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World AIDS Day

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 10:08 am - December 1, 2008.
Filed under: Gay America,HIV/AIDS

Never forget those who have been lost to this terrible disease, nor those living every day with it.   From the HRC website:

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and AIDS. First held on December 1, 1988, World AIDS Day is about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

According to UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, there are now 33.2 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During the last year, some 2.5 million people became newly infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 years old and are killed by AIDS before they reach age 35.

But are we doing enough to combat HIV/AIDS in the United States? 

Yet the disaster of AIDS in black or white America does not have to be this way. While a cure is still years away, a nation with U.S. literacy rates and levels of cultural and public-health sophistication is capable of greatly reducing its number of new infections. So why are new AIDS cases, particularly among blacks in urban areas, outpacing gains in control, treatment or education among high-risk groups?

The answer lies in the unwillingness of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to adopt control measures, including routine mandatory testing among broad age groups. Any time blood samples are taken from U.S. residents ages 13 to 64, such as in an emergency room, physicians should have the right to scan for HIV. For those who don’t regularly visit a doctor, blood tests could be scheduled, with the results recorded by states and the CDC. As The Post reported last week, a recent study in the Lancet concluded that such measures, accompanied by treatment for all those who are HIV positive, have the potential to end the AIDS epidemic in Africa within a decade. The effects are likely to be faster in this country.

Read the whole thing!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

White House Christmas Tree Hails From Tar Heel State

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 9:46 am - December 1, 2008.
Filed under: Christmas,We The People

We, the residents of North Carolina, proudly deliver this year’s Christmas Tree to you, the American People.

First lady Laura Bush kicked off the holiday season by standing out in the rain to receive this year’s White House Christmas tree.

A horse-drawn wagon pulled the 20-foot Fraser fir up to the White House on Sunday as Bush was waiting under an umbrella. The tree will decorate the Blue Room.

Jessie Davis and Russell Estes, owners of River Ridge Tree Farms in Crumpler, N.C., where the tree was grown, joined the first lady, along with their families.

The North Carolina Farm Bureau says River Ridge also will provide about 25 smaller trees for the White House, including the ones for the offices of the president and vice president.

Awesome.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Reflections of India’s “9/11”

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 9:35 am - December 1, 2008.
Filed under: Freedom,War On Terror,World War III

The National Review’s “Corner” has a very interesting post up this morning from a writer who was on the ground in India last week.

The India Attacks – Justine Hardy

When the news first hit on Wednesday night of violent attacks in Bombay/Mumbai every rumor and conspiracy theory began to swirl. These crazy spins are the air people breathe here in India. Everyone has their own wild version, ranging from Osama bin Laden picking a night-time attack schedule to maximize on the Thanksgiving holiday news lull in America, to the government of India rigging the whole thing to bring Pakistan’s state sponsorship of Islamic terrorism to a head.

The stories will go on coming out, but at the core of this is the hard truth that South Asian Islamic militant groups are now as effective as any guerrilla movement ever has been in history. The big boys based in Pakistan, particularly Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (the army of the good or righteous) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (the army of Muhammad), have rediscovered the effectiveness of the ancient attack plan used by the first Islamic militants, a method dating back to the time of Mohammed, and indeed one that he espoused. These were sharp, brutal hits at caravanserai, the places and communities where trading camel trains stopped to water and rest. The incisive viciousness of the attack by small numbers of men at the heart of tight communities created the highest level of fear. This is the method now being practiced again, and this is what has to be countered with something equally effective and decisive. Fear cripples communities and economies. Those perpetrating these attacks seem to have no fear, but that is a relative concept. The human condition imbibes fear in the same way as it inhales oxygen. Only the most highly advanced and evolved step beyond fear, and by definition they would not take life in the name of their belief. Now we will watch as the psychological war steps up.

RELATED:  Updated news on investigation of India terror attacks – My Way News

SOMEWHAT RELATED:   Did everyone in New York (network news) miss the fact that there seems to be a near-civil war going on in Thailand? 

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) – The vacation is over for tens of thousands of tourists in Thailand. But they can’t go home.

The Hotel California-like drama began Tuesday when anti-government protesters shut the country’s primary international airport. The following day they moved in on the capital’s domestic airport, grounding all commercial flights in and out of the city.

About 100,000 people have been stranded by the closures, dealing a severe blow to the country’s reputation as a safe and reliable vacation destination. Officials project the tourism industry’s losses from now until the end of the year will balloon to about 150 billion baht ($4.2 billion), equal to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product.

Impressive!   Cindy Sheehan must be very jealous.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Life Lessons from a Two-Year-Old

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:30 am - December 1, 2008.
Filed under: Family,Random Thoughts

I’ve been staying at my brother’s house for the better part of the Thanksgiving holiday where I’ve been able to spend much time with his son, currently the Second Youngest PatriotNephewWest.

On several occasions, he’s led me to the basement and not because that’s where the guest room is.  It’s only where his playroom is located.  At times, he’s run around, climbed on things, thrown (or rolled on) balls or fixed me food from his “kitchen.”  He always makes sure to include multiple desserts with the main course.

He’s also instructed me to take down some board games from shelves too high for him to reach.  First, it was one of my favorite childhood games, Battleship.  I didn’t think a two- (well almost three-) year-old could play that game, but well, given that he’s my nephew, I assumed his precociousness.

He had his own rules, which I could not discern, but I think they involved stacking the little plastic pins for hits (red) and misses) white as high as he could until it toppled over.  Still, I played along as best I could as he kept telling me how much fun he was having.

With the Chess, Checkers and Backgammon set, we merely put all the pieces on the various squares on the board.  That task completed, we returned them to the box.  With the Who Wants to be a Millonaire board game, he gathered up the cards and play money (well, I think it was play money, he wouldn’t let me see it) and then handed me a stack of the cards.  He was smiling all the while as I remained puzzled about what he was doing.

In the end, the rules didn’t matter.  He understood the goal was having a good time.

My nephew’s right.  Sometimes, the rules just don’t matter.  And it’s important to know when they don’t so instead of doing what you’re supposed to be doing, you just have a good time, live in the moment, you know.

Sometimes it takes a two-year-old to remind us of that crucial life lesson.