It appears I missed this stunning anti-HIV commercial, brought to you courtesy of the Bloomberg administration. If you want to watch it, by all means; but I'm not posting it here.
And here's why: the mission of the commercial is to raise awareness of health issues related to HIV, that is, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which causes Aids. That's all very well and good; wrap it up and stay healthy.
Where the commercial - paid for by your tax dollars - crosses the line is in its conflation of HIV and HPV. The difference is more than a letter; HPV, Human Papilomavirus, is a whole different can of worms that, in 90% of cases per the CDC, does not result in anything, because your body's immune system deals with it. It can cause cancer, however, which is why you can get vaccinated for it. Not a bad idea per se, because it's quite widespread.
So far so good, right? Wrong. The City's commercial is, frankly, repulsive. It has, and I apologize for the bluntness, a still of anal cancer. That's right: butt cancer. Which you don't get from HIV.
Roughly one hundred thousand New Yorkers live with HIV. It is a treatable disease. They do not need to be stigmatized by their own government with commercials like this. There are better ways, more, shall we say, appropriate ways, to raise awareness. read more »
The Times has an outraged - for the Times - op-ed today about the folly of trying alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Guantanamo.
Last year, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. described a federal court trial for the self-professed mastermind of Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, as “the defining event of my time as attorney general.” On Monday, Mr. Holder’s dream for demonstrating the power of the American court system crumbled when he announced that the trial would take place not in New York City or anywhere in the United States but before a military commission at the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, prison camp.
Not only is this decision by the administration a less than sterling moment for our vaunted system of justice, it overlooks one stark issue:the need for New Yorkers to have closure and a measure of retribution.
Nobody who witnessed the attacks will ever forget them. What gets overlooked is that a large number of New Yorkers suffered from PTSD in direct consequence of the attack.
If you get mugged on the street, odds are, you'll get to face your attacker in court. But if some savages fly civilian planes into civilian buildings in your home town, apparently, a different standard applies.
Where's the justice in that?
You can never have enough hats, gloves, and shoes, and presumably, never enough hospitals either. In especially when you live in or are talking about the core of a major metropolitan area, New York City. which the West Village and environs without question are.
Unfortunately, with the recent closure of St. Vincents, the Village no longer has a hospital. That is troubling for several reasons that go beyond the impact on the immediate neighborhood.
St. Vincents was the closest trauma center and ER to the World Trade Center, and on 9/11, was the destination of choice for those injured by a national security disaster. There is no question that New York City remains a terrorist target, with the new World Trade Center presumably high on the list of targets. It's irresponsible, from a simple security perspective, to eviscerate medical assets in close proximity to what we know is a target.
Then, St. Vincents itself was Ground Zero of a different disaster, the Aids epidemic. Aids is a complex disease that is still killing people, with infection rates among MSM - 'men who have sex with men' in the clinical jargon - spiking. The closing of St. Vincents has, at a stroke, disestablished a center of Aids treatment of national significance.
Budgets obviously are tight. But for this precise hospital to be closed is a textbook case of penny-wise, pound-foolish.
2010 saw a surge in green energy investment as well as solar energy finally reaching parity with older energy production in some areas. Further, despite right wing Republican/teabagger opposition, California is finally starting to lead the way in linking clean energy and jobs.
First, from the Union of Concerned Scientists:
Broad and Bipartisan Support for Clean Energy and Job Creation
In a bold move to bolster one of the few bright spots in California’s economy and set a precedent for strong renewable electricity standards nationwide, the California Legislature today approved a bill that would require utilities in the state to obtain at least 33 percent of their electricity from clean, renewable sources, such as the wind and sun, by 2020. Promoted by the governor and legislative leaders in both houses as part of a green jobs stimulus package, the bill would create the most aggressive renewable energy requirement in the country and position California as a national leader in clean energy investments. read more »