29 February 2012

The Population of Pet Peeve Land has just increased by one Ricky Gervais

Welcome to Pet Peeve Land. 

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: how do you respond to someone that thinks there is a conspiracy against religion?” There is. It's called education.

Look, I know there are lots of ignorant, uneducated people who are religious. There are also lots of educated religious people. Education is not incompatible with religion. I know a bit about world religions, Christianity, the Bible, and science. There's no conflict that I can see that isn't explained with a healthy dose of using one's brain. Education enhanced my faith. I know it threatens others. I feel for those people. 

And you know, apparently there are some ignorant, uneducated atheists too, because otherwise they wouldn't say such ignorant, uneducated things, right? 

I really, well and truly, have nothing against people who don't believe what I do. I'm baffled by them, but I have no issue with atheists. The people who piss me off are the ones who insist that because I don't believe what they do, I'm uneducated. 

Isn't that what non-Christians hate about evangelistic Christians? That they keep insisting that if you just read the Bible, you'd understand? That they keep insisting they know something you don't and that you're stupid or evil for not agreeing?

Like the assholes who vote for Ron Paul - I've never met (online or off) one of them who doesn't think that if people just knew what they did, they'd love Ron too. Or that if the person who doesn't think Paul is the best thing since the rise of capitalism listens and disagrees, they're just stupid. They don't understand. Because you can't possibly understand and disagree. It's the most infuriating of all "arguments".

Education is a conspiracy. Not against religion. Maybe against people who think there is a conspiracy against religion. 

Unless you count capitalism. Because that seems to be doing a fine old job of destroying religion.

28 February 2012

Respect: You're doing it wrong

What a shittastic day. Crackle had an MRI this morning, and it did not go particularly well, though not a total disaster. I'm still processing, and frankly, I have more questions than answers at this point, so maybe I should just go on about politics instead. :)

So, the party of contempt, the party of robocalls (probably), has a member bitching that a member of the NDP showed up to parliament not dressed properly. Seriously? That is rich. These assholes prorogue parliament, shutdown debates, Baird all over the place, and they have the nerve to complain that someone isn't respecting parliament because of their clothing? Fuck off.

13 February 2012

Autism Funding Bureaucracy Strikes Again

Bureaucracy can take any difficult situation and make it so much worse. The Autism Funding Unit seems to excel at this. Here we are, parents of kids with Autism, and they make every step we take to help them as inhumanly difficult as possible. Some examples:

1) Neurofeedback is covered for kids over 6, IF they get a letter of recommendation from a Pediatrician, Behaviour Consultant (BC), Occupational Therapist (OT), Physical Therapist (PT), or Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). Snap has a BC, but none of the others. If the BC decides she doesn't want to write a letter, or doesn't approve of neurofeedback, we're screwed. We set this up MONTHS ago. The unit got around to telling me today that she needs a letter to have it covered. She's supposed to start in two weeks. WTF? I mean, is there a big run on people scamming the system for unnecessary neurofeedback services? OMG! It might go to someone who didn't pay someone else a bunch of money to get the stupid letter! And that's another thing, I'm going to have to pay someone to get the letter. And then they're going to have to bill the unit for it, unless I pay out of pocket for it. Which leads to...

2) Every available service for coverage must be billed directly to the autism funding unit. I cannot pay a provider and be reimbursed. Because the unit is notoriously slow at paying, most providers are very hesitant to agree to this. I am virtually certain this is by design. I talked to one a few weeks ago who absolutely will not work with the unit. She's world-renowned. So only people who can afford it can go to her. Thank you ever so much.

3) The unit will not respond to emails. In fact, they've turned off their read receipts. So, anything I send them by email is guesswork on whether they got it. I even asked if they'd hit reply and send. A blank reply. Just to prove they got it. No way. This is absolutely a ploy to avoid accountability. It doesn't take any time to allow your email program to send read receipts. There's no excuse.

4) It takes a month for them to do anything. At all. If you're lucky. It took a month for them to process my new service provider (that is, get her a billing number so she can bill at all). She's been working since Jan 2 on a promise to be paid eventually. I fail to see why they can't get a billing number same day. As in, "Hi. I'm Snap's Mom. I need a billing number for a new provider for her." "Sure, here it is". But no. It's submit her name, address, phone number, results of latest pap smear, wait for a month, get a number. The number can then be used to send off an invoice for services rendered. Invoices must include dates, times, hours, pay rates, all the names and addresses, etc. Miss one bit of info, you'll find out. In a month. When they reject it. Then, you can fill it out again, and send it off again, and wait another month to finally get a cheque. And billing for services in the future is also not allowed. Which means any small provider, i.e. a single person doing contracts, is screwed. They can't wait for that long! Pop's newest person hasn't been paid since Jan 1 (and we're still in the acceptable zone! i.e. don't bother complaining, we'll get to it when we get to it.) If she didn't have a boyfriend, cheap rent and another job, she'd have quit by now. This is completely unacceptable.

5) I need permission to buy art supplies. Seriously, I have to pay some asshole BC $120/hr to write a letter explaining why I need to buy an easel for $90. This has to be received before I buy the goddamned thing. Again, this is designed to make parents just say "to hell with this, I'll just buy it". About the only thing they cover without a letter is books with "autism" in the title. Seriously. Most OT supplies are not covered. Trampolines, for example, are not covered. Even if the OT says it would be highly beneficial to the child. OT supplies are some of the most expensive things on earth. I get catalogues in the mail and I play a game with Tony called, "How much do you think this costs?" I read him the description and he tells me how much it should cost, and then how much he thinks it actually costs. He's usually under by a LOT. BTW, if any of you know how to sew, get in the business of selling weighted blankets. If I could sew, I could make one for about $60. From the catalogue, it's $450.

6) Anything I do buy, I have to submit the original receipt. A scan will not do. Why? Why is a photocopy not enough? Why doesn't the scan I can send in 3 seconds via email not as good as the original that will take 4 days to get there and a month to process? Because they hope I won't do it. Because they hope it'll get lost in the mail. (And they don't have a physical address either. Only a box. Can't say as I blame them. There are a lot of seriously irate parents out there with these stupid policies.) So, what happens if the $600 iPad I buy breaks and I need a warranty replacement? I have no receipt. Good luck with that. And I can't go buy a new one and bill it, because they get one computer or tablet every 3 years. And what happens when they lose it, like they've lost so many other things I've sent?

7) Any money allotted to your child that you do not spend by year's end goes back to the government. It does not roll over. This is supremely stupid because when the child turns six and is magically cured  under the care of the school system, their funding is cut to $6000/yr, a good chunk of which you can spend on getting letters written to approve your actual treatments.

8) They cover travel for courses. I know, I jumped for joy. YAY! My trip will be covered. Wrong. They only cover travel for courses within BC. What? So if a course will never ever be offered here, you are shit out of luck. Not a dime is covered. Because they want the money to stay in BC. Screw your kids, screw your life, keeping our money in the BC economy is most important (except when the BC govt is shipping jobs to Alberta, that is.)

9) The automatons they hire. Okay, that's not fair. Those people have to work in a very broken system, and probably the only way they can get through the day is to hide their souls away in a cloud of darkness act cold and unfeeling. Today, the woman on the phone told me she was sorry I feel that way, when I told her that it seems like the system is designed to make every single thing more difficult. I raised my voice and said, "You're SORRY I FEEL THAT WAY?! OH THANK YOU FOR THE NON-APOLOGY" and then I hung up on her. Which wasn't my best moment, by any stretch, but it beat what I wanted to say by a million miles. Seriously? How about, "It's clearly difficult. I'm sorry." or  "Yup, that's bureaucracy for ya!" or "I'm so sorry. I wish there was something I could do." But no. She's sorry I feel that way. I'm sorry she has to enforce idiotic policies. I'm sorry our government is more concerned with tomorrow's bottom line than kids. I'm sorry they're too shortsighted to see that denying services now means having to spend millions on adult care.

I'm done. I'm too frustrated. I'm sick with the plague, the creeping crud, the ebola virus, a cold.

12 February 2012

What's wrong with society?

Grammys/Whitney Houston are top story. Then Athens burns. Then a multiple murder of women and female children. Then Whitney Houston again. And look at "More Headlines".

I'm not sure I can work up any more words for this. I'm sick with a cold. I'm killing it with garlic, which means I'm also killing Tony and the kids. Someone's sleeping on the couch tonight, I expect.

11 February 2012

Things I learned this week

1) People are incredibly generous. ChipIn is up to $800, and I've received $110 in cash and cheques. You people are wonderful.

2) You need to have a passport in hand to book a flight to the US.

3) CIDA is quietly cutting grants to various groups. Even after last years clusterfuck with the "NOT" inserted into the memo, KAIROS did not get funded again this year (read this in The Observer). Also, my friend Stacey's non-profit group lost the $500,000 it was counting on to feed hungry people in Africa. This after she secured over a hundred million dollars elsewhere. Seriously, I need to get her to fund-raise for me. Damn. Anyway, she's going to make it work somehow.

4) Melatonin is of the devil for Crackle. It's a supplement that is apparently a godsend for most kids with autism. It helps them fall asleep. Crackle has negative reactions that took me months to figure out. That is, he was on the stuff for months. And having negative side effects that I wasn't attributing to the melatonin. Like being up for hours at a time during the night. And crazy stupid hyperactivity in the day. I've had him off it for 5 days now. He's sleeping through the night mostly. And having some day time naps. I think he's been running on empty for months. Poor baby.

5) Crackle gets crazy stupid hyper when he's tired. Like so hyper he cannot sit still for 4 seconds. Literally. Yes, I know the meaning of literally.

6) There are seizures that make you laugh. They're called gelastic seizures. It is possible that Crackle is having these. Either that or something invisible is hilarious. It's almost funny to watch. No, it IS funny. Until you notice that he's not really as happy as he sounds. I have video; it made his neurologist scrunch up her face and say, "Huh. That's strange."

7) Grown men can be serious drama queens. Can't say more. Suffice it to say, "ARRRGGGGHHH"

8) Apparently I really like italics.

08 February 2012


The flights are booked except for the one from Victoria to Seattle. That one looks to be as much as the one from Seattle to Albany! INSANE. So I'm holding out for a seat-sale.

Applied for my passport today. Pics look like a mug shot, but when they don't let you smile, that's what happens.

So, now I need to book a car and a hotel room for the last night (after the course, but before the flight), and all the travel plans are set.

I'm SO excited.

Crackle said "Water" yesterday. And "Nana" (for banana) today. This is HUGE. And that's just from me working the Son-Rise principles on my own. I have so much hope for this course.

On another note, I'm trying to generate rage for the political shitstorm this morning with an NDP MP getting booted for having her baby with her. Failing. Mostly because it's just par for the course with those bastards. Fetus? More rights than the woman. +3 months? Not even allowed to be with his mother when she's in the House. Not for even a few minutes when Dad went to take a leak and they were called back in suddenly. Give. Me. A. Break. And people wonder why there aren't many women in politics. 

04 February 2012

Just a couple of whores, right?

update: I worked it out. $5000 to a billionaire is approximately the same as $10 to me. Literally. I did a "net worth" test and then worked out the percentage.

Bad week for female victims of violence and women everywhere.

CBC reports that forcibly confining a woman so that she frantically calls 911 and then while attempting to escape breaks her ankle results in 1 year probation and a $5000 fine. For a billionaire. Who is not a first time offender.

And the Goldstream Gazette reports that if you assault two sex workers so badly that they feel the need to report it (most do not), you can be released on a mere $10,000 surety. This asshole lives 2 minutes by foot away from me.

Ya know, I'll start believing our society gives a crap about women when they actually go about attempting to protect us from predators.

03 February 2012

You people rock

Almost $100 has come into my Paypal account from people I've never met. Two of them people I've never even heard of. You people are awesome. Thank you. And more people have emailed to ask for an address. You people are also awesome. May whichever God you believe in bless you. And if you're atheist, may you experience a run of luck that almost (or actually!) makes you believe in God. :D

This is extra awesome this week because my washing machine and my water heater need work. EESH.

In kid news, Pop is hilarious. He's utterly addicted to In the Night Garden, which has to be the trippiest show since Teletubbies. He pretty much plays trains and watches In the Night Garden all day. Or he watches the worst Thomas the Tank Engine videos EVER on YouTube. Like home videos of other kids playing with their trains. It's painfully hilarious.

Crackle kissed me yesterday. I cannot tell you how much that means to me. He's almost 6 and he's never once kissed me. Also, he was having a total meltdown about something, I forget what, and I said, "Do you want a hug, sweetpea?" and he flew at me and held on for dear life. That has also never happened. I feel like we are so close to a breakthrough with him, I can almost taste it.

Snap? *sigh* She's almost 17 and has teenage attitude multiplied by Asperger Syndrome. It's painful. She's smart, but hasn't a hell of a lot of common sense. She'd rather fight with me for an hour than do the 7 minutes of work I've asked her to do. I love her with all my heart. And it gets broken so regularly.

Christian Conservatism - Oxymoronic and regular moronic

I haven't been to church in a couple of weeks. My back has been giving me serious grief. That's also why I haven't been blogging much. I can't sit more than a few minutes. So this post has taken me MUCH time to write.

Elseweb, I saw a silly pic of Jesus saying, "Get real. Like Jesus would ever own a gun or vote Republican." Someone replied, "Sorry, Jane, but 'teach a man to fish' is a conservative value". I laughed and wrote, "No it isn't. Teach a man to fish suggests universal education, and that's a liberal value". Heh. I told MrFCS, who by the way, I'm going to call "Tony" here, because Snap, Crackle and Pop's Dad should totally be Tony the Tiger. And hello, he's GRRRRRREAT!. Anyway, Tony said, "No, a conservative value is to make it illegal for a man to fish, selling all the fishing rights to a foreign corporation, and then selling the fish back to the man at a premium." He's right, of course. In some places it is illegal to collect your own rainwater. Thank you ever so much corporate greed. I know someone's going to say that corporate greed isn't a conservative value, and it didn't used to be. But it is now.

So I got thinking about it. I've often joked that Jesus was a socialist. I don't believe that, but I suspect he'd have been a lot more sympathetic to the socialist cause than the libertarian cause, which couldn't be more anti-Christian if it tried. Their basic tenet is that I am not my brother's keeper. You don't have to get too far into the Bible to see what God thinks of that one!

Jesus: Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.
Corporate: I've got mine, fuck you.

Jesus (in the story of the Prodigal Son): If you screw up, come home to your father and you'll be welcomed home with open arms and celebration.
Corporate: You made your bed, lie in it.

Jesus: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength... You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

I could go on, but I've been attempting to write this post for 3 weeks. It's getting sent.

And just for fun, some bible literalism amusement: