I am Kathleen: A Fight Against Neo-McCarthyism
Denver – Good afternoon, everybody! I hope your week is going well! I caught an article on DeafRead that interested me, and in doing a little extra web-crawling, I found out lots more. Amazingly, there are militant groups within the autism community. And! Plus! One militant group has made death threats against people who disagree with them!
Wow! Militant groups making death threats!
What a concept!
Anyway, in another life, I worked in the special education field and had an autistic student in my class. He was a big dude and had an affinity for professional wrestling. He wasn’t Rain Man, but if there was one thing he loved to do, it was mimicking former professional wrestler/now actor, The Rock.
Usually without warning, he would stop swaying like he always did and point a finger to the sky and yell:
CAN YOU SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKIN’ TONIGHT
Anyway, back to the autistic community. Apparently, a law firm seeking to sue vaccine-manufacturers as part of a $20 million personal injury lawsuit involving autism and vaccinations is driving a major political fight within the autism community. On one side, some people believe vaccinations (or mercury, more precisely) cause some forms of autism in children. On the other are people who disagree.
One of those people is Kathleen Seidel, a controversial and well-known scientist/blogger, and she has now found herself smack in the middle of that lawsuit. Seidel wrote an article published at her blog (neurodiversity.com), “The Commerce of Causation,” in which she criticized the law firm litigating the personal injury lawsuit.
Four hours later, Seidel was issued a subpoena.
The subpoena is broad and demands Seidel to turn over personal information related to her blog, including the people she communicated or contacted with. This means the subpoena demands that she reveal all the information from her blog, presumably because there’s some purpose behind it. Like, discovering that Seidel is a paid informant – of the New England Patriots!
I am not kidding you!
I’m not an attorney so I won’t be saying anything about the legalities of the case, other than the fact the subpoena looks quite vindicative and unreasonable. It smacks of the old McCarthyism, in which if you were at least linked to someone, you had to cough up another 10 people’s names or you’d be accused of being a “Commie-lovin’ sonofabitch!“
There’s something else, too: the subpoena demands Seidel disclose contacts with “religious groups.” And not only that, it also says which groups, namely, Muslims.
Wow! A communist Muslim! I am impressed!
Who would’ve thought?
Last I checked, being a Muslim had nothing to do with having an opinion. Or even having an opinion had nothing to do with french fries, either. What do Muslims have to do with a lawsuit involving autism, anyway?
So .. many bloggers have blogged on the, “I am Kathleen,” campaign to show support and unity in response to neo-McCarthyism. If it could happen to Kathleen Seidel, it could happen to me. And to you b/vloggers out there with an opinion.
I also noticed that much of the subpoena demanded Seidel to reveal, “any individual or organization working for or with” her be disclosed, and decided to add one little bit to the “I am Kathleen” campaign: because I blogged about Kathleen Seidel, I am a person who has “worked with” Seidel’s blog.
Well, imagine if there were LOTS more b/vloggers who “worked with” Seidel?
I love freedom of speech!
Be good .. or be good at it.