I Marched

 

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Today I marched. I marched in my local city.

It was cathartic. And it was so encouraging to see thousands of other people there in a deep red part of my deep red state. There were sister marches all over in neighboring cities, several only 30 minutes to an hour away, and this march was organized in under a week, but still they estimated about 6,000 to 8,000 people were there.

This is not the end. Everyone there knew it was the beginning. And already people on the marches Facebook group are acknowledging that we need to form a permanent advocacy group for the area.

But today, I don’t feel so alone in my red state.

Reviving the Vaccine “Debate” Will Not Help Families With Autistic Members

One of the multiple problematic things happening in our government is Trump appointing Robert F. Kennedy Jr, an anti-vaxxer who believes there is a conspiracy to hide the effects of thimerosal on children, to chair a panel on vaccine safety and to revive the “debate” on vaccine safety. As the parent of an autistic child, this angers and worries me.

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When People Feel Ignored

On Friday, a group of volunteers from Planned Parenthood visited Paul Ryan’s office to hand deliver over 87,000 signatures asking Ryan to not defund Planned Parenthood. Not only did Ryan refuse to see them, but he sent six armed security guards down to prevent them from even delivering the petition.

This is the message I am getting from Ryan: I don’t give a damn.

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Potty Training 9999: Unique Autism Challenges

It’s finally happened. After 6 years and two months of using diapers Buddy used the potty at home. And let’s just say, it was a long, frustrating road, made more difficult by the fact that despite all of my reading and researching, I couldn’t find anyone detailing the same problems I was seeing who could tell me how to approach it. Even the experts were either unhelpfully condescending or baffled.

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My Mixed Family

I am Caucasian, of Irish, English, German, Dutch, Scottish and Welsh descent. I have traced my genealogy, tracking where my ancestors immigrated from when they entered the US, and though I have had ancestors who came over during the 1500s, the countries above come up in their countries of origin with surprising regularity. And I’ve not even found any First American ancestry in my family tree to make things more interesting (and a genetic test that my dad took confirmed that he at least is overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon with no trace of American Indian, though we do have some Neanderthal and Denisovan, so perhaps my ancestors weren’t as stodgy stick to your own kind as they seem!). My husband, Andy’s, parents immigrated from the Philippines, which is its own mixing ground of ethnicities. Andy has ancestors from Spain, China, Saudi Arabia, and, naturally, the Philippines.

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Channeling General Leia Organa

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As wretched as 2016 was, I am not looking forward to 2017 and Trump’s rise to power.A lot of people are going to be hurt, and there is going to be a lot of suffering. And I’ve simply been overwhelmed by the smack down the feminist movement received and feelings of powerlessness that trying to fight seems insurmountable.

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Morality Outside of Carrots and Sticks

Facebook reminded me of something that happened a few years ago when a person going door to door to preach in my neighborhood knocked on my door. He asked me if I died today would I have amassed enough good deeds to earn a reward in Heaven. I sighed and said, “You shouldn’t do good things because you’ll be rewarded. You should do good things because they are the right things to do. Merry Christmas.” I then shut the door in his stunned face.

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