Changed by a Child?

7 March 2009 – West Oxfordshire, UK Six-year old Ivan Cameron, the son of David and Samantha Cameron, was buried  after a private funeral at the  Church of St Nicholas in Chadlington, Oxfordshire, on Tuesday, March 3rd. The choir sang “You are so beautiful to me,” in a service the Guardian called a celebration of Ivan’s life. It isn’t perfect but it contains some nice pictures of Ivan and his family.

This short video slideshow includes a some pictures the Cameron family along with a musical background. Continue reading

Philosophy, Eugenics & Disability in Alberta and Places North – Dick Sobsey Parts 3 & 4

On October 25, 2008, the What Sorts Network hosted a public symposium to examine, well, philosophy, eugenics, and disability in Alberta and places north.  Four speakers were featured on the panel, Dick Sobsey, Simo Vehmas, Martin Tweedale, and Rob Wilson.  This event was video recorded and over the next month we will highlight these videos on this blog.  Videos will be featured on average twice a week, roughly every Saturday and Wednesday.

To download the full description of the symposium please click here.

We began this series with the first two parts of the presentation by Dick Sobsey, titled “Varieties of Eugenics Experience in the 21st Century.”  This presentation amounts to a summary of various kinds of eugenic motivations, justifications, and practices from the 19th century to today with a good collection of anecdotes and trivia.  Parts 3 and 4 are highlighted in the videos below. Transcripts are also posted below.

Part 3

Highlights from part 3 include: criticism of Jukes as an assault upon the poor, best cement in the world, origin of the underground records for all the new york banks, continuing the Juke heritage, Dugdale’s findings, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. on Sterilization, measures of intelligence and the Flynn Effect, and stopping people from having children easiest through institutionalization.

Continue reading

Think Differently About Autism

From the National Autistic Society, in the UK, a short video on bullying, Asperger Syndrome, and what it’s like; h/t to Asperger Square 8. The video forms part of the NAS’s I Exist and Think Differently about Autism campaigns, which have been ongoing for the past year or so.

Description of video, partial transcript, and further information and links beneath the fold. Continue reading

The Free Market Mindset: March 7th

The Project on Law and Mind Sciences at Harvard are holding their 3rd annual conference next weekend (March 7th) on the timely theme The Free Market Mindset: History, Psychology, and Consequences The conference is free and open to the public, so if you’re in the Boston area, check it out.

Simi Linton Live on a Jerry Lewis protest

Over at Disability Culture Watch, Simi Linton has posted a long, comprehensively-linked, personal report–“Undermining Jerry Lewis’s Pity Mongering“– on her involvement in an LA protest against the award recently given to Jerry Lewis at the Oscar’s. Here’s something from the meat of the long post, which you’re encouraged to read in full:

After about an hour on the street, chanting, singing, leafleting, we entered the lobby of the Academy and planted ourselves in the midst of the flurry of preparations for a pre-Oscar party scheduled for that night. Guards, security guys, secretaries tried to reason with us. We would not be moved. We chanted louder and louder. At one point the receptionist said, to no one in particular: “This is a place of business, you must be quiet. We are trying to do business here.” I replied: “So are we, sister.”

Our goal was to deliver our petition, signed by over 2600 people, to the Exec Director of the Academy. We were told no one was at the office. After about 45 minutes two Beverly Hills policemen showed up, and they had no luck evicting us. A third arrived. She had no luck. Finally, Bruce Davis (the man who was supposedly not there) came down to the lobby. He was as snarky and dismissive in person as his letter to us lead us to expect. But we kept him down there and insisted that he, and others gathered around, listen to us. We got what we demanded: Delivery of petition to the Exec Director.

At one point, the cops said if we didn’t leave, they would start taking names. Laura Herhsey said: “Are you going to arrest us?” The cops were squirming. “No one said anything about arrests.” The cops met their match in these seasoned activists, and each tactic they tried was unsuccessful. It amuses me, in retrospect, to think that the Beverly Hills cops were issuing warnings to us on Friday, and then the filmic representation of a Beverly Hills Cop, Eddie Murphy, presented the award to Jerry Lewis two days later. Another musing: If we had gotten arrested, and then went to trial, I wondered if we would have been known as “The Beverly Hills 30″ (Doesn’t have quite the political bite of “The Chicago 7″, or “The Catonsville 9″ – would school children in the future wonder if we’d been arrested for maxing out on our credit cards on Rodeo Drive?)

Of the articles linked there, the one I found most informative was Arthur Blaser’s commentary in Independence Today, “Academy’s Humanitarian Award for Lewis Gets a Big Thumbs-Down“, from December 2008, which I hadn’t read before.