Sunday, March 29, 2009

Not a Joke

(This post was supposed to have the Date April 1 - guess blogger is having an April Fool's Joke on me)

Happy April Fool's Day. This is not a joke though. On March 27, 2009 an elected official in his official capacity - that is through a regular communication with his constituents - violated the First Amendment Rights of a private citizen with whom he disagrees politically. More importantly - that citizen called Doogan on the carpet for treating his constituents so rudely and he/she used Doogan's own words. No paraphrasing, no embellishment, the blogger just used Doogan's own stinking words.

I try to keep this blog about non-political topics, but when First Amendment Rights are violated - I get incensed. No. I get ANGRY! As an American citizen, I cherish my Rights. I thank the men and women in uniform who are willing to risk their lives to protect my freedoms. And I mean this. As much as I completely disagree with his point of view (completely and vicerally) - I will defend to the end Rush Limbaugh's right to spew his filth over the airwaves.

So today's post is about my favorite blog, blogger, and blogging community: The Mudflats, written by AK Muckraker and supported by thousands of anonymoose, pj clad, coffee drinking (or your beverage of choice) Mud Puppies all over the globe (just look at the Flats' webmap on his/her sidebar). AK Muckraker, commonly abbreviated to AKM, is a psuedonym. Writing under a psuedonym is protected by the Constitution. See Supreme Court, 1995, McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, which says (in part):
Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. It thus exemplifies the purpose of the Bill of Rights, and of the first amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation.
I love the Constitution, and I have at least 4 copies in my house - yes I am a poli sci geek. I have read (and own copies of) the well-known Common Sense (written anonymously by Thomas Paine) and his lesser known Rights of Man, The Crisis, and The Age of Reason. The Federalist Papers (written anonymously, under the psuedonym Publius, by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton) were crucial to turning public opinion in New York State where ratification of the Constitution was questionable. Anonymous speech is vital to a healthy democracy.

The scariest thing to me about this outing is that it was done by an elected official in the capacity for which he was elected to serve. And then, the previously anonymous commentator at the local newspaper (The Anchorage Daily News columnist known locally as The Alaska Ear) condones this forcible outing. And in reporting the news, the news paper continues the forcible outing by posting the name of the anonymoose blogger. Holy Canoli! What The Fusillli?? To make an analogy, we have the bully of the middle school who has decided he doesn't like how the geek (who always breaks the curve because he/she actually studies and knows all the facts and does his/her homework) has made him look bad USING HIS OWN WORDS. So he's decided to make an object lesson out of the geek. Thankfully our geek has some real intestinal fortitude and didn't back down. Nay, our geek came back stronger than ever!

That's all I'm going to say right now, because I start fuming and then I have to start counting to 100. For those of you who are as upset as I am - karma is a good thing. This is what urban dictionary has to say about Doogan.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

One Big Step Today

On the gross motor evaluations is that question, "Can your child kick a ball?" This is one of those items on a long list of items, that I logically know Ellie will acheive, but emotionally I wonder, "When?"

Today I got that answer. As she walked home from the bus stop she signed "ball". I reminded her that it was raining. "We can play with the red ball inside." A big smile, and a signed "yes" was Ellie's reply. I thought to myself, "Life is good when we can have some two-way communication," and I said a little thank-you prayer to Rachel Coleman and the Signing Time crew. As soon as we got inside Ellie made a bee-line for the red ball. This is one of our many therapy balls that are ginormous. This one is slightly smaller, with a diameter of about 18 inches. It's a great size for kids.

Ellie giggled and tossed the ball in front of her as she roamed around the house. Then she came over to me in the kitchen with her red ball. A big grin spread across her face. I asked her if she wanted me to play ball with her. That big grin grew even bigger.

We headed into the living room where there is some space to play back and forth with a ball. Thankfully I haven't decorated yet. The living room is no longer decorated in early Playskool. Right now we are 'between styles', or perhaps it's early "Gregorian Monk." In any event, there's really nothing breakable. So, that means, time to set a bad precedent! I thought we were going to roll the ball back and forth like we've done so many other times. But, Ellie had a new trick up her sleeve. She kicked the ball back to me. I mean really kicked: stood and balanced on one leg, wound up the other leg and made great contact with the ball sending it OFF! And she giggled that belly rolling contagious, I-don't-care-how-grumpy-you-are-you-can't-help-but-laugh-along giggle!

I can't think of a better way to spend a rainy afternoon. Now we have one more item checked off that end-less list of "she'll-do-it-in-her-own-time-milestones".

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Signs of Spring

Wow - 13 robins all at once, eating the worms in my yard. They sure do love the drain field :) Wonder if they grow larger from eating over there???

We've had all sorts of wonderful winter birds with the Christmas additions of two bird feeders. Now we have the beginnings of our spring birds.

Happy Vernal Equinox!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

To Whom it may concern

There is one area that I could be updating and that is the open letter to whoever would be entrusted with caring for the kids. In that letter I should describe what Ellie's days are like. Well, and her nights too. How do we comfort her when she is sad. What are her favorite foods, movies, books, games, activities, songs, toys, friends, stuffed animals and of course, don't ever forget a blankie.

We sign a lot with her, and so when I give her a bath I sing some of her favorite songs while I wash her hair. Believe it or not it helps us get through hair washing without tears. I did write this letter about 2 years ago, but I think it needs updating. We were still in Alaska and ellie hadn't learned how to walk yet, let alone learn over 300 signs. She wasn't standing up for a "shower" when she gets her hair washed, but playing in bubble bath for the first half of the bath. She wasn't going potty before her bath back then.

I started this letter while Ellie was in her combo PT/Speech therapy yesterday. This is going to be a LLLLOOOOONNNNGGGGG letter. Tomorrow I need to buy a binder, lots of pretty colored tabs, and more ink and paper for the printer.