Tag Archives: children

“christian” School Kick 5 YO Out For Having Two Mommies

So much for Christians being persecuted in the US… Come on, bigoted morons – It’s a kid!

Why exactly would you want to hurt a small child for the “sins” of her Mother?

Christian school kicks out kindergartener because she has two moms

Sadly, nationwide marriage equality simply isn’t enough to inoculate all children of same-sex couples from the cruelty and indignity that is anti-gay discrimination.

The latest example comes from San Diego, California, where a five year-old girl was recently barred from starting the first day of kindergarten after her school changed its nondiscrimination policy following the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, reports the local ABC News affiliate KGTV.

Mt. Erie Christian Academy, a private institution that does not appear to take any public funds, updated its handbook this summer to reserve the right to discontinue the enrollment of any student it finds “in opposition to the biblical lifestyle,” citing at least one Bible passage that calls for homosexuals to be murdered:

Mt. Erie Christian Academy is a religious, Bible-believing institution providing education in a distinct Christian environment, and it believes that its biblical role is to work in conjunction with the home to mold students to be Christ like. On those occasions in which the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home is counter to or in opposition to the biblical lifestyle that the school teaches, the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, living in, condoning or supporting sexual immorality; practicing homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity; promoting such practices; or otherwise having the inability to support the moral principles of the school (Leviticus 20:13a; Romans 1:21-27; Matthew 19:4-6; I Corinthians 6:9-20).

 The new policy effectively barred one of the school’s pre-school students from entering kindergarten this school year.

The five-year old’s mother, Shenna (she asked that her last name be withheld) called the policy change “heartbreaking.” The stay at-home mother said the she was unaware of the school’s extreme anti-gay attitude and insisted that she wouldn’t not have subjected her daughter to such humiliation had she known of their discriminatory policy before enrolling at the academy.

“If we knew from the beginning that this was unacceptable, they didn’t condone or believe in this, if it was such a big deal, we would have never started her off there,” Sheena said. “I would never put my child’s emotional wellbeing in an unstable setting like that.”

Shenna said that although both her and her wife, whose is currently deployed with the Navy, are Christian, they never considered their sexuality to be in conflict with the faith or the school’s mission.

“What does our family life have to do with anyone else? Like no one’s gonna be in danger.”

She continued: “I want my baby to be safe when she grows up. I don’t want her to ever have to be discriminated against because of her lifestyle. That’s not fair.”

Shenna told KGTV that she is looking for legal recourse but that her daughter continues to be out of the classroom as they search for an alternative.

“I miss my friends. I miss my teachers,” the child told the news station.


Posted by on September 29, 2015 in The New Jim Crow


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Native American Children Disproportionate School Punishment

Native Americans are the only group in America who statistically across the board do worse in negative things than black folks…or white folks for that matter. Native Americas suffer higher incarceration rates, higher rates of drug use and alcoholism, and higher rates of domestic violence than any other population. Just like for black children in low income areas – that education starts in schools…

A forced Boarding School for Native American Children

Report: Utah’s American Indian students disciplined almost 4x more than white students

Two American Indian boys at a middle school in Utah entered the faculty lounge looking for a teacher. The boys didn’t find anyone, but there were a couple of Dr. Peppers unattended to. The two boys were caught drinking the sodas, and according to a school disciplinary report, referred to law enforcement for “theft.”

Fifty-five American Indian students in Utah elementary schools were referred to law enforcement in 2011, compared to zero of their white counterparts, according to a new report from the University of Utah Law School’s Public Policy Clinic. Native students were found to be almost four times more likely to receive a disciplinary action.

The report’s authors say it’s the first to look at the way American Indian students are punished in public schools. They used data from the U.S. Department of Education to determine that American Indian students in Utah are disproportionately punished. According to the report, American Indians are the smallest student demographic in Utah, but are most frequently expelled, referred to law enforcements, and arrested for school related incidents.

And it’s not just Utah. American Indian students are reportedly about three times more likely to be expelled and referred to law enforcement than white students nationwide.

The U.S. Department of Education has released data about American public schools since 1968, but according to the report, American Indian students were not analyzed until now (using the most recent data from 2011).

Lower graduation rates and more severe punishments than their white counterparts push American Indians into the school-to-prison pipeline at an alarming rate, the report asserts. Utah’s overall graduation rate is 83 percent, but for American Indian students it’s only 65 percent. According to the report, American Indian students are the single most likely group to be arrested at school and eight times more likely to be referred to law enforcement than their white counterparts. In Utah,American Indians account for just over 5 percent of the prison population and are about 1.5% of the total population in Utah, according to Utah Department of Corrections and the latest census.

The problems facing American Indians in anglo American schools do not exist in a vacuum. Starting in the late 19th century, the report notes that the federal government implemented a set of stringent assimilation policies: Indian American children were removed from their homes and forced to attend schools off the reservations, and eventually to non-Indian home and boarding schools. Students were denied the right to speak their native languages, practice their religions, and wear their native clothes. Students caught “speaking Indian,” were beaten, according to PBS. The report says at least one-third of all American Indian children were take from their families and placed in foster care, adoptive homes or educational institutions as recently as the 1970s.

The University of Utah report joins another analysis recently published by the African American Policy Reform in looking at the over-disciplining of historically marginalized groups. That report found that black girls were six times more likely to be suspended than their white counterparts.

Kimberle Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and founder of the African American Policy Reform, sees a connection between the over-disciplining of black girls and violence inflicted upon black women by the state. For Crenshaw, it boils down to one thing: stereotyping. “Girls and black women are seen as are more aggressive and their emotions aren’t read accurately. Hurt and pain and even excitement are misrepresented on black faces,” she says.

“The tendency is to see [violence against black women] as not part of a broader pattern of discrimination,” says Crenshaw. “It’s seen as an individual circumstance. Or it’s just one of those fluke cases.” Her goal, she says, is to lift out enough of these cases to show there are structural and institutional patterns across the crime and punishment industry.

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Posted by on September 27, 2015 in American Genocide


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Disparate Treatment of Black Children for Pain Management

One of my recurring nightmares from a disaster zone where I was working is the sight of a small child lying on the sidewalk dead while people and workers stepped around and over the child. Makes you sick when you think medical personnel could actually do this…

Just when you thought we had left all this behind us…

White Kids Get More Pain Meds Than Black Kids in the Emergency Room

A new study found that in emergency rooms, the odds of a black child being given appropriate pain medication were one-fifth those for a white child.

Appendicitis is painful. Having been lucky enough to experience it in my late twenties myself, I can personally verify this bit of common knowledge. It hurts.

However, despite the clear association between appendicitis and pain, which can be quite severe, the management of that pain is not always consistent. A new study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics finds that there are racial disparities in the medications used to treat it for children in American emergency departments, with black patients far less likely to get more potent pain medication than white ones.

The authors of the study sought to build on previous reports that had documented disparities between white and black patients regarding pain management. They chose appendicitis as their particular focus because it more clearly warrants stronger pain medications. There are many causes of broader categories like abdominal pain, and for some of these treating with opioid medications like morphine or Demerol would be inappropriate. By selecting appendicitis, investigating the proper pain control is less ambiguous.

Using a survey of hospitals conducted annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the study looked at how often any pain medication was prescribed for pediatric patients diagnosed with appendicitis, and beyond that, how often opioids specifically were given. While their results showed no racial difference in how often analgesics as a whole were delivered to control patients’ pain, there was a big difference when it came to opioids.

Black patients received the stronger medications in about 20 percent of overall cases, compared to about 43 percent of white patients. When controlling for additional factors such as ethnicity, age, sex, insurance status, triage level, and pain score, black children were likely to get opioids for their pain about 12 percent of the time, compared to 34 percent for white children.

This disparity remained even when patients rated their pain as moderate, with a 60 percent likelihood for white patients to receive any pain medication at all, compared to only about 16 percent for black patients. When the pain rating was severe, black patients were likely to receive the stronger opioid class of medication about 25 percent of the time, compared to 58 percent for white ones.

In other words, three quarters of the time black children presented to emergency departments complaining of severe abdominal pain from appendicitis, if they received any pain medication at all it was likely to be a comparatively weak choice such as Tylenol. Two thirds of white patients in similar levels of pain were likely to get something like Demerol or morphine.

The results when it comes to the appropriate management of appendicitis weren’t great across the board. Overall, a little less than 60 percent of all patients surveyed received pain medication of any kind. That means a sizeable minority weren’t given anything, which is distressing in itself. As the authors note, good pain control is a benchmark of quality care, and large numbers of kids during the study period weren’t getting it.

Much of this lack may be related to providers’ mistaken belief that appropriately controlling patients’ pain can delay proper diagnosis, which could then delay necessary surgery. Location and severity of pain are among the criteria for diagnosing appendicitis, after all. However, there are numerous studies thatdebunk that misapprehension, and patients who present in pain should have that pain alleviated.

However, the racial disparity in how appendicitis pain was treated is stark in this report. The authors found that the odds of a black child being given appropriate pain medication were one fifth those for a white child. That is egregious.

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Posted by on September 17, 2015 in Domestic terrorism, The New Jim Crow


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Black Juveniles Caught in Carceral System

This one is about the school to jail system in St Louis County, Missouri. St Louis County is not an exception – it is a lot closer to the norm than many would like to think..

Racial disparities eist at almost every level – from who is charged for what, the severity of the crime charged for, decisions as to who may be granted bail and must be held in detention – to access and availability of legal representation. Indeed, the entire legal system in America is corrupt.

As such, the BlackLivesMatter movement is much more than just a movement in response to police overreach and brutality – it is, and mst be, a reaction to a system which is broken from top to bottom. The “Justice” systemhas failed, and is now nothing more than legalized, state sponsored, Domestic Terrorism.

American “Justice” – Slavery by another name.

Children Caught in a Racist System

The Justice Department cast the St. Louis County, Mo., law enforcement system in a harrowing light in March when it documented entrenched racism and unconstitutional policing in the town of Ferguson, which erupted in riots last year after a white police officer killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.

Now comes another Justice Department report, issued last week, documenting equally deplorable violations in the county’s juvenile court system, where children, often without basic legal representation, are routinely railroaded and mistreated.

The department opened the investigation in 2013 to protect the constitutional rights of children in the justice system and to discourage unnecessary incarceration. The department has undertaken similar investigations in Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

In St. Louis County, officials examined 33,000 juvenile court cases over a three-year period and found that the system regularly treats black children more harshly than white children and routinely denies indigent children — no matter their race — basic constitutional rights.

After controlling for relevant factors, including the severity of the offenses involved, a Justice Department analysis found that “black children are subjected to harsher treatment because of their race.” For example, black children were two-and-a-half times as likely as white children to be held in custody before their trials.

Black children were also more likely to be placed in the custody of the juvenile system than white children were and less likely to be diverted into community-based programs. White children were significantly more likely to get less restrictive sentences, like probation with services provided to them at home. This disparate treatment may not be intentional, but it is clearly racist in its effect.

The Supreme Court has ruled that states must provide lawyers to defendants who can’t afford them and that juveniles have the same rights as adults. But the very structure of St. Louis County’s family court system seems designed to deny due process and representation.

The children who go before the court do not get a truly independent advocate who looks after their interests. Investigators found that low-income children, who are legally entitled to court-appointed representation, are shortchanged at every turn.

For starters, there is only one public defender for juveniles in the entire county. A result is a staggering caseload for that one lawyer, who cannot possibly meet the needs of hundreds of children. For some who are not eligible for the public defender’s services, a family court judge will appoint a lawyer and order the parents to pay a “retainer”; often, cash-strapped parents persuade a child that no lawyer is necessary. Moreover, more than half of the lawyers who represented detained children entered the cases many days or weeks after the child’s detention hearing — too late to be of much help.

This appalling situation means that many juveniles are essentially representing themselves in complex legal proceedings that typically require them to plead guilty. Some of these children face the possibility of being transferred to adult courts, where a guilty verdict could have lifelong consequences. This is inconsistent with the Constitution and with basic principles of human decency.

The report offers dozens of recommendations for remaking this egregious system, starting with developing a strategic plan that sets clear goals to end discriminatory treatment at all points. As part of that process, the court has to train its employees to understand “the subtle ways that racial bias, conscious or unconscious,” affects policy and practice, the report says.

One absolutely essential step is for the county to create a defense system for poor juveniles that passes constitutional muster and affords them access to competent representation. The Justice Department should haul the county into court if it fails to make these changes.

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Posted by on August 8, 2015 in Domestic terrorism


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Shotgun Wedding…Quebec Style

May maternal grandfather was married twice. The first time in a literal “Shotgun Wedding”, when a local Minister showed up at his door with shotgun and pregnant daughter in tow…

To encourage him to do the right thing. Family rumor has it that within a few hours of the arrival of the Minister, the time required to gather a few witnesses, and a very short guest list – the happy couple was married by his own hand.

The marriage didn’t last, they were divorced several years later after the birth of two children – and he eventually married my Maternal Grandmother.

Like any less than positive event reflecting on the character of a family member – this was hidden as a family secret for years. Leading to the invention of several salacious scenarios where he was seeing the two women at the same time, or wasn’t divorced from the first when he married the second, making lots of fun for those family members who enjoy scandal. Marriage and divorce records prove it didn’t happen that way – but what the hey!

I live in a “Common Law” state – you live with someone for 7 years and you are married by law.

In Quebec, Canada – a recent court decision may result in the largest virtual shotgun wedding in history.

I Don’t! – How a bizarre legal case involving a mysterious billionaire could force 1.2 million Canadians to be married, against their will.

Somewhere in North America, there is a place where little girls don’t give the slightest thought to what kind of wedding dress they’ll wear one day. A place where young men have never heard the expression: “why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free?”—because the milk is always free. A place where no one asks an unmarried couple expecting a baby if they’re getting hitched.

This place is the province of Quebec. The French language spoken here is no guarantee for romance. Couples are practical, and lovers treasure their individuality. Quebec has become one of the least marrying places in the world, thanks to the institution known as “de facto spouses,” But now, thanks to a bizarre legal case entangling a Quebec billionaire and his de facto spouse ,  the freedom to un-marry is under threat. More than 1 million Quebecois in this kind of relationship may soon be automatically married by the state, against their will.

De facto spouses are defined by Quebec’s law as two people who have been living together for a year or more without being married and who check the “couple” box on their income tax statement form. Quebec’s lawmakers have deliberately chosen not to give de facto couples the same rights and responsibilities that married couples have under the Law of Quebec, to preserve the freedom of choice. Upon the termination of a relationship, “no matter how long cohabitation has lasted, de facto spouses have no legal support obligation to each other, even if one spouse is in need and the other has a high income.” Quebec is the only province in Canada where spousal support payments are not recognized by law for de facto spouses.

Other countries also recognize the status of common-law couples, including France and the Scandinavian nations. In the United States, common law marriage is a legal status in a minority of states.

The very religious province of Quebec traditionally perceived de facto spouses as a threat to the social order. But the “Quiet Revolution” starting in the 1960s led to a radical rejection of the church, a decline in religious weddings, and a reform of the Family Law that introduced the notion of de facto unions in 1979. The status gained more recognition during the ’80s and ’90s, mostly thanks to lobbying by gay rights advocates.

The institution has become wildly popular in Quebec, for gays and straights. Anastonishing 34.6 percent of all Quebec couples are de facto couples, and one half of couples under 40 are not married. A full 60 percent of Quebec children are born out of wedlock. ( – More -)


Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Nawwwwww!


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Teach Your Babies to Swim!

Growing up, I had a particularly hard time learning to swim. Nearly drowned when I was about 7 – so I decided to learn. One of the problems was that during segregation, there were very few pools which allowed black folks. The closest one to us was about 25 miles away in Alexandria, Va., which meant that I only got to work on swimming about twice a year.

When they started integrating facilities n the early 60’s, I decided to take some swim classes – convincing my parents that since a common summer activity for us was fishing  on the York River and Chesapeake Bay, learning to swim was a safety issue.

Didn’t really work for a long time, until I sort of mastered the “Dog Paddle”.

The following summer I spent with cousins on the Ocean. My “half fish” friends and cousins were jumping off a pier into a channel leading from the Yacht Harbor to the sea. So… in typical teenage desire to be one of the group …

Because of body fat, babies can’t sink – and can be taught very quickly to swim.

I jumped in to the 20′ deep channel. First time I had ever tried to swim in salt water. I floated right to the top, and found it easy to keep my head above water due to the increased buoyancy in salt water. The problem was the current was running with the tide out to sea – which rapidly was whipping past the ladder on the side of the pier which everyone was using to get back out. Sink or swim time…

I learned to swim, and would become a good swimmer.

Caught the boat bug – probably from my parents who owned a small runabout. I migrated to larger and larger boats. It is common on the Potomac to anchor your boat at a beach on one side or the other in fairly shallow water (depending on how deep in the water your hull went) and dingy or walk to the shore. One popular spot was called “Sharks Tooth Bay” because along the shore you could find fossils and hundreds of fossilized shark’s teeth. On this particular day, I set the anchor and joined friends. The anchor broke loose – resulting in he boat beginning to drift across the river. Jumping in to swim to the boat, I didn’t realize it was the wind which was pushing it faster than I could swim. The long and short of it is I wound up swimming nearly 3 miles – all the way across the river – to catch the boat in fresh water.

Full Throttle Vest Inflat Auto Univ Red 3205RED00

Inflatable life vest designed to auto-inflate when the wearer hits the water

Another night, on a friend’s boat – the Captain went for a leak on the transom and fell off the boat unbeknownst to the rest of us in the cabin. Since we were a couple of miles offshore -he left the boat in gear at low speed when he decided to take his “break”. When we discovered our missing Captain we had no idea how long he had been gone – so we reversed the course heading and started to search. Fortunately the guy had been a LRP, which was one of the precursors to the SEALS, and knew what to do. He made water wings out of his white pants, which kept him afloat – as well as made it easier for us to spot him with the boat’s powerful spotlight.

I don’t know any long term boat owners who haven’t fallen off their boats at one time or another. One of the hazards of even well designed decks is dew or rain making them slippery. Through the years I have pulled more than one non-swimmer out of the water – and a few swimmers who got caught in the currents. Because of that, I wear  an inflatable life jacket which blows up when you fall in when out on the water fishing or beaching. They are expensive (although the prices are falling) – so not a lot of boaters carry them.

Teach your kids to swim. I started mine as babies in a baby swim class. And for those worried about the effect of water on their hair…

It’s a lot better than drowning.

Swim lessons help minority children break cycle

Wanda Butts dropped the phone and screamed when she heard the news that her son was dead.

Josh had drowned while rafting on a lake with friends. The 16-year-old didn’t know how to swim, and he wasn’t wearing a life jacket.

“I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t want to believe it: that just like that, my son had drowned and he was gone,” she said, recalling the 2006 tragedy.

Butts had worried about her son’s safety when it came to street violence or driving, and she said she had always warned him of those dangers. But water accidents never crossed her mind. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Giant Negros


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Medika Mamba – Saving Haiti’s Children From Starvation and Malnourishment

A Haitian child is given Nutributter, a supplementary food rich in nutrients.Working in Haiti is one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever done… And rewarding. 19 Months and 19 trips to the country after the earthquake which devastated the country, a hell of a lot hasn’t changed – or is worse. A hell of a lot has changed for the better as well  – much due to the perspicacity of the Haitian people, the hard work of independent charities and churches from other countries, the blood sweat and tears of the relief agencies…

Which I guess defines the “bipolar frustration” felt by many Haitians and AID workers.

The failures in the country include 19 months later, little to no progress has been made in fixing any of the very basic infrastructure systems in the country.  It hits you in the face as soon as you land in the country – the airport is in shambles. The main terminal which suffered severe damage during the earthquake is exactly in the same condition as it was 15 months ago, the Air Traffic Control Tower which collapsed during the earthquake has been replaced by a “temporary tower” – a Winnebago parked in the middle of the airfield…

That is the only way in and out of the country for emergency relief supplies such as medicines and food.

There was supposed to be a major project to correct the basic problems with the airport – it hasn’t happened.

Cholera made it’s reappearance last year killing over 6,500 people. It’s back again this year, spreading into Port au Prince. The country does not have a sewer treatment system, so raw sewage is pumped into the ocean, or in some recently documented cases just dumped right on the ground. Don’t even think about the sanitary conditions in the tent cities where roughly 600,000 Haitians still live, or the rivers where raw sewage is dumped to flow out to the ocean, but which get clogged with millions of plastic bottles causing overflow into entire neighborhoods, despite the frantic efforts of local authorities to clear the debris.

There was supposed to be a new sewer treatment plant – it hasn’t happened.

And that is just the “short list”.

One of the victims of the situation appears to be trash collection. Someone donated dumpsters to collect local trash – but the company which emptied them stopped emptying them (I assume because they ran out of money). So residents now burn the trash in the dumpsters sitting along the streets adding to the already serious air pollution issues (One of the principal killers in Haiti is Tuberculosis, and the average lifespan is only 59).

These issues have to do with the billions of dollars in aid promised by various governmental and international financial agencies – which never got spent to fix the very basic problems in the country. Now – if anyone ever got around to writing a book about why that happened, and continues to happen, parts of it would come out like those international thrillers by a Coyle or Ludnum. The rest like a slow motion disaster movie. The fact of the matter is, both the domestic government under Preval, and the international agencies share the blame. Most people believe corruption is only on the part of the historically corrupt Haitian Government. That’s not entirely true – although the Preval administration was undeniably corrupt to the core – there has been plenty of corruption, bureaucratic incompetence and foot dragging at the international agencies, including by our own US governmental agencies as well. The result has been little progress.

If our conservative friends really gave a damn about government incompetence, malfeasance, corruption, waste, and inability to work together toward a common goal… This would be Herman Cain’s new “bookend” speech. But they don’t – so I expect little to change for the better, regardless of who takes office in 2013. Besides – it’s a black country, and we know damn well where those rank on the hierarchy of conservative concerns.

So I guess, it is uplifting when you hear about something that is working. Here is one, very important case of a treatment that I believe, was initially developed in Africa (Although George Washington Carver could have told them about this 100 years ago), having success in Haiti, and creating an industry.

Thanks for making my day, Meds and Food for Kids!

‘Peanut butter medicine’ giving hope to Haiti’s hungry

 With his ribs showing and his skin practically hanging off him, Pierre Wisny is painfully thin.

The 11-month-old Haitian weighs just 11 pounds, and it’s no surprise that he is severely malnourished.

The same applies for 3-year-old Alcincord Guerviscon, although it’s clear — even without measurements — to see that his growth has been stunted by the same condition. He weighs only 15 pounds.

In most of these cases, the children got this way because of poverty and a lack of access to good food. If they’re not given emergency treatment, they could die or suffer more effects of malnutrition, including reduced brain development.

For staff members at one clinic in northern Haiti, intervention comes in bright green packets: Medika Mamba, which means “peanut butter medicine” in Creole. It’s a ready-to-eat paste packed with nutritious ingredients that — over a period of weeks — gives a jolt to the system and puts children back on track. Made by a U.S.-based nonprofit called Meds and Food for Kids, it’s one of several brands of ready-to-use therapeutic foods.

“You can’t rehabilitate a child who has severe malnutrition with a plate of beans and rice. There’s just no way,” said Thomas Stehl, the nonprofit’s director of operations. “Their stomachs are too small and their nutritional requirements are too great to ever be satisfied in that way. So the quality and the density of food is really important. And that is why ready-to-use therapeutic food and Medika Mamba is such a great answer.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Haiti


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