Uh oh. It looks like Tacoma residents are starting to militate against the enormous new methanol refinery that would be constructed on Commencement Bay. Local activists have begun circulating a petition in opposition to the plant while others have put together a short video to make their case.

Is this the worst parenting advice I’ve ever read? Probably not, but it strikes me as bizarrely indulgent, not so much for the children as for a certain set of lazy yet smug parents.

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  • Speaking of parenting, the NYT has yet more evidence that the benefits of breast feeding are oversold. For example:

    Just last month, a British study found that breast-feeding has no effect on I.Q. from toddlerhood through adolescence. And a meta-analysis of the research on breast-feeding done by the United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 2007 concludes that much of that research is weak: Some studies are too small, or they fail to control for confounding variables. The findings themselves are often inconclusive.


    We all want to protect our children from every danger that we can, but some experts believe that up to 15 percent of women don’t produce enough milk to feed their babies. And it’s a lot easier to comply with the recommendation to breast-feed exclusively for six months if you are a stay-at-home mom with a breadwinning partner. In a country where the average working mother who goes on maternity leave returns to work 10 weeks after having a baby (and nearly 30 percent of new mothers take no maternity leave at all), breast-feeding for any length of time is very hard to do.

    The effect of the moral fervor surrounding breast-feeding goes beyond mere shaming. It also reflects, and reinforces, the divisions of race and class that have long characterized American social life.

    The main reason I don’t worry about Seattle being overrun by monsters bred in an ecological catastrophe? The Seahawks.


    This week I was challenged by a KUOW story about a young man who chose to reject life-saving blood transfusions after he was diagnosed with leukemia at age 14. There are many issues at play in his story. He lived with drug-addicted parents until age nine, when he was adopted by a family member who is a Jehovah’s Witness and converted to that religion. Legal doctrine in Washington allows teens to make their own medical decisions if a doctor believes they are mature enough to understand the consequences. This rule protects teens in important ways, but when death is a potential outcome, things get very complicated. What I find uncomplicated is that there is still much that we can do to prevent children from living the difficult life of child abuse and neglect. I wish Dennis had been able to experience more years outside those circumstances.