All Articles Tagged "Southern"
By Charlotte Young
New research is casting a discouraging outlook for health experts in HIV prevention and family planning. NPR reports that a recent study reveals that the most popular form of contraception in Southern Africa has failed substantially. In fact, it’s creating a more devastating reality for those who use it. In response, the World Health Organization is calling together experts in efforts to find determine the validity of the study.
The contraception, used by 12 million African women in Southern Africa, is an injection which supposedly lasts up to three months. But the new study observes that not only has it fallen short in its effectiveness, women who use this form of birth control are twice as likely to become HIV positive and pass the virus onto their male partners, in comparison to women not using this particular contraception.
The study is published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal. While previous studies have implicated similar contraceptives in HIV/AIDS infection risk increase for twenty years, results were mixed, flawed or too small to be considered accurate. The new study combines research from almost 4,000 couples in seven African countries.
“When I see a two times higher risk, that’s a high risk. It’s a doubling of the chances that a woman would acquire HIV, or, in the case of an infected woman, that she would pass the virus to her partner,” Dr. Jared Baeten, author of the study told NPR.
But despite his findings, WHO representatives and other health experts refuse to believe that the study’s results are conclusive. Dr. Charles Morrison of the public health management nonprofit FHI 360 says that recent media coverage in Africa has gone too far. He’s worried that the publicized results of this study will over-dramatize situation.
“The opposite side of the coin would also be tragic: to have a rollback in the numbers of women using effective contraception to avoid unintended pregnancy and to avoid all those other bad outcomes that can come with an unintended pregnancy in Africa,” Morrison said.
WHO representative Mary Lyn Gaffield discloses that the agency plans to look closely at the study as well as the entire body of evidence to avoid a risk in harming women’s sexual and reproductive health either way. The group will hold a conference on the issue in January to further study the new research as well as past results.
In order to create a more concrete foundation for the study’s findings, researchers may need to implement a larger-scale study on the subject. The study would carry a $30 million price tag and involve 5,000 women participants drawn at random. Results would not be conclusive for five years. In the meantime, experts suggest that the millions of African women using the injectable contraceptives should stick to condoms.
Salon.com has analyzed the make up of the Tea Party Caucus in the House and discovered that it is overwhelmingly Southern and white. Even though the media focuses on Midwesterners like Michele Bachmann, or high-profile blacks like Herman Cain when portraying Tea Party members, most of the officials elected from this group represent a thin slice of radical Southern politics. The Tea Party is not a spontaneous outgrowth of current economic frustrations that spans a cross-section of political sources.
When looking closely at the caucus members, where they are from, and their tactics, it becomes easy to recognize the same right Southern extremists that have been on the scene for decades — if not centuries. They just have a new brand, with the same outlook.
Under the “new” guise of the Tea Party, radical Christian conservatives today are using the obstructionist ploys first used by their predecessors — such as starting the Civil War to resist the end of slavery. More recently, they have crippled the country over the debt ceiling by threatening to cause a world economic collapse. The resulting bill was just signed by Obama into law is rife with the cuts to entitlements, while preserving defense spending — exactly what radical Southern extremists constantly cry for.
This faction was willing to risk destroying the credit of the United States to get its way. Apparently, this is part of a very old pattern at work. Salon.com breaks down their cunning:
Contradicting the mainstream media narrative that the Tea Party is a new populist movement that formed spontaneously in reaction to government bailouts or the Obama administration, the facts show that the Tea Party in Congress is merely the familiar old neo-Confederate Southern right under a new label. The threat of Southern Tea Party representatives and their sidekicks from the Midwest and elsewhere to destroy America’s credit rating unless the federal government agrees to enact Dixie’s economic agenda of preserving defense spending while slashing entitlements is simply the latest act of aggression by the Solid South. [...]
From the earliest years of the American republic, white Southern conservatives when they have lost elections and found themselves in the political minority have sought to extort concession from national majorities by paralyzing or threatening to destroy the United States.
The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and 1799 asserted the alleged right of states to “nullify” any federal law that state lawmakers considered unconstitutional. This obstructionist mentality led to the Nullification Crisis of 1832, when South Carolina refused to enforce federal tariffs. Civil War was averted only when President Andrew Jackson, a Southerner himself, forced the nullifiers to back down.
Through this example, and unveiling the details of the Civil War they eventually did cause, Salon makes a very good case for the idea that the Tea Party is really a relaunched band of Southern radicals. Steeped in Confederate nostalgia, this group is fueled by religion and willing to hurt the general population to get what it wants for their brethren.
Sounds like terrorism.
I wrote yesterday that the GOP was holding America’s credit rating hostage to get what it wanted. Today, I realize that perhaps not the entire GOP is to blame. Tea Party members specifically took the U.S. to the brink of financial collapse to attain the harsh spending cuts that will disproportionately effect the poor. This is very similar to a lone bomber destroying himself on a crowded city bus to make an abstract point. While the cause of the violence is unrelated to them, the victims will suffer horribly all the same.
It’s unclear how senior citizens struggling to pay their medical bills will help our flat economy. But the slashing of federal spending has become such a dogmatic point of rhetoric for Tea Party members, it is dubious that they know either. The only thing that is clear is that they have won this battle through fear, intimidation, and the threat of destruction even if that destruction had been absolute.
The Tea Party might as well announce its Jihad on political fairness and economic equality in this country. Will Obama ever be able to pass sound fiscal policies with these domestic terrorists in the House? It is hard to act with intelligence when facing an opponent willing to commit social suicide.
(The Grio) — In Mississippi, Alvin Robinson, an African-American man, was on trial for murder after he’d allegedly had an altercation with and killed a white man following a frightful traffic incident. During the jury selection for his trial, an African-American woman showed up dutifully for service, but was turned away because she had “no ties to the community,” though she’d worked for the same local company for six years. One by one, the African-Americans who had been summoned were dismissed from service. In a silent protest to being stricken from the jury for what she suspected to be a thinly-veiled attempt to maintain the racial homogeny of the all-white jury, this woman returned to the courthouse each day, only to watch Mr. Robinson be found guilty for murder (even though three of the jurors slept through portions of the trial) and sentenced to prison.