My baby needs a shepherd
I tell myself I´ll find her but I know I never will
My baby needs a shepherd, she´s lost out on the hill - Emmylou Harris
Remember Katrina? It was in all the papers. On television, too. Americans got to watch their own die in real time again, though this time with commercial interruptions.
As of two weeks ago, there were still 6,644 missing and unaccounted for, nearly 700 of them children. [On edit: it appears I underestimated by half. A headline today: "Hunt continues for 1,300 children lost during Katrina."]
Here's one of them:
Tia was last seen at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, on September 10, 2005. She left the Astrodome with an adult male. They may be traveling in a white 4-door Cadillac sedan. Tia was last seen wearing a pink short-sleeved shirt, blue jeans, and flip flops. Tia's ears are pierced.
Perhaps not what you expected. Sometimes it seems, in America, attractive young white girls can vanish too, without much of a fuss being made. And why would that be?
I suppose it depends on the circumstances. If Tia Frazier had vanished on Spring Break in Aruba rather than into a Texas Cadillac, maybe then Americans would know her name.
From the board of a New Orleans radio station:
Last seen leaving Astrodome with much older man, likely unscrupulous.....
ANYONE knowing or having seen or having ANY info pls CALL COLLECT 985-369-6458 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tia, if you're reading this -- it's Miss Ellen ... your Aunt Trish and I have been keepin' in touch about you and will move heaven and earth to get you back! You can live with her or me until...whenever. BABY...PLEASE CALL HER OR ME!
We both love you! xo* Both praying!
Miss Ellen & Aunt Trish
So why doesn't a producer for the Larry King Show call Miss Ellen and Aunt Trish? Why doesn't MSNBC invite a former FBI profiler on air to talk about the meaning of a "much older man" and a "white Cadillac sedan"? Where is Tia Frazier, and why does no one but her family seem to care?
Now here's another something about which more people should care, and hardly anybody knows. (I know it only thanks to this thread on the RI discussion board.)I'm talking about the proposed rules regarding "Protections for Subjects in Human Research" filed by the Environmental Protection Agency on September 12. As is commonly the case these days with rules, regulations and legislation that boast "protection" in the title, the reality is its inversion.
As the Organic Consumers Association lays it out, children are protected from the testing of pesticides and chemical with these exceptions:
1. Children who "cannot be reasonably consulted," such as those that are mentally handicapped or orphaned newborns, may be tested on. With permission from the institution or guardian in charge of the individual, the child may be exposed to chemicals for the sake of research.
2. Parental consent forms are not necessary for testing on children who have been neglected or abused.
3. Chemical studies on any children outside of the U.S. are acceptable.
The EPA document can be found here. Here's a relevant extract:
Sec. 26.408 Requirements for permission by parents or guardians and for assent by children.
(a) In addition to the determinations required under other applicable sections of this subpart, the IRB shall determine that adequate provisions are made for soliciting the assent of the children, when in the judgment of the IRB [Institutional Review Board] the children are capable of providing assent. In determining whether children are capable of assenting, the IRB shall take into account the ages, maturity, and psychological state of the children involved. This judgment may be made for all children to be involved in research under a particular protocol, or for each child, as the IRB deems appropriate. If the IRB determines that the capability of some or all of the children is so limited that they cannot reasonably be consulted or that the intervention or procedure involved in the research holds out a prospect of direct benefit that is important to the health or well-being of the children and is available only in the context of the research, the assent of the children is not a necessary condition for proceeding with the research. Even where the IRB determines that the subjects are capable of assenting, the IRB may still waive the assent requirement under circumstances in which consent may be waived in accord with Sec. 26.116(d).
(b) In addition to the determinations required under other applicable sections of this subpart, the IRB shall determine, in accordance with and to the extent that consent is required by Sec. 26.116, that adequate provisions are made for soliciting the permission of each child's parents or guardian. Where parental permission is to be obtained, the IRB may find that the permission of one parent is sufficient for research to be conducted under Sec. 26.404 or Sec. 26.405.
(c) In addition to the provisions for waiver contained in Sec. 26.116, if the IRB determines that a research protocol is designed for conditions or for a subject population for which parental or guardian permission is not a reasonable requirement to protect the subjects (for example, neglected or abused children), it may waive the consent requirements in subpart A of this part and paragraph (b) of this section, provided an appropriate mechanism for protecting the children who will participate as subjects in the research is substituted, and provided further that the waiver is not inconsistent with Federal, State or local law. The choice of an appropriate mechanism would depend upon the nature and purpose of the activities described in the
protocol, the risk and anticipated benefit to the research subjects, and their age, maturity, status, and condition.
I would add to the OCA list the exception, as found in paragraph (a), that children are also exempted from protection against testing if the Review Board determines that testing is "of direct benefit" to the children and "available only in the context of the research." I guess that's what they call a safeguard.
"Comments must be received on or before December 12, 2005." After that I suppose it's shut up and deal with it time.
And still: where is Tia Frazier, and the much older man in the white Cadillac?
Toora loora loora lo
First the seed and then the rose
Toora loora loora li
My kingdom for a lullaby