The Thoughts of SES Blog

Some Idiots in the World

Posted in Thoughts on ASL and Modified Sign Systems, Thoughts on Idiocy by ses31 on April 10, 2010

So there is this jerkwad idiot on YouTube who insists that anyone who uses modified sign language systems – often called Manually Coded English – that conceptually are just as accurate as ASL in terms of the signs only using exact English word order instead of inverted grammar are somehow inferior to everyone else.

This is simply not true.

According to every class I have ever taken on sign language and manual communication, it is just as acceptable for a hearing person, hard-of-hearing person, or even Deaf person to use a modified sign system. Matter of fact, most people whose first language is English do!

I use a modified sign system with my Deaf dog. I use a modified sign system with songs. According to any interpreter and Deaf person I’ve ever met, this is perfectly acceptable. They understand just as easily and often switch to the modified sign system when they know someone is just a beginner in their language.

Heck, just the fact the person is making the effort to communicate with them alone is often appreciated.

But I have seen Deaf people with their interpreters in public and they use modified sign systems more often than straight ASL.

Honestly, I believe the only place anyone would see straight ASL being used is in the Deaf community in a place where very few hearing people would be found.

Are people who use modified sign systems somehow inferior to those who use straight ASL? Heck no! People who use modified sign systems are no more inferior to those using straight ASL than blind people are to sighted people. And blind people are not inferior to sighted people.

Yes, I use a modified sign system in my own personal life and in my worship. And I will continue to do so when I lose the last of my hearing. There is nothing wrong with it. It is perfectly acceptable. And it is because sign language is my fourth language, not my first language.

For more information about Manually Coded English and its comparison to ASL, check out this article:

It may be more than you care to know, but it may answer some questions.

By the way, I had to write this in defense of the fact that yes, my poster with the sign language alphabet has on its backside The Pledge of Allegiance and yes, it’s in exact English word order, but it is the same signs conceptually as ASL. So, my point is who cares whether a person uses straight ASL or some other modified sign system, they are all just as accurate and correct, just like a Southerner and a Northerner who each have different dialects are just as accurate and correct.


Why Legalized Gambling in Alabama Would Be Wrong

In a time of such deep recession when so many people continue to lose their jobs, yet the cost of living and health insurance continues to rise, the last thing Alabama needs is another thing to provide FALSE hope to gullible and innocent who are living on their last dime.

It would be morally and ethically irresponsible for the people and the legislation of Alabama to allow for gambling of any type to be legalized.

Let’s consider that smoking is legal. Does this mean it is good for a person? No. It causes lung cancer in not only the smoker, but also in those who breathe the air around the smoker. It also causes asthma in those who breathe that same air.

Let’s consider that drinking is legal. Is it good for a person? No. It damages the liver. Drunk drivers kill people.

Cell phones. They are both a way to stay in touch with people who are near and far at all times of the day through talk and text but they can also cause accidents and fatalities.

Gambling has led to addictions which in some states has led to taxpayer dollars being spent to put up billboards and set up hotlines for counseling to help those addicts. That is money that is being diverted away from the education that the gambling dollars was supposedly going to help.

Gambling can become addictive. People end up putting false hope into some machine that is rigged against them, that will cause them to fail, and then they lose everything they have because in the off-chance they happen to win, they want to do it again and again and again. There’s the addiction. Hook, line, and sinker.

Gambling is not good stewardship of our resources. It is wasteful and sinful.

God did not tell us to go waste everything He put us in charge of. He told us to be go be good stewards.

Part of being good stewards is using the money we have wisely for education and for road repairs. Part of being good stewards is helping those less fortunate than ourselves.

Gambling is not the answer. It is the harm.

We have several opportunities presented to help ourselves get out of the mess we are now in. We can allow higher property tax for education. It would only affect a few anyway, but oddly, the only people I see ever protesting these higher property taxes are the very people who can afford it and should be paying it.

And because in the end, the state would have to sponsor hotlines and counseling to help those who end up addicted, that would divert money that is supposedly going for education or roadwork or some other noble cause away from what the gambling was legalized to support.

The better solution would be for the people who live in those fancy houses that cost $500,000 and drive those fancy cars that they make $1000 per month car payments on and that insist on going out to eat every night at some fancy restaurant to get off their high horse, and vote for higher property taxes in Alabama, which would support education.

Because frankly, the only people I ever saw putting up a fight against that the last time was the people who can afford it and should pay it. The only people I hear complaining about raising some kind of tax somewhere should our state manage to cut taxes on groceries like most every other state in the United States is the rich people.

God asked us to take care of the poor and the hungry and those less fortunate than ourselves. Part of that would be to cut the taxes on essentials, like food at the grocery store, because the reason why American society is getting fatter is because the healthy food is unattainable to some 50 percent or more of Americans due to the inane taxes on groceries.

And the only reason why the state of Alabama is in the middle of another tax dollar-wasting debate on whether or not to legalize gambling is because of rich people who are greedy and want to see the poor and the needy fall flat on their faces in shame when they lose to a bunch of rigged machines.

How lowdown and uncaring can these sick people get?

In all honesty, it should be the church that comes along to make sure that no one will be victimized by such immoral, unethical, unhealthy, sinful, wasteful temptations. Every church in Alabama should be making sure their members are armed with the truth and the facts they need to make sure this won’t go through and then some. Every minister should make sure that no one will be able to be persuaded, that those who would be the most susceptible are taken care of, and that everyone is equipped to handle the consequences, whether good or bad.

But honestly, we don’t need gambling to fund education. We don’t need dirty money to teach our children. We don’t need dirty money helping healthcare costs. We don’t need dirty money repairing our roads. We just don’t need dirty money.

Misinterpretations and overextensions of the First Amendment

Posted in Thoughts on Idiocy by ses31 on February 5, 2010

There’s a petition going around:

At last check, it had gone from 126 to 135.

Here’s the text:

“Target: Alabama Voters, Members of the Alabama Legislature
Sponsored by: People Who Love Freedom and Cherish Freedom of Speech
When the current Alabama Governor ran for office the first time, one campaign pledge was “no new taxes.” Within weeks after assuming office, the first thing he did was act to raise them thru a Constitutional amendment vote. His position was “we need more tax revenue and the people of Alabama DESERVE the right to vote on it.” The Governor and his pro-Amendment 1 backers DEMANDED that the people be given their constitutional right to vote (believing full-well that with their well-financed interests, they would win). We agreed then and we agree now that was the right of Alabamians to vote for or against more taxes … People could vote YES or NO. They voted NO.

HOWEVER, the Governor, his friends in the gambling industry in adjacent states, Alabama’s powerful religious lobbies (a contradiction in terms considering their tax-exempt status) are working hard to DENY YOU the same opportunity. They DO NOT WANT YOU TO EVEN HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE ON A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT THAT WILL LEGALIZE BINGO IN A FEW COUNTIES… IF IT PASSED Can you imagine their unmitigated gall? Their blatant hypocrisy? Their self-anointed moral superiority ?

This petition is about 1 thing and 1 thing only: Freedom of Speech. Even if you are AGAINST legalizing bingo and/or forms of gaming, you should be outraged that you are being denied your right to vote NO.

AND: If you love freedom, individual rights, freedom of speech (for which our Founding Fathers and countless other brave Americans have died defending and assuring, since we became a Republic) you should be equally outraged that members of the Alabama Legislature (republicans and democrats alike) are SO AFRAID OF LOSING THEIR POSITIONS IN THE HOUSE OR THE SENATE, THAT THEY WILL NOT EVEN LET PROPOSED LEGISLATION ALLOWING A STATE-WIDE, CONSTITITIONAL REFERENDUM … in other words, YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE FOR OR AGAINST BINGO TO EVEN GET OUT OF THEIR CONVENIENT LITTLE COMMITTEES.

Shame on them … and Shame on the voters who allow them to get away with it by denying all of us the right to speak our minds, freely, in the privacy of the voting booth.

Remember these words from Kris’ song: Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Even if you HATE gambling, you must cherish your freedom and if you are denied the right to vote against it, you are not a citizen, you have allowed yourself to become a slave.


Proudly signed by the petition’s initiator,
Dr. Russ Fine
Birmingham, Alabama”

Here’s the guy’s biographical information:

“Russ Fine, PhD, MSPH
ICRC Director and Principal Investigator
Acting Rehabilitation Core Director
SCIB Director and Principal Investigator
Professor of Medicine, UAB School of Medicine
Professor of Health Care Organization and Policy, UAB School of Public Health

Dr. Russ Fine, an injury epidemiologist/biostatistician by training, is the founding director and principal investigator of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Injury Control Research Center (UAB ICRC). He supervises and directs the UAB ICRC’s overall operations and has final responsibility for decisions regarding program, management, fiscal, and policy-related matters.

Dr. Fine is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, the University of Missouri Medical Center, and the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. He has experience in many areas of public health and injury control, from investigating commercial and private aviation crash sites for the Federal Aviation Administration to establishing and directing the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Statewide Pediatric Lead Poisoning Program.

Dr. Fine was recruited by UAB’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in late 1974 and he achieved the rank of full tenured professor in 1983. While with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine he served as its director of research and scientific affairs, director of research for the NIDRR-sponsored Medical Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Spinal Cord Dysfunction, co-director of the UAB Spinal Cord Injury Care System, and co-director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.

In 1988, Dr. Fine was appointed professor of medicine in the UAB Department of Medicine’s Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology. Dr. Fine holds secondary appointments in the UAB School of Public Health’s Department of Health Care Organization and Policy and in UAB’s Graduate School. He is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, the World Federation of Neurology, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Society of Sigma Chi. Dr. Fine served as chairman of the late Governor George Wallace’s Task Force on Drunk Driving for the state of Alabama and is cofounder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Alabama, serving as president of that organization in Jefferson County from 1984 to 1986.

He is the author or coauthor of more than 100 contributions to scientific literature and has been awarded numerous funded and peer-reviewed scientific research grants and contracts that have brought nearly $46 million to UAB since 1975. In 1993, the story of his relationship with a despondent quadriplegic contemplating suicide was the subject of The Switch, a widely acclaimed made-for-television movie that was broadcast nationwide on the CBS television network.”

One cannot expect a medical doctor to correctly interpret the meaning of the First Amendment as this guy has clearly misinterpreted and overextended the meaning of it.

Here is the wording to The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America as quoted in The Law of Public Communication2007 Update by Kent R. Middleton and William E. Lee. (New York: Pearson).

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

What this means is that Congress shall no make law preventing us from freely worshipping as we choose, speaking as we choose or writing as we choose, the last two, under the provisions of certain provisions that have been passed through time for the purposes of common decency and safety. It means that we have the right to a peaceful demonstration and to let our President, Senators, Congressmen, and other elected official know when we have a grievance or a problem with they are handling things

The First Amendment is NEVER to be used to imply that should a body of legislators deciding we won’t get to voe on something is morally irresponsible and irreprehensible is stealing our right to the freedom of speech. That’s NOT what the FIRST Amendment reads. That’s NOT what it means.

Voting isn’t even covered until a different and later amendment on.

But what else can I expect from someone who only went to medical classes? Journalism vs. medicine.