terror in a bottle

From the current issue of US News and World Report in their Washington Whispers column:

"Terror in a bottle

Thought you'd heard everything there was to know about terrorists and their money? Think again. Seems some Middle Eastern terrorists may be paying for their dirty work with proceeds from stolen infant formula. FBI agents say some alleged participants in baby formula theft and fraud rings have financial ties to organizations or individuals suspected of supporting terrorism. Networks of criminals of Middle Eastern descent, the feds say, are involved in the schemes, which involves repackaging stolen formula and reselling it to wholesalers and stores."


breastfeeding & sids

Today I read a very interesting and comprehensive story about SIDS ,and some new research indicating that infection may play a role in some SIDS deaths. Unfortunately, as is usually the case when people write about SIDS, absolutely no mention is made of the fact that it has been conclusively proven that breastfeeding lowers a baby's risk for SIDS. Or, put more accurately, not breastfeeding raises a baby's risk for SIDS.

Along with parental smoking, and baby's sleep position, breastfeeding is one of the few things parents have any control over with respect to protecting their babies from crib death. Yet, our cultural boas against breastfeeding means that most parents don't get this message clearly, or at all.

If some cases of SIDS are linked to viral or bacterial infections, this may explain one of the reasons why breastfeeding is protective. Formula-fed babies are demonstrably and significantly more likely to contract bacterial and viral infections.

the governator & human rights

Ahnuld's speech to the RNC was very Reaganesque and hit all the notes he needed to hit, but one passage bothered me a great deal. He spoke of how the U.S. supported the Tianamen Square protestors and Nelson Mandela. Ummmmmmm......but, well, we really didn't. In fact, we continue to pretty much ignore the horrible human rights abuses of the Chinese government so we can get all those cheap jamboxes and flip-flops.

fire that speechwriter

I'm watching Barbara and Jenna Bush introduce their mother at the RNC. The speech is SOOOO BAD. They actually referred to "Sex and the City" and their grandmother, Barbara Bush the elder, in the same sentence. Even Barbara Bush looked visibly appalled. Then they told us that their parents know how to "shake it like a polaroid picture," apropos of nothing. It was just a really weird, forced, disjointed speech and Jenna chortled nervously (sounding amazingly like Beavis and Butthead) between every sentence.

I actually felt bad for them, because they should have had better prep and a better speech.

when parenting sucks

I can't always figure out why some days, home life spins out of control, but today did. I burned breakfast and got two of my three children to school late. I was so stressed that I hollered at Elliot and Jane before I dropped them off, which put 6 year old Elliot in such a snit that he threw himself on the ground at his teacher's feet as I drove off. I called the school to make sure he was feeling better and they assured me that he settled right in as soon as I left, but I felt like a terrible mother all day.

Then the evening went badly because Henry, my 12 year old, was really tired. When he's tired, he gets sort of hysterical and weepy at bedtime, which he did tonight. He also can't get himself to sleep and can't get to sleep with me patting his back because he's just so frazzled. And then Elliot announced that he wanted to sleep in a big carboard box in my room. Usually, I would have humored this request until he gave up on it, but it was late and Henry was still flopping around on his bed moaning and groaning, and then my niece Eleanor, who was spending the night, suddenly announced she was homesick and needed to go home.



sharon olds

I've just discovered two poems by Sharon Olds that I love.