Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Note to self.
People, even people I don't always care for, are people. People, even people with whom I disagree adamantly, are people. People have familes. People are more than what the public sees. People want to be liked and loved. Even people I think Iwould have a hard time liking, let alone loving. This photo is nice. A healthy child. Happy grandparents. People. I hope I refer back to this post from time to time. Remind me if I don't, please, won't you?
By the way, I chose this photo because it made me stop and think, not because of any love for this second family. Here's this innocent child, the son of two women and the grandson of a man who will go down in history as..... well, I won't go too far into politics here. Just take note of the color of this ink and you'll know my perspective. Maybe I'll post one day about what a neighbor in Ohio said to me after Mark and I put up a presidential candidate's sign in our yard in 2004 - suffice it to say the sign did not include the man in the photograph's name. And the neighbor let me have an earful, here in the land of free speech.

26 comments:

Susan Senator said...

Kim,
I appreciate your attempt at balance and fairness. But I don't feel it is necessary. Yes, it is true that people are more than what the public sees. It is also true that Dick Cheney loves his new grandchild and his very happy right now. It is also true that he bears a very large responsibility for the mess our country is in in Iraq and that he has likely profited from that, and that he is still not a nice individual.

Kim Stagliano said...

It's hard for me to strike a balance. I can pounce like a viper and have reigned myself in greatly. Please, don't make me sound like a FOX News convert! I'm still not a fan of Darth in his office. Or on the hunting range.... (Can you hear me choking??) I just need to bear in mind that not everyone will like ME and that I need to try to find the link between myself and others. I think you've wrestled with this too? I don't think I'll change my spots - but maybe try to look at stripes with a teensy bit of a softer heart? Maybe I'm just tired. Baking that stupid GF bread and I had to make the stupider CF milk substitute first AND a pot of gravy and a GFCF cake and I am an overloaded idiot.... :)

Wade Rankin said...

Susan,

Although Mr. Cheney is indeed an odious individual, he remains a human. If we cannot recognize the humanity in those who have given us cause to doubt their membership in the human race, we lose a bit of our own humanity. I'm a bit surprised that you, of all people, would criticize that notion.

LadyBronco said...

Men in the position of Mr. Cheney often have to separate themselves into two people ~ the public persona and the private persona.

Susan, please don't confuse the two. Just by virtue of being who he is, half the nation automatically despises him. Let him be a doting Grandfather. Every man deserves it, regardless of who they are or the piss-poor public decisions they have made.

(Kim ~ had to choke a bit on that one myself) lol...

Drama Mama said...

I do not judge what I do not understand. Or that does not exist.

(It's all I got, people. God Bless that baby)

John Elder Robison said...

I am not really involved in politics and I am certainly no fan of American policies in the Middle East.

The meaning of your posting a photo of a controversial and widely despised public figure with the caption you did is lost on me.

Jack Welch and Jimmy Carter have posed for similar family photos, and they are widely admired.

Joe Stalin, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, and Josef Gobbels posed in family photos, too, and you know how they are perceived.

When I look at that photo, the word that comes to mind is: CONTRIVED.

Now, I have no idea what kind of people the folks in the photo are. As an Aspergian, I can't read body language well. I can only read what I see, as in a photo. And what I see there does not look genuine.

I have learned to be careful of observations like that because the true meaning and intent of the photo subjects could be almost anything. But I would be cautious if I had to engage in dealings with them.

Stephen Parrish said...

Great post, Kim, because it stirs up conflicting emotions. I couldn't wait to see what the comments would be like.

But ultimately I agree with Susan and John. Cheney will go down as one of the most despicable figures in American history. The photograph merely shows that even bad guys can have children who have children, and be happy about it.

irene said...

I'm with you, Kim. I've had these same sentiments before. If I've learned anything from having a child with autism is that I have no right to judge another persons heart or situation or philosophies. I am judged every day when I am in public with my seven year old son who drops to the ground to have a tantrum. Or when he screams that loud, bellowing wail when he is upset or scared or frustrated. Those people have no idea what it's like to live in my shoes. And I have NO idea what's it's like to run a government, nor do I ever want to. I'm certain it would drive me downright bonkers and who knows what shape we'd all be in. Free, superior autism treatment for everyone! (Of course it'd have to be the treatment(s) I approve. Right?)

Kim the blog owner said...

Oh, Irene I do judge! I'm not gunning for Sainthood!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Hitler liked babies too.
As long as they were white, German, and Christian.

I don't think Cheney would have quite the same expression if his daughter had popped out a little Arab tyke.

irene said...

Ohhhh, I'm so glad you commented back...I, by no means am innocent. Of course, I judge, too. It's an innate human response. I just try to catch it before it turns into festering hatred and certainly before I open my mouth. What's the point in spreading hate?

While I was day-dreaming of someday being the top banana in office, I would also mandate all food available anywhere and everywhere be GF/CF. That would at least get me all the Celiac votes and MAYBE a good # of ASD family votes. No more packing school lunches! HOORAY!!

Trish Ryan said...

Great point Kim. I forget sometimes that these are people, too, and like all of us they have a family side that has nothing to do with what they do at work. It doesn't change or justify their work decisions, but it humanizes them a little bit and gets us (okay me) out of our tendency to see them one-dimensionally. Thanks for the reminder!

Ahvarahn said...

those three, touchy-feely, photo-op’y hours that Dick spent at the maternity ward marked the first time in three years that the homeland security warning system dropped from code-orange to code-blue.

MarkZ said...

I agree with Susan, John, and Stephen. It's interesting to me that Trish said, "they have a family side that has nothing to do with what they do at work". Can you really separate someone's strong beliefs into two sides of one person? Gary Hart was running for president years back and was picked to win the presidency, but he had an extramarital affair, and after it came out, the poles showed that he would not win because people thought he might be a president couldn't be trusted, so he dropped out. A Gallup Pole found that half (53 percent) of U.S. respondents it surveyed thought that marital infidelity had little to do with a president's ability to govern. I guess this means half (47 percent) thought you cannot separate "work" and "play".

red orange blue kim said...

Hey, remember those codes? Once the presidential election ended the "imminent danger" ended too. Crazy coincidence, yes?

Anonymous said...

And who is Susan Senator to judge? Please...of all people!

Kim the blog owner said...

Susan is a writer, an autism Mom and a friend of mine. She and anyone else, is allowed to speak their mind here - via name or anon as you have chosen. She and I agree to disagree on many topics - but the conversation goes back and forth and we learn from each other. She's a way better belly dancer though. I'm more of a tap girl.

Anonymous said...

What you let people in that little town of Ohio know you might not be republican! You are a brave woman.
We actually had a few neighbors on the good side but they were discreet about it!!!!! Now that I'm am in New England my husband says politically I should feel at home. I still am leery since where I grew up people in very big expensive homes were republican. All the homes here are expensive even the tiny ones! I am surrounded by rich people god help me. We did it for the schools. Am I a liberal snob!! Dont judge me to hard my husband is a republican I cant be too prejudiced. By the way I got Patti's e-mail and saw Mom from CT is speaking in NYC. How come you havent blown your horn on your blog? I think it is awesome and you should share the info.! You are awesome!
Super K

parry05 said...

I am a very nice person who had a RED (Bush/Cheney) sign in my yard in 2004. I enjoy your posts Kim. The fact that everyone has an opinion and is given the right to express it is what makes us all uniquely AMERICANS! I have a neighbor who is so far from me on the political spectrum that one would think we have nothing to say to each other but we are VERY good friends. I have a sister-in-law who votes exactly as I do and we cannot stand each other EVER! Go Figure! I have a brother who expresses his liberal ideas every chance he gets but lives in a $700 thousand dollar house, sends his kids to exclusive private schools and never comes in contact with a a poor person. I also have a brother who is a Captain and Doctor in the U.S. Navy, an Iraqui war veteran and a conservative Republican(with 8 children) who is in the process of retiring from the Navy and is starting a health clinic for the working poor. In exchange for health care they are encouraged pay with a useful community service (if possible). I find that the stereotypes we inflict upon people aren't worth a grain of salt.

Holly Kennedy said...

Kim, I've had not internet connection for 24 hours but wanted to let you know how much I loved your margarine post below.

This one, too, makes a person think. Everyone has the right to their own opinion and preference. How nervy of your neighbor to lecture. Tell him to get a life :)

The Wandering Author said...

Kim, it is always a good idea to remember everyone is human. They may not be very nice humans, but they are human.

In some cases, remembering that, and trying to understand the other person's point of view, can help you get your own across. In others, it is necessary simply to stay human ourselves.

Having said that, John Elder Robison's conclusion that "I would be cautious if I had to engage in dealings with them" is also very good advice. You can remember everyone else is a human being without trusting them.

As for the baby, I can only say, we do need to keep in mind that no one can help the "sins of their fathers". Adolf Eichmann's youngest son is, from all I have read, a decent human being, despite the fact his father turned his back on decency long before his son was born. So whatever our opinion of Dick Cheney, we can't assume the baby will turn out any particular way. That, to me, is the most important lesson of all.

Amanda said...

People are people?? No s@*t Sherlock!! Your site is far more politacal than I had imagined. It has ALMOST encouraged me to review my all incompassing view of your countrymen. Never one to tar all with the same brush I hasten to add.
If you are expecting others to accept Autistics, you should accept other people as they are. "Different is cool" if I may quote Luke Jackson
As for Dick - hey you lot voted them in FOR A SECOND TIME!!!
These are the ramblings of a mother who has to ittle sleep and too much to do, by way of a change...anyone know the best way to get liquid soap out the carpet?
PS Kim have you seen the book by Marilyn Le Bretton about diet and autism? Some really easy recipes in there

KS said...

Amanda, there are "de-soaping" products from the carpet cleaning companies. We had a bottle of baby shampoo hit the rug years ago.

Am I political? I suppose so - did I tell you the Asperger's gal I was defending in my town will NOT lose her job?? I hope my little chat with the store manager had something to do with that.

thismom.com said...

i have to say, it warms me to see this man (this naughty man, this angry man, this guilty man) with his grandchild who looks like a tiny log, the way all our kids do at first (if we're lucky) when they're wrapped in that blanket like tiny infant building blocks, the way i remember fluffy.

Susan Senator said...

I never said Dick Cheney wasn't human. He is absolutely human. And he is a public official and bears responsibility for actual bad things that have happened in the U.S. and Iraq. That is not an unfair statement. It is a true statement. I never said I was perfect, either. My book is all about the flaws and imperfect decisions I have made and I take full responsibility for all of that. But yes, we do have a right to judge that a person is not a nice individual, if we have weighed the things we know about him. Of course I don't know everything. I don't know everything about Hitler or Nixon either. I still think they were pretty bad guys. You can disagree, and try your best to prove that they were not. I probably won't be convinced.

kathie said...

Blue print is my color, too. I married into the reds and at times want to strangle myself. But yes, of course we all wish the baby all the health and happiness, but it's hard to imagine the hearts of the two pictured above as being full of love. I know that's unfair of me...but when you put so much out there about your own intolerance toward the very lifestyle that birthed this child then it's hard to overlook the irony.