aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Say thank you, buy Kraft
Kraft is contributing the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago. AZnomad at DailyKos quotes an email to employees from Kraft Foods EVP Marc Firestone:
The true test of any commitment is how you respond when challenged. Kraft is experiencing this to a degree right now, as a result of our decision to be one of several contributors to the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago. The games will bring together thousands of athletes in a competition that will take place in our corporate hometown.
In recent days, the company has received many e-mails, the majority of them generated through the America Family Association, which objects to our sponsorship. We also have received calls and e-mails - - not as many, but equally passionate - - thanking us for supporting this event. A member of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s team said, “We applaud the businesses that are sponsors of the Gay Games, including Kraft Foods.”
John at AMERICAblog:
Call Kraft and thank them for doing the right thing: 1-800-323-0768. Ok, everyone, go out and buy some Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, NOW.
Howard Dean’s comment Sunday seemed reasonable enough to me:
I don’t know anybody who thinks abortion is a good thing. I don’t know anybody in either party who is pro-abortion. The issue is not whether we think abortion is a good thing. The issue is whether a woman has a right to make up her own mind about her health care.
One reason progressives are not as strong on the abortion issue is that we so rarely hear abortion defended on its merits. Instead, we have the religious right denouncing it as the equivalent of murder and slavery, and progressives essentially saying “that may be, but it’s really none of your business if people are committing murder and slavery, now is it?”
If that’s the debate, it would be no surprise that the rightwing would win over time.
Nathan Newman regularly has this effect on me. I think I’m going to disagree but his arguments win me over:
Back in 1968, only 15% of the population supported liberalizing abortion laws. By 1972, 64% supported increased access to abortion for women.
This change didn’t happen because of “anti-busybody” arguments but because feminists of both sexes stood up and declared that abortion—however sad an option when used—was necessary to improve the quality of life and equality of women in our society...Another part of the pro-abortion rhetoric was the slogan “every child a wanted child”, acknowledging the fact that great harm is done when parents raise children they don’t want, often because they know the stresses of their life make raising children untenable.
Pro-choice progressives should be embracing Steve Levitt’s arguments in his Freakonomics book that legalization of abortion led to drops in crime rates a generation later, since this reflects the fact that wanted children are less likely to be abused and less likely to end up as criminals when they grow up...Most abortion rights activists have not been libertarians who thought individual choices have no effect on broader society, but people who thought the availability of abortion causes profound and needed changes in that broader society: increasing women’s ability to participate equally in the workplace, changing power relations between men and women within the family, and encouraging family planning so that children were wanted and not abused.
Nathan was responding to this post by Kevin Drum:
Dean is right: if we make abortion and related cultural hot buttons into “anti-busybody” issues, they’re a lot more appealing to a lot more people.
Kevin answers Nathan today:
I still think that Howard Dean’s “anti-busybody” approach to the issue is a good one for a couple of reasons. First, not everyone agrees with me that abortion is morally neutral, but they might nonetheless agree that basic considerations of privacy and personal choice mean that people should be allowed to make their own moral choices in this matter without government interference. Second, it provides an appealing umbrella approach to a lot of social issues, which I think is better than having a hodgepodge of rationales aimed at a bunch of unrelated special interests.
On balance, I’m leaning toward Nathan. I want affirmative reasoned liberal arguments that directly address the other side.
For federal scientists, it’s 1984
Guest post by Jen.
War is peace, black is white, wild and zoo-raised organisms are equivalent. The New York Times tells us about the growing gap between government policy and scientific facts.
The southwestern regional director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has instructed members of his staff to limit their use of the latest scientific studies on the genetics of endangered plants and animals when deciding how best to preserve and recover them.
PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) Program Director Rebecca Roose said
Telling biologists not to consider genetic factors is like telling engineers they cannot use mathematics.
Technology’s not the answer
Medical errors kill nearly 100,000 American each year, with lethal drug interactions accounting for most of these deaths. Computerization—which hospitals have been slow to embrace—was supposed to eliminate most problems, but new research published Wednesday indicates that even the best computer system can’t save you from a doctor’s catastrophic screw-up.
Harmful medication-related mishaps cropped up in a quarter of all patients at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City, one of the most high-tech hospitals in the country, according to a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine...Even though the hospital’s computers were supposed to protect against dangerous drug interactions, illegible prescriptions and bedside mix-ups, nine of the 937 patients studied died as a result of medication problems, the study found.
So does the solution have anything to do with training health professionals? They don’t think so:
The challenge instead, medical specialists say, is making the technology assist doctors in more ways than just sounding an alarm when penicillin is ordered for someone who’s allergic to it.
What if an unintended consequence is that doctors get sloppier because they assume the technology will catch their errors?