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And here I thought all Canadians were nice

The mother of a 13 year old boy with autism discovered this letter from a neighbor.

To the lady living at this address:  I also live in this neighbourhood and have a problem!!!! You have a kid that is mentally handicapped and you consciously decided that it would be a good idea to live in a close proximity neighgbourhood like this???? You selfishly put your kid outside everyday and let him be a nothing but a nuisance and a problem to everyone else with that noise polluting whaling he constantly makes!!! That noise he makes when he is outside is DREADFUL!!!!!!!!!! It scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!!!!!! When you feel your idiot kid nees fresh air, take him to our park you dope!!! We have a nature trail!! Let him run around those places and make noise!!!!!! Crying babies, music and even barking dogs are normal sounds in a residential neighborhood!!!!! He is NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!  He is a nuisance to everyone and will always be that way!!!!!! Who the hell is going to care for him????????? No employer will hire him, no normal girl is going to marry/love him and you are not going to live forever!! Personally, they should take whatever non retarded body parts he possesses and donate it to science. What the hell else good is he to anyone!!!! You had a retarded kid, deal with it... properly!!!!! What right do you have to do this to hard working people!!!!!!!!! I HATE people like you who believe, just because you have a special needs kid, you are entitled to special treatment!!! GOD!!!!  Do everyone in our community huge a favor and MOVE!!!! VAMOSE!!! SCRAM!!!! Move away and get out of this type of neighborhood setting!!! Go live in a tralier in the woods or something with your wild animal kid!!! Nobody wants you living here and they don't have the guts to tell you!!!!!  Do the right thing and move or euthanize him!!! Either way, we are ALL better off!!!  Sincerely,  One pissed off mother!!!!!

To the lady living at this address:

I also live in this neighbourhood and have a problem!!!! You have a kid that is mentally handicapped and you consciously decided that it would be a good idea to live in a close proximity neighbourhood like this???? You selfishly put your kid outside everyday and let him be a nothing but a nuisance and a problem to everyone else with that noise polluting whaling he constantly makes!!! That noise he makes when he is outside is DREADFUL!!!!!!!!!! It scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!!!!!! When you feel your idiot kid needs fresh air, take him to our park you dope!!! We have a nature trail!! Let him run around those places and make noise!!!!!! Crying babies, music and even barking dogs are normal sounds in a residential neighborhood!!!!! He is NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

He is a nuisance to everyone and will always be that way!!!!!! Who the hell is going to care for him????????? No employer will hire him, no normal girl is going to marry/love him and you are not going to live forever!! Personally, they should take whatever non retarded body parts he possesses and donate it to science. What the hell else good is he to anyone!!!! You had a retarded kid, deal with it… properly!!!!! What right do you have to do this to hard working people!!!!!!!!! I HATE people like you who believe, just because you have a special needs kid, you are entitled to special treatment!!! GOD!!!!

Do everyone in our community huge a favor and MOVE!!!! VAMOSE!!! SCRAM!!!! Move away and get out of this type of neighborhood setting!!! Go live in a trailer in the woods or something with your wild animal kid!!! Nobody wants you living here and they don’t have the guts to tell you!!!!!

Do the right thing and move or euthanize him!!! Either way, we are ALL better off!!!

Sincerely,

One pissed off mother!!!!!

Speaking as a scientist here, I’m not at all interested in dismantling young boys for their organs, so I’m going to have to reject that suggestion. However, I do think someone with such a serious case of exclamation point abuse and hatefulness ought to be condemned to live in a small trailer in the wilderness with no other people about, with the Canadian government airdropping occasional packages of supplies (moose meat and poutine? Timbits for dessert? Whatever Canadians eat) so that she can live without the interruptions from other human beings. It’s the only humane thing to do. We’d all be better off.

Comments

  1. Anthony K says

    This is why I hate kids, parents, and every single aspect of family that creates and maintains humans.

    Trust me: we’ll all be better off when there’s not a single member of H. sapiens left.

  2. unbound says

    Wow. To think the author of the letter is raising children. I can’t imagine what kind of loving, empathetic, caring, human beings they’ll turn out to be….

  3. says

    Saw this on Yahoo and immediately thought of nasty middle school girls who wear Hello Kitty eyeliner inside the waterline of the eye and don’t think One Direction is even a teensy-weensy bit homoerotic because they date females. If this creature is actually old enough to breed and have its name on a house deed, it qualifies as developmentally disabled and needs to get to a doctor. Come on–it’s on pink paper!

  4. Sven says

    The more exclamation points used in an email (or other posting), the more likely it is a complete lie. This is also true for excessive capital letters.
    – The Law of Exclamation

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    unbound @ 2

    Oh, I’m sure she’s a loving caring mother… to her own children.

    It’s everyone else’s kid who annoys her.

  6. says

    I, uh…wow. And people think the Horde is vitriolic.

    Dear mom of the normal kids, Go live in a trailer in the woods or something, with your normal kids. The world will thank you for doing so.

  7. says

    Well, the kid really shouldn’t be whaling — I’m sure there’s a bylaw against firing off exploding harpoons in a residential neighbourhood.

  8. A Hermit says

    “I also live in this neighbourhood and have a problem!!!!”

    Well she’s right about one thing. She has a problem. I don’t think it’s the one she’s thinking of though…

  9. throwaway, gut-punched says

    What a totally equivalent response to someone’s kid shouting in the neighborhood. And by equivalent I mean “overblown exhibition of the lack of both acceptance and ethical aptitude”, of course. I second shipping her to the arctic circle.

  10. says

    Eamon Knight:

    Well, the kid really shouldn’t be whaling — I’m sure there’s a bylaw against firing off exploding harpoons in a residential neighbourhood.

    If there are enough land whales infesting this neighbourhood for whaling to take place, you’d think they’d have bigger problems than one autistic sprog being outside sometimes.

  11. says

    @ 1 “Trust me: we’ll all be better off when there’s not a single member of H. sapiens left.”

    Then why don’t you kill yourself?

  12. unbound says

    @5 – Well, she may think she is. Children have a habit of actually observing how their parents are and emulating them quite well.

  13. Louis says

    Come on Anthony, I realise the person who wrote this letter is vile, but I think the extermination of the entire human species is a little over the top. After all, this lady probably supports the right hockey team. Or something.

    Louis

    PS. Alternative post: ZOMG you are advocating world wide genocide! You might as well be the offspring of Nazis and Stalin and Pol Pot you vile demonic bastard.

  14. Onamission5 says

    Oh fucking keerist. What, does the letter writer think that disabilities are deadly contagious, like the plague? What a horrible letter, what a horrible attitude.

    This. This is why disabled rights activism and advocacy is so important. Because not only are there people in the world who will say this shit out loud, there are even more people who think it quietly and act upon those attitudes when they think no one else is looking, and some of those people are parents, caregivers, or guardians to disabled kids and adults.

  15. Louis says

    Caine,

    If there are enough land whales infesting this neighbourhood for whaling to take place, you’d think they’d have bigger problems than one autistic sprog being outside sometimes.

    Not only that, but he clearly is one FUCK of a swimmer. Get the lad into a Michael Phelps training programme now, sayeth I.

    Louis

  16. frog says

    I suppose we can all hope this goes viral and this horrible person hears herself lambasted in the media and internet for being such a piece of shit.

  17. says

    Also, as someone who isn’t terribly impressed by sprogs a’ screaming, I have no idea how anyone could possibly discern the difference between “normal” kid screaming and autistic kid screaming. All sprogs are noise factories, goes with the territory.

  18. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    On phone, can’t quote, but: ChristineRose: wtf does any of that have to do with the actual problen here? STFU.

    Also, the original letter writer’s contact information appears to be missing…

  19. Sastra says

    Not nice at all.

    She should have written “Thanks for reading!” before the “Sincerely.”

  20. Nemo says

    It’s bizarre that she talks about killing the kid as though it were actually a level option (“euthanize”).

  21. Louis says

    Ryanmannick, #12,

    Errrr just no.

    First, I suspect Anthony’s comment was hyperbolic misanthropy. I.e. not serious, but comedy. Second, even if serious, which I doubt, how about considering the fact that it might reflect someone in genuine distress, perhaps someone suffering from clinical depression. Telling people in that state don’t need to be told to kill themselves. Nor do people making hyperbolic jokes. Hell NO ONE needs to be told to kill themselves. It’s a shitty thing to do to anyone. Healthy, joking, unhealthy or whatever.

    So knock it the fuck off, pretty please with a cherry on top.

    Louis

  22. doubter says

    I’m going to correct the closing:

    “Sincerely,

    Soon to be the most hated person in Newcastle, Ontario, and on the Internet!!!”

  23. says

    ryanmannik:

    Then why don’t you kill yourself?

    1) Your sarcasm meter is in need of repair.

    2) You do not, and will not, tell or suggest that anyone kill themselves, ever, here. It is not accepted, full stop. It is not witty or clever to do so.

  24. Anthony K says

    Then why don’t you kill yourself?

    Because one less person does not an extinction make. Obviously.

  25. Louis says

    Anthony K,

    Because one less person does not an extinction make. Obviously.

    Well, if you strapped yourself to a big enough comet and started from far enough away…

    Just sayin’.

    What do you mean it’s “impossible”? Typical wet, liberal, always expecting a hand from the state. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and find a suitable comet, create your own space programme, get yourself into space, move the comet to the right position and create an extinction level event. What’s so hard about that?

    Louis

  26. Anthony K says

    Healthy, joking, unhealthy or whatever.

    Generic nihilism against all humans falls into this too, I suppose.

    So I do apologise if my over-the-top hyperbole angered you, Ryanmannick.

  27. says

    Well, there is some truth in the letter.

    1) The neighborhood has a problem.

    2) She (I’m going with the pink paper) HATES people.

    3) She’s pissed.

    Yeah, the writer would be happier in a more rural setting.

    That said, I live in an urban setting yet have a bit of land. I don’t care so much about noise. . . but stay off the lawn — good neighbors don’t climb the fence. lol

  28. Louis says

    Oh and on topic:

    The person who wrote this letter is a very specific kind of odious. I would not trust such a person with the proverbial cup of lukewarm piss, let alone childrearing. Mind you, I am kinda harsh.

    Perhaps a friendly mental health/autism/disability advocate could have a quiet word in the letter writer’s withered conscience and empathy gland and see if a decent human being can be pulled out of them.

    Louis

  29. says

    Oh sure he says a whole species is better off dead and it’s hilarious hyperbolic sarcasm, I ASK why he doesn’t lead by example and ooo I’m telling people to kill themselves. Sorry. Continue with your hilarious cynicism.

  30. carlie says

    I saw in another story that it is the grandmother who got the note, who sometimes watches the child. So it’s not like the [no insult good enough] other person lives near this child 24/7, but just a few daytime hours a few days a week.

  31. Anthony K says

    Well, if you strapped yourself to a big enough comet and started from far enough away…

    Edmonton gets pretty close to a dirty ball of ice and snow fifteen months out of the year.

  32. Louis says

    Anthony K,

    Generic nihilism against all humans falls into this too, I suppose.

    True, it does. But I maintain that such a state is out of all proportion to the available evidence. Yes, a huge number of people are shits, but there are a huge number of vastly less shitty ones too. After all, the people who brew really good beer exist. I can put up with a LOT after considering that small fact.

    Louis

  33. Anthony K says

    Oh sure he says a whole species is better off dead and it’s hilarious hyperbolic sarcasm, I ASK why he doesn’t lead by example and ooo I’m telling people to kill themselves. Sorry. Continue with your hilarious cynicism.

    I was wrong to write my comment #1. Let’s both not dig in.

  34. says

    I ASK why he doesn’t lead by example and ooo I’m telling people to kill themselves

    Err, yeah you did? Are you dumb or something?

  35. Louis says

    Anthony,

    Edmonton gets pretty close to a dirty ball of ice and snow fifteen months out of the year.

    True, but it isn’t moving in the right direction to do the right sort of damage. Some sort of matter transfer beam to place it in outer space on a collision course with earth? I mean, there’s transporters in Star Trek, so, you know, must be true.

    Louis

  36. Jacob Schmidt says

    Notice how “special treatment” means “living in the same general location as the ‘normals’”?

    That’s what special treatment means. It damn near always means “enjoying the same rights and privileges as me.” Doesn’t matter if it’s a race, gender, sexuality or mental illness issue; “You don’t deserve special treatment” means “I don’t want to respect you as a person.”

  37. David Marjanović says

    Has no fucking idea what autism is, is therefore scared shitless of it. Some people’s anxiety manifests as aggression.

    Saw this on Yahoo and immediately thought of

    …I have no idea what you’re talking about; also, the paper is purple.

    All sprogs are noise factories

    While I can’t imagine autism plays into it (except to the extent that introversion might), there’s enormous individual variation in that. Trust me, I’m the oldest of 4 very different siblings.

  38. says

    @ 40

    You’d have a point if I asked why he doesn’t kill himself in any context other than as a response to him saying the whole species is worthless and better off dead.

  39. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Might I point out that P. A. M. Dirac was certainly somewhere on the autistic spectrum and had a moderately successful marriage (to Eugene Wigner’s sister) as well as revolutionizing our understanding of the Universe.

    Newton may well have also been somewhere on the spectrum. There are lots and lots and lots of people who will hire this kid if he can solve problems for them. And there are many autistics who have happy marriages to neurotypicals.

    So, P.O.ed mom is not just a hateful, horrible, vile excuse for a human being–but also flat-assed wrong.

  40. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Christine Rose @ #3: what exactly does your hatred of how some children may do their makeup have to do with the culture of lethal ableism heavily supported by adults?

    Unfortunately, this is not a rare thing. Consider the lists of autistic kids murdered by their families, who are less loving and decent humans than this poor kid’s. It’s normal to see these murders called mercy killings. Hell, I saw a commenter here the other day calling for the Ashley Treatment for all autistic people he deems “low-functioning” enough. This is not an anomaly, it’s an extension of normal.

  41. David Marjanović says

    Sorry. Continue with your hilarious cynicism.

    …What, if anything, makes you think it was meant to be hilarious?

  42. says

    Happiestsadist:

    Hell, I saw a commenter here the other day calling for the Ashley Treatment for all autistic people he deems “low-functioning” enough.

    ! I missed that. Asshat doucheweasel.

  43. says

    It scares the hell out of my normal children!

    Well, I wonder where her children might have got the idea that autistic kids are scary from?

  44. David Marjanović says

    Unfortunately, this is not a rare thing. Consider the lists of autistic kids murdered by their families

    …I had no idea.

  45. george gonzalez says

    Weird, but our neighbors to the back are a group home for developmentally delayed adults, and they are the BEST of neighbors, never parking their four pickup trucks on the street, never having big loud yappy dogs, not leaving big oil stains on the roads, not being lawyer or realtor jerks, not being rich reactionary wingnuts, unlike some neighbors we could enumerate..

  46. Nicolas Turgeon says

    And I’ll bet she’s against abortion and, until recently, euthanasia! Probably a very nice person at her church though.

  47. carlie says

    Hell, I saw a commenter here the other day calling for the Ashley Treatment for all autistic people he deems “low-functioning” enough.

    I didn’t see that. I assume it was adequately ripped apart, but if not, can you point it out so at least I can get some words in on that thread for the sake of completeness?

  48. says

    And this is why ableism and bigotry against neurodiversity need to be dismantled.
    _
    @ryanmannik: Your comment was bad and you should feel bad. Stop trying to defend it. Also, what Caine said.
    _
    @Louis:

    Perhaps a friendly mental health/autism/disability advocate could have a quiet word in the letter writer’s withered conscience and empathy gland and see if a decent human being can be pulled out of them.

    “quiet words” are insufficient. Remember, the writer is only one example of a far bigger social problem.
    _

    find a suitable comet, create your own space programme, get yourself into space, move the comet to the right position and create an extinction level event.

    There you go, copying my party tricks.

  49. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Caine: It was near the end of a thread (“Forest for the Trees”) and I was the last commenter on there last I checked.

    David M.: I have to disagree with you, the paper’s pink.

  50. fernando says

    That letter is too cruel to be true.
    On the other hand: our species can breed some really despising individuals.

  51. David Marjanović says

    …Must be the settings for my screen, then, but it looked purple on the other computer, too… the top left is almost violet.

  52. cpps says

    Sadly this is not the first time weird letters like this have cropped up in Ontario this summer. The good news is that the reaction from the surrounding communities seems consistently to be outrage at the derpweasels who write them and support for the families targeted. There is hope yet.

  53. naturalcynic says

    Anonymous neighbors suck. About 13 years ago, a good friend of my son died in a bicycle accident when he was about 10 years old. His parents, as a memorial, put up his initial in christmas tree lights on their roof. Soon thereafter an anonymous neighbor left a note similar to this in the family’s mailbox. “That letter B on the roof was so tacky” and “Hey, it’s almost summer, why would you put up lights on your roof” and “This is weird, we don’t want weird people living in the neighborhood”.

  54. says

    Happiestsadist:

    Caine: It was near the end of a thread (“Forest for the Trees”) and I was the last commenter on there last I checked.

    Oh, I didn’t read that thread, duh. Thank you, I’ll go look it up now and add my two cents.

  55. carlie says

    Oh right, that one. I was actively ignoring that guy and didn’t really read what he wrote.

  56. says

    Carlie:

    Oh right, that one. I was actively ignoring that guy and didn’t really read what he wrote.

    Good thing, because I’m pretty sure you would be too angry for words.

  57. Gregory Greenwood says

    A child is somewhat noisy due to a mental health condition entirely beyond his control, and this ‘pissed off mother’s’ solution is – eugenics? Complete with the State then harvesting the organs of the murdered child for scientific experimentation, all done without consent?

    I am very glad that the only recourse this punctuation-abuser has is to write nasyt letters with poor senstence structure. The idea of soemone like her weilding real power is frightening indeed.

    She says she has a problem – I agree; she has several, and being an incredibly nasty, ableist, possibly genocidal (I doubt that she thinks that this child is the only differently abled person that doesn’t have the right to live) arsehat is but one of them.

    PZ is only joking, but you can see his point – perhaps she should be bundled off to the most remote locale that can be found. Why should those many times more ethical than she is have to put up with her grammatically inept, exclamation-mark-riddled screeds? I mean, what good is she to society? We would all be better off…*

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    * In case there is anyone who is deeply irony deficient on this thread (I am looking at you, ryanmannik), I am joking here. I don’t really think she should be forcibly exiled from society, no matter how offensive her bigotry is.

  58. Anthony K says

    PZ is only joking, but you can see his point – perhaps she should be bundled off to the most remote locale that can be found.

    More remote than Canada?!

  59. Jacob Schmidt says

    More remote than Canada?!

    The more remote parts of Canada (Baffin Island, maybe?).

  60. opposablethumbs says

    How utterly charming and neighbourly.

    I’m glad none of the interactions with neighbours/passers-by we “enjoyed” when youngestSpawn was younger were anything remotely like this bad. It’s hard enough trying to cope with bringing up a kid with a disability without people handing you shit like this (and when you’re low on spoons, this shit would be even more hurtful). Things have changed a lot over the decades, and I’d almost erased forgotten the epoch that this so delightfully reminds me of.

    I hope the writer gets all the recognition they deserve for their empathy and eloquence … quite a lot of recognition, in fact.

  61. Anthony K says

    * In case there is anyone who is deeply irony deficient on this thread (I am looking at you, ryanmannik)

    Folks, can we not browbeat ryanmannik for being ‘irony deficient’ or having a broken sarcasm meter?

    I wasn’t being sarcastic. I think Ryan was probably the only one who picked up on that (I suspect he was being sarcastic when he referred to it as ‘hilarious’ cynicism), and I understand why it pissed him off (which I think it did: he can correct me if I’m wrong). We’ve explained the “don’t tell people to kill themselves rule”, I’ve acknowledged that I’m not blameless in this regard either, he seems to want to move on and deal with the thread as is, as do I, so can people lay off him for a bit?

  62. Gregory Greenwood says

    I mock senstence structure and punctuation, and of course I promptly write an abomination of a post full of all manner of errors. Typical.

    *Sigh*

  63. Anthony K says

    Well, she could be dumped into the wilds of ND, however, since I’m in the wilds of ND, I’ll say I don’t want her here.

    Isn’t Jadehawk in ND too? That makes many of you!* That’s not ‘wilds’.

    *There aren’t words in Canadian to describe populations of more than one.

  64. says

    Anthony K:

    Isn’t Jadehawk in ND too?

    Yes, as well as Kamaka, MAJeff and a few people who primarily lurk and I don’t remember their nyms. Okay, she can’t come here.

  65. Algernon says

    Hmmm… I wear Hello Kitty eyeliner.

    God, I’d be canvassing the neighborhood to out the asshole though. If for no other reason than to see the look on her face when I knocked.

  66. says

    Algernon:

    God, I’d be canvassing the neighborhood to out the asshole though. If for no other reason than to see the look on her face when I knocked.

    At the very least, copying the letter with a reply stapled to it in every mailbox in the neighbourhood. That way, everyone knows there is a flaming doucheweasel close by.

  67. Rey Fox says

    That’s what special treatment means. It damn near always means “enjoying the same rights and privileges as me.” Doesn’t matter if it’s a race, gender, sexuality or mental illness issue; “You don’t deserve special treatment” means “I don’t want to respect you as a person.”

    QFFFF(f)Ft.

  68. Anthony K says

    No problem, Ryan.

    And thanks horde!

    Yes, as well as Kamaka, MAJeff and a few people who primarily lurk and I don’t remember their nyms. Okay, she can’t come here.

    Jeez. Is ND a state or an arcology?

    (I only see MAJeff at LGM. I miss him. Please tell him hello.)

  69. Anthony K says

    God, I’d be canvassing the neighborhood to out the asshole though. If for no other reason than to see the look on her face when I knocked.

    Ah, it’s nice to read you again, Algernon.

  70. says

    Anthony K:

    (I only see MAJeff at LGM. I miss him. Please tell him hello.)

    I don’t see him anywhere, sadly enough. I miss him too. He’s in Fargo, where Jadehawk is right now.

  71. Anthony K says

    I don’t see him anywhere, sadly enough. I miss him too. He’s in Fargo, where Jadehawk is right now.

    YOU HAVE MULTIPLE SETTLEMENTS, AND THEY GET THEIR OWN NAMES?!!

  72. says

    Mark Labozzetta:

    Maybe this letter is just a parody of the old Spirit of the West song?

    Sure, it’s a parody, and I’ll bet the mother of the autistic child was laughing her ass off over it. No, wait…

    Just because you wanted to post a link to some stupid video does not excuse such a stupid comment.

  73. Amphiox says

    Trust me: we’ll all be better off when there’s not a single member of H. sapiens left.

    What we need is to evolve from H. sapiens into H. compatior.

    I would even settle for H. sapiens compatior.

  74. Kevin Schelley says

    Oh, so you don’t want this horrible, rotten person in YOUR back yard, but sending her to the north pole is fine. Chances are she’ll give some polar bear indigestion, and then how would you feel about that?

    /sarcasm

  75. says

    Anthony K:

    YOU HAVE MULTIPLE SETTLEMENTS, AND THEY GET THEIR OWN NAMES?!!

    Yeah, it’s silly, I know. I think people are trying to mimic those people who have provinces and stuff.

  76. says

    Kevin:

    Chances are she’ll give some polar bear indigestion, and then how would you feel about that?

    Hey, she could constitute a healthy meal for a polar bear mama and cubs!

  77. Amphiox says

    Well, if you strapped yourself to a big enough comet and started from far enough away…

    Just sayin’.

    But how much more damage does your average 70kg lump of human biological material add to the comet’s impact anyways?

    Of course, with transporter technology and its associated trappings, you could dispense with the comet. Just take your 70kg of CHON, accelerate to the appropriate relativistic speed, aim, fire and BOOM!

  78. cpps says

    There aren’t words in Canadian to describe populations of more than one.

    Well, we do have ‘town’ which covers every population big enough to sustain a corner store.

  79. Louis says

    michaelbusch, #60,

    “quiet words” are insufficient. Remember, the writer is only one example of a far bigger social problem.

    Oh I heartily agree. And perhaps I should explain I was using “quiet word” as the quaint Britishism that it is. {ahem}

    ;-)

    Louis

  80. says

    @98: Yeah, and he’s showing his true nature by renouncing his citizenship, right? Just like Conrad Black. Now, if we could just get Stephen Harper to defect to Texas……

  81. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Yes, as well as Kamaka, MAJeff and a few people who primarily lurk and I don’t remember their nyms. Okay, she can’t come here.

    MA Jeff no longer in ND.

  82. The Mellow Monkey says

    That letter would make me worried about the safety of the child every time he went outside.

    God, people are horrible.

  83. Anthony K says

    But how much more damage does your average 70kg lump of human biological material add to the comet’s impact anyways?

    70 kg? Aww, you’re sweet.

  84. Anthony K says

    So what exactly is the hell is with this passive-aggressive neighbourhood letter-writing business? We’re Canadians, for fuck’s sake. Nobody talks to neighbours. Nobody should. It’s unnatural. We walk down the street, on the off chance we encounter someone who looks like they might be someone who mows the lawn two houses down, we do that stilted little eyebrow raise, and we go indoors and peer suspiciously out side windows while we close the curtains. A good Canadian ignores one’s neighbours.

    Earlier this summer, the great big house next to the one in which I live was sold to a co-op of artists, massage therapists, and generally hippies. They spent a lot of time in their backyard, burning wood in their outdoor brick oven thing, sometimes making noise into the wee hours on weeknights. Annoying, to be sure, but not the absolute worst thing. Nonetheless, it wasn’t fair to their neighbours.

    So the neighbour on the other side circulated a letter: complaints about the noise and the smell (I think they used shitty wood sometimes, also reefer) were fine, but then it devolved into some weird missive about perceived ne’erdowells living unconventional lifestyles. ‘There are a lot of unrelated people living in the house.’ (True. It’s a heritage house (as old as they come in Alberta) and it has about fifty bajillion rooms. It also costs about that much just to heat in the winter. And there are five unrelated people living in my house, and it’s a good thing too, because I think two of them are sleeping with each other.) ‘I don’t think they have jobs.’ (They’re artists and massage therapists, and work out of their home.)

    So we took the letter over to the people in the co-op, and let them know what was being circulated. Also, we reiterated the point that maybe it would be a good idea to end backyard get-togethers at a reasonable hour on weeknights.

    So then they circulated their own letter to all the neighbours: explaining who they were, what their co-op was called (they named themselves after the original owner of the house), etc. It was all very nice and engaging, and they included their house email and phone number so people could more easily complain to them if they were being too loud. They’ve been very respectful about noise since then, and they and the other neighbour get along great now.

    So, all’s well that ends well, I guess. But I’m going back to hermiting and pretending all of my neighbours are just strangers I have not yet (and don’t want to) meet. If I want to socialise, I’ll go to the pub. That’s why God invented them.

  85. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Algernon @ #83: I’d be canvassing too. Also, I’ve been meaning to try the HK eyeliner myself.

    Anthony K.@ #105: Jesus, y’all are weird out West. Out East, everyone talks with their neighbours, constantly. How else do you get the proper small town gossip thing going?

  86. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Dafuq? I just finished reading WharGarbl’s nonsense over at the Wood for the Trees thread, and now I find this? What’s with all the hate for autistic people lately?

    I hope she manages to find out which of her neighbours sent the letter… and promptly tells all the others. Normally I wouldn’t advocate driving someone out of their home, even through the relatively mild tactic of social disapproval, but right now I’m in a foul mood and quite frankly the letter writer deserves it.

  87. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    If I want to socialise, I’ll go to the pub. That’s why God invented them.

    Hallelujah!

  88. ischemgeek says

    @HappiestSadist 106: Depends where out East you are – I live in a uni town in the Maritimes, and my interactions with my neighbours are largely limited to an awkward wave if I see them as I’m on my way to work (well, except for the time I offered to shovel the porch of a neighbour who was struggling with a giant cast, but hell, I would’ve done that if I was just walking on the street and happened upon it because person struggling with giant cast trying to shovel their porch off).

    But when I lived in the sticks, there was a whole lot of passive aggressive notes and small town gossip goin’ on.

    Most of my neighbours have sprogs, and the only time I’ve complained to them about their sprogs was the time I woke up to see three little faces staring in my bedroom window when I was sleeping off nightshift at a security job. Kids, I don’t care if you play on the lawn of the place I live, but watching me sleep is fucking creepy. Don’t do that.

  89. dobbshead says

    I have no idea how anyone could possibly discern the difference between “normal” kid screaming and autistic kid screaming

    I lived above a family with an autistic child for about a year. When he’d go into fits he wouldn’t stop for hours. Often he’d decided to start screaming in the middle of the night. There is definitely a distinct tenor to that kind of wailing. I don’t know how to describe it it other than an internal rather than external scream. It’s inconsolable.

    It’s really difficult to live above that. I started out understanding and compassionate, but there are only so many times I can be woken up in the middle of the night before I just don’t give a damn. I didn’t make an issue out of it because I was moving out in a fixed timeframe anyway, but if I had been living there long term (like if it was a condo that I taken a mortgage out on) that kind of screaming would be a problem that needs to be fixed.

    But a pink-papered-screed with way too much punctuation isn’t an effective means of problem resolution.

  90. says

    I especially like this bit:

    Nobody wants you living here and they don’t have the guts to tell you!!!!!

    Says the person who doesn’t have the guts to sign her own name.

    I get the idea that someone could get really frustrated over something like this, especially if they’ve already got a lot of things to deal with. I can even understand sitting down and writing out such a letter, as a way to let off some steam.
    I don’t understand how they got themselves to actually send it.

  91. Jacob Schmidt says

    But a pink-papered-screed with way too much punctuation isn’t an effective means of problem resolution.

    There’s also a massive difference between being kept from sleeping and hearing it during the day while the kid is playing outside.

  92. ischemgeek says

    My housemates have a sprog. Said sprog is loud, and they’re louder in entertaining her. I get irritated at the noise level, yes. I’m an introvert and <3 me some peace and quiet. To be quite honest, there's little more irritating than getting home after a stressful workday and feeling like I just want to relax and unwind…. only to hear toddler temper tantrums. Except maybe adding migraine and illness into the equation like two weeks ago. It's even more irritating when said toddler wakes up at 3AM and chooses to have hir temper tantrum then (yes, kid's a toddler who doesn't sleep through the night yet).

    I do what any decent person would do under those circumstances: I curse under my breath, grumble a lot, and then I take a walk, or if I'm not feeling up to a walk, I put in earplugs.

    That's what this woman should've done. There's being understandably irritated by noisy sprogs, and then there's just being a raging asshole.

  93. says

    dobbshead:

    When he’d go into fits he wouldn’t stop for hours.

    Gosh. I guess it’s just nothing at all then, that some of the “normal” kids around where I live manage to scream for hours on end when they’re outside. Yep, big difference.

  94. says

    I’m sorry for the family who had to read that crap.
    I hope the support and sympathy they’re getting (it’s featured o German yahoo, too and with the appropriate reactions) helps them to deal with it.
    And I’m really, really sorry for that woman’s kids.
    They sure weren’t assholes when they were born but they’ll quite likely become assholes as they grow up.
    Her “normal” kids are scared? How about her doing her fucking duty as a parent and explaining the kids about people with disability?

    Oh, and Christine Rose?
    Kindly fuck off for your misogynist screed about women with Hello Kitty eyeliner.

  95. ischemgeek says

    Note about my comment @115: A better example for me to use would have been my irritating preteen and early teen neighbour sprogs, who are also quite loud and irritating at times. When they’re being loud and irritating outside, I close the window. Because I don’t have the right to demand that everyone else live their lives according to me. I just chose the toddler example because that’s the one I have to deal with on a several-times-a-day basis, but I realize in retrospect that it was an inappropriate and infantilizing comparison to use. My apologies to those who are autistic – I had a brain fart, and can offer no excuse.

  96. says

    I didn’t make an issue out of it because I was moving out in a fixed timeframe anyway, but if I had been living there long term (like if it was a condo that I taken a mortgage out on) that kind of screaming would be a problem that needs to be fixed.

    I have the nagging feeling that the parents are working on that already.
    Because contrary to popular belief they usually don’t enjoy it either…

  97. gussnarp says

    …the fuck…..

    It’s like anonymous web hatred in real life, where you have to go on knowing the anonymous troglodyte lives near you….

    That is just the most miserably hateful, evil thing I’ve seen in a while. Were I the mother of the special needs child in question, I would put considerable effort into finding out who wrote that letter. Then I would have a conversation with them. Just because they should be willing to say it to me out loud, in person if they’re going to spout this stuff. Then I would publicize their name and writing sample to everyone I possibly could. My neighborhood, the internet, local media, the polic….

  98. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    ischemgeek: Hey, I’m from a university town in the Maritimes! Though like all true Maritimers, I left for The Big City.

  99. David Marjanović says

    Happiestsadist, found and responded. Thank you.

    Seconded. It’s on page 4 now…

    And thanks for the other link. *facepalm* *headshake*

    Out East, everyone talks with their neighbours, constantly.

    NNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  100. David Marjanović says

    How about her doing her fucking duty as a parent and explaining the kids about people with disability?

    She can’t do that. She has no fucking clue about autism or probably any disability at all.

    That’s the problem.

  101. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    David M. : Well, I didn’t much. A couple here and there, but mostly no. Because introversion.

    Anthony K.: Hey now! Some of us ended up in Toronto. It just depends on how physically capable you are. So we’re not in Tar Sands Mordor. :P

  102. dobbshead says

    I guess it’s just nothing at all then, that some of the “normal” kids around where I live manage to scream for hours on end when they’re outside.

    There is a big difference in tenor and frequency, also timing and location for you above example. I’ve lived near toddlers and they have their bad nights, but after awhile they grow out of it. My downstairs autistic buddy didn’t and I doubt he has since I last saw him. And that wail has a characteristic tenor which you can’t mistake. Dealing with a severely autistic child is a challenge in addition to the challenges that come with children in general.

    It’s still no excuse for pink-paper-lady to be a raging asshole.

    I have the nagging feeling that the parents are working on that already.

    You’d think, but in this case you’d be wrong. Homeboy’s mommy wasn’t the most together person, which might have had an impact in the screaming frequency.

  103. believerskeptic says

    Has no fucking idea what autism is, is therefore scared shitless of it.

    I’d bet a certain amount of folding money this woman doesn’t vax her kids.

    Fortunately, the *rest* of the neighborhood did rally around the kid and went out of its way to show him and his family that they were welcome. So there is hope….

  104. says

    I tend to always give people the benefit of the doubt regarding poor social behavior, we all have bad days/nights that make us act out. I just like to pretend that the random assholes I encounter are really nice people having a bad day. BUT when you commit to writing it down, be it a comment or a neighborhood letter, my thinking is that if you have the time to write you have the time to think about it first. This woman has obviously been stewing about this for some time, and her lack of empathy, understanding, and basic human decency is inexcusable. And her children will come to understand that their neighbor is scary, wrong, and shouldn’t live next door or anywhere.

  105. believerskeptic says

    Folks, can we not browbeat ryanmannik for being ‘irony deficient’ or having a broken sarcasm meter?

    Asking people not to dogpile one ill-thought comment?

    What site are you posting on?

  106. believerskeptic says

    “One pissed off mother!!!!” didn’t have the guts to sign the letter.

    Oh, but she had the “guts” (her word) to say what “everyone” (her word) in the neighborhood was thinking, don’tchaknow. Except that the neighborhood turned out to have this kid’s back.

  107. says

    You’d think, but in this case you’d be wrong. Homeboy’s mommy wasn’t the most together person, which might have had an impact in the screaming frequency.

    1.) And you know that exactly how?
    I mean, did you join her for her trips to specialists and stuff?

    2.) Well, and his daddy?

    David
    I figured out that much. There’s somebody very unqualified for being a parent…

  108. says

    Asking people not to dogpile one ill-thought comment?
    What site are you posting on?

    Seriously? Knock it the fuck off.

  109. says

    dobbshead:

    There is a big difference in tenor and frequency, also timing and location for you above example.

    Wow, I had no idea that you sit in my studio, trying to work with multiple sprogs screaming for hours on end, and have heard, first hand, the bizarre amplification qualities of the place I live, where even using an indoor voice outside is amplified enough to hear it clearly a street away. That’s amazing, when were you here? Oh, and next time, ask before you use my studio. Ta.

    Short form: You be digging a hole. Stop now.

  110. says

    bs:

    What site are you posting on?

    Oh, we know where we are. As for you, your constant attempts to ingratiate yourself are failing. I expect you might want to keep searching for a bigger, better, more understanding hatstand.

  111. Anthony K says

    What site are you posting on?

    One where I’ve earned some small amount of respect over seven or eight years of reading, commenting, and understanding.

    Why? Who the fuck are you?

  112. believerskeptic says

    Seriously? Knock it the fuck off.

    No, in fact, I think I’ll double down.

    I think PZ’s regulars have a really irritating idea that there’s a contest going on to see who can claim the greatest amount of ideological purity by being the first to correct someone else.

    Someone makes a joke about wanting the human race to be extinct? Dogpile!

    Someone obviously not seriously says “you first” to this? Dogpile!

    Someone makes a snarky comment about “Hello Kitty” makeup? Misogynist! Trot out the f-word!

    Maybe you don’t always need to use the f-wor—- TONE TROLL! None of that!

    My feelings were hurt because you suggested that maybe some lifestyle choices are actually healthier than others! You’re some kind of -ist! I’m not sure, what, but that’s some kind of -ist! Knock it off!

    I mean, really. The culture here is ridiculous. You are all tripping all over each other to correct one another (and me). You— correctly— criticize the JAQers who come here wanting to debate for sport, but this is clearly your own sport. I’ve never seen anything like it. What exactly do you win by being the Champeen Corrector? If it were brownie points into heaven, I might understand that, but we’re atheists.

    No one here is perfect. Not you. Not me. No one.

    Your expectations of perfection from everybody else?

    Knock that off for a change.

  113. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Asking people not to dogpile one ill-thought comment?

    What site are you posting on?

    Stopped clocks and all that.

    I think Ryan was probably the only one who picked up on that (I suspect he was being sarcastic when he referred to it as ‘hilarious’ cynicism), and I understand why it pissed him off (which I think it did: he can correct me if I’m wrong). We’ve explained the “don’t tell people to kill themselves rule”, I’ve acknowledged that I’m not blameless in this regard either, he seems to want to move on and deal with the thread as is, as do I, so can people lay off him for a bit.

    This IS a welcome development.

    Other than that, I wonder if the shitbag who wrote this could be charged under incitement to felony or conspiracy. I doubt she’d be convicted, but she at least needs the publicity…

  114. smhll says

    [TW: eliminationism, expressed grossly]

    They’ve been very respectful about noise since then, and they and the other neighbour get along great now.

    I’m glad to hear that your old neighbors and your new hippie neighbors were able to peacefully coexist.

    My pro-tip to pink letter writing lady is that once you suggest that someone would be more valuable chopped and sold as parts, you have destroyed the possibility of amicable cooperation.

  115. Anthony K says

    Your expectations of perfection from everybody else?

    I don’t know who reads this blog to you, but fire them and have someone literate spoon-feed you.

  116. nightshadequeen says

    …yeah you’re not helping your own case, believerskeptic, and can you please take all derails to the Thunderdome?

  117. Anthony K says

    I’m glad to hear that your old neighbors and your new hippie neighbors were able to peacefully coexist.

    Me too. I like my hippie neighbours.

  118. Ze Madmax says

    believerskeptic @ #139

    No one here is perfect. Not you. Not me. No one.

    Indeed. Also, given that entropy is irreversible, we should stop repairing infrastructure. It’ll all crumble to dust anyway, so why bother patching it up?

    And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of safety standards. And medical practice. We’re all dust in the end, so why bother trying to stay “healthy” or avoiding “harm”? It’s all so much commie pinko propaganda.

    believerskeptic: we’re imperfect, so just shut the fuck up and let me whine about cults instead!

  119. Anthony K says

    The culture here is ridiculous.

    Remember when you had a pissy little tantrum and decided that, even though you were going to do totes so much for women, you weren’t because nobody gave you a handjob for your shitty song?

    I do.

    Talk about ridiculous.

  120. believerskeptic says

    Someone suggesting that if I don’t like it here, I should leave in 5, 4, 3, 2….

    Anyway, back to the topic.

    I’ve devoted a considerable amount of my professional life recently to finding ways to make music more accessible to the visually impaired— Braille music is often inadequate for the study of music theory, which entails a specialized set of symbols apart from traditionally notated music. What I’ve learned from my own experience, and reading a goodly amount of disability studies theory over the years, is that disability, like many things, is a social construct. People are only disabled to the degree that barriers are put in place by society.

    Why is this kid playing alone? I imagine a world in which this mother would actually not simply “tolerate” the kid, but actually become a partner in helping her neighbors raise him. What if this kid were running and screaming while playing with this mother’s kids? Wouldn’t that be acceptable? Could this mother’s own kids be deployed to help the autistic kid as sorts of peer counselors? Could they come over to read to him once a week? Help him with his schoolwork?

    It’s amazing how you can turn a “problem” around into a solution with just a little thought and compassion. And it really does take a village— a lot of wisdom in that.

  121. cicely says

    Yeeeeeeah, autism obviously = “retarded”.
    o.O
    I read that letter, and I can’t help but thinking…there’s a lot of empty space in Oklahoma…and many derelict trailer houses…and nobody would even notice one asshat more….
    -

    God, people are horrible.

    But the Horde also exists. A small ray of sunshine.
    :)
    -

  122. says

    Nightshadequeen:

    Everyone, can we please bring this derail to the Thunderdome?

    This stuff happens. Things will get back on track if some peoples start talking about the OP again. Speaking of, I really can’t think of anything more to say. This behaviour on the part of anyone is absolutely appalling. I am glad it’s being publicized, though.

  123. says

    Someone makes a snarky* comment about “Hello Kitty” makeup?

    Gheez, it was a joke, woman, can’t you take a joke, for fuck’s sake?

    FYI snark=/= stupid

    Oh, and there’s your cross, nails over there, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  124. says

    Cicely:

    I read that letter, and I can’t help but thinking…there’s a lot of empty space in Oklahoma…and many derelict trailer houses…and nobody would even notice one asshat more….

    Aaaaw, what do you have against Oklahoma? I’m pretty sure we have Horde members there…

  125. says

    I am a hippie neighbour! I think that means I can go get a cookie or something.

    One out of Alice B. Toklas’ cookbook?

  126. dobbshead says

    1.) And you know that exactly how?
    I mean, did you join her for her trips to specialists and stuff?

    It was a house with two floors that were paper thin, so it was kind of hard to miss some life details. This lady had her electricity cut off multiple times (so she stole mine). She also had a parade of bad boyfriends come through. The landlord was a philanthropist and rented at well below market rate, and she’d work with us if we were having a hard time putting the money together for a month. This lady pretty much just stopped paying rent and got evicted. In my area the courts go pretty hard for the tenant and convincing a judge to evict a mother of three requires cause. With all that I’d be surprised if there was money for therapy. Mommy really didn’t have things together.

    To top it off, the landlord hired me to clean/repair the place after she got mommy evicted. The place was a nightmare: holes punched through the walls, debris and trash just strewn about, crayon and marker all over the walls. The worst part was the refrigerator: she hadn’t had electricity for months and rather than cleaning out the food, she just let it rot. Most of it just seemed to liquefy into a puddle on the bottom, meat and all.

    2.) Well, and his daddy?

    There was no daddy.

  127. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Aaaand I see time’s moved on and the hand hasn’t. Ugh. >.>

  128. believerskeptic says

    believerskeptic: we’re imperfect, so just shut the fuck up and let me whine about cults instead!

    First, describing someone like me, who has chronic clinical depression and is in treatment for it, as “whining,” is ableist. That is a term you should never use to address someone with depression, and you should correct yourself. But rather than call for a dogpile on that, or an apology, I’ll give you a pass, because you’re not perfect. You’re welcome.

    Second, you obviously have never had the experience of having a loved one in a cult. If you ever had, you would not insult someone like me who has had this harrowing, harrowing experience by describing his anti-cult rhetoric as “whining.”

    It’s just amazing. So many of you have the experience of begging the mainstream world to take issues like misogyny seriously, only to be met with indifference and derision— and yet you’re so dismissive of other people’s concerns and priorities. I stand by my viewpoint. Cults are incredibly dangerous, incredibly destructive, ruin people’s lives, and the skeptic movement needs to challenge Bigfoot believers a little less and cults a little more.

    So tell me. What’s wrong with being concerned about cults? What’s your problem with it? It’s not as important as your own pet issues? They’re not mutually exclusive, you know. You can challenge both misogyny and cults. You know, like, say, I do.

  129. Ingdigo Jump says

    I like that someone clearly has such a shitty life and can’t support their family and gets evicted, and here we have the person whining that he had a mess to clean up.

  130. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    It was a house with two floors that were paper thin, so it was kind of hard to miss some life details. This lady had her electricity cut off multiple times (so she stole mine). She also had a parade of bad boyfriends come through. The landlord was a philanthropist and rented at well below market rate, and she’d work with us if we were having a hard time putting the money together for a month. This lady pretty much just stopped paying rent and got evicted. In my area the courts go pretty hard for the tenant and convincing a judge to evict a mother of three requires cause. With all that I’d be surprised if there was money for therapy. Mommy really didn’t have things together.

    To top it off, the landlord hired me to clean/repair the place after she got mommy evicted. The place was a nightmare: holes punched through the walls, debris and trash just strewn about, crayon and marker all over the walls. The worst part was the refrigerator: she hadn’t had electricity for months and rather than cleaning out the food, she just let it rot. Most of it just seemed to liquefy into a puddle on the bottom, meat and all.

    So, basically, what I stayed with my ex to save my daughter from.

    :(

  131. Ingdigo Jump says

    First, describing someone like me, who has chronic clinical depression and is in treatment for it, as “whining,” is ableist.

    Fuck you and your bullshit fauxrage you whining pissant

  132. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I like that someone clearly has such a shitty life and can’t support their family and gets evicted, and here we have the person whining that he had a mess to clean up.

    Can we not imply that shitty, neglectful parents should never have to take any responsibility for anything? That kind of rhetoric is borderline triggering for me.

  133. says

    There’s a wonderful campaign running in The Netherlands, by SIRE (Stichting Ideële Reclame — Foundation for Idealistic Advertising). It’s a hotline for people without mental illnesses.

    Slogans include “For people who think someone suffering a burn-out just wants some extra vacation” and “For people who think someone suffering from depression should just go out and do something fun”.

  134. says

    With all that I’d be surprised if there was money for therapy. Mommy really didn’t have things together.

    Yeah, practically criminal. Being poor, having 3 kids of whom 1 is disabled and most likely no access to healthcare and then not managing wonderfully. Moral failure.
    But hey, you found a woman to blame and that’s all society usually requires.

    There was no daddy.

    In that case she should ask the catholic church, they cared about the precendence case for that

  135. cicely says

    Aaaaw, what do you have against Oklahoma? I’m pretty sure we have Horde members there…

    Why, nothing, nothing at all, unless you count that it is (mostly) flat and ugly and inhabited largely by….
     
    *throat clearing*
     
    I was born in Oklahoma, all of my siblings—even the ones who aren’t…well, anyway—live in Oklahoma; for that matter, a stunningly high percentage of my extended family live in Oklahoma.
     
    I have no illusions about Oklahoma. If we do have Horde living there, I can only say—gee, I’m sorry.
     
    (It also has Horses in it. And peas.)
     
    (But I digress.)
    -

  136. says

    Azkyroth

    Can we not imply that shitty, neglectful parents should never have to take any responsibility for anything? That kind of rhetoric is borderline triggering for me.

    I understand that this is triggering for you, but honestly, not all parents who cope badly and who fuck up do so because they’re just shitty and neglectful. In this case it really sounds like dobbshead is giving us his view on this woman and her situation while claiming to know much more than he can know about her.

  137. says

    SQB:

    One out of Alice B. Toklas’ cookbook?

    Ooooh, brownies. Be right back…

    Oh, thanks for posting about that campaign. How wonderful is that? Like the ‘Don’t Be That Guy’ campaign, this is one that should be everywhere.

  138. says

    This is where I live. It’s an old, very little town with some new subdivisions built up in the past 20 years or so (rather than a suburb exactly). It’s pretty insular and not very diverse, but the people are generally friendly. I hadn’t heard about this incident till I read this post (I think the neighbourhood is on the other side of one of the main streets). The police are investigating so hopefully charges will be laid.

  139. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I understand that this is triggering for you, but honestly, not all parents who cope badly and who fuck up do so because they’re just shitty and neglectful. In this case it really sounds like dobbshead is giving us his view on this woman and her situation while claiming to know much more than he can know about her.

    Maybe. It just seems like people bend over backward to give The Kind Of People Who’ve Hurt Me… The Benefit, doubt or otherwise. >.>

  140. stillacrazycanuck says

    @57

    I know it is popular to despise lawyers and I suppose realtors aren’t far behind, but as a lawyer married to a realtor, I find this resort to crude stereotyping inappropriate. Maybe you have neighbours who are lawyers/realtors who happen to be jerks. There are jerks in just about every field of human endeavour, tho I have to say that I have always found that gardeners and horticulturists are uniformly nice people. Maybe you should judge people by how they act, rather than by what they do to make a living.

    Maybe this is an inappropriate topic for my first post, but I have been reading here for a long time, and while I find the comments generally interesting and reflective, in many cases, of interesting points of view, it seems to me that sometimes I read posts that betray precisely the kind of judgmental thinking that the poster seems to decry. This one simply struck too close to home for me to remain silent, given that nobody else seems to have had a problem with the conflation of ‘lawyer/realtor’ with ‘jerk’.

    I don’t know what you do but unless you are a gardener or horticulturist, I’d give long odds that there are some jerks doing the same thing. Don’t be one of them.

  141. says

    Believerskeptic, for what it’s worth I probably share at least some of your views on depression and cults, and I got no problem with you talking about such things, in related threads. But neither of those apply here, as far as I can tell, and you seem to have brought them up only as examples of why the Horde hates you. When, in fact, it’s because you’ve been an annoying prat. It’s too bad that nobody liked your song, but you know the remedy to that, and it isn’t giving up and blaming everyone else for not liking it.

  142. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    This one simply struck too close to home for me to remain silent, given that nobody else seems to have had a problem with the conflation of ‘lawyer/realtor’ with ‘jerk’.

    Huh. I assumed that the intended interpretation was that the combination of a jerk character/personality with the skillset and resources of a lawyer or realtor was especially unpleasant.

  143. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    The police are investigating so hopefully charges will be laid.

    There will be no charges laid, you can check the latest story from The Star for that info. I agree with that assessment and believe that there absolutely shouldn’t be in any case. I can’t imagine why you would even hope that there would be charges laid.

    The person is an asshole, absolutely detestable, and at least ought to be outed, nationally, for the shit that xi is, but they’ve not done anything illegal. I would hope that the shame they ought to feel upon being exposed would be enough. It isn’t necessary to make being an awful person illegal for some justice to come for this person’s behaviour.

    I’m fairly sure, given the choice, that I wouldn’t want to make having the odious opinions of this person and their stupid need to express them illegal.

  144. jefrir says

    ChristineRose

    If this creature is actually old enough to breed and have its name on a house deed, it qualifies as developmentally disabled and needs to get to a doctor.

    You appear to have missed the point of the post; here, we’re on the side of not being arseholes to people with disabilities, or using disability as an insult.

  145. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    I must issue a correction. Apparently, they’ve merely ruled out charging the person with a hate crime (the letter definitely doesn’t amount to the definition of a hate crime in the criminal code). Of course, I can hardly imagine what other part of the criminal code might then apply, other than criminal harassment. But, then, I don’t see any express threat in the letter and I can’t see that the Crown would want to pursue such a charge given the threshold to convict.

    Should there have been a series of letters and a threat, I suppose then that it certainly would be criminal behaviour. Given that nothing illegal seems to have been done, charges shouldn’t be laid, but that certainly doesn’t change the fact that the person who wrote it is definitely fucking awful and deserves to be named.

    Also, Ibis3, I was hasty. I can imagine why you would hope charges should be laid; because harassing a person and causing them the kind of distress that this letter might definitely goes further than just being a shit. So, I am sorry.

  146. dobbshead says

    But hey, you found a woman to blame and that’s all society usually requires.

    That is really uncalled for. You asked about my experience and I told you. Now you try and smear me as a misogynist?

    I could go on about the time the house’s septic system got clogged and flooded the basement, which was filled with her stuff (piles of all sorts of trash). She let her crap soaked stuff sit there until she was evicted. Or about the times I’m pretty certain I heard her beating her kids. Then I called the cops, but you know how that usually works. Or how her kids would run and hide when they saw me or any other male presence wander down into the basement when they were doing laundry. Yeah the lady had a shit hand and a hard life, but she also made some stunningly bad decisions.

  147. Nicolas Turgeon says

    @179: Could this be incitement to murder? After all the letter says “Do the right thing and move or euthanize him”… (I spared you the exclamation points)

  148. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The person is an asshole, absolutely detestable, and at least ought to be outed, nationally, for the shit that xi is, but they’ve not done anything illegal.

    Attempting to persuade someone to commit murder isn’t illegal?

  149. Rob Grigjanis says

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/08/20/letter_attacking_autistic_boy_not_a_hate_crime_police_say.html

    Ryder Gilliland, a lawyer with expertise in defamation, said a defamatory libel charge could be considered. Unlike common-law defamation, the rarely used criminal version doesn’t require third party publication — only that a statement is shown or delivered with the intent that it is read by the defamed person, or any other person.

    “Really, it’s done with an intent to injure the person, rather than with an intent to promote hate,” Gilliland said. “It’s malicious, and it’s specifically targeted at this family.”

    The Crown could also consider a harassment charge, which involves threatening conduct that causes someone to fear for his or her safety. A mischief charge is another option.

  150. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    Attempting to persuade someone to commit murder isn’t illegal?

    I don’t think making a strong suggestion can amount to persuasion. The letter, poorly written as it is, implores the person it’s directed to to do the right thing (which is really one of two things, neither of which is actually ‘right’) and it isn’t couched as a persuasive argument (it’s clearly a very angry, stupid rant).

    The Crown, it seems, doesn’t think that the author has done anything illegal …yet. If they’re considering criminal harassment, I can’t think that they’d consider incitement to murder (which the letter really doesn’t amount to), considering the shaky ground they’d be on just for that charge. I mean, they’ve already decided it doesn’t amount to a hate crime.

    I’m clearly not saying that the letter isn’t awful nor that the person who wrote it hasn’t done anything wrong. I just don’t think that it’s illegal. That’s hardly a defense of the letter or of the writer. The criminal justice system does not need to be involved for there to be justice in this case anyhow; the state does not have the monopoly on that.

  151. dobbshead says

    @Azkyroth

    If you circumstance was at all close to what I saw… I’m really sorry. It was toxic to just be in proximity to that kind of household, I can’t imagine actually living through it.

  152. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I didn’t, but I’d basically had it beaten into me that Custody Always Goes To The Mother and I could tell that was the direction things would go if I wasn’t there to try to hold them together, so I married her and tried to make it work. Then she left us for a bottle after all. Meh.

  153. says

    Regarding the overuse of exclamation marks in the hot pink letter, Elmore Leonard had some good advice:

    Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.

    Elmore Leonard died today. He was 87 years old. This may a good time to look at his entire list of Ten Tips for writers:

    - Never open a book with weather
    – Avoid prologues.
    – Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
    - Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”…he admonished gravely.
    - Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
    – Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
    – Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
    – Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
    – Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
    - Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
    -”My most important rule is one that sums up the 10. If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”

  154. anchor says

    I feel very sorry for the “normal kids” of the woman who wrote that.*

    *I had put down, “the ‘mother’ who wrote that”, but that harshed me right off my chair.

  155. says

    Also, Ibis3, I was hasty. I can imagine why you would hope charges should be laid; because harassing a person and causing them the kind of distress that this letter might definitely goes further than just being a shit. So, I am sorry.

    Thanks. I think that it’s desirable for the criminal justice system to get involved more often in harassment (including so-called “bullying”) cases, whether they happen on- or offline.The victims in this case (including the mother, who has MS herself), have enough stress to deal with, without getting threatening, angry letters from anonymous neighbours. People in our society are far too quick to harass and bully other people without consideration for the harm suffered by their victims. I’m not calling for prison time or anything, but a criminal charge with, say, a fine or community service and probation along with a protective order? That would be a suitable consequence.

    IANAL, but I believe the reasons this doesn’t meet the bar for a charge of hate propaganda are that it was a private communication not a public statement, and that the disabled are not a protected class under the relevant statute (which currently covers colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation)*. It might qualify as criminal harassment though (what I think are the applicable parts in bold):

    264. (1) No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.

    (2) The conduct mentioned in subsection (1) consists of

    (a) repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;

    (b) repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;

    (c) besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or

    (d) engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.

    Sending such a letter, basically stating that this person (who lives close by) wants a member of the family dead (sixteen exclamation points) and harvested for his organs, would seem to me to be conduct that would make a person reasonably fear for one’s safety and that of their family.

    A generic “hate crime” designation actually comes into play only in the sentencing stage, and is for the judge to determine.

    *OT: and now that Harper’s proroguing parliament again, Bill C-279 which would have amended it to include gender identity (thus protecting both women qua women and trans people) is, I believe, going to die before getting Royal Assent though it made it past committee to 3rd reading in the Senate in June.

  156. Rumtopf says

    Special treatment… Like playing outside without some asshole hating you for being born different?
    What a truly awful example of our species, and I feel for her kids who are likely being taught to think in a similar way(how scared would her kids be if she taught them properly about non neurotypical people? fffff). And yet I would never agree with anyone proposing to murder this scumbag for her lifesaving organs. Shit, my brother has an ASD and while it took some years for him to get going after a bad start during his school years, mainly because of bullying like this shithead is doing, he’s now on a college course and attending interviews to work in computer programming(mostly self taught!), we’re all so proud of him.

    Fuck that person.

  157. says

    I can’t imagine what kind of loving, empathetic, caring, human beings they’ll turn out to be….

    Objectivists or Libertarians. But only because stalinism has gone out of style.

  158. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    This woman is not only a horrible person, she also doesn’t know the first thing about kids. When children are in motion, they are making noise. Sometimes they run screaming. Other times it’s more of a giggling and chittering with the occasional high-pitched, sustained screech. As they tire those sounds may turn to more of a whiny keening, and grumpy mumbling. Then someone gets hurt and it’s time to come in for Band-Aids, popsicles and calamine lotion. Kids are not usually quiet.
    In fact one if talking to me, right now.
    Oh look, there’s one more.
    It’s bedtime and they want a snack.
    My teen just yelled in the living room. She’s playing X-Box with her friends. (The kittens destroyed her headphones. So we can hear her friends too.)
    My eldest son is quiet because he’s already asleep.

    Guess what? This is a quiet evening. That “pitter-patter of little feet” stuff is brief in “normal” children and usually followed by years of vibrant activity, curiosity, and a natural born hatred of naps.

    But what do I know? None of my family members would qualify as “normal” to this nasty piece of work. What we are, however, is a hell of alot nicer to live around and happier than the author of that letter.

  159. says

    I thought the story out of Oklahoma was the worst news I would hear about today (bored teens shoot and kill Australian baseball player).

    This tops it.

    My throat is hoarse from shouting WTF so much.
    I cannot fathom the attitude of the letter writer.

    “Your child annoys me. You should kill him”. No value for human life. Absolutely unconscionable.

  160. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    I thought the story out of Oklahoma was the worst news I would hear about today (bored teens shoot and kill Australian baseball player).

    This tops it.

    The baseball player in Oklahoma was murdered.

    As bad as this is, so far no one has died.

    Do you really think this is worse?

    I realize it has the potential for being worse, but do you really think it’s crossed that line?

  161. says

    What a Maroon:

    The baseball player in Oklahoma was murdered.

    As bad as this is, so far no one has died.

    Not yet, anyway. This letter, this action, does underline all too common attitudes which often do end up in murder. See Happiestsadist’s posts, upthread, for examples.

  162. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    Caine,

    Right, which is why I said “so far”, and that this “has the potential to be worse”.

  163. DLC says

    I saw this item yesterday, and thought : “Wow, what an ugly person.” I’ve never seen her, don’t care to. it’s not her body or face that makes her ugly, it’s her ridiculously hate-filled personality. I would not want any such woman living within long earshot of my home.
    Oh, and anonymous angry person: The creationists called, they want some of their !s back.

  164. says

    #1 and #12–Jezeez H. Christ on a cracker. What is it about ‘look how horrible this abusive person who writes hateful and dumb things is’ that you failed to grasp before you posted your hateful and dumb things in response?

  165. vaiyt says

    That’s what special treatment means. It damn near always means “enjoying the same rights and privileges as me.” Doesn’t matter if it’s a race, gender, sexuality or mental illness issue; “You don’t deserve special treatment” means “I don’t want to respect you as a person.”

    The first thing that went in my head was exactly how the whole “how dare you want to exist alongside us” angle sounded like anti-LGBT rhetoric.

  166. says

    ChristineRose, what the fuck is wrong with you?

    Saw this on Yahoo and immediately thought of nasty middle school girls who wear Hello Kitty eyeliner inside the waterline of the eye and don’t think One Direction is even a teensy-weensy bit homoerotic because they date females. If this creature is actually old enough to breed and have its name on a house deed, it qualifies as developmentally disabled and needs to get to a doctor. Come on–it’s on pink paper!

    1)Fuck you and your toxic ableism
    2)Fuck you and your toxic femmephobia
    3)What the fuck does your irrational hatred for current Middle School fashions have to do with anything!?

    Your comment was bad, and you should feel bad.

  167. says

    vaiyt:
    That is 101-level bigot speak. It applies to any form of bigotry bc it is so basic. The woman who wrote this took things to the next level.

    (I wanted to make a scale similar to the Fujita scale for tornadoes or the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale to describe the horrible levels of bigotry, but then realized it would imply that the attitudes of people like this are akin to unstoppable forces of nature. We can effect change in the destructive ways of people. Not so much natural disasters.))

  168. Ingdigo Jump says

    The first thing that went in my head was exactly how the whole “how dare you want to exist alongside us” angle sounded like anti-LGBT rhetoric.,

    Fortunately these things do follow patterns.

  169. says

    Well, she could be dumped into the wilds of ND, however, since I’m in the wilds of ND, I’ll say I don’t want her here.

    Isn’t Jadehawk in ND too? That makes many of you!* That’s not ‘wilds’.

    I’m in ND, but not in the wilds. I’m in the one place in ND that qualifies reasonably as a city :-p

    Yes, as well as Kamaka, MAJeff

    MAJeff actually left a while back, he’s teaching somewhere on the east coast now AFAIK (and he used to live in grand Forks, not Fargo)

    First, describing someone like me, who has chronic clinical depression and is in treatment for it, as “whining,” is ableist.

    no it isn’t. you talking about yourself or your health or your life and calling that “just whining” is ableist. calling you on your whining about a blog culture that benefits many people but you don’t like yet for some reason insist on participating in is not ableist. Calling your insistence on derailing threads with your hobby horses whining is not ableist.
    Clinical depression does not, by any means, entitle you to shit on other people and complain about everything they do for no reason, nor does it entitle you to take over conversations with whateverthefuck you want to talk about. I’m clinically depressed, and I can tell the difference between symptoms and bullshit whining, maybe you should learn it, too.

    Cults are incredibly dangerous, incredibly destructive, ruin people’s lives, and the skeptic movement needs to challenge Bigfoot believers a little less and cults a little more.

    and this is of what relevance in this thread? Oh yeah, none. Go ride your hobby horses where they belong, i.e. in the Thunderdome

  170. says

    Jadehawk:

    1)Fuck you and your toxic ableism
    2)Fuck you and your toxic femmephobia
    3)What the fuck does your irrational hatred for current Middle School fashions have to do with anything!?

    Your comment was bad, and you should feel bad.

    Quoted for truth and agreement. I’ve always sucked at applying eyeliner, so I haven’t had any for ages, but I think I might just check out Hello Kitty eyeliner. I can indulge in a little wishful thinking and hope I’d be better at applying it these days.

  171. says

    Azkyroth

    Maybe. It just seems like people bend over backward to give The Kind Of People Who’ve Hurt Me… The Benefit, doubt or otherwise. >.>

    This woman =/= your ex.
    You and me don’t know much about that woman except for what dobbshead tells us with the many dogwhistles about a “parade of boyfriends” etc. This woman might be abusive and neglectful, she also might be somebody who broke in a system that leaves her without support. All we have is the description of somebody whom I don’t find very trustful at the moment.

    dobbshead
    Nobody’s smearing you but yourself.
    Look what you wrote. “There is no daddy”
    That’s biologically pretty impossible, so unless you have the intimate knowledge that she doesn’t know whom of her “boyfriendparade” fathered the child(ren) there is 1-3 men who, if I believe your description, don’t give a fuck. But in your mind they just vanish. It’s all the responsibility of the woman and she’s to blame, combined with the slutshaming about her “parade of boyfriends”. The men, you let them totally off the hook.

  172. says

    I thought the story out of Oklahoma was the worst news I would hear about today (bored teens shoot and kill Australian baseball player).

    Searches.
    Reads.
    Weeps.

  173. says

    More on that SIRE campaign I mentioned earlier. There are four videos / radio ads, each consisting of a person telling about a situation where someone reacted badly to their mental illness (borderline, ADD, PTSD and autism), following with the pay off:

    “… that is why I’m glad that there’s help for people like them. It’s the hotline for people without a mental illness. It’s answered by someone who have, or have had a mental illness. They will gladly help you with your problems.”

    The general message of the campaign is, that if you have problems with someone who has a mental illness, it’s you who has a a problem.

    The people featured seem to actually have the mental illnesses described (as opposed to using actors). Here’s one of them, Gijs Hovers, starting his TED talk by describing the same event used in the ad.

  174. says

    The video at the other end of the link PZ gives confirms my suspicion that the letter is in fact, not pink (nor purple), but white. The colour we see is an artefact of how the picture of it was taken.

  175. Jessica Lundbom says

    @throwaway, gut-punched (10)

    I sympathize with your sentiment but I think I speak for the entire arctic circle when I say we don’t want her or her normal children either.

    We already have Johan Rönnblom, after all.

  176. Jessica Lundbom says

    Actually, Anthony. No matter how you feel about your part in that exchange, it will be a long time before I can see ryanmannik’s nym and not automatically think “horrible person”. I may actually never be able to. S/he ensured that by doubling down and stepping up his/her nasty. There was something decidedly off and creepy about that.

    Note that you have apologized (in my opinion you didn’t even need to) but this person has not. S/he does behave, though, as if an apology was due to him/her. Which it wasn’t. To me his/her behaviour looks like successful tone trolling and the behaviour has a creepy tone of narcissism.

    The rest of you will do as you please but to me, everything s/he has written so far has been offputting. Not just the initial turd.

  177. ledasmom says

    believerskeptic @ probably 150:

    Why is this kid playing alone? I imagine a world in which this mother would actually not simply “tolerate” the kid, but actually become a partner in helping her neighbors raise him. What if this kid were running and screaming while playing with this mother’s kids? Wouldn’t that be acceptable? Could this mother’s own kids be deployed to help the autistic kid as sorts of peer counselors? Could they come over to read to him once a week? Help him with his schoolwork?

    All very nice and optimistic and idealistic and suchlike. However. The fact is I wouldn’t trust most “normal” kids to play with anyone on the spectrum without extreme supervision. I admit it’s a bias on my part based mostly on personal experience, but there it is.
    I’m pretty much in the Asperger’s area of the spectrum (I know it’s not DSM-offical anymore, but bear with me), with probably a side-helping of ADHD (not officially diagnosed) and a good bit of social phobia thrown in. I don’t claim to have had a particularly hard time of it in school, certainly not compared to other people I know. But nearly thirty years after high school I go out of my way to avoid groups of children, especially teenagers, because I cannot be around them without getting nervous. I hate having people standing behind me. Can’t stand being touched unexpectedly. It isn’t even frank bullying, most of it, it’s just being, day after day, in the presence of what is supposed to be your peer group but doesn’t actually give a damn about you.
    Anyway. That was mostly of doubtful relevance, I’m sure. But it does get exhausting.

  178. drxym says

    I used to live next to a home for handicapped kids and some of the noises, especially in the summer could be very loud and disconcerting. Wailing, shrieking etc. So while I could to some extent understand how someone might find the noise objectionable I think what follows on from that is the most vile piece of anger I’ve read for a while.

  179. Chie Satonaka says

    I read in another article that this is the grandmother’s house. The woman and her child don’t even live there, but they visit frequently because she has MS and her mother helps her out, and the boy loves to watch television with his grandmother.

    I saw that the local authorities have determined that the letter does not rise to the level of hate speech. At this point the letter writer must know that her hateful rant has gone viral so I can only hope that she is shamed into re-thinking her view of the world. It was great to see the neighborhood rally around the family and show their support.

  180. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Chie Satonaka

    It was great to see the neighborhood rally around the family and show their support.

    Any chance of a relevant linky? My faith in humanity desperately needs reaffirming.

  181. Chie Satonaka says

    I can’t find the original article I saw with photos of the neighborhood showing out in support with Max smiling, but here is an article describing it:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/08/19/hateful_letter_about_autistic_boy_sent_to_newcastle_grandmother.html?vm=r

    Julie Smith, who lives across from Millson, canvassed the neighbourhood with a friend on Sunday to tell people about the letter. She also wanted to observe people’s body language.

    “Everyone seemed rather appalled by it; one lady burst into tears. We didn’t run into any suspicious characters,” she said. “If we do find out, we can’t be vigilantes, we have to call the police and let them deal with it.”

    When news of the incident began making headlines on Sunday, at least 120 people waited outside Brenda Millson’s home in Newcastle, to show their support for the family. Karla Begley says her mother has been touched by the gestures.

  182. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Azkyroth,
    I’m sorry you and yours had to go through that.

  183. David Marjanović says

    WharGarbl is back, defending their stance. Ugh.

    *headdesk*
    CRASH
    *headfloor*

    <inhale>I’ll be back.</inhale>

    I think PZ’s regulars have a really irritating idea that there’s a contest going on to see who can claim the greatest amount of ideological purity by being the first to correct someone else.

    [...]

    What exactly do you win by being the Champeen Corrector? If it were brownie points into heaven, I might understand that, but we’re atheists.

    Being new to the Internet, you probably haven’t heard of SIWOTI Syndrome. Many of us correct stuff because it’s there, not to get any brownie points from anyone. It’s not a form of social interaction!

    No one here is perfect. Not you. Not me. No one.

    Exactly! That’s why we all correct each other at every opportunity!

    Aaaaw, what do you have against Oklahoma?

    Why does the wind go north to south in Oklahoma?

    Because Texas sucks and Kansas blows.

    All very nice and optimistic and idealistic and suchlike. However. The fact is I wouldn’t trust most “normal” kids to play with anyone on the spectrum without extreme supervision. I admit it’s a bias on my part based mostly on personal experience, but there it is.

    Let me second it.

  184. ledasmom says

    David Marjanović:

    Let me second it.

    Thanks – I was wondering if I’d overstated it, but I do get a bit itchy about the “rah-rah, he plays with normal kids so that’s good” bit.
    My son wouldn’t sleep with the shutters open for a bit because the boy next door kept popping up at his window wearing a mask. When my husband talked to that boy’s father (neither the husband nor I are great socially, but he’s somewhat better), the father said “Well, my son wouldn’t be bothered by that.” And, you know, up until about then my son still thought that boy was his friend, because that’s how he thinks.
    My boys have therapists and go to social group and camp to learn how to socialize, and in my worse moments I wonder if I’m doing them any favors by having them do so.

  185. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @ledasmum

    “Well, my son wouldn’t be bothered by that.”

    This is transparent bullshit; any child is going to be bothered by someone repeatedly jumping out in a mask and scaring them.

    Your neighbour is a dick.

  186. ledasmom says

    Thumper; Atheist mate:

    This is transparent bullshit; any child is going to be bothered by someone repeatedly jumping out in a mask and scaring them.

    It might actually be true in this case; the son in question doesn’t appear to be scared of much. Nevertheless it certainly upset my son, which is enough reason not to do it. The fact that my son may be upset by things that other children wouldn’t be upset by doesn’t make it okay to upset him (and, of course, there’s that old method of bullying as perfected by so many siblings: anything can be triggering if it’s been set up as a prelude to something worse. Therefore the whole “But I’m not touching him” routine.).
    I agree that the neighbor is not the nicest sort, while requesting that the gendered insult not be used.

  187. says

    Thumper:

    This is transparent bullshit; any child is going to be bothered by someone repeatedly jumping out in a mask and scaring them.

    Your neighbour is a dick.

    I’ll thank you not to be such a fucking flaming asshole by pronouncing that you know all about someone else’s child – You. Do. Not.

    Also, you have been informed, repeatedly, that gendered insults will not fly here. Knock it the fuck off.

  188. says

    Outside of the awful behavior of Ms. Pink Slip, the terrible situation is that the child in question has a form of autism. The little guy can’t control himself or his world very well. As posters here have noted, this is heart-breaking for people who care about those affected and difficult to understand for the uninitiated.

    Well, thanks to some researchers, there is a glimmer of hope for those with Rett Syndrome, a devastating form of autism — sharing the link for those interested:

    First Pre-Clinical Gene Therapy Study to Reverse Rett Symptoms

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130820185803.htm

    A last post on this thread for me.

  189. says

    Meanwhile, in the supposedly enlightened Netherlands, a gay couple in the suburbs was harassed by youths in their neighbourhood to the point where they moved. This was just a few years ago. Everyone was outraged, but somehow, nobody could stop those kids.

    “Well, my son wouldn’t be bothered by that.”

    And that’s why the Golden Rule is actually just gold plated. As Popper wrote,

    “The golden rule is a good standard which is further improved by doing unto others, wherever reasonable, as they want to be done by”

  190. says

    And that’s why the Golden Rule is actually just gold plated.

    Yes, it’s a good slogan to start off with, but requires some subtlety to apply usefully. Not “Refrain from the specific acts that would bother you” but “Refrain from doing things that would bother others (even if it’s something you wouldn’t mind)”. And of course, the superficial application is what we see coming from, um, Certain Quarters around these parts, ain’t it?

  191. dobbshead says

    This woman might be abusive and neglectful, she also might be somebody who broke in a system that leaves her without support.

    She can’t be both? Being abused is no excuse for abusing others. Not having support from a significant other isn’t an excuse for letting food rot in a fridge.

    Look what you wrote. “There is no daddy”

    I am SO sorry I responded glibly, I didn’t realize that wasn’t allowed. I can rephrase: “The childrens’ fathers were rarely around.”

    Also, I said “parade of bad boyfriends.” [emphasis added] You dropped ‘bad’ and moved the emphasis to the parade. That fits the narrative you want to form, but it inverts that I was blaming the boyfriends for being bad in addition to indicting her for a pattern of choices. She didn’t have just one broken relationship, she had a series of them. Sure, you can analyze that as a self-fulfilling cycle of abuse and there might be a lot of truth to that. That doesn’t absolve her of culpability in forming those relationships and exposing her children to the yelling.

    You asked me how I knew that homeboy’s autism wasn’t being treated. I observed an abusive environment and the sole adult in the household making a cluster of bad decisions (i.e not having her act together). There is a lot that can be unpacked about how lack of positive male involvement, abusive relationships, crappy sex-ed, poor social services and restrictive finances all came together to reinforce those bad decisions, but you can’t invoke those factors to waive away personal responsibility.

    All we have is the description of somebody whom I don’t find very trustful at the moment.

    You’ve decided that you don’t want to believe me. I must be victim blaming, or slut-shaming, or hating this lady because she’s a woman. Is there any way to convince you otherwise? That my issue with this lady comes from her yelling at and beating her kids and leaving laundry in the machine to mold (multiple times)? That the objectionable part to her having multiple boyfriends to me were the constant shouting matches? If I can’t convince you that I am acting honestly, there isn’t any point in continuing this conversation.

  192. says

    an excuse for letting food rot in a fridge.

    people need an excuse for this? And here I thought unidentifiable blooming objects were found in everyone’s fridge, germophobes and cleanliness freaks excepted.

  193. cicely says

    Why does the wind go north to south in Oklahoma?

    Because Texas sucks and Kansas blows.

    And why is Oklahoma so cold in the winter?
     
    Because there’s nothing between the Arctic and Oklahoma to block that wind, except for a barbed wire fence.
     
    Which is down.
    -

  194. says

    She didn’t have just one broken relationship, she had a series of them. Sure, you can analyze that as a self-fulfilling cycle of abuse and there might be a lot of truth to that. That doesn’t absolve her of culpability in forming those relationships and exposing her children to the yelling.

    a demonstration of why free will is a harmful belief. What can “culpable” possibly mean, if we were to come to the conclusion that she’s acting the way she does because of abuse?

  195. dobbshead says

    What about Ms. Pink-Paper-Screed? Is she not culpable for writing that horribly punctuated piece of trash because she is just a product of an ableist culture? You don’t need free will to use the concept of personal culpability, especially when it comes to basic hygiene.

  196. says

    I’m guessing the writer started off by cutting letters and words out of magazines and newspapers, then realized how much work it would be and how hard it would be to find enough exclamation points and decided to type it instead.

  197. ashley larrieux says

    TW ableism

    I also live in Ontario, my parents adopted a severely autistic five-year-old boy ten years ago next month. He is very well treated in public, we haven’t had any negative experiences from the public, but treatment of him by the teachers and the school system has been a nightmare. My mom witnessed his educational assistant slapping him (he was transferred to another school afterwards, not fired) and his IBI instructors got another educational assistant slapping him on videotape (this one was merely moved to another student, not even transferred).

    Probably the only negative experience we’ve had about him from the public happened at the Disneyworld in Florida about 5 years ago. We were in the handicapped section of the audience watching the Christmas parade and a middle-aged woman accompanying her elderly mother who was in a motorized wheelchair was also there, with her two kids about five and six. My brother was in his wheelchair, laughing and flapping his arms in excitement watching the parade in the way autistic people do, and the woman’s kids were playing beside him. The woman was loudly making rude comments to her kids : “Stay away from him, he’s dangerous. He wants to hurt you. Why are you playing near him, get away quick before he hurts you!” She even began calling him a tick monster.

  198. ashley larrieux says

    @chigau

    By “tick”, she was referring to his arm flapping (because its repetitive and he can’t control it).

  199. says

    To the lady living at this address:

    So she doesn’t live close enough to know her name and she didn’t even bother to look it up?

  200. petrander says

    Meanwhile, in the supposedly enlightened Netherlands, a gay couple in the suburbs was harassed by youths in their neighbourhood to the point where they moved. This was just a few years ago. Everyone was outraged, but somehow, nobody could stop those kids.

    What? You think countries are uniformly enlightened somehow? That despite a majority tendency of tolerance, you won’t still have rotten apples in the batch? What’s more: We are experiencing increasing problems with intolerance towards gays and jews in the Netherlands and Danmark, amongst others, because of a growing minority of conservative muslims. More than often, it is youth from immigrant parents that do the bullying. As usual: Backwards religious culture is at fault.

    This is, of course, not to say that indigenous Dutch cannot also be bigots.

  201. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @ledasmom and Caine

    I apologise for the gendered insult; my temper got away from me and I forgot myself. I’ve been here long enough to know better.

    @Caine

    I never said I knew “all about” the neighbour’s child, I said the child would be startled if someone in a masked jumped out at him. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable thing to say; anyone would be, adult or child. That’s why the kid is doing it. The neighbour is clearly downplaying the effects of his child’s behaviour in order to excuse it.

    Side note: You say I have been repeatedly warned; this is, to my knowledge, the first time I’ve been warned. Have I missed a warning somewhere? If I owe someone an apology, I’d like to know.

  202. says

    Probably moderation; I used the N-word when describing the attitude of some people towards black people.

  203. ledasmom says

    Thumper; immorally inferior Atheist mate:
    I’ve been trying to figure out how to say what bothered me about your comment, and this is as close as I can come.
    It doesn’t matter whether “any child” would be upset, or if my son’s responses are close to those of a “normal” child, or if they seem reasonable to other people. What matters is that my son was distressed by behavior that the neighbor’s son was doing on purpose, and the neighbor brushed this off even after knowing that the behavior was distressing. It doesn’t help that he implied that his son was somehow superior for not being upset, but it’s not the major problem. My children and I don’t have to be normal or react normally for our feelings to be worthy of consideration.

  204. Thumper; immorally inferior Atheist mate says

    @ledasmom

    It doesn’t matter whether “any child” would be upset, or if my son’s responses are close to those of a “normal” child, or if they seem reasonable to other people… My children and I don’t have to be normal or react normally for our feelings to be worthy of consideration.

    I totally agree; and I’m sorry if I implied otherwise. I certainly didn’t mean to.

    What made me annoyed was that his son was being an arsehole and rather than acknowledging that he deliberately downplayed his son’s behaviour, and did so by saying something which, even if he doesn’t know to it be false, he certainly doesn’t know to be true and most probably isn’t.

    I didn’t mean to shift the focus off of the fact that his son is deliberately upsetting yours, which as you say is the major problem, and I’m sorry for doing so.

  205. ledasmom says

    I didn’t mean to shift the focus off of the fact that his son is deliberately upsetting yours, which as you say is the major problem, and I’m sorry for doing so.

    Oh, no problem. I got up early that morning and this post was about the fourth thing I read; I knew I probably shouldn’t read the letter but I did; I was fairly upset. And then what I automatically thought was, “But this person who wrote this letter isn’t talking about me or my boys. Because we’re not severely autistic. We’re not like that.” So, you understand, I was doing the same thing you did. I was saying that it mattered how normal we are. But it can’t be about that. It can’t be about defining oneself by one’s normality and identifying as part of the majority and leaving off those who don’t make the cut.

  206. says

    (Trying again, different wording)

    Well, petrander, I don’t know much about Denmark, but I’m Dutch and live in The Netherlands and I see a disturbing tendency to think of ourselves as enlightened, as beyond racism, sexism, and other -isms. A lot of people here seem to think that since they are not racist, nothing they do can be racist. That since they’re not burning crosses or calling people of colour any names, that everything is A-OK and that there is no harm in telling jokes that make fun of women or gay people. Worse, people get upset and counter an accusation of racism with an accusation of playing the victim. Does ‘Zwarte Piet’ ring a bell? Or the racist and homophobic comments made by sports commentators like Lubberding (“I didn’t know n****rs could ride bikes”) or van der Gijp (“there are no gay football players because they all become hairdressers”)?

  207. grumpyoldfart says

    I wonder if we’ll ever discover who wrote the letter?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if I was surprised when we find out