:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Monday, September 22, 2003  

Sudan's Luckless Children, Locked in Land of Nod

.."About 300 children in and around this jungle village in southern Sudan have the mysterious ailment. It typically strikes during or just after a meal. The neurological disorder has left epidemiologists baffled. One of the few things understood about nodding is that it appears unique to southern Sudan....

Nodding is just one effect of the unusual malady. The children who begin nodding eventually stop growing when still small. Their brains stop developing as well, leaving victims mentally retarded. Eventually, the disease kills, and families dig tiny graves at the back of their mud huts....." (more here)

posted by Rahat | 9/22/2003 07:19:00 AM | (0) comments |

Saturday, September 13, 2003  

Man in Black - in memory of Johnny Cash

Man In Black
by Johnny Cash

Recorded February 16, 1971
[US country singer Johnny Cash has died at the age of 71 in a hospital in Nashville.]

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he's a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believen' that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believen' that we all were on their side.

Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.

posted by Anjali Taneja | 9/13/2003 10:39:00 AM | (0) comments |


Quote from a really good BMJ article summarizing the TRIPS "compromise":
But the UK Commission on Intellectual Property Rights and Development Policy questioned in 2002 whether a global norm for patent protection is in the best interests of developing countries and whether an individual or company should be able to take out a patent on products that have important societal implications...Concluding that the research agenda for
pharmaceuticals is led by market demands of the developed world rather than the needs of poor people, the commission recommended that intellectual property rules should limit the scope for patenting that serves more to protect markets, and exclude competition, than promote local research and development. (also check out the UK Commission's report)

posted by Anjali Taneja | 9/13/2003 10:36:00 AM | (0) comments |

Friday, September 12, 2003  

Ashcroft Unplugged Tour-Coming Soon to a City Near You!

Hurry! Get your tickets now before they're sold out!
Brought to you by Orwellian Productions.

This editorial in the Chicago Tribune by Jonathon Hurley was too amusing not too share.

Update: Did you miss him in NYC? NOO!
Don't worry, here's the scoop.

posted by Rahat | 9/12/2003 05:34:00 AM | (0) comments |

Thursday, September 11, 2003  

We won't forget the OTHER Sept 11 and our country's involvement
In 1970 Chile elected to power leftist President Salvador Allende. President Nixon, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and the CIA set about a campaign of destabilization of Chile's economy, and gave support and encouragement to the military uprising and coup d'etat on September 11, 1973. More than 10,000 people were tortured, murdered, or disappeared in the ensuing months and years of military terror. While Chile has returned to parliamentary democracy, justice is still being sought against the torturers and murderers of the dictatorship, including General Pinochet. These people have been granted impunity to prosecution for their crimes in Chile.

Thanks to www.indymedia.org for this information.

posted by Anjali Taneja | 9/11/2003 03:11:00 PM | (0) comments |


Go Santa Cruz City Council!
"The Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday became the nation's first local government to ask Congress to look into impeaching President Bush on charges he deceived the American public about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and has used the Sept. 11 attacks as an excuse to crush civil rights...In September 2002, Santa Cruz became the first city council to oppose a war aimed at toppling Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Although the council drew some ridicule at the time, 165 councils and boards of supervisors across the nation eventually passed nearly identical measures."

posted by Anjali Taneja | 9/11/2003 02:59:00 PM | (0) comments |

Tuesday, September 09, 2003  

The Transportation Security Administration -- WAY outta control
"The new Transportation Security Administration system seeks to probe deeper into each passenger's identity than is currently possible, comparing personal information against criminal records and intelligence information. Passengers will be assigned a color code -- green, yellow or red -- based in part on their city of departure, destination, traveling companions and date of ticket purchase. Most people will be coded green and sail through. But up to 8 percent of passengers who board the nation's 26,000 daily flights will be coded "yellow" and will undergo additional screening at the checkpoint, according to people familiar with the program. An estimated 1 to 2 percent will be labeled "red" and will be prohibited from boarding. These passengers also will face police questioning and may be arrested...

"The TSA will check each passenger in two steps. The first will match the passenger's name and information against databases of private companies that collect information on people for commercial reasons, such as their shopping habits. This process will generate a numerical score that will indicate the likelihood that the passenger is who he says he is. Passengers will not be informed of their color code or their numerical score. The second step matches passenger information against government intelligence combined with local and state outstanding warrants for violent felonies."

posted by Anjali Taneja | 9/09/2003 11:16:00 PM | (0) comments |

Friday, September 05, 2003  

Interesting - Hep A outbreaks at concerts!
"In July 2003, a cluster of hepatitis A cases was identified among young adults who had attended outdoor concert and camping events featuring various "jam bands." As of September 2, a total of 25 cases have been reported among residents of nine states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, and Wisconsin). The majority of cases were among young adults who attended concerts during the spring and summer. The median age of infected persons was 23 years (range: 17--44 years); 14 (56%) were male... The bands performing at these concerts and festivals attract fans who travel from one concert to another, sometimes continuously over several months. Concerts often are multiday events involving camping on established or impromptu campgrounds, and sanitary conditions sometimes are poor... At large outdoor gatherings, crowded conditions, a lack of hand-washing facilities, and poor sanitation might contribute to the potential for disease transmission."

Interesting outbreak study by the CDC. Hep A is transmitted through the fecal-oral route. The CDC requests that young to middle-aged adults with newly diagnosed hepatitis A be asked if they have attended a "jam band" concert or any outdoor concert and associated camping event. Ok, so that may not have been the first thing i'd ask if a young adult had Hep A. And what's a "jam band" concert?

posted by Anjali Taneja | 9/05/2003 07:44:00 AM | (0) comments |

Thursday, September 04, 2003  

WTO agrees to help poorer countries get access to generic drugs

The World Trade Organization will allow poorer countries to import generic drugs to battle ravaging diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS. The WTO already has policy that allows poor countries with existing pharmaceutical industries to waive patents in times of national health emergencies, using "compulsory licensing". Now, poor nations without their own pharmaceutical industries can bypass the international patent laws covering drug manufacturing and sales (under certain specific circumstances) as well. Some are hailing this move as a step toward bridging the gap in affordable treatments between poorer and more developed nations in the fight against deadly diseases. Others such as Oxfam and Medecins Sans Frontieres see this deal as failing to provide a workable solution. "Today's deal was designed to offer comfort to the US and the Western pharmaceutical industry," said Ellen 't Hoen of MSF. "Unfortunately, it offers little comfort for poor patients. Global patent rules will continue to drive up the price of medicines."

posted by Rahat | 9/04/2003 07:05:00 AM | (0) comments |

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