Sunday, September 30, 2007
Condoms and Catholics, Condoms and Bush Administration
LA Weekly News - June 24, 2004
- Published on June 16 in the Federal Register, the censorious new CDC guidelines will be mandatory for any organization that does HIV-prevention work and also receives federal funds — whether or not any federal money is directly spent on their programs designed to fight the spread of the epidemic. (The CDC is the principal federal funder of prevention education about HIV and AIDS, and its head a Bush appointee). It’s all couched in arcane bureaucratese, but this is the Bush administration’s Big Stick — do exactly as we say, or lose your federal funding. And nearly all of the some 3,800 AIDS service organizations (ASOs) that do the bulk of HIV-prevention education receive at least part of their budget from federal dollars. Without that money, they’d have to slash programs or even close their doors.
- These new regs require the censoring of any “content” — including “pamphlets, brochures, fliers, curricula,” “audiovisual materials” and “pictorials (for example, posters and similar educational materials using photographs, slides, drawings or paintings),” as well as “advertising” and Web-based info. They require all such “content” to eliminate anything even vaguely “sexually suggestive” or “obscene” — like teaching how to use a condom correctly by putting it on a dildo, or even a cucumber. And they demand that all such materials include information on the “lack of effectiveness of condom use” in preventing the spread of HIV and other STDs — in other words, the Bush administration wants AIDS fighters to tell people: Condoms don’t work. This demented exigency flies in the face of every competent medical body’s judgment that, in the absence of an HIV-preventing vaccine, the condom is the single most effective tool available to protect someone from getting or spreading the AIDS virus.
Washington Post - Sept.29, 2007
She's undaunted by questions touching on the politics of AIDS. She praises her father's overseas initiatives while noting that "the Clinton Foundation is doing amazing work in Africa and in Latin America" as well.
"Ana's Story" features a UNICEF-compiled list of "Ten Myths About HIV/AIDS." No. 6 reads, "Condoms don't protect you from HIV."
"A pretty obvious myth," Bush says. "Everybody knows that condoms prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS."
She loses no opportunity to lavish praise on UNICEF and those who work there. But she deflects a question about the Bush administration's combative relationship with the United Nations as a whole.
"I'm not my dad," she says. "I can tell you that UNICEF is doing incredible work."
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The Seasons: End of Another Summer
Visitors from Australia at Golden Gate Bridge
Farmers' Market, Mountain View, CA.
Farmers' Market, Mountain View, CA.
Sand, Sea, Runner with a Dog
Walkers on the beach, Pajaro Dunes, CA.
Sunset over the Pacific
Just an uncommon lull in the traffic
so you hear some guy in an apron, sleeves rolled up,
with his brusque sweep brusque sweep of the sidewalk,
and the slap shut of a too thin rental van,
and I told him no a gust has snatched from a conversation
and brought to you, loud.
if any of these were missing is the feeling
you always have on the first day of autumn,
no, the first day you think of autumn, when somehow
the sun singling out high windows,
a waiter settling a billow of white cloth
with glasses and silver, and the sparrows
shattering to nowhere are the Summer
waving that here is where it turns
and will no longer be walking with you,
traveller, who now leave all of this behind,
carrying only what it has made of you.
Already the crowds seem darker and more hurried
and the slang grows stranger and stranger,
and you do not understand what you love,
yet here, rounding a corner in mild sunset,
is the world again, wide-eyed as a child
holding up a toy even you can fix.
down the narrowing avenue to the cross streets,
October, small November, barely legible December.
--James Richardson © The New Yorker
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Bloggers for Bush - Treacly Stuff
So far in this month of September 49 American soldiers have died in Iraq.
Dan Froomkin writes in the Washington Post about "Bush's Battlefield Envy".
- President Bush wishes that he could be alongside the troops in Iraq -- except that he's too old.
- At least that's what he reportedly told a blogger embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq. In the first session of its kind, Bush spent almost an hour on Friday talking with 10 so-called "milbloggers," including two who participated by video conference from a military base outside Baghdad.
Ward Carroll of military.com wrote that Bush "grew very emotional as he made a linkage between his father's service in World War II and the fact that Japan is now an ally and then said, 'I've had meetings with the prime minister of the country he fought.' He actually teared up as he said that."
" CJ," an active-duty soldier and blogger, wrote: "Being right next to him, I caught a single tear attempt to roll down his left cheek before he casually wiped it away."
Matthew Burden, a former Army officer who blogs under the name Blackfive, wrote: "The President was very intelligent, razor sharp, warm, focused, emotional (especially about his dad), and genuine."
Overall, Burden wrote: "[I]t was very cool. The President of the United States slapped my hand and called me "brutha". Top that."
" Mrs. Greyhawk" of the Mudville Gazette wrote: "It was history in the making. This alone was awe-inspiring and I did have to concentrate hard to keep from having an idiotic grin on my face thru out the meeting, especially since we were all discussing serious issues.
"Unfortunately, I did not get to say much since the President gave very long but thought provoking answers to the important questions given him [by] others."
Mrs. Greyhawk added another highlight: "I tinkled in the Whitehouse."
No, we cannot top that; shouldn't even try. But there is veteran reporter Helen Thomas to bring us down to earth.
Thomas said she meant "on the front lines." Snow replied: "The President."
Ya Habibi! Think how valiantly G.W. Bush served during the Vietnam war.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Alan Greenspan Joins Rank of Iraq War Critics
- 'I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.'
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Iraq - "Accentuate the Positive"
AC-CENT-TCHU-ATE THE POSITIVE (Mister In-Between)
(Johnny Mercer / Harold Arlen)
You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
Democratic Senator Joseph Biden's statement today, reported by NY Times, repeats what has been known for some time:
- “This president has no plan how to win and/or how to leave,” said Mr. Biden, before whose committee General Petraeus and Mr. Crocker will testify on Tuesday. He accused Mr. Bush of putting American troops “into the middle of a civil war to maintain the status quo,” adding, “that is unconscionable, and he’s wrong.”
- “This is the president’s war,” he said. “Unless we get 67 votes to override his veto, there’s nothing we can do to stop this war, but we must, we must, we must protect these troops.”
If a Democratic contender, man or a woman, wins the presidency, expect a sea change as the Republican hawks become critics of the war and begin to talk about casualties.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
The Seasons: September 2007
In mid-August the annual week at the coast turned out to be unusually pleasant. The sun showed up every morning and the temperature remained below 80° F (27° C).
Roast figs with Marsala and brown sugar
Observer, August 5, 2007
Dark-skinned figs, warm from the oven with a drizzle of cream is one of the most sensuous of summer desserts. Effortless to make and to eat, they are best served straight from the oven. Lucky those with their own fig tree. I have used both sweet and dry Marsala for this before now. Serves 4.
8 figs (maybe more if they are small)
a wine glass of sweet Marsala
a little brown sugar
cream to serve
Set the oven at 200°C/gas mark 6 (apprx. 330° F). Cut the stalks from the figs and slice a deep cross into each fruit, going about halfway down. Press each fruit around its middle so that it opens up like a flower (or a baby bird in its nest yelling for food). You can cut them in half if you prefer.
Place the figs in a baking dish, sprinkle over the wine and a couple of tablespoons of sugar. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the fruit is meltingly tender and the edges have started to caramelise. If they haven't browned nicely then pop them under a hot grill for a minute.
Serve the fruit, pouring the pan juices over as you go and a drizzle of cream
I use honey instead of brown sugar and a few sprigs of lavender in the baking dish.
Time to think of Fall
--Edna O'Brien, August Is A Wicked Month