Butterfly Cauldron

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Add this to the list of things we'll never see W doing

I realize this is a great big photo-op. And normally, I'm pretty much opposed to politicians and their frigging photo-ops. (Working in the news biz, gods know we get invited to enough of the damned things.) But sometimes...sometimes the good an Op can do will outweight my inate disguist. This is one of those times.

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Sen. Barack Obama will take a public HIV test at a remote Kenyan clinic this weekend to promote HIV/AIDS prevention in a country where an average of 700 people die each day from the disease.

Obama, the only African-American in the Senate, was to arrive in Kenya Thursday and take the test in the western village of Nyangoma-Kogelo, where his father — a goat herder who went on to study at Harvard — grew up and his grandmother still lives, said Jennifer Barnes, a spokeswoman at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.

Two million of Kenya’s 33 million people have HIV, although the number of new infections has recently declined. Around 1.5 million people have died from the disease — and western parts of the country are the worst hit.

That's just a crazy number of people dying each day, from a disease that is -- largely -- preventable. It's a sin (and I don't use that word often, because I generally don't believe in sin) that these people don't have access to the medications they need to turn AIDS into a chronic illness, instead of a fatal one. It's a sin that we're more concerned about killing one set of brown skinned people and ignore the suffering of another. (Yes, I realize W pledged to spend lots of cash on the African AIDS crisis. He just hasn't ponied up yet. Which should suprise no one whose been paying attention. Hell, he can't even help out Louisiana hurricane victims and we could drive up and knock on his front door.)

I'm also a little caught offguard that Obama is the only black person in the Senate. How the hell does that happen? In 2006? That's just...wrong.

Can I tell you, if Obama ran for prez, I'd likely vote for him? I think he's doing a pretty good job of being...sane? I don't necessarily agree with him on everything, but I don't get the skeevy feeling when I look at him like I do with pretty much all Republicans.


posted by Zan at 5:50 PM


Obama looks so decent, I thought he was foreign!

11:05 PM  

That's it, isn't it? It's sad, but whenever you see a decent politician you assume they're not American. *sigh*

7:17 AM  

So you "generally don't believe in sin," eh?
Tell me, then, what is your paradigm for sin? What constitues sin? When Hitler murdered six million Jews, was that "sin" or was that
"culturally-acceptable" based on his time, social mores and circumstance?

It's not a trick question, Zan.
Really, I'm interested.

12:40 AM  

Well, this question I'll answer because it's interesting -- even if you decided to insult me and won't leave your name. No, I don't generally believe in sin. There are things that reach that level, however. And yes, what Hitler did is definately a sin.

I think "sin" has to be intentional and it has to harm other people. You cannot accidently sin, intent is necessary. Deliberately running over someone with your car is a sin, accidently hitting someone is not. That's not to say you don't bear responsiblity for the accident, but it isn't the same degree of accountability.

I'm torn over whether or not you can "sin" against yourself. You can certainly do things that hurt yourself, for a variety of reasons. Again, I don't think you can ignore circumstances and motivations. And very few people hurt themselves because they really, really want to cause themselves harm or pain. Their actions are usually motivated due to psychological trauma/illness.

8:15 AM  

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