Blog of Mass Distraction

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Chasing the tails of the Democratic Convention in Boston, Tom Ridge and the Bush administration have released news of an imminent terror attack on financial industry locations in the US. They claimed that the release is not politically motivated (yeah right), but it just so happens that the intelligence for this release happens to be 4 years old. It was from before Sept. 11 2001. So why the hell is it being released now? Each pointless vague terror alert generates a bunch of media attention and, while it's been said that advertising America's insecurity is unfavourable for the Bush administration, it's probably less harmful for Bush to release a terror alert than let any good press go the way of the competition.
I would say it's better than letting any real discussion of issues get in the way, but that just doesn't happen in big American media. In fact, Florida governor Jeb Bush has said his state will be using electronic voting machines and he won't allow any observation, questioning or manual recounts of the voting in November. This little tidbit hasn't been touched by the mainstream media in the US. Jeb Bush is effectively stating that there will be a recurrence of the massive fraud that occured during the 2000 elections and he won't allow anyone to question it.
The nonsensical American democratic process has gone so far that a few democrats, and some outsiders, have suggested that the elections be carried out under the supervision of UN observers. While the suggestion has been dismissed by republicans and many others, the situation there probably qualifies for those kinds of measures.

There's also been a fair bit about HIV/AIDS in the news recently. Infection rates continue to rise (though apparently not as sharply as they have been in the past). Anyone who thinks illness is some kind of punishment or something that is deserved by the people infected obviously have never met the millions of AIDS children in southern Africa. They're just like any other kids and I've met them, played with them, and been annoyed by them (hey I love kids, but they can be annoying when they want to be). The only difference is you know these kids won't live to see adulthood through no fault of their own.
The tragedy of AIDS is hard to understand and even harder to stop. While it is a very preventable disease, simple education about the causes of infection hasn't been enough to deter the pandemic. It hits most heavily in poor, densely populated countries, like those in sub-Saharan Africa, and increasingly in India and China. While the numbers are relatively low in North America, they're increasing and will continue to do so because the people here don't have any better sexual practices than the people in those other countries. Other STDs are very common here, but AIDS has yet to catch up. Unless people start changing their risk behaviours, the virus will get its chance in North America as well.


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