Midday Coffee Break

What’s up?

Gov. David Paterson of New York is rumored to introduce legislation this Thursday legalizing gay marriage in the state, according to the New York Times.

Not surprisingly, Heather Armstrong over at Dooce raised a firestorm by explaining her unabashedly pro-vaccine stance. I can’t believe this stance is controversial.

This apple-blueberry-honey-yogurt-ginger-tart at Eat. Drink. Better. looks delish! Also in Eat. Drink. Better.: Beth Bader aka “Expatriate Chef” wrote a review of a vegan soul food cookbook.

If you would allow me one last excellent story at Eat. Drink. Better.: Whole Foods Market has said the number of people reusing grocery bags has tripled in the last year thanks to its eliminating plastic grocery bags. The natural supermarket giant said due to its bold move there were 150 million plastic bags less in our landfills.

Eco Child’s Play makes a compelling case why we should tote around metal canteens rather than plastic bottles of water.

This is amazing: Women control 45 of 80 seats in parliament in Rwanda, according to Elect Women Magazine. The African nation is the first country in the world, in which women outnumber men in parliament. Also, did you know that New Hampshire made history this last election by becoming the first state in the United States to have a female majority in the state legislature? According to Elect Women Magazine, women hold 13 of the 24 seats in the state senate.

Now onto depressing news in Elect Women Magazine: More mothers and pregnant women are being laid off in the workforce that the number of pregnancy-based discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission increased by nearly 50 percent last year from a decade earlier. That number is expected to rise this year due to the economic climate, according to Elect Women Magazine.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


43 thoughts on “Midday Coffee Break

  1. Dooce

    I thought she gave a very gentle opinion on the vaccine issue.  I read through the first few hundred comments and even the ones from anti-vaccine people were very level.  But that girl is a magnet for nutjobs and seeing the 1180 comments over there now?  Not even interested in looking through those!  

    • No kidding

      Who has that kind of time? I knew when I read her post that she was going to get that kind of response. I also thought she was pretty balanced – she didn’t say that everyone should do just what their pediatrician says.

  2. pregnancy discrimination

    I’d wager that even if the number of complaints increases, it will still be quite low as there will be even more women that chose not to retaliate for fear of damaging their reputations in a poor economy.  


  3. The vaccine thing

    I never assume that only unvaccinated children “carry” disease. And it’s very wrong to assume that vaccinated kids don’t contract certain things.  I chose to vaccinate mine, but am fascinated by the biology of
    “herd ammunity”.  

    As a side note, a friend of mine got a horrible case of chicken pox, while she was pregnant(!) after getting a toddler the vaccine.  She even had it as a child.  She had an infectious disease doc get involved with her case.  Happily, her baby was born healthy:)

  4. government and industry must share the blame

    for the widespread mistrust of vaccines. I think it is reasonable for people to question our vaccine schedule (we mostly followed the schedule with our first but did only one shot at a time with our second) and question giving multiple shots containing heavy metals at the same time.

    I also believe that multi-use vials created the potential for some babies to get huge doses of heavy metals (if the nurse didn’t shake it up enough, the metals would concentrate near the bottom in the last few doses).

    Large-n studies indicating the safety of vaccines may not be able to account for the differences among kids who received shots from near the end of the multi-use vial.

    I also believe that a small percentage of the population is susceptible to autism spectrum disorder and other problems that may be aggravated by vaccines or flu shots or Rhogam in pregnant moms.

    I don’t think vaccines are the cause of all autism (I assume there are many environmental factors in play here), but the medical establishment has been so quick to shut down even reasonable questions about safety that it plays into people’s paranoia.

    Other industrialized countries have very different vaccination schedules from ours. I don’t think it’s so terrible for people to question why newborns are required to have Hep-B and eight-week-olds get four other shots at a time.

    The last time a few people tried to discuss this stuff in a thread at Daily Kos they were shouted down by an angry crowd saying only total morons don’t vaccinate. Although we vaccinate our kids, I believe that kind of “dialogue” is unproductive.

    • Multi-use

      I didn’t know they had multi-use vials.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like that with my kids but it creeps me out a bit.
      I agree the dialogue has to remain civil if we’re going to get anywhere.  It’s difficult because I’m sure the anti-crowd feels unheard and the pro-crowd feels so strongly that we should contribute to herd immunity that we all end up talking over each other.  Then everyone gets lumped together in an either/or when most people are perfectly comfortable with changing the schedule and could really meet somewhere in the middle.

    • ^ ^ what she said

      ITA…. thanks for putting my thoughts into words, desmoinesdem.  These days, I steer clear of certain topics on blogs… vaccines included for the reasons you state.  Unfortunately, I’ve learned that the hard way LOL.

    • Reasonable questions about safety

      That’s the difficult part for me as a parent. I feel like there just isn’t time to have those conversations after the kids have already arrived. I don’t want my kids to get any of those illnesses that the vaccines protect us against. But I don’t want my baby to be the one who dies from a reaction to a vaccine, either. So, I can relate to the dissent, too.

      With my first, I never lost a moment’s sleep about vaccinating her. Mostly because I know the autism stats for girls vs. boys. So when my 2nd was a boy, I panicked. We’ve done a slower schedule of vaccines with  him, but are doing everything that is recommended. From the research, the idea that a vaccine can trigger, or turn on, the autism symptoms in a child that is already disposed to the disorder is what worries me. I think that if the CDC is concerned about diseases returning to modern-day America, than they should be putting out study after study to find out how to detect autism early so those kids whose symptoms might be made worse don’t end up getting inundated with the normal vaccines.

      • Isn’t it interesting

        We held off on the MMR for our girls because they were girls!  My sister has Rett’s syndrome which is on the spectrum.  Boys who have the gene (or mutation I guess?) are miscarried.  So because we had girls, we waited til they were three to do the MMR.
        I do not believe that the shot causes the illness or that if it “triggers” it in some kids it wouldn’t come out eventually anyway.  I just knew that if one of them had it, I would not want to wonder.

      • My ped uses single-use vials

        It seems to depend on cost.  It’s much cheaper to use a multi-use vial, and for places that don’t have a whole lot of financial support, multi-use is the most feasible option.  My peds office is in a “better” area, where I’m sure the majority of his patient’s parents expect that. When I worked at one of the largest research hospitals in our area, EVERYTHING was single use.  Now that I’m in a much smaller facility (our entire building is about the same square footage as my old unit), we use multi-use vials of heparin, sterile saline, and PPD tuberculin.

        We went with the regular schedule due to living in an area w/ a very high immigrant population, but I can understand why people wouldn’t want to vaccinate on the same schedule as we did.  To be completely honest, I have difficulty understanding people that don’t vaccinate at all, but whenever I’ve tried to have a discussion about it, I feel like I get shouted down.

  5. Whole Foods & reusable shopping bags

    and you get 10 cents/bag back each time you bring your reusable bag back to the store.  And 25 cents off your coffee drink if you bring your own cup.  The store still provides paper bags for free if you don’t bring your own.    It would be nice if other retailers caught on to the rebate to encourage this at other stores.  

    I have been a Whole Foods fan since I moved to Ausitn 18 years ago.  I am fortunate to live very close to their Flagship store in downtown Austin.  I find very good value in their products.  

    • Bigg’s

      grocery store here does a similar bag program.  I like that Aldi makes you buy a bag if you need one but I’d be happier if it weren’t a plastic bag.

      • Ours sells all kinds now

        We can buy paper bags at our Aldi, which I often do when I need to recycle large amounts of newspaper.  

        They also sell nice big cloth re-usable bags at our store as well.  They seem nice.

        What I am really digging right now is our grocery stores seem to be on “second generation” bags.  I have a set I bought over a year ago, for $0.99 each, that are falling apart.  This week I saw some made from a recycled plastic type material that were a bit more but may last longer.  I love that the cheap bags caught on enough that they have invested in a new and improved.

    • Dogs…

      Our only problem has been cleaning up after our dog.  We used to use all the plastic bags from the grocery but now we use reusable bags or paper when we forget.  But I need to find a more environmental approach for dog walks…

      • Diapers

        We use ours for diapers.  I wish I could find a more responsible system.  I reuse the bags in the bathroom trashcan and for diapers and we take the rest back for recycling.  I just hate to be using them at all.

        • a suggestion for plastic bags

          if you find that you are consistently taking any plastic bags back for recycling, you could probably start using reusable bags for some of your shopping.  Keeping a couple of canvas bags in the car is useful.

          Sometimes I notice people walking in to a store, depositing bags into the recycling bin & then later walking out with new plastic bags. I think “Why not just reuse the plastic bags you already have 1 more time?”   It is so much more effective to REDUCE before the next two steps of REUSE & RECYCLE.

          I also use plastic bags for trash cans but they often have holes at the seams so they are not the best if your garbage includes floor sweepings or liquid.

          PS – And newspaper sleeves work great for diapers.  If you don’t subscribe ask neighbors/family to save them for you.     I never understood the purpose of a Diaper Genie because I’d just use a plastic sleeve for the diaper & then take it outside to the big can immediately.  

          • i have to keep em in the car-

            i never, ever remember to take them w/ me if i try to store them in the kitchen

            i bought 3 HUGE reusable bags at costco and those plus a freezer bag live in my trunk

      • My state legislature

        has a bill floating to ban plastic bags.  Not sure if it has a chance of passing, but I’m stockpiling mine because they are the perfect size to line bathroom trash cans.  Yes, I do recycle the ones I don’t need and have some reusable bags.

        • we use them for all the trash

          Even our kitchen trash can is lined with grocery bags.  Yes, we have to take out our trash very frequently.  But I’d really hate to buy trash can liners just to be thrown out – how wasteful.

      • have you seen i love you man?

        if you haven’t, you have to

        there’s a running joke through the movie about cleaning up dog poop from walks

        i sprayed soda from my nose from laughing- and i don’t have a dog to clean up from anymore

          • and stay for the tag gag-

            during the credits there are a few more scenes- i always wait to see if there’s just a little more movie during the credits, and there was

            don’t think it was doggie do do related- just funny

      • dog pooper scooper recommendation

        I used to-go (used) drink cups with lids for a scooper.  Grag a small stick to push in the poop, then snap on the lid.  It is easy to carry for the rest of the walk & you don’t have to actually touch the waste through the bag if you use a twig.

        I only did this when I could reuse a cup from a coffee shop so I know the feeling of wanting extra plastic bags around.  Sometimes I grab a clean cup from the coffee shop garbage to use for my next walk.    


      • we buy them

        Our local pet store sells ones made from corn starch, so they’re biodegradable. They’re nice too because they’re very slight, so they’re comfortable in the back pocket on a long walk.

          • Oh, everyone knows.

            Honestly, I kind of consider it a bag of honor, given the number of people around here who don’t seem to bother. I had one guy jump out of his car once and threaten to punch me (not a wise move, given the disposition of my dog) because he claimed my dog had repeatedly done so in his front yard. At least I was able to wave the bag I was carrying at him and yell “you think I’ve got this with me for fun?”

            • It’s not for everyone else

              it’s for me.  I prefer to pretend that I’m not carrying a bag of that with me as I walk around.  

              This is my first dog and I’m so not thrilled about that aspect of it.  Each time I’m out I try to think of just how much kitty litter I’d need to put in a little plastic pool to create the perfect litter box for him.  

              The more I hang out with my dog the more convinced I am that I’m a cat person.  

  6. Tomorrow’s the big day

    We going in at 8 for our meeting with the Child Study Team about DS.  I’m trying hard to not try hard to not worry (if that makes any sense at all) but I”m not having a ton of success.  To tell the truth, I’m not sure what I”m rooting for- a shared agreement that he needs OT and PT services or a shared agreement that there’s nothing wrong other than general clumsiness.  I suppose that’s the gift in this, right? If you don’t know what you want, you can pretend that things worked out exactly as you wanted them to?


    • Good luck

      I hope that you have a good meeting and that whatever the outcome is you feel comfortable that people really listened to you, evaluated your son, and that you have a plan going forward that you like.  

    • Good luck. . .

      and I agree with whoever said a few days ago (not sure if it was to you or someone else) that individual services are a good thing.  Even if he is just a bit clumsy.

    • That’s great

      It’s the beginning of feeling like something is being looked at. We had our first step in Toby’s eval process this morning, so I can relate to the nerves. Good luck! I hope they can start to answer some questions for you.

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