Sunday, March 04, 2007

More Same Old

Just checking in on my pet bugaboos.

The RCMP are 'clean' so far. No comment this time.

The Indian stand-off in Caledonia continues, the Afghan adventure warms up and there's been another AIDS 'breakthrough'. From back to front:

It sounds trite to say, "I told you so", about this announcement but when you consider there must have been brighter guys than myself working on AIDS?? It was announced to-day that most new AIDS cases are passed on from people who don't know they are infected. These would be either the tragically stupid, or people with fairly new infections. My point about transmitting AIDS before it makes you sick enough to want to find out what's wrong, seems to be fairly accurate.

Is this a fluke of statistics that, after almost 20 years of a developing world-wide AIDS pandemic, somebody decided to give more thought to who was passing it on? Scientists all agree that the virus builds up in body tissues, and excretions, until the viral load causes the immune system to crash. They also know that viral load is a major factor in transmission, and that viral loads of concerning concentration are evident in those infected who are asymptomatic for the disease. Let's see what they do with the info. The solution will be drug-related no doubt, as there's precious little you can do about behaviour, eh? Well if you're not sick enough to know you need medecine .... or maybe if everybody on earth who might be gonna have sex would take an anti-retroviral ..... Or maybe, like global warming, we just HAVE TO change our behaviour!

I saw an interview with Rick Hillier Canada's military CinC. Rick was very impressive and seemed to be speaking frankly about a number of issues raised by the interviewer. He discussed things appropriate to his office rationally, and deferred some others to political judgement. Except in two areas.

The first was an overview of the reasons for the mission. Rick blew through every 'talk point' from defence of Canada to pencils for schoolgirls in a less-than-three minute sililoquy with much blinking and a ' Hail Mary ' briskness. He didn't come across as believing a lot of this.

The second point was in regard to deploying Canada's tanks - our 8 aging Leopards and some newly-leased Leopard II's. Rick had a lot to say about the advantages conferred by the tanks, and was forthright about the possibility of risk. He's quite up front about broken eggs and omelets. But he left out what may have been a significant reason for posting our 'tank corps' to Afghanistan with their tanks: they didn't want to fight as infantry. That's probably why we're sending F18's to Afghanistan. It's not because the coalition needs aircraft, it's because Gen Hillier wants every Canadian service person to have an Afghan experience - preferably with a gun and the opportunity to shoot it.

The last point is the Iroquois stand-off at Caledonia. At last call $40 million spent so far. We 'own' a bunch of almost-complete estate homes - occupied by the Indians and for which we pay all costs. No resolution in sight. Ontario is pointing everywhere else. The feds aren't touching this purely provincial squabble and the police are complaining that 'hotheads' keep trying to get things going. News flash: it's not 'get going' season yet. It's stay in the nice warm house and protest season. Except for the police who have to spend long hours, on guard, out in the cold. Not!

La lutte continue.

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