December 29th, 2004

tsunamis

I'm glad that in the media reports about the tsunamis, I haven't noticed the phrase "meaningless destruction", because what destruction is ever meaningful?

The only meaningful thing I can think of doing, short of actually going over and helping, is to donate money.

The website of the International Red Cross/Red Crescent seems to be slammed with hits, which is heartening, but bad if you actually want to donate. Some other options:

Amazon will let you donate to the American Red Cross via 1-Click.

The main Red Cross donation page also seems to be up. Make sure to choose "International Response Fund".

Doctors Without Borders USA donation page seems to be reliably up as well (though their main site has been replaced with a simple news update page due to traffic).

sexual abuse among the amish

A horrifying article about rampant incest and sexual abuse among the Amish.
In some church districts, which encompass only two or three dozen families scattered along back roads, there appear to be many crimes like Johnny and Eli's to forgive. No statistics are available, but according to one Amish counselor who works with troubled church members across the Midwest, sexual abuse of children is "almost a plague in some communities." Some police forces and district attorneys do their best to step in, though they are rarely welcomed. Others are slow to investigate or quick to let off Amish offenders with light punishments. When that happens, girls like Mary are failed three times: by their families, their church, and their state.