I am Kathleen: A Fight Against Neo-McCarthyism

Courtesy: http://flickr.com/photos/punture/107281234/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.

:)

Paotie

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Posted at 11:15 PM under Daily Crumblings. Follow responses through the comments feed, trackback from your site or leave a comment.


Comments

Thanks for the well-written summary of the issues.

I am one of the 100+ bloggers mentioned in item 5 of the subpoena.

I am keeping a running list of responses to the Seidel subpoena at I Speak of Dreams. I’ve added your blog.

Oh, and the Muslim matter? Kathleen Seidel maintains an online “Sufi Cookbook and Art Gallery”, Serving the Guest, “with essays and anecdotes on the historic and contemporary role of food, eating, meals and hospitality in Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam”. Just another layer of intimidation.

Ouch.

It could happen to all of us. Paranoia runs deep, all right. A lot of opinions which get twisted out of context and used against other people, etc. Look at what happened to you and John E…. just because your opinions differ and I noticed at how a few of us got backlashed just cuz of our “association” with you and Mike McConnell, just because we don’t fit the “group think”.

Crazy world, but it is sad in a way… so much fear that we are willing to guard the defenses that we built around our fears.

Oh well.

Karen Mayes

I might just blog about that, if that is what it will take to maintain our right to blog about anything we wish to.

Free speech on the internet is a right we all should have. Sure it can happen to the deaf community. We have deaf militants and we have deaf people who seek to speak from their hearts on any number of issues. We have the right to agree and disagree and no one should try to shut anyone up which is what we’ve been seeing trickling here and there on DR. As long as there’s free will and the first amendment protects us, there will be free speech. The moment we are threatened with silence is the moment we’re denied our inate expression of free will and the results will be catastrophic effect.

WTG Paotie~

Liz ..

Thanks for adding me to the list! As Candy said, we have the right to express ourselves freely and without fear of persecution or intimidation on the Internet.

Karen ..

Your comment was well-said!
:)

Paotie

Freedom of speech… freedom carries a degree of danger and risk… speak at your own risk, risk losing your reputation, losing favor, etc. Well, we will always have some kind of persecution :o (.

But taking risks is kind of freeing, huh?? ;o)

Karen Mayes

yeah, Karen,

Freedom of speech could be the damage that you really hate some thing. For instance, protestors are very angry about the China’s records on human rights. They took some risks that could damage their reputation. I already discussed with my family. We think that North Korea is much worst than China. We echoed.

History is history.

I commend the Olympic staffs and runners for their hardest work and courage. They took the risks that confronts the fiery protests.

There are part of the sports that should be destiny, passion and respect the Olympics.

History/Records vs. Politics

World is now upside down……

Huh?

White Ghost

Karen, it’s the oppression talking that got you feeling that way!!!

Don’t let anyone make you feel you can’t express yourself freely.

What’s not to like? being free?!

When you start to feel like maybe your reputation will be affected, remember my post about oppression! You end up being controlled under that kind of oppression!

Candy,

Relax, girl.

Oppression is everywhere we are in right now.

We have lived with the laws.

We have paid the taxes and utilities.

We have agreed and disagreed with people in many issues.

Prices are going up in everywhere we *HAVE* to live with.

Oppression is controlling us.

Uhhhh……

White Ghost

Being silenced is not something I can relax about! :)

If others are ok with being silenced, so be it.

It’s not the same as having to live with things we have no control of, ya know.

I know, Candy!

Being a libel can be dirty and hurtful.

Ya know, we have lived with the laws.

The bloggers who get the subpoenas will have to live with the gag order.

Laws can be sucks.

White Ghost

Oh, oppression… pfft. I was trying to point out the oppression on DeafRead, not in the real life in my posting about it a few months ago and my words got twisted around out of context.

I still speak my own mind and walk my talk (“hey, remember it is all perspective, when one’s opinions does not mesh with another’s opinion, the feathers would get fluttered or be flying, etc.”)

I just toe the line when people try to make an example of me and I just ignore them, because I notice their postings get TOOOOOO LOOOONNGG in explaining why they think I was wrong and they show their true colors at the end. When I blog, I don’t talk about other bloggers/vloggers. I talk about what is close to my heart. When they blog about other people, the crime is “defamation”. Could be liable for lawsuits from offended parties, huh?

Blogs are ripe places for defamation of characters, hahaha…

WG is right… some laws suck. *shrug*

Karen Mayes

Alright, nice to know you still walk the talk! :)

Anyway I wonder if these two so called anti-vaccine activists have come to Kathleen’s defense in their blog. Apparently the Clock Still Ticking!!!

Daddy told me how many people the drunken Joe (Senator Joseph McCarthy) had tried to ruin, but he failed!

Bury McCarthyism!
Long Live Freedom of Speech!

Jean Boutcher

Really interesting post. Just think how powerful you are as a blogger in today’s computer age…be careful what you say, Paotie, and watch your back! Interesting about the autistic child who loved The Rock, I’m a fan myself. Jodi

jodi

Poatie –

That was a good thing you did… Speak up for what you beleive and to hell with what everyone thinks!! Or am I being too harsh?? ;-) Who cares.

But I do care about the power people think they can throw around. Power corrupts and corrupts throughly! If you take a walk down history lane – we can see the affects of all that abuse. Almost every country has fell and more continue to be – all in the name of power. So, I’m kinda glad we are in the computer age now-a-days cuz things just get pointed in the right direction all that much faster. ?? Or the bad gets showed to more people than neec be?? But still the damage is probably already done, huh??

So, keep speaking and loudly and I’m still all “ears”! I love thses “freedom of speech” issues!

Brian L. Mayes

Brian!

For the last time, close the freezer! Every time you leave the freezer open in Indiana, it snows in Colorado!

I am not kidding you!

You are contributing to global cooling!

HaHa!

It’s a snowy, cold day here in Colorado.

Anyway .. we must continue to fight against militant intimidation by protecting our freedom of speech.
:)

Paotie

It’s a balmy 73 degrees here where I am, heh. Actually, Paotie, Brian’s comment should be like a thaw for ya. Good golly, what weather we’re getting on the blogosphere…

Ann_C

*Chuckle* The weatherbug on my laptop says it is 60 degrees now… snow has melt weeks ago (thank goodness.) But the temps should dip down into 40′s/50′s this weekend, with expected showers before the temps will rise again.

I read the anonymous comment, from another blogger’s site, stating that I had “issues”… huh, what issues should I be put in the straitjacket for? Whatever… guess I will never be deaf enough for some people and that my kids are not deaf enough as well… *shrug*

I just read about cat dung coffee… interesting… (CNN.com has a video about it which is not captioned so I googled for cat dung coffee… seems it is very popular in Europe.) Anyway, check out this link: http://cats.about.com/cs/basichealth/a/civetcat_2.htm

Karen Mayes

I saw the weatherbug mentioned that Colorado gets the snow. The weather already bugged Colorado. It’s *not* the April’s fool month.

Did you sneak out from work and gets the pinky snowboard and then go to go to the mountain?

Shame on you! Your’e double trouble maker. (Be bad or…be bad at it.)

Here was wonderful with 75 degrees yesterday! Enjoyed the ride. Lucky me.

Yeah I saw an anonymous commented and bashed you in other blogger’s site…..what a shame. Let the anonymous decide within 10-20 years from now. CI are everywhere in this world. The anonymous will have to live with many issues that disagrees with.

White Ghost

Oh, I know him all right… his initials is E.K. and he works as a residential adviser at ISD’s dorm. He is anti-CI and a deaf militant to boot. He created youtube videos against me before he removed them prior to the hiring at ISD last year.

*Shrug*

Karen Mayes

Yep!! That is me – the weather man!! Snow for Poatie (cuz basically, he works too hard and needs to get out more)! And 1,000 degree temps for the blogs cuz that is the temps on my forehead on some of these issues!! Man! *rolling my eyes like a teenager*

Karen, best friend of mine, you are more human than those that bash you! You are the most rational person a person should be with! Oh, I get so mad when they attempt to hurt you… But I know you and your skin is thick and of course, you have me to get pissed for you!! ;-) I would rather have a person like you for my kids than some militant that will teach kids how to hate! It is so sad!! And scary too – mostly the fact, that person is around kids all day!

Is this a support group or a blog-site?? I forget! ;-) But I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the love and support that you continue to bestow on Karen! *hugs* Sorry, Poatie, I’ll be more funny now. Now, get into your pink 4X4 with your pink snowboard and go make pink snow!! Go, go now!!

Brian L. Mayes

Ahhh… you are sweet, Brian :o )

Remember it is all perspectives… some people allow their emotions get better of themselves. Kids are thriving academically and socially now, so just ignore a few negative people who project their issues ;o)

Karen Mayes

Hey, Paotie!

Be bad….or be bad at it!

The Red Sox *tried* to curse NY Yankees in the stadium!

http://www.nypost.com/seven/04112008/news/regionalnews/highjinx_hits_yankees_106016.htm

See, your’e double troublemaker! Another menace!

It’s a prQQf!

White Ghost

Oh god!! The Yanks are done for!! I’ll have to root for someone else… Ummm, who?? Ummmm… Oh, I know!! The Colorado Rockies!! Yea!!

Need more WG news fixes!!

Brian L. Mayes

Thanks for blogging on this! Another blog on the same subject, but also talking a bit about other bloggers under attack, and what people can do to help:

Click here.

Thank goodness I don’t drink coffee…civet cat-dung coffee, ugh.

The problem with anony”mice” is that they’re hit-n’-run snipers who think nothing of the consequences of their actions. They don’t see how their bombs reflect badly on everybody in the deaf community, including those who side with the snipers. When other readers, like the hearing parents of deaf children looking for information, be it on Deaf culture and ASL or on CI’s and AVT, whatever, come across these snipers’ comments and personal attacks, do they see them as persuasive or rational? More likely these readers will mutter, wow, what angry and crazy deaf people…*sigh*

Paotie, what are you complaining about snow and cold for? Go boogie some moguls.

Ann_C

Brian –

Me news to fix?

I’m guffawin’ at you.

Paotie *already* fixed me to become the 7 of 9 and the Eitoap reporter.

BTW, MishkaZena is now joining Kathleen’s bandwagon to fight against Clifford Shoemaker and his lawfirm. Go visit her blog as of today.

White Ghost

White Ghost ..

Yup! You are the EitoaP Press reporter!

Seven of Nine rules!
;)

Paotie

Paotie


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