Thursday, June 28, 2007


My friend and blogging buddy, Ginger is getting tired of waiting for Autism Speaks to respond to the criticism it has been receiving lately. She’s now organizing an effort to present a collection of letters giving the “big tent” a chance to let us in. Go here to find out more.

Does this constitute what is sometimes called a “vain and useless act?” Maybe. Will the leopard change its spots? Not likely. Will it do any good at all to write a bunch of letters? The odds say no, but the chance that somebody inside of Autism Speaks may have enough integrity to take our concerns seriously is enough that I will probably join the effort. How about you?

Saturday, June 23, 2007


In the last couple of posts, I have discussed the arrogance with which Autism Speaks is conducting itself. After its Borg-like assimilation of a relatively small number of like-minded organizations, AS now holds itself out to the world as the voice of autism. Well, mainstream media, and to some extent the political establishment, seems to have gotten the memo; the rest of us now have that much more difficult a time making our voices heard.

There is a danger that anyone who does not toe the Autism Speaks line ⎯ whether that person be a biomedical “curebie” or an anti-cure follower of the neurodiversity philosophy ⎯ will become marginalized and irrelevant. If we’re going to keep moving forward to whatever the truth may be, we all must be heard.

There was a session at Autism One last month, which featured David Humphrey of the Autism Society of America (ASA) and Dr. Martha Herbert, whose call for a new paradigm in autism research has made her one of the best-known and best-respected scientists now working in the field.

For its part, ASA finally seems to be getting the message that something is going on that cannot be explained by genetics alone. Mr. Humphrey cited a number of 10,000,000 autistics worldwide, with a particularly strong rise in Southeast Asia. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of that number, but the stories I see in the international media tells me that the epidemic is not limited to the United States.

Mr. Humphrey touted the memoranda of understanding that ASA entered into with the Autism Research Institute (ARI) and, more recently, with Easter Seals. The latter may be fairly significant given Easter Seals’ record as a provider of services. Under the memorandum of understanding, according to Mr. Humphrey, Easter Seals will make autism its number-one priority. I doubt that we’ll see much in the way of biomedical treatments being offered through this agreement, but it could have a tremendous impact on the delivery of more traditional therapies (speech, occupational, physical, behavioral, etc.). Even for most of us who utilize biomedical treatments for our kids on the spectrum, that will be welcome news.

The alliance between ASA and ARI is more intriguing. Both organizations were the “children” of the late Bernie Rimland. Yet one, ASA, has not traditionally been known as a particular friend of the environmental cause/biomedical treatment communities, while the other, ARI, led the way in pioneering many biomedical protocols through its DAN! programs.

Further evidence of the shift in ASA’s focus comes through its apparent hitching its wagon to Dr. Herbert’s star. She has made it her mission to bring better discipline to the environmental/biomedical communities, which will hopefully lead to better documentation of positive results.

The new efforts of ASA are being viewed in some quarters with a degree of skepticism. After all, the organization has not been known as a great friend of the community. The fear exists that it may merely be setting itself up as an alternate Autism Speaks, with the goal being political control rather than doing the right thing. In particular, there is a fear that the ultimate goal might be the same as what some perceive to be the aim of AS: hijacking the environmental agenda to eliminate any serious consideration of vaccine triggers.

To be sure, as much as Dr. Herbert champions the cause of researching environmental relationships to ASD, I have never heard her use the “v” word. I have no problem with studying the broader processes by which environmental factors may trigger ASD in susceptible individuals. I think that such research will ultimately show the means by which a variety of environmental insults ⎯ including vaccines in many cases ⎯ have injured our children. But ignoring a vaccine connection in the name of political expediency is short-sighted. It would be like studying environmental triggers for lung cancer, but ignoring the impact of cigarettes. There likely are other triggers, but ignoring the single-most pervasive environmental insult will not help us discover the truth.

That being said, I welcome the ASA initiatives, provided they don’t attempt to hold themselves out as speaking for the interests of my child and my family. Inasmuch as it has not yet discarded its slogan proclaiming itself as “The Voice of Autism,” I’d have to say that the jury is still out on the one. But ASA seems to be going about building alliances rather than a single monolithic entity, which I believe to be a more honest approach than that used by Autism Speaks.

Another effort at alliance on the horizon is Autism United, a new alliance of organizations mostly from the New York area. It hopes to find the common concerns of families living with autism, and provide new avenues for research and treatment. Although its immediate focus is regional, some of the organizations are national, and the hope is to replicate the model in other areas. Again, the purpose is to come together to find common ground and provide real help, and not to become the sole voice of autism.

Other than Autism Speaks, none of the “alliances” seek to completely “assimilate” other organizations. None appear to have the arrogance and audacity to presume to talk for all interests in the greater autism community, and to attempt silencing anyone who dares to take a position other than that of the collective.

And so the groups that have not yet been assimilated are doing whatever it takes to maintain their identities and the integrity of their own corporate vision. That holds true for organizations regardless of their specific viewpoints or missions.

I want to emphasize that my problem with Autism Speaks is not just because it doesn’t mirror my own opinions about causation and treatment. Rather, it is their relentless drive to present itself as a “big tent” organization that speaks for us all, even as it runs over anyone who either has an independent viewpoint or might steal the spotlight.

Recently, John Gilmore related what happened when A-CHAMP worked on an issue of interest to all parents, an issue that was unrelated to the vaccine issue.
Last year A-CHAMP worked liked demons to put together a coalition of every autism advocacy and membership group in New York to get our autism health insurance reform bill passed here. We repeatedly asked for permission to collect signatures for a petition to get the bill passed at the Autism Speaks walks, which at the time were the largest gatherings of the autism community in New York, and are held in public parks (so permission isn't even necessary anyway except as a courtesy to Autism Speaks). We couldn’t even get a phone call back. We have seen the same behavior in New Jersey and Westchester County. Collecting signatures at walks had never been a problem with NAAR.

After the bill was passed, Autism Speaks issued a press release quoting the director of the Long Island walk, the same guy who refused to answer multiple phone calls and emails, about what a wonderful victory it was. And then they lauded Bob and Susan Wright at the next walk for the great work they did on the insurance bill.

That’s Autism Speaks.

Indeed it is. In the world of Autism Speaks, nothing positive in the world of autism can occur without its involvement, even if it did nothing.

That’s arrogance. That’s Autism Speaks. What we really need is an organization named “We Listen.” Perhaps with one of these new alliances, we'll get that. Maybe, just maybe, we'll get a tent we can feel comfortable having over us. It doesn't have to be as big as Autism Speaks; it just needs to be big enough for us to feel welcome.

After posting this, I realized that I should have made it very clear that any beef I have with the leadership and direction of Autism Speaks and the organizations it swallowed up ends with the leadership. There are many, many fine people who volunteer their time and talents to those groups with more than just good intentions. They believe that they are doing the right thing, and it is not my intention to call them wrong or to denigrate their efforts. They are parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles. They are my friends. They too love someone with autism, and they have my respect.

Ginger has been nice enough to mentoin my recent posts, and here she presents a little more information about the recent moves by ASA. Although it all sounds very good, our experience with Autism Speaks should give us all cause to remain a little skeptical. Mr. Humphrey, I shall follow ASA's progress with interest, and a little hope.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Truly, one can tell a lot about someone by the company he/she keeps. The same can be said for organizations. The assimilation of NAAR by Autism Speaks was a little surprising to some who thought Bob Wright shared the family vision of an environmental trigger for his grandson’s ASD. Instead, AS not only took on the NAAR organization, but it handed over control over its research efforts to the absorbed NAAR. Clearly, that was an assimilation of the like-minded.

The subsequent assimilation of the inaptly named “Cure Autism Now” organization (CAN) was far less of a surprise. First, CAN seemingly shared the same mindset that we are far away from effective treatments. But more to the point, the run-roughshod-over friend-and-foe-alike political style of the two organizations was too close for them to stay apart.

A glaring example of that mindset occurred when the birds hatched from the Combating Autism Act came home to roost. Congress decided to hold hearings to begin talking about how to appropriate the money that’s authorized by the CAA, but at first it seemed that nobody was really interested in a wide range of opinions.

On Tuesday, April 17th, a Senate hearing entitled “Combating Autism: Undertaking a Coordinated Response” was held. Two separate panels of witnesses were scheduled. The first (surprise, surprise) included Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the CDC, and Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of NIMH. The second panel included a doctor involved with video-based behavioral treatments (oh yeah, that’ll work) whose business is partly funded by NIMH, along with two representatives of Autsm Speaks: its founder, Bob Wright, and celebrity spokesperson, Bradley Whitford. Later, a representative from (the non-assimilated as of yet) Autism Society of America (ASA) was invited. In other words, they rounded up the usual suspects.

A couple of days before the hearing, something happened that wasn’t supposed to happen. Word got out that there was going to be a hearing. One of the people who help with CAA Watch, the watchdog effort started by A-CHAMP, heard about it and got the word to the right people. Congressional offices were flooded, and A-CHAMP was given the opportunity to present written testimony.

I have not seen any transcripts yet, nor did I have a chance to watch any of the C-Span coverage, but I understand that Bob Wright may have actually mentioned the “V” word in his testimony and discussed the need to study biomedical interventions, including chelation. Maybe he felt that it would behoove him to look open-minded in front of the relatively open-minded Chairman of the Committee, Senator Harkin. Or maybe he just decided to appear a little more open, knowing that written testimony about non-genetic causes was going to come in (go here for a pdf of Robert Krakow’s written presentation). All we really know is that the official notice of the hearing was released at the very last minute. That’s par for the course. But more disturbing was the fact that Autism Speaks did not see fit to make sure that other organizations ⎯ including those that might view the vaccine controversy a little differently than it does ⎯ got the word.

Autism Speaks has set itself up as the voice of the greater autistic community ⎯ the big tent. Taking on that role carries with it certain responsibilities, including the obligation to ensure that every voice is heard.

Unfortunately, politics of that nature is nothing new to Autism Speaks or to CAN. Passing the CAA was not without a degree of backstabbing. As you may recall, there was a consensus among several organizations regarding the need to pass the bill, and what it should say. When it became clear that some of the Congressional sponsors were not going to tolerate the consensus language, battle lines were drawn. Some of the organizations ⎯ most notably No Mercury and A-CHAMP ⎯ took a principled stand that no bill would be acceptable that failed to acknowledge that there is an open question as to the role that the nation’s vaccine program may have played in the ongoing epidemic.

And what did the exercise of principle get those who stood tall for our children; the phrase that was tossed around by all quarters was that they “walked away” from the table. That was an odd phrasing inasmuch as I don’t believe it is possible to walk away from a table to which you were not welcome.

When it became clear that the Senate HELP Committee was not going to report the consensus bill, Robert Krakow, President of A-CHAMP, circulated an email to representatives of the other groups forming the autism consensus:
The best way to address the vaccine issue is to leave it right in the bill, as we agreed. If the committee can justify a statement in the legislative record including vaccines as “environmental,” I do not understand the objection to leaving it in the bill as we discussed. [Emphasis added.]

One of the recipients of that email was Craig Snyder, a Board member of CAN, who apparently did not fully comprehend the difference between the buttons on his email browser marked “reply,” “reply all” and “forward.” In any event, Mr. Snyder’s response, which had apparently been intended for Elizabeth Emken of Autism Speaks but wound up going to others as well, was quite telling about where he came down on the question of maintaining unity among the consensus members:
you’ve got to sit on this guy...i think you should start by saying that his questions were discussed in the call he missed and he should inform himself before launching broadsides, then as i said before, i think we need another call

How did all this come about? A few months back, I asked Mr. Krakow (who I consider to be a friend) about it, and a series of emails resulted. With his permission, I have weaved together some of those emails to tell the complete story of Mr. Krakow’s role in the CAA soap opera.
A-CHAMP and other groups were approached by CAN in the late summer of 2005. This was after CAN (Cure Autism Now), AS (Autism Speaks), and ASA (Autism Society of America) had a press conference in April ‘05 announcing the bill. They never consulted us about their bill. They said they had gotten feedback from Congress, that Congress was getting conflicting messages on the bill, and they wanted our support.

I participated in several conference calls ⎯ there were AS representatives and ASA reps too. Most of us expressed our displeasure with the CAA. After several meetings, they came back and started discussions to come up with a bill we could support ⎯ a so-called “consensus” bill. We were surprised by this

So around November ‘05, a consensus bill was produced that looked pretty good. I immediately asked questions as to when it would be introduced and what was the process; and the pattern of getting no answers began in November and December ‘05. I remember calling [Elizabeth Emken] and being given reassurances that the bill would be introduced. But if the bill was not introduced, how real was it? Or was it just a way to organize support for the real bill?

I kept making inquiries throughout November to January about the bill and continued to receive reassurances. On occasion I called the CAN representative and our A-CHAMP Congressional liaison did the same. Then we observed lobbying activities by CAN, AS and ASA. They publicized visits to Congress advocating for the “CAA,” yet the “CAA” in Congress was the original bill, not the consensus proposal. This was obviously disconcerting to me. Precisely what were we advocating?

A series of emails occurred in February 2006. I wanted to be persuaded that the revised consensus bill would be our “highest priority,” and I also wanted to know the status of the bill.

I eventually was persuaded that the bill was worth supporting. A-CHAMP then was the first organization to send out action alerts. In March and April, we generated thousands of emails and faxes in support of the revised bill ⎯ all based on continued representations by CAN that the revised bill was being considered in committee and would be introduced “soon” ⎯ first March, then April. I personally convinced many skeptical parents to support the revised bill. I put my neck on the line by reporting the assurances that this was the bill that would be introduced in the Senate.

Meanwhile we saw more reports of lobbying efforts. We were not included, invited, informed, and in my opinion we were not wanted at those lobbying efforts. I complained to my colleagues about the “process.” We were excluded from the process and had no control. All of our information was second- or third-hand.

In March, David Kirby published a piece on Huffington Post titled “Doctors Against Research,” in which he reported that the American Academy of Pediatrics (“the AAP”) opposed the bill and was lobbying against it. Yet it wasn’t until a couple of months later, when I saw her at Autism One that Elizabeth Emken let me know that she was at the meeting at which the AAP lobbyists revealed their position on the CAA.

In the keynote address at Autism One, I noted the historic nature of the CAA. The autism community came together to support it and reached an historic consensus. What was important was the consensus and the unity, and not the bill itself. For if we were truly unified we could get the bill we really wanted. So if for some reason the consensus bill was altered it was more important that we stay together as a community and come back the next time and get a better bill ⎯ the one we want.

At Elizabeth Emken’s presentation at Autism One, I asked her what happened to the consensus bill. She stated point blank that she knew of no reason why the consensus bill would not be introduced.

In June, we got emails from Elizabeth Emken and others suggesting we should trust Senator Santorum and that the HELP Committee would make a floor statement clarifying that the call for environmental studies included an investigation into the role of thimerosal. It was then that I questioned why the vaccine language couldn’t be left in.

It was a question that got no answer other than a strong rebuke.

And the rest is history. We got a flawed bill, and Autism Speaks cemented its place as the most visible ⎯ and in its own view, the most important ⎯ organization in the autism world.

Let me make it clear that the CAA, itself is not the issue. Nor can an organization be faulted for continuing its support of the CAA. Many of the organizations (e.g., NAA, SafeMinds, TACA, Generation Rescue, and others) that continued to support the bill are great groups with the best intentions and fine records of cooperation. They are worthy of support; Autism Speaks is not.

The point is that there must be room for disagreement among such organizations. There must be a continuing dialog. Autism Speaks, however, does not believe in dialog. They wish to speak, and not listen.

Next time, we'll look at where we are, where we're going, and why this matters even if you don't believe in the vaccine hypothesis.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Illustration courtesy of Lenny Schafer.

There are names that elicit a visceral reaction at their mere mention. Autism Speaks has now claimed that distinction. It has come close to its goal of uniting the autism world; it is equally despised in both the neurodiversity community and the biomedical communities.

I used to refer to AS as the “Pac Man” of autism organizations, wandering around chewing and devouring all that strayed into their path. A more apt characterization has come from Lenny Schafer (see illustration), who has likened AS to the fictional Borg. For those who are not Star Trek fans, the Borg are a race that falls somewhere between carbon-based life forms and machines. They roam the universe as a collective, “assimilating” everything and everyone they come upon. If anyone dares to object to assimilation, the Borg arrogantly inform the objector that “resistance is futile.”

And that has been the story of AS, assimilating NAAR and CAN, and telling the rest of us that “resistance is futile.” We should simply get with the program and toe the AS line.

Bob and Suzanne Wright started AS after their grandchild, Christian Hildebrand, was diagnosed as being autistic. To give them credit, it was a positive step when one considers that people of power ⎯ as the Wrights certainly are ⎯ often go to great lengths to hide away autistic family members rather than publicly acknowledge their loved one.

Recently, though, the Wrights seem more inclined to put a little distance between themselves loved ones: specifically their daughter, Katie Wright (the mother of, and the one who lives with and cares for Christian every day). Although she is always careful to make it clear that she is not a spokesperson for AS, Katie and Christian are in many ways the faces of the organization. This is what Bob and Suzanne Wright had to say in that regard lately:
Katie Wright is not a spokesperson for Autism Speaks. She is our daughter and we love her very much. Many of Katie’s personal views differ from ours and do not represent or reflect the ongoing mission of Autism Speaks. Her appearance with David Kirby was done without the knowledge or consent of Autism Speaks.

Autism Speaks is committed to finding the causes of and a cure for autism. We are proud of our scientifically based research programs, including those established by NAAR and CAN, and will continue to pursue them. The members of our scientific advisory teams have impeccable credentials and we fully support them. There is no question that genetics plays the leading role in autism and that environmental triggers are key issues for many children. These areas, as well as biomedical treatments, need huge research support.

Autism Speaks merged with NAAR because it believes in and supports its scientific mission, methods, and advisory board. We are proud of the accomplishments of NAAR and grateful to the families and volunteers who created it. They are a tremendously valued part of Autism Speaks. We welcome input from volunteers and parents/guardians of children with autism of all ages, including adults with autism. We apologize to our valued volunteers who were led to believe otherwise by our daughter’s statement.

Interestingly enough, the sentence about loving their daughter was not part of the statement when it was first posted to the AS site, but was added later.

What prompted the statement was a two-hour interview Katie gave to David Kirby, which was videotaped and released by F.A.I.R. Autism Media (a 30-minute version is available for viewing here). In the interview, Katie referred to both of her parents as “courageous,” and she expressed unabashed pride in them. There’s absolutely no reason to believe that there is any lack of love between Katie and her parents, so the terse disavowal emanating through AS is rooted elsewhere.

Just as she has done in other appearances, including her recent Oprah appearance, Katie made clear her belief that Christian’s regression into autism ⎯ and her vivid description makes clear that Christian regressed into and was not born with his autism ⎯ was triggered by vaccinations. And she goes further by describing the progress Christian has made after biomedical interventions, and also by praising controversial figures like Dr. Andrew Wakefield. That’s going just a little too far for some in the AS camp even when it is made clear that those opinions are not expressed on behalf of the organization.

In her interview, Katie hinted that the shameful emphasis on genetic research to the near exclusion of environmental research by AS thus far is solely due to the ongoing influence of the NAAR board, resulting from the merger between those organizations (i.e., the assimilation of NAAR by AS). But is she perhaps being a little naïve about her parent’s views.

Recently, Bob Wright gave an interview to TV Week, commemorating his recent retirement as the head of NBC, and at the end of the session, he was joined by Suzanne so that the two could discuss their involvement with AS:
TVWeek: Is it a problem where throwing enough money at it will help us find out why this is happening so much, as well as helping these kids to live a life that’s more independent?

Bob Wright: Well there’s no question that money plays a good role here.

Suzanne Wright: Oh sure, look what it did for breast cancer and AIDS.

Bob Wright: You have to throw a lot of money at this. There is money that’s been invested here in genetic work, and I think most people who follow autism scientifically would suggest that genes have a great deal to do with both the cause and the cure. The theory is if you can identify the genes then you’re closer to being able to do something about them. ... But that’s also a very, very expensive process. And it takes a long time. And so it doesn’t create the kind of hope for parents who currently have [autistic] children. And our [job is to] balance that ⎯ we have to try to help parents with children right now, but we have to help the community by zeroing in on the cause, and that’s where genetic work becomes critical.

Suzanne Wright: I believe there’s a cause, there's a genetic predisposition, but I believe there's an environmental factor going on here that’s putting these kids over the top.

Bob Wright: While we believe the genes play a role in this, there’s clearly all sorts of difference in these children. So it’s not like one set of genes, one set of kids. The kids develop this in different periods and have different impacts, which clearly identifies there’s some environmental experience that takes place that sets off some subset in these children. And there has been almost no money spent. And this is very tough scientific work to do. It’s epidemiology and everything. There just hasn't been the motivation on the part of the [National Institutes of Health] or the part of the CDC to be able to do this, much less the funds. And lastly, there is this issue of looking for biomedical markers, which is another way of saying let’s move away from the gene search, let’s look at conditions that we see and let’s look at the children who have these particular conditions, how they differ from other children. ...

Suzanne Wright: Something happened to Christian. Something happened to him.

Bob Wright: We’re on a hunt. We’re going to be on a hunt for biomedical markers, which is not the same as a gene search. ... I think we’re three or four years away from accomplishing quite a lot. That’s what I believe.

Suzanne Wright: And we got a lot accomplished already. We got the Combating Autism Bill passed. It was signed into law. [And on March 20 Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., introduced the Expanding the Promise for Individuals With Autism Act of 2007.] ...

We’ve now merged with every major autism group in the country. So we are the largest. And I was just invited to Qatar by the princess and the amir because she is having a symposium over there for special needs children ... and over there it’s taboo talking about this. And so she’s invited me to come over with the Ad Council because ... her people were most impressed with how broad the Ad Council campaign was over the last year and how much it spread across the country. So ... I'm going over there with the Ad Council and we’re going to give an hour of Power Point presentation. She’s going to let me show my movie. Only three movies are going to be shown and mine’s one of them. ... It's going to be very global, because it’s a global problem.

Mr. Wright clearly implies that environmental research can wait until we’ve found a way to identify what children are specifically at risk. In other words ⎯ and his use of the term “biomedical markers” cannot change this fact ⎯ the focus of AS funding is genetic.

So what’s the problem there? Why can’t the groups who have not yet been assimilated just raise their own funds for environmental and biomedical research? Unfortunately, sources of contributions are not endless, and AS has set itself up as the “only game in town.” The message is clear; assimilate or be irrelevant.

It’s one thing to be an “umbrella.” It’s another to turn off the pumps and let drown those you claim to serve.

Next time, we’ll look at the ruthlessness with which AS attempts to silence any dissenting views.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Okay, I haven’t fallen off the edge of the earth; I still exist. I haven’t had time to post anything meaningful lately because of other commitments, including fighting the good fight with the local school district (a fight that is sadly necessary even if the district we’re fighting does, in general, a “better” job than the district we left last fall).

I’ve been working on a rather long series about Autism Speaks, and hope to have it posted soon. I hope I’ll have something meaningful to add, which assumes that Ginger won’t have said everything that needs saying. If you haven’t already done so, go check out what she’s been saying about the controversial “umbrella” wannabe.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some pictures a friend recently sent me that were taken at the “Truth Is Coming To Light” event, sponsored by the United Methodist Women’s Division, at the Simpsonwood Retreat Center, and the “Simpsonwood Remembered” Rally, sponsored primarily by Moms Against Mercury, which took place outside the gates of the CDC.

Both events commemorated the seventh anniversary of the Simpsonwood meetings, in which the infamous Verstraeten epidemiological study was magically transmogrified from something that indicated a correlation between thimerosal-containing vaccines into a “neutral” study that has been incorrectly cited as proof that there is no connection.

It has been stated that the transcripts from the meeting are not a “smoking gun” of a cover up, and that’s true enough. I would be surprised if any of the participants ⎯ primarily representatives of the CDC, the vaccine industry, and other “insiders” ⎯ would have made a statement for the record that the truth needs to be buried. I’ll even go so far as to say that some of the participants may not have been motivated by evil intent. But when one reads the transcript, one gets the sense that a combination of greed, incompetence, indifference, vanity, and arrogance led to the final report. There were vested interests of various kinds, including financial and professional; the only interest not represented were those who felt their lives had been intruded upon by the vaccines. At its most benign, the Simpsonwood meeting of seven years ago, and the resulting report, gives proof to the old adage that a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee.

Thanks to the friend who sent the pictures. Although these were taken at a public gathering, if anyone depicted in these images does not want to be posted on this blog for any reason (even if you just don't want to be associated with me), email me through the link on the main page, and I will comply with your wishes.

After a rally in Washington, a little over a year ago, I was prompted to write about the representation of us all by those who are able to make it to these events. As I look at the pictures from the recent Simpsonwood events, I recall what I wrote then:
I’m not too concerned over the numbers. It is enough to know that for every person there . . ., there were many, many others who could not be there for one reason or another. There are a lot of us out here, and we’re not going away any time soon.

Indeed, as A-CHAMP now expresses that sentiment, “we are everywhere and we’re not going away.” Yes, everywhere that the truth is in danger of being buried, you will find some of us ⎯ and through them, all of us. And we’re not going away.