Monthly Archives: January 2010

Bad faith makes bad medicine, and so does bad math

The doctor who claimed a link between child vaccinations and autism has been rebuked by British medical authorities for irresponsible and unethical conduct. The folk theory will continue for generations, unfortunately, because autism tends to emerge around the time children receive vaccinations. For a time my family was in the anti-vaccination camp, until I looked …

Genuine reform?

President Obama, The Washington Post tells us, will propose a major increase in education spending tonight. At first glance, one might be tempted to roll the eyes. It’s not like we haven’t been trundling along on this up-escalator long enough, after all. In the past twenty years alone we’ve doubled education spending. Yes, you read …

Short-sighted

If this really is “…the best example of violation of the separation of church and state in this country,” then I think we’re all going to be just fine. And I have trouble seeing how a coded Christian verse on a rifle sight, while odd, is “literally pushing fundamentalist Christianity at the point of a gun.” …

To rest

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital does a small but important and dignified thing in burying the organs its employees stole from dead babies. It is small because babies are small, and the parts of them even smaller, and because crimes against the weakest bodies in the name of science have a sickening commonality in human history, …

Previously, on . . .

The start of a new season of 24 got me thinking about that standard practice television series have of explaining what happened in the previous episode: “Previously, on ____”. Sometimes it’s a little funny because, while of course the particulars are usually quite different, in another sense what happened last week is pretty much what’s …

Haiti Orphanage Update

This is the place where help for the orphanage is being coordinated. They’ve got a law firm working on expediting the adoption issues, and they’ve announced it’s now legal for every one of the children to enter the U.S., though apparently that’s in some doubt. It’s still wise to contact your congressman regardless. But whether …

Be doers

Okay people, I don’t ask you for much, but I’m asking all of you to do two things. You’ve seen on your televisions the horror in Haiti. I have a friend who has been working for a long time to adopt a little boy from the BRESMA orphanage in Port-au-Prince, home to about 150 orphans. …

Dance

We are in the minivan, and Wife notices trees outside a store, trees with leaves made of lights, lights that slowly change color from emerald to scarlet to the richest purple. We’ve all been a bit glum, now that the trees and lights and wreaths have all but disappeared from the city. These trees of …

Marionette parenting

Judith Woods reminds us that there’s a difference between good parental involvement and hovering overkill (i.e., “helicopter parenting“). We ought to dispense with calling it helicopter parenting, in fact, and call it marionette parenting. Parents should be in the helicopter, hovering about their children’s lives. That’s their bloody job, after all — to supervise, counsel, protect. …