Saturday, December 01, 2007

Saturday Night Thoughts

A rambling, somewhat coherent post ....

Me and the kid: Tonight was an unusual one; MBH, 12 year old son left me and our 4 year old boy home alone. (cue annoying Home Alone sound effect)

For the second year running, they and her sister attended a performance of Ronan Tynan; if you are unfamiliar with the man's vocal range or his life story, you owe it to yourself to click the link above and educate yourself. While I cannot state I've lived the life of adversity that has, his triumphs serve as a lesson to me whenever I get into a selfish funk about myself. Several of his tunes are on my Blackjack (bet you thought I still had no clue about that phone!), and they are inspiring in their own right.



Update: Ronan Tynan sings at President Reagan's funeral on YouTube

So me and the little guy hung out tonight which was his big treat. That I am often out many evenings with his brother made tonight a big deal for him, and me, too. We played some games, ate dinner, hit some kid-friendly websites and off to bed he went (yes, I know there are many people, including some readers, who abhor sites such as , but it was his night).

The older son is so accustomed to me going places with him I've told him the time is coming near where I will be taking his younger brother places, sometimes at the expense of him going places alone. He says he's OK with it, but I predict a conflict the first time it happens.


Celebrate Repeal Day
A Toast to Freedom: If you are looking for a way to break up the monotony of next week, don't forget to circle Wednesday as the anniversary of Repeal Day. The anniversary of the end prohibition isn't taught in history class, nor is it on many Hallmark calendars, but it is noteworthy (as if you need a better reason for a drink?).

John at Appreciating All Things Considered has invited all of us to a party Wednesday (via comments) but his blog doesn't really specify where he is, and I am not that likely to go out of town just for a drink, so I'll raise a toast to him on my own. Check your local watering hole, you may find some drink specials this week (or you can be the one to suggest them!).

Remembering the ongoing human tragedy: I'd be remiss if I didn't take a moment to remember today is (er, yesterday was) . I doubt there are many who can honestly state they do not know a person who has HIV or is a loved one of one who does. And yet as I much want to eradicate this vicious virus and rid the world of this epidemic and its bane, I can't help but to see how politics have polluted the fight.

For years we - the USA - we've poured billions into funding programs and NGOs abroad, which have little to show for it. Yet we cannot ever discuss reining in or re appropriating those monies to other areas.

People gnash their teeth and wring their hands that fetal stem-cell research isn't getting more money, despite no cures have ever been found with the existing funding. There are complaints that the US (and in particular, President Bush) doesn't budget enough for AIDS research, and yet cancer and heart disease kills perhaps 10 times as many people annually, but those diseases get less funding here in the US. While we all know at least one person touched by AIDS, how many do we know who have been touched by cancer or heart disease?

The United Nations, that bastion of world good (cough-cough - remember, I used to work for them), has recently admitted it had overestimated the number of worldwide AIDS cases (by the millions), yet there was little outcry; why are they free from worldwide blame for such a huge error, but the US is always blamed for (allegedly) being cheap? And what has the UN done with the monies in their charge that were purportedly helping the millions of people who (by their own admission) didn't exist? Why hasn't the care of those truly infected been proportionately better with the additional funds? No one asks these questions; no, that wouldn't fit the template of being caring.

Bullshit.


Why does the funding for AIDS research keep going up, but the number of new cases does not level off or decrease?

Why is Washington, D.C. the home for a modern epidemic of AIDS ?

I'm not for banishing those with HIV. I am not one of those few radicals who scream let them die. But I do find it odd we treat other infectious and deadly diseases differently from how we treat AIDS.

We treat tuberculosis - a disease that is (or was) largely eradicated from our environment - a lot differently than we do AIDS. We seem to make it the responsibility of people who want to avoid AIDS to take specific steps (condoms, for example) but do little to admonish those who have it and spread it. Compare how we treat AIDS to how the man who had mistakenly (?) boarded a plane with TB earlier this year. And since there are scores of TB viri that are largely immune to our normal battery of antibiotics, this disease can be bit as fatal as AIDS.

There has to be a middle ground (at least) between how we treat AIDS today and how we treat other communicable diseases (and lets not forget how this subject ties in nicely with border enforcement).

Well there I go: I mixed politics (border enforcement) with AIDS. Guess I can't be as critical as I was when I started this post (but that was over an hour and 2 glasses of bourbon ago).

Of course: we all want a cure for AIDS. We all want the best care for all who have it. But maybe we can ask how our monies are being (mis)spent and offer some consideration for ways on how it can be spent better.



Well, that may have pissed some people off....


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