AIDS Policy: Morality a Casualty at the Intersection of Politics and Big Science

first_imgA news item in the July 15 issue of Nature1 seems to take sides against President Bush’s AIDS policy.  The United States, the largest donor for AIDS prevention and treatment, “is promoting a mantra known as ABC: abstinence, be faithful and use condoms.”  Although it would seem these simple preventative steps would quickly diminish the spread of AIDS (read Colson’s report on the success in Uganda), Nature instead draws attention to criticisms of the Bush administration’s policy:This approach was widely castigated in Bangkok, where 17,000 scientists, activists and officials have gathered for the AIDS meeting.  Activists and some researchers are particularly critical of a congressional stipulation that requires one-third of the money allocated to prevention programmes under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to be used for projects in abstinence and monogamy.    “You’re not doing what countries want or what people with AIDS want,” Gregg Gonsalves of the US activists’ group Gay Men’s Health Crisis told a US official at a panel on 12 July.  “You’re trying to please George Bush’s conservative base.”A spokesman for the administration tried to deflect some of the criticism by reminding the group that President Bush is not opposed to the use of condoms.  “Condoms are an important part of our overall strategy,” he said.    Most of the news article focuses on how to get more funding for research on AIDS drugs, not on preventative measures.  An administrator of a nursing school in Botswana claims that public discussion about sex education and condom use is almost impossible in her country, which has the second-highest rate of HIV infection in the world, because “we end up talking to our people in a strange language that they don’t understand.”1Erika Check, “Aid agencies predict victory for HIV unless cash crisis is solved,” Nature 430, 279 (15 July 2004); doi:10.1038/430279a.What part about d-e-a-t-h don’t you understand?  Listen to what the gay activist said: “You’re not doing what … people with AIDS want.”  What they want is: unlimited sin without consequences.  They want to engage in promiscuous relationships, knowing ahead of time the wages of sin is death, but make healthy people pay to find a cure that will allow them to do whatever they want sexually, whenever they want to.  An old cartoon stated it well: a character walks right past the danger sign and falls off a cliff.  On the way down, he is shouting, “free unlimited health care!”    The liberal nurse is making a racist statement.  She thinks people in Botswana are too backward to understand the meaning of: “If you engage in this behavior, you risk getting this disease; if you get this disease, you will die.”  We think anyone can understand that certain actions can have deadly consequences.  Liberals deny that humans have a moral sense and the ability to make choices.  They think that people, like animals, are just going to engage in whatever sex they want, and there is no way to stop it, so containment and avoidance is futile.     With any other incurable, communicable disease, the medical community would certainly put the highest priority on containment and avoidance (consider SARS, mad cow disease, West Nile virus).  But since AIDS overlaps the sexual preferences of some who value their selfish pleasure over safety, and have enough decibels to drown out those with common sense, administrations are threatened to be booted out of office if they don’t throw more money at the problem when containment and avoidance would provide immediate relief.  Let’s apply this reasoning to other risky behaviors:I like to hold skunks and squeeze them, but I don’t like the smell.  Why doesn’t the World Health Organization recognize the pain of my suffering and provide funds for research on treating my nose and clothes?I’m going to drink and drive.  The government should spend money to keep victims out of my way.I demand the right to eat poison mushrooms.  I will march on Washington for more federal spending on antidotes.I like to play in snake pits.  I demand free government health insurance to cover snakebite and cosmetic surgery.I demand the freedom to jump off cliffs.  It’s the government’s responsibility to provide fluffy feather pillows for my landing.I want to drink lots of brown bubbly sugar water.  I demand that Health Insurance agencies support my poor nutritional preferences.*I want to eat processed fats and oils.  I want Doctors to find a cure for damaged arteries, premature aging and neurological problems.*I have smallpox, and demand the right to cough in public, and I will sue anyone who warns the shopping mall that I’m coming.  Instead, the government needs to provide more hospital beds and pain relievers for them.*Sent in by a reader.If you have other examples, write here.  Consider this: in California real estate law, realtors are required to divulge to buyers whether a death occurred in the house, or any other incident took place that might render the house “haunted” (believe it or not).  There is one exception to this rule.  Realtors are forbidden to mention whether a death occurred in the house due to AIDS, unless the buyer asks that specific question point blank.    Many AIDS victims are truly victims, and HIV is a global health problem that deserves high priority medical research on the treatment side as well.  The plight of millions of orphans left behind demands swift and immediate relief.  But surely, much of the global epidemic could be drastically reduced by a strategy of containment and avoidance.  This should be obvious whether or not one acknowledges that this strategy just happens to coincide with a Judeo-Christian ethic.    This news story is one of many evidences that Big Science and political liberalism are bosom buddies.  Any news item or editorial in Nature or Science that has occasion to refer to Bush or other conservatives will predictably cast them in a negative light, and will espouse political or ethical positions that are synonymous with those of liberal politicians; see 09/22/2003 commentary.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Africa refocused: images of Ghana

first_imgCompiled by Mary AlexanderPopular images of Africa tend to be of two types: beautiful landscapes and exotic wildlife, or distressing poverty, disease and suffering. But Africa is not a country, easily reduced to stereotypes. It’s a vast, diverse continent with 54 separate countries, well over a thousand languages and a range of cultures, histories and religions. People live, work, love and raise families here, just like anywhere else.In the first in a series of photo galleries refocusing the image of African countries, we look at the West African nation of Ghana, on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of some 27-million, Ghana is rated the seventh-best governed and fifth-most stable country in Africa, with the continent’s sixth-largest economy.Maths teacher Winston Mills-Compton explains a concept to his class at the Mfantsipim Boys School in the coastal city of Cape Coast. Founded in 1876, the school is one of the oldest in the city, which is the academic centre of Ghana. Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan was a student at Mfantsipim. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst, World Bank)The mausoleum of Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of post-colonial Ghana, in the capital city of Accra. From 1951 Nkrumah served as the leader of the Gold Coast, the colonial name for the country, oversaw independence from Britain in 1957, and was president of the newly free country until 1966. Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to achieve independence from colonial rule. Nkrumah was an influential activist for Pan-Africanism, and a founding member of the Organisation of African Unity. (Photo: Walter Callens, Retlaw Snellac Photography)A young woman in front of the Black Star Monument in Independence Square, Accra. The second-largest city square in the world after Tiananmen Square in China, Independence Square was commissioned by Kwame Nkrumah to honour both the country’s independence in 1957 and a visit to Ghana by British Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A female shopkeeper takes delivery of goods in Accra. Wholesale and retail trade is one of the most common forms of self-employment for women in Ghana’s cities. (Photo: Arne Hoel, The World Bank)A woman works in a small shop in Accra. Women make up 43.1% of economically active population of Ghana, most working in the informal sector and in food crop farming. (Photo: Arne Hoel)A baby lies on a bed protected with a mosquito net, which helps prevent the spread of malaria. Ghana’s attempts to control the disease, a major cause of poverty and low productivity, began in the 1950s. The country’s Roll Back Malaria initiative was launched in 1999. (Photo: Arne Hoel)Young boys train in a boxing club in the Jamestown neighbourhood in eastern Accra. Jamestown and bordering Usshertown are the oldest districts in the city, today home to a fishing community made up largely of the Ga linguistic group. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Young boys train in a boxing club in the Jamestown neighbourhood of Accra. Boxing is Accra’s citywide obsession, and Jamestown the centre of the sport. There are more boxing schools per square mile in Jamestown than anywhere else on earth. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Young boys train in a boxing club in the Jamestown neighbourhood of Accra. Internationally renowned boxers such as Professor Azuma Nelson and Joshua Clottey learned to fight in one of the over 20 boxing clubs in the neighbourhood. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A young boxer and his trainer at a boxing school in the Jamestown neighbourhood of Accra. The trainer’s shirt bears the image of George “Red Tiger” Ashie, an Accra-born international professional fighter who won the African Boxing Union super featherweight title, Universal Boxing Council super featherweight title, and Commonwealth lightweight title. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A student solves a problem in maths class at the Mfantsipim Boys School, one of Ghana’s oldest and best-performing schools, in the city of Cape Coast. The educational centre of Ghana, Cape Coast is home to the University of Ghana, the country’s leading university in teaching and research, as well as Cape Coast Polytechnic, Wesley Girls’ High School, St Augustine College, Adisadel College, Aggrey Memorial Senior High School and Ghana National College. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A Ghanaian girl walking to school. (Photo: Arne Hoel)A billboard advertising mobile phones flanks a cellphone tower in Accra. Ghana is the second-biggest ICT destination in Africa, after South Africa. Mobile phone penetration stands at 27-million, bigger than the national population. A 780-kilometre fibre optic cable is currently being laid across the country. (Photo: Arne Hoel)The grounds of the University of Ghana in the city of Gold Coast, with the entrance to the Balme Library in the distance. The oldest and largest Ghana’s 13 universities and tertiary institutions, it was founded in 1948 as the University College of the Gold Coast. It was originally an affiliate college of the University of London, which supervised its academic programmes and awarded degrees. In 1961 it gained full university status and, today, has some 40 000 students. (Photo: Arne Hoel)The cargo terminal of the port at the city of Tema in southeastern Ghana, on the Gulf of Guinea. Tema harbour is a major export link for goods from land-locked countries to the north of Ghana, such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A truck mechanic at the cargo terminal in the port of Tema. The port handles 80% of Ghana’s national exports and imports, including the bulk of the country’s major export product, cocoa. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Relaxing on a four-hour Sunday pleasure cruise on the MV Dodi Princess on Lake Volta, the largest manmade water reservoir by surface area – some 8 502 square kilometres – in the world. Attractions on the Dodi Princess include a highlife band, a wading pool, lunch and an air-conditioned cabin for refuge from the sun. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Traditional Ghanaian fishing boats set out from the ancient settlement of Elmina, once part of a colony Portuguese sea traders built on the coast of Ghana in 1482. Before the Portuguese, the town was called Anomansah, meaning “the perpetual drink”. Elmina was the first European settlement in West Africa, the site of the Africa’s first European colonial war – between Spain and Portugal in 1478 – and for centuries the launch point of the Transatlantic slave trade from West Africa. (Photo: Walter Callens, Retlaw Snellac Photography)Hulls of ships docked at Tema Harbour on the southeastern coast of Ghana. (Photo: Curt Carnemark, World Bank)Boys play on a pirogue, a traditional fishing boat, on a beach in coastal Ghana. Pirogue boats are found all over the world, from Louisiana to Madagascar, but Ghana’s handmade dugouts are possibly the most ornate – carved with motifs, painted in bright colours, and often captioned with biblical quotes and smart sayings. Artisanal fishing in pirogues contributes a great deal to Ghana’s informal economy. (Ghana. Photo: Arne Hoel)A technician supervises the processing of cocoa beans into cocoa liquor at the Golden Tree chocolate plant in the port city of Tema. Cocoa – raw and processed – is Ghana’s main export, even though the cocoa plant is not indigenous to the country. The Golden Tree company produces high-quality cocoa products, including chocolate bars that will not melt in the West African heat. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)The control room at the Takoradi thermal power station in Aboadze, 17 kilometres east of the city of Sekondi-Takoradi on the southwestern coast of Ghana. The country generates electricity from hydropower, fossil fuels, thermal energy and renewable energy sources. Ghana’s power generation infrastructure is so developed it is able to not only meet local needs, but export electricity to neighbouring countries. The country is also committed to carbon-free, renewable energy. A $400-million project to build the largest solar power plant in Africa is likely to go online in 2015. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Traders work on the floor of the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra. The exchange, established in 1990, is one of the best-performing in Africa. Its composite index rose by 78.8% in 2013. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A trader working the Ghana Stock Exchange in the financial district of Accra. The exchange has 37 listed companies, who saw a 55% increase in value, in US dollar terms, in 2013. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A worker mixes concrete for maintenance of the N1 national road between Accra, the capital of Ghana, and Gold Coast, the country’s centre of education. Roads and highways, the country’s main transport systems, are constantly being upgraded. In 2012 some US$500-million was spent on expanding Ghana’s road network. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)The clock tower of Balme Library reflected in the sunglasses of a student at the University of Ghana in the city of Gold Coast. (Photo: Arne Hoel)A worker feeling the heat at 330 metres underground at the Anglo Ashanti gold mine in Obuasi. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Workers sprayed with sawdust at a lumber factory in Accra. (Photo: Curt Carnemark)A young Ghanaian man holding a child. (Photo: Arne Hoel)A child of Ghana. (Photo: Arne Hoel)Ghanaian girls eat a school-sponsored lunch. (Photo: Arne Hoe)A woman walks through the streets of Accra, Ghana’s capital and major city. (Photo: Arne Hoel)A woman entrepreneur outside her business. (Photo: Arne Hoel)Morning assembly at a rural primary school in Ghana. (Photo: Arne Hoel)A news camera captures proceedings at Ghana’s parliament in Accra. As a former British colony, the country’s lawmaking process is based on the UK parliamentary system. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)The newsroom at the Joy FM radio studios in Accra. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)On air at the Joy FM studios in Accra. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)A radio technician at work. (Photo: Arne Hoel)People’s reflections in a water tank in rural Ghana. (Photo: Arne Hoel)Pineapple seedlings being planted in the nursery at Bomart Farms in Nsawam, near Accra. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst)Traditional Kente cloth on sale at a market in Kumasi, the centre of the Ashanti region of southern Ghana. (Photo: Adam Jones)Air Ghana aircraft on runway at Kotoka International Airport in Accra. The carrier provides cargo and passenger services throughout West and Central Africa. (Photo: Arne Hoel)Buildings in Accra’s financial district. (Photo: JB Dodane, Flickr)last_img read more

Fujinon’s Affordable New Cine Zoom Lenses for Sony E-Mount Cameras

first_imgPro Video Coalition Reviews the Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9Image via Pro Video Coalition.Another great in-depth review, this one from Adam Wilt at Pro Video Coalition. This review includes focus chart tests, color tests, bokeh, and lens flare. If you need that level of ultimate control that only a true cine lens provides and you rock an E-mount camera, the MK18-55mm T2.9 lens and its longer brother the MK50-135mm T2.9 are worth serious consideration.Read the full Pro Video Coalition review here.Fujinon MK 18-55mm and 50-135mm from B&HHere is a look at both the Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 and 50-135mm from B&H. Cinema5D Reviews the Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9Johnnie Behiri also got his hands on the MK 18-55mm T2.9 in his Cinema5D review.It looks like FUJIFILM has hit the sweet spot when it comes to lens quality, portability and price.I highly recommend checking out the always in-depth and technical insight from the team at Cinema5d. Sony shooters rejoice! There are two new Fujinon E-mount Cine zoom lenses priced to own the independent shooter market.Top image via Philip Bloom.Cine zoom lenses are notoriously expensive at $10,000+ for a nice set of glass. Fujinon has just jumped into the solo shooter market with their latest lenses — both starting at $3,799.The Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 and Fujinon MK 50-135mm T2.9 lenses are compatible with Sony Super 35mm/APS-C sensor E-mount cameras. That means you can use them on the Sony a7 series (and a6300/a6500), FS5, FS7, FS100, FS700. For the a7 series, you’ll need to set your a7R II to S35 mode, or a7S II to HD mode with clear image zoom.Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 Specs:Sony E-MountCovers Super 35 formatT 2.9 to T 22 and closedConsistent T2.9 aperture over zoom range3 x standard 0.8 MOD gearsClickless 9-Blade Iris200° focus rotation and macro modeColor matched to Fujinon HK/ZK/XK series85mm front outside diameterWeight 2.16 lbs (0.98 kg)Length 8.12″ (20.63 cm)Flange focal distance adjustmentShips March 2017$3,799 USD Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 Lens Specs:Sony E-MountCovers Super 35 formatT2.9 to T22 and closed3 x standard 0.8 MOD gearsClickless 9-blade iris200° focus rotation and macro modeColor matched to Fujinon HK/ZK/XK series85mm front outside diameterWeighs 2.16 poundsFlange focal distance adjustmentShips Summer 2017$3,799 USDThere are plenty of reviews and test footage already made available today. Here are are few of the best.Philip Bloom Talks about the Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9Fujifilm brought in Philip Bloom to experiment with the new glass. Here is his take on the Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9.The lens was an absolute pleasure to use. The focus was smooth and it has a perfect 200 degree rotation which makes it easy to focus by hand or with a focus puller. Many cine lenses are 300 degrees which is too much for a one person operator.Basically this lens is marvellous.You can read much more of Bloom’s thoughts and see his Fujinon MK footage on his blog. Are you excited about these new lenses? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Wife, paramour held for man’s murder in Ganjam

first_imgThe Ganjam police has solved the murder of a man whose body parts were recovered from different areas with the arrest of his wife and her lover on Saturday.According to the police, Rina Sahu (35), wife of Koko Sahu (40), had committed the murder with with help of her paramour Sunil Pradhan on March 31. One of their sons was the witness to the murder, police sources said. Sunil is a distant relative of Rina.A torso was recovered near Mardarajpur on April 2. During the next few days, chopped hands and legs were located from nearby areas. On April 10, a severed head was found near the Dengapadar canal. As there was no missing person complaint, the local police were unable to identify the victim. The victim was finally identified when his brother Golak Sahu filed a complaint with the police regarding his missing brother. The police had taken Rina into custody on May 10 for interrogation. During interrogation, she spilled the tbeans about the gruesome murder, which led to the arrest of her paramour.Illicit relationshipAccording to Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Dilip Das, who monitored investigation of the case, Rina had developed relationship with Sunil as her husband was a migrant worker in Surat. After returning home in March, her husband had come to know about their illicit relationship and warned them to refrain from it. It had irked Rina and Sunil, who had decided to murder Koko.Another caseEarlier this month a similar case had come to fore in Ganjam district. Decomposed body of Laxmi Narayan Patra (38) from Mohana of Gajapati district was recovered from a locked rented house at Ankushpur village on May 4. Investigation revealed that he had been murdered on April 7 by his wife Jamuna Patra and her paramour Narayan Sahu. Both of them have been arrested.last_img read more