20 September 2014

Why Testing Positive On Any Of The HIV Tests May Not Mean Much

Here's a list of factors that just might skew the results of an HIV test.  So if you test positive, you might not want to rush out and order a coffin and burial plot, just yet. 

 I've highlighted a few of the factors below that seem problematic to me because they just might affect a lot of people not in the risk groups associated with AIDS deaths.  For Example:  seventy-to-ninety percent of the (adult?) population has Herpes simplex I and twenty percent of sexually active adults have Herpes simplex II.  

18 September 2014

Why I Will Never Knowingly Allow Myself To Be Tested For HIV.

I remember when the big AIDS scare broke out in the '80's.  

Breathless commentators predicted that the deadly disease would ravage our society.  Even though it first erupted among the male homosexual and illicit needle-using communities, it was caused by a virus and could easily jump, we were warned,  from bath house to Baptist picnic.  

Our bodies would have no resistance to this new virus, and it would strike us down as easily as smallpox--brought from Europe by the pilgrims--smote the natives in the New World.  Initial estimates were that in the United States alone, a hundred million of us would succumb to the dreaded HIV.

Well, that never happened.  Casualties pretty much stayed in the first groups of male same-sexers and needle junkies.  

26 July 2014

Suckers And The Death Of Adrienne Shelly.

When the “Waitress” movie came out in 2007 my wife and I went to see it at the theater.  Andy Griffith is in it in his last role before he died, as the no-nonsense owner of Lulu’s pie café.  There are three waitresses that work at the café and talk to each other about their relationships.  They are likable humble put-upon women.  

Especially the lead character, Jenna, who is pregnant and hides money from her husband, eventually to escape her marriage.  He finds out and smacks her for her financial infidelity, so you don‘t much care for him.  The rest of the men in the film are not much more likable.

Jenna (Keri Russell) is a genius at making unique tasty pies and names them for events in her life.

She has an affair with her married physician, Dr. Pomatter.  In the end she stands up to her husband and wins a pie contest and has a daughter and the movie ends with the two of them walking off, manlessly, confidently, hopefully into the sunset.  Shelly’s own daughter, Sophie, makes her screen debut as the little girl.

I mention this movie because I stayed to watch the credits and saw a memorial to the director of the film.

I realized it meant Adrienne Shelly, forty, the writer, director, co-producer and also an actress in her own film, must have died before it came out.  Curious, I looked up what happened to her and learned she was found dead hanging with a sheet knotted around her neck from a shower rod in her office bathroom. 

The day she died, the first of November, her husband dropped her off in Greenwich Village, at an apartment she used for an office at about nine-thirty in the morning and when he hadn’t heard from her and couldn’t reach her he went there and, along with the doorman, discovered her body. 

Police initially considered Shelly's death a suicide, but this was vehemently protested by her husband and family.  She had a movie coming out, and many other projects in the hopper, and a three-year-old daughter.  "There's no way on this planet that she would have left that child," said husband Andrew Ostroy.  "Nobody is ever going to tell me that woman walked away from Sophie."

06 April 2014

The Evil Roy Slade Way

I was reading a movie review type blog where one of the posters couldn't understand the stance of conservatives about government welfare programs.  I felt compelled to write him an answer to the question he posited: " why is it evil to want to help those in need?"  

"It isn't," was my reply.  "It becomes evil when you use force to accomplish it, and government is force." 

If I don't pay the taxes imposed on me, government agents with guns will eventually show up at my house, after a deluge of threatening letters and legal notices, and arrest me,  auction off all my property and throw my family out in the street.  If I resist they will kill me.   That is the threat behind all your wonderful state-run charitable schemes.   It behooves us then to limit, to the absolute minimum, these coercive "good works" rather then expand them. 

20 March 2014

Cruel And Delusional Punishment

Condemned murderer Dennis McGuire, within four minutes of his lethal injection, in the windowless death house at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, began to have trouble breathing.  He gasped and snorted for the next ten minutes and then lay peaceful until declared dead, approximately twenty-four minutes after the novel two-drug cocktail was pumped into his arm. 

This was mid-morning the sixteenth of January, the year of our Lord two thousand and fourteen.  Perhaps you heard of it.  There have been many executions before this one and will be more, after, but this one was the first state-sanctioned killing in the New Year and it made national news because of the first-time use of this particular combination of drugs, the length of the procedure, obvious distress of the man on the gurney, traumatized family witnesses and a lot of I-told-you-so’s by McGuire’s attorneys.  It all made for lively reportage. 

26 January 2014

Original Joe's And The One True Religion

I ate at the Original Joe’s in Jantzen Beach.  I ordered the steak stir fry lunch special and while headed to my seat I looked for something to read while waiting for my meal and it was either the Vancouver Vector or the Portland Mercury.  Both were free. 

The Mercury cover presented a drawing of a young woman shown from behind wearing extremely low-cut jeans and thong underwear—though it was not really “under” much of anything.  Her right hand was behind her back and, except for her defiant delicate middle finger, formed a fist.  The drawing referenced an article within having to do with, I think, lesbian feminists.  Angry ones. 

It was going to be brickbats aimed at myself and all other men in the world, so I picked up the Vector and turned to page six to read about political, religious and scientific myths by Pat Miller.  You can read the whole thing here:   http://www.vancouvervector.com/life/myths-politics-religion-science/

I’ll concentrate on the second myth that there is only one true religion, but first I’d like to correct a term that Miller uses.  The article is subtitled “3 TABOOS THAT NEED TO BE CHALLENGED”   The author is misusing “taboo” here.  Taboo means: prohibited, forbidden, sacred, accursed, unmentionable, unthinkable, banned.