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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Bloggers unite!

I had a list of things I wanted to cover today, just general bullshit, bad drivers, stupid people, etc etc. However, I come home to find something more intolerable. The blogger at neurodiversity.com, Kathleen, is being harassed. Kathleen runs an autism site. I don't profess to know much about autism, just enough to make me sound stupid if I was dumb enough to talk about it like I had a clue. I call it harassment, but the woman was issued a subpoena for pretty much her entire life. The lawyer represents a widely known autism case I'm not familiar with. Quite frankly, I would suggest you read the subpoena and her response to it, at her website here: http://neurodiversity.com/weblog/article/150/ for the details. Many of her commenters feel this is a strike against getting the truth of autism out. I don't know about all that, but this is a strike at bloggers everywhere. Whether you blog to inform, a la Junkfood Science, or blog your frustrations a la Fundie Watch and What's Going On?. This subpeona demands, as if she had some effect on the case itself, her compliance in some pretty serious demands that are not at all relevant to the case in question. In fact, the case was began in 1994, some ten years before she ever began blogging. It seems they are offended that she has the unmitigated gall to disagree quite heavily with them. The demands are wide reaching, and even if she did have something to do with the case, some are a stretch of your imagination. They've even gone as far as to include her entire blogroll on the subpeona, simply for the crime of being on her blogroll. At least one of those bloggers have nothing to do with autism! They didn't actually read the blogs apparently, just included the whole blogroll.

Many of the comments think this is about autism, and I won't deny it is, but this is also a strike against us all. Blogging is word of mouth anymore. Blogging is our voice. Just think of the blogs you read and which ones inform you, and how much you rely on their voice (hopefully only after serious intelligent thought) and realize that these are people who's voices would never have been heard if it wasn't for the internet. I find Junkfood Science just vital on my list of things to read. Sandy is my access to transparent medicine as she outlines everything she writes. Hers is a voice I'd to have done without if it wasn't for blogging. She's my reassurance that some medical proffessionals are fighting the abuses from within. Imagine how bitchy and disillusioned I'd be without her, now that you've seen me with her. What's Going On? keeps me up to date on my favorite subject, the abuses around us, since I just don't have the time anymore to find the gems she finds so well. I rely on her good sense, her skepticism, her information when I don't have a second all day until bedtime, and then I just want to check on my friends. Without The Rest of the Story, I wouldn't know that there are others out there as upset as I am over abuses of not just smokers, but science itself. It's a comforting thing that probably adds years to my life. And thank goodness for Watcher, who without Fundie Watch, would leave me smack in the bible belt so frustrated I'm not sure if I could keep myself out of prison.

Not all these blogs are information, or even valuable information, but can you imagine if the Concerned Women for America's Matt Barber tried these tactics to silence Watcher or Ron Britton ((Bay of Fundie). What about the innocuous deafgamers.com? Would the gaming industry pull a stunt like this because the site cost them customers due to being rated as "Not Deaf Friendly"? That one is a stretch, but apparently, no amount of stupidity is beyond people. If such a tactic can be used to silence Kathleen, then cannot such a tactic be used to silence us all? You don't have to find an interested reporter anymore to blow the whistle, there's the Internet...or will there be if any jackass can subpeona your entire life, even if YOU have absolutely nothing to do with the case, just because you said something he didn't like? In these days the newspapers are not a reliable source of information anymore, this is all we have. And while some bloggers are idiots, others are invaluable to us all. I wouldn't even silence the idiots so that those of use can't be shut up. Imagine you've been unfairly targetted by a lawyer for something in your blog, how else will you spread the word? Should that lawyer be able to file against you, costing you money and abusing our legal system? Yes, this is about autism, but it's about so much more, too.

I am Kathleen!

3 comments:

Liz Ditz said...

Thanks for commenting on this. Your are correct, it isn't an autism issue, it is a first amendment issue and an issue of legal harassment.

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.

Another post: How Long Until Kirby and Olmstead Speak on the Seidel Subpoena?

Lynda said...

You are right on Liz. This IS a first amendment issue. I haven't read all the information on this case, just saw a posting on another blog about it and plan on doing a piece on my own blog regarding this. I'll check out your links when I get a chance to later. Work is interfering with my personal stuff here........LOL

We need to start fighting back. We need to wake everyone up to fight with us or this country is lost, soon.

Thiz 'n' Dat said...

Glad to see another participant in the "I am Kathleen" campaign!

Another contribution is here:

http://thizndat.blogspot.com/2008/04/i-am-kathleen-freedom-of-speech.html

with references to other bloggers under attack, and suggestions for how people can help. It's written with open permission to be circulated freely, meaning people who have no time to write a fresh blog of their own could copy/paste part or all of it into their blog. Or people without blogs could circulate it via email: http://thizndat.blogspot.com/2008/04/i-am-kathleen-freedom-of-speech.html