sometimes i forget how dark of a book witch week is

i mean, dwj wrote a book aimed at kids that features:

  • a 13 year old boy burning himself so that he remembers if he doesn’t hide who/what he is, he will be burned alive
  • a group of girls bullying another into doing something that could get her killed 
  • a school where the orphans of executed witches are sent so the government can keep an eye on them
  • children being chased by police officers with dogs
  • a world where people are regularly burned at the stake and their death is announced on the evening news

i mean im totally in favor of kids reading books that deal with prejudice and bullying but damn. that’s more intense than some adult fantasy ive read

Long Read of the Day - Michael Schiavo: 'Jeb Bush Is A Vindictive, Untrustworthy Coward'

On some level, we all know Michael Schiavo’s story. But it’s always in general terms, and always through the lens of those who saw the Terri Schiavo case in black and white.

Michael Schiavo is speaking out, and America had better hear what he’s saying now, rather than later.

Sitting recently on his brick back patio here, Michael Schiavo called Jeb Bush a vindictive, untrustworthy coward.

For years, the self-described “average Joe” felt harassed, targeted and tormented by the most important person in the state.

“It was a living hell,” he said, “and I blame him.”

Michael Schiavo was the husband of Terri Schiavo, the brain-dead woman from the Tampa Bay area who ended up at the center of one of the most contentious, drawn-out conflicts in the history of America’s culture wars. The fight over her death lasted almost a decade. It started as a private legal back-and-forth between her husband and her parents. Before it ended, it moved from circuit courts to district courts to state courts to federal courts, to the U.S. Supreme Court, from the state legislature in Tallahassee to Congress in Washington. The president got involved. So did the pope.

But it never would have become what it became if not for the dogged intervention of the governor of Florida at the time, the second son of the 41st president, the younger brother of the 43rd, the man who sits near the top of the extended early list of likely 2016 Republican presidential candidates. On sustained, concentrated display, seen in thousands of pages of court records and hundreds of emails he sent, was Jeb the converted Catholic, Jeb the pro-life conservative, Jeb the hands-on workaholic, Jeb the all-hours emailer—confident, competitive, powerful, obstinate Jeb. Longtime watchers of John Ellis Bush say what he did throughout the Terri Schiavo case demonstrates how he would operate in the Oval Office. They say it’s the Jebbest thing Jeb’s ever done.
The case showed he “will pursue whatever he thinks is right, virtually forever,” said Aubrey Jewett, a political science professor at the University of Central Florida. “It’s a theme of Jeb’s governorship: He really pushed executive power to the limits.”

Here’s what Jeb did: He intervened in what should have been a matter decided by the courts, and when he didn’t get the desired result, he appealed to then-President George W. Bush to intervene. Meanwhile, he got his toady legislature to pass a one-time exception contravening the judge’s decision in the case. After a judge and the Florida Supreme Court ruled “Terri’s Law” unconstitutional, Jeb took it to the United States Supreme Court, where the case was refused. Ultimately he got his brother and the United States Congress to intervene, but it was too late. Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube had been removed and she was mercifully allowed to pass with some measure of dignity.

Small government, right? Not so much, nor did the case end with Terri’s death. After the autopsy confirmed what doctors had been saying all along, Jeb tried to suggest her collapse was the result of some wrongdoing by Michael Schiavo.

If you can’t win, slime your opposition.

Here are five facts about Jeb hidden in the article:

Jeb Bush is a hard-core conservative - There is nothing moderate about him. He’s as hard-core as any of them, but he’s better at hiding it.

“I want to be able to look my father in the eye and say, ‘I continued the legacy,’” he told the Miami Herald in 1994.
That year, he ran for governor of Florida—as an ultra-conservative, a “head-banging conservative,” as he put it—and lost. In 1998, he ran again, sanding those hard-right edges—and won.

Jeb’s idea of smaller government is a concentration of more power with the executive

His ascension coincided with both houses of the state legislature being Republican majorities for the first time since Reconstruction. Voters also opted to alter the state constitution to shrink the size of the cabinet, leaving the governor, the position itself, with more executive power. Bush did a lot with it. He was reelected in 2002, easily, winning 61 of the state’s 67 counties. By this time, of course, his brother was the president.

Jeb Bush is comfortable governing as an activist

“My gift, perhaps,” Bush would say toward the end of his two-term tenure, in an interview with the Tampa Tribune, “is that with this office now, we’ve shown that governors can be activist …”

Jeb Bush is vindictive when he loses

Today, looking back, what makes Felos, the attorney for Michael Schiavo, angriest about the case is Bush’s letter to McCabe. Even after 18 months of legal wrangling, even after her death, even after the autopsy—after all that—the governor asked a prosecutor to initiate a retroactive criminal investigation of his client. It struck Felos as “odd,” “bizarre”—“personal.”
“It was such an abuse of authority,” Felos said. “I think that really raises red flags about his character and his fitness to be president. Jeb didn’t get his way in the Schiavo case. I think he tried to take it out on Michael.”

Jeb Bush will do anything necessary to win

“He doesn’t accept loss. He doesn’t accept that the answer is no. He couldn’t possibly consider that he may be wrong,” Wasserman Schultz said this month. “If he had the chance to be president, he’ll do what he’s always done—he’ll do everything he can to implement his very rigid, ideological view of how the world should be. Voters are going to have to ask: Do you want a president who thinks the executive, the president, is supreme, above all else? It’s frightening to think about what he could do with that kind of power as president.”

“Trying to write laws that clearly are outside the constitutionality of his state, trying to override the entire judicial system, that’s very, very dangerous,” said Arthur Caplan, a New York University bioethicist who edited a book about the Schiavo case. “When you’re willing to do that, you’re willing to break the back of the country.”

Unsaid in the article but just as germane: This case was personal for Jeb because he knew it would cement his credibility with the hard-right evangelical core. Catholics and Baptists alike would revere him for being willing to ignore the rule of law to carry out their will.

This is why he can’t be elected President. We cannot have another Bush in the White House, and certainly not Jeb. The press and pundits will spend a lot of time trying to convince us all that Jeb Bush is a moderate candidate who can appeal to Latino voters and the white working class voter alike. It’s up to all of us to make sure each and every voter understands that behind the veneer, the heart of a cold-hearted, hard-core conservative lurks.


Michael Schiavo: Jeb Bush ‘Put Me Through Hell’

Disability For Dummies: Sometimes when we look like we don't get something, we're really compensating

When people with ADHD or other executive function problems do something wildly inefficient, I’ve noticed people tend to assume it’s because we don’t know how to prioritize, don’t know that it’s inefficient, or can’t find a better way to do things. What they may not realize is that we’re often doing the inefficient thing to compensate for our tendency to make small errors a neurotypical person wouldn’t make, no matter how much we pay attention.

Here’s an example.

As a graduate student, I’m in my second semester as a teaching assistant. While my grading responsibilities have varied quite a bit from semester to semester, one problem has remained remarkably consistent: how to deal with answers that are clearly not right, but could be dealt with in a variety of ways. Do I mark it completely wrong, give partial credit, or just put a comment in the margin explaining that it’s wrong and why, but deduct no points? A lot of contextual factors come into play here, including the quality of the student’s writing, the professor’s emphasis on leniency vs. precision (they tend to err on the side of leniency), and the quality of the rest of the student’s answer. A judgment call must be made, and thus, the possibility of making inconsistent decisions depending on how tired I am, or whether I’ve changed my mind during the grading process. Now, one aspect of ADHD for me is that my memory is absolutely terrible. So let’s say I have to make a judgment call on subsection c of problem 2. If I change my mind about how to score mistakes halfway through, I’ll forget whose scores I have to go back and change if I don’t write them all down. So, all last semester and at the beginning of this semester, I dealt with the problem in an incredibly inefficient way:

I wrote down, for every student and every problem, the breakdown of each part of the problem, how I scored them, and why. You can imagine how many hours this added to the grading process. When my adviser found out I’d been doing this, she told me I shouldn’t be and told me a new, faster way to deal with the problem. She also said I shouldn’t worry too much about a difference of a couple points here or there, because if any students complained, I could tell her she’d regrade it in front of them and they’d have to take the new grade, for better or worse.

Now here’s the thing. I knew perfectly well that my record-keeping was adding hours to the process and that most other TAs didn’t do that. But I believed it was necessary in order to overcome the forgetfulness, inconsistency, and error-prone tendencies that come with my ADHD so I can grade my students fairly. And the first semester, no one told me otherwise.

During the evaluation where I was diagnosed, the neuropsychologist noticed inefficiencies like this and assumed I lacked the ability to prioritize. I did used to sometimes have difficulties breaking certain sorts of tasks into pieces and figuring out how long they’d take (thanks to motor and time perception difficulties), but that wasn’t usually the reason for my behavior. Most of the time, if I’m doing something inefficient, it’s not because of difficulties prioritizing or understanding how to do a task. It’s deliberate compensation, and I think of it as something that I as a person with disabilities has to do that my neurotypical peers don’t have to do. However, I’ve also learned from this TAing experience that I can be wrong in my assumptions about what I need to do to compensate.  I think ADHD coaches and the like need to understand this, and teach us to compensate in better ways, or else to live with a certain degree of errors (or recognize when we can live with them).

(Sorry this is repetitive. I’m writing this in a break from grading a large exam so I don’t forget, but don’t have the time to edit it much).

It’s a never-ending source of amusement to me that my husband and I have such clearly different autistic trait expression that we can sit down and list off which traits our son got from each of us. (Manual rather than oral stims? My husband. Overemoting/poor emotional control rather than alexithymia? Me. Language delays rather than hyperlexia? My husband. Socially impaired extrovert rather than simply disinterested in socializing? Me.) And then there are the traits that are entirely my son’s—verbal stims and echolalia, for instance—and we have no idea where they came from.

Fuck tragic. Autism is fascinating.

lack of executive function scares me

it scares me because i know what i need to do to take care of myself but there are too many steps to do it and i can’t always put them together (in the right order or just in general) 

like i know that i should change my clothes because it’s almost sunday night and i’ve been wearing these pjs since friday night and i haven’t showered in a few days or brushed my teeth and i’ve been having maybe one or two meals (if they can be called that) because i can’t manage to go to the store and buy food (or when i do it just ends up going bad because i can’t make it fast enough) 

or i want to work on sewing but there’s stuff on my chair and desk that i have to move before i can sew but i don’t know where to put it 

and i need to fold my laundry and put it away so i can put my dirty laundry in the laundry basket but before i can fold the laundry in the basket i need to fold and put away the laundry on the floor from the last time i did laundry 

and i really should start my homework too but i’m not sure where to start so it just feels too overwhelming 

and before i can do any of those things i have to get off of tumblr and the computer and get off my bed 

there are so many things that need to be done and so many steps and i can’t seem to get it right and i’m scared. i want to live in my own apartment and prove that i can do it and also not be a burden to my parents (even though i’m sure they’d love it if i stayed with them). but i can’t even handle living in a dorm. how am i supposed to live on my own? how? 

this isn’t just something i can “fix” if i “try harder”

i am trying. i’ve been trying for years. it’s something that i hold as a deep dark secret and hide. something i tend to cover up in lies. i don’t want to do that anymore… but i’m scared… 





Zoe stands alone in one of her cheer uniforms, on a mat used in cheerleading competitions and looks around at the vast darkness worriedly for what was to come. After a moment bright neon lights turn on behind her displaying a sign which says: “High Flying Murderess!” and upbeat music begin to play loudly. The music is from one of her most famous routines that won her the Cheer Worlds that year. As the music begins, Monobears all dressed up in the same cheer uniforms as her appear and start the routine. Zoe begins to go along with them, knowing that this will be her demise but she was going to do it well so with a big smile on her face she starts doing her front flips, back flips, tucks and then they finally get to one of her first jumps. As she readies herself to be thrown up a large gun is rolled onto the edge of the room and aimed towards Zoe. Panicking at the sight of it inside she shows no fear as she climbs into the arms of the Monobears and closes her eyes as she is thrown into the air for her first basket toss. While shes in the air the gun begins to fire at her but only grazes along her cheek and her thigh, letting out a sigh Zoe gets ready for the next stunt knowing that this time they surely wouldn’t miss. And as she’s held up in the air her thoughts come true as bullets pierce her body, but only on her legs and arms. The final bullet shot goes through her head cleanly and as soon as that happens the Monobears drop her to the ground in a bloody mess. Zoe Pavlis is dead.


February 22, 1943: Members of the White Rose are executed.

The White Rose (die Weiße Rose) was one of the most famous anti-Nazi resistance groups working within the borders of the Third Reich; their defiant opposition against Adolf Hitler and the atrocities and oppression of his government was and is especially remarkable when juxtaposed with the traditional image of the apathetic German citizen, oblivious to or unwilling to speak out against the crimes of their own leaders and military. The principal members of the organization were students from the University of Munich - Hans and Sophie Scholl, Alex Schmorell, Willi Graf, Lilo Berndl, Jürgen Wittenstein, Falk Harnack, Christoph Probst, Traute Lafrenz, Katharina Schueddekopf, and Marie-Luise Jahn. Several had refused to join the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls ,(membership was, at that point in the war, compulsory), and most were motivated by moral reasons; some, as medical students, had witnessed the horrors of the war on the Eastern Front, atrocities committed by Germans against civilians, and the conditions of the Jewish ghettos in Warsaw and other cities. 

The White Rose’s main activity was spreading awareness through leaflets and pamphlets heavily influenced by religious texts, ancient philosophy, and traditional German writers, while avoiding detection by the Gestapo. The second of the six eventual leaflets (and a seventh draft) read:

The German people slumber on in dull, stupid sleep and encourage the fascist criminals. Each wants to be exonerated of guilt, each one continues on his way with the most placid, calm conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty!

Shortly after the total surrender of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad (and on the same day as Joseph Goebbels’ "total war" speech), a custodian at the university witnessed the Scholl siblings distributing pamphlets at the school, and the two were soon taken into custody by the Gestapo to be interrogated. Hans and Sophie Scholl, along with Christoph Probst, were tried by the People’s Court in a hasty show trial, found guilty, and executed by guillotine all on the same day - February 22,1943. More members were executed in July and October of that year, and others connected to the organization were sentenced to prison terms; however, it was the Scholls, more than any other members of the White Rose, who became symbols of selfless resistance and martyrs in postwar Germany. 

We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace

- Leaflet Four