Thursday, November 29, 2007

Things You Should Never Have to Say to a Customer Service Agent

"You've never heard of that? Let me pull up your company's website, and I will read you a description of the service I ordered."

Friday, November 23, 2007

Leftovers (or, a tale of two grandmas)

In 1950, my Grandma Jo won a Dallas Morning News contest for her leftover turkey recipe. Here you can read "the rest of the story".

My Grandma Pat died this week. I have years and years of Thanksgiving memories of her cooking a turkey and making gravy. One year, not too long ago, she decided she was done cooking. And she quit, just like that. She was like that when she had her mind made up. I'm speaking at the funeral tomorrow and I might post my comments, if I feel like it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

US immigration agency sets new policy after arrest of breast-feeding mother

Wow. I am just speechless. No so much about the arrest, but that the situation was resolved so quickly, with a policy being put into place:
U.S. immigration officials said they have enacted a new policy to show greater consideration for breast-feeding mothers, days after authorities arrested a Honduran woman in Ohio on an immigration violation and separated her from her crying baby.

Sayda Umanzor, 27, admitted to being in the United States illegally when sheriff's deputies and federal agents knocked on the door of a house in Conneaut, Ohio, on Oct. 26.

Umanzor was breast-feeding her 9-month-old daughter, Brittany, at the time, and the baby cried as her parents were led away.

"It was like a piece of me was torn away," Umanzor said Thursday, speaking through an interpreter.

The baby cried incessantly over the next several days as she went without breast milk and Umanzor suffered soreness from engorged breasts.

Greg Palmore, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, said the agency approved Wednesday a new policy to address the needs of breast-feeding mothers.

"It basically ensures that you take humanitarian issues involving nursing moms into consideration," he said Friday. "It also ensures we make contact with state social service agencies to address caregiver issues."

In Umanzor's case, the first jail where she was held did not know it had a nursing mother until Monday, when Lucia Stone, a Spanish-speaking representative of the La Leche League of Ohio, alerted them, said jail commander William Schultz.

Schultz said jail officials then accepted a breast pump and tried to work with local Spanish-speaking mothers to get milk to the baby, but the two sides failed to connect, and the milk had to be thrown out.

Umanzor was transferred to a county jail in Tiffin, Ohio, before immigration lawyer David Leopold secured her release Tuesday night. Leopold argued it was inhumane to hold a nursing mother and unnecessary to jail someone who the ICE knew how to find.

Umanzor was permitted to rejoin her children and was fitted with an ankle bracelet that tracks her whereabouts. She is expected to be deported soon.

Umanzor's husband, Marcus Antonio Bejarano, also an illegal immigrant from Honduras, was taken into custody. A 5-year-old son, David, also has been ordered deported. The couple's 9-month-old baby and a 3-year-old daughter, Alexandra, are U.S. citizens.

Also, see my previous post on the UK addressing this issue last year.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Vaccinations Among Homeschooled Children

The authors of an article published in The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics advocates that state governments require vaccinations for home schooled children:
With the spectacular growth in the number of homeschooled students, it is becoming more difficult to reach these youth to ensure that they are immunized at all. These children are frequently unvaccinated, leaving them open to infection with diseases that are all but stamped out in the United States with immunization requirements. States should encourage parents to get their homeschooled students vaccinated through enacting the same laws as those used for public school students. This could be done by enforcing current laws through neglect petitions or by requiring that children be immunized before participating in school sponsored programs. As most states require some filing to allow parents to homeschool their children, it would be easy to enact laws requiring that homeschooled children be immunized or exempted before completing registration.
Abstract (subscription required to view full article).

This line of thinking - or rather, illogic - is similar to that of the recent push for a mandated HPV vaccine for school children. The state has an interest in seeing that public school students are vaccinated because in the schools, large numbers of children are congregated in conditions which make it easy for diseases to spread quickly. There is a logical nexus between the state's action (requiring vaccinations) and the context of the requirement (enrolling in school). HPV, however, is not spread by casual contact, so there is no reason to require it in order to enroll a child in school. Likewise, homeschooled children are not more likely to spread diseases while "in school" than anyone else is at any other time. If the government has the authority to require homeschooled children to be vaccinated, does it not then have the authority to require anyone and everyone to be vaccinated?

HT: Saying No To Vaccines

And for a related article, Parents Use Religion to Avoid Vaccines.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

National Blog Posting Month

Angela at Breastfeeding 123 has issued a challenge to Breastfeeding and Mothering bloggers to participate with her in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). The idea is that you commit to write one blog post per day, for the entire month of November. Why do this? Cause, uh, you started a blog to make yourself write more often?

Anyhow, I'm in! If you haven't noticed, I am currently posting maybe every week or two. It's not that there's a lack of important things going which need to be blogged about, either. On the contrary; sometimes I feel overwhelmed by bad news and the amount of cruddy stuff still going on in the world.

I'm qualifying my participation by saying that since I have three blogs, I only plan to post to one of the three each day. Wish me luck!