* I just want to know how much it would cost to renounce Obama's citizenship.

* Remember the first rule of politics: the choice is never between Good and Better, or even Good and Bad--rather the choice is always between Bad and Worse. It is your duty as a citizen to show up at the voting booth and vote for Bad. If you stay home or vote for someone else you're always voting for Worse and will suffer the consequences of Worse whether you like it or not, because you are, in fact, voting for Worse through refusal to vote. (Not to act is to act. Not to choose is to choose.)

* The Tea Party bullcrap of gimme-what-I-want-or-I-stay-home is pure poison. Even a Nixon, if Republican, would be superior to any Democrat, up to and including a revenant FDR.

* I know a guy that reminds me of an old Gahan Wilson cartoon. Frankenstein's Monster is sitting and grinning in a bar with several empty beer mugs in front of him, and one guy says to the other, "You know, he's not a bad guy once you get a couple of drinks in him!"

* I’m sitting in my back yard and seeing a skywriter, but I can't make out what they are trying to spell: "YHTOROD REDERRUS"? What the hell?

* It sez here: Levin: You Got What You Wanted, GOPe, Your Base is ‘Furious’  (jenkuznicki.com)  So they're furious. Tough noogie. If they stay home in November they may as well be Obama's personal catamites.

* The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy taught us that the purpose of the President of the Galaxy was not to wield power but rather to distract attention away from those who do. It's now clear that, these days, the President of the United States serves the same function.

* It sez here: Southern Indiana Churches Spray-Painted with Koran Verses (Politichicks.com) The work of the Klan. Or militia tards. If it were Muslims it would be in Arabic. Can't you guys see when you're being manipulated?

* Is there any way we can do like that episode of Dallas and pretend the entire last six years was just a dream sequence?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ho ho. Hee hee. Haa haa.
To the funny farm where

Coming to a police station near you.
Ladies 'n' Germs, Mr. GREG SCHANKIN!

* The militant group ISIS just released a new audio clip mocking American politicians, including John Kerry and John McCain. And Americans are really upset because they released it directly into everybody’s iTunes account.

* About 400,000 people marched in New York the other day to draw attention to climate change. They held up signs and banners. They chanted things like "Hey, hey, ho, ho, fossil fuels have got to go." You know when somebody begins a chant with "Hey, hey, ho, ho," they mean business. [Yep. Business has got to go. - Ed.]

* Then there is that new show "Gotham." It's about when Batman was a little boy and Robin was a little girl.

* A man scaled the White House fence and ran across the lawn to the front door. Is it just me or is "The Amazing Race" running out of ideas?

* The White House has re-evaluated its security and today they announced they'll start locking the front door. They're also going to start asking who's there when someone knocks.

* The Secret Service is under scrutiny after a man jumped a fence and entered the White House. In their defense, when they saw a crazed maniac running down the White House lawn, they assumed it was Biden.

* There were some major security issues at the White House over the weekend. On Friday, a guy got to the front doors of the White House, and on Saturday another guy jumped over the White House fence. Officials are wondering why it's so easy to get in, while Obama is wondering why it's so hard to get out.

* Some sad news from the world of reality TV. Mama June and Sugar Bear from "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" are splitting up. Their lawyers are citing unintelligible differences.

* It's a sad day as we hear that America's sweethearts — the Honey Boo Boos, Mama June and Sugar Bear — are separating. They're not consciously uncoupling. That's for people who eat kale.

* Mama June and Sugar Bear are, and I quote, "broked up." Apparently Mama June caught Sugar Bear cheating with other women. They were Betty Crocker, Mrs. Butterworth, Little Debbie, Sara Lee, and Aunt Jemima.

* In another celebrity photo leak, nude photos of Kim Kardashian have been posted to the Internet. Kim said she'd be very embarrassed if only she knew how.

* The CEO of JetBlue announced he'll step down in February. Of course, it being JetBlue his actual departure may be delayed until March.

* This one’s not mine but I wish it was: "Chicago is reversing its plan to name a high school after President Obama after it received multiple complaints from people in the community. I guess parents were afraid their kids would spend eight years at the school and still not get anything done."

Ththththtat's all, fffffolks.....

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fridge Pics: Memes of the Week, 9/21 - 9/27, 2014


Friday, September 26, 2014

"Give us a King, o Lord."

And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your olive yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.

And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king.

- 1 Samuel 8:10-19

Repost: The Most Fabulous Object In The World:
An Essay In Movie Clips

(((...wherein our hero presses the Fair Use Doctrine of the Copyright Act to its outer limits.)))

There stands before all of us, a choice.

A choice to pursue a Quest.

That quest is not, for most of us, the final resting place of the most Holy Grail....

....nor is it at the bidding of the most wise and all knowing among us.

It is, instead, a quest for resources... which is to say, The Big Bucks.

And the more of the Big Bucks the Big Bucks are worth, the more we want them.

Ultimately this search is symbolized by what some call The Most Fabulous Object In The World.

Some warn us against it.

....but we pursue it anyway, and one day it is offered to us, sometimes, with by the most charming of people, perhaps with our own parents' most hearty approval.....

....but we always, always find out who is behind it.

("The devil doesn't come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you've ever wished for ...” ― Tucker Max)

Which of course brings us to the most recent Harry Potter movie.

As you know, Harry finds himself growing up a rather unlucky fellow, having a rather unpleasant taskmaster seeking his doom, destruction, obliteration, and oh, by the way, his early demise.

Harry (to make a long story short) kicks his butt....

(I don't exactly think this is a spoiler.) (In other news, the Titanic sinks at the end of Titanic.)

...and Harry himself winds up owning Voldemort's wand, the Deathstick, the Elder Wand, the Most Powerful Wand Ever Created.

In the words of his best friend, Ron Weasley: "It's the Deathstick! The most powerful wand ever made! With it you'd be INVINCIBLE!"

And what is Harry's reaction?

First, let's study what he didn't do.

Isuldur, in Lord of the Rings, faces a similar choice. He, too, had just defeated the Big Bad and obtained The Most Fabulous Object In The World.

He has a chance to drop it into the Fire.....

...but against wiser advice decides to keep it anyway.

This decision Does Not End Well.

Actually this is probably a good thing, as the manufacturers of the Ring declined to include a list of possible side effects on the outside of the package.

Anyway. So Harry has the Deathstick.

What does he do?



And down the shards of the wand go into the green valley below.*

And Harry then goes home, gets married, raises his kids, and lives happily ever after.

Harry, in short, decides he doesn't feel like being a big guy in a bar who is going to spend the rest of his life fighting aggressive little weenies who want to prove their masculinity--or in his case fighting minor dark wizards who want to take away the Deathstick. So he decides, "Screw it." Breaks it in half and drops it off a bridge into the valley, very Frodo-like. Or, morelike, very much like Isuldur should have when he had the chance, but didn't.

The quest to pursue The Most Fabulous Object In The World lies before all of us.

It may not, however, be what is good for us.

Takes a lot to know the difference.

And this is why I like Harry Potter.

*In so doing Jo Rowling, with a throwaway joke, closes off an entire series of painfully obvious sequels. After all, the only possible outcome would be what he does here, throwing the Rin... I mean the Deathstick into the Fires of Mount Do... I mean disposing of the shards irretrievably.

I'm reminded of a line from Casablanca, Louis to Rick.  How extravagant you are, J.K., throwing away plot lines like that. One day they may be scarce.


Clips borrowed from the following flix:

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

2. Excalibur: Merlin.

3-6: Time Bandits.

7-9: Harry Potter & Deathly Hallows

10-15: LOTR: film 1 & 3.

16: Harry Potter, which movie I don't know.

17: Some u/i fan art I found on the web of Harry Potter and his kids.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Extracts From The Little-Read Book: Chapter 024

Wit, wisdom, pseudonietzscheanistic aphorisms, and bad jokes.

* Okay, today’s LRB rant is brought to you by the deaths of three of my friends from cocaine and/or heroin overdoses since January. I’m pissed.

* What do we do with dealers? Throw away the key–unless you’re famous. Or have a good lawyer. Take Tim Allen. Tim Allen--the movie actor--was caught with a pound of cocaine in his car. Under the old 'one strike' law here in Michigan, he would have gotten LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE. He had a good lawyer who kicked it to Federal court, he served 28 months. A good lawyer always helps. Course it also helps if you’re rich to begin with.

* OTOH, much of Federal drug law is cruel and unusual, and the fact that 1 lb of crack has been punished far more harshly than 1 lb of powder blow is a racist obscenity as a pound of crack is rarely found on white people, yet contains no more cocaine than a pound of regular cocaine does.

* Then there’s meth. Meth is a terrible drug and it ruins lives. Prison is only half the risk. What it does to the grey spongy stuff between the ears is generally irreparable. Ever deal with methheads? MJ just makes you stupid, but it's reversible, meth puts your grey matter through the blender and it really isn't reversible unless you're forced to be clean at gunpoint for years... which is what prison does.....

* But as for active involvement in the drug trade, particularly involvement in activities that lead to the death of customers, rivals or less-than-solvent organization members, I favor the harshest possible punishment. That's bad stuff.

* But as for turning the drug trade over to Big Pharma, Big Tobacco or the state or federal government by "legalizing" it . . . no. thank. you.

* America is made up of the troublemakers of the world. We have far more criminals per capital because we also have far more hypersuccessful people per capita. We are the descendants of the world's troublemakers... we came here because our ancestors weren't happy being in the villages they grew up in. (And yes, some were brought here as slaves, too--but the ones who were brought here as slaves were generally taken in war, so same principle applied.) I don't believe that this makes us "better" than anyone--just "different." But it does likely give us more geniuses AND criminals per capita than anyone else.

* It sez here: Asking the Right Questions about Pot americanthinker.com Just a little example of the connection between alcohol use and human nature.... that ancient Hebrew inscription they deciphered a few weeks ago... was a mark on a jug of wine indicating that it was el cheapo plonck.... "Mogen David 20/20".... :) Seriously, when you can find a 3000 year old village with empty Mr. Zig Zag paper containers, then we can talk about the social equivalence of widespread alcohol use and widespread MJ smoking.

* I don't care what the Michigan Supremes have to saw about the lawfulness of baked driving. I say that as a matter of public policy, public safety and my own personal survival, I don't want to share the road with a baked driver, any more than I want to share the road with a drunk driver. His toke, my life. No thank you.

* We think life is about pleasure and wealth. It's about growth, education and suffering--the cake we become is made up of the ingredients of what we are, what we put in our heads, "baked" by the suffering we endure in experience. Nobody rides for free and nobody gets out alive. (Excepting maybe Elijah. Even Jesus didn't get out alive!) Art from someone who never suffered is puerile. So is a soul.

* One of the reasons I tremble at the thought of occupying a public office myself is being held responsible on the Day of Judgment for *every* public decisions I might have to make. Imagine you're (say) a judge. You see (say) 1000 defendants/year who plea (98%) or go to trial. You serve on the bench for 20 years. That's 20,000 people you've sentenced to jail. You have a 1% screwup rate (about the same as a good automotive engineer or light-bulb maker). That means that there are 200 people you have sentenced unjustly....

* But hey, party on, Darth. As it says in the Bible..... "Let he who is stoned cast the first sin".

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

History Lesson: Welcome to Sarajevo

It started like this..... last night with the Middle Offspring:

"Dad, why did America get involved in WWI?"

"Well, Germany sunk our ships."

"And why was that?"

"Because Britain was our trading partner."

"And why was that?"

"Because Britain declared war on Germany."

"And why was that?"

"Because Germany declared war on Belgium."

"And why was that?"

"Because Germany wanted to invade France."

"And why was that?"

"Because France declared war on Germany."

"And why was that?" 

"Because Germany declared war on Russia."

"And why was that?"

"Because Russia declared war on Austria."

"And why was that?"

"Because Austria declared war on Serbia."

"And why was that?"

"Because Serbia hired a nihilistic teenager with a gun to shoot the Austrian heir to the throne."

"And why was that?"

"Beats the shit out of me, son...."

* * *

It all started with a car ride--which should never have been taken.

The guy in the silly hat and his wife, shown here, are about to get into a car. The purpose of the trip was to visit certain individuals who had been wounded in an assassination attempt while riding in another car an hour earlier.

Bad idea.

The big bang that followed reverberates to this day.

I have been to Sarajevo. In the summer of Y2K I was a peacekeeper (some would say 'war tourist') in Bosnia, and went to see the spot of the assassination in Sarajevo.

Here we are outside of the Old Town, our backs to a structure now called by its original name, the Latinska Bridge.....

As I take this next photograph I am standing on the very spot where the horror story called The Twentieth Century began. As best as I can, my feet are in the very position of those of Gavrilo Prinzip, who shot the Archduke and Sophie.


A contemporary wood cut of the assassination. Both died within minutes.

She was pregnant..... aside from the unborn child, they left three children under the age of ten.

(Sophie was three times a countess and twice a duchess; but that wasn't royal enough for the Hapsburgs; not only could her children not succeed to the throne, but they would not even bury her in the same royal tomb as her husband.)

These white bricks replaced the former memorial to the assassin. Yes, they actually honored him with a monument. It read, "In honored memory of Gavrilo Prinzip, who freed his country on this spot, June 28, 1914." The white stones replaced the memorial in 1999. The memorial was removed to a Serb section of the city. As it is, after suffering three year of Serbian artillery fire, the city felt free of the need to honor a Serbian fanatic.

(The spot has since been made much more 'touristy' for the centennial. I prefer this.....)
I like this next picture much better--not because of the bridge, however. The bridge was actually renamed the Prinzip Bridge! (Imagine getting a book at the Oswald Depository or seeing Our American Cousin at the Booth Theater!). Anyway, I like the picture much better because of Jasmina Spahic, our tour guide--now Jasmina Hansen of Texas, now an American citizen and a mom!  (Yes, kiddo, this one is for you!).

Our other tour guide, whose name, alas I no longer remember. Latinska Bridge is clearly visible here.

I don't revere assassins. I can't name a single one--other than Caligula's, maybe--that EVER did ANYTHING to improve things. (I have heard Prinzip called "The Serb Washington" or compared to Klaus von Stauffenberg. Horsehockey. Washington never shot pregnant women. And I hardly see the Archduke as Hitler.)

Let me respectfully note one other person in this scenario: one Dragutin Dimitrijevic, AKA Apis, who had organized the assassination. He also assassinated the Serb king Alexander Obramovic and his wife Draga, making him a most rare criminal--a quadruple regicide. But he wasn't executed for those crimes, but for plotting the assassination of the next Serbian king, Peter I.* One must give credit where credit is due. It takes a certain Olympian level of bloodthirst to do such a thing....

But anyway. When these pictures were taken, it was eleven years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, eight years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and all was well in the world (outside of Bosnia, of course).

What we thought were breezes on the wind were the Cheyne-Stokes breathing of a world about to die.

We had no idea.


Any more than Franz Ferdinand and Sophie.



*"Good afternoon and welcome to Regicides Anonymous. My name is Apis, and I am a regicide." "Hi Apis!" :/

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Extracts from the Little-Read Book: Chapter 023

Wit, wisdom, pseudonietzscheanistic aphorisms, and bad jokes.

* It sez here: What if atheists treated Christians the way Christians treat atheists? (deadstate.org) No comparison. Historically atheists arrest us, torture us, and put us in concentration camps where they occasionally shoot us. (That only happens when atheists get enough power to do what they want. Hasn't happened here.... yet.)

I keep hearing about how bad Christians treat atheists, so a lot of loudmouths who call themselves atheists use it to justify their behavior toward us. Which Christians historically have been ill-behaved, today there's a difference: the witch hunts were a long damn time ago. I personally know victims of atheist run "reeducation" camps. Some taught me Russian.  (Given the number of priests and nuns killed by "scientific atheists" these last 100 years, you think they'd call it even about Galileo.)

* It sez here: Los Angeles Vaccination Crisis - The Hollywood Reporter (www.hollywoodreporter.com) If vaccines don’t cause autism–well, then, please, please tell me, what the hell therefore DOES cause it? I have three autistic kids AND we vaxxed them all. And I regret the shit out of it. But don’t worry. Your kids are now safe from mine. Sorta.

* Obama is best described as a post turtle. What’s a post turtle? A turtle that someone puts on the top of a fence post. He’s a lot higher than he ought to be, he’s helpless, he couldn't have got there on his own, he's wondering what he's doing there, and he sure as hell don't belong there! (And the best thing that can happen to him is if someone else takes him down and returns him to his former habitat.)

* The closest to real any prince has ever gotten in a children's story is Prince Humperdink in The Princess Bride.

* Some people believe that the earth is 6000 years old. Others believe that the unborn are blobs of cells that can be killed at whim. The former generally don't agree with the latter. I'm very okay with that. The latter are much more numerous than the former. I am NOT okay with that at all.

* I got Social Work. What is your hidden talent? (bitecharge.com) I can't tell you. It's secret.

* It sez here: Democrats flummoxed by Republicans taking their anti-free-speech bill seriously (humanevents.com). Democrats. They daub themselves in excrement and blame the GOP for not hosing them off. (((smh)))

* Don't worry if you hear that Imperial Storm Troopers have entered the base. They can't hit squat.

* Given the competition offered these last 100 years by Marxism and its mutant offspring, give me consumerist capitalism 7 days a week and twice on Sunday.

* FGM is NOT an Islamic practice as such. I know Muslim women... from Lebanon, Iran, Egypt.... who view the practice with as much horror as we do..... they view it as a backward, barbaric, country-bumpkin practice..... it’s a cultural practice that was in place long before Islam showed up and will probably continue long after it disappears.

* I remember, when I served in the military, that officers were often buried in pointless paperwork. Do not underestimate the value of that in preserving freedom. Gobs of useless paperwork keeping officers endlessly busy or who are forever paranoid about preparing for the next inspection never have time to sit around the officer's club drinking juleps and opining how they can run the country better than the politicos they serve..... (Many countries do not burden their officers with this requirement, thus leaving them the free time to plan coups.)

* Sometimes when life gives us lemons, it doesn't give us water, sugar or a pitcher to make lemonade with. We look to the sky and ask "Why me, Lord?" and His only answer is "Because I think you're up for it."

More Thursday.

Monday, September 22, 2014

♪♪Monday, Monday.....♪♪
Time for Greg's Giggles!


* The people of Scotland are voting on whether to declare independence from the United Kingdom. If Scotland votes for Independence, it could have major ramifications. Great Britain is concerned that if they lose Scotland, they could be cut off from a major supply of bagpipes and kilts.
* The official ballot is one line: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" And that's it. Why is it that I have to go through 18 pages of terms and conditions to download iOS 8 while a whole country can secede from the United Kingdom by checking a box that says "Yes"?

(*  Well, we just go the word that Scotland voted no. This time. If at first you don't secede, try, try again....)
* South African sports officials have ruled that Oscar Pistorius is free to run competitively again. Shortly after the announcement, he was signed by the NFL.

* In a recent interview, Texas Governor Rick Perry revealed that he has spent the last 20 months preparing to run for president. Then Hillary said, "Call me when you’ve spent 67 years."

* Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Iowa this week, three days after Hillary Clinton’s high-profile return to the state. He’ll spend two days there — one campaigning and another stuck in a corn maze.

* Actually, Biden will be in Iowa to help a group of nuns called "Nuns on the Bus" kick off their voter registration tour. Biden says it's his way of giving back, while the nuns say it's God's way of testing their faith.

* The reason Mr. Amazing is so expensive is that he's one of the world's smallest Pomeranians. For another $4,000, they will sell you no Pomeranian at all. [And it would be worth every penny. - ed.]

* This week scientists at North Carolina State University announced they discovered a way to move and manipulate liquid metal with electricity. And Arnold Schwarzenegger has already been sent back in time to stop it.

* Did everybody get the free U2 album in their iTunes? Well, there were some complaints, so Apple built a webpage specifically for users to delete the album from their accounts. You just enter your birthday, and if you’re under 40 years old it deletes the album.

* The White House today came out in support of requiring police officers to wear body cameras at all times. It’s a great way for fans to keep up with their favorite NFL players.

* On Tuesday, Apple gave the new U2 album to all of their customers for free. It just showed up in their iTunes. People were upset about it. There was so much backlash that Apple released a tool to remove the album from your iPhone. Poor Bono and his weird sunglasses are soaked with tears right now.

* In New York City today, the 69th version of the United Nations General Assembly was called to order. Manhattan was jammed with traffic, streets were filled with people wearing strange clothes and yelling in every conceivable language. Then the U.N. got started.

* The U.N. delegates fan out across Manhattan to take advantage of diplomatic immunity. They do dangerous stuff just because they can, like get speeding tickets. They can even take pictures of Alec Baldwin.

* It's always fun when people who can't stand each other come together, make speeches, and glare at each other in silent hatred, knowing they won't have to see each other for a whole year. It's like international Thanksgiving.

* Last night was the big finale of "America's Got Talent." It's my favorite TV talent show, if you don't count "The X Factor," "The Voice," "American Idol," "Top Chef," "Top Model," "Project Runway," and "Twerking With the Stars."

* People call "America's Got Talent" AGT. That's how lazy we've become. We can't pronounce three words

* A Saginaw, Michigan funeral home is offering a drive-thru viewing option. Or as they're calling it, "Jack Actually in the Box." ["Would you like fries with that?" - ed.]

* Problems for the NFL continue. Last week Nike suspended Ray Rice's contract and today they suspended Adrian Peterson's contract. So now Nike is down to Oscar Pistorius and Kim Jong Un.

Ththththat's all, ffffolks.......

Sunday, September 21, 2014

And the 2014 TED LINDSAY
COURAGE AWARD goes to....
My son William.

This past Monday, September 15, 2014, my son William Joseph Kent, third of that honorable name, was guest of honor at the annual TED LINDSAY FOUNDATION annual award dinner after the Celebrity Golf Outing to Benefit Autism Research, held at the Pine Lake Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

TED LINDSAY, to those who are not sports fans, was and is the Detroit Red Wings hockey great who, with Gordie Howe, made the 1950s Wings the unbeatable legend that they were. He has spent his recent years--he's 88 years old now--devoting his great fortune and influence to the fight against Autism.

The TED LINDSAY FOUNDATION has been working for the past fourteen years to raise hundreds of thousands both for research to overcome the effects of autism, and to provide direct cash assistance to families struggling to raise children on the Autism spectrum.  They also recognize certain individuals and families who have been most exemplary in their overcoming the disorder. The family award went to the Crossman family (Drew, Jill, Tom (13) and Kate (11)) (and congratulations to them!); the individual award went to William.

From the awards book,
(Click to embiggen :) )
At the time of his award, which included a $3000.00 contribution to his education, my son William was invited to address those attending the dinner. The following remarks are his.

Good evening. It is my honor to be present here this evening, as the recipient of the prestigious Courage Award. I am not ashamed to say that I have Asperger’s Syndrome, for it and the things my family and I have done to adapt have made me who I am more than anything else in my life. My journey to this day is quite a story, and it is this story I will share with you tonight.

If you knew me when I was small, you would not recognize me for the man I am today. My family moved here from Missouri in 2003. Once we had settled down I was enrolled at West Utica Elementary School. It was there that the first signs of my Asperger’s Syndrome began to show. At first, it was little things. I used to get into arguments with my teachers now and then. And although fourth grade was a time of happiness, in fifth grade things began spiraling downhill.

I simply could not tolerate my fifth grade teacher’s style. I got into arguments with him every single day. Before fifth grade had ended, things had become so bad that I was removed from West Utica Elementary and placed in a special-education classroom at Crissman Elementary.

Will gives his address.

At Crissman, and then at Rockwell Junior High, things were no better. By this point I was so scarred from my experiences that I no longer saw a point to school. Public meltdowns were common, and my mother had to come and pick me up early almost every single day. What’s more, the staff at Rockwell still didn’t understand me (although I will give them this: they certainly tried).

But it was there, between my seventh- and eighth-grade years at Rockwell Junior High School, that I found my spark and turned my life around.

I have always loved using computers, and have known this since I was in kindergarten. But it was between seventh and eighth grade that I discovered computer programming, and the joy of pure intellectual endeavor it brought me. I was inspired. I decided then and there to pursue a career in the computer field, but I realized soon afterwards that to receive a proper college education I would have to greatly improve in school.

And so I did. In eighth grade, the biggest change was my attitude. In ninth grade, I began to truly get into my element. It was also then that I became aware of the process of integration: where a student would return to their mainstream, "local" middle or high school for part of their day once they had became ready. Many of my ninth-grade classmates were integrated, but I was not — not quite yet.

When I moved into tenth grade all students at Rockwell moved on to Neil Reid High School. When I began there, I was placed into Mr. Goodwin’s homeroom. (At Neil Reid, there is a brief "homeroom" period before the beginning of the day’s classes devoted to unwinding and socialization, and all students returned to their homerooms for fifth period class.) Although I knew some students who hated being in his class, almost everyone else soon began to share in his humor and his energy. Mr. Goodwin helped me get a grip on the last of my uncontrolled emotions, and he prepared me for my junior and senior year, when I was integrated back to Utica High School.

I was very nervous about my first few days at Utica High, but I am pleased to be able to say that everything worked. Everything just worked. The first class I took at Utica High was Web Design I, with Mr. Craig Smale. Mr. Smale helped me unlock my amazing creative potential, as well as helping me to acclimate to the new school.

But I plowed on. In my senior year I was accepted into the National Technical Honor Society (which is not the same thing as the National Honor Society, despite their having very similar names). I graduated Neil Reid and Utica High School a straight-A student.

I became dually enrolled at Macomb Community College, and took a few classes there during my senior year of high school. But I knew that Macomb Community College was not the right college for me. Unfortunately, my choices of college were seriously limited by the fact that they had to be within driving distance — I am not yet ready to live in a dorm room. But one day early this year, I was contacted by Ms. Christine Fiore at Baker College of Clinton Township. I had a sparkling conversation with her on the phone right then and there. I applied to Baker College, and now am on schedule to begin classes there in just one week. I was even awarded the most prestigious scholarship Baker College offers, half of my tuition for up to four years.

But none of this could have ever happened without my committed support group. Judy Lipson, my therapist. Tony Woznicki at Neil Reid High School. Mary Ellen Bross, at Utica High School. And my mother and father, who stood by my side for eighteen long years, unwavering, through hardship and through joy. It is thanks to them that I have come this far. Without their patience, hope, and determination, I would not be here today. Thank you, one and all. Thank you. Thank you!

Will with his therapist, Dr. Judy Lipson.

Congratulations, Son.
Words cannot express how proud
I am of you.  Well done!


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fridge Pics: Memes of the Week, 9/14 - 9/20, 2014