Intactivists are Dicks–and Crybabies too!

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Intactivists didn’t get their way and now they’re throwing an epic tantrum that would even make Veruca Salt stop and say, “Wow, you’re a spoiled fucking brat.” Not because they care about Chase, the child in the middle of the battle between his mother, Heather Hironimus, and his father, Dennis Nebus. They are losing their collective shit because they care more about dick skin and attention-seeking than actual, real-life, living, breathing, children.

I’ve written about the loathsome internet creatures called intactivists before here: https://nikkifromqueens.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/intactivists-are-dicks/

Intactivists are a group of melodramatic nutcases that claim to care about children and their human rights. They make anti-vaxxers look like scientific, logical and rational human beings. The Hironimus/Nebus case proves that all they care about is furthering their agenda and garnering attention for the lunatics that lead this fringe movement.


For all who don’t know what is going on in the Heather Hironimus case, here is a quick summary. I really don’t want to get into the rights and wrongs of the case, circumcision or the parents. I do want to make this blog post’s focus the hilarious, histrionic reaction of the vile windbags whom call themselves intactivists.

Heather Hironimus signed a parental agreement when Chase was born, agreeing he be circumcised as an infant. She changed her mind and tried going to the courts, dragging out the process and stalling the procedure. Chase is now 4. The courts upheld the legal document she signed and sided with the father, ordering her to consent to the procedure. Intactivists convinced her to flee with Chase and go into hiding. She took him to a battered women’s shelter and claimed the father abused her. The judge told her to sign the consent form or face jail time. She was arrested, and faced with losing custody as well as a jail sentence. Her lawyer convinced her to sign the papers. Intactivists are now pissed off.

Chase’s father, Dennis Nebus, has refused to publicly discuss the case or the decision to circumcise his son. Much of the information we see on the internet is skewed to the mother’s and intactivists’ favor because of this. The mom was ordered not to discuss the procedure with Chase. She told him his daddy wanted to cut his penis off. He is now terrified of the operation (of course) and the intactivists are waving around “Chase said no! His bodily autonomy is being ignored!” while ignoring the fact he probably wouldn’t be so scared if they didn’t fill his head with their hysteria and nonsense in the first place.


The intactivist leader, who legally goes by the name Brother K (because he fancies himself a civil rights and human rights activist), goes around the country parading his red-paint stained crotch. The following is the extent of his human/civil rights activism.

Looks like you need to switch to a stronger absorbency tampon, Mr. K.

Looks like you need to switch to a stronger absorbency tampon, Mr. K.

Dred Scott is spinning in his grave.

Dred Scott is spinning in his grave.

BroKMLK

I can’t. I have no words.

Brother Kook and the rest of his intactivist sycophants latched on to this case and exploited Heather and Chase. They encouraged her to break the law, kidnap Chase, and hide out in a battered woman’s shelter–taking up valuable bed space from someone who is an actual victim of domestic abuse. They also raised money to get Heather an attorney, Thomas Hunker. However, when the attorney acted in his client’s best interests, (what a good attorney is supposed to do) and not in the interests of the intactivists (publicity stunts and attention-seeking), the intactinuts stomped their feet and flailed their arms like the attention-seeking, crybaby, narcissistic children they are.

Her attorney acts on her behalf, not yours

Her attorney acts on her behalf, not yours. Not one needs to confer with you so that she can get custody of her son back.

BroK4

So it’s a conspiracy, Mr. Kook?

That is her attorney, not yours! For someone who oputs himself on par with civil rights leaders, you sure don't know shit about how the American justice system works.

For someone who puts himself on par with civil rights leaders, you sure don’t know shit about how the American justice system works. That’s HER attorney!

BroKSueMe

Come at me bro!

Now that's a rational response!

Now that’s a rational response!

Hoping a 4 year old dies and becomes a martyr for your cause. Because you totally care about kids, right?

Hoping a 4 year old dies and becomes a martyr for your cause. Because you totally care about kids, right?

So you would never see your child again if he got circumcised? Do you even care about your child or are you just an idiot?

So you would never see your child again if he got circumcised? Do you even care about your child or are you just an idiot?

So Hairy Hollie, you admit it was never about Chase or his mom and all about your foreskin worship.

So Hairy Hollie, you admit it was never about Chase or his mom, and it was about your foreskin worship all along?

Intactivists proved with the Hironimus/Nebus case that they care more about penises than the people attached to them. This is why intactivism is an extremely flawed movement and intactivists should be ignored, no matter how loud they scream or how red they paint their crotches.

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Kids are Getting Bleach Shoved Up Their Asses!

Scene from

Scene from “Sybil”

I figure the only way to get your attention regarding this very serious issue is to put it bluntly in the tile of this piece:

KIDS ARE GETTING BLEACH SHOVED UP THEIR ASSES!!!

This is not a joke.

I’ve been posting via Facebook on the issue of MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution) being used to treat autism in children for a while now and it seems like no one gives a shit. But this is why you need to give a shitMMS is actually chlorine dioxide, an industrial strength bleach and a quack named Kerri Rivera is promoting it as a cure for Autism. Her cure purports that you both feed your children this industrial strength bleach in diluted form and give it to them in enemas in order to rid them of the toxins that cause autism.

Imagine you’re hearing the following rant in my angry New York accent

Imagine you’re a child. BLEACH!!!! In your stomach. UP YOUR ASS. Dissolving your intestines. Deteriorating your organs. Eating away the lining of your colon. Causing seizures. SLOWLY POISONING YOU! And the perpetrator of this torture are your parents. This is happening to hundreds, if not thousands of kids with no voice. You should really start giving a shit about this!

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The whole concept of curing autism bothers me to the core. First off, quacks whom claim to cure autism dupe parents into believing the causes of autism are some how environmental–such as GMOs, vaccines and chemtrails–indirectly putting blame on the parents who did not keep their children safe from these evil mysterious toxins that are everywhere!  This is by design because these quacks love nothing more than making parents feel guilty and then offering a miracle solution to absolve them of this perceived guilt. Marketing 101.

Quacks like Kerri Rivera capitalize on parental guilt, fear, and loathing–and offer a way to purge their children of the evil Autism demons in the hopes of making them “normal”.  I get that some parents are so desperate for any type of solution to their kids’ behavioral, emotional and medical issues. But if you think pumping them full of bleach is your only hope, I have very little sympathy for you.

I know several children and adults with autism who are beautiful, intelligent and compassionate people. Just because they don’t fit your ideal of what is normal doesn’t mean they need to be fixed or cured. They DO need support from you to help them through a complex world in which they perceive and react differently from you and I. They DO NOT need to be poisoned by industrial strength bleach being forced down their mouths and up their asses!

Kerri Rivera claims on her FB page that her Autism protocol has healed hundreds of children. She claims these can be seen in the various testimonials on her page (which we have no proof who wrote them, or where they came from). In the CD Autism FB group, pictures of supposed ropeworms are shared. Proponents and parents who follow the Rivera MMS protocol claim the ropeworms are parasites that cause autistic symptoms and they are being purged from the body via the protocol. In actuality, this is the intestinal lining being stripped away because industrial strength bleach is violently coursing through the child’s body.

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She urges parents to keep up with the protocol, despite children getting violently ill from it–because that’s a sign the toxins are being purged from the body. This is a common quack trope, as the “Cherokee Hair Tampons” episode of South Park hilariously satires:

http://southpark.cc.com/clips/152105/kyle-vomits


Kerri Rivera’s Autism protocol is so despicable. I implore you to read further about it and spread the word about this vile practice against vulnerable children. These children will suffer in silence no longer. I have included several links for further reading.

Pages aimed at stopping this vicious practice:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Kerri-Riveras-Abuse-of-Autistic-Children-and-Adults/594889167310547?fref=ts

https://nomorebleach.wordpress.com/

http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2015/01/15/if-mms-cd-chlorine-dioxide-parasite-protocol-is-safe-why-does-clo2-dissolve-tissue/

NBC News Chicago exposé on Kerri Rivera:
http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Chicago-Woman-Offers-Controversial-Miracle-Treatment-for-Autism-304056871.html

Truth about ropeworm:
http://www.bancdmms.com/#!worms-parasites/c12g2

A person who wrote up a fake autism recovery story to Kerri Rivera and Rivera posted it without any verifiable proof: http://saulniercamaut.tumblr.com/

Beware of False Education Prophets

Just showing  my love for angry Al Pacino face.

Just showing my love for angry Al Pacino face.

Beware of false education prophets. They come to you in teacher’s clothing, but inwardly they support the anti-working class bastards who want to destroy the teaching profession.

This is sort of a spin-off from my last blog post on homeschooling. I offended the sensibilities of a few of the admins of a teacher’s discussion group I was a part of on Facebook by being an outspoken critic of parents who choose to homeschool their kids. (Remember, my blog was not completely anti-homeschooling. It was anti-against the idea that a parent can call themselves an educator with no fucking credentials whatsoever.)

Well I’m a big ol’ meanie and my writing sucks. As one of the white, upper-middle class admins who was a marketing major (not an education major) explained to me, I’m “not a good fit” because I don’t hold hands and sing Kumbaya with homeschooling parents. I should be nice to them since they support teachers and school reform. Well Ms. Peggy Privilege, they actually don’t support us, since the whole idea of an unqualified parent homeschooling a child is completely anti-public education and anti-teacher at its core.

Peggy P, who comes across as a progressive and claims to hate those evil “corporatist deformers”, is justifying all the negative shit those evil corporatist deformers say about teachers by supporting unprofessional homeschooling! When you support homeschooling/unschooling, especially as someone who is supposed to be an advocate for public school teachers, you are giving a carte blanche of teacher hate to the very deformers you claim to despise. You are telling the deformers that since little Caligula can be educated in his home by his mom who barely has a high school diploma, what do we need teachers for? You are giving them an excuse to bash us politically, decrease our pay and dismantle our union. You are giving them permission to say our profession is worthless and to do away with us all together. Why give a trained, licensed and vetted professional teacher a salary when we can get little Nero’s mom to teach him for free?

And this little incident just solidifies my whole experience with public education and education advocacy when I first started the journey to become a teacher 15 years ago. Yes, education needs reform. There is over-testing and there are too many private companies involved in testing and tracking our children’s data, just to name two of the several problems with education in America. But there are a lot of phonies in this game.

I learned very early on in my teaching days not to say certain things in front of certain people; they will rat you out to an admin just so they can get their hands on precious per session* gigs. I also learned very early on that a good number of our union leadership, including my chapter leader and our wonderful union president talked out of both sides of their mouths–giving these rah-rah speeches railing against admins and bureaucrats, then turning around and making concessions with them. Let’s not forget, that we gave up the right to file grievances under the falsely militant Randi Weingarten. She was the union leader when many beloved neighborhood high schools across the city were dismantled. Now with the protests against Common Core, you get people like Peggy Privilege who dare call themselves a progressive reformer and teacher advocate, but do exactly as my union leadership did; act all rah-rah in front of teachers but then turn around and support people & policies that directly undermine our existence. As I see it, we will continue to be fooled by these false prophets of education reform.

*Per-session is the New York City Department of Education terminology for overtime.

I was Homeschooled by a Narcissist… And Other Horror Stories from American Suburbia

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With the demise of public education in this country–which includes under-funding by the government, overcrowded classrooms, ineffectual administrators, and private entities like testing companies having their filthy hands all over your children and their data–it is inevitable that the homeschool movement has grown exponentially over the last couple of years. Instead of trying to improve public education and how our politicians treat our schools, our teachers and our children, many have chosen to pull their children from school all together and educate them at home. Even with a less-than-perfect public education system, I believe it is still infinitely better than homeschooling your child.

This is not an anti-homeschooling blog. There are some instances when I believe homeschooling is appropriate, such as a child with really bad anxiety, a bully situation, an injury or remote living. Even in these situations, there is a right way to homeschool. This includes following professionally designed and state mandated curriculum. It includes professional oversight, with trained and state certified educators coming to your home to make sure your child is learning everything they would in a traditional school setting. And it includes opportunities for group learning with peers, in a format such as a homeschool collective.

And it’s not just fundamentalist Christians homeschooling their children either. Many people in the atheist, skeptic and non-believer communities are homeschooling their kids as well. I find this trend to be very troubling. As skeptics, we tend to be the first ones to condemn a non-vaxxing parent for using snake oil to treat their sick child instead of taking them to a doctor. We criticize parents who think a google search can replace a medical degree. We loathe parents that take medical care into their own hands and think they can replace the professional education and training of doctors, nurses and medical staff. Why don’t some of my fellow skeptics feel the same way about education and teaching?

Some of the excuses I’ve heard from my fellow skeptics for homeschooling their kids are just as ridiculous, if not more ridiculous, than reasons given by religious fundamentalists. The following are some reasons I’ve heard in favor of homeschooling followed by my personal commentary on why they are complete bullshit.

1) “I think I can do a better job than anybody when it comes to educating my children.”

No you can’t. Get over yourself.  Teaching is NOT “so easy a caveman can do it.”

I don’t care if you are Neil Degrasse Tyson. Nothing takes the place of a licensed, professional, experienced, teacher in a public or private classroom who is surrounded by other professional educators, counselors and school support staff. I used to teach high school and I WOULD NEVER homeschool my kids. EVER. Do you think I am extensively trained in early childhood neurological development? How to teach reading to a child? Methods in teaching fractions? I can teach my child about the rise of dictatorial governments throughout Europe following World War I, but I think he would want to learn how to read and play in the sandbox first. If you think you can do at better job educating your child than hundreds of rigorously trained and vetted professionals, you are a self-important narcissist with a grandiose sense-of-self.

2) “I don’t like the curriculum being dictated by a school board. I want to make my own curriculum.”

Okay. That’s nice. You think as a teacher I liked everything in my social studies curriculum? Of course not. But most teachers know how to play with the curriculum and make it enjoyable for students to learn. Curriculum and standards are there for a reason; they ensure your children learn what they need to know to not only graduate, but to become well-rounded adults. Also, professionally trained educators are constantly designing and modifying curriculum to reflect the latest standards, methods and innovations in education. Curriculum is NOT designed by an army of Illuminati robots despite what you read in your FB parenting group.

If you’re wondering why we now have a generation of young adults who think vaccines cause autism and the holocaust never happened, blame the parents who think they know how to write curriculum simply because they shot a child out of their nutsack and/or vagina. Don’t like the curriculum? Supplement your child’s education with further materials and learning experiences. Have a meaningful conversation with them. Visit a museum. Give them experiences that will enrich their lives and grow their empathy, compassion and curiosity. Limiting the amount of people who they learn from, including peers, will only limit the amount of knowledge they acquire.

3) “I want to teach my children what I want them to learn, not what teachers and the government wants my kids to learn.”

A person gains culture and knowledge through interaction with others. I had teachers of all different personalities, political affiliations, backgrounds and cultures. I had mean teachers. I had nice teachers. I had sane teachers. I had crazy teachers. I had extremely intelligent teachers and a handful of clueless ones too. I learned from them all. I learned a variety of views and experiences.

I’m a non-believer. I’d like my son to be a non-believer as well. However, if he learns some religion and wants to be a bible thumping Christian, then I’m cool with that too. As long as he treats others with respect, kindness and compassion. Many homeschooling parents are afraid their little snowflakes will learn something evil or different at school from teachers or other children–views that might question a parent’s authority, beliefs, and fears. What if I told you not everyone has to think as you do, not even your child. They are not an extension of you. They are individuals with their own thoughts and agency. If you only want your child to know what you WANT them to know–to only know your views and your experiences–you are a self-important narcissist with a grandiose sense-of-self.

4) “I don’t want the school to call Children’s Services on me.”

This is a reason why some homeschooling/unschooling parents don’t want to send their kids to evil government schools. Teachers, counselors and other school staff are mandated reporters and are trained to identify signs of abuse and neglect, such as changes in behavior or physical appearance. Mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse can not be detected by school staff when a child does not attend a school. Homeschooling is a way abusers can get away with their crimes. It also prevents a child from escaping from an abusive situation, even if it’s just for six hours a day. And if you’re looking for a common thread here to connect to my other points, narcissistic personality disorder is a common feature of abusive parents.

5) “The schools are bad in our area.”

This is racist/classist code language for “I don’t want my little Caligula sharing a classroom with a poor and/or brown child.” What is interesting about this argument is that I see it put forth mostly by so-called progressives and leftists. If you’re so progressive, you should have no issues with your children learning from children who are different from them.

6) “My kid is not challenged at public school because he/she is too smart.”

Most parents who proclaim their kids are too smart and therefore bored at public school are completely full of shit. They are suffering from special snowflake syndrome; they think their special DNA and special homeschooling is producing the next child prodigy. These are the types of parents that take all the credit for their child’s hard work and achievements, since they were the only ones smart enough to recognize their child was a special snowflake whom is too good to share a classroom with the rest of the plebes.

Teachers do something now called differentiated instruction. We recognize that every child has specific strengths and weaknesses, and we individually tailor instruction just for your special snowflake! There are special programs for gifted and talented children. Your kid being a genius or a prodigy is still no excuse for you to solely educate them. Wouldn’t they become a better genius or prodigy if they learned from others besides yourself? Isolating them from the ideas of others because you think your child is better than everyone else is definitely not going to make them better than everyone else. But let’s admit, homeschooling is not about them. It’s about you and your ego.

7) “Public education is in shambles. If the schools were better, I’d send my kids and I can’t afford private school “

If you gave a damn about public education, you’ would still send your kids to school while fighting to change policies like other parents and professionals do.  So let’s get to what this is really about: you. Homeschooling proves to the rest of your friends and family (and blog subscribers) what a super mom or dad you are by taking on a huge responsibility, while being smarter (and smuggier) than the average momma bear.

“Look at me–Look at me. Look how awesome I am homeschooling my special snowflake. I’m so much better than you! Nanny Nanny poo poo!

Whack-Job Wednesday: Anti-Vaxxers Compare Themselves to Holocaust Victims and other Persecuted Minorities Throughout History

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It’s been a while since I wrote something  but I noticed a very disturbing trend in the past few weeks ever since the shit hit the fan at Disneyland.

Due to the recent backlash against the anti-science, anti-progress, misanthropic scum known as anti-vaxxers, they have now resorted to comparing the criticism against them to the suffering Jews experienced during the Holocaust, the denial of civil rights blacks experienced in the Jim Crow era South and to the McCarthyist witch-hunts of the 1950’s. Just when you thought this vile bunch of fuckwits couldn’t get any fucking lower, they pull the persecution card. I guess it’s easy to whine about being repressed from the comfort of your home, exercising your freedumz on social media while eating a gluten-free, non-GMO, heirloom Kale muffin.

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I’m not going to do much writing in this post. I will let the anti-vaxxers show how absolutely repugnant they are in their own words. The following evidence proves that not only are anti-vaxxers scientifically illiterate lacking any understanding in basic scientific concepts, but they also have absolutely no historical awareness.

Because getting vaccinated is just like being shipped off to Auchwitz in a crowded train to die:Nazisymbol

Holocaust denial in the same thread:

gulags

I thought “training camps” were for the Jets and Giants:
trainingcamps

On US media coverage of the measles outbreaks:

goebbles

I don’t even understand what this person is trying to say:

HuhHolocaust

Just add the word Nazi to your non-sensical point if you’re an anti-vaxxer:nazivaccine

 

From the Australian Vaccination Network, hijacking the American Civil Rights movement. (Contrary to their name, they are an anti-vax group):

avnduh

 

According to the perpetual moronic Glenn Beck, anti-vaxxers are being treated as Galileo was when he published the heliocentric view. Well, except Galileo was right:

 

The Healthy Home Economist aka Giant Smug Twat-Waffle is no stranger to over-dramatic comparisons that paint anti-vaxxers into victims. When facts and science fail to win people to your side, cry that the enemy is trying to burn you at the stake:

“Why am I declining interview requests about a topic I am extremely passionate about? I am deeply concerned about the media feeding frenzy that is surrounding this measles outbreak story that is creating a witchhunt and a burn ‘em at the stake mentality regarding vaccine skeptics in general, but most specifically, parents who choose not to vaccinate their children.”

She also says something ridiculous about medical fascism in her poorly written, whiny and long scree. See more at: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/declined-appearance-doctors-tv-show/#sthash.dJ5Ely8Y.dpuf

 

If you’re an anti-vaxxer, you can always compare your so-called suffering to that of the ultimate sufferer, Jesus H. Christ

.antivaxmartyrscat-jesus-christ

 

When all else fails, accuse Mexicans of bringing over diseases because it’s all Obama’s fault–he wants all non-Muslims dead or imprisoned or in a FEMA camp or to have Autism. I really wish these idiots would get their conspiracies straight.

HuhMuslims.

racist

wat1

xenophobic

moronic


sterilization

 

50 Shades of Poo: How to Write a Best-Seller for the Modern American Woman.

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So I decided that ethics and convictions are overrated and I just want to be fucking rich. Like Scrooge McDuck rolling in piles of gold rich. I can’t do this writing honest satire and social critique. I need some self-masturbatory material where everyone but myself thinks I’m beautiful and I fall in love with some ridiculously handsome guy with a giant penis–something the young, shallow, housewives of America will spend 29.99 on.

Let’s start out with a weak-minded and weak-willed female protagonist. Everyone but herself thinks she is beautiful. She has no real character flaws except that she is a klutz and dresses in oversized clothes from the LL Bean catalogue. Oh, and she MUST be a virgin–because the man of your dreams doesn’t want your hoo-hah tainted by another man’s pee-pee. This female character must lack any sort of depth that might make her a semi-interesting person. Even without a real personality, men swoon over her and think she’s the bee’s-knees!

Now we need a male protagonist. He has to be really really good looking, and as the author, I have to remind you on every page how good looking he is. In addition to being extremely good looking, he has to be a total controlling and abusive asshole. He watches you while you sleep and/or tells you how to eat. He slashes your tires so you can’t go out with your friends . He’s a real charmer. But he’s so good looking! And rich! And has a huge penis!

I’m going to need another male character to half-heartedly compete for your love.  This is where I insert the male friend who thinks you’re beautiful too (just like everybody else) into my story.  He is usually some sort of non-threatening minority like Native-American , Latino and/or Wolf.  His only role in this story is to get beat up by your beloved asshole for trying to get in your pants. Remember, you can’t defend yourself from unwanted advances because you are a weak woman who needs a brooding man to rescue you whenever you’re in trouble. How romantic!

Now that I have my formulaic characters, I need a gimmick. Think vampires or BDSM sex. You can’t sell a Harlequin novel in the 2010’s these days without a hook like sharks, tornados, shark-tornados, zombies, dragons, or rich rednecks. I’m still trying to narrow a gimmick down.  Add in some purple prose and a thin-plot (Something like vampires that sparkle in the sun instead of die–How else can you explain a vampire who goes to high school? Night school is for losers!) and I think I have the next NY Times best-seller on my hands.

Most of all, I need to set the women’s movement back by about 50 years.

 

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He’s wincing at the shitty writing folks.

 

Stop Being an AskHole

Mommy Dearest doesn't really want your advice. She just wants validation.

Mommy Dearest doesn’t really want your advice. She just wants validation.

It’s happened again. I’ve been banned from another page. This seems to happen quite often. It’s never for name-calling or harassment; it’s usually for bringing to light a truth that the page’s admin doesn’t like to hear. This time, it was a mommy Facebook page for simply stating the obvious; something that people don’t want to hear, but they know it’s the truth:

If you crowd source advice or a problem you are having, why do you complain when you get some responses that don’t confirm your bias? Clearly, you did not want advice in the first place; you just want validation for your poor life choices.

You want someone to pat you on the back and tell you it’s okay to pop out 5 kids when you can’t afford them. Don’t worry, God public assistance will provide.

You want people to tell you it’s okay to want to homeschool your kid even though you don’t know the difference between there, their and they’re.

You want someone to tell you it’s all right to let your kid “deal with” a 103 fever without taking him to the doctor because doctors, Big Pharma and Tylenol are all part of an evil government plot to give your kid the Autizms.

You want someone to tell you it’s perfectly healthy to enforce antiquated gender roles upon your daughter and then expect nobody to tell you that it’s going to blow up in your face when she’s old enough to realize you’re a hypocritical ass-bag.

You don’t want to hear constructive and critical advice. All you want to hear is “Good job mama!”, “God Bless you!”, “I’m praying for you” and “Try this herbal remedy…”

To quote my friend Holly S., these people are “Askholes”!

Askholes existed before Facebook and its mommy groups, havens for the validation of Askholes and all other kinds of stupidity. I remember one particular Askhole I worked with who queried me one day about which route I thought best to get to a certain place. When I described what route I would take, he preceded to argue with me that it wasn’t the shortest route and that I should take his route. So why the fuck did you ask me how to get there in the first fucking place? 

And this brings me to a major theme that runs through many of my blog posts…

Narcissism

We have becoming so increasingly self-involved that we don’t want to listen to what anybody else has to say. We don’t want to accept that someone might have a better idea other than ourselves. We just want to hear validation and praise for our own shitty ideas. If someone is critical or disagrees with us, they’re a Debbie Downer or a judgmental meany.

When I do ask for advice, whether it be through a friend or the rare occasion I crowd source my FB page, I don’t argue with people what is the best advice. I listen to what everyone has to say and then I decide what would be the best plan of action. I don’t complain when I don’t like the advice. I don’t argue with you about it

I think it takes some maturity to eventually realize you do not possess all the answers and never will. We’re devolving as a society because we’re so wrapped up in ourselves that we forgot why we became the top species. In case you forgot, it was through mutual help and understanding. When we listen to others, we thrive as individuals as well as collectively.

Oh, and crowd sourcing for serious medical conditions like this twat-waffle is a serious no-no:

PeeingBlood

Too Many Chiefs

Isn't it great when know-nothing bureaucrats decide who is competent at their job?

Isn’t it great when know-nothing bureaucrats decide who is competent at their job?

Part 1 of my blog series about the New York City Department of Education called, “It Takes A Potemkin Village

In this multi-part series, I will attempt to illustrate and expose all that is wrong with the Department of Education under Michael Bloomberg and his successor, Bill DiBlasio. The problem is, I witnessed so much bullshit, corruption, failure and incompetence that I don’t know if I can put it all into writing. Some things are better left unsaid. Some people I can’t call out, no matter how much I want to because I don’t want to burn any bridges.

I taught in NYC public schools under former mayor Michael Bloomberg for just about seven years. Michael Bloomberg regarded himself as the savior of public education in New York City–he personally raised graduation rates, improved instruction and made schools safer.  Any of us who worked in the system knew the DOE during the Bloomberg years was a farce–a fragile house of cards–one stiff breeze of truth would have blown the whole thing over. The New York City Department of Education is a modern-day Potemkin Village. However, we never had that stiff breeze of truth from any of the major news outlets. The most honest and forthright information you can get regarding the DOE was from frustrated teachers who blogged about their experiences. Now here I am, blogging about my experiences.

This first post deals with the over-abundance of administrators and bureaucrats in the NYC DOE.‌

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Too Many Chiefs

One major achievement Bloomberg claimed to accomplish during his tenure as mayor of New York City and leader of its public schools was the elimination of bureaucracy. One of the bureaucratic elements of the NYC DOE were the districts and community school boards. Michael Bloomberg bragged how disbanding them was such a difficult task, one he managed to pull-off in a mere few months. This was all Bloomberg smoke and mirrors. The districts still exist. However, instead of independent community school boards overseeing districts, they are headed by overpaid bureaucrats who blindly carry-out the Bloomberg agenda.

And what is the Bloomberg agenda? Get rid of as many teachers as you can. Overcrowd classrooms. Close down schools that have large union chapters. Give private consulting groups money that could be used directly in classrooms. Hire a ton of incompetent administrators with very little classroom experience, but who have a panache for fudging numbers, kissing ass and loathing teachers. Have these incompetent administrators oversee teachers, tell them how to teach (when they don’t know how to themselves) and harass them when they are too experienced old and over-paid–or don’t teach according to the party line and the Little Red Book.

The same rules do not apply for the administrators and bureaucrats as they do for teachers. As a student or administrator in the DOE, if you are persistently failing, you get rewarded and promoted. As a teacher, you get lambasted, railroaded and eventually terminated. According to the Bloomberg agenda, teachers are everything that is wrong and they are all assumed incompetent until proven otherwise. Administrators are rarely held accountable for their incompetency and poor performance records. One example of this was when one of my former assistant principals was promoted to principal at a nearby school. Apparently, being second in command at a failing school guarantees you a promotion in the DOE. As a principal, his school received two D ratings and was slated for closure. Instead of being demoted, this person was given a promotion and is currently a network leader. Network leaders can garner a salary of between 111,000-170,000 dollars a year. They have very little contact with children and probably couldn’t teach a class to save their lives. I’m sure he’s not the only network leader in the DOE who has a less-than-stellar performance record as an educator, and is now bleeding the taxpayers of New York City dry with an over-inflated salary.

Gone and forgotten are the educator-principals who taught for 20 plus years in the classroom before becoming a leader of other teachers. Gone are the subject department heads, masters of their craft who would mentor and support teachers and who knew their damn subject! They are being replaced by young, fresh-faced,  business majors who hate teachers and working-class people–and think Germany bombed Pearl Harbor. This is what is telling me how to teach history. They apparently make double than the average teacher yet they know less and work even lesser. This went on for years. The old guard would move on or retire and they were replaced by someone more willing to do the party’s bidding. It seemed like the number of administrators grew exponentially while I worked at the DOE.  Where was the NY Post , The Daily News or The NY Times to expose this crime of money being siphoned away from kids? Exactly. They were bought and paid for by the party too.

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One incompetent administrator I could not avoid during my time at the DOE was my third department chair in less than a year. For the purposes of this article, I will call her Gertrude. The following passage is a personal account of my interactions with Gertrude. It is part of a larger personal reflection on my dealings with several of my former administrators. Although I have many funny anecdotes to share, I chose the following excerpt because I feel it highlights the anger and frustration a teacher feels when she believes there is a target on her back. It has been edited from its original version.

Honest and intelligent administrators are few and far between in the DOE and the mayor prefers it this way. The grooming of this breed of administrator mostly takes place at the Leadership Academy, started by Joel Klein to groom principals for the hundreds of new schools that were created in NYC from 2002-2012.   A fellow colleague of mine was accepted into the academy and I was very happy for him and the DOE, because they were getting a stand-up, genuinely nice and honest human being to be a principal. He returned to the classroom only after a few months at the Leadership Academy. He refused to discuss his experiences there and did not tell me why he quit for the exception of a simple, “it wasn’t for me”. He acted like a returning soldier from Vietnam, complete with the 100 yard stare, refusing to face the horrors and atrocities he witnessed while doing his tour.  I’ve heard rumors about what is taught behind the walls of the leadership academy–everything from how to union bust to how to get rid of a senior teacher. I do not know for sure, but the fact that an honest educator who would sympathize with teachers left only after a few months, speaks volumes to me.

My first department chairperson, who liked to play solitaire all day in his office, left at the beginning of my fourth year unexpectedly. The position was filled by a teacher from our ranks. She was honest,empathetic and hands-on–she only lasted about eight months. She was not the type of administrator the DOE wants.  She was one of the few administrators I’ve encountered that was pro-active about discipline. Apparently, she was being pressured to give one of the senior teachers in our department (one who was outspoken about NOT towing the party-line) a U rating, which she refused. 

The third AP they brought in to head our department, (Gertrude) was one of my least favorite people I have ever dealt with in the DOE. She was a former college counselor and was a good ten years removed from the classroom. I had high expectations for her at first, but they quickly fizzled out when I realized the woman had the intelligence level equivalent to a bag of charcoal. She knew nothing about teaching, the curriculum, or anything about history. One time she asked me what I was up to in the curriculum. When I told her “The Renaissance”, she went on a tirade saying that was not in the Global 2 curriculum. Mind you, I had been teaching global for almost five years and knew the two-year Global curriculum from front to back, without using the curriculum guides. She dug through her filing cabinet for five minutes looking for the calendar of lessons. She then handed it to me and asked me to “show her” where it said I should teach the Renaissance; it was on the first page. She didn’t apologize or admit she was wrong.

During a professional development session, she stated the civil rights act occurred in 1967. I was mainly a Global teacher, but even I knew the civil rights act was 1964.  Another time, she tried to tell me that my lesson wasn’t differentiated instruction–which it was.  I verified this with several of my colleagues because Gertrude has me believing for a second that I was wrong. According to her, differentiated instruction was station learning–you know, stuff that you see in a second grade classroom that she wanted me to implement in a 9th grade Global History class that was only 45 minutes long. Station learning is kind of hard to pull off when you have 5 classes in 4 different rooms and apathetic teenagers who don’t enjoy being treated like second-graders. I finally got her to admit that my lesson was indeed differentiated instruction and that station learning was impossible to execute given the circumstances of our school, our budget and our students.

It seemed like Gertrude had it in for me. I do not know for sure, but I think it was because I was more intelligent and skilled than her, and she felt threatened by that. A few of my colleagues suggested she had a crush on me. Whatever the reason, at one point during her time as my department chair, she decided to target me. Everyone who has observed me has said I was an excellent teacher, except for Gertrude and an overpaid educational consultant from (Shiny Horizons)*. During one of Gertrude’s observations, a girl had her hat on. Rather than harping on the girl’s hat, I wanted to move on with the lesson. I think she was pissed off when one of my students said “Miss, she(Gertrude) looks like she has downs syndrome” and I didn’t reprimand the student for that comment–I just wanted to get the observation lesson over with and deal with the child at another time I thought was appropriate.

She also came in for a pop-in observation for a class I was teaching out of license, and had the nerve to say I was unprepared for the lesson. She also reprimanded me for drinking water during a lesson!!!!!! The best was when Gertrude came into one of the Sweat-hog rooms we had for at-risk students. When she walked into this classroom unannounced (one of many occasions), one of my students said “Who the fuck is this bitch coming into our room without introducing herself??? How fucking rude”. If a high-risk student with academic and mental issues can pick up on this woman’s animosity and unprofessionalism, what does that say about how the DOE vets its administrators?

Then came the blow-up in Gertrude’s office after she pulled her bullshit with me. I was known as one of the most easy-going people in the building who everyone got along with but I completely lost it one day. I couldn’t believe this moron was telling me how to teach, and coming unannounced and trying to “get me”. Let me tell you right now, besides giving birth to my son, yelling at Gertrude was one of the best feelings I EVER experienced. She deserved it and I have no regrets whatsoever.

After this last incident, I employed the help of the teaching center person in our building, (Brenda). I had heard through the grapevine that our principal wasn’t really fond of Gertrude. Brenda went to talk to my principal about the blow-up, and to see if I was on any hit list. Brenda assured me I wasn’t, and told me that my principal was actually shocked to hear I was the one who screamed at Gertrude. I saw my principal talking to my AP later on and from that day forward, Gertrude NEVER came into my classroom unannounced for the rest of my time there.  I stood up for myself and I think that made all the difference. 

Gertrude’s ineptitude as a leader and an educator was evident to all, and she steadily lost the respect of every member of our department. One time she mandated a horrible regents prep lesson across the department. One that she supposedly developed with Shiny Horizons. She was going to police her teachers that day, to make sure we were teaching it in our classes. Three of us did it her way and I was one of them. I just didn’t want to hear her bitch and I was already on her personal shit list. The next day, she puts a very insulting memo in our mailboxes. In this memo, she lambasted the teachers of the department for not following the mandated lesson. To add insult to injury, she gave kudos to another colleague and I for following the curriculum (She could have kept her ‘kudos” and shoved them up her fucking ass for all I cared) and put her favorite teacher in the department on a pedestal, saying that we should all visit her classroom to see how a real teacher does it. What kind of leader pits teacher against teacher?

This is where teachers are insulted and get the most upset.  We go to school and become experts in our subjects. We pass a myriad of exams to prove we are competent to teach, only to be dictated by overpaid administrators, bureaucrats and education consultants on how we should deliver our material. Teachers do not have a problem with teaching curriculum, but we want to teach it our way and the way that best suits our charges. A great teacher knows you can not have group work every single day. A great teacher knows that you must mix things up on a daily basis depending on the kids, the material and the objective. A great teacher can take curriculum and turn it into great lessons and great units, without being told how to do it by non-Pedagogues. Bloomberg and the rest of the sycophants at the DOE do not believe this is so. They want to dictate HOW you teach your class, forcing down our throats a one-size-fits all approach to teaching and learning that only sets up the children for continuous failure. 

*(Shiny Horizons is what I call one of two private consulting groups who was receiving tax payer money to instruct us on how to teach. This of course is a pseudonym.)

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I’m not quite sure what to focus on when I write my next part of this series, but it will either be more administrative follies, especially when dealing with student discipline , or the role of private consulting groups in the DOE. Please share any of your experiences; it will help others feel like they are not alone in this huge system.

The Baron and the Woo-heads

9onwf

I love reading about psychological conditions and how the human mind works.  I am fascinated with disorders such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder, and how these conditions affect individuals and the people around them. One psychological condition that is equally fascinating and horrifying is Baron von Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (BVMP). This is where a parent or caregiver seeks attention and sympathy through the intentional medical abuse of his/her child. I’m being fair and politically correct here because most people with BVMP are women and hence, mothers. These mothers seek constant medical treatments and often intentionally make their kids sick to perpetuate the lie that the child is chronically ill.

The issue of BVMP has come up recently in the case of Lacey Spears, a self-proclaimed mommy blogger and rejector of  science-based medicine. Before the birth of her son, she had a long history of compulsive lying and story telling. One example of her outrageous lies was when she claimed a boy she nannied was her own child, even using the child’s image on her Myspace page and captioning his pictures with such phrases as, “Hey there mommy Lacey”.

For the five years her own son was on this earth, he was sick. It started with constant ear infections and 23 visits to the hospital in the first year of his life. Garnett (Lacey’s son) was put on feeding tubes because of a “failure to thrive”. Lacey Spears chronicled every last detail of Garnett’s medical issues on social media, where she received an outpouring of sympathy and attention for her plight. This is why BVMP do what they do. They thrive on the attention and in the age of the internet, this level of attention increases exponentially with every like and share.

How was Lacey Spears able to get away with her crimes for so long? For one, she moved frequently during her son’s short life. Another reason could be disbelief; no one wants to believe a mother would harm her own child simply for the attention. However, I believe the most important reason why Garnett is no longer with us and suffered needlessly at the hands of his BVMP mother is because of the popularity of the alternative medicine movement, especially online.

Lacey sought out “holistic” doctors who would most likely not question why her son was so sick all the time. She moved to an “organic and alternative lifestyle commune” in NYC’s northern suburbs, where she could hide away and not have to account for her behavior. Finally, Lacey received the attention she craved from an online community of parents, self-proclaimed experts and FAUX medical professionals (i.e. naturopaths and chiropractors) who believe that science-based medicine, chemtrails, fluoride, non-organic food and vaccines are killing our children slowly. (What a terrible irony that Lacey was the one who was killing her child slowly). In a  June 2012 Facebook post, Lacey proclaimed the following:

“No (Garnett) does not watch tv, drink purple kook-aid (sic), eat ice cream or consume sugar of any form… He isn’t vaccinated, doesn’t follow western medicine “

It is my hypothesis that Lacey’s BVMP  is much more prevalent in the online alternative medicine/anti-vax/anti-science community. It is my belief that many of these anti-science moms either suffer from intense maternal narcissism, and/or some varying degree of Munchausen by Proxy–most not as severe as Lacey Spears’ but enough to where it is causing psychological harm to their children and might be causing physical harm.

Go to any anti-vaccine Facebook page and you will see moms like Lacey everyday; moms who claim their children’s myriad health issues–everything from eczema, asthma and autism–are caused by science-based medicine and science-based nutrition. How many times have you seen stories of “immediate vaccine injury” and not think the parent was just-a-wee bit exaggerating her story? I saw a woman claim she knew her daughter was vaccine injured because “as soon as the poisons were injected into (her little snowflake) she let out a blood curdling scream.” Um, yeah–pretty much every kid does that when he gets a needle put inside him. I know quite a few adults who do too.

On pages such as My Child’s Vaccine Reaction, you read of heartbreaking stories of kids succumbing to SIDS and the mother blaming the child’s recent DTap vaccination. And do you know what else you will see when these parents discuss their children’s health issues or death? An outpouring of  sympathy from their online community. Even if you know the kid’s health problems and/or death was not caused by vaccines, you’d be a real douchebag to question a grieving mother, right?

And how many kids are being harmed? How many kids are being subjected to pediatric chiropractic to cure a strep throat? How many kids are needlessly going through torturous chelation therapies to “detox” themselves from vaccines? How many kids are being given belladonna instead of Tylenol for a fever because their mom thinks Tylenol is “the red liquid of death”? How many kids are going to suffer through months of whooping-cough to satisfy their mother’s endless need for attention?

I think we need to hold the alternative health death community accountable for the harboring of terrible, awful people such as Lacey Spears. It is time to re-examine cases that sound all to familiar to Garnett’s case before we lose another beautiful child like him; a beautiful child who had no say in who his parents were and who had the unfortunate luck of having Lacey Spears as a mother. We need to speak for children like Garnett.

Written in Garnett Spear’s memory and in the memory of all the victims of child abuse.

Sources/Links for further reading:

Losing Garnett. A multi-part piece on the Garnett Spears case:

http://archive.lohud.com/article/99999999/LONGFORM01/399990221

NY Times article on the case:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/19/nyregion/lacey-spears-charged-with-fatal-poisoning-of-her-5-year-old-son.html?hpw&rref=nyregion&_r=1

Detailed explanation of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy:

http://allpsych.com/journal/munchausen.html

Lacey seeks holisitc doctors for Garnett:

http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/rockland/2014/03/27/lacey-spears-used-holistic-doctor-garnett-south-nyack/6982371/

 

Take Your First World Problems and Move to a Third World Country.

Water-is-Life-First-World-Problems

This post is for people (such as anti-vaxxers) who seem to think this world was a better place “back in the day”; before medicine, modern technology and government regulation.

When women and brown people knew their place.

When leeches and ether were regarded as medicine.

When work days were at least 16 hours long and the workplace was a deathtrap.

When developmentally disabled people were locked away in deplorable institutions.

When abortions were done in back-rooms with unsterilized equipment. (Yes, moron… Women will still seek out abortions even if you make it illegal!)

When homosexuals stayed in the closet

When we got diseases like polio, smallpox and diphtheria the natural way!

This post is for you ASSHOLES!

Throw away the smart phone, abandon the wi-fi and give your Uggs away to the Good Will. Don’t pack anything except you and the rest of your smiling, well-fed, unvaccinated brood and hop on the first non-stop flight to Jalalabad. From Jalalabad, take a rickety-ass bus and drive about 8 hours to a remote village in the mountains; one where there is no doctor or Walgreens, no Facebook to bitch about how much you hate the homo-gays and plenty of vaccine preventable diseases circling around.

Your children would be forced into work by the age of 9 to support the family–the ones that aren’t permanently disabled or dead from polio. You see, the religious zealots in control of your village killed some health workers trying to give your kids free vaccines–because vaccines are part of an American-Zionist plot to kill you.  You’d have to marry your 12-year-old daughter off because you need the money. Your husband would be executed for homosexuality simply because he had a men’s underwear catalogue lying around the shack. Wouldn’t a world free of vaccines, homosexuals and labor laws be wonderful? This beautiful and exciting family adventure can be all yours!

Do you know why parents in third world countries don’t turn down vaccines?

1) They know what it’s like to have loved ones affected by a vaccine preventable disease. They don’t have “choices” or “options” when it comes to raising their children except life and death.

2) Because they are smarter than you and know vaccines save lives. They also know vaccines don’t cause autism, eczema, ADHD, IBS, restless legs syndrome, SIDS and Exotropia. Even if it did, they would rather deal with autism and eczema than bury their child–because they are smarter than you.

They also don’t turn down genetically modified food either BECAUSE THEY ARE FUCKING STARVING!

That muffin has genetically modified gluten in it”, said NO hungry child EVER!!!!!! What an awesome time and place we must live in if we can be so picky about our food!

In all seriousness, this post is aimed at trying to get you to think about someone other than yourself and your immediate family. So the next time you want to complain on the internet from your centrally air-conditioned McMansion about how hard your life is because the school won’t accept your child’s bullshit vaccine exemption or how the kids’ cafeteria serves GM food, picture yourself in that remote Afghani village. Think about all the people who don’t have access to the same luxuries as you do. Realize how great your life is. And it’s great because of science, medicine, technology, education, unions, and government laws & regulations!