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Letters, we get letters ... well, spam, anyway ...

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I get, on average, about 125 e-mails every day (less on weekends, more on weekdays), the vast majority not worth reading more than the subject line), but sometimes the stuff I get surprises me, and there’s not much in this world that still suprises me.

Lately one of the more popular ones that I’ve seen is for acai berry, which is appears is this year's gingko bilboa or vitamin C or something but will probably turn out to be just another health nut placebo.

Another popular forward of e-mails recently is part of the “Urban Legends” series ("Collect 'em all!"). The subject line is “MISSING 3-YEAR OLD” and unlike most missing child e-mails, this one’s true — but it’s also misleading. She wasn’t abducted by some guy in a silver pickup in Twin Falls, Idaho —but was out at the beach in Panama City, Fla., with her 18-year-old aunt on a raft/float that drifted too far out and into a jetty channel withe strong currents. Rescuers saved the aunt, but weren’t able to find the 3-year-old. That was in 2006, and at last report the parents refuse to give up hope in seeing their baby girl again. Seeing stuff like that in their mailbox might not be good for their emotional state if you know what I mean.

Another one I’ve been getting a lot of late is for something called “Colo Cleanse Plus,” which will apparently make your teeth whiter and your stomach flatter, or maybe the other way around, all while cleaning up your credit record and getting your youngest daughter into a good college. Sound great, where do I sign? Alas, unfortunately, the link on the e-mail just takes you to a non-existent Yahoo group, and the e-mail domain name is from somplace in Turkey, so I reckon we won’t be visiting the factory outlet store anytime soon, huh, Bubba?


I don’t know how I get on some of these mailing lists, at least not my main business account. I have a separate “spam account” to log in at any address I think may end up with me getting truckloads of spam. Let mail.yahoo.com deal with those, I always say. (I’m mad at Yahoo, anyway. When their stock went public, I convinced my mother to buy some shares the first day, even though she thought it was overpriced at around $32. It wasn’t. If she’d sold it at its peak four years after buying, she would have netted a proift, before taxes, of about $25,500. Alas, she sold it about 3 1/2 years too soon, which means my two boys didn’t get the REALLY cool toys I ... err, I mean, they ... wanted at Christmas. I know it’s not Yahoo’s fault she sold it too soon, but I can't stay mad at her, so I’ve got no one else to blame but Yahoo.

One particular e-mail really caught my eye today, however. Over a span of less than 9 hours, I received 25 e-mails, allwith the identifcal subject line of “How Much Longer, Mr. President?” Each contained the exact same text message and formating, all with the exact same note at the top (“For a full-color image of this message, copy and paste this URL into your web browser: http://nationalautismassociation.org/howmuchlonger/NAA_OBAMA.pdf”)

The only thing different between the 25 is that one came from a different e-mail address, and they all look to be legitimate e-mail accounts from towns across North Texas — Beford, Arlington, Point, Denton, Carrollton, Red Oak, McKinney, Mesquite, Dallas, Frisco, Aubrey, Southlake, Richardson, Seagoville, Murphy, The Coloy, Highland Village.

Turns out they wee eooo form letters from a site at the National Autism Association. All you had to do was log n as a member, made a selection and Poof! Off your form letter went to the president, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and four other agencies you could choose from. It also automatically generated copies to your U.S. Representative, U.S. Senators, and, apparently, me.


Don’t know if you care or not, but here’s the aforementioned e-mail. Read it if you want. Me, I’ve got to clean out my e-mail application’s inbox.

The Letter


Good morning.

We woke up today unsure of which issue to tackle first.

Should we go after federal laws to protect our children from being punched, suffocated, or locked in rooms at school? Or should we allow the harmful restraint & seclusion to continue?

Should we work to pay for our teenagers’ diapers today? Or work to keep more children from wandering off and drowning in a lake?

Should we try to prevent the next seizure today? Or worry about where millions of disabled adults will live after their parents are dead & gone?

Should we ignore the thousands of stories of regression following vaccinations? Or should we ignore the health officials who say it’s all just a big coincidence?

Should we shout at the top of our lungs today that autism is treatable & autism is preventable? Or simply nod along with the mainstream doctors who say we’re wrong?

Should we raise hell today about the next child who will regress from an over-the-top vaccination schedule? Or should we just let it happen?

Should we worry about the children who will have violent meltdowns today? Or the ones who can’t stop hitting themselves? Or the ones who don’t ever sleep? Or the ones who can’t point to what hurts, so all they can do is SCREAM? Or should we help the mother who is threatening suicide on this day? Or pay for the funeral of the father who committed suicide yesterday?

Better yet, maybe we should help the families who are bankrupt because health insurance doesn’t cover autism?

Then again, skyrocketing divorce rates in the autism community really need our attention along with the fact that “autism” is just a word some guy came up with 70 years ago to describe a new, rare mental condition that we’re finding is actually more environmental.

So, should we fight to reclassify the whole-body condition today?

Or fight for our children’s education?

Or fight for our children’s therapy?

Or fight for our children’s rights?

Or fight for our children’s cure?

Or fight to get them out of this hell?

Should we show up in Washington today to yell about the ZERO answers our children have received from the billions spent on genetic research? Or should we work to stop the numbers that are now at 1 IN 100 CHILDREN?

Should we falsely agree that the rise in rates is only due to better diagnosis, when we know our kids weren’t smearing poop 30 years ago & banging their heads 30 years ago & flapping their hands 30 years ago & unable to speak 30 years ago & unable to point to an object 30 years ago & unable to bathe & wipe & feed themselves & stay safe 30 years ago - only to go unnoticed?

Or should we worry today about how the autism community is overwhelmed & under-resourced and how the swine flu’s nonexistent pandemic is receiving overreaction & “fast tracked” focus while autism’s already-existent epidemic gets slow-tracked solutions and profound under-reaction?


should we just think about going to bed tonight HOPING TO GOD

we’ll wake up tomorrow to find that someone finally is declaring autism




and that finally someone is saying, enough is enough, let’s get some answers, let’s give some aid, let’s figure this out BEFORE IT’S 1 IN 20 CHILDREN?

Or should we just let every American eventually find out for themselves how bad it really is?

How much longer, President Obama, will we wake up overwhelmed by which issue to tackle first?

How much longer, President Obama, do we have before the hope for America’s children fades completely?




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