Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Stop the silliness

Vegemite crackdown fears roil expats.

It's illegal to bring Vegemite, that yeast spread Aussies so love, into the US, because it contains folate and the FDA has only approved folate as an additive in certain foods. Give me a break!

This is on the one hand so small a matter as to hardly seem worth getting roiled up about, but on the other hand, what business does the FDA have banning a food because it contains a freaking nutrient!

I've smelled Vegemite and that convinced me never to taste Vegemite, but if the Aussies want to bring their Vegemite in to the US, I say more power to them! Stores should be allowed to import and sell Vegemite so that expats can enjoy their favorite spread, and so that Americans can be exposed to this uniquely Australian .... um ... substance. (Can't say "treat;" sorry!)

What's really bizarre is that women are being told to make sure they get enough folate, because folate prevents spina bifida and anencephaly. Here's a handy folate source and it's freaking banned? Whatup with that?

FDA, get your head from out your butts! Free Vegemite!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

World Vision Christmas shopping list

Medical care seem to be more expensive at World Vision than at Mercy Ships, possibly because Mercy Ships relies so much on in-kind donations. So they don't have to pay a doctor or for the OR, they just have to pay for the actual surgical supplies.

Nevertheless, many things in the World Vision catalogue are exciting, and they're available for giving in a wide price range:

A fish pond for a community: $200.

Water treatment tablets to enable 250 kids to get safe water at school for a year: Just $50.

A prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care kit can increase survival and health for mother and baby: $116.

Provide a girl in China with education for a year: $350.

Provide an older child or adult with a marketable skill: $50.

Provide a child with school supplies: $32.

Provide a disabled person with a wheelchair: $14. (The wheelchairs are donated by Free Wheelchair Mission; World Vision just needs help with the shipping costs.)

Provide an injured person with a prosthetic limb: $1120

Educate an African orphan for a year: $70.

Warm, portable shelter for a Mongolian family: $1862.

Provide a family with a clean, safe stove that requires less fuel than their traditional fire pits: $150.

Provide a family with ten fruit trees: $65.

Provide high-quality crop seeds for a family: $17.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Christmas shopping season is just around the corner

Consider making a donation to Mercy Ships in a loved one's name.

Just some of the gifts you can give:

$25 to provide eyeglasses for five people, $50 to correct crossed eyes, $150 for cataract surgery.

Just $125 can save a child's life by correcting cleft lip and palate, enabling him to eat.

$250 to remove a disfiguring, and possibly life-threatening, tumor.

$500 to provide potable water from a well.

Or you can help a woman set up a small, self-sustaining agricultural project so she can support her family.

Set up two snail farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $12
Set up five mushroom farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $15
Set up a rabbit farm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $19
Buy a bee hive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $59

I'm considering trying to raise money among the expats here to set up a health clinic.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Latest celebrity fashion accessory: The African baby

Madonna, who has everything else she could want, has bought an African child. His family wants him but they are desperately poor. So instead of using her millions to help them earn a better living, she spread a lot of cash around and is taking their child away.

This man has already lost his wife and two children. Now his last child, picked out like a handbag by a shameless publicity hound, is being taken away from him. Under false pretenses, no less.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"People are trying to make a big deal of it..."

Thus spake Deangelo Troop, the man whose girlfriend used their baby as a weapon to beat him.

The baby suffered a fractured skull and a brain bleed, and there the father is saying it's not a big deal. It wasn't that the mother intended to pick up the baby and use him as a truncheon. She was just so drunk that she didn't realize that what she was pelting the man with was her baby.

I'm sorry, but being so wasted that you mistake your baby for an inanimate object is every bit as problematic as deliberately using the baby as a billy club. And the man is just as appalling for thinking it's no big deal.

This woman has five kids, including the battered baby. All five need to be placed in an adoptive home where their mother and that man (the father of two of them) can never, never get close to them again.

And neither of these moral imbeciles should be turned loose on the streets again unless their reproductive organs are taken out and run down a garbage disposal. If you don't know it's wrong to be drunk off your skull when you're caring for children, you have no sense of right or wrong in the first place. And you're certainly unfit to be a parent.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Nobody deserves this, but especially not the Amish

Fourth girl dies after Amish school shooting

These are people who mind their own business and never bother anybody. And this guy does this to them.

Nobody's kids deserve this, no family deserves this, but it just seems extra-nasty to pick people as peaceful and harmless as the Amish, who never so much as speak an unkind word to outsiders. (I don't know how they treat each other.)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Dentist belongs in jail for killing little girl

Dentist Suspended After Patient's Death

This guy massively dosed a 5-year-old girl with drugs for dental work, then failed to monitor her vitals, then failed to resuscitate.

Then he lied and said she was alert when she was actually already in a coma.

His dental license has been yanked and he faces fines, but that hardly seems adequate.