Thursday, September 28, 2006

Good issue gone bad

Glenn Reynolds links to an item on Daily Kos here, noting the plight of some Bulgarian and Palestinian health professionals in Libya. IMO this provides a terrific example of partisan politics fouling up an otherwise universal cause.

It seems that the health professionals were working in Libya when an outbreak of HIV among children occurred. I'm not a health pro, but my first guess would be that someone compromised on hygiene wrt medical instruments, blood screening, blood storage, or reusing syringes.
In a nutshell, and I mean a true nutshell, for those of you not familiar, the case involves five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor who have been wrongfully charged for allegedly infecting children with HIV. They were tortured and forced to sign "confessions" written in Arabic they did not understand now they are awaiting execution by firing squad in Libya . In fact, the poor hygiene, dirty needles and bad practices in the hospital are to blame.
Now the writer ought to consider whether she wants universal support or if she just wants to appeal to lefties. That is, does she want a solution or an issue?

Consciously or not, her choice is clear - she wants the issue, even if it costs lives. She signals this in several ways.

First, she focuses on torture, denying the possibility that torture could produce anything useful. Whether that is true or not, it's not clear that it's relevant because the same Libyan court denied testimony from Luc Montagnier about HIV (it appears that the infected children already had HIV before the defendants even arrived in Libya). Being a lefty, she's incapable of criticizing a totalitarian govt that is not an ally of the US, so she has nothing more to say about Libyan justice or govt. Sorry sweetie, but IMO it's clear that the fix was in - someone high up in Libya is covering his ass, and there would have been confessions as a fig leaf if only by forgery or deception.

Of course, she drags in the fact that Libya has oil, This is a total non-sequitur to anyone but a lefty, Does she *really* think this influences press coverage?

She proclaims "Healthcare is a disaster in the United States", Beyond being a non-sequitur, only a lefty could proclaim something so asinine. After all, she notes that we don't reuse needles over here as they do all over Africa and elsewhere for lack of resources - just what word does she use for those other places? And as she noted, Libya has oil - if they can't afford more needles, who can?

She notes a Clinton initiative for health in Africa without even acknowledging Bush's health initiatives in Africa. Alas! - Bush's initiatives are mostly for malaria. To a lefty, it's always about sex - they might want to sleep with Africans, but they're not likely to live in Africa, so spending on localized, nonvenereal killers like malaria is a waste of money. And anything good that might happened has to be credited to lefties.

Yep, I'm being at least as tendentious as she is, but only to serve my point, which is 1) she loaded her message with irrelevant partisan BS, and 2) this does not serve the cause she claims to embrace. Why not simply state that the 6 foreign professionals in Libya are in danger of being executed for something that evidence shows they couldn't have done?

Universal issues need universal statements. We have environmentalism as an example of an issue with universal appeal that has been poisoned because lefties insist on defining the issues and controlling the responses. Let's not let it happen again.

We still don't have a stupidity vaccine

There are countless expressions and stories about what happens to critical thinking abilities during sexual arousal. I don't know what Cathy Seipp was doing when she wrote this article, but this time at least the "religious fanatics" are thinking more clearly than she.

Ms. Seipp writes
An anti-STD vaccine no more encourages promiscuity than locking your doors at night encourages burglars.
OK, odds are that she doesn't live in an RV. Most people can't move their homes to less secure neighborhoods. But people can incur more risk of STDs and might well do so if convinced that they were no less safe than before. And even if vaccines were 100% effective they would only work on one of the numerous STDs out there, and never mind pregnancy.

Ms. Seipp is smart and presumably raised a smart daughter who won't, um, park the RV in the wrong part of town so to speak. But other mothers and daughters are not so blessed, and what works for the Seipps might not make a good universal prescription. In any case, it doesn't call for a gratuitous slam against "religious fanatics".

Look, I'm a Cathy Seipp fan and I hope she makes a full recovery soon. But if I settled for stuff like this I'd be a Democrat.