Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I read something quite horrifying today about the Bush Administration and their actions in what bodes as devastating for international AIDS policy. In an email from the most excellent international women’s grantgiving nonprofit, The Global Fund for Women, I read of how the Administration is quietly circumnavigating an agreement they signed to ease restrictions on the procurement of cheaper AIDS drugs in poor countries. From the political blog of former journalist Doug Ireland, DIRELAND:

...Back in 2001, after a long fight against Big Pharma's monopolization of the production of AIDS drugs, a World Trade Organization meeting in Doha, Qatar, agreed that poor countries should have the right to break the multinational drug companies' patent monopoly on those drugs if they declared a national health emergency due to the AIDS pandemic. The U.S. was one of the 142 countries that signed on to this breakthrough agreement, under which poor countries could make their own AIDS-fighting medications cheaply, or buy generic versions of them from a country that produced them, thus bypassing Big Pharma.

This was a huge victory, won after years of struggle by AIDS and non-governmental public health advocacy organizations from around the world. And the Doha agreement began to save thousands of lives, by getting cheap, life-prolonging AIDS meds into the hands of the HIV-positive in the poorer nations who so desperately needed them but couldn't afford them.

But the Bush administration is morbidly blackmailing poor countries into giving up their rights to make cheap AIDS meds under that international treaty if they want the benefits of so-called Free Trade Agreements with the U.S. Either the poor countries refuse to knuckle under and scuttle these bi-lateral and regional trade deals with Washington -- which are worth billions of dollars -- or they accept these deals and raise the price of AIDS meds beyond the reach of the poor.

I’m sick at this. I’m sick of so much money being made from so much suffering. I’m sick of not hearing about this from our media, and I’m sick of what we have become. I'm sick of working for social justice and human livelihood and having my own government, the most powerful and influential in the world, actively campaign against it. I think it’s, sadly, a human trait to use power to make money and fuck over those who are powerless; it’s been happening for millennia. But god, this isn't just affecting a small group of people (read: American military in Iraq, America's working poor, etc.) who are so often ignored anyway by these filthy vermin. This affects billions, and countless more who will be infected in the future. The health of our world, the viability of our global community, is at stake. How do they sleep at night?


Blogger CJKnaak said...

Bill Gates and his foundation, you know the one.. B&M Gates Found .. Damn.. the name is too long to type out .. but not so long as to type an entire sentence to say it's too long to type out the name.

Damn it. Anyways- I think one of the issues they contribute funds to is the battling of AIDS.

This, I am sure you know as well. It's interesting, though, in light of what you wrote on the inefficiencies of a government roiling in it's own shifting political priorities. That would be the case with any government, more in countries such as Zimbabwe, and less, in places like.. oh let's say Switzerland.

Anyways- I think the concept of "government" is something that will eventually be evolved beyond- into a laissez-faire more objective distribution of goods and services- with modular controls under the auspice of a "figure head" with no real power- just a sort of a tribal brand to follow traditional trends of identification of self within an actual culture.

But until then, or then something, beyond what we have now at least, the old vanguard of political greed remains rooted firmly in the US government policy. It hasn't changed since the inception of the country- treaties are made to be broken. Any nuclear proliferation act, any treaty regarding healthcare, any UN vote to not invade a country will be violated by the US now or later. International policies are enfored by the US and broken by them- With the US as the worl parental figure currently. There are a number of other countries and trends on the tail of the US though.. China, Bill Gates, The power bestowed to people in the free exchange of information through technology- these emerging entities will all come to a cross road at some junction in the future and decide to carpool for awhile.
When they do- Uncle Sam will be left to hitchhiking for a ride with someone that actually has wheels.

While even the Gates Foundation cannot match the spending power of the US government yet.. watch out. It's gonna happen.

Well- that's my 2 bits over a 40oz..

Look for personal policy changes in the near future, however.

June 28, 2006 at 4:25:00 PM PDT  
Blogger CJKnaak said...

I love this site


June 28, 2006 at 4:35:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Trevor said...

Hey Craig,

Well said, dude! I like the idea of the internet, China, and BillGates, Inc. carpooling--but I wonder what they'd drive--an eco-friendly AI controlled tank perhaps?

(Hah! I'll laugh at my own unintentional joke--China driving an AI controlled auto. John Searle would chuckle I hope.)


June 29, 2006 at 12:53:00 AM PDT  
Blogger CJKnaak said...

Red is the Rosiest Bush

AP Television News footage showed a huge plume of gray smoke rising from the scene in the Sadr City neighborhood, and flames shooting through the windows of several scorched cars.

The explosion, which occurred at 10 a.m., devastated several shops in the sprawling district in eastern Baghdad, police Col. Hassan Jaloob said. He said 45 people were killed and 41 wounded.

Painting the roses red
We're painting the roses red
We dare not stop
Or waste a drop
So let the paint be spread
We're painting the roses red
We're painting the roses red
Oh, painting the roses
And many a tear we shed
Because we know
They'll cease to grow
In fact, they'll soon be dead
And yet we go ahead
Painting the roses red
Painting the roses red
We're painting the roses red
Oh, pardon me
But Mister Three
Why must you paint them red?
Huh? Oh! Well, the fact is, Miss
We planted the white roses by mistake
The Queen she likes 'em red
If she saw white instead
She'd raise a fuss
And each of us
Would quickly lose his head
Since this is the part we dread
We're painting the roses red
Oh, Dear! Then let me help you
Painting the roses red
We're painting the roses red
Don't tell the Queen what you have seen
Or say that's what we said
But we're painting the roses red
Yes, painting the roses red
Not pink
Not green
Not aquamarine
We're painting the roses red!

July 1, 2006 at 2:36:00 AM PDT  

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